Archive for the ‘ Market Monday ’ Category

The Garden State Wine Has Arrived

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This and a bottle of Europa!

To borrow from written history, various documented internet sources, and my own education in and around the New Jersey Vineyards over the past year, I have discovered my new home makes more than just ‘Okay and fruity’ wine.

The state has begun to take back its bragging rights of being ‘The Garden State’* in the last few years, and is staking a claim in some of the best wines produced outside of California and France. In 1767, London’s Royal Society of the Arts had already recognized two New Jersey vintners for their success in producing the first bottles of quality wine derived from the colonial agriculture. The problem I believe, started when everyone wanted a stake in the wine industry here and began buying up land and growing wine grapes further north, where the soil and weather are vastly different. Thus the huge difference in wine.

The GSWGA website with its marketing verbiage of ‘Savor The Experience’ and hearing from locals about how great their wines are in the central Jersey area (as they showed me their local fruity blueberry and cranberry wine), I was beginning to think no one knew what good vino really was. I already hail from Texas where there are very few, if any drinkable to my mature palate in the Lone Star State ( Texas grows wine grapes, and bottles it!). Yes laugh! Five years ago when I hit what I call the central Jersey wine trail…well…I was more than disappointed. De ja vue hit me like a mad bull in a packed rodeo parking lot!

I am sure a few winery cowboys would love to come after me on that comment, but I do agree in the spring along the east bound highways of I45: blooming wildflowers, historical site seeing, and a few stops at wineries can break up the ‘out of the AC lock down’ lifestyle of the Lone Star State, but I discovered something MORE breath taking in Jersey.

The Outer Coastal Plain American Viticultural Area– beautiful acres of green grass, pine barrens, and shore line. New Jersey is a puzzle so spread out that it can take years to place each piece together and find your way around, but its worth the wait. New Jersey wineries are generally in one of two areas: the triangle defined by Atlantic City, Cape May, and Philadelphia or the strip from near Trenton to High Point along the Delaware River.

Last year while taking a weekend excursion, which there are so many here to discover with its rich history, I ended up in the Marlton, Berlin, and the Atco New Jersey area. Noticing the clump of wineries on the ‘Garden State Wine Growers Association’ map, we decided to visit a few and see if they differed from the upper regions near our home in Princeton. Some were more drinkable, but our last stop was Amalthea Cellars. We walked away more than two hours later with over a case of wine, and I have made a few trips back since.

A big southern Thank You to ‘The Garden State’* as is well known for; it consist of rich cultural food history, small historical towns dotted up and down its old highways, sprawling farmland, farmers markets and (in my opinion) some of the best wineries down south. Put them together, and the sweltering summer heat of late aside, I have come to embrace my new home of wine and foodie paradise.

There is a lot going on now that the New Jersey Outer Coastal Plain AVA is getting noticed, and I would not miss it if I were you!

*HISTORY: New Jersey’s nickname, the Garden State, derives largely from the more than one hundred year history of growing of fruits and vegetables in this area which supplies such produce to the mid-Atlantic region and as far north as Montreal.

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

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Oxygen, an Enemy of Wine?

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While researching options for ‘Wine Preservation’ over the past year, because my husband travels quite extensively in his work and often we open up a good bottle of wine and he may want more when he returns in a week. Consumers do not always want to finish a bottle or two all in one sitting- what to do?

I am not always in the mood to drink two or three days in a row. Call me crazy! I love wine, but routinely I am myself traveling quite extensively to the the gym now. So I am seriously watching my calorie intake, and unfortunately alcohol and sugar products are high on that ‘no-no’ list.

PIWC will be testing out a new product I recently discovered on-line, the VinAssure™ Wine Preservation system. I am excited out this product and have seen it on a few wine sites. Often as a chef, or even just as a great cook I might make a few dishes where a white and a red would pair well, but for only two people and not other guests sharing- we would want to save what is left for another evening.

Wine connoisseurs have found numerous ways over centuries to preserve wine, most do not care if it sits on the counter just re-corked at room temperature, but if you are serious then you may want to re-think the options.

The VinAssure™ Story- How did this amazing product begin?

VinAssure™ grew out of a simple desire not to waste wine, and a practical business need to make good use of every last drop. For years I was the owner and proprietor of a small wine store and tasting bar, and I had what I would consider a low to medium volume of wines served by the glass each week. At one point I sat down to calculate the dollar-for-dollar waste of unsold, tossed out, or employee consumed wine that had just become an accepted sunken cost of my business. Even with my small program the numbers were staggering… I was simply WASTING WINE and pouring potential revenues down the drain!

VinAssure works by using Argon gas,

ARGON: WHAT A GAS!

by Clark Smith

All her pretty dreams argon.-Bruce Springsteen

Oxygen is not the enemy of wine. Yet the most outspoken proponents of O2’s role in wine development will still scrupulously try to exclude it from partial tank head spaces. We all gotta gas. But in reality, few of us do it well. And in an imperfect world, it is not enough to shrug and say, “We just try to keep topped tanks”…(read more)

Come back next week and find out how are VinAssure experience pours out!

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Lazy River, Pinot Noir

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Nothing Like A Pinot Noir!


I only wish there was a lazy river made of Pinot Noir.

One of my favorite places to go when I get a chance around my birthday, not this year though, is The Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. You stay up till 1 or 2 Am, and then hit the Lazy River right in their back yard after a light breakfast, and maybe order up a nice glass of Pinot Noir as you relax in the sun- with sunblock of course! However I do not remember them having Oregon Pinot’s, one of my favorites as my palate has matured into the barnyard senses. I know animals and rivers just go together!

Three years ago while visiting Oregon and Washington State I had the chance to hit as many wineries along the trail as I could. Then we happened upon a collaboration of small vineyards. A tasting room full of possibilities. Hearing from some other serious vinophiles this area was a waste of time, my taste buds drifted off to other Pinot Noirs over the past few years.

Lazy River sat in the cellar forgotten- until my birthday this week! Cork popped, and out spilled the most beautiful colors of cherry, plum, and raspberries…rushing visions of wild mushrooms, cheesy sauced pastas, smoked meats, and hints of an earthiness- reminding me why I had to bring this bottle back home to New Jersey.

Ahhh, but why was I really in love with this wine so much I would and spent a meager $33 a bottle? Well it was the subtle tones of chocolate on the finish made it the right choice to pair with my flourless chocolate birthday cake…

Want a good reason to travel to Oregon- Try our Market Monday reason, and to travel on your own Lazy River, Pinot Noir, 06- Lazy River Vineyard, Yamhill Carlton District, Oregon

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Letting Wine Breathe

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Decanting A Few Good Wines

English glass maker George Ravenscroft is credited for the 1676 discovery of how to make lead crystal. Most wine decanters were initially made of glass or lead crystal, both of which allowed the person who decanted the wine to see the sediment and avoid pouring it into the decanter, as well into your wine glass.

As the demand for bottled wine grew, so did a parallel industry for the manufacture of decanters. Whereas decanters had originally been used purely to serve a function, manufacturers began to create new and more sophisticated designs, as decanters were recognized for their decorative potential.

One cannot have too many decanters. If you are going to do any kind of tasting event in your home involving more than one bottle of vintage wine- it would be wise to purchase more than one decanter.

Crystal decanters manufactured in England and Ireland during the period between 1760 and 1810 are considered among the finest of classic decanters. They were manufactured before the advent of machine production, and were hand-blown, hand-engraved and hand-cut, and therefore, each was a complete original.

Involved in the American Wine Society I have seen on many occasion the need for two or even three decanters. Wines, such as big Bordeaux or even a Pinot Noir benefits from breathing and can sit for up to three hours. Each passing minute the wine takes on a new life, even in the glass you will notice subtle notes on the nose, tongue and finish.

Decanters can range from $20 to $200, or even more, but one nice decorative for show and a few less expensive glass decanters will suffice. Guests who enjoy wine care more about how the wine is affected than whether you are pouring out of Bacarat lead crystal.

More on decanter history

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food and Wine Writer Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Other Wine Glasses and Decanter History

Market Monday- Summer Sexy Beach Drinks

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Summer, Pink & Sexy

While out on a typical Partners In Wine Club Press’s hunt for ‘Wine Special’, ‘Must Buy’ Wine Bargains, and a need for Wine Tasting Event space a glimpse of the cutest pink package marketing genius caught my eye! Normally you see I am not the pink sort of gal- no blush wine for me, but this product NUVO L’ESPIRIT Liqueur gave me an idea.

Corky convinced us to purchase a bottle, and we went home and had a nip. Tasting notes: slight sweet with a hint of Vodka and a bubbly finish martini style.

Product marketing (on-line) billed as ‘…a lifestyle choice for friendly individuals. Much more than your average spirit, NUVO is the ultimate accessory for any get-together’.

Exactly what went through my head when I first saw this product!

Okay, normally this orange zest loving chef might not endorse a product of this nature, but I endorse fun, with responsible drinking morals. NUVO screamed premiere and SWAG, I felt like this would be great for bridal showers, girlie party gifts, over crushed ice with an umbrella at your next BBQ party, and you might even see me out New Year’s Day, 2011 with mine chilled and a straw right down in the bottle- my go bite the hair of the dog remedy!

I have to share this with my friend Leila, she is going to love this…

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, Owner/Chef- CookAppeal, LLC Princeton-New Jersey Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! Restaurant Reviews

Pretty In Pink!

Market Monday- Cork 101, Why Cork Is Perfect For Our Wine

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For years hearing about how the cork forests have been depleted, and believing that we would be better off using synthetic corks, and screw caps down the road has our attention at PIWC, but in all honesty why have we not looked into it ourselves. Do we believe what someone tells us, or is there a good reason we have ‘Education’ on our side?

PIWC will be showing you why Cork is- Natural, Sustainable, Environmentally and Ecologically Friendly

First you must understand why, what, and where Cork is in our market-

WHY:

There is no other material, either natural or man made, with all of the characteristics that are unique to raw cork: light weight, rot resistant, non-toxic, good compression and expansion, fire resistant, impermeable, soft, and buoyant. Besides these remarkable qualities, cork bark is also a sustainable, renewable, and environmentally friendly natural resource. Cork bark is “stripped” off the cork oak trees at appropriate intervals without damage to the trees and allows new bark to grow in its place so there is no harm to nature, no trees are cut or destroyed, no disturbance of flora and fauna … and yet a whole industry flourishes from this very unique raw material. Besides the many other products listed, all of which are produce from cork bark, Jelinek also supplies large quantities of cork bark in its raw and natural form for a variety of products and purposes:

Corkwood is the raw material used by all cork manufacturers in the production of the majority of cork products, including natural wine corks and other natural cork stoppers and products. Corkwood is sorted by quality and thickness, boiled, pressed flat and aged appropriately with controlled moisture so it is “production ready”. Corkwood is sold in truckload or container quantities, packed in standard bale sizes and weights.

Virgin Cork Bark is bark obtained from the very first two harvests of a cork tree. The rougher, less uniformed and more “natural” surface appearance and texture of the bark from these initial harvests are easily distinguished from the smoother texture of subsequent harvests from which corkwood is yielded. Diverse industries utilize virgin bark.

Cork Characteristics

Lightness
Cork is light and will float. Beneficial for buoys, floats, fishing rod handles, level gauges. Light weight makes cork an excellent filler material for many products. Perfect for shoe insoles and soles.

Elasticity
The cellular membranes are flexible so that the cork can be fitted against the wall of a bottle under pressure (the airin the cork cells is compressed, reducing volume) and when released bounces back to its original form. Perfect as a stopper, perfect for floor tiles and wall tiles.

Impermeability
Cork does not rot due to the suberin which makes it impermeable to gases and liquids.
Combined with corks other characteristics it is the ideal material for bottle stoppers, gasket sealers, joint fillers, floor underlayment, and bulletin boards.

Low Conductivity
Gaseous elements in cork are sealed in tiny cell like compartments insulated and separated from each other. This provides for low conductivity to heat, sound and vibrations. One of the best insulating and acoustical capacities of all substances.
Resistance to Wear

The honeycomb structure of suberose surface gives cork a high friction coefficient and makes it very durable. It does not absorb dust and is fire resistant in its natural state. Ideal material for all building products, including floor and wall tiles, cork wallpaper, rolls, and sheets.
Cork products contribute extremely favorably to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Rating System. Cork is a 100% sustainable and renewable natural resource.

Information found and used by permission at Jelinek Cork Group

Recycle Cork in your area at local Whole Food Markets, a join effort with ReHarvet Cork.com

Market Monday- No CorkScrew?

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For Your Entertainment…

PIWC Thought it would be fun to show this video on how people have found a way to open wine bottles with no corkscrew…

We do not recommend this, nor endorse this video or its persons- bottles are made of glass, can cut you, and can harm you if the cork hits you or others in the eye! ~ PIWC

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