food pairing

Why Wine makes you Happy ?


Wine makes people happy, Its a known thing – but as it turns out, there are a few cool facts about this alcoholic beverage that you probably didn’t know. Here are 10 facts about wine that will make you look at your cup a bit differently.

1. The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome where they used this method to make sure no one is trying to poison the other (bumping glasses makes the drink spill from one cup to the other). This tradition started even earlier in ancient Greece – where the host was to drink the first cup of wine to show his guests he does not intend to poison them.

Happy friends toasting red wine glasses at restaurant table

Happy friends toasting red wine glasses

2. And if we mentioned Rome – In ancient Rome it was forbidden for women to drink wine. If a husband found his wife drinking wine he would be allowed, by law, to kill her.

3. An ancient civilization that did not like wine was Egypt. The old kings avoided wine from the belief that the red alcoholic beverage is actually the blood of men who tried to fight the gods and failed. This is why, according to the egyptians, what makes people act irrationally while drinking it (alcohol).

4. Do you like wine AND living extreme? If you visit Vietnam, ask your waiter a glass of cobra wine.  This extreme beverage  is rice-wine covered with snake blood that is killed on the spot. if you’d like you can add the snake’s heart to the mix as well.

5. During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big drinking lust Americans had and put a great warning sticker on their product saying “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days – as it will turn into wine.”

6. The world champion of recognizing wine by smell was crowned in 2003. Richard Juhlin, a sport ed from sweden, was able to recognize 43 wines out of 50. For comparison – second place was only able to recognize 4 of them.wine5

7. Although the temptation is great – try not to keep your wine in the kitchen. The heat there is too much and may damage the wine’s quality. the fridge is no place for a wine either since it is just too cold. Find a cool dark closet somewhere in the house where you can keep all your bottles, or just get a wine cellar.

8. If you own a collection of bottles – don’t keep them standing up – this can cause the cork to dry, shrink and oxygen\air might get in the bottle. always keep the bottles lying down (Unless its an artificial cork.)

9. A survey that was being held in said that women that drink 2 cups of wine a day tend to enjoy relationships more than women who don’t drink at all.

10. People who have wine phobia are called Oenophobia – and they really do exist. It might sound funny, but this phobia – just like others, cause them a lot of suffering, especially if they go out to restaurants a lot.

Now you can raise your glass be Happy!

I love…. Amarone, maybe we should order another bottle!

I was recently at dinner with my husband. Together we sat at a patio on 3rd St, a small fire pit going in front of us and a glass of Amarone in hand. It was a wonderful minute in time that we as two working parents rarely get to enjoy. I spoke in complete gratification, “The Big stars are so distant & beautiful.” My husband looked at me, and I looked at him, and he said, “I love… Amarone, maybe we should order another bottle!”

So maybe it wasn’t as adoring as I may have expected, yet I nodded in perfect agreement. The fact is, with all the talk of Barbersco, Barolo, Sangiovese, Aliganico and the amazing white wines of Pinot Grigio I really do love Amarone.

Amarone is a wine that is made by the hand of man through procedures such as Recieto (Appassimento), where the collected grapes are left to dry for months before being pressed.
This raises sugar (hence alcohol) levels and gives the wine a haunting level of depth, complexity and the ability to age. There is also Ripasso, which is a process where the newly fermented juice (usually Valpolicello) is passed back over the lees of an Amarone fermentation, which adds depth and complexity to an otherwise fresh and easy drinking wine. Be warned, however, that in the hands of some producers, these techniques are used to cover up an otherwise inferior wine. But in the hands of quality producers, they can build works of art. The Vento is the perfect wine for a lover of big, bold Italian taste, especially when you are in the mood for self-indulgence instead of seriousness.

When speaking of Amarone however, these can sometimes be hard wines to recognise. Some Amarone are big, rich and with a level of residual sugar that comes through in the finished product. Others are fermented to be completely dry and show a bitter quality marked by high alcohol. This can make it difficult to know what you’re going to get when you purchase a bottle. And then there is the most common issue with Amarone, what foods to pair with it.

So what’s a wine drinker/collector to do? First, it is important to understand which style you prefer and, once you know, to stick with like-minded producers. As for pairing, most people will offer powerful cheeses (such as blue cheese) or desserts with concentrated flavors but moderate sweetness. In many cases, Amarone ends up being a wine that is enjoyed on its own, simply because it can be so difficult to fit into a meal.

My favorite paring of Amarone is with a creamy Risotto. I promise you will be blown away by how well Amarone paired with risotto . Here is a link of the Amarones that we have for you to enjoy.

How to read German Riesling labels

Many wine-drinkers don’t appreciate the virtues of German rieslings. The usual complaints are that labels are too difficult to understand, and that most of the wines are so sweet. But there’s a great variety of Riesling in the marketplace and the diverse types pair very well with a wide range of foods. We’d like to take the guesswork out of choosing a German Riesling wine to help you select wines you’re most likely to enjoy or the most appropriate ones to send as unique corporate gifts. In doing so, we’ll provide some helpful information on pairing these delicious and dynamic wines with food and provide links to some great wine club options.

The labels on these wines can be difficult to decipher (unless of course, you can read German) Key terms for dry Rieslings, are halbtrocken (half-dry) and trocken (driest). These words combined with the grape varietals below will determine how dry the wine will taste.

Kabinett – This is the driest of the Rieslings with a semi-light body. Kabinett is a good complement to seafood, sushi, Asian entrees, Thai entrees, vegetables, garlic dishes and light poultry or pork entrees.

Spatlese – This is made from “late harvest” grapes that are overripe and is often an off-dry wine with a medium-body. Spatlese works well with spicy foods, fruit dishes, seafood, fatty and oily dishes like pork and rich, smoked meats.

Auslese – These “selected harvest” grapes are selected and handpicked from very ripe bunches in the autumn. Auslese can be sweeter than the Spatlese and well balanced. These wines are a great pair with rich cheeses, spicy foods like curries, pork and Szechuan dishes like duck with sweet & sour sauce.

As for the sweeter, dessert Rieslings, you can choose from:

Beerenauslese -Great with apples, peaches and cream, pie and even caramel.

Trockenbeerenauslese – Drink this wine alone but if you insist on pairing, choose a ripe, crisp fruit.

Eiswien – Another dessert wine to drink alone, or if you have an intense sweet tooth, pair with a decadent dessert.

A great way to learn more about these wines or to share the experience with others is to send wine of the month club. Whether you’re inviting people over for dinner tastings or sending a 3 month Wine Club or as unique corporate gifts, there’s no substitute to trying the different wine gifts and picking which ones you like best. Choosing a wine of the month club will help you expand your tastes, whether you enjoy a dry Riesling such as a S. A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Wine or a balanced fruity S.A. Prum Essence Riesling Wine.

Mel and Rose Wine Clubs: