October 27, 2008

Bottoms Up!

Winemakers, chefs and fans gather in New York to celebrate outstanding wines, despite the poor economy and an unusual harvest.

Loving this article from Wine Spectator about how despite tough economic times, people are still sipping their vino: http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Features/0,1197,4664,00.html

Afterall, nothing soothes the emotions quite like a glass of Pinot. Enjoy!

October 24, 2008

No Rules When Matching Wines

In follow-up to my post from the other night regarding guidlines for wine pairings, I uncovered this buzz-worthy article from Stacy Slinkard (my idol) at About.com that I wanted to share. I love this quote:

"Rule #1 states that there are NO rules when matching your favorite wines with your beloved recipes, sure there are hints and popular, even “famous” matches, but ultimately the best match is what pleases your palate. It is truly personal preference. That said, here are some hints to help you determine what might be palate pleasing for you personally." -Stacy Slinkard, Wine.About.com

Check out the article at: http://wine.about.com/od/winebasic1/a/Pairwines.htm?nl=1

October 22, 2008

Wine 101: Wine Pairings

Food and wine pairing can be intimidating. A few months back I participated in a wine tasting abroad Princess Cruiseline and they provided a terrific outline I figured may help provide each of your with a few basic principles to eliminate confusion and enhance your dining experience. Enjoy! 

Weight or Texture
Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied.

Same Weight or Texture
Similarly weight food and wine compliment each other.
EG: Lobster with Chardonnay. Both are medium-weight and rich.

Same Flavors
Similar flavors of food and wine compliment each others.
EG: Filet of sole with lemon sauce paired with Sauvignon Blanc. Both have citrus flavors and high acidity.

Wines should be equal to, or higher in sugar than the dish.
EG: Roasted pork with apple glaze pairs well with a fruity Chardonnay or off-dry Riesling.

Wine should be equal to, or higher in acid than the dish.
EG: Pinot Noir with bright red cherry flavors is an excellent choice with grilled halibut.

Acid wines balance salty flavors.
EG: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc balances salty olives or feta cheese.

Tannins & Proteins
Wines with tannin cut through the coating that fat leaves in the mouth.
EG: Steak is a great match with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Spicy Food
Spices inflame that taste receptors and off-dry wines offer relief from the heat.

Protein is the Vehicle
When meat or fish is prepared with a sauce or preparation, match the wine to the sauce.

October 20, 2008

Back to Wine 101: Taste

Perhaps the most important trait of your wine is the way it tastes. The flavors in your glass are related to the appearance and bouquet initially confirmed when gathered in steps one and two - appearance and scent. There are four main tastes you are likely to experience with your wine:

  • Sweetness/Dryness - assessed as dry, off dry, medium, medium sweet or sweet
  • Acidity and Tannin - access from low to high; tannins, in a nutshell, are what leaves a "bite" on your tongue and in your mouth
  • Fruit - assessed as high through low; different fruit tastes are apparent dependent upon the wine variety
  • Earth - asses from low through high
Another quick tidbit... if the flavor of the wine remains on your palate for a long time, it is said to have a "long finish." This tends to be a prime sign of a high quality wine. Bring me some! 

With the three main steps described, you're now ready to enjoy a glass yourself. Salut!

Holy hiatus!

Wow! Where have I been you ask? Heck, I don't even know myself. Life over the past 2 months has been chaotic. But we all know when chaos breaks loose, nothing soothes quite like a glass of vino. So first and foremost, let me apologize to each of you for my extensive delay in posting. If its any consolation, I promise I did (alot of) homework, and even worked the NYC Wine and Food Festival two weekends ago. That should say enough about where my time has gone. Nonetheless, it's time to get back in action... who's with me?