- Food and Cooking
For The Wine Enthusiast
When you mention wine enthusiast it can mean a lot of different things to different people, like all the wine varietals there are opinions about what an enthusiast is. A wine enthusiast could be someone who enjoys the wine making process, someone who enjoys the wine tasting process, someone who enjoys wine food pairings and the list goes on.
I enjoy wine with food especially cheese, fish and certain meats, I also enjoy the fact that in moderation wine can actually be healthy, with heavy emphasis on moderation, drinking five glasses of wine in a single sitting is not a healthy choice.
Also like opinions there are numerous varietals and everyone has a favorite, mine is David Bruce Pinot Noir, however someone else could taste it and say it is horrible.
The more a person drinks wine the more their palate has the ability to become educated as to the nuances of fine wine, very much the same way a coffee drinker becomes spoiled with their favorite bean.
However it you do not experiment and explore different wines, always drinking the same varietal from the same winery you miss out on a great opportunity to expand your wine knowledge and taste.
Home Wine Making Kits
If you are real energetic and have the right space you may want to consider making your own wine. Before you run off and purchase a bunch of tubs and hoses from your local hardware store it would be wise to study the wine making process first.
Wine making requires several different considerations before beginning those being:
You need to have enough room for the fermentation process.
You need to have enough room for the aging process.
You need to have patience because it is a time consuming process.
That being said there are also several rewarding benefits of wine making, those being it can be fun, you can learn a lot about the wine making process and over time your vintage will or at least should get better!
Growing Grapes At Home
Before embarking on the wine making journey it would be ideal to study the process before investing in the necessary items needed to make wine. Getting an idea of the process will give you some insight into the necessary tools and equipment you will need to purchase.
Another consideration is what type of wine you will want to make that being a red or a white. You will also need to gain access to wine grapes or at least the wine juice, most how to books will often have a reference section dedicated to sources for the variety of items you will need.
Red Wine Grapes
There are lots of different variations of red wine however the big four and most common are Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is generally the most robust of the four and if you are a wine beginner it would be wise to start with the Merlots first, working your way up to the bold Cabernet.
If you take in a wine tasting which I highly recommend the tasting room professional will more than likely start with a mellow white wine and continue through the reds culminating with a robust Cabernet Sauvignon, there are no rules each tasting may be different depending what the focus is on.
It is not uncommon to go to a wine tasting where only a few varietals are featured.
White Wine Grapes
Like the reds there are four major white wines that will show up on many wine lists in your favorite restaurant and featured in your local wine shop, they are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling. These are common but there are many more white wines to choose from and like the red wine experience it is an excellent idea to take in a wine tasting.
If you have the opportunity it would be ideal to visit a winery because they will have a tasting room and you can dictate which wine you would prefer to sample. Or you could taste the white and red wines and over time it will be likely that you will develop a taste for either a white or a red grape. That does not mean you will only enjoy one because that would limit your ability to educate your palate especially when it comes to food pairings.
Wine Storage For Your Favorite Bottles
There are several options for storing your favorite wines, you can invest in a climate controlled small wine cellar usually located in the kitchen area, store your bottles in a wine rack, small or large capacity or if you are lucky enough have a complete wine cellar that is climate controlled with storage for hundreds of bottles.
The most important consideration for your wine storage is making sure that it is stored in an area that does not have extreme changes in temperatures or direct sunlight.
The ideal temperature for wine storage is approximately 55 degrees; this is an approximate depending on whether it is white or red.
Wine Openers Electric And Manual
Okay so now you have invested in your favorite wine and it is time to enjoy it, the first task is to get it opened. There are several options now unlike years ago; there are plastic stops, cork stops and screw off caps.
Depending on the type of cap you have it may require some type of opener and here to there are several different options, those being corkscrews, manual and electric, there are sophisticated mechanical openers that look like they were engineered by NASA.
There is also a very simple corkscrew with a wooden handle which is very common and inexpensive.
Wine Food Pairings
If you are hosting a dinner party and not sure which wine goes with what food there is no need to panic. There are some general guidelines you can follow but there are no hard and fast rules.
It is a good idea to start your guest off with a white and then serve a wine with your dinner that will complement your meal. If you are serving a fish dish then usually a white wine is a good choice, again there are no rules if your guests are red wine lovers then give them what they like.
Generally the school of thought is when serving red meat dishes you should serve red wines; again this is strictly a guideline if you serve red wine with fish the world is not going to implode or the earth fall off its axis.
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