ARTICLES | Fall From The Vine Newsletter
Fall From The Vine Newsletter
Posted September 16, 2008 | 0 Comments
Award-Winning Winemakers Choose Winexpert Brands
In 2008, wines made with Winexpert products won a total of 458 medals at three major competitions: The 2008 WineMaker International Amateur competition (271 medals), the Indy International (124 medals) and the HWBTA competition (63 medals). Each year, more and more winemakers put their trust in Winexpert brands and each year, their efforts are rewarded with more medals than the previous year – a testament to their winemaking ability and also to the award-winning quality that Winexpert wine kits produce.
- “New Millennium” Sparkling wine kit took home Best of Show honors in the sparkling wine category at the 2008 WineMaker competition.
- Once again, every variety offered in Selection Limited Edition last year was awarded a medal. This makes it four years in a row!
- Selection Estate Series wine kits took home 100 medals. Nine varieties won gold including Washington Columbia Valley Riesling, Castellina Supertuscan di Siena, and the newest Crushendo – South Australian Single Vineyard Shiraz.
- Every Selection Spéciale product was a multiple medal winner. Our Port, Cab Franc Icewine style, and Riesling Icewine style were all gold medal winners.
- Wines made with Selection International and Selection Original series wine kits won more medals than the previous year.
- Four varieties received double gold status (perfect score) at the Indy International – Selection Viognier, Selection International Italian Sangiovese, Estate Series Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel, and Island Mist Wildberry Shiraz.
Each year, wines made with Winexpert products win hundreds of medals at major amateur winemaking competitions held throughout North America. But it’s not the medals that we’re proud of. What we value most is that you, our customer, trust that you will produce a wine of award-winning quality when you choose Winexpert brands. Taste the success! And let your Winexpert Authorized Retailer help you choose your next award winning wine kit. For detailed information on Winexpert products that won awards, please visit www.winexpert.com or consult your Winexpert product guide.
Five Great New Varieties to Entice Your Tastebuds
Winexpert is excited to announce five wonderful new varieties this fall. They will be available in September 2008.
Selection International Chilean Carmenère
Deep crimson, with dark cherry aroma, red fruits and berry notes running to a smoky, spicy finish with notes of dark chocolate and tobacco. With medium body and moderate tannins, Carmenère drinks well young and improves with age. Drink with grilled beef, pizza, or (best of all!) dark chocolate.
Selection International Australian Traminer/Riesling
The lively golden hue reveals a combination of floral notes and apple crispness with perfumed headiness of lychee, rose petals, and hints of passion fruit. The long finish and medium body makes a great off-dry wine for sipping. Excellent with Asian cuisine, soft cheeses, oily fish and especially smoked salmon.
Selection Original Shiraz /Zinfandel
Deep red wine with Shiraz giving notes of ripe blackberries, plum, and blueberry, and Zinfandel showing off raspberry, anise and a peppery spice note blending into a long finish of vanilla and toast. Best matched with full-flavored meats, sausages and smoked or cured meat.
World Vineyard Spanish Tempranillo
Gorgeous ruby red in color, this medium-bodied wine is Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon, with berry, plum and herbal notes running to a lush finish of tobacco, leather and vanilla.
Serve with roast pork, sheep’s milk cheeses, roasted vegetables or lamb. Vintners Reserve.
Verging on the golden-yellow, this wine has a medium body with aromas of apple, pear and melon, and drinks well while still young. Great with arugula salad, peppered white fish, creamy cheeses and stone fruits.
To learn more about other great wines Winexpert has to offer please visit www.winexpert.com or your Authorized Winexpert Retailer.
Food and Wine – a Match made in Heaven
By Tim Vandergrift
The whole idea behind matching a particular wine to a certain food is to try and achieve synergy from the interaction of flavors.
Synergy is defined as ‘increased effectiveness, achievement, etc. produced by combined action’. It helps to think of wine as a super-condiment. When you slather mustard on a hot dog, or squeeze lime on your ceviche, or even put cheese on your burger, it’s because the two taste great together—not many people eat mustard by itself, or suck on plain limes (if you do, don’t write. Icky!) but they produce a very nice synergy combined with other foods. Wine does this as well, with the added bonus that it’s an excellent beverage on its own.
The goal of wine and food matching is to get the most out of each part of the meal. You probably don’t want to serve an Old Vines Zinfandel with macaroni and cheese any more than you would serve a delicate Washington Riesling with Carolina Barbecue. In the first case the Old Vines Zin would completely overwhelm the relatively innocuous flavor of the pasta and cheddar, and in the second, the intensely smoky, unctuous barbecue would show up the Riesling, making it taste weak and thin. The idea is to try to match the intensity of the food you’re eating with the power of your wine.
As a good rule of thumb, light food (i.e., a poached, skinless chicken breast and steamed carrots) is best served with a light wine (in this case, perhaps a nice Italian Pinot Grigio). That way the delicate flavor of the food won’t get pushed around. Heavy food (i.e., a big slab of prime rib with garlic mashed and mushrooms) won’t overpower a big, flavorful Australian Cabernet/Shiraz or a Stag’s Leap Merlot. You’ll have to decide yourself where your cut-off for light or heavy is, but keeping it in mind will help you pick an appropriate wine.
The Big Blend
Wines blended from several different varietals are the norm in Europe, here in the New World we do not have the benefits that come with age-old wine regions and vineyards. Winemaking in North America got its start emphasizing single varietal wines like Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Over the past several years there has been a noticeable increase in the availability of blended, high-end wines. Bordeaux-style and Rhone-style blends (both red and white), Super Tuscan-style blends and many other red and white proprietary blends that allow winemakers to balance the structure, flavors and acidity of their wines. There is a constant learning of which varietals grow best in certain regions and which combine well to create more complex and interesting wines. Blended wines are not a new phenomenon, but today’s blend trend is evidenced in the premium wine lists of wineries, restaurants and wine shops throughout the world.
Be sure to try a few red or white blends and enjoy the special synergies of the various grapes working together to make something delicious; like the 2008 Gold Medal Winning Selection Estate Series, Washington Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc/ Merlot or the Crushendo, Castellina Super Tuscan di Siena. If you prefer whites, try the Selection Luna Bianca or World Vineyard California Trinity White.
Touring Portugal with Tim
One of the best parts of my recent trip to Portugal was an insider’s tour of the Taylor’s Port lodge. ‘Lodge’ is the word for ‘Port wine storage and blending house’. Port wine is made near the vineyards along the banks of the Douro, hundreds of miles up-river. When it’s ready the wine is transported to the lodges for ageing and blending. It used to be carried in barcas rabelos, open-hulled sailboats loaded with scores of seven hundred liter barrels, but these days it’s done by trucks.
We managed a tasting of their dry white Port, ‘Dry Chip’. White Port was created during one of Britain’s on again/off again wars with Spain, when there was a serious Sherry shortage. Port lodges were only too happy to help out with a white version of their regular fare. Their 2004 LBV, was rich and spicy, with lots of dried fruit notes and nuts in the finish, and then it was time for a fabulous dinner of enough seafood to fill a public aquarium and enough wine to fill the tanks. What a country!
Tim Vandergrift is Winexpert’s Technical Services Manager and general wine guru. You can find more writings from Tim on his wine blog at www.timswineblog.com
“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771
Name: Susan Kwan
Title: Product Development/Quality Assurance Manager
Job: Winemaker…Quality Specialist…Crazy Scientist
How did you first get started with winemaking?
I always had a passion for wine. I started in the QA technician position and instantly developed a thirst for winemaking and creating novel products. My goal is to develop a wine that mixes all flavors & textures and will pair well with a typical 10 course Chinese banquet.
Favorite Wine: Too many to list, but it definitely has to go with the food that I am eating at that moment. I like mixing things up so that I may not do the typical pairing. I prefer white wines because I usually eat lighter food and very little meat.
Pastimes: Food – trying out different cuisines, finding out interesting facts about food, cooking but never to recipe. Music – all types. Travel – I would like to visit all the continents of the world in my lifetime.
Interesting Fact: I go vegan every year on my mother’s birthday and my birthday to recognize the labor of love that all women go through.
1 ½ cup - Sugar
1 can (750ml) - Mango Puree*
4 packs - Gelatin Knox brand
4 ½ cups - Water
1 cup - Whipping Cream
Dissolve Gelatin into hot water. Add in sugar. Mix until dissolved. Add in mango puree, stirring as you add. Add in whipping cream. Pour into a flat bottom pan. Refrigerate overnight and serve.
*Mango puree should be either Ashoka or Kesar brand. You may find either at the grocery store.
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