Wine Serving Temperatures

Do the proper wine serving temperatures really matter?  I am not talking about whites cold and red wines warmer, I am dialing in a bit deeper.  Did you ever have a glass of wine at a bar or while sitting in a restaurant and felt that the redwine gave you a bit of burn that you usually don't get?  That is likely because this higher in alcohol wine, was served to warm.
Same happens with white wines, they should have a chill, but if it is a wine of any decent quality, it shouldn't be ice cold.  Ice cold wine hides all the sins from the poor making, but even worse, it hides all these great elements and aromas that you paid for in that glass of wine in front of you.

Either way | Temperature does and should matter and restaurants need to do a better job, serving wine at the appropriate Celsius or Fahrenheit.  When guests have to put ice cubes in their red wine to bring it to proper temperature, there is certainly something wrong with that.

Click here to view proper temperatures for the different wines

Wine Temperatures

International Cabernet Sauvignon Day

Cheers to another great invention.  The birth of the International Cabernet Day.  According to some Napa Wineries and the below linked facebook site, it all started about 5 years ago and will be held on the 28th of August. Little history about the founding of this day.  It all started with a bunch of napa cab winemakers who got together at the ledendary Chateau Montelena to taste, talk and tweet about each others wines.  This get together is celebrating 5 years and turned in a more global happening which is reaching about 100,000,000 people!

International Cabernet Day Facebook page

However if you look at on the website, it is being held each and every year on the 30th of August.

As it relates to which day to celebrate?  I say – Pick both and enjoy a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
I know that I will certainly say cheers to that.

Cheers to  #CabernetDay

Memorial Day | Weekend cook out

Looks as most of us will have great weather this holiday weekend and after a long run of poor weather who couldn't use it.  What on the agenda?  I am sure plenty of beach and/or pool and soaking in sunshine.  But what do we drink and/or cook?
I am personally a big fan of bbq ribs and burgers as well as Bratwurst for Memorial Day and have some nice Micro Brews with that.  Micro brews such as the Samuel Adams Summer Ale are a perfect fit for a nice, sunny Memorial Day cookout.  For the summer white wine lovers and sippers, have some California Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State Rieslings or Oregon Pinot Gris.  Red Wine only?  Go Monterey County Pinot for its ripe fruit characteristics or Lodi Zinfandels!
Whatever you do, think about inviting some friends and/or family and celebrate this Summer Kick-off holiday weekend in style.
Got extra time on your hand for the bbq?  Make your own BBQ sauce and kick it up a bit by adding some Zinfandel when heating up your sauce.
Grilling burgers?  Switch it up and buy some bison, or use some ground lamb meat!  It takes grilling burgers to a whole new level!

So to sum it up, get out of your every Memorial Day grove, try something different, be adventurous, be American!  Be different! Be with Friends!

Cheers and have a happy and save Memorial Day weekend!

Sangiovese | The Tuscan Sun

What is Sangiovese
Sangiovese is the heartbeat or backbone when it comes to Tuscan wine making.  You find it in your everyday Chianti as well as in the famous Brunello di Montalcino.  The origin of this grape dates back to the Roman times, but was first documented as Sangiovese in 1590.  It has always been home to Tuscany.

Where to find Sangiovese
Sangiovese can be found in many places these days, among them are California, Washington State, Argentina, Chile and even other parts of Europe such as the Languedoc in France and Corsica.  It is however home and best known in Tuscany, Italy.

Grape Lessons Riesling | The Elegant One

What is Riesling
Riesling is one of the world's best white wine grape and was first grown in Gemany in the 15th Century.  Given where Rielsing thrives best, it is easily understood that the hardy wood enables the vines to be very resistant to frost.  Riesling excels is the cooler climates, where it ripen slowly to perfection to either produce dry style Alcasian or German Rieslings all the way to Icewine.

Where to find Riesling
Riesling's home is in Germany along the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz Rheinhessen and Rheingau to name a few. Beyond Germany, the Alsace produces stellar dry forward Rieslings from there famed "Selection de Grains Nobles" and Austria is growing and bottling some nice

Grape Lessons Tempranillo | Spanish Paella or Iberian Pork?

What is Tempranillo
Tempranillo  is a native Spaniard and when when yielded properly, this almost black in color grape, produces beautiful and full bodied red wines.  Although Tempranillo is used in various Spanish growing regions, it is mostly associated with Rioja.  When produced in the traditional style, Tempranillo often has a garnet-hued color to it and its aromas and flavors are tea, brown sugar and vanilla notes while the modern versions display notes of plum, cassis and tobacco with a dark red color and big tannin structure.

Where to Find Tempranillo
Tempranillo can be found in various wine producing regions within Spain, however Rioja and Ribera del Duero are the most mentioned. Both regions display similiar styles and offer a traditional and modern style produced wine as descriped above.
You can also find this grape in Portugal under the name of Tinta Roriz where it is used in the Port (wine) production.

How to Pair

Grape Lessons Zinfandel | The American Grape

What is Zinfandel
Zinfandel can be an easy "quaffer" to enjoy by itself or with cheese and other appetizers.  It can also be a beast!
A beast that is big, is a structured red wine, that needs some red meat to be paired with.
On any and all of the above, Zinfandel is despite its longevity in the US, the most misunderstood grapes thanks to white zinfandel.  Regardless of his Italian twin, Primitivo which has its home in the south of Italy, Zinfandel is originally from Croatia and likely found its way to California during the Gold rush times dating back to the 1850.

California Zinfandel shows great fruit aromatics like blackcurrant, plum and raisins.  Through the oak aging it often picks up some cedar, smoke and white pepper notes and depending

Super Bowl | Beer or Wine?

As many beer companies are already warming up for the "Best Commercial" show down, most people have nothing but drinking beer for Super Bowl on their mind for sure.  But should they?  Should you?
In my point of view, not necessarily as I can have a glass of easy going Zinfandel with my Burger or bbq ribs, just as well as having a craft beer with it. Another example would be having a glass of Riesling with my chips and salsa or even spicy chicken wings.
Or my team is playing and I feel like celebrating and pop open a few bottles of bubbles to watch the game.
Champagne and other bubbles are always a good choice and certainly go a long way with the misses who are likely "stuck" watching the game with you anyways.

So what will it be at your house?  All beer?  All wine?  Or .... ?

Grape Lessons Malbec | Ready to Tango?

What is Malbec?
Malbec makes beautiful wines and its grapes are purple in color.  What does Malbec has in common with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmerere, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot?
Very simple - These are the allowed grapes to use in the blending of red Bordeaux wine. 

French Malbecs tend to show a bit more Terroir, have a stronger tannic structure and showcase notes of blackberry, mocha, tobacco and at times, raisin.

Argentinian Malbecs tend to be a bit softer and less tannic then its French counterpart.  It is a bit fruitier, soft, juicy, a bit herbal, and when oak ages for a bit it show some spice. I love well balanced Argentinian Malbecs by itself or with a nice Winter Stew to stay warm in the colder month of the year.

Where to Find Malbec
Most of us tend to think of Argentina as the home of all the Malbecs, when in fact, they once were plentiful in France until a frost wiped them out in 1956. Nowadays, Argentina certainly has plenty of Malbec planted in its vineyards; however you can find Malbec in other parts of the world, including North America.

How to Pair Malbec
Malbecs, even the lower-acid, softly-tannined ones, are big and bold enough to stand up to sweet, spicy, and robust sauces and big flavors. Besides hearty stews, I like bold flavored BBQ and nicely charred beef briskets with it.

I didn't have lots from France, but as for Argentinian Malbec's, I like Luigi Bosca Lujan de Cuyo Reserva, Maipe Reserva amongst others.

Screw the Cork? | Screw the Cap?

Screw the cork?  Not so fast!
Both the cork as well as the screw cap have their place in today's wine world.
While some may say - sealing a bottle of wine with a screw cap is inferior to one sealed with a cork, the truth is, unless you plan to age your bottle for decades, the only thing a cork does guarantee, is a one-in-twelve chance of your bottle being, well, "corked." 
For the young and spontanious wine drinkers, it also guarantees a 100% chance you'll need a cork screw on hand to open it easily which obviously is very inconvenient if you're unprepared (that wouldn't happen to me as I always have a cork screw near by but that is certainly not the norm :) ).

So, my recommendation is the following:
If you are looking

Coffee and Wine

The Wine Lover's Guide to Coffee

After I read the original article from Paul Gregutt and the fact that I am a huge coffee lover myself, I just had to repost this article.

We are living in the golden age of coffee. And as the caffeinated elixir continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, it’s looking a lot like the wine world—from the sheer number of styles and the importance of terroir to how aromas and flavors are described. Thankfully, you know a lot about wine. Here’s how to apply that knowledge to your daily grind.
Wine can be divided into Old World and New World. Here are coffee’s three basic regions and a flavor profile for each. 
The Americas
• Sweet and mild
• Bright and balanced

Old versus New

I was watching TV the other night and got a bit tired as it was late but the movie was really good, so I hit the record button and finished watching it another time.  Back in days, I/you stayed awake and got yourself deeper into the movie to finish it.  Nowadays we simply hit the record button and finish watching the movie over breakfast versus popcorn.  But does that really have the same effect?  Is new technology really always the better approach?  And what has all this to do with wine?
I compare it like this - great wine used you have to age for some time and you waited patiently until it was ready and got all excited to open that bottle. Now, most wines are ready to drink - no aging required!
But is that really the same experience?  Sure the movie is the same, doesn't matter if I watch it at night with a glass of wine and some snacks on the couch or if I watch it over breakfast with coffee, but he experience