Posts Tagged ‘ food ’

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.


Chef Elizabeth Stelling

What else am I up too?

Eating Weeds
Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Mixologist Monday

This topic is something I have wanted to add for a while, but got no responses from bar tenders in my area- until now!

I was recently roaming around Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ with a fellow artist/musician friend, Andrea. The winds blew in the clouds and a nor-easter, and we grew quite chilly running about looking for shelter and warmth. We headed into the restaurant, Ratz back door to sit at the bar and have some tea. Talking to the bartender, Nick about various life related issues- relationships.

In this visit I asked if they had a new fall menu up, and he stated not only did they, but they also had redesigned a few drinks to pair with the food. This bartender most certainly takes his job seriously! Describing a Rye Whiskey infused drink where the glass is lined with Absinthe. Most intriguing. I asked for one, and wanted to watch as he carefully poured each element of the fusion into the glass, then the shaker, lined the glass with the most deadly libation, and softly squeezed the orange peel as he poured the drink slowly into the small highball glass.

The scent of orange and hints of Autumn rang through as my nose and mouth began to meld the flavors. Thoughts of maple pumpkin crunch pie floated about my head- as a pairing with this drink at home! The whiskey was smooth, not overwhelming as Rye can be; it was fantastic!

Sazerac Cocktail Recipe-
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
1 dash absinthe
2 dashes bitters
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
1 twist lemon peel

Chill an old-fashioned glass by filling with crushed ice. In another glass mix the sugar with the bitters dissolving the sugar. Add some ice, stirring to chill. In the old-fashioned glass remove the ice and pour in the absinthe coating the entire glass. Remove the excess absinthe. Add the rye whiskey and bitters/sugar mixture. Add the lemon twist.

Serve in: Old-Fashioned Glass

Visit Nick at Ratz most afternoons and evenings after you have walked Grounds For Sculpture!


Chef E Stelling

What else am I up too?

Eating Weeds
Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!