Uncorked Ventures Blog
As you might expect, December is an incredibly busy time of year for us here at Uncorked Ventures. I think making use of this space whenever possible makes a ton of sense and given my relative lack of time during this time of year (hey, call to order a wine club or gift basket and I might answer myself) I thought another guest post might be in order. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! Oh and thanks Doreen for sharing our first wine storage article. It's been said (and studied I might add) that 98% of wine is consumed within 48 hours of being purchased and even among our high end wine club customers, not all have cellars, but I'd be willing to bet that a greater number of our customers are patient with their wine than the average group of consumers.
Wine is a really great drink that can enhance your meals and even provide you with a lot of great health benefits. Collecting wine is a really great hobby as well and knowing some essential facts about wine can be a great conversation topic at dinner parties.
In order to ensure that your wine tastes great it is a good idea to pay attention to the way you store it.Here are some important tips for storing wine correctly.
The Right Temperature
One of the most important things to consider when storing wine is the temperature it is stored in. The key is to try and find a middle ground for not keeping them too cool or too warm.
It is essential to know that heat is the worst thing for a wine bottle. Storing your wine in any temperature above 20 degree Celsius for a long period and your wine will age quicker than desired.
Ideally you want to store your wine in temperatures between 7 to 18 degrees Celsius.
Yet this also doesn’t mean that storing wine in a colder temperature is going to be good for the wine either. For example, keeping your wine bottles in the fridge for longer than two to three months can result in the cork drying out and letting air inside the bottle.
If you are only going to store the wine bottle for a few months or even less than two years then you don’t need to worry too much about the temperature. As long as it doesn’t fluctuate too much your wines will be just wine.
Keep Light Away
Even more important than temperature is the amount of light the bottle is exposed to. The best is to keep your bottles stored away from direct sunlight or light in general. A box or a cupboard might be a really good idea to consider.
There are a lot of great ideas for storing wines and you don’t necessarily need to invest into a special wine cellar or a cooler either. Check out tips from websites such as BHG.com and get inspired.
Sideways Whenever Possible
One thing that you must keep in mind, especially with cork bottles, is that they need to be kept sideways. This is because having the bottle sideways will allow the wine to touch the cork and keep it moist.
And when the cork is moist it won’t shrink and allow the air in. Once air gets inside the wine bottle it’ll quite quickly turn bad. Therefore stay on the safe side with your wine and store it sideways.
Bottles That Have Been Opened
Sometimes you open a wine bottle but won’t finish it all in one go and you might worry if it’ll stay good for the next time. But there are ways to ensure you get to enjoy a glass on the next day as well.
Try to re-cork the wine as best as you can or buy a reusable wine cork that allows you to pump out the air as well. White wines tend to stay good for around two days and red wines can last one day longer in the fridge.
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Doreen loves wine and she is especially interested in learning more about the wine vintage chart and the history of wine. When she isn’t browsing the web for great wines she likes to spend time planning her next trip abroad.
You may have noticed that we're allowing a limited number of guest authors in this space. I decided to allow guest posts for a few simple reasons. First, I'm sure that our customers and readers are ready for a different voice every once in a while. Secondly, many of the guest authors that we're lining up, bring different and interesting perspectives to the world of wine and our wine clubs. Anythony Roberts who wrote the following is a great example of someone who brings a different and unique perspective. He's Australian and a chef, both of which are different perspectives than I offer. In any case, enjoy!
Wine has enjoyed increasing popularity in the past few years, more so as a gift for the holidays or special events. Almost everyone will appreciate wine at a party, a special family event, or a holiday. As the popularity of wine gifts increases, so does the boredom surrounding its use as a gift. This means you'll need some new ideas in ensuring that the recipient of your gift loves it. We can rely on the fact that there are several flavors of wine; therefore it is not too difficult to add a special touch that will make the gift suit the special tastes of the person it's meant for. This makes the gift immensely appreciated.
Tips for Wine Gifts
Take note of the following tips, should you want to add some sparkle to an event or just make a special gift basket gift filled with wine.
Lighthearted wine is suitable for informal occasions like father's day. If you require something that will go perfectly with pizza or maybe a special dinner including roast chicken, then going with Zinfandel is a good idea.
If the gathering is for the celebration of a special event such as Christmas Eve, then champagne will be perfect. You can add whistles, glassware, confetti and party hats to spruce up the basket gift wine.
When Thanksgiving Day arrives, candles, little pumpkins and candy corn can all be introduced to improve the attractiveness of the occasion. You can also decorate the basket with sweet candies.
Wine for Diet-Conscious
Sometimes the gift may be intended for someone who is on a special diet. This may mean that you need to choose a wine with low calories and/or low alcohol. Some wines are made from grapes picked before they had the chance to build up much sugar. Some others contain sucralose as a sweetener instead of usual sugars. You can choose Bacardi's Island Breeze, or White Lie from Beringer Blass Wine Estates. These boast of low calories and alcohol levels when compared to their California counterparts.
If the event is a wedding, then a perfect idea would be purchasing a wine made in the same year the couple is getting married. You can purchase unlabelled wine online or directly from a winery and then create a customized label with the couple's name. Attractive labels can be made from any home computer. The front label can be customized with the couple's name and the date of the wedding while the back label can contain a love note, a poem or a special message for the couple. You can then gift wrap the wine and a perfect gift is born.
Personalized Wine Gifts
In making the choice of a perfect wine gift, you must consider the particular like of the individual for whom the gift is meant. It is probably not a good idea to give champagne to someone who doesn't like champagne. You run the risk of offending the person. Personalizing a wine gift on a special holiday will make the person feel loved and make the gift seem very thoughtful.
Local food and wine magazines can help you with information regarding wine and other items that can be included in a basket gift wine. The internet will also aid your search. Should you know any wine enthusiasts, you can approach them for advice. You can make your purchase at a local wine shop. Attendants at these shops are always willing to offer you help and advice.
A wine gift doesn't necessarily have to be expensive to be appreciated. Special gifts can be gotten while remaining on a small budget. Just remember the purpose of the gift and the occasion it's meant for.
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Anthony Roberts is a chef and an avid blogger on food and wine. He also gives tips and ideas on how to make dishes tastes even better with the right kind of wine. He has featured wines such as chardonnay, and pinot gris. He recently visited Clare Valley in Australia and wrote interesting things about its vineyard.
There's nothing more sad than an elaborately planned meal with hastally served drinks.You agonized over those recipes, so why would you allow the drinks to clash with your culinary triumphs? This year is especially celebratory considering many of us will be enjoying the meal by the light of the menorah. Holy sequined yarmulkes! Wasn't pairing stuff with turkey and stuffing hard enough?
Yes, it can be tough to pair a meal that manages to hit almost every note on the flavor spectrum between savory and sweet, yet there are ways to make it work with hardly any effort.
Why not start by offering your guests a fine sherry? An Amontillado awakens the palate without the summery brine of a Manzanilla or Fino, and is an elegant way to begin the festivities. It's delicious with cheeses, nuts and patés as well as those cute little savory muffins your friend brought over. Also, it’s fantastic with butternut squash soup - you might even want to drizzle some in it!
You could also begin with a hard cider. On its own, it's certainly festive enough, but it's also a fine base for sparkling punch! Buy a few bottles, empty them into a pretty bowl, add some cranberry, plum, blood orange, pear or apple liqueur (or a combination thereof), and maybe a little whiskey or brandy, cut up some orange wheels, plonk in some cinnamon sticks and grate a little nutmeg over it. Et voilà! You have yourself a sparkling treat that will keep everyone busy while you figure out what to do about the pan of brussel sprouts you just accidentally dropped on the kitchen floor. Move along, nothing to see here…
As for wine, there are several styles that are a natural match with the roastiness of the turkey, the herbs and vegetal flavors or other dishes, but also light enough to tackle the sweetness of sauces and side dishes, and if you're eating for two holidays, the latkes! Red Zinfandel is a big, fruity favorite, plus for a traditional American holiday, you might want to stay 'Merican with your wine choices. Just keep in mind that many zins have a higher ABV, which can bring on that feeling of Big Meal Bluch (™) pretty fast.
Grenache is what I like to call a wine "shape-shifter," because it can have a way of matching almost anything along the meal, especially in a good blend like a Gigondas or other Rhone blends, or a Spanish Priorat. Another solid choice is something in the Cabernet Franc family, with an earthy backbone and fruit up front, like a Chinon. Then of course, Thanksgiving coincides with that time of year - Les Beaujolais Nouveaus est arrivée! Though if that is too light and fruity for your tastes, a Beaujolais Village is always an excellent choice for this type of meal, and can be served with a slight chill. A bonus for an overheated apartment filled with extra guests.
Finally, what to serve with all those desserts? Coffee, of course! Give your guests a little shot of coffee liqueur, or if that’s not your thing, there's always pumpkin liqueur or some fine pear or apple brandy. It's also good to have these on hand to bake right into your recipes! Besides, during cleanup, you're going to need a good quaff to reward yourself.
Cheers, and happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And a merry Gobble Tov!
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Amanda Schuster is a native New Yorker, but without much of the accent. The mobile landscape of the city has taken her on a whirlwind journey from Medieval historian, photo archivist, jewelry designer and invitation specialist to earning her sommelier certification in late 2005. After working as a retail wine and spirits buyer and freelance brand promoter, she turned to the one thing that has stayed a constant all these years – her love of writing. She has published dozens of articles on cocktails, spirits, wine and other culinary interests across the web, including on DrinkUpNY.com. She is currently working on her first novel and her favorite cocktail is a Manhattan.
Every once in a while, it’s nice to get a real honest feel good story. For us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, last week was largely centered on the story of Bat Kid. The story’s pretty simple-a five year old little boy has effectively beat Cancer after close to a four year struggle. How the city of San Francisco came together to celebrate became just as important and I think offered a nice beginning to the holiday season. Oh did I mention that the kid loves, like really LOVES Batman, so the city set up an entire day long of capers for him to stop while wearing a batsuit and driving around in a batmobile. It’s the kind of thing that every adult kid would want to do if given the chance and this little boy is certainly deserving and a good reminder of what’s possible. As the father of a toddler myself, I can also appreciate the many things a sick kid might miss, especially as my son seems to think two daily park trips is an essential part of life, raining or not these days.
Of course, this story went well beyond local interest, showing up on every major national and international news outlet available, even receiving President Obama’s first Vine message, in large part because of the social media work of the Clever Girls Collective.
While this isn’t necessarily a wine related blog post, I thought a social media startup doing something this intense and this well, for free deserves a mention and our respect.
If you’re looking for a social media company to work with, I’d say one that enticed the President to respond to their pitch, would be worth a phone call don’t you think?
We're happy to be hosting #winechat tonight with a group of bloggers who received two bottles from Wesley Ashley Wines. We're featuring these two wines, along with an Oregon Pinot Noir in our Special Selections Wine Club this month.
Instead of including newsletters in our sample shipments, we thought that simply adding our newsletter online....would make more sense as well as making the entire event more accessible for anyone who chooses to take part.
About Wesley Ashley: Only the grandson of two Baptist ministers could be brave enough to explore the question; does wine have a soul? Is the science of wine the most important aspect, or is there something intrinsic to specific wines, the sense of place that it comes from and some other incalculable quality that leads to some being better than others. In this space, we don’t typically spend a ton of time talking about the people behind the brands but in this case Wesley Ashley is being pushed forward first and foremost by proprietor James Sloate who comes from an influential and successful background in real estate, into the wine industry for the first time. Wesley Ashley is named after his son (whose first name is his middle name) as well as his daughter and takes an interesting look at building a wine brand. What you have in your glass are two interesting and unique looks into the Rhone varietals from Santa Barbara County, both of which should pair incredibly well with food. Secondly, Wesley Ashley is making a series of keg wines, at lower price points, in compostable or recyclable containers, which are starting to make significant headway into restaurants in the east bay area of San Francisco. I met Sloate at his urban warehouse which contains both the Wesley Ashley offices, as well as some of their storage and production facilities and came away impressed with both his passion for wine and his brand, while noticing immediately that this is a better funded winery operation than many startups we run into. In any case, the wine is extemporary and deserves a space on your dinner table here in the near future.
Tasting Notes Cuvee Blanc: Stereotypical and enjoyable extremely aromatic Rhone white, only 250 cases of total production shows notes of pear, apricot and slight floral accents. Creamy and silky texture, but enough backbone to give your mouth some warmth (one of the reasons we liked it with turkey). Satisfying without length on the finish.
Tasting Notes Cuvee: Largely Grenache (75%), the classic strawberry flavors from that varietal are evident from the nose, to the palate. There is also plenty of spice imparted from the Syrah and an innovative winemaking technique of fermenting the Syrah (20% of the final blend) and Petite Sirah (5%) together and allowing that fermentation to end while already in barrel, has left a nice mouth feel and some oak and vanilla flavors from the wood that you don’t normally have in Grenache. If you’re someone wanting a Grenache with some more weight, this is a good bet and a good combo.
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