Tag Archives: quarantinewine

The 7 Deadly Wine Sins

I. Bad food and Wine Pairings

Bad food and wine pairings can ruin or diminish the flavors in wine and when you are paying for flavor and quality, you want to be able to get the most out of your investment. Examples of poor wine pairings include seafood and tannic red wines which overpower the delicate seafood flavors and present an unpleasant metalic flavor in the wine. Good wine pairings maintain or enhance the flavor of the wine and food which makes the experience much more enjoyable. Classic examples of good wine pairings include oysters and Chablis or steak and Cabernet Sauvignon.

II. Ice cubes in wine

Putting ice cubes in your wine will make it too cold thus inhibit aromas and flavors. Adding this additional water to your wine will lower the quality by diluting the wine. Diluting wine always leads to a decrease in quality, it is the reason why irrigation of vineyards is banned in many parts of Europe and why it is still highly regulated around the world. Putting ice in your wine is diluting your investment. Prepare ahead of time by placing your wine in the refrigerator or add salt to your wine bucket to get your bottle of wine chilled fast!

III. Wine glasses in freezers

Crystal is porous and therefore takes in aromas and scents that surrounds it. If you put a wine glass in your freezer it will take in the aromas and scents in the freezer and result in a less than ideal tasting experience. Frozen fish, frozen vegetables, ice cream are all aromas that I do not recommend for your wine.

IV. Filling the wine glass too high

Filling your glass too high keeps you from being able to swirl your wine glass. Swirling your wine glass assists with allowing for more oxygen in your wine thus helping you to open up the aromas and flavors, this is called “volatizing the esters.” Esters are chemical compounds found in all substances and swirling your wine helps to enhance your drinking experience.

V. Storing wine at improper temperatures

Many people store their wine at improper temperatures. Examples are in the garage where in California the temperatures can be too hot in the summer. Wine stored in temperatures over 70 degrees can permanently taint the flavor of the wine and temperatures over 80 degrees will cook the wine and make it taste like canned prunes. One common mistake is keeping wine in your car. Don’t keep wine close to windows or on top of your fridge as these are warmer areas.

VI. Ordering the “House Wine”

This may be controversial as some may believe that the house wine is the best “bang for your buck” or an easy wine to choose however, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the house wine is the cheapest wine that the restaurant can make the best margin from or it’s a wine that they are trying to push out because it was unpopular. Many times you will overpay for this wine. But the main reason is that I don’t believe that wine is “one size fits all.”

VII. Not trying new wines

This is perhaps the greatest offense. While Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are fantastic grape varieties, they are only two grapes out of the estimated 10,000 wine grapes currently in existence. With thousands of different wines to choose from, why not try new wines and explore what another country has to offer? We are very fortunate to have access to so many different types of wines.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Cheers!

Trader Joe’s Wine Guide (Part 1)

Many of us are only stepping out once a week to grocery shop and watching our budgets during these uncertain times. That doesn’t mean we can’t drink well at home and use this time as an opportunity to try something new. Here is my budget friendly ($15 and under!) guide to Trader Joe’s wine so you can SKIP the two buck Chuck!

Trader Joe’s Wine Tip #1: The best value for quality at the grocery store are in the imported wines. Looking through the California wine section I found that most of the wines were mass produced, and priced based on brand recognition and not quality.

Louis Jadot Macon-Villages, Chardonnay $11.99

This is an affordable entry level wine into the world of French Burgundian chardonnay. Burgundy is the birthplace of Chardonnay and most white wines from the region are made with this grape. If this is your first French style Chardonnay, it will be very different from its California counterparts as you will not get buttery, creamy flavors. This is a much lighter and brighter wine which will work well with seafood and poultry.

Sauvignon de Seguin, Bordeaux $6.99

White wines from Bordeaux are delicious! Try them! It’s easy to be intimidated by a region like Bordeaux with some of its most renowned red wines costing upwards of thousands of dollars but there are many wine producers that make excellent wines at very affordable prices. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is an absolute steal at $6.99. Its floral, citrus character is delightful and drinking well above asking price. It’s amazing to me how many people try white Bordeaux and end up liking it.

Reserve des Chastelles, Tavel Rosé $8.99

I was shocked to see this wine at Trader Joe’s. Tavel is a rosé only region and has historically been known for producing serious rosé. Tavel rosé was a favorite beverage of popes, kings and Ernest Hemingway. Now “the forgotten rosé” due to the popularity of the Provence version it is still absolutely worth drinking. These wines are usually in the $20 range so to see it under $10… Lets just say I was highly skeptical that it would deliver a solid wine. It totally did. If you like Provence rosé, this is going to be a different experience (delicious none the less). It takes a bit of time in the glass to really open up (10 minutes and you’re good!). Pair it with poultry, salmon or pork. It’s also a fantastic wine to go with cheese and charcuterie plates.

Trader Joe’s Wine Tip #2: Look at the bottom shelf for gems.

Floriana, Gruner Veltliner $4.99

If you like pinot grigio, you may like gruner veltliner. It has similar characteristics and for $4.99 this is absolutely a better wine than $2 Chuck. Worth the $3 splurge. This is a food wine. Gruner veltliner is one of the most food friendly wines on the planet, it will work with most vegetables (canned or fresh), seafood, poultry, salad etc. etc…

Famille Perrin Reserve, Cotes Du Rhone $7.99

This grenache, syrah, mourvedre blend is one of the best values in the Rhone Valley coming from a top wine making family. For me this is a really great entry level everyday wine that gives you a good idea of what GSM blends are like from this region. It’s a great wine to pair with burgers, or a casual bbq and well worth the price.

Cheers and stay safe and healthy everyone!