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Wine to Share, Wine to Store Away

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Uncategorized, Wine Blog | 0 comments

There are many types of wine available to share and drink. In fact, each varietal of wine has a specific characteristic and taste that can be paired with a type of food (for example, generic pairings of red wine and red meat and white wine and fish/chicken is very common). Master winemakers also blend certain varietals of wine, such as 55% Merlot and 45% Petite Syrah. However, like any drink or food, there is no consensus on what is considered the best wine and what is preferred is up to the taste of the drinker. However, there are many common varietals of wine that can be shared or stored depending on the age and type of wine. Three common wine varietals are the cabernet sauvignon (a red varietal), chardonnay (a white varietal), and a moscato (a dessert white varietal). Chardonnay is America’s number one selling white varietal and is considered a popular dry white wine in the United States. The wine is made from the Chardonnay grape, which is a green-skinned grape that is low-maintenance grape to grow. The wine is also relatively priced and a good bottle for a good price. Chardonnays offer an impressive range of flavors and can include buttered, oak influenced fruit. The fruit flavors common profiled in chardonnays include apple, pear, tropical, citrus, and melon, and can leave a dry but sweet profile on the palate. These wines can be consumed in the summer months because of the crisp flavor profile and consumed without food pairings because the flavors are not generally pungent. However, foods that can be paired with are non-red meat foods, such as poultry, pork, seafood, or recipes with heavy cream or butter. This wine can also be paired with salads or any foods that have a light flavor profile. Chardonnays, like many other wines, will slowly become undrinkable over time. To ensure that your wine is drinkable, it is best to share with guests in a reasonable timeframe after opening. However, if stored at the proper temperature and conditions, you can expect a chardonnay to last for a few years. Cabernet sauvignon is a very strong red wine varietal that is popular in the United States and Europe. Cabernet sauvignon is produced from the cabernet grape, which is a deep red or purple-skinned grape that is very difficult to grow since the vines require a specific air moisture profile (thus, these grapes are only grown in certain locations). The price per bottle of wine can vary dramatically based on the vintage since some years can have great harvests and some harvests can be affected by drought. Furthermore, the grapes are very sensitive to external forces, such as smog and smoke (for example, wildfires close to wine country in California affected the grapes for the cabernet crop, and the grapes had a smoky flavor and were thus, unusable). Thus, some wines can be as little as $20 a bottle and some as much as $100. A cabernet sauvignon is known to have a very peppery and pungent taste, with hints of plum, apricot, apple, and pear. Because of the very spicy flavor, these wines are best paired with red meat such as steak or lamb, and while this wine can be consumed without food, it may overpower some palettes. Our Cabernet Franc is made from estate grown fruit and aged in Hungarian oak barrels. People love the hints of smoke, chocolate and raspberry, a smooth, rich finish. It is important to keep it around 60 degrees Fahrenheit when storing. Lastly, a moscato wine is a white dessert wine that is notably sweet (and to...

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Why We Have Blended Wines

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Blog, Wine Blog | 0 comments

While a budding wine enthusiast may dismiss wine blends as diluted, muddied or less desirable than pure varietals, they can in fact be a wonderful way to understand and enjoy the characteristics of different varieties of grapes. Blends can be a valuable addition to your wine collection because, when it is done right, a high end blending is able to create a more complex and enjoyable wine. Blending can change and enhance the flavor, texture, color, body, finish, and aroma of a wine by combining grapes with differing qualities in varying proportions. The strengths of each grape can be combined in complimentary ways to create a wine that is superior to the wines from which it is blended. So what, Exactly, is the Definition of a Blend? A varietal may contain grapes from different plots or vineyards, but the majority of the grapes will all be the same type of grape. In the United States, a wine must consist of at least 70 percent of the same type of grape to be classified a varietal. Blends, on the other hand, often contain just 40 to 50 percent of the dominant grape. The remainder of the wine is a mix of several other types of grape. The blends are mixed in steel tank and generally aged in oak barrels before bottling. Some winemakers produce barrels of specific varietals (Malbec, Merlot, etc.) for the purposes of blending later, while others prefer to mix the grapes and ferment the blended wine together. Most blended wines are red, though some white blends exist, particularly in Europe; varietals which are very unlikely to be blended include Pinot Noir and Riesling. Additionally, while many blends are vintage blends, meaning that they are made of different types of grapes that were all grown in the same year, some are non-vintage blends. These blends are most commonly port or sparkling wines such as Champagne, and use grapes grown in different vintages in order to utilize their different tastes and tannins. Wine Knowledge and Some History Though the potential for creating different blends is almost limitless, many blends use grape types in similar ways to create their final product. Most Argentinian blends use Malbec as the dominant grape; Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon can add tannins and body to the wine, while Merlot may be used to add color and smoothness. Bordeaux, arguably the most famous blended wine, contains Cabernet Sauvignon for tannins and body, Merlot for roundness, and Cabernet Franc for color and aroma; wines with similar ingredients which are not made in the Bordeaux region are often called meritage, a combination of merit and heritage. Another popular type of blended wine is known as Super Tuscan because of its origins in 1970s Italy among vinters that were flauting Italy’s strict blending standards and creating unique red blends. Many Californian and other American wines are a blend even though there may be only one type of grape on the label; for example, a bottle labeled Merlot may contain 25 percent Cabernet. Some wine blends are even a mix of red and white wine; for example, in France the red grape Syrah and white grape Voignier are combined to create a blend called Côte-Rôtie. Do Your Research Blends can be a great way for a wine lover to simultaneously expand their knowledge and taste buds. By researching which grapes went into a specific blend, what steps were taken by the winemaker during the aging process, and what trusted reviewers say about the blend, you can be sure to select wines that will enjoy and excite you. As you begin...

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Do You Blush When You Drink Blush Wine?

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Wine Blog | 0 comments

A light and delicate wine can add color to the face and flavor to the tongue, and some people question if a person can ask Do You Blush When You Drink Blush Wine? This wine is often considered the best by many wine enthusiasts. It can lift the drinker’s level of well being during the partaking of dinner festivities, or it may be poured during the serving of desserts. The wine purchaser will be able to use this delightful drink during the serving of a wide range of meal choices. The consumer will have to make the hard decision about which brand of wine will best suit the occasion. There are many quality producers of this consumer favorite. The wine color can vary depending on the manufacturing process at each vineyard. A large celebration will require that the hostess order several bottles that can be opened during the evening. Some guests may find that this drink will add a touch of beautiful color to their cheeks as they consume it during the evening festivities. These wines are also sometimes referred to as rose wines. The debate will continue about whether or not this type of wine can actually make the drinker blush, but it definitely has a reputation for being a wine that has a full body and flavor.   A blush wine has many distinct characteristics that will assist the buyer in making the right purchase. These traits will be present in a delicious bottle of this type of wine. The color intensity of this type of beverage will range from the lightest pink to a more rich medium colored pink. The wine gets the color from the grape skin that it is left with during the making of this kind of wine. The color creation can also be produced by combining both red and white grape wine together. During warm days, this liquid can be poured into chilled glasses in an outdoor area of the client’s property. Some people find that this type of wine has a floral note to it when drinking the liquid. These wines can be purchased in bulk due to the large amount that is produced by a winery each year. A new art showing is a great time to make cheese and cracker platters, and the gallery owner can line a table up with glasses full of blush wine that can be refilled during the event. Common traits of this type of wine are the ability for it to be light, floral and full bodied. In addition to being poured into wine glasses to be consumed by eager party goers, blush wine can be mixed into other drinks such as ice infused concoctions. These will look great served in festive glasses that are topped with innovative garnishments. These wines are very good and tasty, and there are many food pairings that will make an event standout. A blush wine will be outstanding when placed next to a tray full of goat cheese. Small food bites can be created using lobster and salmon. Appetizer plates filled with Italian gourmet food topped with white and red sauces are easily washed down with a full glass of blush wine. Although the debate may rage on about how much this classic wine will cause the drinker to blush, the consumer will definitely have fond memories of each glass that is drank during a social evening. This thoughts will be associated with a fun and fruity drink that is consumed among friends. When taken in responsible levels, wine has also proven to have many health benefits for...

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Wine Can Increase Your Good Cholesterol

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Blog, Wine Blog | 3 comments

Wine Can Increase Your Good Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important measurement in managing health, protecting the heart, and preventing chronic health conditions. There are several types of cholesterol – the most significant numbers that your primary care provider will be concerned with are the total cholesterol, low density liproprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and the triglycerides. LDL and triglycerides are considered the “bad cholesterol” and HDL is considered “good cholesterol.” The LDL cholesterol in excess can accumulate and build up into the vessel lining creating plaques that narrow the blood vessel. Narrowed vessels may block blood flow increasing the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Several studies have shown that higher levels of HDL protect against infections, fight against inflammation, and prevent against plaque build-up in the arteries. The cholesterol goal that your provider will aim for is individualized depending on other health factors. Typically, it is desirable for both men and women to be above 60 mg/dl. Men are at risk when HDL is less than 40 mg/dl and women are at risk when HDL is less than 50 mg/dl. The first line for treating high cholesterol levels is lifestyle management before implementing cholesterol medications to protect the heart such as statins, niacin, and fibrates. It’s All About Moderation Although alcohol is typically associated with liver disease, heart failure, increased cancer risk, and neurologic complications when used excessively, it can be incorporated into a healthy diet for modest health benefits. Red wine intake at a moderate and appropriate amount can have a positive impact on the body such as on cardiovascular function especially in preventing coronary heart disease and decreasing risk of a heart attack. Research suggests that light to moderate wine consumption is linked to a forty to seventy percent decrease in coronary heart disease when compared with no drinking or heavy alcohol consumption. Polyphenols are found in red wine and appear to have antioxidant effects and immunomodulatory properties. Polyphenols also have a vasodilator property that could contribute to a decrease in blood pressure and therefore, adverse cardiovascular risk. Polyphenols are found mostly in plants but also in foods made from plants such as tea, coffee, cocoa, and olive oil. About HDL Cholesterol HDL cholesterol may rise by ten percent with consumption of two to three drinks per day. A study with 38,826 women and 18,225 men found that 30 grams of alcohol per day can increase HDL cholesterol by 4.0 mg/dl and thereby reduces the risk of a heart attack. The increase in HDL cholesterol may be due to a decrease in the cholesteryl ester transfer protein activity. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein plays a part in exchange of lipids of HDL cholesterol for triglycerides. Therefore, wine consumption decreases cholesteryl ester transfer protein activity and decreases the exchange of HDL for triglycerides. Wine may also increase apolipoprotein A-I and A-II that is found within HDL cholesterol. What Else You Can Do For those considering wine for improving cholesterol, this should also be paired with smoking cessation, physical activity, and overall healthy diet for the best effects. A healthy cholesterol diet should also include cutting sugar intake, and moderate fatty fish, olive oil, and dark chocolate intake. Purple foods specifically can both raise good cholesterol and lower LDL levels due to the chemical anthocyanins found in these fruits and vegetables. A standard alcoholic drink is considered five ounces of wine and moderate drinking is less than two drinks per day in women and fewer than three drinks per day for men. For those that exceed this limit, wine consumption is associated with an increased mortality and risk for sudden death. Red wine...

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5 Wine Facts That Will Impress Your Friends

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Wine Blog | 0 comments

Although wine has been around for thousands of years, there are a number of facts about it that many people do not know. Here are some fun and interesting facts you can use as great conversation starters, or to impress your friends. 1. Wine is Popular For Young People Wine is one of the most sought after alcohols among younger drinkers. Yes, it’s true. As a matter of fact, beer has seen a drastic decrease in sales over the last 10 years. Among college students, beer is actually the third choice, behind hard alcohol/malt liquor and wine. Wine is a lot less advertised than its chief competitor, beer, but one thing that wine has that beer doesn’t, is a sense of sophistication. Although wine commercials are targeted to a different demographic than beer, it is the more preferred choice. Wine is a lot more diverse, and can be mixed with so many other sodas and fruits.  2. Wine can also be made in the comfort of your own home Although we believe Miles Wine Cellars has absolutely the best wine, you can make wine with simple ingredients you can find in your own home. Wine and beer making is a popular hobby and only helps people appreciate what goes into making high quality wines. Some hobbyists use Grape juice concentrate, yeast, berries and even plum and watermelons! You can buy wine kits as well, which make the process so much easier. You can generally find a wine kit in many stores, including major department stores. There are a few pieces of equipment you will want to have to make sure that your wine making experience is a good one. You will want a Gallon Jug, a small measuring cup, a siphon hose that is between 4 and 8 feet. You will also want a large plastic funnel. It is extremely important you have all the equipment in your home before you start making your wine because sometimes if you aren’t extremely timely, things can go bad. Once you start making the wine, making an extra trip to the store in the middle of the process can be the difference between good tasting wine, and sour tasting wine. It is important to have a ‘wine tongue’ as well. 3. What is a wine tongue you ask? You need to be able to distinguish between good tasting wine and bad tasting wine. Wine is an acquired taste, and unless you are a wine connoisseur, you won’t be able to tell the difference between boxed wine and expensive wine. It’s important that you know which foods taste best with which wines, as there are so many different variations of wine. In the movie “City Slickers”, there was a professional wine taster who rode along with Billy Crystal. He would go on and on about which wines tasted good with different kinds of food, from ice cream to salads. 4. The top wine producing countries are: 1) France 2) Italy 3) Spain 4) United States 5) China. Wine consumption has almost tripled in China since 1985. Why is this? Well, the answer is really more complicated than one might think. As China moves towards capitalism, so to does their wine consumption and production. The Chinese have a communist government but they are slowly allowing their citizens to invest in foreign markets. The biggest investment the Chinese are making is towards urban development. Now, it is widely been said that the Chinese housing market is in a bubble much like that of the 2008 United States. Many Chinese are trying to pull their money...

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