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Coravin Review: Is It Really Worth It?

by Jennifer Evans

There are A LOT of options when it comes to preserving your wine, from bottle stoppers to air pumps to gas systems. There are pros and cons to each system, and really none is better or worse than another. They just have different purposes. A bottle stopper works perfectly well if you’re planning to finish the bottle the next day, while an air pump will keep your wine fresh for a few days. A gas system that displaces oxygen in the bottle will keep your wine good for a few weeks. Want a summary of the different preservation systems? We’ve got you covered. And then there is the granddaddy of wine preservation: The Coravin. This bad boy claims to make your wine taste like it’s never been opened, even if you pour a glass years after the first one. Sounds too good to be true, right? ...

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World Wine Reality Check.

by Lisa Graziano Csw, Cse

This just in from Vinepair.com, The 25 Best Rose Wines of 2021. I read this one in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep. Big mistake. It just got me all fired up about the egregious disparities between the US and the rest of the world. Again. 12 of the "best" rosés in this lineup are American. Of those 12, 11 are from California. Biased? I am thinking so. Then there is the subject of price. "...over half of the bottles here clock in at under $25...making them great case-buys." LOL. Sounds expensive to me. Maybe that is because here in Portugal I can buy fabulous rosés for about $2-5 per bottle. If I want to seriously splurge, I can drop 24 euros on an outstanding single varietal Touriga Nacional rosé. I am sure it would compare favorably with the $40 Provence r...

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Sliding Into Summer Wine Pairings

by Jennifer Evans

Summer is in full swing here in southeast Texas and, if it hasn’t gotten there yet where you’re at, it will be soon! When I think of summer, it’s all about hot days, sunshine, pool parties, outdoor concerts, and campfires. Here are our picks for summer wine and food pairings that will help make sure this is a summer to remember (for all the right reasons). At the beach - Fried chicken and sparkling wine- I know, this seems a little incongruous, but it really can work. Sparkling wine is rich and refreshing, so the acid will balance the fattiness of the fried chicken but won’t be overpowered by the rich flavors and texture. The saltiness of the chicken will also help draw out some of the flavors in the sparkling wine. Go for a dry sparkling wine (brut) over sweet. ...

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4 Easy And Versatile Wine Cocktails To Spice Up Your Night

by Jennifer Evans

I know this may sound crazy, but every so often you may want to mix up your wine routine. You can try some new varietals, which is always fun, or you can spice up the wines you have on your rack by making cocktails. We love wine cocktails because 1) they have wine in them, and 2) it’s easy to tailor any cocktail recipe to suit the wine you have on hand. Here are 5 of our favorites: Sangria Sangria is a classic wine cocktail that is ridiculously easy to make and makes any party (or Tuesday night) more festive. Sangria is so easy to make that I made it once on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with leftover fruit and boxed wine. A form of sangria has been around since at least 200 B.C., when ancient Greeks, Romans, and Spaniards would mix sugar, spices, and fruit with wine. Dif...

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“1983… (a Vintage Port I Should Turn To Be)”? Jimi Hendrix And 1983 Taylor

by Stuart George

My office at 50 Brook Street is just up the road from 23 Brook Street, where Jimi Hendrix lived from June 1968 to March 1969. It is well worth a visit to admire the meticulous recreation of the flat as it was when Hendrix lived there. “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)” is a song recorded in 1968 for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third album "Electric Ladyland". Speaking of 1983 in Brook Street… We have a few bottles of Taylor’s Vintage Port. Overall, it was a very good Port vintage. The resulting wines were built to last, with ebullient tannins that have melted away over the years like the snow in Pinhão. The dilapidated labels of my bottles evidence long-term storage in a cool, damp cellar… Perfect! In the meantime, don’t overdo it with the “Bu...

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1966 Was A Good Year For English Football... And Pol Roger

by Stuart George

An Italian friend likes to remind me that England has won the FIFA World Cup only once, 55 years’ ago in 1966, and at home – as opposed to Italy’s four wins, three of which were overseas, and most recently in 2006… ☹️ In the year that England won the World Cup, it was an up and down viticultural year in Champagne. There was a vine-killing frost in the New Year of 1966; hailstorms during the summer months; and problems with mildew during a wet August. But the weather improved in September and October and some very nice wines were made (though probably not quite as good as 1964). This beautiful bottle of 1966 Pol Roger came from a private cellar in South East England. It’s been well-looked after during its 55-year lifespan. (Probably in better condition than a...

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1922 Fonseca Vintage Port | “april Is The Cruellest Month…”

by Stuart George

Famously (for Honours graduates of English Literature like me, anyway), 1922 is the year zero of 20th century literature – the year that saw the publication of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and James Joyce’s "Ulysses". It was also a fine Port vintage that was declared by most shippers. The 1922 Port wines were soigné, similar to those produced in 1917. This impenetrably dark (and impossibly rare) bottle of 1922 Fonseca Vintage Port was mouth-blown and hand-made (rather than machine-made). The neck (which had been wrapped to protect it in transit) has “stretch marks” – twists caused by the irregularity of mouth-blown glass. The bottle’s surface is gnarled rather than smooth. The punt (indented base) of the bottle has a conspicuous pontil “scar”, where the...

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The Final Evaluation- How To Tell If A Wine Is "good"

by Jennifer Evans

Alas! We have reached the final article in our wine tasting series. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a more in-depth look at each of the steps in wine tasting, from seeing to sniffing to sipping. Now that you’ve spent some time with the wine, it’s time to make a final decision: was it good or bad? That’s a pretty simple question for most people, because it’s all about you. If you liked it, it was good. If not, bad. It’s a little more complicated when you’re making a recommendation for someone else or when your job is to critique wine. You want to be as objective as possible, which can be challenging because wine tasting is so subjective. It can also be helpful to know what you liked or disliked about a wine when you’re looking for something new to try. Generally, wine is...

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2021 London Wine Competition Winners Announced

by Sophie Mellor

2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines in Australia won the superlative ‘Wine of the Year’ award. The results of the 2021 London Wine Competition are out. This is a competition where wines are judged for end consumers. Wines are rated with three main criteria in mind: quality, value and package. To be a medal winner, wines must show an overall rating in all three factors. This year’s competition saw entries from more than 36 countries. 135 different types of grape varietals were entered with the top three being Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The top countries to enter were Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, United States and Moldova. The biggest increase in wines was seen from Moldova. 2015 Anubis Cabernet Sauvignon made by Levrier Wines...

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Tasting- What It’s All About

by Jennifer Evans

We have finally arrived at the best part of the wine tasting series- TASTING! If you’ve been following the wine tasting series, we’ve had an overview, discussed appearance, and reviewed aroma. We’ve finally reached the part that most people think of when they think about wine tasting. As we talked about last week, the aroma of the wine is actually an important part of fully tasting the wine, but this week we’re going to talk about what all you perceive when you take that first sip or two. There’s actually a lot more going on than just the flavor of the wine! We’ll break this into two categories: structural characteristics, and flavor. Structure There are four different structural characteristics to consider. All of these contribute to how the wine both tastes and feels...

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