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Dec 29

Champagne 101

by Angela

There are a lot of different sparkling wines out there in the wine world and which one is the right one for your celebratory New Years drink?

First off not all sparkling wines are champagne. The only sparkling wines that are actually champagnes are the ones that come from the region of Champagne in France. (unless you’re one of the few California wineries that have been around for over 50+ years that got grandfathered in…whatever) Everything else is sparkling wine.

Different countries have different names for their sparkling. Spain calls their wine Cava, Italy calls theirs Prosecco, and you might also see Spumante.

What is the difference between all of the different types? Let’s break it down:

Champagne is a dry sparkling wine usually made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier grapes.   The different types are Cuvee, Extra Dry, Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, Rose, and Brut.

  • Cuvee means means blend usually the perfect blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes or another grape has been added
  • Extra Dry isn’t the driest. It means semi-dry sparkling
  • Blanc de Blanc means white of white which is 100% Chardonnay grapes
  • Blanc de Noir means white from dark. Champagne is pressed from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a mix of the two.
  • Rose is using the dark grapes and the skins get left on for a small part of the fermentation period which makes it a rose color
  • Brut is the driest Champagne you can get

With all that said, most sparkling wines are going to be a little on the dry side. Most Prosecco, Cava, Rose, and extra dry  Champagnes will have the same dry consistency like a Chardonnay but will have a hint of sweet at the end. California sparkling wines and Brut tend to me more drier like a red wine.

  • If you’re a Riesling/Moscato/Sweet Red drinker you’re most likely going to like an Asti Spumante, a Sparkling Moscato, Pink Moscato, or Moscato de Spumante.
  • If you’re a Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Noir (or a light red) drinker you’re most likely going to like a Prosecco, Cava, Cuvee, Rose, Extra Dry
  • If you’re a Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel/Syrah/Dry White Wine you’re most likely a Blanc de Blanc, Brut, Brut Rose, Blanc de Noir

I will be hosting a free wine tasting at Liquor City Bakewell today and tomorrow from 4 – 8 and we will be tasting Champagnes, Sparkling wines, and Moscato. Stop on by during those hours anytime and I’ll help you choose the right sparkling for you.

Cheers,
Angela

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Angela at 1:58 pm in Wine Glossary, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)
Dec 28

The Power of Television

By: Cresta

Well, now I have to check this out…perhaps during our trip to Bourbon Country in the Fall. 

The Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY has added ghost tours to its lineup.

According to an article in The Bourbon Review, the decision to add the tours came after the distillery was seen on the national TV show “Ghost Hunters.” Apparently the show’s producers came to Buffalo Trace asking to film there after much viewer demand. It’s the first time the popular show has ever filmed at a distillery.

And now visitors get a chance to possibly have their own paranormal experience. Each Ghost Tour lasts about an hour and follows the same path featured on “Ghost Hunters,” including some seldom toured areas of the distillery. Tours end with a bourbon tasting.

Tours are free but you need to make a reservation in advance. Check out www.buffalotrace.com for tour days, times and details.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 10:24 am in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 19

The Perfect Holiday Wine

by Angela

I recently have discovered a sweet red wine that is great for all wine drinkers. The wine is Chocolatier Red Decadence and its red wine blended with natural dark chocolate flavor.

When you open the bottle for the first time let it breathe and take in the wonderful smell of dark chocolate and a hint of black cherry. Just smelling it is a joy! I was worried it was going to be too sweet but after I tried it I was wrong. The red wine is a perfect blend with medium tannins and is slightly sweet but not syrupy. The taste of of cocoa and black cherries are a perfect blend and the finish is a smooth blended red that has no bitterness to it.  Perfect with chocolate, alone, or with some spicy foods.

Pick up a few bottles for your holiday party. Happy Holiday everyone!

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Angela at 11:18 am in Tastings | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 16

The Time is Now: Celebrate the Season with Your Favorite Winter Brew

By: Cresta

Although the temperature in Cincinnati has been all over the place, the first official day of winter is Thursday. If you haven’t already been partaking in seasonal brews, the time is now.

Fox News published a Best Holiday Brews article this week and it reminded me that these seasonal selections won’t be around forever. Although I don’t usually drink darker, heavier beers, they are great for warming you up on cold winter nights.

I have had – and do like – the top beer on this list: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale, a holiday beer brewed with honey and spiced with ginger and cinnamon. It’s medium-bodied, not too heavy, and a repeat World Beer Championship Gold Medal winner. My sister-in-law was nice enough to share her stash over Thanksgiving (Thanks, Laurie).

Not on this list, but a popular choice - Sierra Nevada Celebration. While Celebration tastes good for a change, I can’t drink many as it’s a very robust, rich ale. But it’s great for bringing along to your holiday parties and for toasting friends and family.  

Do you have a favorite winter beer? Leave a comment here and let me know what you like and what I should try before they all disappear.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 7:51 am in Beer, Food and Drink, Holiday | Permalink | Comments ()
Dec 15

Staying Safe This Holiday Season

by Michelle

With all the  holiday parties and excessive drinking to make it easier to hang out with relatives, I just wanted to post a reminder to stay safe.

I’m currently in San Francisco, where it’s fairly easy to find public transportation or catch a cab (or an Uber car). But there are cabs in Cincinnati too.

If you’ve got a smartphone, be it an Android, Blackberry, or iPhone (or anything else), there is most likely a taxi app for your phone. No kidding. Go to the iTunes store and search for “taxi.” It’s ridiculous the number of apps that are available.  I prefer to use Taxi Magic out here in San Francisco, and in Cincinnati, I always preferred Cab4Me.

The various taxi apps use your GPS or cell signal to figure out where you are, and then shows you a list of local cab companies. If you’re traveling, this is a godsend. After all, you might find yourself standing on a street corner  in a strange city, wondering where in the world all the cabs have gone. If that happens, it’s handy to have an app that will tell you not only what the nearest cab companies are, but where the nearest taxi stand is located.

According to the Cab4Me web site:

If a cab company is found in our database, you can get additional information like available car types or payment methods. If we do not have a cab company for your area, a local web search is performed. You will always get a result. In the Favorites tab you can quickly access your favorite companies and the recent tab shows companies you recently called.

Isn’t that great? You’ll even be able to request a minivan so that you and all of your slightly tipsy friends can pile into the same cab.

On New Year’s Eve, you can also generally call Care Cab, a joint venture between AAA and MADD.

Regardless of how you find a cab, just make sure you find one. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, and enjoy yourself a lot – just be safe about it.

After the jump, you’ll find a list of some cab companies in Cincinnati, in case you want to add some to your Contacts.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 9:47 am in Holiday, Life, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()

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