How to Order Wine like a Pro

ideas on how to order wineImagine it’s your first date in a fancy restaurant and the waiter will take your order and give you the wine list, but it’s your first time and you don’t know what wine suits you.

You have no idea on what to order, so you just choose whatever your finger points to. Of course, when your order arrives you can’t believe you ordered that wine. It’s certainly not your ideal wine, and so regrets happen.

Don’t worry anymore, Mike Peterson has written the article  How to order wine like you know how to order wine.  This will teach you on how to order wine like a pro, from basics to food/wine pairing and a script on how to order wine.

The basics of the wine selection process can be summarized:

The markup: All restaurants have massive price markups for their wines. They usually sell their wine bottles about double retail price. Restaurant wine prices and their markups have an inverse relationship so the cheaper the wine, the higher the price markup, and vice versa. There is one exception to this rule – the second-cheapest bottle on the menu. [Read more…]

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A Sip of Elderberry Wine

Few fruit wines can lay claim to being the title for a song or featured as a crucial item in a play and a movie. Elderberry wine can lay claim to both; Elton John sings about it, and it is the tool with which the Brewster sisters provide their victims with a deadly dose of arsenic. You would expect this wine to be as complex and as sophisticated as champagne. In reality, its taste and texture is somewhat similar to port, and it is one of the fruit wines that many produce in their own kitchens.

A Closer Look at the Elderberry

For centuries, the elderberry has been used for various purposes. Native Americans made use of every part of this plant, and it has been used as folk medicine for a variety of illnesses. In Winemaker Mag’s Taming the Wild Elderberry, Jack Keller says, Sometimes referred to as the “Englishman’s grape,” the common elderberry has been used to make wine for hundreds — possibly thousands — of years. By themselves, elderberries make a rich, flavorful wine, but they have long been added to other fruit and berry wines, including grape, to add color, tannin and complexity. [Read more…]

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How to Enjoy a Wine Tasting Session

Wine TastingIf you are attending your first wine tasting session, you will want to make the most of this experience.  There is more to wine tasting than just having a sip of as many bottles as possible, and here are some tips for approaching this occasion like a pro.

Know what you want to taste.

You will definitely not be able to taste all the bottles offered for the public during a wine tasting session, so it is best that you decide beforehand which bottles you want to taste and stick to those.

Check out the activity’s website and look for the type of wine you want to get to know better. Then, take a look at the wine list offered for the event and mark the ones that have good reviews or rating. From this, make the list of wines you want to taste, taking note of what the reviews say. Once your list is complete, you are ready to optimize your wine tasting adventure. [Read more…]

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The Right Age for the Right Wine

wineMany people have the impression that the older the wine, the better it is. This is far from true; some wines are best consumed young, and most wines do not fare very well beyond five years.

Vinepair makes a definitive stand on aging wine in Aging Wine: Why People Age Wine and When you Should Too when it says: “The industry loves to talk about aging and collecting wines because drinking a really old wine has a romantic allure. An old wine gives us a way to re-experience a year that was special in our memory, maybe the year of our birth or anniversary, or drink a wine that comes from a time we may never even have lived. On top of this, when a wine that was meant to be aged is drunk, the aging of the wine helps create flavors and textures we would never have experienced had the wine not undergone aging.” [Read more…]

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Tequila – What’s with the lime, the salt, and the worm?


Credit: Christine und David Schmitt

Most people automatically look for lime and salt when they drink tequila. This popular practice is seen in bars, pubs, and even in movies.  However, a closer look at tequila will shed light on how good this drink is best enjoyed.

The Place of Lime or Lemon and Salt

The necessity of lime or lemon and salt is debunked by people who know their tequila. In Quora’s Why do drinkers take lime and salt after a shot of tequila?, Jim Gordon describes this process. “The drinker licks a dash of salt off their moistened hand, to bring saliva into the mouth.  The drinker then takes a sip or swallow of tequila.  The drinker then sucks or bites the lime, to ameliorate the raw, burning taste of the tequilas…”

He adds an uncompromising verdict about the salt-and-lime practice by saying, “The salt and the lime are aids for drinking cheap, sharp-tasting (cruda) tequila…

“Salt and lime are unnecessary or undesirable when drinking smooth, more refined tequila.  In some regions of Mexico, it is customary to follow sips of better-quality-tequila with sips of sangrita (note the similarity of the name to the Spanish cocktail sangría), a cocktail of orange juice, sweet grenadine syrup and hot chilies…”

[Read more…]

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Sake Lessons from Japan: Choosing between Cold or Warm

SakeFor anybody trying sake for the first time, one of its most intriguing aspects is that it can be served warm or chilled, although it has traditionally been served warm.

Recently, premium sakes are being served and enjoyed cold, but that doesn’t mean that warm has become obsolete.

How can you best enjoy sake?

Modern sake brewing technology are said to have flavor profiles that can be destroyed or marred by heat. This is why serving it chilled nowadays has become popular. That doesn’t mean, though, that all must be served chilled. Each rice wine is unique with a specific range of temperature by which it must be served. [Read more…]

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Port – the Wine that is Easy to Love

Port or Vinho do PortoPort or Vinho do Porto is a fortified wine produced in northern Portugal’s Douro Valley. This sweet, red wine is known throughout the world simply as Port, and it is a wine that is extremely easy to love – even for beginners.

The Making of Port

Port can be made from a wide variety of grapes, but the five most widely cultivated varieties are Tempranillo, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Barroca, and Touriga Nacional. Of these five, Touriga Nacional is considered the best grape for Port.

Port is one of the many wines that are fortified. This means brandy or some other grape spirit is added to the midstream during the fermentation process. This allows the wine to retain the original flavor and sweetness of the grape so that each sip is smooth, round, and rich. Once the wine has been fortified, it is stored and allowed to age in oak barrels. [Read more…]

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Dark and Fruity Malbec – Argentina’s Flagship Wine

Malbec - Argentina's wineMalbec is a grape variety that traces its origins to South West France, where it is known as Cot.

It is a variety that produces intensely colored, dark-hued wines with a hard tannic style. At present, Malbec is considered Argentina’s flagship wine style, and the country’s vineyards make up the world’s largest acreage of this grape.

The Distinctive Qualities of Malbec

Argentine Malbec is vastly different from the wine produced from the same grape variety in France. The vines in Argentina have smaller, more tightly clustered berries, and

The vines in Argentina have smaller, more tightly clustered berries, yielding wine with a deep color, strong fruity flavors, a markedly velvety texture, and a different tannic structure.

Jancis Robinson, author of Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course: A Guide to the World of Wine, says, “…Good Argentine Malbec, and there is a great deal of it for Argentina is one of the world’s most prolific wine producers, is deeply colored, spicily rich with an exuberant juiciness and has as a trademark an almost velvety texture…” [Read more…]

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A Second Look at Rosé Wine

Rose WineIt is a pity that rosé wine is not given the attention it deserves. It is certainly elegant enough for just about any occasion, and it is so versatile it can be paired well with a wide range of dishes. It is the perfect wine for the times when, as DiWineTaste puts it a white wine is ‘not enough’ and a red wine is just ‘too much’”.

Achieving the Delicate Rosé Color

Rosé wines take their color from the grapes used to make them, but this color is not enough to classify them as a reds. One of three methods used to produce Rosé wine is the skin contact method. After crushing, the skins of the black-skinned grapes used for the wine are left with the juice for about three days; the gloppy mass is then pressed, and the skins are removed before the juice is fermented. [Read more…]

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Treat Yourself to Feta, Fruit, Vegetables, and Wine

Feta combined with fruits, vegetables and wineAll cheeses have their own distinctive qualities, but feta, one of the world’s freshest cheeses, has a flavor all its own. It is basically a soft but compact cheese sans holes and the skin present in cheeses like brie and camembert. Usually sold in blocks submerged in brine, this cheese can range from sharp to very mild. This makes it ideal for mixing with fruits and vegetables. If you have been looking for a new way to serve your fruit or your salad with cheese, give this wholesome creation a try.

Telling Feta from Other Cheeses

People from all over the world can make “feta” cheese if they have the tools, the sheep’s milk, and the goat’s milk to do so. However, because the name feta is protected under EU laws as a PDO (protected designation of origin) product, the cheese they produce can’t be called feta unless it is made in the traditional way in the mainland of Greece or the island of Lesbos.

Most cheeses that claim to be feta are made of cow’s milk, and this cheese has to be made from at least 70 percent ewe’s milk and no more than 30 percent goat’s milk. By their very nature both have a flavor different from cow’s milk, and the cheese made from them is tangier. Moreover, the humidity, the climate, and the natural bacteria in mainland Greece and Lesbos contribute to the unique taste of feta cheese. [Read more…]

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