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Tag: red wine

Bottle Shock: Let it Rest

It’s Alive Yep, wine is as “alive” as any other agricultural product and can be affected by temperature fluctuations, movement, oxygen and many other factors. Think about it, wine changes as it ages so why not because it got jostled around on a ship as it crossed the pond from France or even after a week in a UPS truck from California to Charleston. There have been several times when we have purchased a new vintage of a wine that we have traditionally really liked. We pop the cork on that first bottle and think, “WHOA! what happened to this vintage?”…

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Cariñena: Tasting Value Wines, Pt 2

In my last post, I introduced you to the affordable wines of Cariñena D.O.P in northwest Spain. If you missed it, you might want to go back and glance at it now.  I was so impressed by these wines that I have been scouring the area wine shops for these super-value wines.  Having found five wines at Trader Joe’s, I hosted an impromptu wine tasting with some friends and neighbors to help me evaluate these finds. Part Two: Finding Cariñena All of the wines are red. Four were blends, and one was a Tempranillo. Unfortunately, none were strictly Garnacha, but…

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Cariñena: An Unfamiliar Wine Region: Pt 1

Finding Cariñena: Part One At the Wine Blogger’s Conference back in November, I had the pleasure of attending a seminar presented by Lyn Farmer, a James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer about the Cariñena D.O.P. wine region in Spain. Never heard of it?  Don’t feel bad; I am not sure many at the conference had either. Winemakers in the region have been producing wine for thousands of years, but doing so flying under the radar. Some of the larger producers in the area want to change that and have begun a big push for recognition. This seminar was one of the…

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Pickled – New Years Eve – Part 2

I had lots of great responses to the pickled shrimp recipe that I posted last week. And just so you know I ate it for several days and while it evolved, it remained delicious to the bitter end. So now let’s talk about the beverages that we enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Pickled Without Trying To be clear there is very little forethought that goes into what we drink on NYE.  Every one of us brings several wines that we want to share. We then line it up and decide the order that it should be consumed based on our…

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Pairing Wine with Food: A Quagmire

When I say that pairing wine with food is a quagmire it is because the rules of yore have been tossed out the window. There is so much information… what to do, what to do? The red meat – big red wine rules only exist if you want. Now it is more of a “drink what you like” – just drink something.  Sure the guidelines still exist but most restaurants are not staffed with sommeliers and your server may or may not have the slightest clue about wine other than what they have been told by management.  Wine is more…

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Serving Temperature: Reds, Whites & Rosés

Too Hot – Too Cold – Just Right No, this is not the story about The Three Bears but it could be if that story was about wine.   Why? Because we usually serve our reds too warm and our whites and rosés too cold when we should strive to drink them when they are all just right. But first a note about wine storage. It is best to store wine in a cooler set between 50-55 degrees.  If you buy as you drink, leaving it on the counter is fine since it will be gone in a couple weeks…

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Obscure Wine, Surprising Wine – Updated!

I do hate to admit it, but I am lusting for an obscure wine. To satisfy my craving, I joined the Paris Wine Club.  I found this club when refining my search looking for that La Galoche Beaujolais Blanc back in May.  That search turned me on to so many great wine opportunities connecting me with McCarus Beverage Co. here in Charleston and Paris Wine Company in Northern California.  In addition to being an importer and distributor, Paris Wine Company has a club that features small winemakers throughout France that produce lower volume, classic French wines that do not usually see the light of…

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Question & Answer: On Life, Liberty and Wine

Actually, I am only answering questions about wine.  I will leave life and liberty to someone else. Question 1.  What is terroir and how do you say it? Answer: First, it is pronounced {terr-wah}.   Terroir the French word used to describe the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.  Because all plants gather their nutrition through the ground, the water, and the sun, these elements all play a significant role in creating flavor in grapes that are unique to that location.  Looking at the ground in the images below you…

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Two Rhone and a Languedoc-Roussillon: Red Wines from Southern France

While most vinophiles will gravitate to Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France for the high priced and highly recognized wines from those regions.  I seem to be more focused on the three regions on or near the Mediterranean coast: Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and Côte due Rhone.  These wines are much more approachable as well as affordable yet full of complexity. Getting into French wine can be difficult for some as it is not as straightforward as our American wines. As I have mentioned before most French wines are blended with at least two varietals of grapes from the same region or…

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Pinot Noir: Oh, Pinot How I Love Thee, Noir and Forever

A Pinot Noir Tasting Experience A couple weeks ago someone asked me about my favorite Northern California area wineries specifically in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Thinking a minute of my current faves I had to admit that I did not have a favorite from that region. I have never been to that region on a wine tour so my lack of familiarity is certainly key.  Additionally, I associate (rightly or wrongly) that region with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines and of all the red grape varietals these two are my least favorite.  Shame on me but I like what I…

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Let’s Revisit a Couple Things While I Enjoy a Red Blend

Revisit a thing or two Before I move to single subject posts, I want to revisit some of my past posts to tie up some loose ends.  My day job as a wedding photographer is picking up steam, so I need to start with these changes sooner rather than later so I can stay on top of both jobs. The Reunion Post Overwhelmed Wow!  The response to my post regarding my teenage bullying and reunion experience was overwhelming.  There were comments left on the blog, I got phone calls, emails, and Facebook comments. Everyone was incredibly supportive and very kind.  Many former…

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Holy Smoke, Azalea Confusion, Cashmere and a Seafood Ball

Azalea Confusion This winter has been … well not winter.  Yes, I know I moved south to get away from winter.  And yes, this confusion adds brightness and color to the yard early which is nice.  But after living in the south now for over a decade my blood has “thinned” so even the mildest winter can seem cold.  So this winter seems unseasonably bad.  We have had maybe a week of what I would call cold and only a couple days when a hat and gloves were needed once the sun went down and never during the day.  I…

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A Trip to Trader Joe’s & a Mea Culpa

And so we shopped Most of the wines I blogged about last week were either hard to find or marginal at best.  Mea culpa, mea culpa!   So this past weekend we did some serious wine shopping.  We had been lax in our wine purchases because our 60 bottle wine fridge stopped working before the holidays.  And we just did not have a chance to research for a new one.  We took care of that on Friday and are now stocking up for when the fridges arrive.  Yes, I said wine fridges…more on that next post.  So like I said, we…

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