Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sweet and Sour Wine

My good friend Mary bought a bottle of wine several days ago. It was so very bad (as she related to me over Mulligatawny soup and salad). I must say that I didn't have a whole lot of advice to give her other than just to try again.

Today, I received a call from Mary about her newly improved wine. The wine had tasted alcoholic with very bitter start and finish with not much in the middle. However, it was easily fixed with a touch of sugar. Yes, faithful reader, she added sugar to Red Zinfandel.

I think that is a perfectly valid reason to add extra ingredients to wine though. If you buy a wine that you do not like as is, experiment with a few ideas to see if you can make it better. I also suggested for her to try chilling it a bit to see if that would help dull some of the alcoholic taste and the bitterness that had been there.

Posted by Ben at 12/04/2005 11:49:00 PM 1 comments

Monday, November 28, 2005

Soyons Français

I know what David wants, but I really hate calling people dummies. I think it reduces us to feeling bad for ourselves when we are all doing a fine job anyway.

What I'm trying to say is, "People! Don't be afraid of the grapes/strawberries/whatever things you ferment!" It's all just about having a good time. Ted Breaux states in Wired Magazine (p. 179, 12/2005) that, "Americans drink to get drunk, whereas in France, getting drunk is just a consequence of sampling too much wine you really like." We need to be more French.

Instead of moving backward and going through a lot of history, I would really like to keep moving. I'll link to some sites that have further information if you are interested. I'll also give tips that I think are valid, and I'm sure not all will be perfect for everyone. But I want this to seem more like a voyage together rather than a tour I've given many times before. I want to have a good time too after all.

As for a Wine 101 post, you probably aren't going to get one from me. I would recommend checking out information given by Wikipedia, Meijer, Chalet Party Shoppe, City-Wide Liquors and the Wine Lovers' Page. There is really a wealth of information available and I like to just jump right in. If you feel more hesitant, go down to the local wine store, ask if anyone there can recommend a wine, and then explain what you like/don't like and see what they give you. If it tastes horrible, go back and let them know you didn't like it but want to try something else. It's an adventure of tastes, exploration and new horizons! We should all be so lucky to try lots of new things and this is only a portion of what is out there... just think what will happen when you start pairing with diferent foods! Yay!

Posted by Ben at 11/28/2005 10:57:00 PM 1 comments

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lackluster Performance

While mixing up an injectible marinade for a deep fried turkey, I finished off the remainder of a bottle of white wine - one of the ingredients. It was very dissapointing and I now wish that I hadn't drank it. A decent choice for a marinade ingredient, it was not a good idea for a sipping beverage.

The bottle of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio 2004 was a great deal at Meijer for $4.52+tax. The wine does a great job as a turkey flavoring and seasoning medium, but it has serious shortcomings otherwise.

My first sip was almost tolerable until I realized that there wasn't anything more to the taste. It was very brief, light start that stopped suddenly as it was overpowered by a bland alcoholic flavor. I felt very dissapointed when there wasn't any more left to the body of the wine. It didn't have a very strong aroma (typical for a white) and then didn't have a soft finish (not very typical). I can't really offer a recommendation other than it's good to inject in large, dead poultry.

Posted by Ben at 11/24/2005 10:08:00 PM 1 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

Monogram & Wine

I've always wanted to buy a $35,000 wine storage vault. At least since I found out that the things even existed for consumers. The perfect union of wine, technology and readily expendible cash has resulted in an extremely cool yet pricey appliance/room from the GE Monogram collection.

...the Monogram walk-in wine vault stores up to 1,100 bottles on brass-labeled redwood shelves at a perfect 55 degrees. The included barcode system lets you scrutinize your inventory on the built-in flatscreen.
Wired Magazine, p.194 December 2005
However, I think their smaller, under-counter wine reserve product is a bit more practical. It allows for privacy glass to be made opaque when you don't want everyone to see how full (or empty) your wine storage is.

Posted by Ben at 11/21/2005 03:25:00 PM 2 comments

Saturday, November 19, 2005

November Facelift

Yes, it's true. The site underwent a bit of a change tonight. I am planning on keeping up better with wine suggestions, info, tasting and such. Hopefully the new design will add a bit of comfort to the site and help out in general. Enjoy...

Posted by Ben at 11/19/2005 11:22:00 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

DIY Wine - Home Edition

For a local supplier (Elkhart, Indiana) of equipment and instruction needed to create your own wines (and/or beers), Quality Wine and Ale Supply is a superb company. They have some great resources for the novice and expert home brewer. The site also has some contact info for a people to help you with questions.

Posted by Ben at 11/16/2005 03:37:00 PM 3 comments

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fish 'n Baja

A brief note about wine and seafood. Usually a white wine is best for seafood because it has a lighter touch than some reds. Some of the best whites for this are also someof the hardest to get in the states but are well worth it.

Baja Mexico (and to a lesser extent, California) have some extremely good wines. Due to the drier nature of that region, the wines tend to taste a bit salty and are thus an great choice for seafood. The whites from Baja have a more prominant "saltiness" to them that works out very well.

Unfortunately, this region also has a very low production quantity with many of the wineries producing less than 500 bottles. The wines are a bit more expensive in the states, but increasing production is slowly decreasing prices. Despite the cost, pick up a nice Baja white for the next time you have some really good seafood and a special someone to share it with.

Posted by Ben at 11/13/2005 06:53:00 PM 3 comments