Wines for the Holidays | What should I buy?

Can you believe it?  It is already December?  Time to dust off some typical and always repeated holiday questions.  What should I pair my holiday dinner with?  For that answer, please revisit my post from year.  I posted at great length, what to have with the different kind of food you might be serving for the the holidays.  Visit the link below to review:
Holiday Wine Pairings

Another questions that always arises back at our pre-holiday discussions is "how much"?
No - Not how many bottles!  That answer is easy,

Is the “Red wine is good for your heart! ” a myth or truth?

I think, we can all agree, that when we are reading headlines in the newspapers about how drinking red wine lowers cholesterol or lowers your risk of a heart attack, we get excited.  Why?  Because we get the "stamp of approval" on doing something, we properly would have done anyways, but can feel much better about doing now.  But is there truth to this or are those just theories?  I say, look at the French style

Volcanic Wines | Canary Islands

As mentioned in my previous blog, I moved to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.  Beautiful Island that I can highly recommend for anybody to go on vacation!  Anyways, don't want to blog about vacation destinations; I want to blog about wine.  Wine from the Canary Islands, wines like Vinatigo that is made with the local grape called Gual.  The wine is being produced on the Island of Tenerife and pairs well with seafood dishes.  The wine is full bodied and with a golden-green color to it.  Lots of citrus aromas lead by

Volcanic Wines

I know that I am way overdue a post.  I know that I owe some follow up blogs such as the tasting results from the wine in the box experiment!  However, while I don't make excuses, I am still running laps in trying to re-coordinate my life!  I had the crazy idea to move my family back to Europe, and since we lived in the warm, beautiful place called Florida, what better place then the Canary Islands?  That is the same what I thought.  So, after finishing lengthy interviews I flew to to Tenerife, Spain for my final interviews.  The second evening while I am there, I went to the tapas & wine bar.  When I ask for Spanish wines, he ask me if I like to try a wine from the Canary Islands?  More specifically he asked me if I like to try wines from Tenerife!

Wine and Health | Red wine and weight loss

I wrote a few blogs by now that covered possible health benefits with the consumption of white and/or red wine, but this certainly seems to be one of the best researches yet!  Drink red wine and lose weight.  Again, drink wine and lose weight.  I guess, I did read this right the first time around.  But how?  
Some of the elements naturally found in red wine, appear to have way of intercepting fatty foods from becoming fatty tissue.  And while the research is far from done, it certainly seems that piceatannol (the element/chemical component) found in red wine berries, certainly seems to be able to block fat.
So, make sure that you have a glass of red wine, the next time you indulge into a fatty burger!

The blog was inspired by reading an article on Wine Spectator:

Link to the Wine Spectator online article:


Ponte Vedra Beach is home to the most prestigious golf tournament of the world, called The Players Championship.  It has the highest purse, for which 150 great golfers started to tee off yesterday morning on the famous Stadium course, known for its beautiful, scenic 17th hole.  The Players Championship, also often referred to as TPC, transforms this beautiful little town called Ponte Vedra Beach into a very happening place.  It is that time, when people request the reserve or so called captains wine list.  It is that time, when guest order magnum sized bottles of wine, when $300 dollars or more for a bottle of wine, doesn't really matter. When white burgundies are

Square and fair | Wine in the Box

I have been buying wine in box for some time now, but usually only to give to our chefs for cooking purposes.  It is cheaper than large glass bottles, more eco-friendly, less weight and it stacks better in my storeroom!  Recently however, I was asked by a friend of mine, if I would drink box wine and I told him that there was NO way, I would be drinking that stuff.  He asked me if I ever had tried it and I said yes, about 5 years ago and I really don't want to do that again.  He kept talking about how much these wines have improved and how the wine lasts about two weeks once opened et cetera.  So long story short,

5 great wine quotes

Just stumbled across some great wine quotes and thought I would share a few.

Wine quotes:
Wine is the most civilized thing in the world
- Ernest Hemingway

Wine improves with age.  The older I get, the better I like it :)
- unknown

Compromises are for relationships, not wine.
- Sir Robert Scott Caywood

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of the life's most civilized pleasures.
- Michael Broadbent

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.
- Benjamin Franklin

I hope you get to enjoy some great wine this holiday weekend.  I know that I am looking forward to cook some nice lamp tomorrow night and indulge into a nice bottle... I mean glass of Pinot Noir.

St Patrick's Day | Green Beer or Green Wine?

We all know about the green beer for St. Patrick's Day, or the Guinness drinking competitions (yes, I did those as well when I was younger) and of course the good excuse to drink Irish Whiskey until we can't remember anymore...
But one thing, I never noticed, is the offering of green beer!  Not that I would want to encourage anybody to take a nice bottle of Chardonnay and add green food coloring to it, but I would have never asked anybody to do the same for the beer either.  Since my birthday is always a couple days prior to St. Patrick's Day and usually simply leads into a 3 day stretch of drinking anyways, I might as well, add drinking a green glass of wine to the list!  Only for my Irish friends - of course. 
In Germany, I properly would get shot for something like that :)

Cheers | Have a great St. Patrick's Day and don't do anything that I would not do ;)

Grüner Veltliner

Not sure if you had the opportunity to have a glass of "Gruener" but if you see it by the glass on a wine list, go for it and try a glass of this nice acidic, cool climate white wine.  The grape varietal calls its home in Austria. Gruener Veltliner goes well with Asian cuisines just like Riesling and truly deserves more recognition!  So, my wine loving friends - Go out there and ask for a glass of Gruener or buy a bottle at a wine store near you and have it with your sushi or asian take out! 


National Drink Wine Day

My dear wine lovers,

How much better can it get?  Today, February 18th marks the "National Drink Wine Day".  What a great reason to open a bottle of wine with friends and enjoy a glass or two or three...
Maybe you rather open a nice bottle of wine and share with your significant other to celebrate an extended Valentine's Day.  Or take the healthy approach - drink wine for health reasons, as most of us know, wine certainly can have positive impact on our health, often not as much as we read or would hope for, but nonetheless, it can have health benefits.  Whatever the reason, it is always a good reason to enjoy a glass of white or red wine and today more than any other day!

Prost | Cheers | Cin-Cin | Slainte | Salute | Skål | Santé | Kampai

In flight wine

Did you ever order a wine while flying somewhere?  If you did, you properly know where I am going with this.  The offering is usually awful at best.  Since we can't get any wine thru the security check points, you really don't have another choice but to settle for something else or drink wine with little to no enjoyment.  But that era is coming to an end.  Some airports these days have wine bars with retail licenses.  Brilliant!  Simply marvelous.  Have a nice glass of wine prior to boarding, and take a split, half bottle or the rest of your bottle of wine, on board with you.  Trust me, I first did that a couple of years ago on a flight to Hawaii, and while I was flying economy, I sure had the best wine and others, including business class, envied me.
To all these wine retailers in airports, kudos to you and I hope that there will many more airports that have somebody like you in the near future.  Just do me one favor; have more 375ml (half bottles) available!  There are perfect for a 2-3 hour flight.  

Wine and Dine my Valentine

Most people will go out for Valentine's Day.  This year you have some options, as most restaurants are prepared to give you and yours the special St. Valentine's Day experience today (February 11th), Valentine's Day itself or on the 18th of February.  With that, the pressure of ensuring that you made your dining reservations at her favorite restaurant way in advance, but forgot it anyways, should be at ease. 
But now what?  Do I arrange for special flowers for the dinner table?  Do I pre-order a nice bottle of Champagne?  I would.  It is Valentine's Day for crying out loud.  Might as well go all out and have lasting, memorable evening with your significant other.  Or stay home and cook a special dinner and pull a nice wine out of your collection (or if collection is nonexistent), buy a nice couple bottles of wine.
In regards to the Champagne selection, see my New Year's Eve blog for recommendations.

Want to know more about Saint Valentine? Click the hyperlink.

A new Era of Food and Wine | The Wines

As promised, here is part 2.  New, or I should properly say, old and refurbished grape varietals are on the move.  Have you ever heard about Altesse, Insolia, Verdejo and Viura?  Or Teroldego, Nero d’Avola, Monastrel?  These are just some examples of different grapes that produce stunning white and red wines out of Spain and Italy.  Wines that haven't really been around for a while or were produced in such small quantity that nobody really knew about it. All that is changing as a different and mostly younger generation of wine makers continues to take over and challenge the old/new way of varietal selection, wine making and the works.  Elisabetta Foradori from the Trentino region is one of those examples and her wines are just absolutely amazing.  She re-introduced the usage of Amphora's for wine fermentation.  Below is a picture of her wine cellar where the Amphora style wine is made. 

A new Era of Food and Wine | The rising continues

I am currently in San Antonio and had the great opportunity to assist with the opening of a stunning new hotel called Eilan Hotel Resort & Spa.  An absolute gem and one of a kind in San Antonio.  A place, were a new restaurant by the name of Sustenio had its Grand Opening yesterday.  A restaurant, were food is being taken to the next level of modern cooking!  The Executive Chef, David Gilbert who is a phenomenal Culinarian leads the charge in this Stephan Pyles inspired restaurant concept of modern southwestern cuisine.  Not that New York, Chicago and other great food destination don't have such great restaurants already, however San Antonio didn't until Saturday when 500+ guests experienced a Grand Opening like no other.

Corked wine is on the decline

I enjoy reading different wine magazines as it helps me to stay up to date with the wine world as well as finding topics to blog about.  Part of that collection of regular reading materials is certainly the Wine Spectator.
While I might disagree at times with their ratings, they have great articles and people like Matt Kramer really can stir the pot and.  Anyways, last week I read the article about less cork taint from James Laube and the content of that article made me very happy.
Based on his report in 2011, out of roughly 3,100 bottles of California wine topped with cork (another 269 were topped with twist-offs), the percentage of "corked" wines dropped to 3.8 from 4.8 in 2010—making it the best year since we started tracking this.
In 2009, nearly 7 percent of the wines were corked, and in 2007, it was 9.5 percent.

Based on that, it seems true that with the right focus on a quality cork, this old proven wine bottle closure remains in the race!  And rightfully so!

For the complete Wine Spectator article from James Laube, please visit:

Wines' New Year resolution

As most of us have some sort of New Year's resolutions such as weight loss, going back to school, eating more goodness, I don't think I could list all of the things some people are planning to accomplish in the "new year"!
Anyways, that got me thinking, what might be the New Year's resolution goal for wine?  Will Chardonnay continue to reduce the amount of over-oaked chardonnays coming to the market out of California?  Will Zinfandel amongst other grape varietals continue to fight to get on top? Will cork be able to have a strong comeback against all these screw cap lovers that are out there?  The questionnaire could go on and on.
Most people properly will try to lose some weight this year and to accomplish that, cut back the drinking of alcohol since that has the most empty calories period! 
But why?  So that you can “fall off the wagon” come St. Patrick’s Day or the first summer grill out with friends?  Come on... let me help you here.