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So, you truly enjoyed that glass of red wine the waiter recommended for you at dinner last night. You don’t know much about wine, but you would like to know more so you can make a good choice like the waiter’s on your own. You can’t say you really care where Willamette Valley is, you just want to enjoy a great Pinot Noir at a decent price. Personally, you prefer Cabs over Merlots, but what wine should you bring to your dinner party? Maybe you’re fearful about being able to choose what wine and where, so could you use some help finding great prices on wine when shopping online? And once you buy that case at a discount, how can you keep the wine at its best? Clearly, what you really want to know are the basics - how to select, shop for, savor and store your wines. You’re looking for an expert to help you learn just what you need, rather than wanting to become an expert yourself. The staff at 100 Best Wines is pleased to provide you with our guide to knowing and enjoying wine. This collection of writings has been consolidated from the many years we have had the opportunity to help wine lovers, from novice to connoisseur, discover the wonders of wine. Please enjoy this collection. But if you want to continue exploring the world of wine, browse our always updated list of the 100 best wines available today, discover the latest and greatest wines and wine accessories, and find the best prices on the best wines at the best places, make it a habit to check out www.100BestWines.com every day.
Table of Contents
The Wonder of Wine ........................................................................................................................... 5 The Mayonnaise Jar and the Two Glasses of Wine ................................................................................. 6 Wine and Your Health.......................................................................................................................... 7-8 Wine: The Basics ................................................................................................................................. 9 The Classic Grape Varieties ..............................................................................................................10-16 Wine Rating Systems Explained .......................................................................................................17-18 What is the Correct Temperature to Serve Wine? ...........................................................................19-20 Opening wine bottles – the “proper” technique .............................................................................21-22 Why Does Wine Need to Breathe? ..................................................................................................23-24 How to Taste Wine...........................................................................................................................25-26 How to Know When a Wine is Peaking ............................................................................................27-28 Knowing When a Wine Has Gone Bad .............................................................................................29-30 Improving Wine’s Taste in Three Easy Steps ....................................................................................31-32 The Essential Wines – Seven Bottles Cover All Occasions .................................................................... 33 Top Ten Reasons to Buy Wine Online ..............................................................................................34-35 Pairing Wine with Food ..................................................................................................................... 36 Why Pair Wine with Food? ..............................................................................................................37-38 Wine Pairing Suggestions ................................................................................................................39-41 A Lesson in Pairing French and Italian Wines ..................................................................................42-44 Entertaining with Wine ..................................................................................................................... 45 How to Host a Wine Tasting Party ...................................................................................................46-47 Kick It Up a Notch with Blind Wine Tasting......................................................................................48-49 Choosing a Wine for Your Party Host...............................................................................................50-51 Valentine’s Day Essentials ................................................................................................................52-53 Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy ..........................................................................................54-56 Our Twelve Wines of Christmas.......................................................................................................57-59 Wine Glasses and Accessories ........................................................................................................... 60 How to Choose the Right Wine Glass ..............................................................................................61-62
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.......................................................................................... 92 Wine Clubs ... 103 Our 100 Best Wines ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................94-95 Gifts of Wine ..........................................................................com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines................................................................................100BestWines..............................................68-69 Why Decant Wine and How To Do It .......................................................................................................................................................................................74-75 Storing Wine ............................................................66-67 Choosing a Corkscrew – So Many Choices.. 87 How Big Should Your Wine Cooler Be? .......................................................................................................................................................................................63-64 Serve the Finest Wine in Finest Crystal .................................................... So Much Hype ....................79-80 What Are the Different Kinds of Wine Racks? ......................... Unique Expression of Caring and Connection..........101-102 Appendices ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................107-111 www...................Table of Contents Why Select a Certain Glass for a Particular Wine? ....................................................................... LLC All Rights Reserved 4 ............................................................................................................................99-100 Wine Baskets Make Great Gifts for Any Occasion ...................................................................................................70-71 Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator Unlocks the Complexities of Your Wine............................................................. 106 Online Wine Retailers ....................................................104-105 20 Best Buys Under $20..83-84 How to Design and Assemble Your Wine Rack System .....................................Use Wine Vacuum Storage ........... So Many Prices..................................................................................................................................................................... 91 Personalized Wines for Our Big Day Or “How Our Guests Never Forgot Our Wedding” .. 96 Order Wine as a Gift .........72-73 Don’t Waste an Open Bottle ..97-98 Creating the Perfect Wine Gift Basket .................. 76 The Proper Way to Store Wine ..................................................................................................88-89 Personalizing Wine ..85-86 Why Use a Wine Cooler? ........................................................................... 65 Washing Stemware and Wine Glasses .................................................................................................................................................................81-82 Tips for Buying the Perfect Wine Rack................ 93 Wine Clubs .............................................. 90 Personalized Wines .........The Ultimate......................................................................................................77-78 Key Components to a Wine Cellar .........................................A Convenient Way to Know Wine ....................
1 The Wonder of Wine .
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff. your children. effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The golf balls are the important things.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. Now. there’s always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend. When the class began. when 24 hours in a day are not enough. your family. as the laughter subsided. your friends. • Take your partner out to dinner. • Set your priorities. The same goes for life. your house. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. I’m glad you asked.The Mayonnaise Jar and the Two Glasses of Wine When things in your life seem almost too much to handle. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. things that if everything else was lost and only they remained. the things that really matter. The students responded with a unanimous yes. • Play with your children. www. The rest is just sand. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. he continued. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. • Play another 18. and your favorite passions. They agreed it was.. He shook the jar lightly. and your car. your health. • Take time to get medical checkups. wordlessly. the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem. If you put the sand into the jar first. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job. he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. Of course. LLC All Rights Reserved 6 .. said the professor. The professor smiled. • Take care of the golf balls first. the small stuff. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine. The sand is everything else. you will never have room for the things that are important to you. I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. • There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. The students laughed. your life would still be full. The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.100BestWines.
However. continue to research and understand by further investigating and reading about wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Consuming more than that will tip the scales towards unhealthy. most wines have little or no nutrients that our bodies can absorb. They have few vitamins and minerals that could nutritionally benefit our bodies. and have few calories per individual serving. prevent cancer. epilepsy. low in sodium. If wine effects to your health are important to you. moderate consumption of red wine has been scientifically shown to be beneficial to your overall health. for instance a glass of red wine once a day. or women with a history of breast cancer should not drink wine. can it really be true. This is largely due to the fact that most of the health-promoting compounds exist in the skins and seeds of the grape. Red wine grapes have naturally occurring anti-oxidants in them which are thought to prevent cells from becoming damaged and may result in a healthier body and longer life. As far as the nutritional benefits are concerned. As with most things. yet they manage to suffer from lower levels of heart disease than other nationalities. It’s also been found that the alcohol in wine helps to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL). the first thing to keep in mind is moderation. not all people will benefit from a daily dose of red wine. all wines are fat-free. they do nothing but eat fatty foods and drink wine with each meal. Unfortunately. Ask your doctor for advice before drinking wine for its healthy benefits.100BestWines. Since red wines are fermented with these skins and seeds intact and white wines are fermented without them. Just look at the French. and protect against heart disease. liver or kidney disease. so you won’t want to replace a glass of wine for your daily fruit serving. cholesterol-free. Men should drink no more than two glasses and women no more than one glass per day to receive the health benefits of wine. continued www. is good for your health. However. are there health benefits to red wine? Of course. So.Wine and Your Health We’ve all heard the claims. including preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Enjoying a bottle or two everyday will most certainly hinder your health rather than improve it. Red wine grapes also contain chemical compounds that have been shown to strengthen your immune system. People with digestive or urinary tract problems. so more is not necessarily better when it comes to drinking wine for better health. white wine just doesn’t seem to hold up health wise next to the red wine varieties. moderate wine consumption. LLC All Rights Reserved 7 . white wines don’t seem to hold the same health benefits that red wines do. Recent scientific studies are also analyzing the health benefits of red wine on our brain functions. ulcers. alcoholism.
www. perhaps one of the most important health benefits of wine is simply the sheer joy you can experience while drinking a good. healthier life. flavorful glass of wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. What could be better for your health than the smile you’ll wear on your face as a fine wine passes through your lips? Here’s to your health! Check out our guide to buying wine online and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips. clean.Wine and Your Health While drinking wine for your health may in fact help you to live a longer. LLC All Rights Reserved 8 .100BestWines.
2 Wine: The Basics .
g: Australia. takes the name of the grape variety from which they were produced.(e. There. In the last decades of the twentieth century many other countries have seen their regions develop into prime producers .buttery” components. blackberry. “vanilla”. CHARDONNAY: This grape is the best-known white wine grape grown in France and is more correctly known as the same Pinot Chardonnay grape widely grown in the Champagne region. Often made in a variety of styles with or without some residual sugar.g: Apple. known as Steen in South Africa. intensity and complexity that often need to bottle-age for at least 5-10 years in order to reach peak flavor condition. and Pineau de la Loire in the Loire region of France. In the warmer regions of California. The Chardonnay is also widely planted in the Burgundy and Chablis regions.100BestWines. Chile. or varietal. subsequent barrelinfluenced flavors include “oak”. Australia and New Zealand have succeeded in producing world-class wines from this grape in recent years by using cold fermentation methods that result in a desired “flinty” taste in the dry versions. mint (etc). used to create the magnificent french Bordeaux region blended red wines. grapes made into a single varietal wine will often produce higher than optimum levels of alcohol and. and malo-lactic fermentation imparted “creamy. Wines must be made up of at least 75 percent of a particular grape variety to carry the varietals name.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. citrus). The most successful plantings in North America are mainly on Long Island (N.) and the cooler regions of northern California. CHENIN BLANC: A widely grown white-wine grape variety. lemon.Y. Italy and New Zealand). (many of which are distantly related). It is the favored grape of the Anjou region of France and. Possessing a fruity character . CABERNET SAUVIGNON: A “noble” grape famous as one of the main varietals. although naturally a hard acidic continued www. Argentina. along with Merlot. Cabernet Franc and others. Aromas and flavors include: Black-currant. LLC All Rights Reserved 10 . conversely. Helps make wines of classic breed. as in the cooler regions of North America and California. lower than optimum acid levels in most years and so may tend to age less successfully than the blended french versions.(e.The Classic Grape Varieties Each type of wine. the wine made from it is often aged in small oak barrels to produce strong flavors and aromas.
and one of the mainstay grapes for which the Alsace is famous. with which it is sometimes blended. as do the cooler regions of California. it can make outstanding late-harvest wines ..100BestWines.S. produces excellent versions in the Mosel style and the North-West coast of N.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. the grape all too often ends up in the generic jug wines of bulk producers as acidity enhancer for otherwise flabby high sugar/alcohol blends. America. LLC All Rights Reserved 11 . earthier Rheinhessen taste. Other countries such as Chile. The red wine bears a resemblance to Cabernet Sauvignon wine. It is often regarded as somewhat similar in style to the Johannisberg Riesling . as well as fruitier semi-sweet Mosel-type wines.(e. N. where it can produce a flowery. Occasionally it is made into a “botrytized” late harvest dessert style wine. with softer tannins. the popular Gewurztraminer produces white wines with a strong floral aroma and lychee nut like flavor.g: Rheingau. It is also grown in N.S. but is usually not so intense. In the U. The Finger Lakes region of New York state in the U. is made into fine sweet wines that age well for a least ten years in the bottle. Australia now produces excellent versions of the dry. Australia and New Zealand. If infected with appropriate amounts of “botrytis”. Mosel. GEWURZTRAMINER (“geh-verts-tram-in-er”): A clone of the parent Traminer varietal.The Classic Grape Varieties grape slow to mature. crisp Alsation-style. fruity dry wine with high acid and low alcohol not unlike the german “Kabinett” version or a semi-dry style with some residual sugar similar to the german “Spatlese” version. In California it is a popular varietal on its own and also as a percentage constituent of the red wine blend resembling Bordeaux claret called “Meritage”. JOHANNISBERG RIESLING (aka Riesling in Germany and Rheinriesling in Austria): A white-wine variety widely grown along the Rhine river and tributaries . Argentina and New Zealand also seem to have the right climate for this variety. Nahe regions etc.(below) . continued www.g: comparable to the german “Auslese” series).(e. MERLOT: Classic grape widely grown in the Bordeaux region of France and elsewhere.S. Widely grown. Does well in the cooler coastal regions of Western U. Matures earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon.in Germany and also in other temperate regions of Europe. as has New Zealand in recent years.) .Y. America seems to have the right conditions for creating the richer. It does extremely well in the state of Washington and shows great promise on Long Island. Rheinhessen.when vinified as slightly sweet yet tart.
Australia and increasingly in California it is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc to cut some of the strong “gooseberry” flavor of the latter grape and create better balance. This grape variety has a distinct fig-like character. truffles. grapefruit or pear). its production has declined in favor of the popular Chardonnay. it has proved to be a capriciously acting and difficult grape for N. “Barbaresco” and “Ghemme”. the flavors and aromas tend to be more citruslike. plus the characteristic “earthy” taste. SAUVIGNON BLANC: Classic white-wine variety commonly planted in the Bordeaux and eastern Loire regions of France. (aka Moscato di Canelli and Muscat Frontignon). SHIRAZ: Alternate name for the french Syrah clone grape grown in Australia and responsible for very big red wines that are not quite as intense in flavor as the french Rhone versions. LLC All Rights Reserved 12 . known as Rheinriesling in Austria.S. herbaceous flavor in the wine when the grapes are grown in temperate regions. continued www. In the attempt to produce the best wines from cooler regions. Wineries in many countries also use the grape to create dry singlevarietal white wines. Still a widely grown varietal in the U. having the unique aromatic character commonly associated with muscat wines. tannic wines that at their best can take decades to mature when vinified in the traditional manner. and the ubiquitous gamey odor in new wines often referred to as “animale’” by the french winemaker. The role of honor includes “Barolo”. fine red wines of the Piedmont region of Italy. NEBBIOLO (aka Spanna grape): Grape responsible for the long-lived.100BestWines. SEMILLON: Semi-classic grape widely grown in the Bordeaux region of France and also elsewhere. (Botrytis cineria). mint. (See Johannisberg Riesling above). These include the Muscat Blanc. Most are of the muscat type. making both red and white wines. PINOT NOIR (see Gamay): The premier grape “cepage” of the Burgundy region of France. New Zealand has had much success with the grape in recent years. In France. RIESLING: Premier white wine grape of Germany. It shows a tendency towards a grassy. Cherished aromas and flavors often detected are cherry.. (e. all huge. It produces a red wine that is lighter in color than the Bordeaux reds (such as Cabernet and Merlot). In warmer regions.g. Mostly these grapes are made into medium-sweet and dessert style table or fortified wines. raspberry. it can be used to produce first-class sweet white wines such as those of the french Sauternes. When infected by the “noble rot” fungi.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.The Classic Grape Varieties MUSCAT: Another “cepage” family of clone varieties. Producers of sparkling wines often use the Muscat grape to create wines in the style of Italian Spumante. “Gattinara”. American west coast wineries.
with strong aroma of that grape. U. it is used to either produce a spicy. CABERNET FRANC: Semi-classic grape similar in many ways to Cabernet Sauvignon. Was probably imported into the U.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Related to the Muscat variety. tannic wine judged simple in comparison to the true Rhone Syrah. famous for creating “Hermitage” red wine. Now strongly suspected of being a mutation particularly suited to cooler.100BestWines. complex wine or a simple wine. BARBERA: Semi-classic grape commonly grown in the Piedmont region and most of northern Italy. it is grown extensively in the Abbruzzo and Apulia regions. a grape species common to southern Italy.The Classic Grape Varieties SYRAH: A grape variety associated with the Rhone Valley region of France. depending on location. Some plantings are also found in the warmer regions of California. Widely grown in the Loire region where it is known as the Breton and in large areas of southwest France where it is sometimes known as Bouchy or Bouchet. In the state of California. Plantings in North America are mostly confined to the warm western coastal regions. has no relationship other than the name. Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow production of long-aging. Usually produces an intense red wine with deep color. low tannins and high acid and is used in California to provide “backbone” for so-called “jug” wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 13 . Zinfandel is noted for its peppery. In the cooler regions of Australia a similar grape is grown successfully and called the Shiraz. which produces a very dark red. The parent grape is thought to have originated in ancient Persia.S. EUROPEAN WINE GRAPE VARIETIES ALEATICO: Minor red grape commonly grown in central and southern Italy. An important grape variety grown in California that is used to produce robust red wine as well as very popular “blush wines” called “white Zinfandel”.A. robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. Italy it is known as the Bordo grape. fruit-laden. ZINFANDEL: While the origins are not clear it has been tentatively identified as the Primitivo (di Gioia). grape of Sardinia.A. vintage or fermentation technique. berry-like aroma and taste characteristics in its red version and pleasant strawberry reminders when made into a “blush” wine. late in the 19th century. The Petite Sirah. Now thought by some to be identical with the Perricone . Bordeaux continued www. damper climatic conditions. or Pignatello. In NE.S.
GAMAY BEAUJOLAIS: The Gamay Beaujolais grape is a widely grown. DOLCETTO: Well-known grape widely grown in Piedmont region of Italy.S. CARMENERE: Very limited plantings of this red wine grape are now found in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. Cinsaut and some others. At one time or another. before it was discovered that many cepage clones existed. North American growth is mainly confined to the coastal regions.Y.. Also used to make some of the better rose’ wines of Provence in southern France. Long Island (N. a practice increasingly being followed in California. May be identical with the Douce Noir grape of the Savoie region of France and the varietal known as Charbono in California. early-ripening clone of Pinot Noir that can do well in the temperate climates of the northwest U. Just like Cabernet Sauvignon.S. along with the Mourvedre. with a fragrant aroma. each one were thought to be the true Pinot Noir of Burgundy. GAMAY: At least three different vitis vinifera grape species are permitted to use the term “Gamay” as their lable-specified variety in the U. LLC All Rights Reserved 14 . fruity and robust dark red wine with faintly bitter flavor. Usually made into fast maturing. New Zealand has also proved to be a potential good home. the south of France and also in California. GRENACHE: A grape variety found widely grown in Spain. In the warmer regions of California the Grenache grape tends to produce red wines that are often “hot” due to high alcohol content and with a distinctive orange colored tint. (where it is known under the name Garnacha). and. Wine from these grapes has a deep purple color.100BestWines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.The Classic Grape Varieties wines commonly contain a blend of both wines. It is the main grape used in the red wine blend known as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. France where it is used to produce deep red wines occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.) and the Pacific Northwest showing signs of being very hospitable. The Gamay Noir. Also grown in the cooler regions of Califorcontinued www. when young. and if picked promptly will produce a good red wine. makes good wine blends under the appellation “Cotes du Rhone Villages”. MALBEC: Semi-classic grape grown in the Bordeaux region of France and in other areas under the name Cot and in the Alsace has the local name Auxerrois. Gamay Beaujolais and Napa Gamay.
so it is mainly used in blends. In Argentina the grape known as the Fer is now thought to be a clone of this varietal. rather subtle wine similar to the simpler versions of Chardonnay. regions of France. In Germany and Austria it is known as the Rulander or Grauer Burgunder where it is used to make pleasant. intense wine. Found mainly in the temperate Bordeaux region St-Emilion subdistrict and used to make red wine later blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines. MOURVEDRE: Robust mediterranean grape variety widely grown in the southern Rhone region of France and mainly used to introduce color and body to the red wine blends. Also called the Malvoisie or Pinot Beurot in the Loire. yet balanced red wine with attractive aroma. parts of Burgundy and in Austria. a grape grown widely in the western reaches of the Loire region of France. but recent DNA analysis has shown otherwise.S. a similarly named grape is used to make a fruity. In California. In the cooler northern regions can be made into a robust. Generally made into a blend with Sangiovese in order to produce a fruity. Produces an dark red. Used in many of the better champagne style sparkling wines of California because of its acid content and clean flavor. rather intense white wines in the Alsace. crisp. round. Grape is generally used to make dry. tannic wine in the warm regions of California. PETITE SIRAH: Widely grown grape variety in California. PINOT BLANC: Mutation of the Pinot Gris vine. PINOT GRIS: Clone of Pinot Noir grown in western coastal regions of the U.100BestWines. produce a wine that sometimes develops the “green tea-like” herbal character that Rhone region french growers refer to as “animale”. and famous for producing the “Muscadet” tart white wines that match so well with shellfish meals. continued www. (aka Muscadet de Bourgogne). However. In the latter country it is known as the Weissburgunder. recent research speculates that some plantings of this California grown grape varietal are actually the Melon de Bourgogne. Alone it creates a rather inky red. Select limited plantings in California. LLC All Rights Reserved 15 . MONTEPULCIANO: Minor grape mostly found growing in central and southern Italy. and the former name in the Languedoc. Still thought by some to be the same stock as the minor french Durif grape.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. balanced red wine of some popularity. In California and other areas it is increasingly being used for the same blending purpose. Also widely grown in Spain where it has the name Monastrell. used mainly as backbone for Central Valley “jug” wines. where the grape is often called the Mataro. such as with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create the world renowned red Bordeaux “claret” blend. PETIT VERDOT: Grape grown in limited amounts..The Classic Grape Varieties nia.
depending on production method. New plantings in California have created much anticipation among that States wine community. SANGIOVESE: Semi-classic grape grown in the Tuscany region of Italy.(but not to be confused with the Hungarian Furmint grape used to make the famous “Tokaji” sweet wines). Widely grown in Italy and Southern France. Viognier can vary from almost Rieslinglike character to almost Chardonnay character. two of which seem to predominate. Has full. www. TREBBIANO: Alternate name for Ugni Blanc grape .100BestWines. spicy flavors somewhat reminiscent of the Muscat grape and violets. it is the basic format used for all contemporary Chianti wines. white wines in the southern regions. In the Cognac region of France it is known as the Saint-Emilion grape. VIOGNIER: Semi-classic grape varietal grown in the northern Rhone region of France.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. dry whites and also sparkling sweet wines often having a uniquely perfumed aroma. SANGIOVESE GROSSO: (see Sangiovese above). The other is the Sangiovese Piccolo.The Classic Grape Varieties young. Has many clonal versions. acidic white wine. There it produces a fruity. traditionally powerful and slow-maturing “Brunello di Montalcino” wine. The Sangiovese Grosso clone Brunello variety is used for the dark red. Used to produce the Chianti and other Tuscan red wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 16 . PROSECCO: Minor grape grown in Veneto region of northern Italy and generally used to make both crisp. Blended with Canaiolo (Nero) grape wine. used for lesser Tuscan wines. UGNI BLANC: (aka Trebbiano). Also known as the Prugnolo Gentile grape. Recent efforts in California with clones of this variety are very promising. producing mediumbodied reds with rich cherry or plumlike flavors and aromas. fruity flavors that improves with a couple of years in the bottle . best drunk when young and chilled.see below. Versions named Auxerrois Gris and Tokay d’Alsace are also grown in the Alsace where the latter variety is used to make a golden-yellow wine with aromatic.
the type of wine glass used. The Wine Enthusiast. So. so only do so if you know your tastes are similar to the reviewer’s tastes. but again you should decide on your own which wine rating system matches up with your own personal wine tastes when buying wine. they’re highly subjective and dependent upon a variety of factors. You can also pay to subscribe to the many online wine rating guides. or the wine’s serving temperature. Some of these wine guides are quite expensive. whether it’s used to determine the best hotel. You should never depend solely on a numeric rating for any particular wine. such as Wine Spectator. things like the taster’s personal preferences. LLC All Rights Reserved 17 . You can view these ratings in many wine publications. There are a variety of published wine ratings systems that are considered respectable in the wine tasting community. or Wine & Spirits Magazine. or next pop singer.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. When it comes to rating wine.100BestWines. It’s like reading a glowing movie review only to find that when you actually see the movie you’re not as much of a fan of French subtitled epic dramas about turn-of-the-century mimes as the reviewer might have been. don’t simply rely on a certain wine rating system’s choice for the best tasting wine without knowing what your own likes or dislikes are. one system’s winner may not be another’s. The 50-to-100 wine rating scale is probably the most widely accepted and used.Wine Rating Systems Explained Like most rating systems. Olympic ice-skater. With each wine review and rating there will usually be a written description of the wine and how it received continued www. keeping that in mind. Many wine connoisseurs feel that this scale is more descriptive and all-encompassing than the 1-to-20 scale. Most wine rating systems use either a 50-to-100 or a 1-to-20 ratings scale.
average (70-79). One of the most popular. such as Stephen Tanzer of Food & Wine Magazine. smell. but this doesn’t mean that everyone will enjoy those particular wines. use a similar wine rating system. As long as it’s meaningful to you. Parker awards each wine points based on its color. Other professional wine raters.Wine Rating Systems Explained a particular rating number. While this wine rating system is a good one to use to narrow down your choices of wines to taste. Just because a wine got a 98 on a particular wine rating scale. that’s all that matters. Things to consider when rating your own wines can be divided into four categories: sight. you should again depend on your own likes and dislikes in determining which wines rate highest on your own palate. Assign your own numeric rating system based on the different aspects of wine that you would consider poor. taste.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Sometimes an affordable. or great. flavor. good. Don’t worry how the experts do it. outstanding (90-95). aroma. many times the highest rated wines are the most expensive wines. wine generally falls into six scoring categories: extraordinary (96-100). and unacceptable (50-59).100BestWines. According to his 50-to-100 scale. but you don’t always need to rely on the experts to determine which wines to choose from. LLC All Rights Reserved 18 . respectable 79 wine rating is one that you might prefer over the higher rated ones. it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy it. You can develop your own wine rating system as you travel down the road to understanding wine and what you like and dislike about different varieties and flavors. and finish. and overall quality. Of course. respected wine rating systems is by Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. very good (80-89). www. Don’t let the ratings system dictate what wines you should or should not like. below average (6069).
Who knew? The reason most red wines aren’t chilled is due to the fact that lower temperatures can cause the tannins (the bitter tasting substance that exists in grape skins. refreshing taste while red wines will seem dull and bitter on the tongue when served chilled. Riesling. and inexpensive Chardonnay. In fact. Merlot. that would be considered too warm to serve your red wine at. Chianti. Chenin Blanc.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Of course. Since most people and restaurants keep their room temperatures at around 70 degrees. and stems) to become sharper and harsher tasting than when it’s served warmer. or Burgundy.What is the Correct Temperature to Serve Wine? Everyone knows the general rule of thumb when it comes to wine serving temperatures. On the other hand. white wines should be chilled. Shiraz. serve their white wines too cold and their red wines too warm. Sauvignon Blanc. placing your red wines in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or in an ice bucket for 5 minutes should chill most reds to a more acceptable temperature level.100BestWines. Light red wines with lower tannin levels. This includes Cabernet Sauvignon. keeping your wines in a wine cooler or wine refrigerator makes everything simple. But for the budding connoisseur. seeds. serve white wines cold and red wines warm…right? Well. You can remove these white wines from the refrigerator or ice bucket continued www. Sauterne. fine dry white wine. the truth is that most people. White wines. such as Beaujolais. there are even a few red wines that taste better when chilled. which is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Most white wines are considered perfectly chilled at around 45-50 degrees. everyday white wines should be chilled for at least two hours in the refrigerator or 20 minutes in an ice bucket. white wines generally have a cool. Most red wines should be served at room temperature. Bordeaux. such as an expensive California Chardonnay. however. should be served a bit warmer in order to fully enjoy the flavors and aromas. and Zinfandel. including waiters. There seems to be a general misconception of what is actually meant by warm and cold. In order to balance out these temperature variations. you can greatly improve your wine drinking experience by chilling your red wines and warming your white wines for short periods of time just before serving. are not usually tannic in nature and have less complex flavors. LLC All Rights Reserved 19 . This includes Pinot Grigio. Simple. Barbera. crisp. it really comes down to the quality of wine when determining serving temperatures. not frozen. can be placed in the refrigerator for an hour or an ice bucket for 15 minutes to reach their temperature potentials. Some red wines actually taste better at even lower temperatures. Therefore. However. As for white wines. Anything lower will cause the wine to seem stunted and flavorless. and Chinon. Pinot Noir. but that actually refers to wine cellar room temperature.
100BestWines. As for Champagnes. warm or cold. Of course. LLC All Rights Reserved 20 . and sparkling wines at 40-45ºF. and most dessert wines (with the exception of port). colder is usually better. So. Cheers! Check out our guide to buying wine online and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips. there are many wine temperature charts that you can refer to in order to determine the best overall temperature for each type of wine. You should serve most red wines at 55-60ºF. A chilled wine also makes the alcohol content seem less obvious. everyday white wines at 45-50ºF. Colder temperatures tend to keep the bubbles livelier and seem to make these wines taste sharper. no matter how you like your wine served.What is the Correct Temperature to Serve Wine? for a good 15 minutes before serving to allow them to warm up a bit. just remember to enjoy the wine and all its wonderful flavors and aromas. www. sparkling wines. fine white and light red wines at 50-55ºF.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. you can follow this general guide and then decide what your own personal serving temperature tastes are. While they may vary a few degrees between charts.
Opening wine bottles – the “proper” technique The table is set. What could be simpler than that? Another complicated-looking. but fairly simple to use corkscrew is the Ah-So or Butler’s Friend. and lever arm. trying to get it to screw down evenly. If the cork sticks. Place the base of the corkscrew on the top of the wine bottle and hold both the corkscrew and the bottle with one hand. The Screwpull Corkscrew has a simple design that works surprisingly well. uneven prongs with a handle. The Waiter’s Corkscrew is what you’ll most commonly see being used in restaurants. Start turning the lever in a clockwise manner and the cork will simply lift out of the wine bottle with ease. but it’s too late. You confidently hold the perfectly chosen wine and begin screwing down the corkscrew. The cork should slide out perfectly intact. and pull with the other hand. and a lever on top. The main problem with this corkscrew is that the worm is too short and thick and usually tears the cork apart rather than pulling it out smoothly. The cork has broken in two and you’re standing there wondering if anyone will notice if you just push it into the bottle. Once the shorter prong is inserted. press the corkscrew’s worm into the center of the cork and start twisting it down. This corkscrew looks like a pocketknife with a worm. gently twist the corkscrew farther down and try lifting it out again. As you fumble with the opener. the Ah-So corkscrew slides down in the space between the cork and the wine bottle. you might want to try one of these other kinds and save yourself some aggravation. cutter knife.100BestWines. Place the corkscrew’s lever on the top lip of the bottle. you start to notice those little flecks of cork as they start to drop inside the bottle. the worm is probably not in the cork far enough. LLC All Rights Reserved 21 . and the guests have arrived. yet infamous one. rather than struggling with this type of corkscrew. Insert the longer prong into the side of the cork and press down. If this happens. Don’t let this happen to you! This seemingly simple task can sometimes challenge even the most adept wine connoisseur. There are many different types of corkscrews available on the market today. The most common. This corkscrew has a spiral shaped “worm” in the center that you twist into the cork and two wings that are used to lift the cork out. While holding the neck of the wine bottle firmly. the lights are dim. keeping the worm as vertical as possible. two sides that look like a clothespin. So. It has a long worm. Twist the corkscrew until it meets the last curve of the worm. holding the lever and the bottle’s neck with one hand. This corkscrew has two thin. You struggle to save the cork as you gently pull. move the handle back and forth until the corkscrew is as far down as it can go. continued www.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. is the Wing Corkscrew. Rather than screwing a hole in the middle of the cork.
sturdy surface at chest level. After you’ve removed the cork. make sure to wipe off any remaining pieces of foil or cork from the rim of the bottle with a clean towel and enjoy your wine! www.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. place the bottle on a flat. This corkscrew is most useful with tight-fitting or older corks that are falling apart. No matter which corkscrew you choose.Opening wine bottles – the “proper” technique Then twist the cork out while pulling the corkscrew up. Using the pointed tip of the corkscrew worm or cutter blade. removing the cork in one piece with no holes or flakes. LLC All Rights Reserved 22 .100BestWines. cut the foil around the neck just below the bottom lip of the wine bottle and remove the foil. Next. but you should never use it with loose corks because it will probably just push the cork inside the wine bottle. make sure the first thing you do is remove the foil cap.
because many wines are best served after they’ve been exposed to the air for a short period of time. usually about 30 minutes. Tannins give you that somewhat bitter. so they need the opportunity to breathe to soften that tannic bitterness.100BestWines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. seeds. This is especially true for younger. Older. However. Exposing more of the wine to the surrounding air will let the wine breath and come to life in many ways. 8-10 years. Some of the flavors and aromas need to move around a bit after being trapped inside the bottle. tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux will absolutely require additional aeration. it’s best to pour the wine out into large wine glasses or into a decanter of some sort and let it sit a short time before drinking. A wine will aerate more effectively when the most surface area of the wine is exposed to the air. Younger wines will generally require more time to aerate than older wines. or aerate. tannic wines. Young tannic wines haven’t had time enough to mellow naturally inside the bottle. young.Why Does Wine Need to Breathe? Wine needs to breathe. and stems. Tannins are the bitter tasting particles that exist in grape skins. so white Burgundy and white Bordeaux wines will benefit from some breathing time. older wines will not require as long to breathe and can in fact begin to deteriorate in flavor if left to aerate too long. more mature wines. Red wines. will benefit from a little aeration before serving. These wines will improve if you let them aerate properly for about an hour. sharp taste in your mouth when you drink red wine. Some white wines have higher tannin levels in them than other whites because of the oak barrels they ferment in. In particular. should only be aerated for a few minutes. Letting the wine just sit there with the cork off is not an effective way to let a wine breathe. red. As a general rule of thumb. most wines will significantly improve by allowing them to breathe for just 15 minutes. LLC All Rights Reserved 23 . more than white wines. Red wines generally have higher tannin levels in them over white wines because they are allowed to ferment with these parts of the grapes inside. Oak barrels have tannins in them as well. Therefore. Allowing the wine to breathe and move around a bit after opening the bottle will allow the wine’s flavors to mellow and the aromas to open up. This is because the small opening at the bottle of the neck is not wide enough to let enough air in to interact with the wine inside. This is due to the fact that they have higher levels of tannins in them than other red wines. This is because older wines have naturally mellowed their tannins and the sudden shock of the air surrounding them will tend to continued www.
com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. man Ports will need to be decanted in order to remove the heavy sediment that will exist inside these bottles. These include red Burgundies. Pinot Noirs. Overall. Older Ports should aerate for 4-5 hours and younger Vintage Ports should aerate for 8 hours or more. Some older Ports and younger Vintage Ports require lots of breathing time as well.Why Does Wine Need to Breathe? damage the delicate wine inside. LLC All Rights Reserved 24 . www. most wines do not require any breathing time at all and can just be enjoyed straight out of the bottle. In addition. rather than just pouring them into wine glasses. Some exceptions to these aerating rules include very young. and most other white wines.100BestWines. So. remember these few rules when it comes to letting wine breathe and you’re sure to enjoy every breathable sip. Beaujolais. inexpensive red wines. These older wines will probably require decanting. These wines are packed full of tannins and require 3-4 hours of breathing time before serving. in order to remove any sediment that may have accumulated inside the bottle over the years. highly tannic Barolo and Barbaresco wines.
nuts. everyone has to start somewhere. However. Is it light or dark. when it comes to tasting wine properly. such as mushrooms.How to Taste Wine When you first start getting into wine as a hobby. If you can’t smell the aromas of the wine. smells. Younger red wines can look more purplish and tend to turn brown as they age. rich aromas. large-bowled glass with a footed stem and no lip on the mouth. butters. dirty socks. chocolates. tasting wine.100BestWines. But don’t worry. clear. Don’t be shy. LLC All Rights Reserved 25 . like a napkin. woods. Raise the glass and stick your nose right into it and breathe deeply. yellow or golden? These observations can tell you a lot about the wine. The deep colors. you might find a mixture of fruits. you won’t be able to fully taste the flavors. and truth be told. pencil shavings (no kidding). or vinegar. Smelling the wine is important because it enhances your ability to taste things completely. so you can see the wine’s colors more accurately. Next. How each wine looks. Choose a thin. and everything else that comes along with those tasty little grapes. being careful not to spill it on the table! Swirling the wine awakens it and causes the molecules to break apart and releases the many aromas inside. Fill the glass about one-third to one-half full and observe everything that makes the wine unique. flowers. Hold the glass up and tip it to a 45-degree angle. toffees. It seems like everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to choosing wine. where do you begin? Wine is meant to engage the senses. peppers. continued www. You can truly see the beauty in each wine if you understand what it is showing you in the glass. red or brown. There are some things you don’t want to smell because they indicate that a wine has gone bad. tobaccos. The wine should appear clean and not cloudy. Consider the wine’s color. Young white wines can start out with pale yellow tones and then deepen to a darker gold color as they age. rotten eggs. and tastes is all a part of the wine experience. herbs. everyone else will think you know what you’re doing! There are so many different aromas that you might encounter in a single glass of wine that it would be impossible to list them all here. You might want to hold it up against a white background. swirl the wine inside the glass. You’ll first want to make sure that you have the proper glassware for the job. and complex tastes of each bottle of wine should be fully enjoyed by the senses. or any number of other aromas. it can be pretty intimidating trying to figure out how to do everything the right way.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. it is considered light-bodied. everyone else is probably faking it to! So. spices. transparent or opaque. A red wine that is darker or more opaque is considered full-bodied. You should first take note of the wine’s color and depth. If a red wine is more transparent.
100BestWines. The more you understand about these flavors. there’s nothing wrong with just enjoying a fine wine without all the scientific analysis. but at least now you know how to do so with the best of them. This is called the finish or the aftertaste. you can swallow or spit out the wine. why bother? While this may seem like a complicated way to get through a glass of wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. sour. and taste wines all day. Did the taste stay in your mouth for a long time or did it fade away quickly? A wine that remains in your mouth longer is usually thought to be a better wine. Finally. it really does teach you a lot about what wine is all about. LLC All Rights Reserved 26 . This is probably the most important factor because you can look at. Of course. light-bodied. acidity. fruitiness. and alcohol. bitter. You want to coat your mouth with the flavors of the wine so you can really taste them. the more you’ll understand about wine. www. The main things you’re looking for in the wine are sweetness. tannic. Wine is an experience and a journey and should be studied and appreciated if you really want to learn about what makes wine so interesting. Open your mouth slightly and breathe in to release the aromas into the back of your nasal passages. You want to pay attention to how long the flavors of the wine last in your mouth. Take a small sip of wine and move it around your entire mouth. but if you don’t like them in the end. or full-bodied. The final thing to consider is whether or not you liked the wine. you can finally taste the wine. smell. tannin. Different wines will show different levels of these taste aspects and can determine if a wine is sweet.How to Taste Wine Now.
but it can be fun to see what has happened inside the bottle as time marches on. While there is no magic formula for knowing how every wine will taste after years of aging. the ones that will benefit most from aging include Bordeaux. nothing ages like a fine wine. so you’ll definitely want to do some research before you wait too long or not long enough in order to catch a wine at its prime. tongue-splitting harshness may mellow into a deeper. A wine that tastes like green apples in its youth will taste more like a hot apple pie in its golden years. Most white wines are better in their youth. The better Rieslings can benefit the most from additional aging. appreciating aged wine can be a bit of a gamble and somewhat of an acquired taste. The old adage. Cabernet Sauvignon. and their sharp.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. High-quality red wines from the French region of Rhone will develop into a finely aged wine after about 10 years. Aged wine is not for everyone. Barolo.How to Know When a Wine is Peaking Today. more complex flavors. Storing them for long periods of time will do nothing to improve the taste or complexity of these wines.100BestWines. The best wines for aging are usually highly tannic or highly acidic. but there are a few that will improve with age. The higher the quality of the wine and the higher the tannins that exist in the wine. there are several wines that are worthy of aging. When it comes to these red wines. perhaps 3 to 5 continued www. there is a general guideline you can follow for certain varieties. Burgundy. While buying wine and letting it sit for years or even decades can be an exciting experiment in taste and patience. Chardonnays. California Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauternes. most wines are produced for immediate consumption. Barbaresco. such as Hermitage and Cote-Rotie. Merlot. When it comes to red wines. and Chenin Blancs. LLC All Rights Reserved 27 . ones that evolve into new and exciting flavors with each year that passes. Barolo. In fact. and Merlot can benefit from 5 to 10 years of aging in your wine cellar. and Rhone wines. aging depends on its overall quality and tannic levels. As wines age. and fine white Burgundies. but with a little aging they can mellow and transform themselves into deeper. the longer it needs to age. These qualities may be too bitter or harsh in younger wines. A fine Bordeaux or Burgundy can easily sit for 10 to 20 years. It’s not that the flavors change so much as they develop into more mature versions of their original flavors. is not necessarily the case for all wines. such as German and Austrian Rieslings. silkier smoothness. Less expensive. Barbaresco. lesser quality wines of these types will generally only benefit from sitting for 3 to 5 years. they may lose some of their color and opacity. many wines will actually deteriorate in quality and flavor over time. aromas may become less fruity and more earthy. Many of these wines are very affordable and will well be worth the money spent once you pop open the cork. However.
No matter what you choose to buy and let age. you’ll be enjoying a fine wine that has aged to perfection and the journey will have well been worth the wait. both red and white can definitely improve in flavor from 10 to 20 years on the rack. Life is full of both surprises and disappointments so just enjoy the experience and learn from it. so don’t go into it expecting one hundred percent success. Your best bet when it comes to filling up your wine cellar space with age-improving wines is to go with fine Champagne and Vintage Port. Of course. You don’t want to hurry a Vintage Port along. Vintage Port. able to withstand 10 to 20 years of proper aging. Most other age-worthy white wines should only sit for around 3 years.How to Know When a Wine is Peaking years. from oxidation to chemical imbalance to just plain nastiness on your palate when you finally uncork to bottle. Sauternes probably have the longest allowable aging requirement for white wines.100BestWines. Any number of things can happen over the years. just understand that the practice of aging wine can be like playing the lottery. in the end. www. LLC All Rights Reserved 28 . High quality Champagnes. white wines don’t really hold their own when challenging the tests of time in comparison to their red wine counterparts.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. but in general. Hopefully. the poster child for older-is-better. so just let it sit there knowing it will be well worth the wait in the end. can sit for 20 to 25 years. there are some exceptions.
LLC All Rights Reserved 29 . Of course. Wine becomes oxidized when air has seeped into the bottle. but sometimes things happen that can cause a wine to enter the vinegar stage much earlier than you would want it to. Wine that smells and tastes dull or weak is probably the victim of oxidation. unless you really like the taste of vinegar. Grape juices turn into wine and wine will eventually turn into vinegar. it’s not a perfect system and things can go wrong along the way that cause an otherwise good wine to go bad. and storage should keep your wine in top shape for many. there are some smells that will only tell you that the wine has gone bad. With modern technology as it is today. No matter what may have caused a wine to go bad. allowing air into a bottle of wine. there’s nothing that can save this wine from itself. So. Because of quality ingredients. processing. and storing techniques. Wines can go bad due to improper shipping or handling. or a cork simply falling apart. there are fortunately some telltale signs of what to look for that will indicate when a wine has gone bad. bottling. These wines have definitely gone bad and should be poured down the drain.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. give it a good sniff. Wine that smells and tastes like vinegar are also no good. While there are certainly a plethora of aromas to look for and savor in a wine. This applies to winemaking as well. usually through a cracked or faulty cork. A wine that smells like a damp cardboard box or musty old sock with a flat taste is considcontinued www. given enough time and the right conditions. it probably won’t be the most enjoyable taste. go ahead and toss that bottle out or pour it onto a salad. All wines. When you open a bottle of wine. can eventually turn into vinegar. many years. However. proper fermentation. it’s very rare to actually produce what might be considered a “bad” wine.Knowing When a Wine Has Gone Bad We live in a great time. manufacturing. Wines that smell like nail polish remover or paint thinner have a chemical imbalance problem.100BestWines. many things that were very difficult in the past are now simple and far superior to the methods of yesteryear. poor storage or temperature conditions. While there’s nothing dangerous about drinking a wine that smells this way. Corks that are exposed to temperature fluctuations or very dry conditions can shrink or disintegrate. Unfortunately. so it needs to be tossed. bottling.
life is too short to drink bad wine. A wine that has suffered heat damage due to improper shipping or storage conditions will have a cooked or baked aroma because this is exactly what has happened to the grapes inside. This is caused by poor corking processes and is one of the most common reasons why a wine goes bad. LLC All Rights Reserved 30 . While corks have traditionally been the distinguishing factor in determining whether a wine is expensive or not.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. you’ll never have to encounter one of these bad wines. dusty smell and taste to it. don’t confuse this with a wine that you just don’t plain like the flavor of. rotten. The problem of poor corking is one of the main reasons that many wineries are choosing to use screw off caps rather than corks. the wine may have just been bad from the start. more reliable way to seal wine inside a bottle. the grapes were probably not as fresh as they could have been when they were harvested and bottled. They literally cooked inside the bottle. If the wine has a moldy. There’s a big difference between a wine that has gone bad and one you just find tastes bad on your palate. so don’t! www.100BestWines. Finally.Knowing When a Wine Has Gone Bad ered corked. Remember. Now. but if you do you’ll know how to spot it right away. Hopefully. this is changing due to the fact that modern technology has come up with a better. You might even notice that the cork is lifting out of the bottle or that wine has actually leaked out of it.
A good wine glass is one that directs the wine’s flavors to the correct spots onto the tongue as well as the wine’s aromas into the nose and the back of the throat. Bringing out the best in a wine is often up to you to provide the right conditions in order for the wine to thrive. Choose a smaller wine glass with a smaller rim for white wines that are more delicate in nature. Next. LLC All Rights Reserved 31 . and flavorful. but you can also get by with a good set of multi-purpose wine glasses that serve varietals well. Many people have one set of wine glasses that they use with whatever wine they happen to open up that night. Unfortunately. Strong red wines should be placed in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and fine white wines should be removed from the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving. whereas a light and fruity red wine like a Beaujolais will express itself better ten degrees or so below room temperature. You could go crazy and buy a different kind of wine glass for every type of wine you like.100BestWines. Each wine has a specific temperature that it can thrive by allowing it to open up and release its own unique flavors and aromas. As a general rule of thumb. this is not the ideal situation for bringing out the best in an individual wine type. smooth. Start with choosing the right glass for the right wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. have perfected the shape and size of a wine glass to the point that you can find a wine glass to match just about every type of wine out there. continued www. make sure you are serving your wines at the correct temperature. there are three easy steps you can follow to make your wine really sing. a strong and rich red wine like a Bordeaux is best served a couple of degrees below room temperature. use wine glasses with larger bowls for red wines that have strong aromas and complex flavors. but this isn’t necessarily the correct way to serve every wine. Many glass producers. For instance. To do this. other times it’s light. This temperature is determined by the wine’s grape variety and the region it originates from. If you want to know the best temperatures for each individual wine. There are actually very specific shapes and sizes of wine glasses that help a wine to express itself fully.Improving Wine’s Taste in Three Easy Steps Wine can be a fickle friend. A good rule of thumb to follow is the 15 minute rule. On the other hand. such as Riedel. Most people remember to serve red wines warm and white wines chilled. Sometimes it’s harsh and bitter. you might want to refer to a wine temperature chart. white wines really shouldn’t be served ice cold.
but a full bodied. You can also pour the wine into a large mouthed glass and swirl it around a bit before drinking. let your wine breathe a bit before drinking. Just removing the cork and letting the bottle sit open is not enough to allow it to breathe properly. Remember. so these wines need only a few minutes of aeration in order to fully peak. complex red wine may need only an hour.100BestWines. Knowing how long to aerate a wine so it reaches its full potential is definitely the tricky part.Improving Wine’s Taste in Three Easy Steps Finally. and allowing it to aerate properly. the right temperature. www. you’ll be able to enjoy each bottle of wine the way it was intended. A larger surface area of the wine must be allowed to mix with the surrounding air in order for the wine to aerate effectively. To achieve this you can use a wine decanter or any glass container that has a wide opening. By choosing the right glass. treat your wine right and it will be good to you as well. Wines older than 15 years deteriorate quickly.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Younger. LLC All Rights Reserved 32 . very tannic red wines may need as many as two hours of aeration. Letting a wine breathe or aerate is a perfect way to let many red wines balance their flavors by releasing and softening their bitter tannins.
The Essential Wines – Seven Bottles Cover All Occasions Like that little black Chanel ‘A – line’ dress that never goes out of style. and Cabernet Sauvignon . with minimum vibration.you’re set. LLC All Rights Reserved 33 . there are a few must have wines for a small collection that should always be at the ready that will please most any discerning guest’s palate and never go out of style. Some of our favorites can be found on our site at 100BestWines. and French. However. If you keep on-hand Champagne or Sparkling wine. a little attention to their care will ensure drinkability when called upon. Riesling. Chardonnay.com or WineExpress. Pinot Noir. full-bodied red wines. Sauvignon Blanc. Also consider joining our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips.S.com. Once you’ve purchased your essential varietals. Finding the ‘right’ wines is a matter of tasting and experimenting until you find those favorite labels that will begin to form the foundation of your must have wines collection and will certainly please any guest’s taste.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Purchase varietals that most everyone will recognize and trust. both U. without having to stock an entire cellar. Your mission. Too much heat will cause the wine to rapidly artificially age your wines. is to purchase wines that bridge the varietal palate from light and fruity white wines to robust. Happy hunting!! You can purchase these essential wines by visiting our guide to online wine retailers. and placed in a location that can maintain a relatively consistent temperature between 55°F and 65°F is just fine. However. You don’t need a fancy cellar for just a few bottles of wine. it’s most important to store and care for them properly to maintain their character and balance.100BestWines. www. A small rack that holds your treasures horizontal. a little shopping at either or both sites is worth the time. Merlot. There are a multitude of vineyards and price ranges for each varietal that can be purchased from sites like Wine.
2. Once you were lucky enough to discover your favorites. 1.Top Ten Reasons to Buy Wine Online Don’t you just love the Internet. or even imagined. online world. Well. The Wide World of Wine on the World Wide Web is an entirely different story. How many things have you been able to do online that you never thought possible. Easy to learn about wine – what could be easier than sitting on your couch and surfcontinued www. LLC All Rights Reserved 34 . requiring extensive research and much trial and error (not that trial and error isn’t a win-win when it comes to wine). For many years. There are only advantages to the entire wine experience online. just ten years ago? Well. there’s no segment of life that isn’t available in our new. choosing and buying wine was an art and a science.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. There’s such a broad selection – you wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that any bottle of wine can be found at an online wine store. times have changed. Let me explain just a few. and now buying wine is on that list. with the competitive prices to match. The prices are fantastic – the Internet is the ultimate “super store”. The simplest approach to trying new wines was to go to your local liquor store and trust a salesman’s recommendation of a wine that just happened to be in stock. 3. you wouldn’t know if they were available until you returned to the store and found out.100BestWines.
7. save on time and enjoy coming home to see your latest selections on the front porch – in many cases. Perhaps the #1 reason to buy wine online is because it saves time – you don’t want to waste your time worrying about making the right choices. ratings. You’ll see what others say – whether they are professional wine tasters. Sending wine as that special gift couldn’t be easier – no more troubles with gift ideas – direct ship wine gift baskets or enroll your recipient in a wine club. of course. It’s shipped to your front door – save on gas. 6. wine coolers and more – don’t stop at just shopping for wine. www. There’s information on wine glasses. and a lot less expensive. the with free shipping. and the latest in wine accessories? 4.Top Ten Reasons to Buy Wine Online ing the web to learn about wine varietals. 5. Research the winery – it’s the next best thing to taking that wine country tour of Napa.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. connoisseurs or just the common person like you and me. Find books to read and enjoy – so you want to do some of your research off-line. LLC All Rights Reserved 35 . then order up one of the many books on wine – online. you want to spend your time enjoying the best wines. you can learn about and shop for all sorts of wine accessories. 10. Did you know you can personalize your wine label – buy personalized wine with labels custom designed by you with your special message. 8. 9. food and wine pairings. find out what they think about the wine you want to buy. wine racks.
3 Pairing Wine with Food .
Most people know that food consists of four basic tastes: sweet. spicy foods work well with sweet wines. sweet desserts should be served with an even sweeter dessert wine. lobster soaked in butter should be paired with a buttery tasting Chardonnay. like Sauternes. and bitter grilled eggplant goes nicely with a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s no different when pairing wine with food. the shape of the glass it’s served in. acidic.Why Pair Wine with Food? Like Bogart and Bacall. ones that are close together go best together. For example. How wine tastes in your mouth can vary widely depending on its serving temperature. and tannic. LLC All Rights Reserved 37 . Knowing this. sour. Like the many colors on a color wheel. like Muscadet. and bitter. For instance.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. its age. Salty cheeses go well with sweet wines. Lighter wines should be paired with lighter foods and heavier wines should be paired with continued www. or peanut butter and jelly. some things are just meant to be together. Much like mixing sweet chocolates with salty pretzels. can be served with acidic white wines. like smoked salmon. be overpowered by the food. mushroom dishes should be served with an equally earthy wine like red Burgundy. the contrasting tastes just work for some reason. Wine was made to go with food. as well as the types of food you eat with it. Therefore. the resulting flavor combinations can really bring out the best of both the wine and the food. like Riesling. This is what our tongues can detect in the many foods we eat. oily foods. wines and foods that contrast each other can also work well together. children and puppies. Another thing to consider is the weight of a wine in comparison to the food it is served with. This translates well with wine because wine falls into four flavor categories as well: sweet. Fatty. Colors that are placed directly opposite of each other on the color wheel are considered contrasting colors. or add new flavor dimensions to the wine that can sing like a symphony on your palate. This marrying of flavors has a certain level of science to it that can make choosing the right food for the right wine predictable to a point. so when paired together properly. so wine that is close in flavor to the food it is paired with go well together.100BestWines. This is why top chefs think long and hard about what wine goes with their dishes and suggest particular varieties in order to best compliment both the food and the wine qualities together. The food you choose to serve with a particular wine can cause the wine to taste better or worse. alcohol. salt. but they also go well together. we can easily combine wine with food based on their complementary or contrasting aspects and elements.
They should be balanced and working together. these simple rules will at least get you going in the right direction. Beaujolais and Dolcetto are considered lighter red wines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. like lamb. so eat. drink. not against each other. while White Bordeaux and Viognier are considered heavier. go better with the heavier wines. While pairing wines with food can certainly be very confusing and complicated. and be merry! www. like fish. Oh course. The logic behind this methodology is to not allow the wine or the food to overshadow or overwhelm the other.Why Pair Wine with Food? heavier foods. Lighter meals. go best with the lighter varieties of wine and heavier meals. LLC All Rights Reserved 38 . Pinot Grigio and Riesling are considered lighter white wines. trial and error are the best ways to learn. while Barolo and Barbaresco are considered heavier.
the truth is there are many different types of grapes that come from many different parts of the world. take a look at some of these basic food and wine pairings to get you started in matching the right meal with the right wine. Because wines have such unique flavor differences based on these varying grapes from around the globe.100BestWines. and even bell pepper. toasted nuts. herbs. full-bodied red wine that is rich in strong tannins. This is a heavy. boysenberry. cassis. MERLOT: PAIR WITH POULTRY OR GRILLED MEATS. Each type of grape has its own unique flavors and characteristics based on what type of grape it is and what part of the world it comes from. OR SALMON. and mocha tastes. Cabernet Sauvignon wines are often mixed with other grape varieties to make them easier to drink earlier. depending on where it is made. continued www. Pinot Noir is a very fruity wine that is full of flavor with just a hint of herbs and spices. So. LAMB. This full-bodied red wine is best known for its smooth and velvety tastes and textures. Its flavor combinations can include black cherry. Wines are named after the kind of grape it is made from. Its flavors and aromas often taste and smell of black cherries and roses.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.Wine Pairing Suggestions You might be wondering how so many different types of wine can come from just one little tasty fruit. Well. ROAST BEEF. For instance. RED WINES BARBERA: PAIR WITH PASTA AND TOMATO DISHES. It goes well with most meats and other foods due to its smooth nature. cherries. It has a higher alcohol content than some other red wines that slide down the throat nicely. PINOT NOIR: PAIR WITH DUCK. French Bordeaux is actually Cabernet Sauvignon mixed with Merlot. or even a touch of smokiness. and plums while its flavor combinations will consist of vanillas. CABERNET SAUVIGNON: PAIR WITH ANY RED MEAT. A varietal wine is one that is made from one type of grape or is the dominant juice in the wine. The aged oak barrels give this wine a complexity of flavors that may include blackberry. some wines just naturally go better with certain foods based on their flavor profiles. LLC All Rights Reserved 39 . A Merlot is a dry red wine that is generally smoother than other red wines due to its lower tannins. A Barbera red will often have a rich aroma of berries.
Red Zinfandel wines come in a variety of different types and flavors depending on where they are made. tropical fruits. LLC All Rights Reserved 40 . Depending on what part of the world they come from. Its usually has strong flavors that can range from raspberries and plums to white pepper and smokiness. plums. STEAK. Some Zinfandel wines are considered light while others are considered fuller bodied. This is a very flavorful. and lychee.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. floral. This is a dry white wine that is typically fuller bodied and more acidic than the other white wines. continued www. OR SPICIER FOODS. French Chardonnays are generally milder in flavor than California Chardonnays. OR WILD GAME. PINOT GRIGIO: PAIR WITH FRESHWATER SALMON OR SEAFOOD. FISH. complex red wine that is often a very dark red or nearly black color. WHITE WINES CHARDONNAY: PAIR WITH CHICKEN. or vanilla. Chardonnays are fermented in oak barrels which give them a rich. OR SEAFOOD. or raspberry jam. They can be spicy or fruity with flavor combinations that can include black pepper. Sangiovese is used in producing Italian Chianti wines. REISLING: PAIR WITH CHICKEN. Reisling wines can either have a very dry or a very sweet flavor to them. peaches. toasty.Wine Pairing Suggestions SANGIOVESE: PAIR WITH ITALIAN FOODS AND PASTAS. They tend to have a floral aroma and go well with white meats. SYRAH OR SHIRAZ: PAIR WITH DUCK. Its fruity flavor combinations can consist of apricots. It has an earthy bouquet with a nice blend of berries. This dry red wine is considered medium in body with a smooth texture. It has a fruity aroma with hints of grapefruit or lemon. GEWURZTRAMINER: PAIR WITH PORK SAUSAGES OR SPICY ASIAN FOODS. lemon. ZINFANDEL: PAIR WITH GRILLED MEANS AND STEAKS. When mixed with other grape varieties. BEEF. PORK. Sometimes called Pinot Gris. FISH. and buttery taste with flavor combinations of apple. nuts. California Reisling wines are generally sweeter than those from Germany which are both sweet and acidic tasting. and vanilla. a Pinot Grigio is a light and crisp white wine with hints of almond. and spices. This white wine has a spicier bouquet and can be either dry or sweet in nature. licorice.
They also often have a smoky flavor to them. Sauvignon Blanc wines often taste like apples. www. It usually has a grassy. citric aroma to it. pears. This is one of the lighter white wines that his a crisp and acidic finish. LLC All Rights Reserved 41 .100BestWines. melons. SEAFOOD. green teas. limes. OR CHEESES. SALADS.Wine Pairing Suggestions SAUVIGNON BLANC: PAIR WITH POULTRY. or even freshly mowed grass. California varieties are a bit grassier than ones produced in New Zealand.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.
ITALIAN RED WINES Amarone comes from the Venitian region of Italy. They are extremely tannic and are known for their lingering tastes. Take a look at the following suggestions and feel confident in ordering the right wine to compliment any meal the next time you’re dining out. However. It often smells of pears or bananas and can taste more like grape juice than wine. While the general rule of thumb calls for full-bodied red wines to accompany rich. red meat meals and white wines with lighter.100BestWines. yet ripe with tannins. While some Amarone wines are bitter in taste. It can produce aromas of black cherry. It’s a perfect wine for cheeses. It has flavors of fig. LLC All Rights Reserved 42 . thick. FRENCH RED WINES Beaujolais is a light-bodied red wine that comes from the Beaujolais region of France. and tobacco. It mainly uses the Merlot grape to produce a full-bodied. It is made from the Gamay grape and is fruity and a bit acidic. Pomerol pairs well with venison. leather. It has earthy aromas that pair well with lamb. and sauerkraut. with a little bit of wine knowledge. It is a strong red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape that has rich aromas and elegant flavor combinations. white meat meals. Saint-Emilion wines come from the oldest wine areas of the Bordeaux region of France. there are some wines that go better with certain dishes than others. Barbaresco comes from the Piedmont area of Italy and is closely related to the Barolo. Barocontinued www. vanilla. It is a full-bodied red wine that this known for its robust nature and quick maturity for a heavy red wine.A Lesson in Pairing French and Italian Wines It can be a bit intimidating trying to choose a fine wine while dining in a fine restaurant. Barolo is made from the Nebbiolo grape and comes from the Piedmont area of Italy. others are quite fruity.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. spare ribs. you can easily pick a wine that will go well with just about any fine meal. and fruitcake. It pairs well with grilled meats and veal. Pomerol is a dark red wine that comes from the Bordeaux region of France. rich wine that is low in acidity. It pairs well with beef and wild game. It is a dry red wine that has a bold body. licorice.
Its flavors are a rich and intense blend of cherries. It goes well with pork or shellfish. It pairs well with Sauerbraten. Pouilly Fuisse is a good quality white wine that comes from the Macon section of Burgundy. It is continued www. It pairs well with lamb. and complex flavor. as well as others. melon. and makes a great dessert wine. and spices which go down smooth. wild game. veal. and scallops. dry white wine that has an unusually strong taste of musk and smoke. Muscadet comes from Nantes.A Lesson in Pairing French and Italian Wines lo is a full-bodied red wine with a deep rich color. FRENCH WHITE WINES French Chardonnay grapes are grown in the Chablis. or licorice blends. Burgundy region of France.” It has a strong. and oak. lime. and licorice with a touch of vanilla or leather. tangerine. tangy. France in the Loire Valley. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano comes from the Tuscany region of Italy. depending on the quality of the wine. LLC All Rights Reserved 43 . It is made from Nebbiolo grapes which produces a wine rich in the aromas of blackberry. lemon. oysters. and somewhat sparkling in nature. typically those of apples. thick texture. raspberries. Chianti comes from the Chianti region of Tuscany. it can taste like green apples or citrus. It is a strong and bold red wine that pairs well with any red sauced. Italy. It goes well with shellfish. salmon. wellseasoned pastas and meats. It pairs well with chicken. Very light. Gattinara is a dark. pork. It pairs well with duck. and stew. Riesling grapes actually hail from Germany. seafood. lobster. The wine is rich and dry with a nutty aroma.100BestWines. or musky taste to it. It is a thick. full-bodied wine that comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. It ages well and can be stored for more than 20 years in a cellar. Pouilly Fume comes from the Loire Valley of France. France. but they are also grown in the Alsace region of France. Asian foods. It’s a dry. Chardonnay is a crisp. Saint-Veran is a white wine that comes from the Macon section of Burgundy. France. It pairs well with wild game and hard cheeses. floral. fruity. and chicken. It is often referred to as “the king of all wines. Only wines made in this area can be labeled Chianti. fruity taste with a smooth finish. fresh. It pairs well with pheasant.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. oak. dry white wine that is known for its wide variety of flavors. It is a complex white wine that can be bitter or sweet. It is left to sit out during the winter months in hopes of gaining flavor before it is bottled. and hard cheeses. red wine that is velvety and mildly tannic. The Melon de Bourgonge is a hardy grape that is nearly flavorless. It pairs well with steak. Grumello is produced in the Lombardy region of Italy. plum. It ages well and can have a fruity. and fish. There are a variety of different flavors that come from different areas of Piedmont that can result in floral.
A Lesson in Pairing French and Italian Wines made from Chardonnay grapes and has a fruity. FRENCH ROSE Tavel (or French Rose) is a dry rose wine from the southern Rhone region of France. and pate. It’s a smooth. It pairs well with oysters. It comes in three different styles: dry/still. It is a very dry wine that can have a hint of sweetness. It pairs well with fish and shellfish.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. FRENCH SPARKLING Champagne can only be labeled as such if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Pinot Grigio is an Italian white wine. such as California. flowery aroma with crisp and refreshing flavors. we can always help you discover the very best wine at the very best price at 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. It is mild in aroma and very acidic and fruity in flavor. LLC All Rights Reserved 44 . Italian Pinot Grigio wines are dry and light with a bit of a mineral taste to them. It goes well with ham and white sauce meals. Check us out to quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. It actually goes well with Chinese food or can be used as a before dinner drink. The grape is unusual because it is the white mutation of the pinot noir red grape. It is made from the Cortese grape and is the most expensive Italian wine that is exported to the United States. mussels. www. can only be called Sparkling Wine. It pairs well with clams and oysters. depending on grape used. The same grape in France is called Pinot Gris. Of course. mild wine that tastes of mild perfumes or flowers with a hint of almonds. and recioto/sweet. Soave is one of the most popular white wines in Italy and comes from the Venice area. Those that come from other areas of the world. ITALIAN WHITE WINES Gavi is a dry white wine that comes from the Piedmont area of Italy. It pairs well with cold meats. spumanti/sparkling.
4 Entertaining with Wine .
Once you’ve decided on your varieties. Remember. Non-blind tasting parties do not hide the identities of the wines being tasted. your first decision should be whether you’re going to have a “blind” or “non-blind” wine tasting party. and friends. not a gulp-fest. A good rule of thumb is to buy one bottle for every ten people.) Here we will only discuss the aspects of non-blind tasting parties.100BestWines. your family. but not too cold and your red continued www.How to Host a Wine Tasting Party Whether you’re an experienced wine connoisseur or new to the world of wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 46 . Just make sure all the guests are actually going to make it to the party. Before setting up for your wine tasting party. as well as how many. (You might want to consider a complete wine tasting kit that can be found online. both are fun and educational. Of course. make sure your wine varieties will be served at the proper temperatures. light to full-bodied. How much wine you buy is going to be determined by how many people you invite. Blind tasting parties consist of concealing a wine’s identity as tasters compare and contrast their various qualities. Your white wines should be chilled. sweet to dry. It’s also quite simple to prepare for as long as you understand the basic elements of what a wine tasting party consists of. Online wine retailers are a great place to find your wines and plan your selections. You can go from white to red to dessert. This combination allows guests with varying palates a better opportunity for finding a type of wine they like. So. pick wines that come from the same grapes but originate from different parts of the world. so each person will only need to consume about two ounces of each type of wine. consider asking each guest to bring a specific bottle of wine. You’ll want to determine what varieties of wines to taste. While there are many ideas for wine tasting party fun. While blind wine tasting parties can be a little more complicated than non-blind wine tasting parties. and one or two sparkling wines. several red wines. determine what order you’ll taste the wines. it can get expensive. it’s a tasting party. hosting a wine tasting party can be fun for you. A good place to start with your first wine tasting party would be to choose several white wines. While having a wine tasting party can sound a bit pretentious. or taste wines that only come from one region. It’s completely up to you to decide which direction you want your wine tasting parties to take. You have a variety of options to choose from in determining what types of wines to pick. it’s actually a great way to spend some quality time with friends while learning about different wines. or young to old. if you’re inviting thirty people to your wine tasting. and make wine tasting scents very important. You should generally serve your wines from white to red.
and water available for cleansing the palate between wines. Ask your guests to hold the wine up and discuss the color and depth of each wine.How to Host a Wine Tasting Party wines at cellar room temperature. Discussions throughout the tasting will make for a more complete and fulfilling experience for all. flavor. everyone can discuss how they felt about the wine overall. place the wines out in the order they’ll be tasted and pour two to three ounces into each glass. are the tannins high or low. your guests can enjoy more of their favorites wines (if there are any leftover) and everyone will have learned something new and interesting while having a lot of fun too. as well as a list of characteristics to rate each wine with. Is it acidic or sweet. The final step will probably result in choosing who will host the next wine tasting event! www. This tasting card can be made into a grid with each wine listed on the left side and columns representing the color. Next. Once your guests arrive. finishing. You’ll need to prepare ahead of time wine tasting score cards that list each wine. preferably one with a large bowl for swirling and sniffing. so spend some time selecting good stemware. and overall assessment. Does the flavor stay in your mouth or is gone in an instant? Finally. Which wines were the most and least popular? After it’s all said and done. Also provide one larger container for guests to pour their unused wine between varieties. bring the glass to your nose.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Finally. or aftertaste. you can reveal the final results.100BestWines. salt-free crackers. but hold it in your mouth and try to feel the flavors. This will help your wines taste their best. you’ll want to have bread. A good rule of thumb to follow is to remove your whites from and place your reds in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before the tasting begins. swirl the wine in the glass to release the aromas. Glasses used for wine tasting are very important. and describe the strengths and varieties of smells. LLC All Rights Reserved 47 . Now you can taste the wine. You should also provide a pitcher of water for guests to rinse out their glasses between wines. Did they like it or hate it? After all the wines have been tasted and the tasting cards tallied. Each guest will need to have a wine glass. a short description of the wines. aroma. is it light or full-bodied. can you taste the alcohol? Swallow the wine and think about its finish. Provide everyone with a disposable cup to use if they choose not to swallow their wine. breathe deeply.
You’ll want to put either rubber bands or tape around the bags at the necks to prevent them from falling off while pouring. light to full-bodied. or grape varieties. no matter what your level of wine understanding might be. LLC All Rights Reserved 48 . Write a letter (A. guests have no idea what wine varieties. so stick with real glasses. The proof is truly in the pudding when all the wines are on a level playing field of anonymity. throwing a “blind” wine tasting can kick your party up a notch by making it more of a challenge or game for your guests.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. At blind wine tasting parties. flavors. and put each bottle of wine inside one. B.each guest will need a large-bowled wine glass in order to properly swirl and sniff each wine. aromas. Your guests must try to determine which wines are the cheapest and the most expensive. This can be a lot of fun because some people might have a preconceived notion or even a bit of prejudice about certain kinds of wines.) Provide your guests a written description of each wine’s characteristics. each guest should be given a score card with different categories to evaluate each wine’s qualities and whether or not they like them. so having a blind wine tasting eliminates this sort of bias. You might want to remove any foil caps from the wine’s necks as well. Like non-blind wine tasting parties. However. or even what price range they’re going to sample. you should decide on a general theme. Many of these descriptions can come right from the wine’s label.100BestWines. you’ll want to serve your wines from white to red. brands. guests know which wines they’re going to taste beforehand. No matter what your wine theme is. Each guest also needs a disposable cup to discard any wine they don’t swallow. You can buy wines that are from different countries. The glasses used for wine tasting are important . to conceal any telltale markings. sweet to dry. or young to old. There are many ideas for wine tasting party fun. regions. from cheap table wines to more expensive quality wines. you need to conceal the identity of each bottle of wine. but when preparing for blind tasting. Before your guests arrive.Kick It Up a Notch with Blind Wine Tasting Throwing a wine tasting party can be both entertaining and educational for you and your guests. Using plastic cups will not allow your guests to fully enjoy and analyze the wine. the kind they make for bottles. C. as well as the all important wine tasting score cards and pencil. The table should have a large container for continued www. and making wine tasting scents even more important. At a “non-blind” wine tasting party. (There are even wine tasting party kits you can buy. You can also choose wines of varying price ranges.) on each bag so you know which wine to serve next and for your guests to know which wine they’re evaluating on their scorecards. such as flavors. etc. or tannic qualities to look for when tasting. Purchase some tall brown paper bags.
LLC All Rights Reserved 49 . Remove the bags from the wines to reveal the identities of each wine.Kick It Up a Notch with Blind Wine Tasting pouring out any unused wine guests want to discard and a pitcher of water to be used for cleaning out glasses between wines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. you and your guests will have had a wonderful time learning about different wines and what makes them so delicious! www. preferably a bottle of their favorite wine. In addition. Prizes can be awarded to those who guessed the most correctly.100BestWines. each guest should turn in their scorecards and the results tallied. In the end. Once the wine tasting is complete. and water. such as bread. you’ll want to have something available to cleanse the palate. plain crackers.
100BestWines. varietal (i. appellation). and fit a typical bottle of wine perfectly.com to browse and familiarize yourself with the spectrum of current offerings. the type of grape) and aesthetic appeal of the bottle and label. complex wine that your host will enjoy. STEP 5: Wrap the wine in colorful gift wrap. STEP 4: Purchase a wine bag in which to present the bottle to your host. Importantly. red wines for winter and sparkling wines for any special occasion. Take a few moments to go on-line to such websites as Wine.. Enjoying a memory of a party and its guests long ago can be a treasure. STEP 3: Visit a wine or beverage store and ask the resident sommelier to show you a variety of wines in your price range. and designs. Perhaps a wine that should be ‘layed down’ or cellared for maximum enjoyment maybe preferable. These festive bags are long and slim. or sparkling wine to narrow your search. MyWinesDirect. SIMPLE TASKS STEP 1: Look through wine magazines such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.e. Or check out our guide to buying wine online and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips. Begin by determining a price point that doesn’t break the bank and work from there to find a delicious.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.com.e. and perfectly acceptable ‘thank you’ for your invitation to the party and a sign that you care about and acknowledge the hard work of the person hosting the party. Make no mistake.Choosing a Wine for Your Party Host Choosing the perfect wine as a gift for a party host is an old. STEP 2: Decide on a white. colors. Specialized publications and websites typically rate wines in a variety of price ranges to help you get the best value for your money. Choose one based on expected taste attributes. and continued www. They come in an almost endless array of fabrics.com. As a general rule. Tie a color-coordinated bow around the neck to secure the paper around the bottle and add the finishing visual touch. venerated. tissue paper or colored cellophane paper. or TheWineMessenger. blend. there are no hard and fast rules that must be followed. LLC All Rights Reserved 50 . white wines are preferable in the middle of summer. the label can nearly be art when the bottle is displayed appropriately.. vineyard location (i. red.
suggest placing the bottle in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. LLC All Rights Reserved 51 .100BestWines. It’s frustrating for your host to acknowledge your thoughtfulness if he/she doesn’t know from whom it came. TIPS & WARNINGS Remember. Present the wine as what it is: a gift to be used at the host’s discretion.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. or in the freezer for approximately 10 minutes. www.Choosing a Wine for Your Party Host STEP 6: Always enclose a gift card. Choosing a wine because YOU want to enjoy it is out of line. In the event that the host does choose to serve a white or sparkling wine during the party. the host is NEVER obligated to serve a bottle of wine that has been brought by a guest. Wine given as a gift should never be chilled.
innocence or purity of heart.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Couldn’t be easier! The options are nearly endless. number. success • Sunflower. I love you with all my heart and I’ve got the money! Gift baskets can also include items you might not have thought about before. Flowers. • Carnations. • Yellow. friendship. I love you with all my heart! • 12 plus. sympathy. continued www. • Purple. show you know what message you want to convey to your Valentine. purity. magic The number can be important too: • Single. the variety. and color. motherly love. admiration and appreciation. Some additional varieties and their meanings are: • Baby’s Breath. hopefully. • White. but are special and say you care. passionate and lasting love. friendship. • Orchid. last well beyond the actual Valentine’s Day. Consider including: • The special bottle of wine you may have shared before to evoke lasting memories.Valentine’s Day Essentials Your mission should be to make this special day as personal as possible and. love forever. The best part is that you can make all the plans right from your PC and purchase every item online.100BestWines. LLC All Rights Reserved 52 . • Champagne & Chocolates make a decadent gift basket and pair together very well. • Daisies. I care or I’m sorry. respect. simple: You are the one! • Six. One of the most obvious and often overlooked gifts are personalized gift baskets of flowers or living plants. fascination. Some of the rose colors and their meanings are: • Red. but here are a few ideas that we have tried and KNOW will work for you. I love you! • Dozen. • Pink.
and. but for every day after. • A complete dinner delivered to your door such as a complete lobster feast (don’t forget the champagne or wine). • Individually wrapped Tower of Boxes gift sets is unique and adds suspense as each is opened. most importantly. You can even include special pictures and graphics! • Don’t forget the glasses!!! They can be personalized as well and lets your Valentine know that you have planned every detail.100BestWines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.Valentine’s Day Essentials • Bath & Body baskets where you select the items to create a luxurious spa at home. maybe just keep you out of trouble this year!! www. You select the wine. • Create a personalized bottle of wine for your Valentine. not just for the day. Some of our favorites include: • Enrolling your special Valentine in a Wine Club that will provide remarkable selections sent to them periodically throughout the year. LLC All Rights Reserved 53 . choose a label design. special. Our partner wine retailers will help you through the process of purchasing a Valentine’s Day gift that is personal. Valentine’s Day gifts that keep giving throughout the years say that you care. and create YOUR personalized message for the label.
BRINE 8 3/4 3/4 3 8 1 quarts water cup kosher salt cup maple syrup tablespoons black peppercorns garlic cloves lemon. Brining makes for a juicier bird and the subtle flavors of the brine soak into the turkey. chopped onions. not conflict with your traditional side dishes. light Zinfandels. If you have the time and refrigerator space. We have chosen a somewhat unique recipe for the Thanksgiving Holiday that is sure to please the guests and a few wine suggestions that will marry the flavors of the dish. quartered cooking spray ounces homemade chicken broth or 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can fat-free low-sodium chicken broth cup whole milk tablespoons cornstarch teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper TURKEY 1 1 1/2 2 1 1 1/2 4 2 GRAVY 14 1/2 1 2 1/4 1/4 1.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Our selection is a brine-soaked. thinly sliced (12 lb) fresh whole turkey (or thawed frozen) cup cola cup maple syrup tablespoons minced fresh thyme tablespoon dried rubbed sage tablespoon poultry seasoning teaspoon black pepper garlic cloves.100BestWines. continued www. if not frustrating exercise. that can be less complimentary with and potentially detracting from the dining experience. maple-glazed roasted turkey paired with a selection of fruity. the brining procedure is worthwhile.Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy Pairing a wine with a recipe can be a daunting. the turkey will still be quite good. Kosher salt works well for the brine because it dissolves more easily than table salt. LLC All Rights Reserved 54 . and certainly please the palate. If not.
Place broiler pan on stovetop over medium heat. and simmer 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. 8. Trim excess fat. discarding solids. Discard skin. reserving drippings for gravy.Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy 2.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Place turkey on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. while turkey bakes. Cover. stirring constantly. Bring cola and 1/2 cup syrup to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour pan drippings into bag. Strain gravy through a sieve into a bowl. cook 1 minute.100BestWines. sprinkle inside body cavity. Bring to a boil. To prepare brine. Remove twine. discard solids. 9. Add turkey to pot. Lift wing tips up and over back. Place turkey on a platter. 5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Rinse turkey with cold water. scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 3. stopping before fat layer reaches opening. 11. Strain mixture through a colander into a bowl. WINE SELECTIONS Choosing a wine to accompany this fabulously moist and delicious turkey shouldn’t be more difficult than preparing the meal. 7. cook 1 minute. 4. Drain drippings into broiler pan. reduce heat. Combine thyme. and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. making sure not to touch bone. combine first 6 ingredients in a large stockpot. 10. stirring well with a whisk. turning occasionally. seasoning. Seal bag. pat dry. sage. carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. discard fat. Place 4 garlic cloves and onions in body cavity. gently pushing between skin and meat. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Remove turkey from pan. bring to a boil. combine reserved giblet and neck and the broth in a saucepan. Rub thyme mixture under loosened skin. Add broth mixture. To prepare gravy. add to pan. remove and reserve giblets and neck from turkey. loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. stirring until salt dissolves. LLC All Rights Reserved 55 . To prepare turkey. pat dry. Starting at neck cavity. Cover loosely with foil. Pour cola mixture over turkey. Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. let stand 10 minutes. Try one of these wines that will enhance the meal and add continued www. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. tuck under turkey. cover with foil. Bake an additional 1 hour and 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 180 degrees. turning to coat. 6. let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Remove turkey from brine. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of a thigh.
Sonoma County. A California Zinfandel pairs well with the slightly sweet flavor of the turkey and can handle any of the traditional stuffings and side dishes.Sonoma County. Dry Creek Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel 2006 . California www.Sonoma County. California Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2007 .100BestWines. California Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2008 . LLC All Rights Reserved 56 .com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.Sonoma County. California Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2006 .Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy to your holiday enjoyment.
the superb banquet with friends.Our Twelve Wines of Christmas Everyone relishes a happy and joyful holiday season. California. Riesling from Germany shares many of the same characteristics as their dryer cousins. But always remember Rule #1 of pairing wine with food– there are NO rules when it comes to matching wine with your favorite recipe. and share it with others. continued www. we thought that the “Twelve Days of Christmas” tradition would be an excellent vehicle to offer some exquisite wine selections we’ve found successful for the holidays. or new vintages from Australia. These varietals pair well with many foods. or Washington State which tend to have heady floral aromas and fruit that hold up well due to a higher acidity. When you enjoy your special traditions and recipes for that fabulous family meal. dry or fruity – the ultimate match is the one that best pleases your palate.com. but may be best enjoyed on their own to prevent masking the full aromas and flavors. These Rieslings can stand-up to strong cheeses such as Stilton or Maytag Blue and can offset the spiciness of many Asian dishes.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. richer texture and mouth-feel. nothing adds more to special holiday dining than just the right partnering with wine. A sweeter-style. and while decorations and festivities abound. make notes so you can replicate your success. A good dry vintage from the venerable Alsace region of France. nothing is more satisfying than the warm companionship and conversation of holiday dining.100BestWines. Here at 100BestWines. or off dry. and with several styles of Riesling for you to share and enjoy. And when you discover that perfect match. or the cozy dinner for two. LLC All Rights Reserved 57 . Don’t worry whether it’s red or white. but are enhanced with a deeper. THE 1ST DAY OF CHRISTMAS WINES … … A REFRESHING RIESLING TO KICK OFF THE HOLIDAYS Our Recommended Selections • Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling 2009 (Screw Cap) – Australia • Columbia Winery Cellarmaster’s Riesling 2008 – Washington State What a wonderful choice to kick off the holidays. Here are a few versatile wines that will surely enhance your dining experience.
LLC All Rights Reserved 58 . CA • Domaine Chandon Reserve Pinot Noir Brut – Napa Valley. at home in Bordeaux.California A classic wine for the classic holiday dinner. but these days. can exhibit complex flavors that are fruity and floral. But don’t be afraid to experiment with the excellent Pinots produced in Chile. More supple than a Cabernet these wines want to please.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. While the grape may be difficult to grow the wine is exciting on the palate producing smooth berry flavors and a texture that won’t disappoint. France. CA We all enjoy classic French Champagne when we celebrate. Pinot Noirs.Napa Valley. France • Napa Cellars Pinot Noir 2007 – Napa Valley. and New Zealand. THE 3RD DAY OF CHRISTMAS WINES … … CHOOSE A SPECIAL MERLOT WHEN YOU COOK YOUR GOOSE Our Recommended Selections • Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2007 – Chile • Oberon Merlot 2006 . From Bordeaux to Napa Valley to Chile and South Africa there are so many wineries from which to choose. California • Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2007. responsible for the hearty wines of Burgundy. is being cultivated around the world. California The richness of the goose is well accented by a full-bodied Merlot. THE 4TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS WINES … … MAKE SURE TO SPARKLE WHEN YOU CELEBRATE Our Recommended Selections • Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs – Napa Valley. Your turkey will definitely be enhanced by this remarkable wine. Lush. ripe berry flavors are accompanied with varying intensities of spice. a sparkling wine from California is equally pleasing.100BestWines. Australia. and California will be fruitier. This ever increasingly popular varietal. There is a wide range of styles from which to choose to continued www.Our Twelve Wines of Christmas THE 2ND DAY OF CHRISTMAS WINES … … PAIR A PINOT NOIR WITH YOUR TURKEY Our Recommended Selections • Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2007 – Burgundy. Pinots from France tend to be warmer and more like a Merlot while Oregon produces lighter floral forward scents.
You’ll find a zinfandel to be a great accompaniment to any main course.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.from dryest to sweetest they are Extra Brut (with 1. one being a “dry” or Brut selection. THE 5TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS WINES … … ADD SOME ZIP WITH JUST THE RIGHT ZIN Our Recommended Selections • Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zinfandel 2008 – Sonoma. CA • Ridge York Creek Zinfandel 2007 – Sonoma. from the Domaine Chandon winery itself. Our two favorites are from Domaine Chandon. and a wonderful wine to continue to enjoy even after the meal has ended. LLC All Rights Reserved 59 . We hope this light hearted approach to holiday wine pairing has helped you with your Yuletide planning. check out our guide to wine selection and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips. and fantastic wines for them yet to come! Take the time to discover even more great holiday wine adventures. and the view. www. CA The zip is no mistake in these robust wines that features good structure built upon a nose of ripe cherries and raspberries and a finish of spices and pepper. The only thing better than enjoying this for your holiday toast would be to enjoy it.100BestWines. Extra Sec. from one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley.there are seven more days of Christmas. Brut.5% residual sugar). and Doux (with more than 5% sugar).Christmas hasn’t ended after just five days . Demi-Sec. Sec. Don’t be alarmed . For even more help. CA • Estancia Zinfandel Paso Robles 2007 – Central Coast.Our Twelve Wines of Christmas suit you taste .
5 Wine Glasses and Accessories .
smell it. so why would wine be any different? Well. The wide mouth also gives your nose room enough to smell the wine as you’re drinking it. LLC All Rights Reserved 61 . taste it. but once you understand how wine reacts to its environment you might better understand why the glass it is served in is very important to how it tastes. Like the red wine glass. Choosing the right wine glass to go with the right wine is an important factor in being able to fully enjoy all of these qualities in bottle of wine. Larger glasses are best for red wines so that it can be swirled around without fear of spilling it all over the place. but choosing the right size and shape of the glass does. Overall. This combination of taste and smell makes the wine more flavorful and satisfying. Wine is not just meant for drinking. The large shaped mouth gives a red wine the opportunity to mix with the surrounding air. White wine glasses are usually described as tulip shaped. What could the size and shape of a glass possibly have anything to do with how a wine tastes? Beer tastes the same whether you serve it in a pilsner glass or drink it straight from the bottle. feel it. much like a fish bowl. The rim of the glass is tapered in slightly and is usually 8-14 ounces in size. It sounds pretentious again I know. To truly appreciate the subtle qualities of each type of wine. there are actually many good reasons for why wine tastes differently in different glasses. From inexpensive wine glasses that you can buy at any grocery store to handcrafted works of art that can cost more than the wine itself. but it’s very continued www. it doesn’t really matter how much money you spend on the glass. This swirling doesn’t just make you look like you know what you’re doing. but it actually serves to release the aromas of the wine. there are a wide range of glasses to choose from. It mostly has to do with how the wine breathes and how your nose and palate receive the aromas that go along with the flavors of the wine.How to Choose the Right Wine Glass The idea that different wines taste better when served in the proper glass seems a bit pretentious when you first hear about it. and consider its aftertaste.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. allowing it to breathe or mellow out a bit before drinking. there are three basic types of wine glasses to choose from that you can serve just about any kind of wine in properly. In the end though. Red wine glasses have a large round bowl shape. Good red wine glasses are usually 10-16 ounces in size. the tapering of the rim allows the aromas of a white wine to be directed towards the nose in order to more fully experience the flavors of the wine.100BestWines. that tapers in at the rim slightly. you need to be able to see it. It’s not generally as important to swirl white wine as it is to swirl red wine because it’s usually less harsh and doesn’t need to mix with the air as much to release its full potential. Sparkling wine flutes are taller and thinner than red or white wine glasses.
but if you truly want to enjoy your wine more fully then there are some general rules of thumb to follow. smell. make sure the glass bowl is tall and thin at the top to keep the bubbles popping longer. It’s all part of the fun of enjoying wine! www. You may see some wine flutes that have a decorative rim that flares out. then you’ll probably want to fill it to the rim. Red wine glasses should be filled no more than half way and white wine glasses no more than a third of the way.How to Choose the Right Wine Glass important that the rims are tapered inwards.100BestWines. Understanding how and why certain wine glasses go better with certain wines may not make you an instant wine expert. No matter what kind of wine glasses you choose to use. You also want to make sure you fill your wine glasses to the proper levels. LLC All Rights Reserved 62 . when serving champagne or sparkling wine. but this causes your sparkling wine to lose its carbonation more quickly because of too much exposure to the surrounding air. and taste the wine properly rather than wearing it. This allows the wine drinker to swirl. If it’s your intention to just get drunk off your wine. So. you want to make sure they are clear rather than colored and don’t have any unnecessary decorative etchings on the outside of the bowls. but it will make you look more like you know what you’re doing and soon you’ll be scoffing at all those other people who are still drinking wine out of kitchen glasses. Sparkling wines flutes should only be filled half way in order to keep the bubbles from escaping and becoming flat. Being able to see the colors of the wine is an important part of enjoying the overall experience of drinking wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.
The typical Flute glass that you’re probably most familiar with as a Champagne glass is very tall and thin. Most “still” wines. However. Moving the wine around inside a large wine glass of this type lets the aromas build to its fullest capacity. choosing the right glass for the right wine can improve the quality. LLC All Rights Reserved 63 .com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. wide bowl. A Burgundy glass has a wide bowl with a mouth that flares out instead of in. For red wines they should be at least 12 ounces and for white wines at least 10 ounces in size. and feel the intense flavors of the wine dance inside your mouth. fill your wine glasses about one-third but never more than one-half of the way so you can swirl and sniff the wine inside without fear of spilling or snorting it rather than enjoying it! The shape of the glass is dictated by the type of wine you are drinking. ones without bubbles. This wine glass is great with most Bordeaux. smell. and overall performance of your wine and tasting experience. it really does make a difference in how a wine tastes and is experienced. has an oval-shaped bowl with a narrowing mouth. Barolos. and price. Knowing a few basic facts of how stemware can affect a wine’s flavor will make choosing the right glass a simple task and enhance your handling and enjoyment of wine. thickness. or a surgeon the right instrument. Cabernet Sauvignons. This allows plenty of room for the wine to be swirled and sniffed. continued www. huh? As they say. Typically. and taste. with a narrower mouth. This wine glass is perfect for your sparkling wines and Champagnes because the narrow mouth prevents the bubbles from escaping and keeps the bubbly. Wine is meant to be enjoyed through sight. do best in large bowl type glasses. the kind you probably have in your kitchen cabinet already. bubbly. As the name suggests. shape. While it may seem a bit snobby to have a specific glass for a specific wine. breathe in the deep aromas. choosing the right wine glass doesn’t need to be complicated. There are a number of online stores that specialize in wine glasses and stemware to help with your choice. Sounds romantic. so choose ones that have a large. When choosing proper stemware for your wine. Merlots. so choosing the right stemware will allow you to see the rich colors. most red Burgundies. it really comes down to size. and Pinot Noirs work well in this wine glass.Why Select a Certain Glass for a Particular Wine? Just as a golfer chooses the right club. and Zinfandels. A Bordeaux glass. however. A Tulip Glass is sort of a taller version of a Bordeaux glass. enjoyment. a tennis player the right racket. size really does matter when it comes to stemware.100BestWines. some flute glasses flare out at the mouth making them less than ideal for sparkling wines because they allow the bubbles to escape too easily and will flatten quickly.
so it’s best to hold the wine glass near the footed base while grasping onto the stem. If there is a lip around the wine glass. The heat rising from your hand can actually change the taste of the wine. impress your friends with that little fact! A thin wine glass also lets you see the rich colors of the wine you are drinking. It’s best to use a wine glass that has a long enough stem that will prevent you from touching the bowl. in Italy most restaurants serve their wine in a tumbler. This allows the wine to tip into your mouth easily without having to suck it in. you can buy very expensive. stemware can really run the gamut. Another important thing to note about your stemware is the stem itself. Remember. if you really want to impress the neighbors. and not letting your nose enjoy the aromas. but that’s probably not necessary for your occasional or everyday wine use. shape. www. specifically designed stemware.Why Select a Certain Glass for a Particular Wine? The thickness of your stemware should always remain thin and without a lip at the mouth. just pay attention to the size. it forces you to suck the wine into your mouth.100BestWines. and thickness as mentioned above. forcing the air down your throat. so even the occasional juice plastic wine glass is acceptable under certain circumstances. Of course. LLC All Rights Reserved 64 . Most inexpensive wine glasses ($3-$5) that you can get at most local retailers will be fine for your general usage. The reason for this is if you allow the wine to fall into your mouth without effort your nose will breathe in the aromas. As far as price goes.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. such as those offered by Riedel Glassware. Go ahead. It’s also best to use a wine glass that is clear rather than etched or colored in order to fully see the wine inside. that can cost $25 or more.
but you want to make sure you place them on the table properly. so choosing a crystal wine glass that has a wide bowl and tapered mouth is ideal. colorless glass. And sparkling or aperitif crystal will be placed last to be served with dessert. Many wine experts almost consider it an insult to serve a high quality wine in anything but a high quality crystal glass. make sure you pair the right fine wine with the right crystal glass and you’ll be sure to impress your family and friends the next time you have them over for dinner. Choosing the right crystal wine glass can enhance your wine drinking experience by making the wine look. Crystal has remained a beloved staple in most family china cabinets that has been passed down through the generations. You want to be able to see the unique colors of the wine you’re tasting and having a clear view of the wine that doesn’t have tinting or etchings to distort the view is best. if you’re interested in putting this theory to the test. you’ll want to follow these few simple tips when shopping for your fine crystal. crystal wine glasses have always been considered the most prized of all the types of stemware you could own.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Red wine crystal will be placed next to be served during the meal. This means your white wine crystal will be place first to be served before dinner. smell. Setting your table with your fine crystal glasses will be an impressive sight for your guests. Sparkling wine crystal flutes should be tall and thin with a slightly tapered rim as well to prevent the bubbles from escaping too quickly.Serve the Finest Wine in Finest Crystal Serving the finest wine in the finest crystal is considered is like taking the best and making it better. Red wines are generally best served in larger bowl shaped crystal glasses and white wines in medium sized tulip shaped glasses. LLC All Rights Reserved 65 . The aromas that are released from the wines need to be captured by the nose when tasting the wine.100BestWines. During the 1950s. Your crystal wine glasses should be placed from right to left in the order they will be served throughout the meal. So. Introduced in the late 1700s by the French. So. Those who know a lot about wine agree that fine crystal has a way of making a fine wine look. smell. This shape gives you plenty of room to swirl the wine without spilling it and directs the aromas to the nose as the wine slips out of the glass and onto the tongue. and taste even better than it would in a regular wine glass. When choosing crystal glasses for wine service. www. Reidel Crystal developed a series of crystal wine glass designs that were specifically created for every type of wine variant and today remains one of the most sought after wine glass makers in the business. and taste better than another other types of glass. it’s best to use a plain.
Dishwasher detergents are very harsh and the violent agitation inside the dishwasher can chip or break your stemware as they rattle against each other. If you air dry. try using less detergent than normal and don’t wash continued www. then the outside of the bowl. make sure you rinse them thoroughly several times in hot water. LLC All Rights Reserved 66 . No matter what you choose to clean your wine glasses with.100BestWines. Be careful not to break the wine glass by forcing your hand inside the bowl. you can simply rinse your wine glasses out with plain hot water. you might try using baking or washing soda. Some say that air drying allows impurities from the water to collect on the sides of the wine glass. You might also want to dry the bottom of the stem prior to turning it upside-down so the water doesn’t pool and leave a stain. dry. but make sure they don’t have any scents either. When drying your stemware you can either air dry them or dry them by hand. As you revel in your superior party-throwing skills. make sure you use a soft. These products won’t leave a nasty film inside your wine glasses. then rinse them out thoroughly. It’s not generally recommended that you use the dishwasher to clean your crystal or even your cheap wine glasses. If you hand dry.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. what’s the proper way to wash your precious stemware anyway? Whether you have fine. Instead of soap. However. Sponges are generally the dirtiest thing in the kitchen. whereas others say that drying them by hand can leave behind particles from the towel. If you must use liquid dish soap. clean. Hold the stem of the wine glass and dry the foot first. just make sure that you turn the glasses upside-down and place them on a dry. make sure it is very mild with no added scents. The best thing to do is to wash your stemware by hand. If caked on wine has dried at the bottom of your wine glasses. Just make sure that you rinse them out over and over again before drying.Washing Stemware and Wine Glasses You’ve just finished your first successful wine tasting party and your guests have all left. lint-free towel. clean towel. simply fill them with hot water and let them sit for a while to loosen the residue. Washing soda can be found in the detergent section of your local market. and finally the inside. So. so don’t use one that you just used to clean up that spilled chicken broth with. you should follow a few simple steps to properly care for your wine glasses. Use a drop of soap in each wine glass and clean with either your fingers or a new sponge. you look around and see nothing but empty wine glasses with that little pool of leftover wine inside. it’s best to wash your wine glasses immediately after use. like lemon. if you prefer not using detergents at all to ensure that your stemware is never sullied by the presence of cleaning products. if you simply must use the dishwasher. What should you do next? First of all. Detergents and soaps can leave behind filmy residues that will affect the smell and taste of your next glass of Bordeaux. expensive crystal or inexpensive everyday stemware. Of course.
Crystal is more porous than your regular glassware and can absorb all sorts of tastes and odors. you can try using a denture cleaner tablet every once in awhile to remove those stubborn stains. crystal absolutely must be hand washed. Avoid using the heat dry option so that residual detergent doesn’t “bake” onto your wine glasses. Taking these simple steps to clean your stemware properly will give you years of enjoyment without having to buy a new set of wine glasses every year.100BestWines. try washing or rinsing them with distilled water rather than regular tap water.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. For heavy stains that might build up in your wine glasses over time from heavy red wine use. It’s best to remove the wine glasses just after the cycle is complete and hand dry them.Washing Stemware and Wine Glasses them with your greasy pots and pans. chlorine. If you own fine crystal you must take extra care to keep them in proper condition. detergent. LLC All Rights Reserved 67 . If you really want to be sure your crystal stays clean and taste-free. or even coffee aromas from a shared kitchen cabinet. www. Whether it’s soap. Just remember to rinse them thoroughly with hot water afterwards.
corkscrews were an English invention from the mid-1600’s. and made from nearly every conceivable material. these devices relied on two things. the cork came out of the wine bottle in one piece – or not. and 2) pull like crazy. Not a pretty sight. sleek engineering designs. It’s the necessary wine accessory. Most designs rely on the central helix screw to pierce the cork and provide a basis for leverage upon removal. It’s back to basics . Hopefully. continued www. 1) get the screw in the middle of the cork. improvements have come in the form of technologically improved materials. So Many Prices. You can choose exotic designs and materials. central shaft screw that plows through the center (hopefully) of the cork. bought it on-line. LLC All Rights Reserved 68 . invented in 1979 by an oil field engineer. cheese grater. and those that are all the rage.what must one do to select and buy a corkscrew – and why must it be so difficult? The notion of a corkscrew is simple. So Much Hype So we just selected the perfect wine. you name it – can opener. The helix design is critical because as the needle point spirals down through the cork. Another common design still in existence today is the rabbit-ear corkscrew that utilizes a solid.Choosing a Corkscrew – So Many Choices. remove the cork from the bottle of wine. One of the most popular corkscrew designs to buy in the modern age is the Screwpull. You can literally spend as little or as much as you like when you select and buy a corkscrew. In this case. We sat down to enjoy it and realized the top doesn’t unscrew. Originally termed bottle-screws. The first lever-style corkscrew was invented by a German civil engineer (and apparent wine lover) in 1883 and is the basis of the waiter’s corkscrew still found today in almost every restaurant. But with most everyday mechanical devices.someone is always trying to improve what may already be the perfect ‘mouse trap’. and even a trend toward nostalgia (albeit with expensive materials).100BestWines. Generally T-shaped. But the purpose of the corkscrew is simple – get the cork out of the bottle as efficiently as possible and with minimal cork destruction.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. which may actually tear apart the structure of the cork and cause bits of cork to drop into the wine bottle and potentially split and destroy the cork. thus minimizing damage to the cork. the remainder of the helix follows the same path. screwdriver . and had it delivered.
) PULLTAP DOUBLE HINGED WAITER STYLE CORKSCREW We chose this simple but highly effective corkscrew as our “buy favorite”. that also means you don’t know if you’re on bottle 75 or pushing the envelope on bottle 85 . Choosing a corkscrew is based on personal preference. One of the drawbacks is that some bottles today have a wax/polymer seal instead of a fitted neck band. this corkscrew may be ‘old school’. you’ll see it’s at the upper range of the price scale. Its price is not a budget buster and it has the features necessary to facilitate ease of use. www. LLC All Rights Reserved 69 . you’ll need to secure it out their reach as it could be dangerous in little hands. (Editors note: There have been reports that bottles have been broken by this type of device when the cork is strongly embedded and there were glass impurities.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. CORK JET PUMP STYLE CORKSCREW While not a screw-type device the pump-style cork extractor relies on a small pressurized canister of inert gas passing through a thin hollow needle inserted into the cork. While it’s typical to get about 80 cork removals per canister. but of course. So Much Hype We have tested all of the cork removal devices that we list in this article and commented where appropriate. All of our picks work to remove the cork well. but great designs usually last the test of time. If you have children. but when you buy. Repeated use can ‘gum up’ the Teflon coating and must be cleaned periodically. Works well. The double hinged lever allows the cork to be extracted in manageable increments to prevent bending the cork when close to removal. So Many Prices. There is inconsequential cork damage and the cork glides out of the bottle with an ear pleasing pop. The Teflon coated screw is needle sharp and a breeze to insert into the cork with no damage. It’s a good corkscrew to choose if you feel many corks are stronger than you.100BestWines. Overall. The Teflon helix screw glides easily into the cork and extraction is effortless. METROKANE RABBIT 6-PIECE CORKSCREW KIT One of the newest style of corkscrews that require a minimum of effort to operate.Choosing a Corkscrew – So Many Choices. we’ll tell you what’s our favorite.so you’ll buy some spare canisters and keep them around. Read on …… LAGUIOLE TORTOISE CORKSCREW A great looking waiter’s corkscrew with the look of real tortoise shell on the handle.
and Vintage Ports will benefit from aeration in order to soften the hard tannins that remain in the wine. Most decanters have a wider base or neck in order to allow more air to come in contact with the surface of the wine. Many red wines. When decanting wine for aeration. such as a fullbodied white Burgundy or white Bordeaux. there are new alternative decanting products to make the process even easier. Some older red wines and Vintage Ports need to be decanted in order to remove sediment from the drinkable wine.aeration and sediment removal. so it is always recommended that you aerate them in order to release their harsh tannic taste. Tannins are simply the naturally occurring chemical compounds that exist in grape skins. it just continued www. Some white wines also have a perceptible tannic taste.100BestWines. With more and more technology working itself into the wine industry. Simply leaving it in the bottle with the cork off doesn’t allow enough air to mix with the wine because the neck of the bottle is too small. as well. should aerate for about an hour. softer taste. White tannic wines only need about thirty minutes of aeration to improve their taste. an inexpensive.Why Decant Wine and How to Do It Many people ask me. Bordeaux. Younger tannic red wines. all you need is a glass container that can hold an entire bottle of wine. This process can leave a strong. seeds. The length of time needed to soften a wine’s tannic taste depends on what type of wine it is. While there’s nothing wrong with drinking this sediment. These compounds also exist in oak barrels and can release their tannins into the wines that are stored in them. and stems. While there are certainly some very expensive decanters available.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. wide-mouthed glass carafe will do. You can also aerate the wine by pouring it into several large wine glasses. Very old wines should only aerate for about 10-15 minutes because too much air circulation will begin to deteriorate the flavors of the wine. Vintage Ports. LLC All Rights Reserved 70 . have very high levels of tannin. such as Cabernet Sauvignon. gently pour the wine into the decanter and let it breathe in order to reveal a better. or Italian Barolo. bitter taste in some red wines. Red wines are more tannic than white wines because red grapes have higher levels of tannins and are fermented with the skins intact. that came from the oak barrels they fermented in. some white wines. “Why decant wine?” There are two primary reasons why it is good to decant a wine . When decanting a wine.
Pour the wine slowly into the decanter until the cloudy sediment reaches the neck of the bottle and stop pouring just before it spills out. In addition. set the bottle upright for one to two days so the sediment settles at the bottom. very inexpensive wines and all other ports do not require decanting. Vintage Ports will also need to aerate for up to eight hours in order to soften its tannic taste. after eight to ten years. Vintage Ports may require standing for several days before decanting due to the large amounts of sediment that exists. When decanting wine to remove sediment. and Pinot Noirs. Burgundies. These contain lower levels of tannins and won’t really benefit from decanting. as tannins and other materials solidify over time.Why Decant Wine and How to Do It looks bad sitting at the bottom of your glass and tastes chunky when on your tongue. most red wines don’t need decanting. In addition to decanting for sediment removal. LLC All Rights Reserved 71 . such as Beaujolais. Place a candle or lamp under the wine bottle in order to see the sediment inside. Remember.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. www. Sediment develops as wine ages.
His formula laid the groundwork for the initial design. When we received the Vinturi it was quickly apparent that substantial design and engineering went into the concept of this patent pending wine accessory. We performed a continued www. LLC All Rights Reserved 72 .com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Simply put. as the wine moves through the Vinturi. all without the aid of a pump or any external device. discovering a simple yet effective invention that rapidly improves the taste of wine without years of aging or hours of decanting. air inlet size and placement. Truly unique! After marveling at the sleek and beautiful design. Who could have imagined that our old friend Bernoulli’s principle would one day affect how we drink wine. Hailed as a means to quickly aerate any wine into either a glass or decanter. but old fashioned hard work was required to determine just the right fluid flow. because of a design that speeds up the fluid flow. we put it to the test. to in this case.com. mouthfeel and taste in much less time than it would take by either just uncorking the bottle or decanting normally.100BestWines. We recently purchased online this unique item to test through one of our retail partners Wine Enthusiast. we are constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and improve the enjoyment of wine – from finding the best bottle of affordable zinfandel.Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator Unlocks the Complexities of Your Wine At 100BestWines. this unique tool enables wine to “open up” and reveal the bouquet. a low pressure condition is created that allows air from two adjacent holes to be ‘sucked into’ the wine stream.
standard decanting with and without an ordinary funnel. www. The large molecule esters were enhanced.100BestWines. somewhat young cabernet sauvignon from the glass and bottle. The results were as claimed.Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator Unlocks the Complexities of Your Wine blind tasting of an un-decanted. LLC All Rights Reserved 73 . we noticed a pronounced difference in the finish with a softening of tannins and release of some of the usually present volatiles. and then aeration using the Vinturi into both a glass and a decanter. 100BestWines highly recommends this product and every wine lover should own one! Check out our guide to buying wine accessories and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips. The quick aeration provided a more velvety mouthfeel that lingered longer on the tongue to release more subtle flavors. And lastly.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. providing a broader bouquet without the normal ‘intensity’ of alcohol vapors.
but then allows you to preserve the remaining wine for you to enjoy later. The secret to this wine preservation marvel is the Vacuum Stopper that contains an analog gauge that visually shows when the proper amount of vacuum has been achieved. is individually hand-blown from crystalline quartz and is lead-free.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. I purchased the V-1 from Wine Enthusiast. Place the manual vacuum pump on the stopper. The uniquely designed wine storage decanter. The V-1 Decanter by Metrokane is the world’s first wine vacuum storage decanter designed by Ed Kilduff of Pollen Design. Remove the air from the decanter using the pump until the Vacuum Gauge reaches the “red zone”. There’s no need to exert a lot of pressure when putting it in the decanter. 2.Don’t Waste an Open Bottle — Use Wine Vacuum Storage Recently.100BestWines. Insert the Vacuum Stopper into the decanter. The process is so simple: 1. I purchased a new and revolutionary wine accessory that enables you to not only decant your wine to enhance flavors and aromas. LLC All Rights Reserved 74 . 3. while using the manual pump to remove air from the decanter preventing over oxidation and ruining the remaining wine. (Please note: Never use the vacuum stopper in any decanter other than the V-1). inspired by the shape of NASA’s Apollo Command Module. continued www.
Every day I checked the vacuum gauge to be certain a good seal was being maintained (it didn’t move a bit). With this wine accessory. I could not be more pleased with how this unique wine decanter performed. LLC All Rights Reserved 75 . On subsequent tests I even set the vacuum sealed decanter aside for 10 days only to find that the wine was just as wonderful as when I first uncorked it. First. There was no discernable difference in the quality of the wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. After tasting the decanted wine I followed the simple vacuum procedures and left the decanter in a cool. Check out our guide to buying wine accessories online and join our mailing list to receive our free wine and food-pairing tips.100BestWines. you don’t have to feel guilty uncorking a great bottle of wine expecting to either drink the entire bottle or allow the remaining wine to be wasted from over oxidation. The decanting had done its job of aerating to improve the wine’s character and the vacuum seal had prevented the damaging effects of over oxidation.Don’t Waste an Open Bottle — Use Wine Vacuum Storage I tested the V-1 under several conditions and found it to perform unfailingly. After five days I released the vacuum seal and tasted the wine again. I decanted a beautiful bottle of superior Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that I’d previously enjoyed. dimly lit place. www.
6 Storing Wine .
and movement. If you do choose to store your wine in one of these spaces. LLC All Rights Reserved 77 . or even an empty fireplace. While most people don’t keep their homes at 50-55ºF. Not only does the vibration of the refrigerator motor disturb the wine. or oven. this may be difficult to achieve if you don’t have a room dedicated to wine storage. One of the biggest dangers to your stored wine is light exposure. While many people store their wine in a pantry. so just make sure you find a place in your home that is not too dry. air conditioning unit. cabinet. or attic because these areas tend to have drastic temperature changes over the course of a year.100BestWines. humidity. This is especially true when it comes to storing your wine. Keeping your wine at a constant temperature is probably the most important factor in storing your wine properly. Agitating the wine inside the bottle too much will kill the wine way before its time. The most ideal temperature for storing wine is 50-55ºF. these are not generally the ideal locations for wine to grow and thrive. Ultraviolet light can travel through the bottle and change the chemical balance inside the wine. This is why it is absolutely essential that your wine storage area is completely free from sunlight. wine cooler. so never keep your wine near a heating vent. the best choice for storing your wine is to purchase a wine rack. or the refrigerator. you can at least protect the bottles by placing them inside a box. Of course.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. ever store your wine on top of a refrigerator or any other appliance that that moves or shakes. Fluctuating temperatures are even worse for wine storage. your wine doesn’t stand a chance. light. There are no windows in wine cellars for a reason! Even if you can’t find a room that is entirely free from sunlight. or a wine cellar. there are other less expensive methods for storing your wine properly. Underground basements are probably the moistest part of the house. The most important things to remember about storing wine are temperature. Drier air will cause a cork to dry out and let air into the wine bottle. Wine bottles should always be kept lying on their sides or upside-down in order continued www. Humidity control is often overlooked when it comes to wine storage. Wine stored at approximately this temperature will not age as quickly as those kept at a warmer temperature. You should never. Since most of us aren’t lucky enough to own a wine cellar. a cabinet under the stairs.The Proper Way to Store Wine Each bottle of wine is like a delicate flower and requires extra special care if you want it to bloom properly. but don’t forget that you have to be concerned with temperature fluctuations as well. or cabinet. Humidity is your cork’s biggest enemy. keep them in a wooden box or even wrap them up in a blanket for insulation. When this happens. Even keeping a bottle of wine inside the refrigerator for more than a week can damage the wine. Wine is also very sensitive to movement and vibration. drawer. it is also too cold of an environment for wine to be stored long-term. garage. You should never keep your wine in the kitchen. Humidity levels should ideally be kept at around 60-70 percent. like an insulated basement. you can find places that are cooler and have fewer fluctuations. However.
you’ll probably want to open them within six months to a year to drink them rather than just looking at them sitting there. After all. plus it keeps your wine well-organized and more easily accessible. just try keeping it in the least harmful conditions as possible. Remember.100BestWines.The Proper Way to Store Wine to keep their corks moist. unless you’re buying very expensive or rare bottles of wine. www.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. there’s no better time to uncork a bottle of wine than now. No matter what you ultimately choose to do with your wine collection. Owning a wine rack will allow you to do this. LLC All Rights Reserved 78 .
Fluctuating temperatures can cause corks to shrink or swell and will negatively change the chemical balance of the wine inside the bottle. comfortable blanket. you’ve caught the wine bug and you’re ready to actually do it…you’re going to invest in a wine cellar. what are the main components to building such a luxurious addition to your home? Whether you do it yourself. Even the darkest bottles will allow light inside. or buy a manufactured system.100BestWines. To keep your bottles perfectly organized. which will ruin your wine very quickly. but it is a very important element. so choose only incandescent or sodium vapor type bulbs for your wine cellar. rows and rows of finely aged wine that you’ve carefully hand selected. LLC All Rights Reserved 79 . This isn’t just to make them seem more romantic or mysterious. nothing spells success like having your own wine cellar! So. all surrounding you like a warm. This prevents the wine from aging too quickly or losing its flavor. HUMIDITY Humidity is often overlooked when storing wine. Ideally. you can purchase color coded wine bottle tags that hang from the necks that will allow you to identify what kind of wine is inside or even which ones are ready to drink and which ones need more aging. Wine corks that dry out tend to shrink over time and will allow air to enter the bottle. or moist. in your cellar keeps corks pliable and won’t let them dry out. it all comes down to a few key items. We’ve all dreamt of it. LIGHT As you have no doubt noticed before. character. wine should be stored at around 50-55ºF. and depth. TEMPERATURE Controlling the temperature in your wine cellar is probably the single most important thing you need to be concerned with when it comes to wine storage…cellar or not.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Fluorescent lights can also damage your wine. The reason for this is because the wine inside the bottle should be touching the cork to prevent it from drying out. Keeping the air humid.Key Components to a Wine Cellar Okay. Humidity continued www. so you’ll want to keep your collection protected from these damaging rays. Ah. causing oxidation. The most important aspect of temperature control is consistency. wine cellars are usually quite dark. ORGANIZATION Your wine cellar will need to have plenty of shelving and racking space in order to hold your wine collection. but to keep the wine protected from sunlight or other ultraviolet light sources. You want to make sure your wine cellar is keeping a constant temperature throughout the day and over the years. The preferred method of storing wine is on its side or upsidedown.
100BestWines. keep your cellar as movement-free as possible. or coffee can damage your perfectly conditioned cellar. You should never store your wine on or near anything that vibrates. A hygrometer can be purchased to easily monitor the humidity levels. Another thing to consider is strong odors. Other things to avoid are unnecessary vibrations and overwhelming odors. Many people don’t like the idea of keeping their cellars so humid because it can damage the labels and produce mold. Things like detergent. as well as the temperature conditions of your wine cellar. So. One thing you can do to protect your labels is to keep the bottles inside cardboard sleeves on the racks.Key Components to a Wine Cellar should be kept at around 60 to 70 percent. odors can easily seep inside the bottle. You can also spray the labels with hair spray or lacquer to keep them from peeling off. paint. avoid the urge to store things other than your precious wine collection inside your wine cellar. www. LLC All Rights Reserved 80 . like a refrigerator or generator.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. motor oil. Because wine corks are porous. So.
there are many options in many styles to consider. it’s a conversation starter. Hanging wine racks can be mounted just about anywhere. A small table top wine rack that holds three to twelve bottles of wine might be a good place to start. These small. shapes. Many of these systems come in mix and match pieces that allow you to add-on to your wine rack as your wine collection increases.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. display. One of the more interesting looking wine racks you can get is a riddling wine board. Regardless. Another popular choice is the diamond-shaped cube box wine racks. This wooden board leans at an angle and allows you to place multiple bottles of wine neck first into the small holes that are carved into the wine board.What Are the Different Kinds of Wine Racks? When searching for the right wine rack. perhaps one or two hundred bottles. Most of these wine racking systems are made out of redwood or pine and come in a wide variety of sizes. It can be a daunting task to find out what kind of wine rack is right for you. If nothing else. and find your wine without having to dedicate an entire room to it. and styles. The first thing you should probably consider when choosing a wine rack is how many bottles of wine you might want to store at one time. you probably want to consider a floor standing wine rack. you probably don’t want to invest in a five hundred dollar wine rack system that holds two hundred bottles of wine. it seems as if there are just as many kinds of racks as there are wines themselves.100BestWines. as well as how much you want to spend on it. These wine racks can be made out of everything from wood to metal to acrylic to leather. you might even want to consider designing a cellar. Floor standing wine racks allow you to easily keep. Most of these medium sized wine racks are made out metal or wood and can be as simple or as fancy as you want them to be. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually decorative. If you’re looking to keep more serious amounts of wine in your wine rack. They often include places to hang your wine glasses. Many small wine racks also come in wall or ceiling mounted designs as well. or stack them on the table. If you only keep a couple of bottles or wine around the house for impromptu parties. suspend them from the ceiling. from under a cabinet to the corner of your living room. say a couple of dozen or so. hang them from the wall. you’ll definitely want to invest in a wine racking system or kit. if you really want to store some massive amounts of wine. corkscrews. LLC All Rights Reserved 81 . making your small wine collection look quite impressive. These wooden boxcontinued www. You can stand them on the floor. If you have become a connoisseur and collector. easy to carry wine racks can fit just about anywhere from the kitchen countertop to a side table in your dining room. Now. and towels from.
The only thing that really matters is that you take care of your wine so it will take care of you when you finally uncork the bottle. So. Wine racks can range in price from twenty dollars to one thousand dollars or more.What Are the Different Kinds of Wine Racks? es usually hold around 24 wine bottles each and are stackable. www.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. choose wisely and have fun picking the best kind of wine rack for your particular wine collecting needs. The great thing about these boxes is that you can start out with just one and add to them one box at a time as your wine obsession grows. LLC All Rights Reserved 82 . so there is literally no limit to how small or how large your wine collection can be.
a humidity level of 50-70% is generally acceptable. but more importantly your wine needs to avoid drastic temperature changes throughout the entire year. Wine does best when it is stored in an area that maintains a constant wine-friendly environment.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. allowing moisture inside the bottles which will ultimately contaminate the wine inside. you might want to consider a cabinet wine rack. However. These racks protect your stored wine and provide an environment that is similar in nature to a wine cellar. This includes exposing the wine to a minimal amount of light. Maintaining the proper conditions for your wine storage is important if you want your wine collection to last. LLC All Rights Reserved 83 . plastic. or a mixture of materials. If you can’t find a place in your home that can fulfill these requirements. In order to avoid this situation. Most wines store well at around 55-60ºF. your wine may age more rapidly than it should. metal. most fine wines are constantly changing and evolving as they mature inside the bottle over time. If the humidity is not kept just right. glass. creating the proper humidity and temperature levels. so you should never leave your wine continued www. If you live in a warmer climate. but it needs to be sturdy and well made in order to prevent it from breaking or shaking excessively because too much movement can damage the wine inside the bottles over time. Wine racks can be made from wood. If the temperature is kept too high. there are a variety of different materials that you can choose from. Humidity control is another important factor to consider when choosing the location of your wine rack system. depending on the types of wine you’re storing mixed with the temperature settings. Probably the most important thing you need to consider when choosing your wine rack is where to put it. you want to make sure your wine is kept in an area that will not get too warm or else your wine will cook inside the bottle. This fine line between greatness and failure can all come down to the type of wine rack you use to store your fine wines. this maturation process can make a good wine even better or ultimately ruin it depending on whether it’s stored properly or not. It doesn’t really matter which material you choose. the corks can dry out and shrink away from the sides of the neck. You’ll probably want to choose a material that goes best with your décor. so just make sure it’s a good quality rack no matter what it’s made from. it’s essential that you consider a few important facts before choosing your wine rack.Tips for Buying the Perfect Wine Rack While much of a wine’s flavors and aromas are developed prior to its bottling. Light and movement are also things to consider when storing your wine in your wine rack.100BestWines. Exposure to too much ultraviolet light can spoil your wine. as well as keeping the wine from moving as little as possible. This is a sure way to ruin any good bottle of wine. When searching for a wine rack. So.
Tips for Buying the Perfect Wine Rack sitting out near a window or other light sources for any extended period of time. Vibration can also ruin your wine over time. so you should never keep your wine rack on or near a refrigerator or other appliances that may cause your wine to shake. humidified.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. However. if you do find an area that can keep your wine properly chilled. While wine racks are a good way to store wine.100BestWines. LLC All Rights Reserved 84 . www. a wine rack is a perfect and affordable way to begin collecting your wine like a pro. you may want to consider purchasing a wine cooler if you can’t find an area in your home that allows your wine to mature in the proper conditions it needs to remain healthy. and protected from light and movement.
Wine bottles come in regular 750ml size or magnum size. Additional diamond-shaped storage bins can also be added to your wine racking system which will easily hold an additional 100 bottles of wine in even less space than the individual racks. like a wine cellar. you might want to purchase a wine rack system that can sit in the middle of the room and can be accessed from both sides. regardless of the size and shape of the space you are designing your wine storage for. For larger areas. These double-sided racks can hold two bottles of wine for each rack space depth. This will help in determining how many rows and columns you will need for your assembled wine rack. The first thing you want to decide is how many bottles you plan to store in your wine rack system. This can make a big difference in what type of wine racking system you choose. a wine racking system can easily accommodate it. So. Many of them come in a variety of sizes and can be built to accommodate varying bottle styles.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. For instance. You can also purchase front loading racks that are twice as deep and allow you to hold two bottles of wine for each rack space depth. you can easily do so with proper planning and organization. Wooden wine racking systems are easy to design and can be configured to any size or shaped room. Single access racks hold one bottle per rack space depth and measure approximately 10-13 inches deep. 9 rows and 4 columns. you can choose a wine rack configuration that has 12 rows and 3 columns. LLC All Rights Reserved 85 . They are simple to assemble and can be added-on to as your wine collection grows over the years. or 6 rows and 6 columns. Another thing you need to consider is the size of the bottles you’re planning on collecting and storing. www. while still being able to place it against the wall.100BestWines.How to Design and Assemble Your Wine Rack System No matter how big or how small of a wine rack system you want to build. depending on which racking system you buy. if you’re looking to store 36 bottles of wine.
freestanding islands. beams.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.100BestWines. This can include a cascading waterfall look. wooden case storage. or pine. maple. tasting tables. a curved corner design. If you need to add humidity or cooling devices to the area. make sure you allow for these items in the space you’re creating for your wine rack system. particularly if it swings into the room you’ll be using. so you’ll want to use the lowest measurements you find so the rack will fit inside the space. Finally. and can even accommodate wine coolers. and other features can also be added. arches. or trim that may interfere with your wine rack assembly. You can design your rack to be as simple or ornate as you like by choosing from a variety of different hardwood styles. decorative ways. don’t forget to consider how a door may interfere with your wine rack. LLC All Rights Reserved 86 . make sure you measure at various points along the wall and ceiling. Most walls and ceilings are not perfectly square. make sure you accurately determine the length and height of the area you want to use. Additional decorative moldings. especially if it’s a small. Also. www. If you’re trying to fit your wine racking system into a space as tightly as possible. such as redwood. confined space. and wine glass racks. make note of any ceiling ducts. When measuring for your wine racking system.How to Design and Assemble Your Wine Rack System Wooden wine racks can be configured in a variety of attractive.
LLC All Rights Reserved 87 . More expensive models even have the ability to read a wine bottle’s bar code and will automatically adjust its settings for that wine’s particular storage needs. Investing in a quality wine cooler takes up less space than most appliances and provides your wine the temperature. or 100 bottles of wine in a traditional wine rack. or a small wine rack sitting out on the kitchen counter. the pantry. Most casual wine drinkers store their wine bottles in the refrigerator. and light control that it needs to thrive. light. and vibration. So. humidity. The refrigerator’s motor causes too much vibration for your bottles of wine and can diminish their qualities quickly. Therefore. A wine cooler can easily prevent and control these dangers to wine. www. or on top of your kitchen refrigerator. Sunlight and fluorescent light can easily damage your wine in a short period of time. Some wine coolers are divided in order to allow you to store both white wines and red wines at their optimal settings. While a wine cooler also uses a motor in order to cool the wine inside. ready for the time you’ll choose to enjoy the next bottle. If you do choose to use one that has glass doors. These are in no way the ideal places to store wine for more than a couple of days. You should never keep your wine in. it’s actually better to have one with solid doors. This can easily be remedied by storing your wine bottles in a wine cooler. Keeping your wine in a wine cooler can also protect it from harmful ultraviolet lights. storing your wine in a wine cooler is a wonderful way to keep your wine in prime condition. The things that can damage wine the most are temperature. it can take up significant space in your home and may not be as properly protected from damaging elements as it could be. While some wine coolers have glass doors for easy viewing of the wine inside. near. Wine can be a temperamental friend and it requires proper care and handling if you expect it to be good to you. A wine cooler can be an affordable and space saving appliance to buy in order to keep your wine well cared for. even through the darkest bottles. why choose a wine cooler? Because it’s the smart thing to do and your wine will thank you for it later. humidity. If you have 20. Many coolers come with digital displays that can easily be adjusted.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. or any other vibrating appliance for that matter. 50.100BestWines. Another thing to consider when deciding to buy a wine cooler is space. A good wine cooler will properly maintain the optimal temperature and humidity that is necessary in keeping wine healthy. a quality wine cooler will have either rubber coated racks to minimize these vibrations or rubber mounted compressors that completely eliminate damaging vibrations. the next best thing is to own a wine cooler. make sure they are coated with an ultraviolet light protector.Why Use a Wine Cooler? Because most of us are not lucky or rich enough to own a wine cellar.
How Big Should Your Wine Cooler Be?
When choosing a wine cooler for your growing wine collection, the size of the cooler you choose is an important factor to consider before you buy one. Wine coolers can range in size from twelve bottle capacity to a hundred bottles or more. The first thing you need to decide is how many bottles of wine you think you might be storing in the wine cooler. If you’re just an occasional wine drinker and want to keep a couple of bottles around for those special dinners and guests, you’ll probably just need to buy a small twelve bottle wine cooler. This will allow you to properly store your occasional use wines in a ready to serve state. If you want to start more of a collection of wine, you’ll want to buy a wine cooler that holds more than what you would generally use yourself. Considering a wine cooler that holds around 24-50 bottles of wine is a good place to start. Decide how many bottles you want to keep in your wine collection and double that number. So, if you’re thinking you want to keep around 25 bottles at a time you’ll want to buy a 50 bottle capacity wine cooler. This is due to the fact that your wine collection will most likely grow past your initial estimate and you’ll want to have plenty of room for them when it does. The things to look for in a good wine cooler are reliable temperature and humidity controls, quality insulation and shelving racks, ultraviolet light protection, and minimized vibration. Consistency in temperature and humidity is very important when storing wine, so being able to monitor these levels is essential. Digital controls and readouts can make this much easier for you. The interior of the wine cooler should be well insulated and made of aluminum, rather than plastic, because aluminum conducts warm and cool air more effectively. The shelving racks inside the wine cooler should ideally be made of wood, rather than wire, and should roll out for easier accessibility to the bottles of wine inside. While you may want to gaze for hours on end at your wine collection through the glass doors of your cooler, it’s actually better to have one that has solid doors. This keeps the harmful UV rays that can damage your wine far away from the bottles inside. If you simply must have glass doors, at least get ones that are coated with a UV protector. Vibration is a huge concern when it comes to purchasing a quality wine cooler. It’s not a good idea to keep your wine collection in a regular refrigerator because the vibration from the
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How Big Should Your Wine Cooler Be? motor can damage the wine. While wine coolers also have motors, they generally have added protection to prevent the wine from feeling the effects of the vibration. Things to look for are rubber coated racks that minimize vibrations or rubber mounted compressors that eliminate shaking altogether and keeps your wine protected. Of course, if you’re going to invest in a wine cooler that holds a hundred bottles or more, you definitely want to look for the more reputable, higher quality models that are available. Most of these larger models are smaller than your average refrigerator, so finding space for one will not be too difficult in most homes or even apartments. So, whether you’re just starting out small with a dozen bottles or want to always have a hundred bottles to choose from at any given time, your wine cooler needs can easily be met.
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special coasters. You’ll be directed through a few easy steps. regardless of labeling. or sparkling wine. adding the text.100BestWines. you can create a treasured and lasting memory of the event by adding a personal touch to those wine or other gift items. Unique Expression of Caring and Connection Wine is always an appropriate and wonderful gift for almost any occasion. recipes that include the wine gift. etched glasses and decanters. our partners. Your care and thoughtfulness will be appreciated by your guests and they will surely mention it to their friends or associates. a gift for a corporate event or banquet.The Ultimate. determining just the right kind of label. selecting an appropriate wine. including one of our private label wineries such as Personal Wine. In addition. white wine. picture. or special graphic that will complete your personalization. LLC All Rights Reserved 91 . and lastly. champagne. or a grand and memorable ball thrown for a wedding or other gala . Whether it’s an informal gathering of friends.red wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Accessories that can be personalized include corkscrews. with just a little effort. However. wine bottle drip rings. carry a plethora of wine related accessories that can be included with your personalized wine gift. You’ll be proud to offer these often inexpensive yet sophisticated gifts for which you’ll be remembered for years to come. www. champagne. and gift baskets. A couple of our partners will provide the kind of stress-free help you’ll need to get started.Personalized Wines . or sparkling wine are all excellent choices.
com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 92 . champagne. Your guests are sure to appreciate this special and lasting memory. Your personalized expression can be utilized in many ways to establish the atmosphere for an elegant and romantic wedding reception. or mini-bottles. offering personalized bottles of wine to your guests can be quite reasonable and inexpensive – and require a minimum of effort to create. and memorable experience . spectacular. or sparkling wine to your reception. designing a special label. enscribed with your special message of thanks to each guest. As special table items. champagne. Incorrectly perceived as giving the impression that you’ve gone ‘over-the-top’ for your reception. gifts to your guests or members of the wedding party personalization is unique and says you really care. or sparkling wine bottles that have been personalized for your wedding day are an ideal solution for newlyweds hoping to create a unique. Tables can be adorned with the personalized bottles ready to pour for those special toasts to the new couple. The special day is yours! Make it so in every way by adding personalized wine. and completing the personalization with the proper text. photo. Our partners will assist you in the easy process of selecting the wine. or graphics. you may wish to present your guests with personalized splits.100BestWines.guaranteed to establish an incredibly romantic scene for the long-awaited wedding reception. www.Personalized Wines for Our Big Day Or “How Our Guests Never Forgot Our Wedding” Wine. Instead.
8 Wine Clubs .
Membership structures vary from one wine club to another.Wine Clubs .which many more people are becoming as a result of the reports on how wine consumption offers numerous health benefits. either as a single bottle or a collection of choices. Although the idea of a wine “club” may sound like an exclusive organization for the elite. it is an excellent option for new wine drinkers just beginning their foray into enjoying wines. Find one that doesn’t tie you into a longterm contract. typically including an information sheet describing the reason the wine was chosen. this will help the next time you open the wine list at your favorite restaurant and it’s time to make your selection. They look for the wines they would enjoy themselves. To the beginner. etc. making them aware of what to look for and evaluate as to their particular tastes. a wine club does all the hard work. or favor just zinfandels. joining a wine club is a smart move if you are a regular wine drinker -. The organizers of the wine club are experts in their field. prefer to have only imported Italian wines. have been growing as a direct result of the increased interest in wine here in the United States. with an option to renew/extend. what makes it a good choice. wine club memberships offer other perks. A good wine club will also offer you control and options with regard to the types of wines you prefer.100BestWines. or to find and investigate new wines you’ve never tried before. at prices every one of their members can afford. so be sure to shop around for the best clubs available that meet your tastes. that’s not the case. once every month. You will typically be billed for the wines when the latest selection(s) ship or when they arrive. selecting wines that they ship to their members. investigating vineyards. And continued www. but who don’t really know the best way to get started. such as Cellars Wine Club. Some clubs will also have a “Wine of the Month” option where you can realize significant savings from being a member than if you just bought the featured wine at a local store. such as if you are partial to red wine from California. vintages and varietals on a daily basis. you should take a look at the benefits of joining a wine club. but don’t really have the time to shop for just the right selections. “premium” members may be offered the option to buy more of their wine selections at discounted prices. Novice or professional alike save time by having the selections shipped directly to their home. While a wine club is a time saver for well heeled wine aficionados. LLC All Rights Reserved 94 . Many times. Wine clubs offer varying membership programs. this becomes a tutorial in understanding the intricacies of wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Much like a “book of the month” club. what food to pair it with. but allow you to discontinue at any time without penalty or cost. The “club” part is about the great benefits you get by tapping into the club’s research involved for each bottle they offer to their members. For instance. Most wine clubs will let you choose how long you would like to commit to. Ultimately. The number of wine clubs. Of course. why the vintage is important.A Convenient Way to Know Wine If you want to explore the world of wine.
finding it to be a great way to learn about wine and sample some of the best vintages every month.A Convenient Way to Know Wine don’t overlook the fact that most wine clubs today offer a gift membership program. As you now know. which you can use to help with your birthday and holiday gift giving. the average wine club will usually run in the $30 to $100 per month range. www. When it comes to price.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. But as you can now imagine. but could be higher depending on the quality and quantity of selections. Traditionally. the numerous benefits are well worth it if you choose the right wine club. there are many factors to consider when choosing a wine club. there can be a wide variance from one club to another since there is no limit to the cost of a good bottle of wine. This typically isn’t a problem. be sure to understand the “fine print” so you don’t discover any unexpected conditions or expenses.Wine Clubs . Before you commit.100BestWines. LLC All Rights Reserved 95 . as most wine club members report being very satisfied with their club.
9 Gifts of Wine .
to giving your best friend a Cabernet with “Congratulations on your Hole-in-One” on the label or watching your niece open her holiday gift and see a wonderful Chardonnay with a label of “Blessed First Christmas” – these are moments that can’t be matched. a wonderfully unique gift is bottles of wine with personalized labels. Try the “always needed” accessories when you’re concerned about choosing at … Wine Enthusiast and Wine. remember to select a wine that your recipient would like. Also. LLC All Rights Reserved 97 . not necessarily what YOUR wine favorite would be. As for worries that your host may not like your selection. California But what if you don’t have any idea whether your recipient prefers reds or whites.a wine rack or wine refrigerator. Washington • Penfolds Thomas Hyland 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – Australia • Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs . French or domestic? Never fear! Consider gifting wine accessories . Here is a way for your recipient to feel special and for you to convey exactly the message you want. or even worse. unique and appreciated.com If you have plenty of lead time before your gift needs to arrive. consider buying wine charms for their Riedel glassware. However. continued www.any and every wine drinker needs to open their wine bottle and a glass to pour it into. Presenting your sister a bottle of Zinfandel whose label reads “Happy 30th Birthday”. And for the serious gift for the serious connoisseur.Columbia Valley.Napa Valley. some of which are wine gifts that ‘keep giving’. Here are a few “sure-fire classics” you can always rely on … • Chateau Ste. liking the wine so much themselves that it gets uncorked at home before ever making it to the party! The simple solution for the latter is to buy two bottles. consider purchasing gifts for them to store their wines . and needn’t be limited to simply the choice of a single bottle – there are many options. Michelle Indian Wells Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 . when it comes to buying a bottle of wine. many people are shy to order wine as a gift. For the individual that already has everything.100BestWines.Order Wine as a Gift Wine related gifts are one of the most personal. I’ve always found that bringing fine wines to the host or hostess of a party is a classic way to provide unique gifts for wine lovers that will be enjoyed – simple for me and appreciated by them. concerned about the “risks” of either buying a bottle of wine that the recipient may not like. you will discover many suggestions at 100 Best Wines to help mitigate your “risk” and make your choice much easier.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.
if you’re really lucky.Order Wine as a Gift Check out this vineyard’s website that will put your label ideas on great wines … Personal Wine Of course. friend or relative in a wine club. but don’t count on it! www. without stressing over the selections or traveling to the liquor store.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. And of course. and The Wine Messenger We hope this gets you started with your wine gifting needs. For you. Wine.com. The novice will learn that not all wine comes in a box. while the enthusiast will find new choices that they may never have considered.100BestWines. with prices covering the full spectrum of affordability. Just think. Check out these websites for Wine Clubs and Gifting to deliver the wine for you … Cellars Wine Club. especially with the wide variety of offerings you can now find on the internet. the giver. nothing beats opening your front door to see your latest delivery of wine as a gift waiting for you. Enrollment is quick and easy. LLC All Rights Reserved 98 . my personal favorite for the true wine lover is perhaps the most appreciated – enrolling your spouse. they just might be willing to share. it’s an extremely easy way to give wine.
you first need to start with choosing the right wine. Your friends and family will certainly be impressed when you show up at the door with a brightly colored basket filled with all sorts of tasty treats. shapes. Unless you’re sure the gift basket will be opened in less than an hour. You can also consult the resident wine expert in your finer wine and spirits shops to suggest a good wine to give as a gift. Consider picking one red and one white wine to please all palates.Creating the Perfect Wine Gift Basket Wine gift baskets can make a great gift for just about every occasion from birthdays to weddings to housewarming parties. A couple of nice looking glasses. Fresh seasonal fruits are another way to add lots of color to your wine gift basket. you probably know what you like. ribbons. Elegant crackers. Red wine glasses are usually large and round in shape and white wine glasses are shorter and slimmer. You can find wine charms just about anywhere these days and they come in a wide variety of different designs. Handing your gift recipient or hostess a bottle of wine inside a plain bag with a single bow on it might get the job done. you can select from the many wonderful options of already made gift baskets available. Wine charms can add sparkle and fun to your wine gift basket. Cheese and wine go together like black and white. perhaps even crystal. clear wine glasses that are appropriate for most wines. so picking something that you personally enjoy is a good place to start. You might also consider placing some wines that are bottled locally that help to support your local wineries. You can also choose to add just a couple of standard. and fancy nuts are a wonderful addition to any wine gift basket. but since most cheeses need to be refrigerated. or you can be personal and create your own. To assemble your own. and bows. but placing the bottle inside a perfectly designed gift basket will get the job done right. will go nicely in your wine gift basket. They also serve as an easy way to distinguish which wine glass belongs to which wine drinker once the bottles are open. creatively wrapped in beautiful paper. Next. Dress your wine glasses up with wine charms or jewelry. If you choose a red and a white wine for the basket. Of course. a pair of red wine glasses and a pair of white wine glasses will really make the basket look special. you might want to leave the cheese out of the gift basket and choose some other tasty treats. Wine and fine chocolates go well together and your gift recipient will certainly enjoy every delicious sip and bite. Adding gourmet foods and snacks to your basket can complete your wine gift basket and turn it into something that will both look good and taste good.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. gourmet popcorns.100BestWines. Expensive gourmet chocolates are another great choice for your basket. but just continued www. Even if you know little about wine. and colors. you’ll want to choose some wine accessories to go along with your chosen wine. they might not be the best choice for your wine gift basket. LLC All Rights Reserved 99 .
Finally. Wrapping it all together with cellophane and tying it together with a big. you’ll want to place all of these items inside an appropriately sized basket or other type of container. Just knowing your wine gift basket was created lovingly by you will make your gift recipients beam with joy when you hand it to them.100BestWines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 100 .Creating the Perfect Wine Gift Basket make sure to buy them the same day you are going to give the gift basket to assure freshness. Don’t be afraid to get creative and don’t worry about making it perfect. beautiful bow will complete the look. Make sure to add some pretty papers or colorful raffia to your basket to keep your items secure inside. Wooden boxes or other useful items such as wine buckets can also be used to hold your gift basket items together. www.
100BestWines. using pink or blue for a baby shower. wine baskets are the perfect gift for weddings. On the other hand. you can replace the bottles with non-alcoholic choices. Whether you fill it yourself or order one pre-made. Using colorful cellophane to wrap the basket and tying it together with a big bow will complete the look. Christmas. Make sure you place these items in a basket that is large enough to hold everything properly and decoratively. LLC All Rights Reserved 101 . Adding a variety of smooth and flavorful wines along with a book about wine will allow someone new to the hobby the opportunity to learn something new about wines. red and green for a Christmas gift. a wine gift basket for the wine connoisseur might include one bottle of a highly rated wine that they can add to their wine collection. Hanukkah. You also might want to include a couple of wine glasses. continued www. Wine collectors will always appreciate a new addition to their collection. unique coasters. so just about everyone would enjoy this tasty and classy gift. You can also purchase a shrinkwrap cellophane that shrinks and hardens to the shape of the basket when you heat it up with a blow-dryer. you’ll want to include at least one or two bottles of wine. crackers. and nuts to really make the basket one to remember. or wine marker charms. fruits. but a celebratory glass of sparkling champagne can’t hurt. One bottle of white and one bottle of red is a nice combination. Most people enjoy a glass or two of wine every once in awhile and some people wouldn’t cook without it. Wine gift baskets are a great way to introduce the world of wine to people who are inexperienced in wine appreciation. making it look professionally done. Including items inside the basket that go along with the theme is also nice. or all white for a wedding present. such as rattles and pacifiers for a new baby or bells and flowers for a bridal gift. no matter what the occasion. a good corkscrew. Add some gourmet chocolates. nuts. You can then fill the basket with fine chocolates. New mothers may not be able to enjoy a fine bottle of wine during the first few months after her baby is born. graduations. decorative wine stoppers. or that hard-tobuy-for-person who seems to have everything. anniversaries. or even fresh fruit. You might also want to choose colors and accents to make the basket reflect the fact that it was designed especially for the occasion.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. birthdays. When choosing or creating your wine gift basket.Wine Baskets Make Great Gifts for Any Occasion Wine gift baskets have become one of the most popular gifts to give for just about any occasion. Even if the person you’re giving the gift to doesn’t drink wine. This can include decorating the basket with silver accessories for a special anniversary. baby showers. such as sparkling wine.
and effort. LLC All Rights Reserved 102 . With a little imagination. Who knows.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. www. maybe they’ll end up starting their own winery! No matter what the occasion or who the recipient is. thought. your wine gift baskets will be remembered fondly for years to come. and corks to turn any wine lover into a wine producer. Just like beer lovers can brew their own beer.100BestWines. This is a great gift to give anyone who loves to build or make things with their hands. a wine gift basket is a great way to impress and please everyone on your gift giving list. bottles. Wine kits can include personalized labels.Wine Baskets Make Great Gifts for Any Occasion You might also want to consider giving a wine kit as a unique and interesting gift. wine lovers can bottle their own wine.
10 Appendices .
99 12.99 29. Michelle Ferrari-Carano Hall Bradford Mountain Estancia Gnarly Head Ravenswood Ridge Frescobaldi Nipozzano Luna John Duval Two Hands David Bruce Kendall-Jackson Marimar Torres Willamette Valley Vineyards Castle Rock Titus Finca Allende Bodegas Broquel Luca Andrew Will Anselmi Beringer Name Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Thomas Hyland Cabernet Sauvignon Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot Merlot Napa Valley Merlot Dry Creek Zinfandel Zinfandel Paso Robles Old Vine Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel Lytton Springs Zinfandel Chianti Riserva Sangiovese Entity Shiraz Angel’s Share Shiraz Russian River Pinot Noir Vinter’s Reserve Pinot Noir Pinot Noir “Cristina” Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir Lake County Reserve Petite Sirah Napa Valley Petite Sirah Rioja Barco de Piedra Malbec Malbec Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills San Vincenzo Knights Valley Alluvium Blanc Vintage 2007 2008 2005 2006 2007 2008 2006 2006 2006 2005 2007 2007 2008 2007 2006 2005 2006 2006 2008 2007 2006 2006 2007 2008 2006 2007 2006 2007 2007 2008 2006 2007 2005 2007 2007 2007 2005 2008 2007 2008 2007 2009 2007 Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Merlot Merlot Merlot Merlot Zinfandel Zinfandel Zinfandel Zinfandel Zinfandel Sangiovese Sangiovese Syrah/Shiraz Syrah/Shiraz Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Petite Sirah Petite Sirah Tempranillo Tempranillo Malbec Malbec Blend Blend Blend Category Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red White White Country United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States Australia Australia United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States Italy United States Australia Australia United States United States United States United States United States United States Spain Spain Argentina Argentina United States Italy United States CA WA CA CA CA OR CA CA CA CA CA CA CA WA WA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA State CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA Appelation North Coast Napa Valley Napa Valley Napa Valley Napa Valley North Coast Napa Valley Sonoma Valley Coastal Sonoma Valley Napa Valley Limestone Coast Coonawarra Alexander valley Alexander Valley Napa Valley Sonoma County Columbia Valley Columbia Valley Sonoma County Napa Valley Napa Valley Central Coast Lodi Sonoma County Sonoma County Rufina Napa Valley Barossa Valley McLaren Vale Russian River Monterey County Sonoma County Willamette Valley North Coast Napa Valley Rioja Castilla y Leon Mendoza Mendoza Columbia Valley Veneto Sonoma County Cost 19.99 31.99 18.com BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! continued .29 11.99 46.99 19.99 19.29 Buy Now at wine.29 39.49 19.99 19.99 104.99 23.99 27.99 33.99 26.99 36.99 13.49 48.99 19.99 57.99 29.49 99.99 16.R. 2010 Page 1 of 2 Winery B.99 25.49 16.99 19.99 19.99 89.99 59.99 15.99 19.99 48.99 15.99 16. Cohn Caymus Chateau Montelena Estate Franciscan Groth Hess Select Hess Collection Jordan Kendall-Jackson Kenwood Oberon Penfolds Penley Estate Rodney Strong Silver Oak Silver Oak Chalk Hill Chateau Ste. Michelle Chateau Ste.99 44.99 19.79 12.Our 100 Best Wines November 5.99 19.99 31.49 19.99 17.
99 19.99 21.Our 100 Best Wines November 5.99 11.29 9.79 18.99 44.99 27.99 47.99 115.49 21.99 19.99 11. Supery Chateau Ste.99 13.49 Buy Now at wine.00 21.99 14. Jean Cuvaison Franciscan Martin Ray Newton Raymond Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Hugel Santa Margherita Willamette Valley Vineyards Concha y Toro Groth Mulderbosch Neil Ellis St.99 99.49 19.99 10.com BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! . Michelle Penfolds Moet & Chandon Perrier-Jouet Veuve Clicquot Veuve Clicquot Domaine Chandon Mumm Dow’s Fonseca Graham’s Penfolds Taylor Fladgate Blandy’s Hidalgo Inniskillin Yalumba Name Anthology Estate Magnificat Remole Toscana Rosso Block 19 Cuvee Lucente Rubicon Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripassa Private Reserve Chardonnay Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Russian River Valley Chardonnay Unfiltered Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay KARIA Chardonnay Classic Pinot Gris Pinot Grigio Pinot Gris Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Eroica Riesling Eden Valley Bin 51 Reserve Riesling Imperial Grand Brut La Grande Dame Brut Yellow Label Brut Classic Napa Brut Prestige Fine Ruby Vintage Port Six Grapes Reserve Port Club Port Vintage Port 15 Year Old Malmsey Madiera La Gitana Manzanilla Vidal Icewine Museum Reserve Muscat 2006 2007 2007 1998 Vintage 2005 2006 2006 2008 2006 2007 2006 2007 2008 2006 2008 2008 2009 2006 2008 2007 2006 2009 2008 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2008 2008 Varietal Blend Blend Blend Blend Blend Blend Blend Blend Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Riesling Riesling Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Sparkling Sparkling Port Port Port Port Port Madiera Sherry Icewine Muscat Category Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red White White White White White White White White White White White White White White White White White White Sparkling Sparkling Sparkling Sparkling Sparkling Sparkling Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Dessert Country United States United States United States Italy United States Italy South Africa Italy United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States France Italy United States Chile United States South Africa South Africa United States United States Australia France France France France United States United States Portugal Portugal Portugal Australia Portugal Portugal Spain Canada Australia CA CA CA WA CA Oregon CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA State CA CA CA Appelation Napa Valley Napa Valley Napa Valley Tuscany Napa Valley Tuscany Meerlust Veneto Napa Valley Sonoma County Carneros Napa Valley Russian River Napa Valley Napa Valley Napa Valley Alsace Trentino-Alto Adige Willamette Valley Central Valley Napa Valley Stellenbosch Stellenbosch Napa Valley Columbia Valley Barossa Valley Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Napa Valley Napa Valley Duoro Valley Duoro Valley Duoro Valley South Australia Duoro Valley Madiera Sanlacar de Barrameda Niagra Penninsula Barossa Valley Cost 48.99 19.99 28.49 26.99 89.99 37.99 51.00 35.79 19.49 17.99 16.99 25.99 31.99 28.99 16.99 16.00 44.49 89.49 41.99 19.00 27.99 17. 2010 Page 2 of 2 Winery Conn Creek Dominus Franciscan Frescobaldi Hess Collection Luce Meerlust Zenato Beringer Chateau St.29 59.
99 19.29 11.79 17.99 16.99 11.99 13.49 19.49 Buy Now at wine.99 18.29 17.com BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW! .99 9.20 Best Buys Under $20 November 5.99 19. Supery Chateau Ste.49 19.99 16.29 19.99 19. Michelle Ferrari-Carano Bradford Mountain Gnarly Head Frescobaldi Nipozzano Willamette Valley Vineyards Bodegas Beringer Frescobaldi Martin Ray Raymond Hugel Concha y Toro St.99 19.99 15. Michelle Domaine Chandon Name Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Thomas Hyland Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot Merlot Dry Creek Zinfandel Old Vine Zinfandel Chianti Riserva Pinot Noir Barco de Piedra Knights Valley Alluvium Blanc Remole Toscana Rosso Russian River Valley Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay Classic Pinot Gris Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Eroica Riesling Brut Classic Vintage 2008 2005 2007 2007 2008 2007 2006 2008 2006 2007 2008 2007 2008 2009 2008 2006 2009 2009 2008 Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Merlot Zinfandel Zinfandel Sangiovese Pinot Noir Tempranillo Blend Blend Chardonnay Chardonnay Pinot Grigio Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Riesling Sparkling Category Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red White Red White White White White White White Sparkling Country United States United States Australia United States United States United States United States United States Italy United States Spain United States Italy United States United States France Chile United States United States United States CA WA CA CA CA CA OR CA WA CA CA CA State CA CA Appelation North Coast Sonoma Valley Limestone Coast Alexander valley Columbia Valley Sonoma County Napa Valley Lodi Rufina Willamette Valley Castilla y Leon Sonoma County Tuscany Russian River Napa Valley Alsace Central Valley Napa Valley Columbia Valley Napa Valley Cost 19.99 19. 2010 Winery Hess Select Kenwood Penfolds Rodney Strong Chateau Ste.99 17.
winemaker’s notes. They also allow their partners and buyers add their own reviews for any wine they sell (Note: 100 Best Wines often adds our reviews to their selections). our customer. We’ve researched the many online wine retailers.com brings you wines that are extremely limited and in most cases simply unavailable anywhere else. and links to information about the winery and the region it’s from. and commentaries provide an excellent and valuable foundation to develop your wine knowledge. Wine.com Wine. whether shopping for yourself or sending a gift. represent the best the web has to offer. find the best wines at the best prices. uncovering the very best deals from our partners. During that time they’ve served millions of satisfied customers and built a loyal following of avid wine lovers. search criteria make choosing a wine at Wine. But our job didn’t stop when we identified our partners . Wine. in all price ranges. Their “Wine Basics”. com really quite easy.com to meet their standards and specifications.com is the exclusive wine shop partner of The Wine Enthusiast catalog and website.com’s simply stated mission is “to make it fun.com believes knowledge of wines is an important element of the purchasing experience.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.” Their experts review thousands of wines from around the world representing all varietals and regions. With an incredible volume of wines from which to choose. with extensive.Online Wine Retailers We believe our job here at 100 Best Wines is to help you. ratings. Some of their winery partners produce wines specifically for WineExpress. and believe these quality vendors.100BestWines. from all regions of the world. our partners. LLC All Rights Reserved 107 . which have been providing quality wine accessories and storage for over 25 years.it continues every day because our experts explore the latest and greatest offerings. easy and risk-free for you to discover great new wines from all over the world. continued www. You will always find our “Deals of the Day” for our partners on our home page. WineExpress WineExpress. WineExpress. That’s why each of their wines includes notes from the winemaker. It’s only natural then for them to have teamed up with a great wine shop to bring their customers first quality wines at value prices. Let us be your internet sommelier. yet user-friendly. so don’t start shopping until you check us out first.
MyWinesDirect has a limited number of wines from which to select. their prices represent value that is well above what other wines available in the marketplace might offer. style. quality. as well as detailed tasting notes and a rating.com. Their tasting panel reviews thousands of wines each year to bring you the very best. reliable and convenient. Offer you a limited. Give you knowledge to experiment and the confidence to discover your own likes. carefully selected number of wines to eliminate confusion. one of the best return policies in the business. WineExpress.Online Wine Retailers Because they work directly with wineries and wine producers. value and overall experience that wine delivers. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the wine you have purchased. They have spent considerable time selecting good to continued www. Their wine staff thoroughly researches the wines they offer. and they offer only those wines that meet their exacting standards. he and a select panel of wine industry professionals rate and score the wine on their 100 point scale. and they never have distributors forcing them to sell their unpopular wines.” True to their stated mission. let them know within 30 days and they will pick up the wine and refund you for all unopened bottles.com’s Wine Director. All the wines they offer have undergone a lengthy vetting process. After assessing the wine’s taste. regional and winery information. giving each selection a detailed written description from their President. complete with production information. All of their wines are backed by their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Their direct import model allows them to bring you new wines from exciting regions faster than through conventional channels. Josh Farrell (former Cellar Master and Sommelier at the prestigious Windows on the World) carefully reviews and rates the unique and exclusive selections available from WineExpress. My Wines Direct This site was started to make the wine purchasing experience less confusing and less intimidating. dislikes and tastes.100BestWines.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. Their stated mission is to “Enhance your wine enjoyment with expertly chosen. LLC All Rights Reserved 108 . Wine Messenger Since 1995. The Wine Messenger has built themselves into a source you can trust for providing you with good wines – often award-winning in their home country – at reasonable prices. Provide you with outstanding wine values and make wine buying easy. consumer-approved wines from small undiscovered vineyards.
if you’re a novice wine buyer. and suggestions of other wines similar to the wine you’re considering. The price offerings are extremely reasonable allowing the online wine buyer to experiment without the angst of dropping a lot of money. The grapes are crushed and fermented. The Cellars Ultimate Wine Club selections continued www. Crown Valley Winery has created distinguished California-style wines such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Missouri.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. LLC All Rights Reserved 109 . and buying like a seasoned. Genevieve County. which can save $25 or more on a typical order. but exciting face to midwestern wine. The search capabilities are simple. provides a wealth of information that will have you talking. Founded by Joe and Loretta Scott. They purchase the highest quality California (Vinifera) grapes freshly picked from the vineyards. with their first vine plantings in 1998. chilled and shipped with the greatest of care directly to the estate. Gently sloping terrain and well-drained soils form the foundation of the 600-acre estate. Chardonel. yet fully encompass their portfolio. Vignoles. Crown Valley Winery is a family owned estate in Ste. and start with whole clusters of grapes that are quick-picked. food pairing suggestions. Crown Valley Winery now has more than 165 acres of carefully tended vineyards. A wine club membership makes the perfect gift for any wine lover. selecting. Every month members receive two bottles of hand selected exceptional wine and more. Concord. it is a new. other buyers’ ratings and comments. Traminette. Crown Valley Winery Here you will find a unique opportunity to buy wonderful wines directly from the winery. with expansions planned over the next five years. Frontenac and Norton-Crown Valley Winery now has the largest planting of Norton grapes in the United States. They ship for free. Cellars Wine Club A wine club package delivered each month is a great way to sample new wines. the estate features seven varieties of grapes including Chambourcin.100BestWines. tasting.Online Wine Retailers great wines from boutique vineyards that will have vast cross appeal. MyWinesDirect upholds their mission statement well and. Currently. experienced wine connoisseur. and then the wine is aged in French and American oak barrels on the premise. The individual product pages are concise with tasting notes. In order to satisfy all wine lovers.
that changes up to three times per month. They are a Fairtrade certified importer. continued www. Take the guess work out of gift giving and let family.100BestWines.” from Sonoma County red wines to white wines from Chile. colleagues and customers choose their own perfect gift of wine! Cellars Wine Club also offers gift certificates which come in several denominations to fit your needs. Wine Legacy Wine Legacy offers hand-picked selections of “Highlighted Wines.they only sell one acclaimed wine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines.” every wine they import is sustainably made. Worthwhile Wine Worthwhile Wine is an importer of great South African wines that are sustainably made. Cellaring Potential are just a few of the adjectives that can be used to describe the wines in these clubs.” In a tribute to being “green. they will still have it available when you check back to re-order. They will typically offer free shipping on larger order sizes (four or more bottles). until it is gone. Allocated. Use the club as a gift to impress and indulge a client or loved one. They also try to carry enough stock so that if you like a particular wine. LLC All Rights Reserved 110 . and meet their personal criteria for “great wine. Worthwhile Wine is committed to running a “triple bottom line” business (profits. These are 3rd generation wine merchants who love finding great deals on quality wines. employees. Highly Rated. Additionally.” or awarded a medal in an international competition.Online Wine Retailers are delivered each month to your door. steeply discounted. people. Ultra-Premium. or just pamper your own taste buds. been recommended or rated “best/good value. It’s simple really and that simplicity is what allows them to pass along fantastic wine values to you. Wired for Wine This site does things a little differently than the rest . they have a simple search tool to find wines in their wine inventory database contained in their online wine catalog. and also purchase carbon off-sets for shipment of wine to the US. The wines they import have scored 90+. and donate a portion of net proceeds to nonprofits in the US and South Africa. planet). friends. giving consideration to the environment and stakeholders as they make world-class wine.
Tony Laithwaite. ZagatWine and WSJwine bring you the opportunity to share in these latest wine discoveries. The business has grown to become the world’s leading direct-to-home wine merchant. 4SeasonsWine.com | Copyright © 2010 100 Best Wines. 4 Seasons Wine WSJ Wine Zagat Wine These sites have a selective assortment of wines. from vineyards all over the world. Wine Legacy presents you with a diverse selection of quality wines from top wine regions around the world. LLC All Rights Reserved 111 . Tony began a ‘wine trek’ that took him to vineyards and cellars worldwide. Each site is a unique partnership with one of the world’s leading direct-to-home wine merchants. WineGlobe WineGlobe is a very simple and efficient site that has a moderate coverage of wine selections. Wine merchant Tony Laithwaite has a fascinating history. They offer wines of quality and individuality delivered direct to your home or office. He shared his finds and experiences – the stories that made each wine unique – with a growing band of enthusiastic customers. In 1969. These wines are then narrowed down to a few dozen that are selected to become the wines they present to you on their web site. Their team of wine connoisseurs tastes hundreds of wines from some of the best wine producing vineyards around the globe. By working closely with top producers. or they will make the selection for you. all backed by their guarantee of satisfaction. 3. Today. and 6-bottles. still based around the principle that. you can rely on expert advice and first-class service. You can select your own wines to include in your gift box. www. In addition. You’ll find interesting wines. depending on the price level you choose.Online Wine Retailers As knowledgeable online wine merchants. choosing from a variety of fine and dessert wine gifts. as well as collections and clubs focused on these selections. to get the best deals. but also ship to certain international locations. you must go direct to the vineyard. quality is guaranteed and prices are kept very competitive. mostly from smaller producers. They ship within the United States.100BestWines. but also offers online sales of spirits and beer. Wine Legacy can also meet your gift needs by offering bottled wine in gift box sets of 2.
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