Why Not Wine?
Now that we have all made it through the hectic holiday rush and are into the first couple of months of 2019, it’s time to take a breather and relax! Why not a wine soiree? This is a great time for a carefree weekend, or simply celebrate the approaching arrival of Spring.
Wine is a topic that I have a passion for. It is very hard to write about all of the different styles of wines that are out there and come to a conclusion which is the best wine, since we all know, wine is very subjective and appeal to people in many different ways.
One wine that I truly have a passion for is Chardonnay. A chardonnay is a wonderful white wine that will take you into every season. Be it a chardonnay aged in an oak barrel or a stainless barrel, it is the go-to wine! In fact, there are certain chardonnays that have been called “cougar crack”, I will leave that to your imagination, lol. With all of the different varietals, there are certain temperatures that wines should be chilled to so you enjoy their full tasting characteristics. Typically, with chardonnays, you want to chill it in the refrigerator or wine refrigerator for around two hours before serving. This amount of chill time will help the wine’s subtle notes to shine. Once opened, I like to have my wine retain perfect temperature balance by using a wine chiller. My favourite chiller is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sommelier 18/10 Brushed Stainless Steel Wine Cooler on sale at under $40.
Speaking of temperatures, according to Wine Spectator Magazine, the proper temperatures to serve wine are:
- Madeiras dry and medium bodied should be served at 54° F or 12° C. Medium rich and rich bodied around 61° F or 16° C.
- Ports (fortified wines) should be around 60°- 65° F or ~15° - 18°C.
- Roses, Pinot Grigios and Champagnes (light dry white wines, Rosés, sparkling wines) fall into the 40°- 50° F or 4°- 10° C.
- Chardonnays and Beaujolais (full bodied whites and light, fruity reds) serve at 50°- 60° F or 10° - 15° C.
- Pinots, Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons (full bodied reds) reside perfectly at the 60° - 65° F to 10° - 18° C.
There are many opinions on whether you should aerate wine. Aeration can take place in many ways from letting the opened bottle of wine “breathe” or even swirling the wine in your glass will allow it to aerate and open up. The purpose of aeration or breathing is to expand the surface area of wine, which allows the air to mingle with it enhancing the aromatic profile and/or softer tannins. If you have limited time allowing the wine to breath or you like your wine to be softer, a handy aerator will do the trick in minutes. The Trudeau Aroma Wine Aerator allows the wine to breathe (aerate) and can also be used for storing the wine not finished.
Wine’s characteristics are not only accentuated through temperature but also through the glass that it’s poured in. One particular varietal is the dessert wine, where temperature and the perfect glass make a huge difference in the notes and characteristics of the wine. A dessert wine can turn a great meal into a magnificent meal when paired with the perfect dessert! The shape of the glass allows the wine to breathe, open up and smell the bouquet of all of the wine’s subtle aromas.
The Riedel Vinum wine glass was the first machine made glass based on the characteristics of the grape varietal. These glasses have been tested in tasting workshops to produce the perfect bowl shape, subtle narrowing at the top and stem for the wine connoisseur. Impress your guests with these beautiful Riedel Vinum - Sauvignon Blanc / Dessert Wine Glasses on sale for under $65.
Cuisinart is prominent in the culinary world. Leave it to them to create an electric wine opener that takes away the effort involved in the opening process. The cordless and lightweight Cuisinart Electric Wine Opener can open fifty bottles of wine on one charge! This opener has its own foil cutter in the charging base. This opener is as elegant as is wine and is on sale for a limited time at over 50% its original price!
With wine comes food. The Le Creuset 2QT Cherry Fondue 8 Piece Set really gets the party started! User friendly and cast iron to provide perfect heating makes this fondue pot the centerpiece of the table. Six forks accompany the set for dipping your favorite breads and veggies into your gooey sauce.
The recipe below is from butterwithasideofbread and is one of the best fondue recipes I have tried.
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup quality shredded Mild Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup quality shredded Swiss cheese
- Dippers for fondue: Ham, French bread, apples, potatoes, veggies, etc.
- Melt the butter over low heat in your fondue pot and then add cornstarch, stirring until well combined.
- Mix the salt in well and then add the milk. Stir continually over medium-low heat until boiling. Continue to stir and boil the mixture for one minute.
- Turn the heat down slightly and then add the cheese. Mix just until the cheese is melted and then serve with all your favorite dippers!
And lastly with wine, there is chocolate! The Brix Chocolate for Wine Collection Variety Gift Set is the perfect hostess gift that even comes with a wine pairing guide! At less than $30, your hosts will find your gift the best in show, guaranteed!