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Tag: red wine

Croatian Wine Tasting * Part 1

My friend’s John and Irene have an online wine store (Topochines.com) that sells Croatian wine as well as wines from a few other countries. The wines are always unique and from off the beaten path wineries. I had sampled some of the Croatian wine and knew that I needed to introduce these wines to others in Charleston. I decided to put together a wine tasting and invited some of my wine pals to partake. Happily, I ended up being 15 folks who heeded the call. It turned out that we sampled a total of 12 wines: six Croatian wines, four…

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Aridus Wine Company

When I close my eyes and think of Arizona, I think of many things. Wine and winemaking do not come to mind. Enter Aridus Wine Company and that all changes. Arizona Wine Industry, briefly The first commercially planted vineyards in Arizona began cropping up in the 1970s.  There are three wine growing regions in AZ: Verde Valley, Willcox AVA and Sonoita AVA. Of these three regions over 70% of all wine grapes grown in Arizona are sourced from the Willcox AVA. The industry is considered youthful and exuberant with wine quality being “all over the map” from amateurish to award-winning.…

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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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