Monday, March 26, 2012

Proper Wine Serving Temperatures

When there is a question of the proper temperature that wine should be served, the following guide may help make this task easier. I have found that white wine is served far too cold and red is generally offered slightly too warm. When serving white wine or champagne, ice cold is too cold. If you see condensation forming on the outside of the glass then that should indicate that the wine needs to be removed from the ice bucket and allowed to come to a more comfortable temp. You need to be able to taste the complexities that are present in your glass. The cold will cover up any fruit flavors that the wine may show otherwise. 48 - 55 de-grees is going to be best. Red wine in Mississippi in the summer time is going to be hot. It may be necessary to place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before serving to bring its temperature down to around 60 degrees. Alcohol will be the major flaw of a red that is too warm. Of course use your own preferences when having a glass of your favorite libation. Wine is always better served with food & friends.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wine Steward

Pairing White Wine with Cheese
As a wine steward, one of my passions is pairing wines with food. I love how
wine brings out flavors in food and vice versa.
Most pairings are fairly simple. However, pairing wines with cheeses can get
a little tricky. I’ve had to learn what works through trial and error. That’s
why I’m glad to share what I know. I hope you’ll enjoy this little guide to the
cheese and wine pairing game!
Here, I’ll cover the basics of pairing cheeses white wines. You can also
check out my guide for pairing cheeses
with red wines
Ready? Here we go!
Clean, Light-Bodied Dry Whites. Most of
these whites have a fresh, clean style with hints of lemons, zest and some
acidity. The Californian styles tend to have a slightly floral finish that will
enhance the flavors of the cheese. These grapes are Sauvignon Blancs, Bordeaux
white blends, Dry Rieslings, Chenin Blancs and Bourgogne Blancs (Chardonnay from
the eastern side of France). The cheeses that go well here are any fresh goat
cheese and mozzarella. Some of the fresh cheeses you can use are chevre,
ricotta, feta, Boucheron and mascarpone.
Unoaked, Fruit Forward Medium Dry Whites.
These whites have a little more fruit and can hold up to a pungent
cheese. Try Alsatian Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Oregon Riesling (slightly sweet),
Viognier, Pouilly-Fuissé, Savennieres (Chenin Blanc from the south of France),
Vouvray and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The cheeses that go well are cream
cheese, Lancashire, pecorino and Camembert.
Rich, Full-Bodied, Oaky Dry Whites. California Chardonnay,
Fumé Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pouilly-Fumé, Rioja, Sancerre, and Beaume Blanc
(Chardonnay from eastern France). I know a lot of grapes have been used in the
top two topics but take into account that a lot of semi-soft cheeses are a
little easier to match from light to heavy whites. The cheeses are Appenzeller,
Emmenthal, fontina, Gouda (either smoked or non-smoked), Gruyere, Jarlsberg and
smoked cheeses.
The Yummy Sweet Whites. A lot of the sweet wines have always
paired well with the overly pungent cheeses and have never overpowered each
other while in the tasting process. The wines are Moscato, German Rieslings, Ice
Wines, Vintage and Non–vintage Ports, Maderia, Sherry and New Zealand Fortified
Muscat. The types of cheese are cheddar, Cheshire, Danish Blue, Gloucester,
Gorgonzola, Maytag Blue, Monterey Jack, Roquefort and Stilton.
I hope this information helps when you are planning a cheese and wine

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to taste wine like a pro
While we take wine seriously at Clos du Bois, we like to keep the mood of a tasting relaxed and welcoming. The way we see it, formality only gets in the way of the fun of exploration. Just follow the process below for a wine tasting that feels effortless.
Pour Pour only a small amount (an ounce or so) in your glass.
Look Look at the wine to judge its clarity and color. Well-made wine should appear clear and bright. In red wines, a more purple hue indicates a younger wine. As red wines age, they turn more ruby then garnet. Whites go from a light lemon color in youth to deep gold.
Smell Hold the glass’s stem and swirl the wine in a gentle, circular motion for a few seconds (not too long). Swirling the wine exposes it to air, making many of its components easier to smell. It also coats the glass with a thin layer of wine, releasing an extra dose of the aromatic elements.Now hold the glass to your nose and deeply inhale the wine (don’t be afraid to place your nose deep into the glass). If you are evaluating more than one wine, sniff something neutral (such as water or coffee grounds or even your sleeve) to help clear your nasal passages between wines. Try to identify some of the aromas in the wine. Fruity notes include citrus, berries, tropical fruit, apple, pear or peach. You may also detect vanilla, mocha or espresso, as well as floral, herbal, toasty, nutty or spicy aromas.
Taste Tasting is your true reward and it will be enhanced by the impressions you've developed so far. Draw a small amount of the wine into your mouth and let it spend a little extra time there before swallowing. If you like, draw some air into your mouth while the wine is still present (this takes some practice, but it’s a good way to unlock flavors. Note the impression the wine leaves in the different parts of your mouth. Rich and full or thin and weak? Buttery or tart? Crisp or velvety? Mouthwatering or drying? Is the finish long or cut short? DiscussAt each step, compare your opinions with those tasting alongside you. The more you talk about wine, the more it will seem second nature to notice and describe its characteristics. You may also help someone else notice a detail they’d missed or vice versa. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers if you are enjoying the wine in your glass. Your tastebuds and your own interpretation of the flavors are all that matters. Happy tasting!
How to choose wine in a restaurant Between navigating a wine menu, interacting with a server and trying to make the right match for the food and other guests, choosing a wine in a restaurant can be a challenge. Here are some tips to streamline things.
How to order Assume you’ll need half of a bottle per person.Agree with the other guests on the kind of wine (white vs. red, Merlot vs. Zinfandel, light vs. full bodied. If just a few want wine or each wants a different style, it may be best to order by the glass. As a general rule however, ordering by the bottle is a better value.If you choose a wine with a difficult name, it’s fine to point at your selection on the menu to let your server know your choice. If you prefer for your server to recommend a wine, give him or her a general price range and explain the type of wine you’d like (e.g., white vs. red, light bodied or full, Italian vs. Californian. If the restaurant has a sommelier (a.k.a. wine steward) on staff, you can ask for his or her expert advice.
How to receive the wine Presentation: When the bottle first arrives at your table, the server will hold it up for you to review the label. If it is not the wine you ordered, this is the time to point that out.
Pulling the cork: The server will make a show of removing and presenting the cork. Simply nod.
The test pour: Once the server has poured a small amount for you, sniff and taste the wine. If the wine tastes good, accept it with a smile. If there is an issue, don’t feel shy about sending it back.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Featured Wine - Unoaked Pinot Grigio

Simply Naked Unoaked Pinot Grigio:
A light-bodied wine with layers of lime and melon, aromas of peach and passion fruit, and hints of spice.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Featured Wine

This one has Viognier, a "new" (actually old) grape variety:
Hot to Trot White BlendIntense aromas of peach compote with tropical and floral nuances. On the palate, flavors of fresh apple, pear and melon are balanced by juicy acidity and ends with a bright, vibrant finish.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Wines

I always look forward to trying the new wines and spirits that come into the
market each year. Usually we start seeing new wines being released around the
first of the spring. California’s wine industry for the most part will release
new vintages during this time. I try not so much to compare to last year but
rather focus on trying to just see what this year has to offer. Varying
conditions in wine-growing regions affect quality, supply and prices. When
you find a wine that you like it is sometimes hard to venture out and try new
ones. Even though they may change in some ways we still are more comfortable
with the familiar. Maybe it's time to start that wine or supper club you have
been meaning to. Get with one or two of your friends and try to meet just once
or twice over the next few weeks and go to new restaurant or just sit on the
patio and sample a new wine that you have never heard of. It can be the start of
a wonderful relationship. New experiences are what makes the world go round.