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