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Jun 29

Boxed Wines Are Making a Comeback

By: Cresta

I haven’t tried the new and improved boxed wines. It’s a much more economical choice if you’re entertaining alot of people, but I’ve honestly never thought to scout out some good options. Well, now I will, thanks to this article in Women’s Health magazine. Yes, Women’s HEALTH. Hey, makes me feel better that a healthy living mag is writing about wine.

I especially love the Pinot Evil Pinot Noir- the name and the graphics on the box.

Check it out and let me know – have you had any of these (or other) boxed wines? What do you think? Any good ones out there?

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 5:12 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (2)
Jun 27

Wines That Go with Grilling Season

By: Cresta

Ah…I absolutely love grilling season. Chicken, pork, steak, a good juicy burger. Love them all. Plus, I can always rely on my husband to grill while I do everything else. Not to mention the clean-up is much easier.

With 4th of July almost upon us, I thought it was a good time to offer suggestions on what wines to pair with your cookout fare. I know you all have your own taste preferences so just consider this a guide.

Perfect Cookout Reds

Zinfandel is one of the most versatile reds because it pairs well with a variety of red meat options. It also works with zesty sauces like BBQ or steak sauce (for spicier sauces, try a Merlot). Its bold flavors of blackberry with hints of vanilla and coffee – yet medium body – make it a great option for burgers, ribs, hot dogs and grilled chicken. One of my faves is Cline, a California Zin.

Syrah/Shiraz, with its assertive fruit flavors and more mellow tannins, also is good with just about any red meat. Try Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz from the Barossa Region of South Australia or any of Mollydooker’s Shiraz varieties – Blue Eyed Boy, The Boxer and Carnival of Love.

Pinot Noir is another great but lighter-style red that complements grilled fish, burgers and chicken. I like a few from California – Middle Sister Goodie Two-Shoes, Castle Rock and Irony Pinot Noir.

Grill-Friendly Whites

Riesling is an ideal white to have on hand at your upcoming cookout because it is so versatile. The balance of fruit and acidity with just a bit of sweetness make it a nice match for salads, hot dogs and brats, seafood and grilled veggies. I recommend Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Riesling (Mosel, Germany) or Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Reisling.

Grilled chicken and pork chops love an unoaked Chardonnay. Try Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay, Toad Hollow Chardonnay or Kim Crawford Marlborough Unoaked Chard.

If you are grilling something with an herbaceous or citrusy marinade (think Italian dressing, lemon, fresh herbs), then go for a Sauvignon Blanc. Because these marinades have characteristics similar to a Sauv Blanc, the flavors will really come out. Some of my favorites are Oyster Bay, Brancott and Benziger Sonoma Lake Sauvignon Blanc.

Do have any go-to wines for your cookouts? Please share. I’d love to hear them.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 4:31 pm in Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 05

Rich, Fruity Red from Spain

By: Cresta

Castillo de Monjardin La Cantera 2009, another selection from our wine club, is a delicious rich, fruity wine.

Garnacha (knowns as Grenache in France) is the most widely planted grape in Spain. Because it is not a very acidic or tannic variety, Garnacha is typically blended with other grapes, such as Tempranillo and Syrah.

This wine is 100% Garnacha.

Bright ruby in color and very aromatic. It is very easy to drink. Fruity, yet earthy, filled with the taste of raspberries and currants and a little bit of spice. Aged in an oak barrel for six months, this wine has a nice structure. I definitely recommend it.

I believe you can purchase for somewhere between $10 and $12.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Cresta at 8:51 am in Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()
Jun 01

Pink Lemonade: Refreshing Summer Brew

By: Cresta

The other night I had a delicious beer that’s perfect for summer. I was out with friends at Barleycorn’s Five Mile House in Lakeside Park. On tap was Pink Lemonade, a refreshing blend of two Leinenkugel’s beers :

Summer Shandy, a seasonal beer and the  brewer’s version of a traditional German Radler, a combination of beer and German-style lemonade. Radler, which means “cyclist” in German, dates back to the early 1900s. The tale goes…a bar owner short on his beer supply became overwhelmed by a group of cyclists because they were thirsty from their travels. So the bar owner mixed whatever beer he had with lemonade. Over the years, the recipe has added Sprite or 7-Up instead of lemonade. Hmm…I see a little recipe testing in my future.

Berry Weiss, a year-round Leinenkugel’s beer that contains the flavors of blackberries, elderberries and loganberries.

This beer was very refreshing and thirst-quenching. Fitting for the end of a 95-degree day. And it did look a lot like pink lemonade (my pictures did not turn out well so I apologize for not being able to share).

I loved the taste but I don’t think I could drink too many because of the sweetness. It’s a great summer option though if you’re looking to try a different twist on beer.

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Posted by Cresta at 8:03 am in Beer | Permalink | Comments ()

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