Wine Writer Information Blog

11:04 PM

Thursday 04/24/08 - Wine Merchants

Today's Wine Merchants Article

Demystifying the wine and food marriages

Living the Good Life by Jim& Della Bogaty owners Veramar Vineyard, Berryville, VA

Demystifying the wine and food marriages -- There is a pair for you!

Wine and food pairing is a highly subjective and should be fun. There is little mystique behind the marriage between wines and food, but there is some basic compatibility issues- just like people marriages. Wine brings pleasure with any food. Many types of wines can match with many a dish. People all have different palates, cultures and inclinations. Everyone can and will find their own wine and food combinations-- a pair that they will love.

Wine & food matching suggestions
You are more likely to hear food and wine pairing suggestions rather than hard and fast rules. There's considerable room for experimentation and expression of your own personality in pairing wine and food. If you want to talk "rules" of wine and food pairing, the standard is red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat. However, rules are meant to be broken. Wine is fun and drink what you like is always the best rule. Having said that, there are some general guidelines you may find helpful when selecting a wine to enhance your meal for that perfect marriage.

Think of wine as if it was a condiment it should compliment the food. Chardonnay works beautifully with fish because you are matching light to light. Otherwise a full-bodied, heavier wine will overpower a light, delicate dish, and similarly, a lighter style wine will not even register on your flavour meter if you sip it with a hearty steak or roast.

Wine action vs. food reaction
When you drink wine by itself it tastes one way, but when you take a bite of food, the wine tastes different. This is because wine is like a spice. Elements in the wine interact with the food to provide a different taste sensation. Sweet Foods like Italian tomato sauce and honey-mustard glazes make your wine seem drier than it really is, so try an off-dry (slightly sweet) wine to balance the flavour (Riesling or a white blend). Acid Foods like fish served with a squeeze of lemon go well with wines higher in acid (Seyval Blanc, Pinot Grigio). Bitter and Astringent Foods like a mixed green salad of bitter greens and charbroiled meats accentuate a wine's bitterness so complement it with a full-flavoured forward fruity wine like a Cabernet Franc. Big tannic red wines like Norton, and Shiraz wines will go best with your classic grilled steak, as the fat in the meat will tone down the tannin (bitterness) in the wine. Cheeses- in some European countries the best wine is reserved for the cheese course. Red wines -Cabernet Franc & Norton- go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweeter wine like Riesling. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine Chardonnay or Seyval Blanc, while milder cheeses pair best with fruiter red wine. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including Cabernet Franc or a Merritage. Chocolate may upset the taste of wine. Some claim that a Cabernet Franc will do the trick for a perfect matching of wine and chocolate. Or just have wine as a dessert by its self, a Late Harvest Wine like a Vidal Blanc or Veramar DOra.

Wine tasting at your local Vineyard is a great way to try different wines and teach you wine favors. Or you can contact your local Virginia winery for a wine and food paring suggestion, they will be glad to make a wine and food marriage proposal for you. Cheers!

Short Review on Wine Merchants

The next Shiraz, varietal wines for Australia

Shiraz is the dominant red winegrape variety in Australia. It is the key component of Grange, the flagship Australian wine label. At the other end of ...

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Recommended Wine Merchants Items

Bordex Wine Rack Wall Braces

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Wine Merchants in the news

Vinix: An Italian-born Social Network For Foodies Startup Review]

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:25:28 PDT
Editor’s Note: If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion in “The Startup Review” series, please see the details here. STARTUP DETAILS: Company Name: Vinix 20-word Description: Vinix is a wine and food social network. It gives you a blog platform and the ability to easily post videos, classifieds, photos, wine reviews and restaurant reviews. Everyone can subscribe for free and add contacts, choosing through professionals and passionates alike. Google Maps mashups for s

Stop and 'smell' the rosés: Great wine for spring (MSNBC)

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:15:26 PDT
TODAY wine columnist Edward Deitch shares some delicious pinks that are perfect for the season.

Classy wine bars fill the bill in New York (USA Today)

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 16:50:41 PDT
Restaurateurs in the nation's dining capital have discovered a tasteful method for coping with economic jitters and customers' lessening interest in formality: Open a wine bar or a stylish wine-centric restaurant.

Little Italy celebrates tasting fest (San Diego Daily Transcript via Yahoo! News)

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 18:16:10 PDT
The Little Italy Association announced its inaugural neighborhood food tasting festival, Taste of Little Italy, coming to be held from 5-9 p.m., Wednesday, May 14.

EU says Italian wine safe to drink - Xinhua

EU says Italian wine safe to drink
Xinhua, China - Apr 7, 2008
Italian Agriculture Minister Paolo De Castro, speaking amid fears of heavy damage to Italy's wine industry, dismissed the case as a "storm in a wine glass. ...

Explore Greece's white wines for Orthodox Easter - Chicago Tribune

Explore Greece's white wines for Orthodox Easter
Chicago Tribune, United States - 13 hours ago
"That's like thinking of Italy only as pinot grigio." Perpera said the Greek attitude toward wine is rooted in its culture. "Wine for Greeks is part of ...

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10:31 PM

Thursday - Wine History

Wine History For Your Reading Pleasure

How to Host a Wine Party

Looking to have some fun with friends while sharing some wine? You should consider hosting a wine tasting party. It's a really neat way to share your wine favorites and to be introduced to a variety of new and interesting wines. You can also add some spice to your fun by using a wine theme ("All About Reds", "Blindfold Tasting", etc.).

Party Size

You dont need a lot of guests to have a great party. What I have found works best is to have about four to twelve people, and definitely include yourself as one of the registered guests. Also, I like to always have a contest during the party and give away a gift.

Theme Selection

Pick a fun theme, and remember the theme also determines what wines will be poured. You can name a theme like "The Great Italians", "The Great Whites of California", or whatever fits your mood. I would suggest being very creative, the possibilities are endless. If you tell your local wine merchant your theme, they can be a great source of help with wine and theme matching. Also, at a minimum make sure you have 4 to 6 different wine types to taste.

Food Choices

Have you heard the saying "First the wine, then your menu"? If you had a theme for your party and your wines followed that theme, you may want to carry it through with whatever food you serve. For example if you are tasting Italian Reds why not serve some Italian munchies to match.

While you do need to provide foods that complement the wines provided, the food should not the backbone of the party. Focus on the doeuvres such as: cheese, fruit, unsalted crackers, bread or other munchies you may have prepared for the evening. Don not forget to have lots of bottled room temperature water and optional spit buckets available.

When all the tasting is done, you may want to have plenty of coffee and desserts. This is also a great time to break out one of your favorite dessert wines.

To experience the full pleasure of the wine, it is important that you serve them at the correct temperature. Below are the basic temperature guidelines:

Temperature per Wine Types
37-43F White Sweet Wines
41-45F Champagne and Sparkling Wines
46-50F White Dry Young Wines
48-54F White Aged and Pink Wines
52-59F Red Young Wines
54-63F Port and Sherry
58-63F Red Full-body Wines
59-65F Red Aged Wines

Serving Considerations

There are important factors to consider when pouring the wine at a Wine Tasting Party.

  1. Fill the glasses only one-third full. This will prevent anyone from swirling the wine on your tablecloth or carpeting.

  2. Expect to serve about eight to twelve samples from each 750 ml bottle.

  3. As a rule, serve white wines before red wines and dry wines before sweet.

  4. Blush wines are served as you would serve a rose, in-between the white and the reds.

  5. The serving order is more common sense than etiquette.

  6. Sweet wines have a tendency to over power the taste buds giving a sensation of bitterness to the dry wines.


The first step in the tasting process is to examine the wine and take note of the color, clarity, and transparency of the wine. Young wines are typically very clear. Older blends may be expected to have a little sediment. There is a lot to this and it takes a bit of experience to understand which hues are right for each type.


The second step is in the pleasure of smelling the wine. Swirl the wine around in the glass which awakens its aromas or bouquets. It is important to take a good sniff of the bouquet and try to detect unique fragrances. If are new at this, dont fret, you will get better over time.


Now the fun part of actually tasting the wine. Take a sip and roll the wine over your tongue. Different parts of the tongue will register different tastes so be sure to roll the wine around in your mouth. Try to focus on the characteristics of the wine, such as body, sweetness, tartness, bitterness, and fruitiness. You should also take notice the subtleties of the wines aftertaste.

About The Author

Contributor: Stuart Glasure [Designer, Fashion Artist, Creator: "Zany Wearables", Wine Enthusiast]

Another short Wine History review

Virginia Wine tour 5 days Southern Ways

Suggested Virginia FIVE day wine tourVirginia WineThe Southern WaysJames & Della Bogaty Owner Veramar VineyardVirginia Wine Country isn't just about w...

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Recommended Wine History Items

Locking Wine Jail Decorative Rack

The sophisticated twists and turns of a finely crafted wrought iron leaf design create a handsome showcase for your wine collection. This distinctive storage cabinet has a beautiful verdigris finish that gives it the presence and patina of a precious antique. Because it’s equipped with a black lock that secures the front door your wine bottles will always remain undisturbed and protected until you’re ready to serve them. Holds up to 33 bottles and adds a touch of Old World artistry to any decor. Space-saving design measures a compact 36'Hx16'Wx14'D. Lock included.

Price: 99.95 USD

News about Wine History - Zoltan Szabo's Tasting Notes

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 13:47:16 PST
Zoltan Szabo is the quintessential North American success story: from non-English-speaking busboy to star sommelier in under a decade. These days Zoltan spends the majority of his time as a guest speaker at wine-soaked events, delivers Wine Council of Ontario training seminars and travels the world as an international wine judge.

Boston Wine Expo: February 8 - 10

Tue, 15 Jan 2008 19:55:37 PST
The 17th Annual Boston Wine Expo is taking place February 8 - 10, 2008. The event is the largest trade and consumer wine event in the country and it offers wine enthusiasts an unparalleled experience in wine and food. This year, the Grand Tasting will offer over 450 international and domestic wineries from 13 countries pouring over 1,800 ...

Israel's Winemaking Revolution

Tue, 22 Jan 2008 13:49:25 PST
International consumers used to shun Israeli wines, but Golan Heights Winery managed to create a market for world-class wines—and retool an industry

Group Four launches Veranda Park lakefront restaurant - Orla

Sat, 16 Feb 2008 05:09:03 PST
Group Four Restaurants LLC on Thursday announced the grand re-opening of Tavern on the Lake, featuring lighter menu entrees and an international wine list.

Debut of Oak Leaf Vineyards at the 2008 Florida State International Wine Competition Brings Home the Gold

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 00:00:01 PST
Ripon, CA (PRWEB) February 19, 2008 -- At the prestigious Florida State International Wine Competition this month, a new brand, Oak Leaf Vineyards from California, has won gold. With 84 wineries...

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9:37 PM

April - Wine Shops

A Featured Wine Shops Article

Tempranillos Role As A New Varietal Wine In Australia

Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the Rioja region in Spain. It is now challenging Sangiovese as the up and coming star of the red varietal wine scene in Australia.

New plantings throughout Australian wine regions over the past five years are just coming into bearing. In fact on a percentage basis Tempranillo is growing in popularity more rapidly than any other variety.

What makes this variety so exciting? Well, it makes wines which have good colour and good fruit flavours along with low acid and low tannins. This adds up to an easy drinking style. The wine also goes well with American oak.

In the vineyard the variety has a short growing season which makes it suitable for cooler areas.

In Spain the variety is the backbone of the wines of the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero regions in Northern and Central Spain. In these regions it is often blended with Graciano or Cabernet sauvignon playing a minor role. It is a component of Ribera del Duero's famous Vega Sicilia, the Spanish equivalent to Grange.

In Portugal the variety is used as a minor component in port, and some red table wines. Elsewhere in the world the major plantings are in Argentine and California. In the latter region it is called Valdepenas and is regarded as a unsuitable for making fine wine.

Tempranillo has taken off in Australia only in the past few years. Brown Brothers have been a pioneer of the variety, but there are now over 50 producers in about half of Autralias sixty wine regions. Although McLaren Vale has the highest number of producers variety is widely planted throughout the mainland Australian wine regions. The highest rated Tempranillo in James Halliday's Wine Companion 2005 is from Manton's Creek Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula. Casella Wines, the makers of the hugely successful [yellowtail] range are also interested in the variety. They received a silver medal for a 2003 Tempranillo at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 2004.

The obvious food match is to go with Spanish style dishes. A lighter bodied Tempranillo would go well with tapas, those delightful little snacks that originally were designed for accompanying sherry. A little plate of olives, some prawns and a few slices of Chorizo sausage may just what is needed.

The Spanish also love jamon, dry cured ham. Many bars in Spain have dozens of hams hanging up and there is always a ham in a special rack ready to be thinly carved for a snack to accompany a glass of wine. Sheep farming is a major industry in the in the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero regions. Hence grilled and especially roast lamb are local specialties, as well as the ideal accompaniment to Tempranillo. Sheep milk cheeses, roast stuffed peppers and vegetable casseroles would also be enhanced by a glass or two of these fine wines.

What then can we expect in future from Tempranillo in Australia? It is an interesting fact is that the variety is being tried in many wine regions. Virtually all of the plantings in Australia are new and the vineyard managers and winemakers are just starting to climb the learning curve. Some enthusiasts say Tempranillo is the next big thing in Australian red wines; others think that the Italian variety Sangiovese will triumph. The next few years will tell, in the meantime there will be some interesting wines to try.

About The Author

Darby Higgs is manager and editor of Vinodiversity a web based guide to Australian wine made with less common wine varieties.

Ten interesting facts about Tea.Lorraine Bevere It is now known that men who drink black tea which contains catechins are 50% less likely to die of ischemic heart disease. This happens when our arteries become clogged and are unable to function as they should due to constriction.

The dearest teabag in the world was commissioned for the 75'th anniversary of the PG TIPS tea company. The bag was filled with two hundred and eighty diamonds and expensive limited edition tea leaves. The bag cost seven thousand five hundred pounds and was sold at auction in aid of a Children's hospital in Great Britain.

For many years we have known that men in Asian countries who drink green tea have very low instances of prostate cancer. Many prominent researchers think that this is due to green tea containing many powerful antioxidants and preventative anti-cancer agents.

In recent Australian studies CSIRO scientists found that the occurrence of skin cancer in laboratory mice was greatly reduced when they were given black tea. It is thought that polyphenols which are very strong antioxidants and are contained in the tea are the most likely reason for this phenomenon

To get rid of puffy eyes lie on your bed or wherever and place either a moist teabag or tea compress over both of your eyes and leave for about 20 minutes. Swelling around the eyes will disappear and your eyes will return to their former glory

Tea comes from the leaves of a tree called Camellia sinensis. The three main types of tea are Black, Oolong and Green. Herbal tea does not come from the leaves of a tea plant, therefore, is not considered to be real tea. Roots, stems, flowers and parts of plants are used to make herbal tea

Use tea to kill warts. The tannic acid found in tea is said to be just as effective in killing warts as many wart removers that you can purchase over the counter at the local drug store! Soak a black tea bag in hot water, and then place the damp bag on the wart itself for fifteen minutes a couple of times each day. Slowly the wart will shrink and soon disappear.

Legend has it that a Chinese emperor was the first to discover Tea when some leaves were blown by chance into a bowl contain some boiling hot water. The tea we drink today is exactly the same and the brewing process has never been interfered with.

Did you know that Turkey is a nation of mainly Tea drinker? In fact Turkey is now the worlds number one nation when it comes to tea drinking. Many Turks drink a staggering twenty to thirty cups per day each and tea is now practically their national drink.

Recent studies have shown that drinking anywhere between one half and two cups of tea every day may promote fertility by stopping abnormalities in our chromosomes. In a recent test two hundred and fifty women drank as little as half a cup of tea per day and their pregnancy rates were twice as high as those who did not.

Copyright Lorraine Bevere -

Wine Shops and More

Unique Pepper Nasal Spray Beats Wine Headaches & Hang-overs

The world's first natural hot pepper nasal spray is gaining a huge reputation for relieving chronic sinus ailments and headaches across the world, but...

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Featured Wine Shops Items

Decanter Drying Stand

Keeping your decanter free of water spots has always been a chore—until now. This heavy metal stand was designed in Germany and will hold any standard-sized decanter after it has been washed. Because the decanter is held in an inverted position even long funnel-neck designs are air-dried to a dazzling spot-free finish. 10'H x 71⁄2'W.

Price: 29.95 USD

News about Wine Shops

Full Text - Science Magazine (subscription)

Full Text
Science Magazine (subscription) - 4 hours ago
Wine woes. Powdery mildew (left) and other fungal diseases can devastate vineyards. The story behind the grape genome is one in which a worldwide scientific ...

David Sinclair bites the grape that feeds him - Dr. Vino

David Sinclair bites the grape that feeds him
Dr. Vino, IL - 4 hours ago
“I don’t care about red wine,” Dr. David Sinclair told the Boston Globe in a story that ran on Monday. Why should we care that he doesn’t care? ...

Classy wine bars fill the bill in New York - USA Today

Classy wine bars fill the bill in New York
USA Today - 2 hours ago
... bar area into a wine-centric space. But they're simply following a path blazed by passionate, grape-savvy entrepreneurs working on a more modest scale. ...



San Francisco Chronicle, USA - 16 hours ago
So far, grape growers estimate that as much as 10 percent of their crops could be lost, an unusual occurrence in an industry that hasn't seen a significant ...
Unusually cold temperatures wreak havoc with North Coast vineyards ... Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Weekend Frost Damages North Bay Vineyards KCBS
all 26 news articles

Maple Ridge Vineyard is Certified Organic

Sun, 06 Jun 2004 00:00:01 PDT
(PRWEB) June 6, 2004--Maple Ridge Vineyard has received a growers organic certification and also a processing certification. The certification covers their tomatoes, truck garden, Navajo-Churro...

Great Grape Festival at Farfelu Vineyards - October 9-11

Mon, 23 Aug 2004 00:00:01 PDT
(PRWEB) August 23, 2004 -- Enjoy an afternoon of fine wine, live music and winemaking tours amid the fall foliage at Farfelu Vineyards' Great Grape Festival. Festivities will include: * Live...

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