Blog Archives

Red Wines at the ‘Right’ Temperature for Fall

With fall approaching, many of us will be drinking more red wine more often. After a summer of imbibing mostly well-chilled whites, the ol’ palate is ready for some soul-warming reds — wines that will go with the more hearty

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Over a Barrel: The Role of Oak in Winemaking

The aromas and flavors we experience in wine come not just from grapes, but also from winemaking processes and the vessels in which a specific wine is aged. When vintners wish the nuances of the grapes and nothing else to

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7 Fascinating Facts About Winegrapes

Great wine cannot be made without great grapes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard winemakers utter those or similar words. I was thinking about that over the weekend, and that led to thinking about winegrapes in general.

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

When dining out, there are several rituals associated with
ordering a bottle of wine.

All of them are just that:
rituals. They are not rules. A few could even be perceived as pretty
silly.

Let’s take a look at these rituals, and whether
you’d be well advised to follow them…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

Oak and the Ever-Evolving Palate

Everything, it seems, goes in cycles, and so it is with the use of oak barrels in making wine.

Toward the end of the 20th century, wines lovingly referred to by their makers as “big oaky monsters” were all the rage. The more oak flavors one could impart into a wine – whether it was Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon – the better. Many vintners even began to age their bright and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc wines in oak barrels and labeled them “Fumé Blanc.”

The problem, some would assert, is that a good number of vintners overdid it. In a good number of cases, the aromas and flavors imparted by the oak overwhelmed the fruit, earth and other impressions of the wine…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

Caring for Your Wine Glasses

Some of us invest a lot of money in our wine glasses.

Different sizes.

Different shapes.

Real crystal, as opposed to plastic.

Nothing is more disheartening than the sound of a favorite wine glass hitting a hard kitchen floor and shattering into a hundred pieces… unless it’s several glasses breaking at the same time…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

Tips for Organizing Your Wine Cellar

You’ll be busy with spring cleaning soon enough. Meanwhile, take some time to organize your wine cellar (or closet or rack) so you won’t have to deal with it at the same time as everything else.

The more bottles you have, the more important it is to keep them organized for optimum enjoyment.

So what’s the best way to accomplish this goal? Obviously, it depends on the size of your collection. The bigger the stash, the greater the organization required. But for most of us, a simple two-area approach works…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

'It's Right on the Tip of My Tongue'

Some critics are so over-the-top in the phraseology they use to describe wine that their reviews serve to stymie, rather than stimulate, wine enjoyment.

That said, even some of the most common descriptors for wine – fruity, sweet and dry – can be misunderstood.

Let’s begin with “fruity.” Often, when someone hears that word, there is an assumption that the wine in question will be sweet. After all, isn’t virtually all fruit sweet?

In actuality, a wine is said to be fruity when…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

Winemaking: Hands-on or Hands-off?

The two basic “styles” of winemaking can be summed up thusly: hands-on versus hands-off.

The hands-on approach calls for the vintner to involve himself or herself in virtually every aspect of the process, from selecting the yeasts that spark fermentation to the speed of the fermentation to the specific types of vessels used for aging to the ultimate blending decisions.

The hands-off approach involves minimal intervention by the winemaker, with the goal being to make a wine that is an accurate portrayal of its fruit, its terroir and its vintage – in essence, a drinkable snapshot in time…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes

What to Do When You Don't Have a Corkscrew

     You’re on vacation, you’ve brought along a great bottle of wine to enjoy in your room at the B&B, and then it hits you: You forgot to bring a corkscrew.

     Just as panic begins to set in, you remember the video that you saw on VinesseTODAY.com…

Posted in Wine Cellar Notes
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