Classy Fiesta, Australian-Style

Standard

2

 

Feasts are a big part of different cultures. There are those that celebrate it by not leaving their houses and staying indoors thankful for a bountiful harvest. There are those where the streets are closed off to traffic for the benefit of using the roads as extra space for housing visitors or for setting up stages for various programs.

The point is, everybody loves festivals! There’s lots of food. Every festival has a positive vibe to it because it’s in celebration of something. Drinks come aplenty, from beer to high-end wine. Roars of laughter will erupt from different tables every now and then.

Each culture has its own way of doing feasts, however. If you want a good old Australian-style food and wine festival, then there are lots that go by each year. There’s always one that seems to stand out, however, and it is Tasting Australia.

The event will be in Adelaide from April 27th to May 4th. It offers a lot to satisfy everyone’s palettes. There’s good food, and there’s wine. If, like me, you’re a fan of both, this event isn’t to be missed; especially if you’re already in Adelaide. If you decide to go, make sure you are in appropriate attire.

3

Top 4 Things Wine is Often Wrongly Associated With

Standard

1

Photo Credit: Stuart Farrell (flickr.com)

As with any alcoholic beverage, wine is an acquired taste. Unlike other hard drinks, however, it has become a lot more accessible to the masses. Or at least the public simply took to it. Wine has had a long history, and the subject has since evolved into something bigger than whatever the first wine producer ever thought of. These days, we have wine tastings, enthusiasts, hipsters, and a lot of other stereotypes. It confuses newbie wine enthusiasts, and to draw the line, let’s list a few things that wine is associated with falsely.

The French, Italians, and Spanish

France, Italy, and Spain are three of the biggest wine producers in the world. France is well-known for using wine for cooking. Italians are stereotyped to hold a glass of wine in one hand and a baguette in the other. Spain is well-known for their vineyards. While these three makes the wine-world go round these days, the actual origins of wine can be traced to unexpected countries such as Iran. It is believed that before the Greeks and Romans were getting drunk on wine, the Iranians were bathing in them.

The Wealthy

In the medieval times, wine was often consumed by the nobles while commoners would prefer ale. This is partly due to the fact that some areas are just not good places for grapes. At any rate, this wine-nobles/ale-peasant sort of mentality carried over today. You see someone drinking wine and you automatically think “hey, he/she can afford it.” In reality, there are very cheap wines that don’t taste that bad. Check out the Sauvignon Blanc in Winemarket for proof that good wine can actually come cheap.

The Healthy

There are a lot of health benefits to drinking wine. Those who are trying to lose weight often substitute wine to make up for the lack of Mountain Dew in their diet. However, the rule of “too much of a good thing is a bad thing” applies to wine as well. Yes, wine is healthy, but so is beer in moderate amounts. Besides, drinking too much wine ends the same way with drinking too much beer: you get drunk.

The Classy

A guy walks up to your wine bar. He has a neck beard and long locks complemented by his huge muscular stature. Instead of dressing up for the occasion, he looks like a metalhead who would rather get wasted on copious amounts of beer but finds himself in a wine bar. You start looking for a beer bottle as he approaches, then he orders a sweet wine. I’m not saying metalheads aren’t classy; just that wines aren’t consumed for the purposes of feeling classy.

The whole point of this post is this: stereotypes are bad, mmkay? Anyone can enjoy wine the same way anyone can enjoy a cup of coffee.

Related Links:

Wine Preference May Indicate Personality, According To Wines With Style Report (huffingtonpost.com)

Like sweet wine? Your choice may reveal your personality (edition.cnn.com)

 

Top Three Fabulous Cellar Ideas

Standard

Just because your cellar has to be built inside the house doesn’t mean it can’t look fabulous – as proven by these top three candidates I’ve chosen to base my future wine cellar on…Check them out and be inspired to build your own cellar similar to these:

 

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Wine just tastes better when the atmosphere is right:

 

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

And with some barrel seats, exposed stones and gothic accents, you can instantly be transported back to a time when wine was truly appreciated and tasted really, really great…oh and maybe a few barbarians can add to the ambience as well.

 

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Cellaring Wine: An Infographic

Standard

If you’ve ever wondered how long it should take to cellar wine before it tastes like something you wouldn’t even consider drinking, check out the chart below:

 

Photo Credit: winefolly.com

Photo Credit: winefolly.com

 

The fact is you just can’t cellar any wine you buy off the liquor store or online so you need to study this chart closely so that when you feel the need to savor one from your vast collection, you won’t spit it out and curse to high heavens that you didn’t check this chart out. Happy collecting!

 

Serving Red Wine

Standard
Image

image credit: Carol (flickr.com)

Red wine is one of the oldest, most popular, and best-tasting wines in the world. Consumed regularly in the right quantity, it is beneficial to health. But how much is really enough? Is there really a proper way to serve red wine for one to be able to savor its taste and enjoy its benefits? Please read on while we try to unravel the secrets of serving red wine.

The Healthy Serving Quantity

I don’t know who set it, but the standard quantity for serving wine is five ounces. For a regular red wine, this translates to 127 calories. According to recent study, the shape, size, and position of your wineglass have a big influence on the how much wine you pour into it. The study further said that the use of a wide glass accounts for 12 percent more wine than using a standard one. The same study says that another 12 percent is added to the glass if you hold the glass while pouring rather than have it placed on the table.

That being said, if you drink every night with a large glass, you will be drinking 12 percent more of what’s required by your body. When these extras accumulate, they can possibly take a toll on your health. Those extra calories have the likelihood of increasing your risk to certain diseases.

Decanting

Red wines are quite known to accumulate sediments while they are in the bottle. To avoid drinking the sediments, some wine makers recommend decanting. Decanting refers to the gradual pouring of the wine from one container to another minus the sediment. The receiving container is usually made of glass with a wide bottom. It should be able to provide plenty of airspace to allow the wine to interact with oxygen. This helps the wine to develop its flavor and emit its aroma. Decanting is a nice way of enhancing the wine and getting rid of the sediment before it is served.

Additional Notes:

The ideal temperature for serving red wine is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When drinking red wine, you should prefer a narrow wine glass. Always pour the wine with the glass on the table and not in your hand. When pouring to traditional red wine glasses, you should stop when the wine reaches the widest part of the glass. This should give you about four or five ounces of red wine. Always remember that a 750-bottle red wine should last five nights. It consists of five servings of four to five ounces.

You will know more about red wine by looking at this Winemarket page.

 

You may also like:

 

How to Serve Wine 101: Tips on the Perfect Serving Temperature (winespectator.com)

Should Red Wine Be Served at Room Temperature? (chow.com)

Video – How to open and serve a bottle of red wine (youtube.com)

Running Towards a Good Life

Standard

Image

Photo Credit: Toilet (commons.wikimedia.org)

Running is one of the most fun and preferred options in getting fit nowadays. Almost everyone is starting to jog and run. Even companies are leaning towards running for charity, fund-raising or simple company events. Running is indeed one of the most trending activities nowadays.

This is not a surprise because running does have a lot of health benefits with it. You get stronger while running and your always one step away from getting cardiovascular diseases because running keeps your heart healthy. Wine does the same thing to your body as well. What is wine and running can be experienced in a one day event?

Would it be nice to run along the beautiful scenery of vineyards and resorts along Australia’s best vacation venues? Be part of the Winery Marathon, Half Marathon, Coal and Allied 10.3k Vineyard Run and 5.2km Winery Wander. Kids can participate in the 2k Kids Marathon too. Register and join the Winery Running Festival on July 19, 2014 at the Hunter Valley Gardens Village in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

Bring along friends and meet new people with the same interests as you have. Experience the sun and the fun as you run.

Who knows, drink stops may even offer free cabernets. Register and look forward to the fun.

 

Want to Get Really Inexpensive Wine? Head to Family-Owned Wineries

Standard
Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (Flickr.com)

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (Flickr.com)

Popular, expensive wines rarely go on sale, so if you want to get a case of really good wine that won’t cost you much, visit small, family-owned wineries that you know of. Obviously, wines that you can get directly from the producer are a lot cheaper than the ones you find in supermarkets or local wine stores. The reason is that there is no middleman and there are no utilities the retailer or even the producer should spend for.

If you’re up to it, you can join winery tours that usually include visits to family vineyards as part of their package. The trip may cost you, but believe me when I say that it will be worth it. Alternatively, you can do a quick search online to find out whether there’s a winery near your area that you can visit on your own. You’ll be surprised to find out that wines produced from these family-owned vineyards are just as good (or sometimes even better) than the ones you usually find in your local wine store, but the most interesting part is that they don’t cost as much.

Fun Facts About Wine

Standard

Photo Credit: yumsugar.com

While many of us imbibe this alcoholic beverage once in a while (OK maybe more than that, wine is something that intimidates people, but only because they don’t know much about it or haven’t tasted much of it as they should.

Among other things, however, there are fun facts that many people don’t know about wine and maybe knowing a few amusing anecdotes or two about it can lessen your fear of it and maybe, just maybe by the time you finish reading this piece, you’ll be curious enough to go to your first wine tasting:

The world’s oldest person attributed her ripe old age (122) to a diet of olive oil, port wine and 1kg of chocolate per week.

Prince Charles uses wine to power his vintage Aston Martin.

Cobra blood wine-Interesting Facts About WineIn Vietnam, it’s possible to order a cobra blood wine from restaurant menus. The waiter will take a live cobra, kill it on the spot, drain the blood into a shot glass of rice wine, and top it off with the cobra’s still beating heart for you to gulp down. (Definitely not for the weak of heart!)

The Swedish former physical education teacher, Richard Juhlin has the best nose for wine (champagne specifically) and in famous blind tasting of 2003, arranged by Spectacle du Monde, he correctly identified 43 of 50 wines. The one who came in second correctly identified only four.

Chinese people who want to display their wealth drink expensive red wines mixed with Coca-Cola and Sprite to make it taste more palatable.

How Not to be Intimidated by Wine

Standard
Wine Tasting 08

Photo Credit: Charles H. Wright Museum (flickr.com)

I am not a traditional wine drinker. In fact, I only drink wine during special occasions like weddings or at formal dinners I get invited to. I bring wines as gifts and while many of my friends are encouraging me to start collecting wines, I have yet to follow their advice. Not that I don’t like wine, but I confess to be slightly intimidated by it and to be honest, I wonder how other people can casually say words like pinot noir and sound like they’ve been saying it all their lives.

A few years ago, I was sitting in a restaurant having dinner with a friend when I heard someone order red wine. Immediately, my friend who happens to be an accomplished chef started snickering and when I asked what was so funny, he said that the man was ordering the wrong kind of wine with their meal. I pretended to laugh along but deep down, I was so relieved to be not that man because I would’ve been the target of my friend’s snickering as I too, didn’t know much about wine.

It’s easy to understand why people are intimidated by wine. If we were just talking about soda then you’ll know that you can pair soda with practically everything and not have to worry about anything else. With wine, however, you need to make sure that the wine you order or buy for your dinner party goes well with whatever you’re serving and that there are rules to follow about how red wine goes with meat and white wine goes with seafood, etc.

Living in Australia which is one of the world’s leading wine exporters, people almost expect me to know about red wine for example,  like the back of my hand and I wish that was true but I still have so many things to learn. You can ask me when the first vineyard was planted (1788) and where (close to where the Sydney Harbour Bridge now stands) or that over 30,000 Australians are employed in the wine industry and contributing about $5.5 billion to the nation’s economy but other than facts and figures, I am intimidated by wine and therefore, know almost nothing about it.

Again, this was a few years ago and I have learned a lot since then. First of all, I have learned never to order wine before knowing what I am about to eat at any restaurant because this just screams amateur. It’s actually not rocket science but the secret to be less intimidated by wine is to learn how to drink it. Learning how to taste wine is a good way to start and once you’ve been on a number of wine-tasting events, you’ll be an expert at telling the difference between a sauvignon and a shiraz.

You don’t need to go to fancy wine tasting events in order to learn how to taste wine. Going to the local wine shop will suffice because you can certainly ask your friendly wine shop staff about the wines you plan to taste and how to taste them. You can also try to learn how to taste wine by doing some online research or watching videos about wine tasting. When you start to learn more about wines, you’ll feel less and less intimidated by it and more and more confident by the time the next formal dinner rolls around.

And lastly, you can also try attending food and wine festivals that happen all year round and you can also book winery tours and really get a feel of the regions where the wine was made. One tip though: make sure you have a designated driver if you plan to visit more than one winery.

You might also like:

8 Rules of Wine Drinking (askmen.com)

Intimidated by Wine? Start Drinking (palatepress.com)

5 Wine Blogs That Have Inspired Me to Start FOODZILLA Blog

Standard

Photo Credit: Mike Licht (Flickr.com)

I may be blogging about wine and may seem to be an expert on the subject I write about, but before I was a blogger, I was a fan and a reader first. I still am a reader and will always be, and in this post, I’m going to share with you some of the top wine blogs I frequented before I started FOODZILLA Blog last month. Website design, homepage photos, and overall look and feel – all these are important factors, but what made these blogs stand out for me is the personal touch the authors have on every page. Elizabeth Smith of travelingwinechick.com, for instance, shares on her blog her own travel experiences, wine and winery recommendations, and even reviews on random books she recommends. Jaime Goode of wineanorack.com, on the other hand, shares his wine expertise through articles that showcase his talent as a prolific journalist and writer.

Without further ado, I present to you my top 5 wine blogs:

  1. Travelling Wine Chick (Travelingwinechick.com)
  2. Jaime goode’s wine blog (Wineanorak.com)
  3. 1 Wine Dude (1winedude.com)
  4. Natalie MacLean (Nataliemaclean.com)
  5. Wine Travel Media (Winetravelmedia.com)

Whether I was after information on cheap or expensive wines, updates on the latest wine events, or just about anything that has to do with wine, these are the top 5 blogs I went to and still go to from time to time. This short list is not permanent, and I might eventually add to it and make it longer (or even remove and replace some items) depending on what I believe would be a list that would stay relevant and beneficial both to me and you, my readers. Enjoy!