Month: September 2012

Pre-Game Rituals?

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Ever have a couple drinks before hitting the bars? We think it makes sense (only for some – don’t forget to be responsible) for a couple reasons. It saves you money because you can order less drinks at the bar. It also gives you a good excuse to have people over and get friends together. Even though you’ll be out with all of your buddies soon enough… its fun to see people without the crazy crowds and before you need to play wingman for your best friend.

So we want to know, do you have any pregame rituals? What do you usually pre-game with?

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The Seven Deadly Sines of Wine

We are all guilty  of these mistakes.   Eventhough some might claim that it should just be about the wine and how it tastes, which is true, but by knowing, recognizing and avoiding these 7 Deadly Sins of wine, you might enjoy that glass even more!

Getting the most out of each bottle is vital because, and lets be real here, most wines are luxury items. Wasting an opportunity with wine is wasteful at its least and disrespectful at its worst in my book. After all, a lot of people put a ton of effort into ensuring that they put the best juice possible in every bottle and we should be able to enjoy it in every glass.

So avoid these common wine mistakes and take advantage of those efforts. Besides, it’ll make the wine taste better too!

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This Wine is Too Cold

This is one of the least difficult wine mistakes you can make. Unless you’re tailgating outside of  Dodgers  Stadium on a bitter journey back, it’s pretty easy to remedy. Just let your wine warm up!

Over chilling wines may make them refreshing, but it also tamps down the aromas and flavors of the wine while highlighting the tannins. Dull, chewy reds and insipid whites are the result of serving your wines too cold.

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 This Wine is Too Hot

Serving wines too hot is much worse than serving them too cold. The temperature doesn’t do any favors for the wine, but it also tends to be indicative of mistreatment. We are  an outlier in the wine world because we  believe that wine is fairly durable, particularly if we’re talking about short term storage.

So while we are  not horrified by wines stored in the high 70s for somewhat extended periods of time, anything hotter and you’re quickly cooking your wine. This damage will show up in time as caramel, molasses flavors and the premature aging of the wine with an accompanying change in color.

While storing wines at 75 degrees is probably alright, serving them that hot is really a no-no. The high temperatures stimulates the evaporation of alcohol and volatile compounds in the wine, marring the nose while making the wine feel soft and flabby in the mouth, a double whammy.

  

This Wine Needs Some Mouth-to-Mouth

Letting a wine breath is often seen as a pompous affectation of snobby old men and their fancy wines, nothing could be further from the truth. Think about it: wines have been bottled with durability in mind, often being produced in reductive, or oxygen free environment. The wines need to take a few breaths of air in order to stretch out and relax.

Do you ever think that the last glass of wine from a bottle is the best? That is no coincidence. Letting a wine breath helps to stimulate the development of aromas and soften tannins.

 

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This Wine Needs a Bowl

Yes glassware does matter. Recognize that there is a right time for bigger bowls, like when you have a wine that has more to say.

A nice, big bowl, at least 10 ounces, leaves plenty of space for swirling and allows for a wine’s aromas to accumulate, making it easier for you to enjoy. A glass that exposes a large percentage of your glass to air also allows for those aromas to emerge more rapidly from your wine, upping the aromatic intensity of your wine even more.

 

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This Wine Needs a Rest

There’s a phenomenon in the wine world known as “travel shock.” It basically says that wines which have recently traveled need to rest in order to show their best. While we have no idea what the scientific basis for such claims might be, we have experienced travel shock in our wines enough to believe that it is real. It’s probably similar to bottle shock, which is basically the same phenomenon but refers to wines that have been recently bottled, another form of stress on the wine.

Both bottle shock and travel shock produce wines that are muted, dull and basically uninteresting.

Let your wines rest!

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This Wine Needs A Better Dinner Partner

While it is easy to promote a “drink-what-you-like-with-your-dinner” attitude, the truth is that some wines simply don’t work with certain foods and vice versa. For examples may be limited but a few that   include wines with artichokes, which make wine taste bitter, oily fish and big reds, where the wine tastes like tannin and metal, and salad with low acid wines, where the dressing makes the wine taste sad and flabby.

 

Assuming You Know

Assuming that you really know enough about a wine to dismiss it after one encounter is the biggest mistake we make with wine. There are so many things that can make a wine show poorly, from the six mistakes that lead up to this one to things like bad corks, dirty glassware and even a bad palate day. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

I know its disingenuous  to tell you  give a wine a second chance once you’ve decided you don’t like it, but we can’t  tell you how many times we’ve been pleasantly surprised by a wine on the second go ‘round. It all boils down to having an open mind and realizing that we all make mistakes, so next time you don’t have a good experience with a wine, don’t be so quick to blame the wine!