Wine In Skills
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This Is What People Mean When They Say a Wine Is Oaky — And What You Should Look for When ShoppingSkills
We in the wine business have an unfortunate habit of throwing around our lingo as though everyone will understand it. Get a few of us together with a bottle (or two or four) and we might as well be that teacher from Charlie Brown. In attempts to turn all that womp womp womp into words you’ll not only understand, but also be able to use yourself, here’s a quick explainer — in total laymen’s terms.
May 1, 2019
This Is the Best Red Wine to Pair with SteakSkills
To me, steak is one of the ultimate special-occasion foods. We don’t eat it very often, but when we do it’s usually when Valentine’s Day or my husband’s birthday rolls around. That’s when I pull out all the stops: a nice piece of meat, extra-buttery potatoes, and, of course, good wine. When you think of steak, you probably think of red wine.
Apr 30, 2019
Only True Lord of the Rings Aficionados Will Love This WineSkills
I have good news for anyone with good taste in books and who loves a great adventure. Limited-edition Lord of the Rings wine is now available to purchase and it actually sounds like it might be tasty. The first thing you must know about these Lord of the Rings wine offerings is that there were only 6,000 bottles of each made.
Dec 23, 2017
Take This DNA Test to Find Your New Favorite Bottle of WineSkills
Wine tasting is one way to see what blends you like. Another way? A DNA test. Now, thanks to a company called Vinome, you can use your DNA to navigate your way to the perfect bottle of vino. Vinome was founded by a team of genetic scientists and wine experts in 2015. Using genetic analysis, the company determines what bottles are best suited to your preferences.
Sep 1, 2017
5 Things to Drink with Your Steak If You Don’t Like Red WineSkills
The goal of a food and drink pairing is to make both taste better when consumed together. It’s a partnership to bring out the best in everyone! So while red wine with steak is probably the most well-known duo, there are still a handful of beverages — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic — that will make that juicy steak you just cooked up an even more delicious experience to partake in.
Feb 6, 2017
When (and Why) You Should Spring for the Good ChampagneSkills
Bubbly makes everything better: a night becomes an evening, and lunch becomes a rendezvous; a gathering is a celebration, and an intimate dinner for two becomes a pronouncement of intention. Bubbly is, in all its forms (Prosecco, Cava and Champagne), magical in its ability to enliven and uplift every occasion — but never quite as much as when the bubbly is Champagne.
Dec 23, 2016
Why Cava Is the Best Bubbly Wine for PunchSkills
If you’re looking to add some pop, fizz, and bubble to your holiday occasion, cava is pretty much always a good solution. Spain’s answer to Champagne can make the leap from office white elephant party to black-tie dinner party with aplomb. In fact, we’d argue cava is so versatile that you should just buy a case now. But our favorite way to use cava this time of year is in punch. (Because what are the holidays without something fizzy, festive, and spiked?
Dec 12, 2016
The Little Secret to Pouring the Right Amount of Wine (No Matter What Glass It’s In)Skills
Wine glasses can be confusing. Beyond the basics — with stems or without, white wine and red wine — there are glasses for specific varietals. A Cabernet glass is different from a Bordeaux glass, and while most white wine glasses are more tapered, a Burgundy glass (ideal for Chardonnay and Gruner Veltliner) has a very generous bowl. Who can keep all that straight? But here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on: None of this matters when it comes to how much wine to pour.
Dec 9, 2016
Why Prosecco Is the Best Bubbly for BrunchSkills
There are a million good reasons to pop a cork. The real question is what kind of cork we want to pop. There are basically three categories of bubbles to choose from: Champagne, Cava and Prosecco. Each has its own distinct characteristics, flavors, and style, which dictate when and how I want to serve and sip each one. For brunch, my choice is Prosecco.
Nov 30, 2016
The Affordable French White Wine You Probably Don’t Know AboutSkills
When I think of white wine from France, my mind goes straight to the Loire valley, specifically to the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. These wines are crisp and flinty — just what I’m looking for in a white. The price tag on these wines, however, are often a deterrent. Which is why I looked to another French wine region. And if you, like me, crave a white that is throughly enjoyable, uniquely accessible, and rarely expensive, you really need to consider it, too.
Nov 10, 2016
Why You Should Just Buy a Case of Cava NowSkills
This time of year is simultaneously the most joyous and the most nerve-wracking. When family gatherings, fourth-quarter deadlines, children’s pageants, and caroling collide this season, wine is basically essential — and not just to ease the holiday stress. Having a go-to bottle on hand can make impromptu get-togethers easy and (dare we say?) enjoyable, even. There’s no need to make a mad dash to the liquor store when your mother-in-law shows up for a surprise visit.
Nov 8, 2016
A Guide to Drinking with Spicy Foods: WineSkills
Let’s be clear about one thing upfront: Any kind of alcohol — be it wine, beer, or spirit — enhances the spiciness of a food. So, if you’re really looking to quell the heat, milk is the answer. If, on the other hand, your goal is to complement the heat and enhance your eating experience, we say absolutely enjoy your favorite takeout Thai curry with a glass of wine.
Aug 23, 2016
A Guide to Chilling Your Red WineSkills
There’s no rule that says you can’t drink your red wine chilled to its tannic bones at refrigerator temperature (around 40°F), or that room-temperature red isn’t perfectly fine — even if it is summer and you don’t have AC. That said, there is an ideal temperature to drink your red, and for most that’s cellar temperature, or around 55°F to 60°F. At that temperature, your red will open up to show you its very best self.
Jun 30, 2016
You Have Our Permission to Chill Your Red WineSkills
We love rosé as much as everyone else and yes, it’s probably safe to say that pink is the color of summer wine, but there’s no need to banish red from the summer rotation. Just throw those cold-weather sippers in the fridge and prepare to see a softer side. Yes, you read that right! Despite what often passes for conventional wisdom, enjoying red wine cold is far from blasphemy. In fact, you’re probably drinking your reds too hot.
Jun 30, 2016
3 Reasons Wine Coolers Are Cool AgainSkills
The internet isn’t sure exactly why wine coolers fell from grace. Perhaps White Zinfandel is to blame, or maybe their slide into oblivion was the result of a perfect storm of food trends of the 1990s. Regardless, the beverage favorite of the 1980s is staging a comeback, popping up on cocktail menus, cooking shows, and (let’s be honest) our hearts. Here are three reasons we’re betting this is the summer of the wine cooler.
Jun 21, 2016
4 Strategies For Scoring a Bargain on a Restaurant Wine ListSkills
To say restaurant wine lists are daunting is an understatement. Often they’re as big as phone books and filled with obscure names, confusing italics, and triple-digit price tags. But vodka need not be the answer to quenching thirst and relieving wine list anxiety — even Michelin-starred restaurants have inexpensive gems hidden on their pages, and rigorous sommelier training isn’t needed to uncover them.
Apr 27, 2016
What Is Rosé?Skills
If there’s one thing Americans can agree on, it’s rosé wine. No longer confined to the brief season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, rosé is poised to maintain its lead in the U.S. growth charts, beating out white wine and craft beer with imports booming for the fifth straight year. And not only is there more of the pink stuff, but there’s also more depth than ever before. So it seems like a good time to pause and consider: What exactly is rosé?
Feb 25, 2016
4 Affordable Alternatives to Dom PerignonSkills
Bubbles are basically always appropriate, whether savored as an aperitif before a five-course blowout at a mahogany-walled bistro or at home alongside kung pao chicken takeout. But the effervescent stuff is especially fitting on Valentine’s Day. Really, is there anything like the sound of a cork popping to heighten the holiday’s starry-eyed pursuits?
Feb 4, 2016
The Best Way to Quickly Chill a Glass of WineSkills
Whether you want to quick-chill a glass of warm white wine or rosé, or keep it chilled as you sip, there’s a simple solution — and it does not involve ice cubes (keep those in the freezer, please). Instead, keep your glass of wine chilled with a few frozen grapes! Not only are frozen grapes a refreshing snack, but they do wonders for chilling otherwise warm drinks.
Aug 28, 2015
Why You Should Give White Zinfandel Another ChanceSkills
Yep, I said it. No other words in the world of domestic wine seem to generate the same intensity of reaction as white zinfandel. Virtually everyone has a strong opinion on this pink wine and, although still one of the most popular wine styles in the U.S., it has become an object of finger-pointing to many wine enthusiasts. Thankfully, a new generation of winemakers is taking a twist on this American classic.
Jul 30, 2015
The Best Wines for Beer DrinkersSkills
We all have those friends who pigeonhole themselves into the beer-drinking category. Maybe they had a bad first wine experience, or perhaps they haven’t even started to explore the world of wine yet. I say, “Why choose sides?” Choosing a wine style similar to the style of beer you enjoy is a good way to make the transition. Finding a good wine match for a beer-lover is all about pairing weight, texture, and notes — like fruit, herbs, and earth.
Jul 2, 2015
Fermentation Was Probably the First Great Moment in Food ScienceSkills
Science and food are natural buddies. Take the discovery of fire for example: it not only makes food super tasty, but cooked food is both safer, and easier to digest. Thanks to advancements in food science, we consume food in a way that would’ve been unheard a mere century or so ago. And modern life is not only made easier by these discoveries, it’s made possible by them.
Apr 13, 2015
9 Things You Should Know About Champagne & Sparkling WineSkills
Thinking of picking up a bottle of bubbly this weekend? Like chocolate, Champagne gets lumped in with the tropes of Valentine’s Day, but hey — I will take any opportunity to drink more Champagne. Just don’t stop after the holiday. Consider Valentine’s Day this year an opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of sparkling wine and Champagne. Do you know what Champagne really is, and how to open a bottle the elegant way?
Feb 13, 2015
Can You Really Revive Flat Champagne with a Raisin?Skills
I love Champagne, yet I’m often hesitant to pop open a bottle at home since it has a shorter shelf life than other wines. The longer it stays open, the fizz that makes this drink so magical starts to fade and eventually goes flat. But maybe that can be remedied. I recently read that a single raisin could have the power to revive a near-flat bottle of Champagne. It sounded almost too good to be true, so I put this tip to the test to find out!
Feb 10, 2015
Why Champagne Is the Only Wine I Serve with CheeseSkills
In the past, when I hosted a party and served a cheese platter or a cheese course, I stressed out about the right kind of wine to pair with it. Should I go red, which would go better with strongly flavored cheeses, or do I go white to complement tangy goat cheese? Should I offer both? Then I stumbled on the solution, and it’s become the only wine I now serve with cheese: Champagne. Call it sparkling wine if you must, but I just call it the perfect pairing.
Dec 17, 2014
10 Words to Know When Buying Red WineSkills
We’ve all been in a wine purchasing situation, confronted with a store-full of bottles or a daunting wine list, hoping for a bottle of red that will taste good to us. How do you convey to your salesperson or server exactly what you’re looking for? Not necessarily what they like, but something that tastes amazing to you. A few weeks ago, we broke down the 10 Words to Know When Buying White Wine.
Nov 6, 2014
The Strange History of Manischewitz WineSkills
You probably are familiar with Manischewitz, that syrupy sweet wine. It’s not the most hip stuff, but its story is far more intriguing than you might expect. Modern Farmer has a look at the history of Manischewitz — and the story of how the biggest kosher company in the U.S. got started. Interesting fact right off the bat: the rabbi who started Manischewitz Wines was actually named Dov Behr Abramson (he bought the passport of a dead man to emigrate). Also?
Sep 26, 2014
6 Tips for Pairing Wine with VegetablesSkills
Gone are the days when vegetables were relegated to the role of a side dish. Parsley is no longer just a garnish, kale has escaped its position as a mere salad bar prop, and the likes of beets and Brussels sprouts are found on many restaurant menus. We’re all trying to squeeze more veggies into our diets. Learning to pair wine with vegetables makes the process even more delicious! Consider the wide spectrum of flavor intensity amongst vegetables.
Aug 27, 2014
The Best Wines for Summer GrillingSkills
If you are one of those rare ones who can drink a dry, dusty Cabernet Sauvignon in the dead heat of summer, more power to you. As for me, sign me up for a wine paired perfectly with my cuisine, as well as the season. Here are some interesting, alternative wines to the commonly suggested, tannic, heavy-hitters often paired with grilled meats in the summertime. Pairing wines with grilled cuisine is about to become a little more exciting and a lot easier.
Jul 3, 2014
Understanding the World of Vermouth: The Sweet SideSkills
Sweet vermouth is kind of like the acoustic guitar: it didn’t require a modifier until a newer version came along. The products we know today by groupings such as sweet, Italian, and red vermouth originated in and around the city of Turin (aka Torino) sometime during the 1700s. Soon after, drier-style riffs on these products began to surface, prompting a need for finer classification.
May 8, 2014
5 Red Wines for White Wine DrinkersSkills
I remember the first time someone tried to convert me into a red wine drinker. I was just getting into wine and was loving my rich California Chardonnays and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. A friend of mine passed me a glass of deeply hued, incredibly dry and tannic red Bordeaux and said, “This is what great wine tastes like,” as if I weren’t already enjoying a great wine.
May 7, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?Skills
Do you ever wonder why some wine bottles say Pinot Gris and others Pinot Grigio? Is there a difference? And should you prefer one to the other? Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the exact same grape variety. It is a white grape, with a grayish / brownish pink skin (hence the name gris, or gray, in French). The grape originated in France (it’s from the Burgundian Pinot family), and is known as Pinot Gris in France, where it is most cultivated in Alsace.
Apr 25, 2014
Why You Should Be Drinking More Argentine MalbecSkills
As roasting and braising season is drawing to a close, and grilling season is fast approaching, the versatility of Argentina’s most famous grape, Malbec, becomes ever apparent. As a wine professional, I am frequently asked questions, such as, “I like Cabernet, and they like Pinot Noir. Is there a wine we can all agree upon?” or, “I want a bold red that’s not too dry. What do you suggest?” Very often, the answer to both of those questions is Argentine Malbec.
Mar 11, 2014
Bordeaux, Meritage, Super Tuscan & Claret: Do You Know the Difference?Skills
As a sommelier in a steakhouse, I hear much commentary about red blends, but it seems as though there is a lot of confusion surrounding this style of wine and its various manifestations. The first thing to consider is that most red wines are blended in some percentage. In California, for example, in order to be labeled as “Cabernet Sauvignon,” only 75% of the grapes officially need to be that varietal.
Feb 20, 2014
5 Wines to Drink With Spicy Asian FoodSkills
Despite the prevailing notion that spicy foods are difficult to pair with wine, I set the stage with some fiery Asian cuisine and decided to put the theory to the test. This quest was prompted by an annual project that happens at my house. Over the summer, we dry, crush, and blend our garden’s various chili peppers. The result is a potent and flavorful source of heat that I would usually quench with a good pilsner or a margarita, but rules must be broken.
Feb 12, 2014
Rías Baixas Albariño: A White Wine for all SeasonsSkills
Back in March 2008 I wrote my first post for the Kitchn. The topic was the Albariño wines from Rías Baixas, which is located in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. This week, almost six years later, I am revisiting the wines, to check out what is new and what might have changed. Since my first visit to Rías Baixas back in 2006 I have consistently loved its Albariño wines.
Jan 15, 2014
Wine Words: 1855 ClassificationSkills
Do you know what the 1855 Classification is? Many of you may already be familiar with the concept, and many of you may not. Often called the 1855 Classification of the Médoc, it is a special Bordeaux wine classification, but do you know what it means, exactly? The 1855 Classification is a Bordeaux wine classification. It refers back to the classification of the red wines of the Médoc and the sweet wines of Sauternes in 1855.
Jan 13, 2014
Wine Words: CrémantSkills
Crémant is a wine word that you see on some sparkling wine labels. Do you know its origin? And, what Crémant means? Crémant is a word that describes a certain type of French sparkling wine. Crémant wines are not made all over France but only made in certain officially designated areas. The word Crémant actually originated in the Champagne region.
Dec 16, 2013
After the Party: 6 Ways to Use Leftover WineSkills
I know, I know. Leftover wine? What’s that? But if there is one time of year where you’re likely to find yourself with a bottle or two of unfinished wine it is now, during the holiday hustle of parties and celebratory dinners. Beyond guzzling it on the couch in a post-holiday-shopping stupor — another perfectly legitimate use — we have six more ways to make the most of those half-finished bottles of wine on the counter. 1 Freeze it.
Dec 13, 2013
Wine Words: Canopy ManagementSkills
Canopy management is a viticultural wine word. Do you know what it means? And the different processes involved? Canopy management may not be the most exciting wine word out there but, it is a very important one. Canopy management can be defined as a portfolio of vineyard management techniques, which manage a grapevine’s canopy from the time of winter pruning until harvest time. For the less geeky readers ‘canopy’ is a collective word for the all the foliage (i.e.
Dec 9, 2013
Gigondas: Southern Rhône Wines to Enjoy Right Now (Or Much Later)Skills
I have always loved the wines from the Gigondas region in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. They are full-bodied, energetic red wines, packed with vibrant red and black fruit flavors. At a recent dinner in New York City, hosted by the Gigondas Winemakers Union, I was reminded just how well Gigondas wines age, too – ten, twenty, even thirty years. We tasted back as far as 1972 that particular evening. But you don’t have to wait — they’re delicious now as well.
Dec 4, 2013
Wine Word: FruitSkills
Fruit might seem an odd word to choose as a Wine Word. “Aren’t grapes fruit?” you might ask. Of course they are, but the term ‘fruit’ when it comes to describing a wine means more than a simple acknowledgement of its botanical birthright. When describing a wine the word fruit takes on many dimensions. While wine is made from grapes the fruit words we use to describe wine aromas and flavors covers the whole gamut.
Nov 25, 2013
Wine Words: American Oak vs. French OakSkills
In a previous Wine Words post I gave a general overview of oak as it pertains to wine. Today I am going to explain in more detail the difference between American oak and French oak. To start off, both American oak and French oak are species of white oak. Red oak is never used for winemaking because it is too porous. While there are many different types of white oak, three are most used for wine cooperage. These are Quercus Alba, Quercus Petraea (also known as sissile oak) and Quercus Robur.
Nov 18, 2013
Wine Words: Oxidative vs. Reductive WinemakingSkills
Oxidative and Reductive are both wine words often used to describe a style or philosophy of winemaking. Do you know what the two terms mean and how they differ? Oxidative and reductive are opposites that depend on the relative presence or absence of oxygen during winemaking. Oxidative winemaking means more aerobic winemaking in the presence of oxygen (usually controlled amounts). In contrast reductive winemaking means winemaking in more of an anaerobic environment without oxygen.
Nov 11, 2013
Enamore: Budget-Friendly Amarone-Style Wine from ArgentinaSkills
Wine of the Week: Enamore by Bodega Renacer Region & Country: Mendoza, Argentina Price: $27 Continuing my South American travels, this week I am writing about a wonderful visit to Bodega Renacer in Argentina’s Mendoza region. There is so much to write about, but today I am going to focus on Enamore – Renacer’s seductive, opulent Amarone-style wine. There are many fascinating aspects to Bodega Renacer.
Nov 6, 2013
Wine Words: Barrel FermentedSkills
Barrel fermented is a word that you often see on bottles of white wine. Do you know exactly what it means? And why it is often highlighted on a label? In general when a wine label says ‘Barrel Fermented’ it is highlighting an oak influence on the wine. While theoretically any size of barrel can be used, the term usually is an indication that the wine was fermented in small oak barrels called barrique (60 US gallons / 225 liters).
Nov 4, 2013
Cool Climate Wines from Viña Leyda: A Dynamic Pioneering Wine Producer in Chile’s Ultra-Cool Leyda ValleySkills
It is not everyday that I exclaim “oh my goodness” when I visit a wine region for the first time. Well it happened recently when I visited Viña Leyda in Chile’s ultra cool (or should I say cold) Leyda Valley. The Leyda Valley is rapidly, and deservedly so, gaining a reputation as a leading producer of refreshing, cool climate Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines.
Oct 30, 2013
Root:1: Delicious Varietal Wines from Chile for Just $12Skills
As most readers know, I have been visiting wineries in Chile and Argentina for the past eight days. I can honestly say that it a long time since I came across such an array of wines that offer both very high quality and incredible value. First up is a range of four varietal wines that you may already be familiar with called Root:1. Suggested retail price is $12 but you often find the wines for less. Here’s what I am enjoying about them.
Oct 23, 2013
Chilean Wines 101: An Overview
Chilean wine. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chilean wines? For me it is the vibrancy, juiciness, brightness and purity of fruit that pops from the glass. And of course, let’s not forget value and the easy to understand varietal labeling that makes Chilean wine so accessible. Here’s my Chilean Wines 101 — a mini course in understanding and enjoying the vibrant wines coming from this part of the world.
Oct 16, 2013
Why I Love the Wines of France’s Languedoc Region
I am so in love with the wines from the Languedoc. Not only is the Languedoc one of France’s oldest wine regions, dating back over two thousand years, it is also the source of some of the best value French wines you can find, and an exciting hotbed of innovative winemaking.Writing from Montagnac, in the heart of the Languedoc, I have been discovering and savoring a host of exciting Languedoc wines over the past few weeks.
Aug 14, 2013
Wine Words: Recioto
Recioto is a wine word, which you see on some Italian wine labels. Do you know what it means?Recioto is an Italian wine word. It refers to wines that have been made from ‘dried’ grapes, or grapes that are harvested when ultra ripe then left out to dry and ‘raisin’ before fermentation. As such Recioto wines are naturally sweet wines. Recioto wine may also be affected by noble rot.
Aug 12, 2013
Novel Summer Sparkling Wines from the Languedoc in the South of France
One of the many things I love about wine is that you are never done discovering. We are back in Languedoc again this year, on vacation, and I have made all sorts of new delicious bubbly discoveries. On arriving our friends poured us a welcome glass of sparkling Picpoul de Pinet from Côte Mas (Domaines Paul Mas) just outside Montagnac. A first for me! Who would have thought – that the light-bodied, crisp, lemony Picpoul white wine could transform into such a delicious sparkler?
Aug 8, 2013
My Best Tips for Choosing and Drinking Red Wine in the Summer
Despite the heat and humidity some of us still like to drink red wine throughout the summer. Read on for some useful tips on choosing and serving the perfect refreshing summer red wines.One of the most important aspects of any wine is refreshment. This is especially important as the mercury rises, when many red wines can taste overly powerful, rich and heavy. Over the years I have developed a short set of guidelines, which I adhere to over the summer months to best enjoy red wine.
Jul 31, 2013
Wine Words: Bâtonnage
Bâtonnage is the French word for lees stirring. As explained in my lees aging post, lees are the dead yeast cells and other particles which remain in a wine after fermentation. They settle as sediment or more of a creamy mud at the bottom of the fermentation vessel…Lees AgingAs these dead yeast cell (lees) break down, they release all sorts of compounds such as mannoproteins, amino acids, polysaccharides and fatty acids, which interact with the fermented wine.
Jun 24, 2013
Wine Words: Body
These are terms used to describe the general weight, ‘fullness’ or overall feel of a wine in your mouth. Full-bodied wines are big and powerful. In contrast, light-bodied wines are more delicate and lean. Medium-bodied wines fall somewhere in between. There is no legal definition of where the cut-offs occur and many wines fall into the medium-to-high or light-to-medium body categories.
Jun 17, 2013
Wine Words: Rootstock
Rootstock is a wine word that many readers probably have heard mentioned with regard to viticulture and the growing of wine grapes. Today most vines are planted on rootstocks. This means that they are not planted on their own roots; rather the vine is grafted onto the root of a different vine species.Almost all of the grape varieties used to make wine belong to the Vitis Vinifera species. In contrast most rootstocks are American hybrids derived from non-Vinifera vine species.
Jun 10, 2013
Wine Words: Port
Port is a wine word. Like Sherry it is often misunderstood. While Port is a style of fortified wine, it is not a generic word for the style. Port is the name of the liqueur or fortified wines produced in a specific delimited area of the Douro Valley, Portugal, up river from the city of Oporto. Port is a fortified wine, meaning that a spirit alcohol is added to increase the alcohol level.
Jun 3, 2013
It’s Rosé Season Again! A Primer on Choosing a Great Bottle of Rosé Wine
Regular readers at The Kitchn will know that I am a committed rosé wine fan, and while I drink rosé wine all year round, there is something about the arrival of spring and summer that seems to herald in these pink and salmon toned wines.Every year I say it and here I go again, rosé’s popularity just keeps growing — if the number and diversity of choices is anything to go by.For me, rosé is more than a simple pink wine.
May 31, 2013
An Interview with Emma Christensen About Her New Book: True Brews
This is a very exciting spring for books here at The Kitchn! A couple weeks ago we told you about my new book, Bakeless Sweets, and this week we’re turning the spotlight to another book from our team: True Brews, by Emma Christensen, our very own recipe editor. Emma has written about beer for The Kitchn for many years, and she has become a knowledgeable expert in brewing it as well — and her new book shows you how you can make it for yourself.
May 21, 2013
Wine Words: Cru Bourgeois
Cru Bourgeois is a wine term that you see on the label of some wines from Bordeaux. Do you know what the term actually means? Cru Bourgeois is a quality classification term for red wines produced in the Médoc, which is on the left bank region of Bordeaux. If Cru Bourgeois is on a wine label it means that the wine has been examined and certified as having the high enough quality and taste characteristics to qualify as a Cru Bourgeois.
May 20, 2013
Why You Should (Almost) Always Pair Cheese with White Wine, Not Red
When we think of a wine and cheese party we automatically think of red wine, but in fact white wine is actually a much better partner for many types of cheese. Read on to find out more about perfect cheese and wine pairings. Admittedly, for most people red wine is the go-to partner for cheese. However, the issue with red wine, especially a full-bodied red, is that it can overpower all but the most robust of cheeses.
May 16, 2013
3 Rules for Pairing Wines with Spicy Foods
Do you ever wonder why so many people automatically reach for a beer to go with African, Asian, or Caribbean foods? Answer: Beer is refreshing, and it does not clash with the many feisty, fiery flavors of chilies, herbs, spices and sauces that are the signature of these many and varied cuisines. But don’t put away your wine glasses just yet!
May 15, 2013
Wine With Artichokes & Asparagus? Wine Pairings for 6 Difficult Foods
While I am a big advocate of how most foods and wines are pretty flexible when it comes to wine pairing, there are a number of foods that are known to be challenging in this domain. However, do not give up! Read on to find out what wines work well with salad vinaigrette, hot and spicy foods, dessert, asparagus, artichokes and even Brussels sprouts.
May 14, 2013
2011 Nerocapitano Frappato
If you have not yet discovered Frappato, a Sicilian red grape, which makes the most deliciously refreshing light bodied red wines, now is your chance. This week’s wine — the 2011 Nerocapitano Frappato, IGT Sicilia is the perfect wine for pizza or pasta.Pretty pale crimson in color. Vibrant, bright and refreshing were three words that kept echoing in my mind as I savored this delicious Sicilian Frappato a few weeks ago.
May 8, 2013
2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine of the Week: 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet SauvignonRegion & Country: Napa Valley, California, USAPrice: $28 Sometimes I chide myself for not giving enough attention to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.Granted many are excessively expensive, but thankfully not all, and when I recently tasted the 2010 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon I was strongly reminded that Napa can deliver tremendous taste for a relatively modest price.
Mar 13, 2013
Wine Words: Noble Rot
Noble Rot is associated with some of the most famous sweet wines in the world such as Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú. Do you know what Noble Rot is, and how it contributes to the style of these wines?Noble Rot is a benevolent fungus that is scientifically known as Botrytis Cinerea. However, what is really important to know is that all Noble Rot is Botrytis Cinerea but not all Botrytis Cinerea is Noble Rot.
Mar 11, 2013
Wine Words: Parker Points
Parker Points is a wine term that you hear bandied about quite a lot and often discussed critically. The term Parker Points refers to a score awarded to a wine by Robert M. Parker Jr., the most influential wine critic of the past 20-30 years.Robert M. Parker Jr., whose influential newsletter is called The Wine Advocate (often abbreviated to WA on shelf talkers), uses a 100 point scale to rate wines.
Mar 4, 2013
Wine Words: VDN
The wine word VDN stands for “Vin Doux Naturel,” and it’s a specific style of wine produced in certain parts of France. VDN wines are sweet fortified wines made using a process called ‘mutage’, or the addition of grape spirit during fermentation.This stops the fermentation well before the yeasts have converted all the sugars in the must to alcohol. Mutage is another word for fortification.
Jan 28, 2013
Wine Words: Cuvée
Cuvée is a wine word. You see it on wine labels, especially Champagne labels. Do you know what it means? Cuvée is a French word that translates as from the ‘cuve‘ or from the ‘vat’ – i.e. the container that the wine is made in. Essentially it refers to the ‘mix’ of wines or the ‘blend’ of wines from a particular lot that will be bottled.By mix or blend, it could mean a blend of different grape varieties.
Dec 10, 2012
Wine Words: Aging Potential
Aging Potential is a wine word often used when discussing higher end wines that one might hope to cellar to either enjoy at a later stage or to resell for investment purposes. The aging potential of a wine means the length of time that a wine will hold up in the bottle and be enjoyable to drink, and the aging potential of any wine is directly related to its quality.
Nov 26, 2012
Wine Words: Easy Drinking
Easy drinking, a word used to describe certain wines. What makes a wine easy drinking? Is it a compliment or not? Are there challenging or difficult drinking wines?Firstly, in my opinion, the term ‘easy-drinking wine’ is a totally subjective ‘wine geek‘ term and open to much interpretation.The term tends to be used by wine geeks to describe wines that they believe have very broad appeal, especially to novice and marginal wine drinkers.
Nov 19, 2012
Wine Words: Lees Aging
Lees aging is a wine word used to describe a stage in a wine’s maturation phase. Do you know what it means? Lees are the dead yeast cells and other particles remaining in a wine after fermentation. They settle as sediment or creamy mud at the bottom of the fermenting container.The container could be a tank, a wooden barrel or even a bottle, as in the case of Champagne and bottle fermented sparkling wines.
Nov 5, 2012