Grape Expectations

Per Request - What’s up with all the different colors and shapes of wine bottles?

Wine Bottle Shapes

What’s with all the different colors and shapes of wine bottles?

Wine bottles are just like people in the sense that they come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Look in a wine store and see all the variations from tall, elegant bottles to slim and short ones bursting with potential to traditionally shaped regional examples, and the unusual, creative modern ones which pop up from time to time. And then there are the colors. Pale/Kelly greens, deep inky tones, browns, blacks, and clear bottles showing off the wonderful hues within.

Are you curious about trendy new wines? Meet Pet-nat and Piquette!

 

I introduce or re-introduce to you two distinct wine styles that are not well known or understood: Pétillant naturel, or Pét-nat, and PiquettePétillant naturel, or pét-nat, is becoming a popular new style for domestic wine production. Pét-nat, or Méthode Ancestrale, is a method of sparkling wine production used all over the world. 

Misnomers & Rules about Wine & Food

Don’t try to pair just flavors of food with wine all the time. Nice rhyme there. The best pairings can come from many other factors. Think about the acidity, spice, texture, weight, and dryness/sweetness (sugar)/fruitiness. Remember sugar in wine can help cut through and balance spice and acidity in food. Try a semi-dry/off-dry Rieslings, semi-dry Gewurztraminers, and Moscato with Thai food or other spicy Asian cuisine or high acid bubbly with, believe it or not, pizza. And traditional Champers and rose bubbly has enough structure and tannin (from grape skins) to stand up to fatty steak.

What Are Library Wines???

Library wines are portions of vintages held back by wineries to be re-released years after their debut. They’re named as such because wineries refer to the section of their caves where they store their private stock—usually a few cases or more from each vintage as libraries. Wineries are holding back more stock for this purpose and, increasingly, opening up their libraries to the public. How and why they do this, and how you can access a bottle or two, varies greatly by producer.

Aging of Wine - How To Tell If A Wine Is Age-Worthy???

 
What allows a wine to last?
 
In order to stand the test of time and age well, wine must have a good structure and the right amount of sugar, acid, or tannin.  These are the three preservatives in wine. Without a significant amount of any of them, most wines are better off being drunk at the next opportunity. 
 

Are wine descriptions, terms, or tasting notes helpful?

How do you buy wine when you don’t know what it tastes like? A lot of folks rely on reading wine descriptions to get an idea of what a wine will taste like. What do they actually mean? If you are relatively new to wine, it is quite helpful to know what to expect from a bottle, which is why some retailers highlight this in the name, although mainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum.

By Request - Food and Wine (Does this wine need food ?!?!?!)

Food & Wine Pairings

As a follow up to my recent food and wine post as well as a request from long-time follower and friend Jim. Here is a short food and wine pairing primer. Jim asked me to expand on what it means when a wine reviewer states “this wine needs food” in her/his review. What was it about that wine that made them say that? The example he used was the magical pairing and flavor enhancement he experienced on New Year’s Eve when he paired a local Meritage (red blend) from Thirsty Owl with steak. When this happens, it is a “wow” moment.

Seasonal Spotlight - Champagne and Sparkler Party Primer

Champagne and Sparkler Primer

If the differences between Champagne, Prosecco and any other sparkling wine of the world seems a bit murky, consider this primer a jump-start. Champagne can seem confusing at times, especially considering we don't shop for it and drink it too often (can be very pricey and a celebratory wine) and for good reason. It involves a complicated winemaking process and a dictionary of French terminology. So, lets break down Champagne into its numerous parts.

 

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