Choosing the right wine to complement daily meals is an art that only a few people possess. Those who fully understand the art often try to painstakingly balance flavors by choosing the right wine color and even ensuring that the wine in question is served under the right temperatures. The results are as you may expect, meals that can only be described as delicious. That is simply because wine, even in its simplest form can make any dish enjoyable. Read on to learn more on basic wine storage and pairing tips that can help you make your next meal memorable.
Understand your choice of wine
Always note that wine flavors are derived from a few specific components like sugar, fruit, alcohol and acid. But it does not end at just wine because you also have to consider the food you are about to serve. With that in mind, consider the food’s main components such as acid, fat, salt and sugar. You can opt for a contrasting pairing or a similar one. Take macaroni in a thick cream sauce for instance. You can choose to cut through the creamy sauce with a crisp, dry unoaked white wine. Better yet, you can wrap the wine flavor around the rich sauce by choosing soft white wine.
Understand food fat element
Most foods that pair well with different wine varieties feature high fat levels. Wine steps in to cut the fat and make the food taste much better. So when matching or pairing wine with any fatty good, be keen to use the wine you choose to balance the food’s fat with the wine’s acid. That explains why steak always tastes good with any red wine. Steak’s protein simply and fat simply softens up the wines mouth drying tannins. This goes a long way to set up one’s tongue for the wine’s grapes or berries and meaty flavors of steak.
The acid element
Acid adds never, lift and freshness to wine. Its effect on food is exactly the same kind of effect lemon has on fish. Any easy way to go about choosing wine with the right amount of acidity is to simply choose wine that has equal acid levels with the meal you wish to serve has. Sweet wine with low acid levels paired with a sweet meal will only make wine taste bland and washed out.
The salt element
Salty foods will certainly limit your wine choices. With a bit of imagination however, you can always come up with remarkable combinations of sweet wines and salty foods. To create the right balance, take into account the fact that salt can make any oak based wine taste weird. Your choice of wine anytime you have salty meals would be limited to champagne and other semi-tart wines. All is not lost though as far as choosing the right wine for salty meals is concerned. You will have a downhill task choosing the right wine to pair with any salty acidic food. Simply go for any acidic wine as the acid will clean out the salt and balance the seafood’s rich flavor.
You must have heard people saying, ‘serve red wines at room temperature and white wines chilled.’ But do you know what is the ideal room temperature for wines and how cold is considered as chilled?
Temperature plays a very important role when it comes to serving wines and storing them. Extreme high temperature can mature the wines quickly and give it a cooked flavor whereas a too cold temperature can prevent your wine from maturing properly and this way it will not develop the flavor you would be expecting.
When you store your wines in wine cabinets, make sure that the temperature remains somewhere between fifty five and sixty degrees Fahrenheit. A slight difference will not make much difference but you must make an effort to ensure a consistent temperature.
There are many people who prefer to have wine fridge for storing their wines because they are ideal for maintaining the ideal temperature of wines that are for immediate consumption. These fridges come in a number of configurations and sizes making it possible for the consumer to arrange small and large bottles easily. Some wine storage units are specially designed for long term storage and do consider factors like vibration, humidity and light as they are integral variables in storing and aging of wine.
Handful tips when serving wines
Even if you have chosen the right storage unit for your wines, you need to pay attention to temperature when opening the bottles as it can affect the taste.
• White wines are best when served chilled but you must never overdo it by serving it too cold. There are times when white wines are served at such a frigid temperature that you simply lose the aroma as it is stunned. Except for sparkling wines, you must check whether the serving glass appears frosty or not. If it is, then the wine is too cold.
• It may look quite feasible to pop your wine bottles into the freezer for a quick cool down, but you really need to be careful. You may end up getting ‘wine-cicle’ and once your wine is frozen, you will never regain its original taste and flavor.
• Wine chillers are always a good option. You may fill them with water, ice and a pinch of salt to cool your wine to the ideal temperature. Later, you transfer it to the cooler and enjoy the drink.
Temperature guidelines for serving wines
• The ideal temperature for sparkling wines is forty to forty five degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature prevents the wine from foaming up and makes it easier to control the cork.
• Sweeter wines are served at forty three to forty five degrees Fahrenheit whereas lighter wines are served a bit warmer and the temperature should be kept at forty five to fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
• Do you find your wine to be extremely chilled? Just immerse your wine bottle in warm water for several minutes before you serve.
• In case you do not have wine cellars for storing your wine, you can just put your red wines in refrigerator for about fifteen to twenty minutes before serving them and take out your white wines for the same period of time before you serve.
A true hunter never goes into the jungle without his bow and arrow. The two equipment are a must have for him. It is the same with wine lovers and a few wine storage and serving equipment. There are wine equipment that a wine enthusiast can never do without. Forget about wine cabinets and such like equipment. They are of course, important. But there are other wine accessories that stand out as important and a must have for any wine lover.
The list for such equipment is long – from caddies and cork candles to mini wine tasting sets and assorted wine glasses. Fortunately, you only need basic wine accessories to enjoy wine. With that in mind, consider purchasing the following wine infused goodies. Better yet, consider surprising your wine enthusiast friend with the same accessories as gifts.
Invest in a good wine chiller and an ice bucket if you love your wine chilled. One good thing with wine coolers is the fact that you can buy one and forget about ever buying another for a long time. Go for ones made of stainless steel as they last and hardly rust. There is also the fact that you can get quirky, appealing, exquisite and unusual pieces of wine coolers at reasonable prices. If your pocket allows it, go for a customized wine cooler.
Don’t just serve your guests with wine straight from the bottle. Add some sophistication and style by going for a unique wine decanter. The most appealing ones in the market are quiet pricy. Not to worry though because you will eventually see its worth. Apart from storing wine without making it go stale, a good decanter can complement your wine rack and improve its aesthetic appeal. Be sure to consider antique wine decanters. They are charming and can easily set you apart from other wine enthusiasts as a special and passionate wine lover.
This can make a perfect birthday gift. Most wine lovers hardly think about it. Surprising one with a wine cradle is therefore one of the smartest gift ideas one can think of. Wine cradles are simply a wire or wicker basket designed to hold the wine bottle in style. It can be a good answer when one is in search of a gift that is value priced yet handy.
Wine stoppers and openers
The catch here is to think outside the box and find something unique. This should not trouble you as most antique shops have appealing wine stoppers and openers. Be keen on some wine openers though. Consider the price tag, then make sure that the opener is sturdy and made of stainless steel.
You may have to spend a significant sum of money here but this is an item you will buy just once and can enjoy its service for long. That is why wine racks are among the most purchased accessories by wine lovers since it they help with storage perfectly. It gets better with the fact that you can buy wine racks with a quirky wine quote or a romantic message for your loved one!
If you feel that your wine collection has substantially increased over the period of time, then you are surely in need of a better storage system. Being a passionate wine collector, it must be your dream to be the owner of a state-of-the-art wine cellar. This will enable you to showcase your entire wine collection in a style. You will be able to find the right bottle to match with the menu when you invite over.
An ideal wine cellar is the one that has the right type of racks to hold your valuable possession with style. Since wine racks are an integral part of wine cellars, the style of racks creates a huge impact. There are different types of racks designed these days that are broadly categorized into five main groups. Here is a brief insight into these styles that will help you in choosing the perfect one for your cellar.
Traditional redwood racks
Redwood is considered to be one of the most beautiful unfinished choices for many people. Although it is not ideal for all types of environment but fortunately, cool and dry conditions of a typical wine cellar is perfect for redwood in maintaining its look and appearance for many years to come. Most of the traditional redwood racks are available in kits. Therefore you can easily mix and match a few rack heights and come up with something extra ordinary.
Rustic pine racking
Are you looking for a simple yet elegant wine racks? If yes, then rustic pine racks are meant for you. There are some wine wood racks that are coated with lacquers and finishes these days. It is important to remember that they can have a direct impact on the taste of your wine. This is not the case with rustic pine racks because they are made of high quality wood that is free from any potential damaging finishes.
Designer wine racking
These racks are meant for those who are looking for a customized look with some interesting shapes and sizes. These racks look custom and are available in plethora of sizes and styles that no one will ever get to know that they were not built just for your space.
These racks are the best option for the wine collectors who love versatility. The vintage wine racks are easily available in different styles and designs. The best part about their design is that they keep the labels of wine bottle out, making it easy for the owner to find the right type of wine quickly. The latest series of these racks comprise of chrome plated metal rods and acrylic panels to give an unconventional look to your wine collection.
If you are looking for a floor-to-ceiling rack for wine bottles then the winemaker racks are perfect for you. These racks are usually available in three and four foot height and can be easily stacked on top of each other. This is how you can have a perfect seamless wall of rack irrespective of the height of your ceiling.
Whenever you match your meals with wine, this can turn out to be a very rewarding experience. In as much as it can be overwhelming and confusing trying to decide which is the best wine when facing a wall of wine, there are five secrets which can help you identify which one is best.
The primary goal will be identifying the wine that accentuates the both the flavors in the wine and food. You need not be an expert to do this. Just follow the steps below and you can be on your way to cooking food with wine like a pro.
Watch Your Weight
This refers to the weight of the food, not yours. The easiest way for you to identify a good combination is comparing like with like. For instance, if you are preparing a light dish, then the wine will have to be light. Alternatively, if the dish has varying flavors, weight and spice, then you will have to select the wine that can match up to such food.
Wines such as Vernaccia or Muscadet will go well with light foods such as salads, veggies and delicate white fish, but for those which are a bit more complicated, you can use Chardonnay for the white and probably Pinot Noir for the red.
In the case of bigger, heavier, and richer flavors such as T-bone steaks or lasagna, then red wine with big tannis will be able to accommodate those varying tastes and at the same time still retain that sweet taste. Here, you might consider using Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel wines.
Match Wine with Sauce
Truth be told, most dishes require some sort of sauce including that grilled steak which is usually accompanied by béarnaise. Thus, instead of using fish, meat or chicken to pair with your wine, you can consider using sauce. This means that you will need a rich wine to stand up to the saucy creamy richness that is in chicken Florentine such as a Burgundian Macon which has a bit of oak ageing.
If you are running out of time, this can be the best option available. By simply looking at the wine, you can be able to ascertain what it will pair easily with. For example, a light bright wine featuring hints of green would blend well with dishes such as light white fish, lettuce salads or even fresh green vegetables.
Alternatively, white wine with hints of gold or deep lemon color would blend well with dishes having more weight such as caper sauce or lemon butter.
To prevent the food or the wine dominating, you can use light reds with the lighter flavors in dishes such as butter squash risotto. For robust foods such as steaks and stews, you can use the dark wines.
Spice of Life
Since everyone loves a good Chinese or Thai meal every now and then, you can decide to use a contrasting wine if it has a slight pinch of spicy heat to avoid ruining the spices present. Thus, you can consider adding a touch of sweetness with wine such as Riesling Splatlese or Gewurztraminet to reduce the heat without ruining the flavor of your wine.
You should keep away from those big tannic reds which have the effect of accentuating the spices and ruining the flavor of the wine.
Back to the Land
The last trick you can use which is almost as old as wine itself is preparing traditional food to match the wines much in the same way that places like Italy do.
The most important thing when it comes to food and wine pairing is much the flavors. Thus, by following the above tips, you can avoid getting overwhelmed and confused when planning how to match the two when entertaining guests.
Most people have a hard time when it comes to where to place their wine racks. This is especially true for those who are only starting their wine collections and are thus looking for something small and functional and yet beautiful enough to show off to their friends and family. If you are having trouble with your wine racks, here are some of your most obvious options. However, these will only serve small and functional wine collections that could be on short term storage or long term storage.
The living room
If you have a small wine collection, chances are that you are really proud of it. What better way to show off than to have the racks in your living space. There is something about wine that goes with every home design. They bring in an element of class and in some cases culture as well. With the right rack design, you should be able to show off your wines in style right behind your prized sofas or like a small dark library in the farthest corner. Either way, remember to pick a dark spot for the wines.
Under the stairs
This is slowly gaining popularity too. Stacking wine racks under the stairs means you get to have your wines in a peaceful location in the house, without having to suffer the inconvenience of going to the basement each time you need a bottle. You may have to work on the cooling and the lighting issue here though. Also, if your staircase is not firm enough, the vibrations may pose a challenge for your wines.
The dining room
A small dining area is not exactly an excuse for not having your wine racks there. If you have a dining area, you can even install the racks and use them as a bench top. This however has to be a bench that is not used too frequently. The wines generally like stillness so they have to be kept in locations with the least possible disturbance.
The good old pantry
Pantries are not just a reserve for your clutter. They make a pretty good location for wine storage too. All you have to do is clean up and get rid of the clutter, or simply organize it and have it stored on one side. The racks can then be stacked up against the wall or in a closet design depending on your particular preferences. The pantry is especially good because you barely go there, and it is probably dark too. Your wines will surely love the space.
Wine racks are a very convenient storage solution for those with smaller wine collections. And even with limited space, you will be able to find some place to squeeze in your wine comfortably without compromising the look of your home. Simply remember the basic conditions for storing the wine and you will be good to go. These include darkness, cool temperatures, and stillness. The bottles also have to be stored on their sides, especially if they have corks.
Wine tasting involves all the basic human senses, which are touching, sight, taste and smell. Not forgetting your hearing sense is also involved since it is enticing to hear a cock popping from a wine bottle. Here are the five basic steps of tasting wine like a pro.
First keenly look at the wine, holding your glass as if you are examining its contents. A good wine ought to be clear. It should not have anything floating in it; if it does, it is considered flawed. Hold your glass against a white background and observe the wines color.
White wines are supposed to have a shade that ranges from nearly colorless to pale yellow or gold. Recent white wine can have a distant shade of green while as old wines may have a shade of brown due to age. Red wines are supposed to have a deep purple color, or reddish brown. Young red wine is supposed to be more purple while as older wines appear to be redder.
Swirling of wine not only releases the wines scent but also tells more concerning the wine. The viscosity of the lines the wine forms as it is slowly settling back to the base of the glass tells a lot about the wine. If the lines are light and move quickly this shows that the wine contains low alcohol content. When the lines are slow, then the wine has high alcohol content or high sugar content.
Quite a big percentage of tasting involves the sense of recognizing smell. Scientific studies have shown that smells trigger that part of the brain that relates with memory. Bring your glass close to your nose and take a sniff. Generally, wine has three different aromas: primary aromas which are as a result of being manufactured with grapes or any other fruit or herb, secondary aromas which are as a result of fermentation and tertiary aromas which are as a result of aging and oxidation. Good wines should have pleasant aromas that remind you of flowers, vegetables, chocolate, honey or fruits. Younger wines tend to have more of a fruity smell while as old wines have a more complex and insidious scent.
Our sense of taste can detect five common flavors: sour, bitter, salty, sweet and umami. Sip your wine and allow the wine to roll over your mouth. What does your mouth detect? Does it detect a fruity or sugary flavor? Does the wine feel light? Does it feel crispy and mouth-watering? Through sipping, you can find out a lot about the wine!
Once you have swallowed the wine you experience what professional wine tasters call finish a positive sign of the wines’ quality. The finish is the taste left in the mouth after you have swallowed the wine. Good wine should have a long finish; this is the ability to feel the scents and flavors left behind by the wine even after you have long swallowed the wine.
With these easy steps, you can now proudly attend any wine tasting event and confidently taste the wine like the professionals do.
A number of common misconceptions about wines have become unquestioned truths these days. These misconceptions or myths have with time hardened into common believes that inevitably have put up fences around everyone’s capacity to expand their wine exploration and knowledge. However, what everyone should note is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having favorite wine regions, or producers, or even grapes. The problem is limiting oneself to only those wines that one is familiar with as this closes the door to a vast unexplored territory that is occupied by a wide range of unknown wines. Without further ado, let’s discuss some of the hidden prejudices that fences people in where wines are concerned.
Age-worthy wines are always sealed with a cork
This is a common wine’s prejudice that fences a lot of people in. In actual sense, screw-capped wines do age just as well, in some cases even better. Some wineries exclusively use screwcaps to seal their wines. There are no technical reasons that prevent screw-capped types of wines from aging as well as those sealed with cork.
Boutique wineries make wines more authentic
While some of these wineries do produce authentic wines, many are not able to rise to the challenge due to different reasons. Big wineries on the other hand have deep pockets, talent and resources to produce boutique-style wines within the context of mass-production facilities.
Expensive wines are better than cheap wines
This often is admittedly the case. However, unlike other discretionary buys, wine prices are normally influenced by factors other than quality. Factors such as celebrity connections, scores, image and location, all have the effect of elevating the prices without impacting the quality.
While this is often the case, it should be noted that wines from less known regions, producers, and even grapes, in particular imported varieties, can also offer amazingly remarkable quality for much less. For example, consider the surprising popularity of Argentine Malbecs today. These $10 red wine bottles are flying off the shelves for a good reason – they offer better quality than most of the available locally produced and very expensive varieties.
Wines that come in huge bottles are often better
A massive bottle is without doubt a sign that the winery has made a considerable investment in packaging. It is also an indication that the bottle will have a relatively higher price tag compared to that of standard bottles. However, this normally does not guarantee that the actual contents inside the bottle will be exceptional. In most cases, it simply means that the wine inside the bottle is ripe, aged and jammy as it has been resting for an extended duration of time in expensive new oak barrels. Although great for some palates, it is not so good for others.
Big, tannic wines need more time to age
This is a common wine myth that contain a bit of truth in it. Over time, tannin drops out of solution and thus the need to decant older wines. However, a wine that is unbalanced right from the start remains so even when aged. A wine that is too alcoholic, too acidic or too tannic when young remains that way and is not likely to have a long lifespan ahead.
Sweet wines are for beginners and not for educated palates
Nothing can be far from the truth than this notion as some of the greatest wines in the world are sweet. Ice wines, Sauternes, trockenbeerenausleses, and a number of others are immensely flavorful, age-worthy and decadently sweet wines.
It is fun to have a collection of wine in the house. Whenever you feel like celebrating something, you can enjoy it – alone or with your loved ones. A wine collection can surely be a nice thing to have whenever you just feel like relaxing and savoring. If you have just planned to start a wine collection, here are some wines for you to have.
Produced in France, Bordeaux wines are available in abundance and are definitely worth their price. The price ranges from fifty to one hundred dollars per bottle. The vintages that are considered to be the best of this decade are the Bordeaux 2005, 2009, and 2010. Robert Parker, an influential wine critic, consider these vintages as the ‘three greatest Bordeaux vintages’ in his entire career.
This is one of the most popular names for white wine and is a must-have for any small wine collection. The taste is crisp in aspects of both flavor and finish. Pinot Grigio come in three main types – dry and mineral, dry and fruity, and sweet and fruity. When shopping for Pinot Grigio, look for the ones that are produced in stainless steel tanks; this is indicated in the label.
Those who love red wine would like Pinot Noir their wine collection. You would like this too if you like wine with soft texture complemented by a red-berry aroma. It is also known for its chocolaty depths. The only problem you might find with it though is its high price. Some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world come from Chile, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, and New Zealand. Pinot Noir is also a great drink when it comes to cocktail parties and small gatherings.
Moscato d’Asti is a well-loved white wine variety from northern Italy. It is known for its sweetness and its low level of alcohol; because of these characteristics, it is a wine that is best served for dessert. This wine is also known for its earthy musk aroma. Slightly fizzy and very light, it can also be a great drink during cool afternoons. It is a must-have in your collection especially during the summer.
This list wouldn’t probably be complete without the Beaujolais Nouveau. It is considered to be one of the best varieties of red wine. Made in France, it is meant to be drunk young. That is why it is a perfect addition to your small wine collection. Beaujolais Nouveau often finds itself in Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. Light, earthy, and a bit fruity, you will definitely love it.
These are just some of the top names to start with for your small wine collection. Of course, any wine collection would need a good wine rack. A sturdy and well-designed one can surely help you be prouder of your small wine collection. If you are interested in tasting more wines so that you can know more about which to add to your collection, consider going on a wine tour!
Wine cabinets and wine storage options are very varied and this is a convenient thing for all wine collectors. Today’s wine storage solutions are specially designed to accommodate Bordeaux-style bottles as well as magnum-bottles. They can even be fitted in relatively small spaces, allowing wine collectors to easily stack 20 or 30 wine bottles in their kitchen, basement, living room or dining room. If you are thinking of investing in wine storage options, let’s explore their prices, so that you know what kind of budget to prepare.
Wine refrigerators represent an economical option
If your wine collection doesn’t exceed 250 bottles then you can go for a specially designed wine refrigerator. Such a device can easily accommodate from 10 to 250 bottles and keep them in appropriate conditions. The prices of such a wine storage option range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the size and features of your preferred wine refrigerator. However, this is a one-time investment and in the long run, all that you have to pay is the price of electricity consumed by the refrigerator.
Wine caves or wine cellars are suitable for larger wine collections
On the other hand, if you are an avid wine collector and you currently own several hundred bottles of wine or even more then you might want to build your own wine cellar. This is a more costly project, but it adds value to your house. The price of a wine cave or wine cellar depends on the size of your wine collection and many other factors, but usually wine collectors pay from several thousand dollars up to $50,000. Again, this is a onetime cost and with the passing of years you might incur small expenses for replacing humidifiers and similar components.
Off-site wine storage is also a brilliant idea
Some wine collectors don’t really fancy preserving their wine collection in their properties and they might not make the big step of building their own wine cellar. In this case, off-site wine storage services are suitable for them. These services are reasonably priced and the more bottles you store, the lower the running costs. Additionally, you have the peace of mind that your wine bottles are stored in proper conditions 24/7 and your expensive wines are protected all the times.
Small wine racks for novice collectors are inexpensive
If you are not a big wine collector, but you do like to drink wine from time to time then you might want to invest in different types of wine storage solutions which come at small prices. For example, a simple, small wine rack or wine cabinet can be added to your kitchen in several hours and it might cost you around $100. This product can easily accommodate 10 or 20 wine bottles at once. Wall racks also represent an inexpensive and efficient wine storage solution for novice wine collectors.
If you want to know more about wine storage options, make sure that you check out reputable wine storage solution businesses on the Internet today. Not all wine storage solutions are expensive and you can certainly find one that fits within your budget!