Archive for the ‘ Wine Accessory Reviews ’ Category

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!

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Watch Paul the Octopus pick a World Cup winner while I pick the wine


Picking the World Cup winner may be difficult for most, but for an octopus that seems to  have amazing foresight its just a matter of laying his tentacle on the winning team . Paul the Octopus is an remarkable mollusk and his oracle like properties have allowed him to pick the last four rounds of the World Cup.
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Currently  Paul has his tentacle on Germany for Saturdays matchup; Germany versus Argentina.  Most odds makers have their bets on Argentina for the win. For your  information Paul also  lives in an aquarium in Germany.

I actually have no idea who will win, nor will I make a guess, but will pick some Argentinean wines (for Argentina, in case they win) with some Calamari like pasta, ala Chef E (for the German Mollusk, in case Germany wins).

Great Argentinean wines for your World Cup viewing pleasure:

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Mendoza  Sleek, polished and alluring with mocha and raspberry. Less than $20. 91 points Wine Spectator
  • Alto Malbec Argentina 3 Reserve 2006 86 Wine Spectator points. Juicy blackberry and raspberry fruit with some toast. 90 point Wine Spectator $20
  • Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva 2007 (WS 90 pts, 88 pts WA)
  • Finca La Linda Cabernet Sauvignon 2008: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Cheers! Adrienne

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, ReHarvest & Recycling

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Keeping an eye on Twitter and the Wine Market a message suddenly hit home for many wine consumers- Corks Recycled at Whole Foods.

Green is in and the mounting piles of cork around any home can get to a point of ‘too much is too much’. Overflowing into the floor, and often tossed into the trash, there can always be a thought of possibly using it for wall or table art, but why not recycle them. Nothing wrong with some cork boards, and a few trivets either!

April 6th Cork ReHarvest partnered with Whole Foods to begin a campaign that involves handy boxes in front of the stores, so that the public can drop off the corks and feel good. Wine enthusiast pop open thousands of bottles each year all over the United States, and this puts pressure on the rising demands from the cork forest.

Cork ReHarvest has led the cork recycling movement in North America, helping to collect and recycle some of the 13 billion natural corks that are produced each year. Cork recycling helps to reduce demand placed on cork plantations while maintaining the delicate ecosystem of the Mediterranean forests and helps thousands of producers maintain a sustainable income to support their families.

PIWC will be bringing you more information regarding cork, synthetic cork, and screw tops for wine bottles. The myth that the cork forest are depleted has long been proven wrong, as well as why the other two options are causing more damage than helping. Until then let’s pull together and help Whole Foods and Cork ReHarvest bring into play what has needed to be done years ago.

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, http://www.cookAppeal.com, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Above Cork bark photo provided by JelineCorkGroup, Canada- Fay Stallen

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

Market Monday- Mingle Plates

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Now here’s a little gadget we’re sure every wine savvy, or vinophile tasting geek needs. The ‘Mingle plate‘ aka  cocktail plate. It allows you to keep one hand free while eating and win(e)ing.

This little accessory is ideal for any wine tasting,  but face it, no one wants to spend the extra cash on gadgets these days. However they are worth the money spent! How cool is it to have effortless eating and drinking at a party (like eating  and drinking should be an effort!)

Chef E and her hubby own quite a few of these, and used them back in Dallas when she owned a public wine and food pairing company- The Cork Screws, and are never on a tasting scene with out them. The Dallas Food and Wine Festival back in the day passed them out, before even good wine glasses were chic, so her and hubby are a little surprised not many on the east coast has caught on to ‘Mingle Plates’ at tasting events.

I know these are cool. I’ve seen Chef E and hubby  in action with these little babies. I’ve actually seen Chef E use one of these gadgets at a dinner party with her  iPhone at the some time. Now how cool is that. She was like a Rock Star in action, and didn’t even know it.

Cheers and Tweets!

Adrienne Turner , PIWC

Chef E, PIWC

Alternative ‘Vino Plate Clips’, as well as ‘Mingle Plates’, Cocktail Plates with glass holder can be found in wine retail stores, or on-line- Crate & Barrel

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