My wine got legs

Wine legs

Do you know if there is any telling about the wine, just by looking at it?
More in my next blog...

The wine glass – odor free?

Do you ever inspect or smell the wine glass when you sit down in a nice restaurant?  Or do you take it for grant that those would clean and free of any odor?  I used to believe the latter of the two until about 4-5 years ago when my wife and I ordered a nice bottle of wine with dinner, however despite my initial tasting and approval of the wine, my wife disliked the taste of her wine!  I first didn’t want to believe her and thought she might have eaten something that triggered that, but when I smelled her glass,

Wine Temperature

What temperature should my Pinot Noir be served at?  Read below…
If you would ask my wife or one of my friends who works in the wine industry she would properly tell you that I am hard to please when it comes to going out to a restaurant because I have certain expectations which some say are too high.  I agree that there are a few things that really get me upset.  One is a small wine by the glass selection (see previous blog) and wine served at the wrong temperature!   You might say, oh come on!  Now you are really being picky, but I am not talking about proper wine temperature in such detail that my Chianti needs to be at 59 degrees and my Bordeaux at 64 degrees.  I am talking about when your red wine is so darn warm that you think it just walked of the beach or your white

Organic wines - Are they really better for you?

Earlier this month I wrote a blog about natural wine (see link below) and gave it my two cents.  I just finished reading an article about organic wines, or as some people say, green wines/wine making and figured I might as well put my two cents in it while we are at it.
The article didn’t provide any true meat to the matter, as to facts or statistics et cetera, but due to that, it certainly got some people stirred up and a nice discussion was started.  As I am reading thru the article and comments, I find myself nodding in agreement a few times as well as shaking my head in disagreement on some other comments.  What is irritating to me is that some people like to write something just to write something.  What is the point?  I don’t know J
Ok – so back to our wonderful, green world of wine.  Organic, biodynamic or sustainability is really nothing new; it used to be the norm about 50-60 years ago.  Back then, they just didn’t label it as such, because they didn’t have too.  Most of it was a natural production process, but since we don’t like the brown spot on the apples or the romaine lettuce wasn’t big enough, we started to interfere. 

What is Marsala wine?

The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking Marsala, is a nice veal scallopini.  But to be perfectly honest, cheap cooking wine comes to mind as well.  That might be driven because of the me working the restaurant industry, but anyways.  Marsala is certainly more than that.
First and foremost, Marsala is a place, to be exact, it is a city in the western part of Sicily.  On this beautiful island south of Italy, Marsala wine is made.  It is made in a fortified style, similar to port wines.  It is relatively high in alcohol and is produced in an amber, gold or ruby version.  And while most of us know the sweet version of Marsala, it also produced dry and semi-dry.
So, see if your local wine store has some nice Marsala, it is really a nice alternative to Port.

What is a Magnum bottle?

Ever heard anybody talking about a Magnum bottle?  If yes, it was most likely a bottle of Magnum Champagne.  Magnum is a size descriptor for bottles of wine.  Just like there are splits aka half bottles of wine or piccolo’s for tiny 187ml bottle, there are names for the bigger wine bottles as well.  See below for a full list of

Who is the god of wine?

Not that I want to start a religious discussion here, or take powers away from the pope, but during the early Greek and Roman times, there actually was a defined god for wine.  I mean, who would not want to be the god of wine?  I certainly wouldn't mind, adding that to my resume :)
But back to the god of wine; some people may say, I know the answer - Bacchus!  But that is just the more known, roman god of wine, not the only one ever holding this great title.  The Greeks say, the true god of wine was Dionysus.  Dionysus was also known to be the god of agriculture and theater.  Legend has it, that he assisted men in freeing themselves from themselves.  How?  Thru the consumption of wine :)


How many calories are in a glass of wine?

It depends on the size of the pour.  But if we use the standard 5oz pour, with most bottles of wines you will be around 120 calories per glass.  Not bad at all, even if you drink a whole bottle of wine, that is only 600 calories versus your BicMac and medium fries at 920 calories!!!  You may rather want to walk versus driving after the burger to get rid of the calories, defiantly don’t drink and drive after the bottle of wine!
See the link below to see a detailed listing:

How do I remove red wine carpet stains?

Soda Water  works great and even salt can help in getting the stain out.  If you are a “just in case” person and want to be prepared, you can even by a product actually called “wine away”, hence the name it removes wine J
But I am going to tell you a secret that works better than all of the above.  White wine.  Yes indeed.  And I have to give credit to my Irish friend, Niamh, for that.  She was the one who gave me a show and tell, after spilling red wine over my light colored carpet a few years back.  Next thing I see her pouring white wine on top of the red wine, and with a little scrubbing – gone.  Thanks Niamh!

how long does an open wine bottle lasts?

So, I started typing this morning and was all ready to deliver part 2 of the cellar edition from yesterday’s blog.  But, I thought to myself, there are more interesting “getting in the know” of wine topics to cover.  Nobody wants to read a lengthy blog about collecting and investing in wine.  Or at least not yet, right?
Instead, I am going to cover a brief series of blogs with some additional questions that arise.  Today, I am going to talk about an open bottle of wine and how long is the juice actually still good?
Once you open the bottle, oxygen will mix with the wine and eventually will spoil your wine within the same day at times.  However,

Cellaring wine! Where to start...

I had a friend ask me the other day what he needed to do, if he wanted to start collecting wine.  I said, mmhhh that is a question with many answers, some of them similar, but some may vary on what you are looking to collect, what you are collecting for et cetera.
So, let’s assume that you just got tired of running to the wine store each time you had friends/guests coming over for dinner.  In that case, a regular wine rack, holding about 20 bottles or so, will do.  Whatever you do, PLEASE do not use

The Wine List

So, what should a wine list look like?  Especially the wines by the glass...
Most importantly the wines offered need to mirror a balanced selection.  Not only by price point and also by offering a variety of different sparkling wines, white, red or rose wines. 
A good wine list should have all of them for you and not like most places, only offering the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet by the glass and the rest in the bottle! 
No, different wines such as dry style rose, Torrontes, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Malbec, red wine blends et cetera, all should be available by the glass for your enjoyment.  And while you add it, offer a cheese and/or chocolate plate to compliment the wine! 

Wine Bars

If you walk into a wine bar, either free standing or as part of a restaurant, wouldn’t you expect a good selection of wines by the glass?  I certainly did, but found myself short about 15-20 wines! 
But not only that, the selection was a “play safe” basic offering.  In other words it had your sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot,

Cooking with Wine - what about kids?

So what about when I want to cook a nice meal for the whole family, but the recipe calls for red wine or brandy etc?
Does it all cook off?
That question is certainly not only pertaining for children but also for women that are pregnant or for people who don't drink alcohol for religious reasons or so.
Fact is that alcohol evaporates at 178° F and water at 212° F.

Cooking with wine

Cooking with wine is certainly a fun way of spending time in the kitchen preparing a meal; just don’t forget to keep some wine for the actual cooking.  Just kidding, but let’s get started.
Beef Bourguignon, as example, is one of my favorite dishes and properly known by most people from either watching Julia Child in the earlier years on television or because of the recent movie called Julia and Juliet.  But that is not the only use for wine in cooking.  And as my 5 year old daughter would say – “I know that”, you are properly thinking the same.  Anyways, I use red wine often to either marinate pork tenderloins or skirt steaks

Natural Wine

Yesterday evening I read an interesting article about natural wine.  I had heard about it a little bit, but never really bothered reading up on it until yesterday.  As I was reading this article, I asked myself, what are they trying to point out here?  Are they saying, what we identify as a Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t really a Cabernet Sauvignon?  What we claim to be some of the best Bordeaux or Burgundy wines aren’t really what the grape

Football tailgating wines

With the football season in full swing, the weekend activities have shifted from nice weekends at the beach and evenings filled with fun, laughter and a glass of wine on the patio to bold, hearty food and American football.  Wait a minute?  This is supposed to be a wine blog!  It is, don’t you worry, it wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t try to squeeze a glass of wine into this American traditional feast!
So, let’s begin with listing some typical tailgating foods and some wine pairings.  First, the appetizers such as Chili, buffalo chicken or even a spinach dip.
For the Chili, I am going to Chile and would suggest a Chilean Carmenere.  The wine

Wine with a twist? Natural cork versus stelvin closure

After posting yesterday’s blog about red wine and its relationship to health, I thought to myself what am I attacking next.  Wine and health benefits certainly can fire off some excitement amongst people, but what really gets a wine lover fired up? 
I got it – Screwcaps!  Yes indeed, I said it!  The constant debates if screw cap closures should be used on wine or not, still hasn’t found its rest.  And in my personal opinion,

Does the kind and size of glass matter? Part 2

Not to make things in the simple wine education blog complicated, I will try my best to streamline the difference between various white wine glasses and red wine glasses.  For the most part, white wine glasses tend to be smaller than their red wine counterparts.  Why?  Simply because most red wines need more aeration to fully show their beauty

Does the proper wine glass matter?

When I grew up, it certainly didn’t matter to me!  I cared less,  if I had my beer, mixed drink or wine out of the can, bottle, glass or despite the so called “proper” glass.  But growing up and the ongoing gain of experience, do to working in the restaurant and hotel industry, have change that a bit. 
At my house, I pride myself of having the glass categories covered, and I truly dislike when I spend a good amount of money at a restaurant, and they don’t even offer the proper glassware.   Ok, but this hasn’t really cut into the subject of “does it matter”!  I say “IT DOES!” And here are some reason as to why it matters

red wine making

The path of redwine making
Instead of me writing another lenghtly blog, I thought to myself, it might be better to keep to short "sticky" notes.  That will simplefy the otherwise lenghtly and complicated approach to red wine making.

White wine made simple

Hope everybody got well thru Labor Day weekend and had the chance to grill outdoors with family and friends.  Honestly speaking, I drank more beer than wine this past weekend, but when you grill brats, ribs, et cetera that often comes natural.
Anyways, as I mentioned on Sunday, I will try giving you an easy overview as to how white wine is made.
We will not talk about what kind of grape clones to use, nor what kind of soil is important for which grape.  We will simply grab the bull by its horns and talk about pick, press, barrel and most favorable, drink!
In North America and Europe, grapes are being picked

"Clearly" grapejuice

Good Morning.  Isn't it amazing how we all take certain things for granted?  I mean, because we know the answer, we believe that everybody should know the answer as well.  Oh well, I had one of those scenarios just the other day.  Somehow I started talking about white Merlot and I could see the eyes of that person had gotten bigger and confusion took over his facial impressions.

White Zinfandel Syndrome

Summer is almost over, but here in Florida it is still pretty hot, it is Labor Day weekend and the question that simmered in my mind all summer long was of course - what kind of wine should I drink?
Before I get really started here in a minute, I must warn you that I am very passionate about dry style rose wines in the summer and hate the fact that most restaurants don't carry any because of the white zinfandel syndrome!  

Decanting Wine | Yes or No? When and Why?

As a known wine lover and sommelier, people often ask me, should I decant this wine or not.  My first answer is always - "that depends".  I know that this is not really helpful to answer their question, but in my opinion that question doesn't really have a straight forward answer neither.
If you are unsure yourself, don't feel bad.  Lots of people are not sure when or when not to decant a wine.  Not only that, but even amongst wine lovers and experts there are split opinions as to what wines to decant and which shouldn't be decanted. 
But I am already getting myself again ahead of myself.  Let's first take a step back and talk about why we would decant a wine to begin with. 

Indulgence | Wine | Chocolate | Heaven

As promised yesterday, we will dip a bit deeper into the chocolates today.  Since you are reading this blog, you must have a passion for chocolate and with that love chocolate soufflés.  I mean who doesn't like that warm, melting in your mouth, chocolate cake deliciousness?  Add a raspberry sauce and now marry that soufflé with nice late-harvest sauvignon blanc such as a Sauternes  and you will know what a “match in heaven” is all about.  Sauternes is very famous for its sweet dessert style white wines and is situated in the Bordeaux region of France.  California also produces some great late harvest wines, Hall and Honig winery to name a couple of examples.
For everybody that likes sparkling wine with chocolate, try a sweet,