Monday, February 27, 2012

Fireside Beverages

Though it's been a mild winter, there are still cool evenings left to enjoy the fireside, be it indoors or beside an outdoor firepit. To be able to just sit quietly in front of a roaring fire watching the flames jump and embers glow is a wonderful feeling. Say no to the T.V. and turn off the cell phone. It’s time to relax with your best friend and maybe a glass of your favorite beverage or cup of soup. It’s even made more special when we can share these times. Irish cream and coffee or spiced tea make excellent choices. A glass of red wine adds a little warmth from the inside out. Australian Shiraz and Californian Syrah are good picks. Look for blends that have merlot and cabernet in the mix. Cognacs have always been popular with fire place settings. I
would suggest at least the V.S.O.P. (very special old pale) designation as they are smoother and have a great finish. Hennessy and Courvosier or Remy have been great producers for very long
time and have the finest reputations for cognacs. Look to Hardy’s red label for a good value.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wine Tasting Notes

The more wine a person tries the more they notice that there are some they like and some they do not.  Usually when people talk about what they like or do not like about certain wines they say things like “I don’t want anything to bitter or to sweet” or “I love red wine.”  They don’t realize that they are doing the exact same thing that professional tasters do.  They too are discussing the different aspects of what wine tasting. This compare and assess process is exactly what has developed the vocabulary that is some times intimidating to the beginner.  Hear are a few steps that will ease you into the group. First be honest.  Say exactly what you think.  If you think the wine taste like a musty old gym sock say so.  If it looks like India ink and smells like burnt strawberries then say that.  There are no wrong answers just honest ones. 

The reason there are thousands of varieties and styles is that each one has it’s own different taste and place.  For instance cabernet sauvignon will show certain characteristics that do not appear in chardonnay or merlot.  The complex, rich, tart berry found in cabernet matches well with steaks or smoked meats. 

So next time you open a bottle just take a moment and say what you really think.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tasting wine

People often ask what is your favorite wine or which one of these is the very best?
I have to answer that what ever I am having at the moment is my favorite. They will then look at me and I know they’re thinking here I’ve ask for advice and he gives me the run around. But, this is not true. I’m perfectly honest when I say what I say. When there is enough time in the day to sit for a few moments and quietly enjoy the fruits of labor that go into a glass of wine it is a special time. The main thing to remember when searching for that perfect bottle is that there is so much more to consider than just taste.
The great experts on wine all agree that wine is always changing and their passion is to monitor those changes and compare their experiences with others. This is the art of wine tasting. To assess a bottle of wine with your peers, to compare your taste with someone else is what makes it fun. In the weeks to come I will be bringing you some of the experiences that we have had and share with you some of our favorites. This will be an honest and easy to understand assessment of wine in all kinds of styles and prices that should help you pick just the right wine for you and your tasting.
Tip of the week: Start with an open bottle and an open mind.