Archive for the ‘ Winery Tastings ’ Category

VinAssure Review #1

How did we discover VinAssure?

PIWC is always seeking out products we can try to review, but while over at GrapeRadio I viewed an ad for VinAssure and went to check it out.

Would we drink up too 700 bottles to make this product worth while?

Of course we would…do…drink plenty of wine with meals I prepare, and open lots more for wine tastings during the year. Any of you out there who value the wine you buy, or pour for family, friends, clients and host wine tastings will appreciate this product.

After contacting the products company we had to decide our approach to testing VinAssure. Of course we would open three wines, used the VinAssure Argon Gas canister, Vinuvac pumping device, and the cork method to see which preserved the wine as if we had just opened it. Before traveling to Spain last month, hubby and I opened a few bottles to test. We found that after our second attempt, and re-tasting the wine upon our return, the wines smell and taste were as if we had just opened it. Now we will open some more wines and share their results soon…

How can you tell there is argon gas in the VinAssure canister?

The manufacture and developer of VinAssure recommended this to me- Hold up a seal-able sandwich bag, make sure it’s flat (as opposed to having air trapped in it), seal it about 3/4 of the way, inject VinAssure into the bag for a slow count of 5, seal the bag all the way. VinAssure’s Argon has forced any air our of the bag and has remained IN the bag.

Now cup your hands around the bag and you will see a pillow effect from the argon that’s been injected. Visually that pillow equals the amount of Argon you’ve injected into a bottle with a 5 count. That’s approximately 185ml or 1/4 bottle. The ‘rest’ of what’s in the bottle’s empty space (if it’s more than 1/4 empty) is air, so there is now a mixture of air and Argon. Obviously, then, the more VinAssure you inject the greater the proportion of Argon and the greater the level of preservation.

We’ve found that the 5-count (or 1/4 bottle of Argon) is enough for the palates of most people. But the one constant in this is that all wines and all palates are not the same. Actually, the suggestion to add more Argon came from the calculation of the actual amount of gas going in and not from any negative feedback. Because the very expensive refrigerated preservation units (like Wine Keeper and Enomatic) use a method which keeps 100% of the empty space full of gas all the time, we wanted to be able to explain to users how much VinAssure it would take to simulate that method.

I tried what Peter recommended and you can see the pillow, as well as taste the difference in filling the wine bottle space with more than just room temp air, marbles, or pumping out the air. We also preserved the wine at room temp on the counter, as well as storing in a temp controlled upright wine cellar, and on a 45 degree tilted angle in the cellar.

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling

What else am I up too?

Eating Weeds
Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Advertisements

Cork’d highlights the wines of the Barossa with Langmeil Wines

Australian old vines wine fans should be pleased with tonight’s tasting event. Langmeil Wines will be highlighted at tonight’s Cork’d event where Langmeil Wines from Australia’s famed Barossa Valley will be showcased. Participants will be treated to some gnarly old vines wines where the fruit is rich and concentrated on the palate and nose.

Langmeil Wines family member, James Lindner will be on hand to walk participants through the tasting and answer questions.

Here’s a list of the wines that will be on hand-the line-up:

Event: Roger Smith Hotel, NYC 10/6

7pm tonight

Shiraz or Syrah? More old vines A $35 give-away

Cheers!-Adrienne

Arizona Wines- MeCaSah

Southwest Arizona Scenery

Not only is southern Arizona beautiful in paintings of the southwest style, but it is a great place to visit. Being from Texas and not having such good wines produced, I was skeptical about trying Arizona wines, but it was a good experience.

Visiting Tucson, Elgin, Sonoita areas we found a few wineries who were producing some decent grapes, but some were just bringing them in from California. What was the point? Maybe their grape varietals needed more maturing, but one winery was producing good cabernet, merlot and syrah grapes on their sprawling vineyard. A beautiful day and drive, we ended up purchasing a great bottle of wine.

After sharing it with my partner in wine sister, Adrienne, we decided it was worth the extra weight in the luggage after all. Sonoita Vineyard’s MeCaSah (My house wine), 06 Red Table Wine was a good match to the Italian meal we enjoyed together. Of course hubby broke out a Nickle and Nickle, and Adrienne brought a bottle of Sancere and an Isocolis cabernet blend, this bottle almost had not chance of survival. Well I was in love with its mellow and medium body. They were all good, but with a glass left in the MeCaSah bottle, I snuck it back into the carrier, and enjoyed it the next night. Savored every last drop.

When in Rome, or should I say Arizona, visit Sonoita Vineyards and pick up a bottle- tell them the chef from Texas sent ya’ll!

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling  Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! </a> Read her post on ‘dogeuro’ stands along the Arizona highways!

South Jersey Wines & Steak

South Jersey Vines

Jersey Fresh Wine & Food Festival, Heritage Winery, Sat & Sun 12-5 PM, 480 Mullica Hill Road (Route 322) in Mullica

Want a chance to taste some of the wines of Amalthea Cellars I have been so excited about? Up against other wineries of the region? Then come find me roaming about Heritage Wineries Property today during the Jersey Fresh Wine and Food Festival from Noon till 5 PM.

If you miss it today, then you have another chance Sunday from Noon till 5 PM. I will be unfortunately (or not) tasting twelve Zin’s with Adrienne, and we will be reporting back!

You can read my report on a great ribeye steakhouse in south Arizona over at Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! ‘Warning Steak Lovers’. The Pinot Noir I had with it was not so bad either, but the Zinfandel would probably have been a dead on tasting…

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food & Wine Writer/Chef-Owner CookAppeal, LLC Princeton, New Jersey

More Wine(ing) To Come

Corky is on the job as we speak!

Partners In Wine Club Press will be bringing you new and updated information on the marriage of food, wine, technology, and social media…

Both Chef Elizabeth Stelling and Adrienne Turner are attending classes, meeting with wine producers, and getting ready for Wine Art Music Poetry Project, and will begin regular posting soon…

The Garden State Wine Has Arrived

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]

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!

New Jersey Wine & Entertainment- 2010

[tweetmeme source=”PIWC2” only_single=false]

Sprawling Vineyard of Amalthea

New Jersey Wines ~ Savor the Experience!

More than two hundred years ago, London’s Royal Society of the Arts recognized two New Jersey vintners for their success in producing the first bottles of quality wine derived from colonial agriculture. Today New Jersey’s wineries continue the tradition of producing high quality wines. But New Jersey’s 30+ wineries offer more than just nationally and internationally acclaimed wines, they offer a total wine experience.

Savor New Jersey’s award-winning wines at wineries nestled amid rolling hills and breathtaking scenery. Sample the wines and taste the quality for yourself. Browse the gift shops and tour the winery to see how and where the wine is made.

Garden State Wine Growers Association Need a new passport? Pick up your Passport to the NJ Wine Country when you take a Walk In the Vineyard Wine Trail Weekend, July 17 & 18, 2010 at wineries across the state. Be the first start your 2010 NJ Wine Country adventure.

We suggest you hit one of the ‘Outter Coastal Plain’ wineries in South Jersey. Among them Amalthea winery- 409 Vineyard Road, Atco, New Jersey. The beautiful sprawling tree and grass covered property is surrounded by Amalthea’s small vineyard. Once you turn off the main road and begin down the gravel pathway- you feel the world was left behind and the historic ‘Green Tavern Inn’ and Wine Makers Cottage become a peaceful getaway into a wine lovers paradise. Enter the tasting room and have some well developed whites to reds while the staff is thoroughly trained in vine growth, varietals, to blending styles the owner has created from extensive training in France.

Events: Barrel Tasting- Enjoy a signature Chardonnay Caesar Salad and other delights while tasting some of next years vintages, and placing your six bottle limit order for your favorite pick! $10 per person, 12-5 PM Saturday and Sunday, July 17th & 18th- 2010

WAMPPWine Art Music Poetry Project, July 31st, 11-5 PM- Enjoy music, poetry, and art while enjoying wine and food as local and New Jersey grass root performers entertain you throughout the afternoon. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to spread out picnic style across the beautiful lawn of Amalthea Cellars in the shade of this tree covered property!

This past weekend the winery was flooded with new comers and followers of Amalthea bringing friends and family to taste their favorites, and walked away with new favorites. One man shared with me his love for the winemaker, Louis Caracciolo’s skill in his top blend, Europa- a European style reminiscent of an exquisite Bordeaux style. This winery holds all makes and styles of wine, so there is sure to be a bottle with your name somewhere on the property!

In 1976, the first vineyards were planted at Amalthea Cellars. Founder Louis Caracciolo’s infatuation with wine making began as a young boy making wine in the cellar of his Italian immigrant grandfather. Emilio brought the art from “The Old Country” at the age of thirteen to the southern New Jersey town of Blue Anchor at the turn of the century. Being exposed to the charm of wine making at an early age ignited a passion that continues to this day at Amalthea Cellars. Caracciolo often says of his philosophical grandfather, “I came on the scene with an unlit torch and my grandfather passed the flame.”

Hope to see you down there, and Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!