The Classes of Sparkling Wines

Sparkling WineWhile there are many different types of wine – by far, my favorites are Sparkling Wines!  Yes, including Champagne!  It’s interesting to know that there are many different types of bubbly wine.

Sparkling wines are wines that have considerable amounts of carbon dioxide. This makes them fizzy and bubbly. The carbon dioxide is produced by natural fermentation, or in a large tank designed to accept high pressure or as an effect of injecting carbon dioxide in the wine. Sparkling wines must have more than 2.5 atmospheres of carbon dioxide at sea level at a temperature of 20 degrees Celcius.

California, USA is one of the largest regions in the world that produces sparkling wines. Specifically, the region is known for its rose sparklers. On the other side of the world, the United Kingdom has introduced world-class champagne style wines.

Most sparkling wines are either white or rose. However, there are also sparkling red wines such as the Australian sparkling shiraz. Some sparkling wines are also considered light sparklers, producing only a slight fizzing. These are called frizzante or petillant. A perfect example of light sparklers is the vinho verde from Portugal.

The most popular sparkling wine is champagne. In fact, most people use the word “champagne”  to denote most sparkling wines. However, there are other styles that are produced in many other countries and regions.

Cremant, for example, is a type of sparkling wine that is produced in French regions outside of Champagne. Famous Cremants include Cremant du Jura, Cremant d’Alsace and Cremant d’Origine Controlee. According to French appellation laws, a Cremant must be harvested manually with yields not exceeding a particular amount for their AOC. Also, all Cremants are aged for at least one year.

Another example is the Cava, a type of white or pink sparkling wine produced in the Penedes region in Catalona, Spain. This wine is produced in three levels of dryness; brut nature, brut or extra dry, seco or dry, semiseco or medium and dulce or sweet. According to the Spanish Denominacion de Origen laws, Cava must use selected species of grapes such as macabeo, parellada, xarel-lo, Chardonnay or Subirat.

Cap Classique is a sparkling wine made in South Africa. Grapes for this wine are carefully selected to ensure that only healthy grapes are used. These grapes come from diverse regions in the Cape.

There are other classes of sparkling wines such as the Italian Asti and Spumante, the German Sekt and the Russian Sovetskoye Shampanskoye.

These wines taste great. One should be available in the bars of serious wine collectors.  I know that I always have Sparkling wines around!

 

P.S.  If you are the only Champagne drinker in your house (as I am), it’s sometimes tough to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.  Here’s a stopper that will help you to preserve those bubbles until the next time you are ready for more!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GS7UU8Q

Champagne Stopper

Throwing A Wine And Cheese Party!

wine and cheese partyA wine and cheese party can be a great way to celebrate anything. It is also easy to put together without much effort on the part of the host, even if you do not know a lot about these foods. There are many ways that you can decorate your room, different glasses and plates that you can use, and even a variety of wine to choose from.

Decorations for a Wine and Cheese Party

The way that you set up your room depends not only upon the room’s shape, but also upon how much space you have. You can either use a long buffet table against one wall with different sections or have several “stations” around the room with little tables.

Of course, an upscale party is generally the way to go here, so think simple and elegant. One idea is to use solid white tablecloths with white candles that are decorated with grapes and grape leaves or something seasonal. Make sure that you label each of the cheeses that you will be serving and give a short description of its general flavor. You may want to have a cutting board and cutter available for each type of cheese as well.

Glasses and Plates for a Wine and Cheese Party

Make sure that you use the right type of wine glass with each wine. For instance, red wine should be served in a round ball shaped glass while white wine should be served in a more fluted glass. You will want to have a collection of each type of glasses available. For dishes you could use wine-themed plates or an eclectic mix of little antique dishes. You will want to have plenty of these available to encourage your guests to try small samples of cheese with each wine.

What to Serve At a Wine and Cheese Party

You will probably want to have more foods available at your party than simply wine and cheese. A good choice here would be fruit, because you could then have a 3 tiered centerpiece or large antique bowl filled with grapes and other fruit on your tables. Another idea is to have a lot of interesting types of breads and crackers available. Simply make sure that your wine and cheese, as well as your crackers and breads, are all appropriate choices for the wine that is being sampled. You could even have some caviar and then a nice cheesecake for dessert. Of course, you may wish to offer your guests some coffee too, particularly at the end of your bash.

Wine and cheese are two of my favorite things!  And, I love having friends over for wine and cheese!  I hope that these tips will help to have a successful wine and cheese party!

Why You Should Use A Wine Rack

why you should use a wine rackFor wine to mature in the proper way, you’ll need to have the right humidity, temperature, light condition, and movement. Whenever you are storing wine for any amount of time, you’ll need to ensure that the wine is in a safe place. Even though there are a few ways that you can store wine, none are safer or smarter than using a wine rack.

When you choose your wine rack, you should always remember to choose one that will store your wine properly. There are a several styles to choose from, including those that stack, wall mounts, and side mounts. You should also pay attention to size as well, as the sizes range from storing a few bottles to storing hundreds. You’ll also have a lot of varieties and designs to select from, all of which depend on your needs and your space.

Among the best types of wine racks are the horizontal racks. Contrary to what many may think, vertical racks aren’t a good choice for storing your wine. Wine that is stored on vertical racks are stored vertically, which means that the cork will dry out and eventually start to shrink, bringing air into the wine and ruining it. On the other hand, vertical racks can come in handy when storing wine for short periods of time, or wine that is best consumed young.

Tilted racks are another type of rack you should avoid using, as they can dry out the corks or deposit the sediments too close to the cork. For your wine storing needs, you should always go with a horizontal rack. Horizontal racks will keep the cork moist, and keep unwanted air from making contact with the wine. The sediment will fall towards the side of the bottle, preventing spillage when you pop the cork. Horizontal racks are also very affordable and you can always add more racks to the design with little to no problem.

The materials for wine racks are normally wood or metal. You can hang them from ceilings, mount them on the wall, or simply place them 123on the floor. Metal racks are the strongest, although wood is more flexible. Wooden racks provide a bit more storage, for the simple fact that you can always add to them. Wood racks are also visually appealing, durable, and provide plenty of strength.

All in all, a wine rack is a fine investment for anyone who appreciates wine. There are various sizes to choose from, all of which are very affordable. The small to medium sizes work best for homes, while the large styles are best for commercial settings. No matter where you keep your wine – you can count on a wine rack to keep your wine stored for years to come.

A Look At Champagne

Champagne SealerTraditionally, Champagne has always a way to celebrate milestones or toast the bride and groom on their marriage. Considered to be a flexible beverage, Champagne can be served with a meal or with dessert. For many years, this truly refreshing and exotic drink has been used as a way of celebration and just enjoying the times that lie ahead.

Champagne comes from the vineyards of the French region. If you get a bottle and notice Champagne imprinted on the label, you can rest assured that the bottle was produced in the vineyards of France. If you don’t get Champagne that was produced in the infamous French regions, you are pretty much just buying the standard sparkling wine. You should also make sure that the bottle is spelled “Champagne”, with a capital C. French manufacturers are very protective of this very name, and therefore are the only ones that are authorized to use it.

Champagne is made using three different types of grape – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Noir and Meunier are types of black grapes, while the well known Chardonnay is a type of white grape. The label on the bottle will signify what type of Champagne you are buying, so you’ll know what flavor to expect. There are also types of this wine that are a blend of different grapes, providing quite an exquisite taste to say the least.

Much like sparkling wine, Champagne is very common with celebrations and such. Although it is actually considered to be a type of sparkling wine, Champagne is much better. You have to be careful where you buy it though, as a lot of manufacturers like to use cheaper grapes, which don’t taste the same. If you have ever tasted this wine before – you’ll know first hand what quality tastes like.

A lot of people prefer Champagne because of the bubbles that are known to spew forth once a bottle has been uncorked. The bubbles that spew from this wine are the result of tiny drops of liquid that are disturbed by the carbonic acid gas. Once the liquid is disturbed, the bubbles form and short out of the bottle. This is a natural reaction of the double fermentation process that can only be found with a bottle of Champagne.

The next time you have a celebration and need something to make the celebration a bit more interesting, you should grab a bottle of Champagne. Few things compliment a celebration like the bursting bubbles of a fine bottle. You can find quality Champagne at ABC stores or other stores that sell alcoholic beverages. Even though it may cost you a bit of money – when you pop the top you’ll be glad you bought it.

Champagne StopperI love Champagne – but, I never finish the whole bottle at one sitting.  I’ve found this Champagne Stopper that does preserve the bubbles until I’m ready to finish it off!  It keeps me from throwing good Champagne down the drain that goes flat.  I love this Champagne sealer!

Wine And Food Pairing Tips For Your Next Dinner Party

wine and food pairing tipsWhen you’re looking to hold a dinner party, whether for your friends, family or coworkers, and you plan on having wine with dinner, you should pay attention to wine food pairing. Certain wines go with certain foods. This is most often seen in fancy restaurants where menus will have wine recommendations next to certain food items. To get a list of wine food pairing options, search the web or call one of those restaurants where they should be more than willing to help you out. So if you want your dinner party to go on without a hitch, and you want it to be as memorable as possible, choose your wines and foods according to wine food pairing and plan everything down to the littlest detail. That should have them talking about your party for a long time to come.

Wine food pairing is important because some wines are sweet, while others are bitter, and these tastes go best with certain foods. Almost all wine goes great with cheese, for instance, which is why you see wine and cheese sold in the same locations in stores. However, some wines don’t go very well with certain foods. You can taste test them to see which ones go with certain foods, which is very fun, or you can find a list that teaches you proper wine food pairing.

Red Wine

Red wine goes great with foods that include pasta and red sauce, such as Italian food. It also goes great with beef and chocolate. Also, some red wines, such as Pinot Noir, go great with pork. There are a few types of red wine so you should do a little more research to determine if the food you are planning on serving goes with the red wine food pairing.

White Wines

As far as white wine food pairing goes, white wine is perfect for poultry and Asian food. It also goes great with seafood, such as shellfish. It can also go great with certain appetizers.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines go great with desserts and fruit so they are perfect for after dinner. And, like white wine, they also look great with certain appetizers.

Of course, this is just a generalized list of wine food pairing. You should do a search depending on what you plan on having for dinner for your dinner party. If you’re not sure of the wine food pairing, ask a chef or call your favorite restaurant. Pairing your wine and food correctly will make for the ultimate dinner party and it will definitely leave everyone who attends satisfied.

Another place you can check is a cool app that I use.  It’s Hello Vino.  It will tell you what wines are good for holiday meals, comfort foods, pizza – even burgers!  Also, if you have a favorite wine – it will help you find a pairing for it.  I love this app!  You can find it on the Android Market, the Play Store or App Store or at http://www.hellovino.com.  Check it out!

I hope that these tips – and this cool app – will help with any questions you have regarding your wine and food pairings for your next party!

 

The Health Benefits Of Wine

Health Benefits of WineWine is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Each country in the world has its own way of making wine. It is an important drink during celebrations, events, rituals and celebrations throughout the world. Most health conscious people take wine for better digestion.

Because of the taste and alcohol that is present in wine, many people like to drink wine. This is actually good. Healthful effects of wine can be favorably gained through slight or moderate consumption.

The health benefits of wine are a subject of debate and great study. In the US, there is a significant increase of the sales in red wine. This was initiated from health news reports coming from France.

The French reports stated that there is a lesser incidence of coronary heart disease in France than in USA. This was quite surprising for US dieticians considering that the traditional French diet has high amounts of saturated fat. Experts suggested that this could be due to the significant consumption of wine by the French.

However, this claim of a healthful effect of wine is still has limited scientific evidence.

Studies, though, have shown a J curve association between wine consumption and heart disease. This means that heavy drinkers and those who never drink wine have higher chances of having heart diseases. However, slight drinkers have a less risk. Moderation is always the key to good health benefits.

Another healthful effect of wine that is being theorized is that moderate consumption of wine can improve a person’s resistance to cancer. This is especially true for red wines. There is evidence that red wine contains a lot of polyphenols that are responsible in cancer prevention.

Many researchers have observed that a chemical called resveratrol is responsible for the healthful effect of red wine. This chemical is naturally produced by grape skin in reaction to fungal infection during fermentation. White wine, though, has less resveratrol because of the absence of grape skin during fermentation. Resveratrol is both cardio-protective and chemo-protective, as shown in animal studies. Aside from this chemical, red wine also contains antioxidants and flavonoids.

Red wines from southwest France and Sardinia, Italy have high levels of the compound procyanidin.. Procyanidin helps suppress the production of a peptide called endothelin-1 which is responsible for constricting blood vessels.

But, drink with care.  If too much wine is drunk, however, the consumption of alcohol can have adverse effects. That is why people are always cautioned to drink wine in moderation.

 

 

 

 

How To Store And Care For Wine

How To Store and Care For WineOver the years, wine consumption has become more and more popular. With more and more money going into wine both as an investment and for later consumption, the history of the wine will always be in question. With this in mind, many people often wonder how they can properly store their wine and take care of it at the same time.

How you store your wine is extremely important. If you store it right it can lead to euphoria, while if you store it wrong it can lead to depression. When you tear into a bottle of wine that has properly been stored, it can be glorious indeed, while tearing into bottle of poorly stored wine can be quite the letdown. Often times, drinking a bottle of wine that was poorly stored is much like drinking vinegar.

To properly store wine, you’ll need to meet several factors, such as humidity, temperature, lighting, the cleanliness of your storage area, the angle of the bottle while it is stored, and the vibration of the bottle on the rack. The temperature is the most important, as you should keep it around 50 degrees at all times. This way, the lower temperature can help to age the wine. If there are any fluctuations in the temperature, you should make sure that it happens slowly. As long as the temperature doesn’t go to high and it fluctuates slowly, your wine should be ok.

The proper level of humidity for storing wine should be around 70%, although it is perfectly accepted to keep it 10% above or below the 70% level. If you have too high of a humidity temperature, the labels can easily rot or mold, which can affect the wine’s value. On the other hand, if the humidity gets too low, around 50%, the cork could shrink and bring air into the wine, which would ruin it in little to no time at all.

The angle that wine is stored is important as well. If the wine stays in contact with the cork during storage, the cork won’t dry out. If the wine doesn’t stay in contact with the cork, the cork could dry out and allow air into the wine. You should also strive to keep the wine out of the light, as light can ruin any type of wine. Light causes the wine to age prematurely, making it in your best interest to store wine in a dark location.

To prevent damage to the wine from sediment, you should also store wine in a location that is free of vibration. If you store wine in places that are free from vibration, it will give the sediment in the bottle ample time to settle. Vibrations are never a good thing for wine, as the sediment becomes unsettled and can ruin the wine or shake it to the point where it tastes horrible.

To protect the quality and investment of your wine, storage and care is very important. Storing it in a proper location will also bring the best taste. In the world of wine, nothing is more disappointing than waiting several years to open a bottle of fine wine, only to find that it is nothing but vinegar. You can prevent this from happening though, by taking care of your wine. Wine isn’t hard to care for or store, it just takes the right conditions and location. Everyone loves some fine wine every now and then – which is why storage and care is so very important these days.