ARTICLES | Spring From The Vine Newsletter
Spring From The Vine Newsletter
Posted April 23, 2008 | 0 Comments
Unleash the potential...
For an ultra-premium winemaking experience, make the best that Winexpert has to offer - Selection Estate Series. Wines made with Estate Series deliver unsurpassed, award-winning quality (as indicated by their performance at the 2007 WineMaker International Amateur Competition where every Estate Series variety won a medal).
Estate Series wine kits contain 100% pure varietal juice from region specific vineyards from around the world, allowing you to produce authentic wines that are true to style with longer ageing potential. Fabulous after 1-2 years in the bottle, that you will be proud to share with friends and family. We are pleased to introduce you to the four newest varieties in our Selection Estate Series line:
Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir
With more than 200,000 acres stretching from the rugged Pacific coast to the Mayacamas Mountains, Sonoma County offers a rich and varied landscape. Cool nights and warm days contribute to layers of fog that creep into Sonoma’s interior valleys from the Pacific Ocean, moderating the intense California sun. Winexpert’s Estate Series Sonoma County Pinot Noir has silky tannins carrying notes of truffle, toast, herbs, gorgeous cassis, black cherry and raspberry flavours and black spice. Food-friendly, it shows restrained toasty oak and well-balanced acidity.
Washington Yakima Valley Pinot Gris
Washington State is a classic cool-climate viticultural area, with the Cascade Mountains providing a complete rain shadow for the vines. The resulting arid climate, combined with the long daylight hours of the growing season, ensures that grapes fully ripen, developing complex fruit flavours, good acid levels and pleasing aromatics.
Washington Pinot Gris offers fresh aromas and flavours of ripe honeydew melon and crisp green apple and an attractive floral note. The wine has an elegant, creamy finish restrained by a refreshing crispness that makes it very food friendly.
Crushendo Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Most people are unaware that Sonoma red wines win more awards than Napa. Winexpert Crushendo Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon’s elegant and powerful nose showcases big black cherry character with nuances of mocha cedar and cigar box. It is bold and chewy on the palate with concentrated cassis, blackberry and cedar flavours along with firm structure and smooth (but powerful) tannins showing elegance on the long finish.
German Mosel Valley Gewürztraminer
The Mosel valley is famous for its beautiful scenery and excellent wines. Gewürztraminer grapes from this region tend to be a dusky pink colour, and result in wines from light to a dark golden yellow with subtle copper tones. Gewürztraminer is quite fullbodied, more so than most any other white wine type and the combination of its strong and heady perfume, exotic lychee flavour and rich texture make it a powerful wine with an intense and memorable finish.
Wine and food - A match made in heaven
Wine with food has been a long standing partnership. By finding a great wine and food pairing you can change the way your food tastes and vice versa and doing so will make your whole eating experience fun and unique. There are some easy and interesting guidelines to pairings but there are no real rules when it comes to wine.
There’s lots of room for experimentation and expressing your own personality when pairing food with wine. Having your own home wine tasting is a great way to try different foods with wines, to see how they match up. Remember that rules are made to be broken, take the suggestions and give them a try, but don’t be afraid to discover your own strategies.
Here are a few of our favourite strategies around making the perfect match:
- Match your wine to the strongest flavour on the plate
- Match the lightness and freshness of the flavours (if there is lemon or lime involved, a wine with high acidity is good). Try our Selection Estate, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
- Hot or spicy dishes, get a white wine that has more flavour than the dish has spice. Like a fruity wine with a touch of sweetness, our Selection Gewürtztraminer would be perfect!
- Rare meats need young tannic reds and well done meats need older or fruity reds with little tannin
- Dessert: a dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert. Try our Millennium Riesling Ice Wine or Port.
Roast Chicken In Lemon - Rosemary Marinade
2/3 c. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/3 c. Selection Estate New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 tbsp. Crushed Black Peppercorns or Coarsely Ground Pepper
4 tbsp. Fresh, Chopped Rosemary or 2 Tbsp. Dried
Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs in the cavity of the chicken if a whole bird is used. Roast chicken in a 425° F degree oven for 15 minutes per pound. Do not open oven or baste chicken during roasting. If chicken is to be grilled, grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning once. Legs and thighs should be grilled an additional 5 minutes or until meat is not pink.
Excerpts from Tim’s Wine Blog: Alcohol by Volume - Just How Loud is Your Wine?
The query that I was pondering today is the puzzler: ‘My wine doesn’t have any alcohol’. Sometimes folks will open the first bottle of wine they’ve made from a kit, drink it, and think it’s lacking something. Since the wine is typically fairly smooth (with the exception of our premium and super-premium kits we deliberately keep the acids and tannins in gentle balance, so the wine can be consumed fairly young) and many people equate intensity of flavour or character with a ‘strong’ drink like whisky, they assume that a low level of alcohol is the culprit.
Wineries typically don’t release even their lightest, most heavily processed wines for a full year after they’re fermented. If you drink a kit wine—or any wine—that’s only a few months old, it will have some ‘green’ flavours and smells snuffing out the aromas and bouquet. A little patience and poof! They’re all there for the sniffing and slurping.
The problem seems to be stemming from the high levels of alcohol in current commercial wines. When I began learning about wine, the average alcohol content I saw for whites on the shelves of my local bottle shop ran from 9% (light German whites) to 11-11.5% (dry white table wine) and 12-12.5% (dry red table wine). Rare and intimidating California reds that had ABV (Alcohol by volume) ratings of 13-14% were sold as ‘Blockbuster’ reds, and anything above that was a dessert wine.
Today? The Germans seem to have retained a grain of sense, but even the finest producers around the world, from California cults to first-growth Bordeaux, are making dopey hot wines that mug the palate and crush the tastebuds, never mind the production wineries that are run by corporations to pander to the lowest common denominator of taste. Alcohol levels in reds start at 13.5% and some people are selling what is ostensibly table wine at 16.5% ABV. Now Winexpert kit wines have alcohol contents appropriate to the sensibilities of our consumers: light, off-dry German whites are around 10.5%, other whites run from 11.5% to 13% for the biggest ones, and reds run from 12 to 13.5%. There are a few of exceptions: our Luna Bianca is 13.5-14% and our Luna Rossa is 14.5 to 15.5%. Both of these kits are designed to mimic big California wines (the ones I’m railing against) and they do a pretty good job. The other exception is our Italian Amarone, which is nearly 16%, like its continental namesake. But for the most part our ABV numbers are about where the commercial numbers were 10 or 15 years ago.
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
Ask The Expert
I am confused about the correct temperature to serve my wine. Can you help?
The ideal temperature for red wines is 12C (54 F) to 16C (61F), whites wines 6C (43F) to 11C (52F). It isn’t practical to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of wines all the time, so I use a rather low tech system; my hands. A wi ne which is too cool will soon warm up just by cupping your hands around the glass. Touch the wine bottle and you should have a pretty good idea of temperature. If the wine appears to be too warm you can use the fridge to cool it down, if you are in a hurry a bucket of ice or the freezer should do the trick. Just be sure to remember that your wine is in the freezer!
If your wine is too cold you can leave the wine to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. If time is short put the wine in a bucket of tepid water for about 20 minutes. Serving wine at the correct temperature is not too complicated, but the rewards are great.
Time to Start Mist Behavin'
Summer is just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about relaxing in the backyard with friends and sipping on your favourite Island Mist refreshment beverage. Get ready to mist-behave again this year with new Island Mist White Cranberry Pinot Gris!
This exciting addition to the Island Mist lineup is a spectacular crystal white colour which is the result of a special blend of white cranberry and Pinot Gris. White cranberry juice is somewhat less tart than regular cranberry juice due to an earlier harvest than the traditional red cranberries. Winexpert’s White Cranberry Pinot Gris bursts with the sweetness that has made White Cranberry a unique and popular flavour in juice, and now Winexpert brings that flavour to you as part of our refreshing line of Island Mist varieties. This wine is very easy to drink and is perfect for backyard barbeques and sharing with friends.
Ready to drink in only four weeks. Start your Island Mist now so that it is ready in time for barbeque season. For a great refreshing drink to share at your next party why not try an Island Mist White Cranberry Mojito:
3 mint sprigs
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ oz white rum
Island Mist White Cranberry Pinot Gris
In a tall thin glass, using a muddler, crush two sprigs of mint with sugar and lime juice, and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with chilled Island Mist White Cranberry Pinot Gris. Add a lime slice and a sprig of mint, and serve.
From the Vineyards Of...
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now America’s second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world’s top wine regions.
With 30,000+ acres planted, Washington has excellent conditions for growing premium wine grapes. Primarily grown on their own rootstock, the vines produce strong vintages year after year. While focused on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the region also produces a wide range of other spectacular whites (like Pinot Gris) and reds. Washington’s terroir (the combination of soil, climate and geography) makes the wines truly distinct from any others. Winemakers from all over the world have chosen to establish themselves in Washington, where they can create wines refl ecting this region’s unique characteristics. New acreage and wine varieties are being planted and new wineries are opening at a remarkable pace. The future of Washington as a premium growing region looks assured.
To download a PDF of our Spring 2008 From The Vine Newsletter, please click here.
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