Category Archives: Wine Terms

Keeping it Healthy: Organic Wines

 

Organic seems to be the trend these days. We want to consume foods that are pesticide free and all natural. This is the case with wine as well. But what are the benefits of drinking Organic wines?

sulfites-If you’re a newbie to wine I’m sure you’re asking what are sulfites? Well sulfites are a salt or an acid that happens to wine naturally. However added sulfites are used for the preservation of wines. The less sulfites a wine contains, the healthier it will be for your body.

No Chemicals and Pesticides-Organic wines are not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides which means its better for you. The USDA says,”Organic wine is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations”

Organic Grapes-All organic foods are grown with very strict regulations. Wineries that create organic wines do not add flavors such as oak chips to their wine. Addtionally these wineries use very basic wine making techniques. Keep it all natural.

If you’re going the Organic Wine way remember to read the label. Some wines may be labeled “made with organic grapes”, this means that 70% of their grapes come from organic sources.

If you are looking for some great organic wine you should look at Frog Leap. And of course Whole Foods always has a great selection of Organic Wines.

Cheers!
Lissette

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Swing on Over to Olympia, WA

Just 40-50 minutes outside of Seattle you’ll find the city of Olympia. And in this quiet capital city of Washington you’ll find Swing Wine Bar. What makes this place unique is the location. It sits on top of a hill over looking Capitol Lake.  You’ll find that the wine is outstanding and that you can’t seem to go wrong with their flights. The presentation (see picture) is differently and I personally loved it.

Why was I in Olympia? Turns out one of my best friends was getting married and she wanted to have her “last supper” at Swing Wine Bar. Well this would be a great place to have a last supper. The food was outstanding.  We started our meal with Gorgonzola Stuffed Mushrooms and Charcuterie and Cheese Platter. Anyone who loves wine knows that a good meet and cheese combo can really make your wine stand out in flavor. I picked a great red flight called “Let’s Be Franc”. Most of you will be surprised that I didn’t get a Pinot Noir but I have to change it up once in a while.

The “Let’s Be Franc” flight consisted of:

  • Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008, Yakima Valley, WA
  • Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009, Columbia Valley, WA

The Chinook Cabernet Franc 2008 was lighter then I expected. Lots of cherries and  raspberries flavor with hints of licorice to end the taste. Certainly a wine to have on a daily basis with friends or at home after a long day at work.

Whidbey Island Winery Cabernet Franc 2008 had hints of cranberry and was a medium bodied. I paired this great wine with my dinner, Cedar Plank Salmon. Certainly a great idea if I may say so myself. I was happy with the combo and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have red wine with fish.

Finally the Corvidae The Keeper Cabernet Franc 2009 was full bodied but extremely tasty. I capped my night with a nice fruity flavor and hints of violet. Certainly a great way to toast the new bride and her new life.

The moral of this post is to give you some more insight on Washington Wines and also let you in on the adorable wine bars outside of Seattle. If you find yourself there you should go and enjoy.

Cheers!

Rose: A great Summer Wine

Whispering Angel Rose

 

For most people when they see a pink wine they immediately assume its White Zinfandel and let’s be honest a lot of people are not fans of White Zin, myself included, but White Zinfandel is not the only pink wine out there and good dry Rose can actually be quite delicious.

If you’re thinking come on pink wine? Really? I was right there with you. When my parents came back from Provence, France last spring, raving about the rose, I was skeptical, but I was willing to give it a chance because I trust my parent’s judgment in wine… for the most part.

The first Rose I tried I was not enamored with. It was ok but nothing I would ever buy again. The second rose I had however was light and crisp and in my opinion, had more oomph to it then most white wines. After trying a few more Roses I discovered that a rose can be just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer day. As much as I love red wine sometimes it is just too much when it very hot out or when you’re eating something delicate like sea food. Being that I don’t love a lot of white wines, it was nice to find a good alternative for a summer wine. Read the rest of this entry

Learning How to Buy Wine

Lissette and I attended Bin School last night at Bin 36 for the “How to Buy Wine: An Insiders Guide” class. As always Bin 36  did a good job of providing lots of information about wines and the terms used to describe wines. It was an informative class and highlighted the do’s and don’ts of picking a wine. I found the price to be a little steep compared to other wine classes I’ve gone to ($36, eight wines) and I wish we had spent more time discussing the wines we actually tasted, but over all it was a good experience. For those who don’t want to pay $36 for a class, try the half hour Mini Bin classes at $15.

Key takeaways from the class:

  • Know how to describe what you like: demi-sec, dry, fruity, oak, light-bodied, full-bodied, earthy etc. (If you can describe what you like and give an example of a wine you like even better).
  • Retail mark up is double so if the wine shop paid $5 for the bottle you will pay about $10 Read the rest of this entry

What Does Corked Mean?

Have you ever wondered why people swirl, sniff and taste a wine before they begin drinking it? It’s not because they are pretentious and trying to look sophisticated, they are actually trying to detect whether a bottle of wine is corked.

What is corked wine?

You may be wondering what a corked wine is, in the simplest of terms it’s a bottle of wine that has gone bad before it is opened. Now this is really dumbing down what it really is so I’m going to give you the more complicated answer too.

Corked wine or cork taint is usually caused when a cork is contaminated with  TCA (2,4,6- trichloroanisole), though sometimes other factors can cause a wine to be corked. A wine with cork taint is perfectly safe to drink but it drastically changes the normal characteristic of the wine.  It only takes a very minuscule amount of TCA on a cork to ruin a bottle of wine; we’re talking parts per trillion and depending on the amount of TCA present it may not be obvious a wine has been tainted. Approximately 3% to 5% of corks are tainted, depending on whom you talk to (some say more then that other say it’s less then that). Read the rest of this entry

Wine Speak 101

Have you ever been at a wine tasting and been asked to speak about the wine? Did you have no idea what to say other than you liked or disliked the wine? Here are some terms to help you sound like wine connoisseur whether you know anything about wine or not. 

Full-Bodied- This describes a wine that has a rich or heavier feel to it. They are usually complex and the flavor lingers in your mouth (Cabernet and Bordeaux are good examples of wine that are often full-bodied)

Thin- This is the opposite of full-bodied. The wines are usually not as complex and the flavor does not linger on your palette. Read the rest of this entry

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