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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

My Favorite Wine Quotes

Hey fellow foodies, travel and wine lovers, hope you enjoy wining and dining. What’s the point of good food, wine and travel if you can’t enjoy it.  I, for one, am working really hard to do more traveling this year. But one of my many passions is wine and with wine comes wine quotes, and for the avid wine lover good wine quotes are much appreciated. So I thought I would share some of my favorite wine quotes with you today. Go ahead and pick your favorites and use them wherever you go.

Here are some of my favorite wine quotes:

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”  - Benjamin Franklin

“I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.” - Oliver Goldsmith

“Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.” - Thomas Aquinas

“Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That's all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die.” - William Butler Yeats

“Marriage is like wine. It is not be properly judged until the second glass.” - Douglas William Jerrold

“Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” - Pope John XXIII

“What though youth gave love and roses, Age still leaves us friends and wine.” - Thomas Moore

“Hide our ignorance as we will, an evening of wine soon reveals it.” - Heraclitus

“Love, with very young people, is a heartless business. We drink at that age from thirst, or to get drunk; it is only later in life that we occupy ourselves with the individuality of our wine.” - Isak Dinesen

“Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate.” - Gina Barreca

“I'm like old wine. They don't bring me out very often - but I'm well preserved.” - Rose Kennedy

“Life is too short, and I'm Italian. I'd much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.” - Sophia Bush

“Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations - wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.” - Edmund Burke

“Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that's really a misperception. Because actually it's just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers.” - Susan Cain

Thanks for reading my favorite wine quotes. Hope you enjoyed them.

7 Responsible Drinking Tips

We all talk about responsible drinking, but very few of us know exactly how hard it can be to practise it. Learning about different ways of keeping your alcohol intake in check is, most of the time, the first step to learning how to drink responsibly. However, there are a couple of things that one should consider when planning on doing this, and that includes seeking help from outside and personal responsibility.

Here are some tips on how to become a responsible drinker:

Always be mindful what you are drinking. Take the time to find out more about what standard drinks are and use them as a means of keeping a tab on how much you are drinking. Consider the alcohol content of each drink you take and make sure to space out the time between drinks. 

In practice, if you are drinking shots, always remember that spirits generally have high alcohol content. Also, it is advisable that you space the time between shots so that you can feel the effects of the very first one before taking the next shot. When drinking high alcohol content drinks fast, it is important that you drink lots of water in between your drinks; this will help you stay well hydrated. 

Do not drink and drive. Not to sound rude, but this is common sense and sort of sells itself. If you have to drive yourself anywhere, then do not drink more than recommended amount of alcohol for drivers (that is about one standard alcohol drink for women, and about two standard alcohol drinks for men on a full license. However, these laws are different for learner and provisional licenses and are also different in between states. Take the time to find out what your state’s laws stipulate). Alcohol is a depressant that slows down a person’s reaction speed - meaning that when you are needed to think and act fast, you probably will not be able to.  If you have had a conviction you’ll know the issues DUI brings, so here are some tips on lowering your quotes. 

In practice, if you are having a big night with your friends, discuss who will be the day’s designated driver – that is, the person that will offer to stay sober enough to drive you guys home. If there isn’t anyone who wants to be sober that night, then make sure that you carry cab money. Alternatively, you can leave an emergency stash of cash at home, so if anything unexpected should happen and need a cab to take you home, you can still pay for the services once you get home. 

Wait until you are 18 years of age. It is actually illegal to drink alcohol if you are under the age of 18 and that is not just because adults just want to direct everything you do. The main reason for this restriction is because our bodies just do not cope very well with alcohol when we are younger. Your heart, liver, and brain aren’t yet developed enough to process the alcohol so that it doesn’t severely damage your health. 

Even if your underage buddies are drinking, just for soft drinks. If you are worried about that they will think of you, just pretend that there is alcohol in your drink. You don’t want a criminal record or the police calling your parents.

Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs. The impact of combining drugs (whether recreational or medical) with alcohol can be quite devastating. Not only are you left unable to anticipate the sort of effect they may have on your behaviour, but they are also likely to make you sick. There is no safe combo when it comes to drugs and alcohol – just choose one and stick to it. 

In practice, if you are on medication, make sure that you check the information on the label to see what it has to say about alcohol consumption. If you take recreational drugs, it is better just to stick with what you are on and not mixing the two.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Few Words on Wine and Food

We all know we can combine Meat and red wine for a classic combination to create that elegant meal. For the ability to balance and highlight the meats flavor profile, all you need is a good bottle of Vino which can elevate the taste sensations to a whole new level. 

Every bold bottle will match perfectly with a cut of meat, getting wine wrong is one of the big cooking mistakes. Even if it is bone-in rib eye with the lush Cabernet Sauvignon, a skirt steak having Pinot Noir or a juicy rib having a red blend, we have wines from around the world to pair well with your meaty meal. 

Wine Pairing Depends on the Type of Red Meat 

Wine with Beef 

Lean cuts of beef with wine 

Look for light or medium bodied red wines when pairing wines with lean cuts. The wines should have a slightly higher acidity that enables it to cut through the texture of lean meat. A very important rule in the wine world is that you should match the intensity of the meal with the wine. For example, if it is top sirloin beef stew you need slightly bolder medium red wine like Sangiovese. 

-Examples: Sirloin tip side steak, bottom round roast, top round roast, top sirloin 

Fatty beef cuts with wine 

Fatty meats go well with bold red wines having high tannin. Tannin can be categorized as an astringent and works as a palate cleanser by 'scraping' the fattiness from inside your mouth and the reason why bold red wines like Napa Cabernet or Barolo work so well with the fillet. Add some nice sides and sharp kitchen knives and you’re set to enjoy a great meal. 

-Examples: filet mignon, hanger steak, New York strip, porterhouse steaks, rib eye steak, t- bone steak, skirt steak 

Wine with Lamb 

Since lamb is more delicate in flavor compared to beef, it is a good idea to choose a lighter and more delicately flavored type of wine. You should also consider the sauce when pairing because lamb takes on the flavor of the source. In this case, it is wise to choose medium bodied wines or bold reds having smoother tannin.  Some examples include Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot. 

Wine with Veal 

Veal is one of the few red types of meat which can match the white and rose` wine.  This is why Wiener schnitzel which is a classic Viennese dish   matches perfectly with Austrian Gruner Veltliner. In this case, the delicate flavors of the veal are maintained by frying.

Therefore, make sure you understand the method of preparing the meal and what sauce was used when pairing. Veal also takes on the sauce flavor just like lamb. Can I give you a few examples? 

Pair it with lighter reds like Rose` of Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Valpolicella which is made with Corvina which is a local Italian grape. 

Wine with Venison 

Venison is a rich and at times gamey red meat. It is also pretty lean. It is good to try rustic medium bodied red wines. Combining the two will make the wine have a fruity taste and meat a less gamey taste. 

Some few examples? Check out Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Chianti, and Valpolicella.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Prisoner Sells to Constellation Brands for $285 Million

Less than a year after the blockbuster purchase of Meiomi for $315 million, Constellation Brands just closed the deal to purchase the Prisoner Wine Company for an estimated $285 million. Of course we know that Dave Phinney was the original creator of this wine (when it was good) and had sold the brand to Huneeus Vintners a while back. This purchase is not shocking to me at all. Why? Because the wine was already a bastard living off a previous reputation for quality that only lasted until around 2005.

I was in retail when the prisoner was first released. I remember how good the wine first was and that it would hit the Wine Spectator top 100 year after year. I distinctly remember the 2003 vintage and tasting the wine when it was around $20 retail. It was an icon of the time because it set the standard for wines of this type and style. A field blend of generous flavor and power, at a great price, with a beautiful package. I initially loved it.

I also remember when the wine started to suck. I remember the price increasing slowly until it reached the $30 mark and beyond. I remember the wine starting to thin-out and taste mass produced and manipulated in the cellar. It was a sad story, but a great success story for Phinney. Everyone tried to copy that model and some succeeded, but never to the heights of the Prisoner.

Don't even get me started on Meiomi....That wine is never made from 100% Pinot Noir. Send me a proven lab sample stating as such and I will retract the statement. The wine is garbage. I have nothing against Constellation and I'm sure they will sell the shit out of this stuff....but it's all just a little sad to see the money made off of the everyday consumer who doesn't think there are better options. 

Sunday, April 03, 2016

How to successfully monetize a wine blog

Wine is a luxury item that more and more people are starting to order online. In the past it was very difficult to monetize a wine blog because it wasn't a terribly online commercial product. The game is starting to change a bit as wineries, wine retailers, and other wine related businesses are moving to online means of advertising. Online wine clubs are starting to become more of a trend these days with companies offering great monthly package deals on boutique selections. There's also every type of wine gadget, wine books, wine education courses, and home winemaking kits being sold online.

Now that there is such a strong market online for wine and wine related items, it's up to the wine blogger to successfully monetize the traffic they are receiving without alienating there readership. When choosing the ads you place on your site or the products you plan on promoting, it's vital to provide things that will enrich the lives of each reader. Adding value to your content with products that can help your audience is the best approach to monetizing a wine blog. Below are a few tips on what programs may be in your best interest in your wine blog monetization efforts.

- Google Adsense is a no brainer when getting started with monetization on any blog. As long as you don't pepper that blog with tooooooo many ads than is a nice way to make a few extra dollars. The way to be effective with Adsense is to blog about commercially viable subjects. Advertisers may pay $3.00 per click on certain keywords that will convert a high-dollar sale such as "first growth Bordeaux", but maybe only a few pennies for a keyword like "wine key".  Focusing on having great pillar articles for high-paying keywords is great for contextual advertising.

- If your wine blog gets tons of traffic per month then I believe you could be successful implementing the affiliate program with Wine-Searcher. Here's a link to their site that explains the program.

- I've never been to successful with wine affiliate programs such as through Linkshare. I've been a affiliate with them for around 10 years and have only made a few small checks. This may be because I don't implement their ads on every single post and all over my site, but even the times where I tried that I wasn't very successful. I'd say that you should only seek out these "get paid to sell" programs if you are an experienced affiliate marketer and are focusing on converting sales of a specific product.

- Direct advert sales. This can be a great way to make some quality cash with your wine blog. I recommend formulating a pre-set email which explains in detail the rates for a set advert on your homepage for a specific amount of time. Inform the potential client of your website stats; including demographics, click through ratios, and keywords to convince them of the marketing power of your blog. A per-month or per-year price for a 300x250 or 468x60 pixel banner is a way to start.

- Amazon Associates is a great program to sell wine gadgets, books, and accessories with. People trust amazon. They have great contextual ads and non-intrusive links that you can place in your posts to help your readership find goods of value. An example would be selling the great wine book "wine bible"

- Sponsored posts are something to definitely look into if they can ad value to your blog. Always inform your readership and be 100% transparent that the post is sponsored and never sell out by posting something completely unrelated to your niche. Search companies like linqia, weave made media, pollinate media, collective bias/social fabric.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Life Hack - Open a Bottle of Wine with a Simple Key.

Open a Bottle of Wine With a Key by lifehackernews

This is a crazy method of opening a wine bottle, times of need call for desperate measures.

2013 Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc

On the nose this wine is incredibly aromatic and just throws the most wild and herbaceous aromas profile right in your face. It's definitely showing a musqué-style that is becoming very popular in California. I have not looked up the tech data, but I'd be shocked if they are not using the Sauvignon musqué clone in some degree or another. I mean, huge aromas of yellow grapefruit, tangerine, gooseberry, and fresh lime zest. There is also a nice mineral and stone quality that shines through amongst all those zippy fruit characters and tells you it's not some unattractive and cheap New Zealand style wine with only one dimension. This is no knock to New Zealand...I'm just sayin'...

On the palate the wine is as bright a laser-edged as you would imagine, but there is definitely a considerable amount of weight on the wine. It reminds me of Sancerre in that aspect. Those Saugivnon Blancs in the Loire seem to have a natural density and weight to them. Flavors of honey dew melon, lemon peel, kiwi, and kumquat dazzle and accompany a nice mineral driven finish.

Matanzas Creek has long been a winery where I wasn't blown away by their red wines, but I've always been floored by their Sauvignon blanc. In case you didn't know, it's also one of the most age-worthy California Sauvignon blanc's being produced. If you ever visit the winery and want to make quick friends for life, make sure you make mention of the ageability of their SB. 94 points

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is China the Future of Wine?

12/15: China: the year of the grape by i24news-en

I found this video quite interesting.....Is China going to be the next world class wine growing area?

Monday, March 28, 2016

2011 La Follette Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir

On the nose this wine exudes beautiful aromas of tart sour cherry, cranberry sauce, and strawberry rhubarb pie. There are certainly secondary aromas or underlining earthy-type essences of potters clay and dried provencal herbs. The wine also shows a touch of bottle age which was slightly unexpected but quite enjoyable. It almost comes across as brown sugar and fall spices.....caramelized pie crust.

On the palate the wine expresses similar strawberry rhubarb pie notes. There is a tartness and great underlining acidity to this wine which is of course very indicative of the cool and wet 2011 Sonoma County vintage. The wine finishes long with bright and clear red raspberry notes.

This wine is showing very nicely at the moment and is actually peaking a bit earlier than I would have expected. I would say drink this wine now as it most likely won't improve to a higher level and may start to decline in 2-3 years time. 90 points

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2012 Kistler Occidental Bodega Headlands Cuvée Elizabeth Pinot Noir

An incredible expression of Pinot Noir that is reminiscent of the great Pinot's from Burgundy's Musigny. The flavors are dense and ripe like you'd expect from a Kistler Pinot noir, but there are stunning nuances of lavender, violet, clove, raspberries, blueberries, and a deep underlining mineral and wet rock complexity.

This is a gorgeous effort made with 100% Calera clone, which is one of the most profound and interesting heritage California grape clones. There is great acidity and texture in this wine, as well as true delineation of flavor and fruit characteristics. Certainly not a cheap bottle of wine to purchase, but one of the best pinot's I have tasted from California in some time. 96 points
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