Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know about VINO!!

I will be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about wine. Although Lindsay, my vino expert, is trying her hardest to expose me to the exciting world of wine. I am definitely taking an interest and hope to start learning more about it with her help. I found this GREAT article about wine in my this month's Women's Health magazine and I wanted to share! Enjoy!!

by Loren Chidoni

Treat Wine Like A Condiment
If the wine you've chosen has lemony undertones, like a pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc, drink it with something you would squeeze lemon on, like fish. If butter would enhance the flavor of your dish, choose a buttery chardonnay.

Mix Sweet and Spicy
When you're in the mood for savory takeout (think Thai or Indian), pair it with a semi-sweet, fruity wine, such as a Riesling, to allow the flavor to calm your palate.

Bring A Neutral Bottle
If you don't know what your host is serving or if you are in charge of ordering wine for the table at a restaurant, choose a pinot nior. It isn't too heavy or too light, and it pairs well with many different foods, including fish like salmon or tuna and lighter meats like veal or chicken.

Serve at the Perfect Temperature
People almost always drink whites too cold and reds too warm. Chill reds in the freezer for 10 minutes before pouring (it should be between 55 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit). Take whites out of the refrigerator 10 minutes before you serve them (the ideal temperature is between 40 and 45 degrees).

Let It Breathe
Serving wine immediately after you've popped the cork may make the flavor fall flat. Pour a glass and the bottle and the glass sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This gives oxygen a chance to mix with the wine, which will enhance the flavor.

Sniff It Out
Being handed a glass of wine that's been filled to the brim may seem like a stroke of luck, but it actually causes you to miss out on some of the flavor. As a rule, a glass shouldn't be filled more than halfway - you need the extra space for swirling which releases the scent of the wine. After swirling take a whiff (studies show that 80% of what we taste is relayed to our brains via our nostrils). You can taste flavors like sweet or sour on your tongue, but it's harder to taste a wine's undertones, such as blueberries or peaches, if you can't smell them.

If You Wouldn't Drink It, Don't Cook With It
This doesn't mean you need to spend $30 on a bottle the next time you're whipping up shrimp scampi, but you should avoid "cooking wine" in grocery stores because it's typically loaded with preservatives, food coloring, and other poor ingredients. Cook with the wine you plan to serve. It's interesting for people to taste a wine in their glass and also see how it tastes in their food. But, don't make a sauce from an already opened bottle that's been stashed in your fridge for a few weeks - old wine will add a bitter flavor to your meal.

Make It Last
At most, an open bottle of white or red will last about three days if you keep it in the fridge. Oxygen is wine's biggest enemy, and investing in a vacuum seal (a tool that sucks air out through a rubber stopper) will make your wine last a few extra days.

Look Toward The Future

Wine on tap may be the next big innovation. Stored in kegs, vino lasts longer, saving restaurants the expense of having to toss half-full opened bottles. Tap wine works much like draft beer: Gas pushes the wine out of the cask; this prevents oxygen from getting inside the keg and oxidizing the booze. The technology is already being used in some California restaurants and it becoming more popular elsewhere across the country.

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