Wines Worthy of Your Wine Cellar

Chardonnay Wine is the most popular wine in the world today. Wine lovers in Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States, Denmark and Belgium are enjoying this very versatile wine.

Chardonnay is made from the green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine, originating in eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced from every part of the world.
Chardonnay has a wide-range reputation for ease of cultivation and ability to adapt to different conditions.

Harvesting time is crucial to wine making, with the grape rapidly losing acidity as soon as it ripens. Some hazards include the risk of damage from springtime frost, as Chardonnay is an early-budding vine.

The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral, with many of the flavors from the mineral wines of Chablis, France. Chardonnay tends to be medium to light with flavors of green plum, apple, pear and oak. In warmer locations, such as Australia and New Zealand, the flavors become more citrus, peach, and melon. Warmer locations, like California, have more fig and tropical fruit flavors such as banana and mango.

Chardonnay is an important ingredient to many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. Very popular in the late 1980s, but wine enthusiasts saw the grape as a negative ingredient of the global growth of wine. It remains one of the most widely planted grape varieties worldwide. Chardonnay grapes are planted in more wine regions than any other grape – including Cabernet.

With food:

Due to the wide range of styles, Chardonnay is paired with a variety of food types. It is most commonly paired with roast chicken and other white meats. Heavily oak tasting Chardonnays do not pair well with fish and seafood. Instead, those wines tend to go better with smoked fish, spicy foods and foods with garlic. Chardonnays from Washington, which have more acidity, tend to pair well with tomato-based dishes and foods with sweet onions. Older, more mellow Chardonnays are often paired with more “earthy” dishes like aged cheese and mushrooms.

Although most famous for its, dry wines, Chardonnay is used to produce a variety of wine styles. The variety is put to use in sparkling wines all over the world, such as Champagne, when it is usually paired with Pinot Noir. Canada even produces sweet Chardonnay ice wines.

Chardonnay has been the fastest-growing white variety over the last decade.

The worst thing you can say about Chardonnay is that it’s bland or over-oaked.

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Wine Lovers

Merlot wine is first class.

Not only does it command the highest respect in the wine world, Merlot also tastes great with food.

Merlot a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for a variety of wines. The name Merlot is thought to be the French name for the blackbird.

Merlot grapes are identified by their loose bunches of large blue berries. The color has less of a blue/black hue than Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and with a thinner skin. It normally ripens up to two weeks earlier than some other grapes.. Merlot grapes tend to have a higher sugar content and lower acidity. The wine has seems to claim some of it’s best characteristics from its parent varieties-its fertility and easy ripening ability

Merlot thrives in cold soil, particularly ferrous clay. The vine tends to bud early which gives it some risk to cold frost and its thinner skin increases its susceptibility to the hazard of bunch rot. If bad weather occurs during flowering, the Merlot vine is prone to develop coulure.The vine can also be susceptible to mildew (though it has better resistance to powdery mildew than other Bordeaux varieties) and to infection by leafhopper insect varieties

Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the characteristics of Merlot wmerlotine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. It’s actually a bit of a chameleon, partly because of where it’s grown.

This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world’s most planted grape varieties.

France is home to nearly two thirds of the world’s total plantings of Merlot but is grown in regions all over the world.

Cool climate Merlot wine carries flavors like tobacco and tar.

Warm climate Merlot wine is more fruit-forward. Producers use oak-treatment of up to 24 months to give their Merlot wine more structure.

A classic example of hot climate Merlot is California Merlot, such as Paso Robles and Napa Valley.

Merlot is essential to the most famous wine region in the world -Bordeaux.

Food pairing with Merlot:

Merlots pair well with grilled and charred meats. Fruitier Merlots go well with dishes like salmon, mushroom-based dishes and greens like chard and radicchio. Light-bodied Merlots can go well with shellfish like prawns or scallops. Merlot tends not to go well with strong and blue-veined cheeses that can overwhelm the fruit flavors of the wine.

Elegant Wines to Savor

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black.

These grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

It is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape’s tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several hazards involving rot. At young stages, wines made from Pinot tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, they have the potential to develop more vegetative and “barnyard” aromas that can contribute to the different flavors of the wine.

This red wine grape variety’s home is France’s Burgundy region.

The broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that these beautiful grapes can produce sometimes confuses tasters. The wine tends to be of light to medium body with an aroma of black or red cherry, raspberry and currant and many other fine small pinot noir and black berry fruits.

The wine’s color when young is often compared to that of garnet, frequently being much lighter than that of other red wines.

The Pinot grape is also used in the production of Champagne and is planted in most of the world’s wine growing regions for use in both still and sparkling wines. It is grown for dry table wines is generally lower-yielding than many other varieties.

This wines are pale in color, translucent and their flavors are very clean. The grape itself is weak, suffering from a variety of diseases and its genetics make it highly susceptible to mutation.

Flavors

FRUIT: Cranberry, Cherry, Raspberry

OTHER: vanilla, clove, licorice, mushroom, wet leaves, tobacco, cola, quality red wine.

Food Pairings For Pinot Noir.

Pinot noir is one of the most versatile red wines to match with food and a great option in a restaurant when one is eating meat and the other fish.

There are ingredients that will pair with practically any pinot noir such as duck and mushrooms and others, like salmon or tuna. This wine should be served cool or chilled:

Light, fresh pinots

Good pairings:, ham and other cold meats. Classic French dishes with light creamy sauces such as rabbit or kidneys with a mustard sauce. Goat cheese. Grilled asparagus. Spring vegetables such as peas

Food pairings: Dishes with a touch of spice, duck, grilled quail, pulled pork, seared salmon and tuna. Barbecues. Dishes that include cherries or figs.

Silky, elegant pinots

Paired With: Roast chicken, Pigeon, Rack of lamb, served pink. Rare fillet steak.. Beef Wellington. Roast pork with herbs and fennel. Chicken or turkey sausages. Dishes with wild mushrooms. Mushroom risotto. Roast or grilled lobster

Rich, full-bodied pinots

Good pairings: lamb, grilled steak, venison. Dishes like duck, roast goose. Glazed ham, Roast turkey, Brie and similar cheeses and Milder blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola.

The Tasting Room: Branding or Marketing

In selling wine, especially in the tasting room, there is a difference between marketing and branding. Yes, the two are often co-mingled, but they must be interpreted and managed differently. Without a brand identity it is hard to market wine. We do not want to take this discussion into an esoteric direction, however, tasting rooms are an opportunity to go far beyond just selling wine, the real bonus lies in creating a tasting room to sell wine and reinforce a brand identity, i.e. branding.

Maybe it would help to look at branding this way: “Branding is to a company (winery) as personality is to a person. Branding is as much inward as outward-facing. If you have a strong, trustworthy brand, your employees are happier, more motivated, and more loyal,” says Mr. Russel Cooke, A Customer Relationship Manager professional. “Branding is the allocation of resources to promote awareness of your brand, products and services. The purpose of marketing, in a nutshell, is to communicate your brand’s value to potential customers.”

Branding is a process that happens over time; like how our personalities evolve over time, but at some point, the personality becomes defined for people to recognize. Marketing will use advertising (print, radio, TV), designs, collateral materials to build awareness for a brand and hopefully call the consumer to action.

Is a tasting room only for sales? I would submit the answer to be, “a tasting room is a terrible asset to waste solely on sales”. A brand is a legacy asset in perpetuity and sales is fleeting. Wine sales is an effort that must be created anew each season; a brand lives on to be destroyed or strengthened, so chose you brand identity wisely!

In any marketing or branding experience the complexities of successfully executing these tasks are mindboggling; truly. In the wine industry the task can be exponentially more complex because of ancillary issues such as: Federal regulations, outside issues that influence product (weather), and local government constraints, et al. Selling coffee mugs should be a bit less complex. In the direct-to-consumer marketing arena, the tasting room is the only place where the winery can control and execute their plans in branding and selling/marketing their product in real time. Here, a visitor comes to you and says, tell me about your product and by-the-way, I want to buy. Wow, what an advantage in marketing!

The tasting room is truly the only face-to-face time a winery has to impact all the human senses that will influence a sale and hopefully a repeat sale. I submit therefore, the visitors interface experience with employees is the most important; why else do companies send representatives to visit the customer? Airlines at one time felt that e-mail and video conference calls would negatively impact their business; facts proved that wrong. Nothing can replace the impact of people looking directly at, communicating with, and feeling the persona of face-to-face interactions.

Maybe you are still doubtful of this line of thought, well consider the successes of reality TV. Shows like American Pickers and Fixer Uppers are shows about people, experiences and their lives. American Pickers or Dirty Jobs are shows that now spend most of time focused on real people and their stories. A tasting room experience is communicating with people who love wine and want to be sold and want to learn about the brand story. Yes, taste the wine, but tell the visitor the story of the brand.

Let’s assume for this discussion that a significant number of people do decide to visit a specific winery for any of numerous reasons. To illustrate the point. A few years ago, I saw a study that listed various reasons why individuals visited a winery:

  • Wanting to see the winery that made their favorite wine.
  • Referred by friends.
  • Wanted to experience a winery or location.
  • Wanted to buy wine to commemorate a visit to the region.

The premise is, branding through interpersonal contacts, within tasting rooms, is important and maybe even critical, to all wineries; large and small. This type of branding tool will give instant product feedback about marketing and branding because the visitor is engaged with a winery representative. Finally, public contact winery employees can immediately address visitor product queries. We inherently buy products (wine) and services based on relationships and a feeling (trust and enthusiasm) about the relationship with the company/winery.

Many years ago, I visited a winery selling expensive wine; expensive by the standards of 3 decades ago; and I ask a simple question: What makes your varietal more expensive than another winery’s? When I ask the question, I did so with an obstinate tone, to the credit of the tasting room employee, she artfully engaged me and others within earshot in discussing what makes their wines more expensive/quality. She was responsive, unoffended, engaged and converted me to be a marketing missionary for her winery’s quality wines. My first real experience with real world branding.

I believe in the power of branding and how it impacts sales, production, finance and longevity.

Tasting rooms that draw upon a winery brand and reinforce the brand ultimately will sell wines. Without a good brand, marketing is a very tough exercise for a winery. My fantasy for tasting room effectiveness #101 is:

  • Be met at the door and be given a brochure about the winery, its management, explanation of the winemaker’s philosophy/approach to the product, and information presented with a sense of pride. Whether the tasting is free, charged, or one by appointment only; whatever the business model, the brand experience is most important. For example, have you ever been to a winery of humble facilities, yet you connected with the brand because of the people? Conversely, have you been to a very well-appointed tasting room and left feeling underwhelmed?
  • Realize visitors are buying an experience and hopefully a relationship. Just read a list of old wine quotes and one soon realizes, wine has long been elevated simply based upon the experience of wine.
  • Nice people that know the wines their winery produces.
  • Employees who engages me in understanding what makes their wines great that is part of their brand image.
  • Visitors want a story about the brand and then the wine.
  • If staff in the tasting room have a “belly-up-to-the-bar” presentation to the visitor, the winery has diminished the value of a tasting room by more than 50%, even if the visitor buys a bottle of wine.
  • If the branding and marketing effort work together, the sale happens. Then comes the wine club sale, new vintage follow-on sales and direct mail with collateral materials. As a channel of distribution, the tasting room is a winner.
  • Know the vineyards from which their grapes come and why that is important.
  • Staff that are proud of the product.
  • Want to understand what I like and why.
  • Treat me respectfully and at my level of experience. The tasting room is not about a place where the staff can show their knowledge of buzzwords and technical points-bad branding.
  • And a tasting room that sends me on my way with a farewell that makes me feel good about my visit and purchase. “Please enjoy my wine and drop me a note to tell me when you drank it.”

A winery tasting room that does these things will encourage me to buy more, share my experience with others, and give me a super long-term view of what the values are of this winery-hopefully one of excellence.

As a “back of the napkin” exercise, if you are a winery owner or tasting room manager, write down precisely how you think your winery’s brand is defined by the visitor, then the distributor, restaurant/on-premise buyer and retailers. Then ask yourself, is that the brand I want, need and can live with for the future. People buy the brand first and the marketing story second; the brand lives on but the marketing story will change because of many dictates.

Attitude and product knowledge of the tasting room staff, interpersonal skills, level of interest by management and staff throughout the organization; all these factors ooze the brand definition throughout the organization. Winery’s do not need to spend a lot of money to create a brand, but the tasting room is coming from the inside out.

We never forget that branding and marketing are complex and rarely turn out great without in-depth planning, initiating experience, constant training and reinforcement of strategies, buy-in at all levels, and updating of the plans.

A tasting room should present the brand to the public as desired by the owners. “Branding is the truth, reputation, and value of a small business’s image, ethics, and craftsmanship. It is the stamp or logo on a product that becomes a household name and trusted brand. Marketing is the sales driven tactic which stands behind branding,” says Monique Ouellette. Notice that marketing is behind the brand and drives the “call to action” to drive the sale.

Apple is a great brand and marketing organization. Look at the branding of their retail locations (tasting rooms). Disney is another great brand that is on display in their tasting rooms. Don’t confuse branding and marketing.

The Art of Selling Wine in the Tasting Room

There is nothing surreptitious about selling wine in a tasting room or at a tasting event; the visitor is there anticipating buying a new-found wine that will make life more pleasant. And tasting room staffs should understand–wine sales is not a debate forum; everybody has different taste and expectations. The visitor arrives with preconceived notions that they are predisposed to finding a wine in which they are emotionally enamored. At this point it is up to the tasting room staff to create the atmosphere that could be called the “romance of wine”.

How is an effective atmosphere created that encourages the purchase of wine? There are a lot of factors in creating atmosphere: the setting, visual ques, lighting, sounds, smells, temperature, staff interactions, marketing and of course brand identity. There is a lot of research about the science of psychology in selling, everything from the type of background music, ambience created from special lighting, even the smells that stimulate the senses. All the elements that make up a tasting room, knowingly or unwittingly, do impact a positive disposition toward a product (wine).

As an aside. Assume you bought a $40 bottle of Napa Valley wine that you truly enjoyed and wanted to visit that winery on a visit to Northern California. You have already conjured up in your mind what you expect that tasting room experience should be to you. Based solely on your experiences with the wine, the logo (branding) and the website (marketing). If that visit to the winery does not measure-up to expectations, you may not want to buy more wine from that winery. However, well trained and motivated staff can overcome many deficiencies in setting, ambiance, smells, sounds, etc.

If the tasting room experience does not support the brand and advertising message, there is a disconnect with the visitor and their willingness to bond with the product. Without an emotional connection, the sales function is almost an exercise in futility. Sales is not a dirty word or shady endeavor, it allows people to enjoy an experience, be informed, make buying decisions intelligently and, selling makes it possible for the wine enterprise to exist.

So, what should a winery tasting room be doing to maximize or improve their odds of a sale that allows visitors to be emotionally satisfied with the purchase? With wine, tasting room/direct to consumer selling is all about selling the sizzle and the steak. Wine is bought because it provokes imagination and emotional appeal, addresses a need/desire, and offers tangible benefits. Wine purchases (sales) are human senses working together to give a visitor an ah-has moment with a winemaker’s creation. Tasting room sales staff are there to guide the experience of the offered wines.

If a tasting room is going to be successful in their direct-to-consumer sales effort, the staff needs to be a host, counselor, educator and understand selling wine is about addressing the 5 senses. (Daven Hiskey in “Today I Found Out”, says there are really 9 senses.)

Ideally, Marketing and branding have lead the way for a visitor’s expectations. In the tasting room, the visitor is given the opportunity to touch and feel the brand and product and now it is time to get personally involved with the winery. This is the start and finish line of the actual sale process.

Having sat through or conducted, too many to count, sales seminars. There seems to be a standard blueprint for conducting sales meetings. The only difference may be that there are some nuances that are industry specific.

Looking at tasting room sales specifically, maybe we can tweak the diehard standard attributes of good sales practices and incorporate some current thinking.

Relative to tasting room staff: (We are assuming some consistency in personnel, which is a concern.)

  • Know, or at least understand, the winemaking process from vineyard to the tasting room.
  • Be familiar with and at least occasionally read wine blogs and have an opinion of their comments.
  • Staff should not sound like they are spewing out facts based on rote; make the comments sound like fresh thoughts. For example, the Ritz Carlton Hotel group train their staff to respond to their guests in a fresh welcoming manner and are rated on always following that standard. It appears to them, “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it”.
  • Engage the visitor; find out what they should expect by way or aroma’s and taste of the wine before they sample the wine. Ask if they are interested in a wine of a specific characteristic. Always direct expectations.
  • Wine is never the cheapest or most expensive-it is either budget friendly or premium.
  • If the visitor seems to be torn between what wine to buy, then offer them a “premium sample pack” at a multi-bottle discount.
  • Offer the visitor a “private e-mail” address of the server staff because: “I want to hear how you liked our wine when you got home”.
  • Try to get the visitors name so they can be communicated with on a first name basis. Use the introduction process to get information about their favorite varietal, or where they are from, how many wineries they have visited that day. People tasting a lot of wine in a compressed time frame will not get a good tasting experience for example; that is good to know up front.
  • People like to be made comfortable at their level of wine experience. When comfortable in a buying experience, the visitor will be willing to buy wine because they were directed by staff who understood the experience level of the visitor. People never want to be talked down to or made aware of any deficiencies in their wine experiences.

Then the standard attributes of good sales attributes may include:

  • Be passionate about the products/wines and know the wines first-hand and in one’s own words.
  • Be a keen listener, do not interrupt visitors when they talk. Look at the visitor to indicate the server is interested.
  • Understand the customers options.
  • Sincerity breeds trust in product options and suggestions.
  • Through actions and communications, make the customers feel they are getting value.
  • Lead the purchaser to conclusions by employing a friendly smile and a personalized warm welcome. If they do not purchase still wish them well and “Cheers”.
  • Don’t pressure customers, wine is an emotional/experience sale and not like selling a set of tires on a one day only sale. Persuade always and never pressure.

Selling wine to visitors at a winery’s tasting room as a winemaker or winery owner probably requires skill sets that are not common at senior management levels; there may be passion, but the psychology of the sale must be learned and developed through experience. For example, I know how a painter applies paint to a canvas, but I am not a painter and never will be a successful painter.

If selling wine successfully, direct to the tasting room visitor were easy, everybody would be doing such. Many are not doing it at a spectacularly high level of proficiency. A visitor who buys a wine is potentially a long-term customer and winery ambassador for life, because they have voted with their dollars that the connection they have with the winery is emotional. Now the task is to convert the visitor/buyer to join the wine club and be effective communicators with that customer going forward. Personal communications can be expensive and time consuming, but it can be rewarding with repeat sales.

The Wine Lover’s Guide To Craft Beer

If you’re the type of person that notices everything that’s a little different at your local watering hole, you’ve no doubt noticed a change as to what is on tap behind the bar. Where once you saw some of the biggest beer companies on the planet, you now see some slightly obscure craft beer offerings. As you’ve processed these changes, you’ve probably asked yourself one important question – what is craft beer?

The truth is that the answer to that question is incredibly complex. There’s no real way to answer that question, and it’s this inherent evasiveness that perhaps gives craft beer its mystique. That said, even if you can’t quite pin down an exact definition of what craft beer is, you can get a better idea of what it brings to the table if you compare it with the complexities that go hand-in-hand with making wine.

OK, wine fanatics. Before you flip out, understand that this article is for you. If you enjoy wine, from the making of it to the pairing of it with different foods and everything in between, you have taken some time to get to know the intricate details of wine. There’s a refinement to enjoying wine, which is why you ‘enjoy’ it rather than ‘drink’ it. The same can be said of craft beer.

It’s not the same type of stuff you do handstands on kegs for. You take the time to really taste every ingredient. Now, this all seems well and good, but for some, it can be downright snobby, and if we’re being honest, these folks are right. Enjoying a good wine or beer is about simply enjoying a product derived from someone’s personal passion to create something inspiring and beautiful.

So, wine lovers, here’s a basic guide for understanding craft beer not only as a beverage but also as a convivial elixir for the masses:

Find A Place Nearby – You don’t have to go far to find a bar, restaurant, or even a movie theater that serves great craft beers. Find somewhere you feel comfortable & be prepared to learn.

Ask A Lot of Questions – One thing people shy away from in life is asking questions when they don’t know something. Stop that. The only way you’ll learn anything is by inquiring about it.

Go Out and Taste – Be willing to try new things. You can even use the flavor profiles of beers you’re familiar with to find beers that aren’t too ‘out there’.

Give Flavors More Than One Chance – Even if you don’t take to something at first, give it a chance later. You might be surprised by the way your taste buds adapt to flavors in beer. Remember the first time you tried beer? Most people are put off and recall the bitterness. That’s not the case anymore, which means you can’t count something out after only one taste.

Craft beer, like wine, is complicated & beautiful. That said, it’s also to be enjoyed with friends and family, as well as those who appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to making a truly great product. It can be a little intimidating to venture out and try something that strays from the flavors you’ve grown up knowing, but isn’t that what makes life so interesting?

How To Make Rice Wine Without Yeast

Ingredients you will need:

The minimal amount of ingredients you will be needing are simple and readily available
1. Sticky or muggy rice (2 cups)
2. One wine ball (mold)

Directions for the process:

Step 1
The first thing you need to do is to wash and clean the rice. For this purpose, fill the computing cup with cups of water and wash them thoroughly under the tap water in a sink basin. Wash them until the water runs clear. Prefer to use the muggy water as it generates delicious taste as compared to the plain rice.

Step 2
After you are done cleaning and washing the rice, keep them in boiling water for about an hour. The muggy rice you chose, cooks better after it has been flooded with water. When you are done keeping the rice in water for solid one hour, take them out using a strainer or a filter to get rid of the excess water.

Step 3
Take a steamer and boil 2 cups of water at its base, if do not possess a steamer then it is also okay as you can see use a pan (preferably an average size) to boil water.

Step 4
Give steam to the rice.

Step 5

When you notice that the water is starting to bubble, place the rice at the top section of the steamer and let it thoroughly fog for 25 to 30 minutes. If you are not using a steamer then you can set a strainer full of rice over the boiling hot water in the pan. However, you need to make sure one thing the rice do not feel the boiling, hot water. Place the lid of the pan and let the rice fog for about 25 minutes as explained above.

Step 6
After you done waiting for the steaming of the rice for approx. 25 mins. Remove the lid of the steamer and view the rice. If you still find them a little a crispy or solid, spin them over with the help of heatproof utensil, let the rice vapor a little more, and check every five minutes to see if the process is completed. Remove the rice from warmth when you are done having them steamed properly. Increase the rice on the cooking piece. When the rice has end baking, spoon the rice out on the cooking piece and let them cool properly. Before beginning the fermentation process, it is necessary to cool the properly and disperse the rice to displace the warmth properly among the rice.

Step 7
The fermentation process will take plenty of time so it needs patience but it will be worth the wait. As the rice wine can be decorated in different ways you can choose the one the suits you. You can select the same design and style bowls in which you processed the rice and then swirl it on a dish, you will achieve the for you will desire. In addition to, you can for the balls in various shapes, such as rabbit shape and soft bear toys and lots of different designs and styles.

Step 8
You can be creative and think of other unique and innovative ways to make your food more aesthetically pleasing such using chilies, coriander, cucumber and lots of different things.

Hope you would like this recipe to get the rice wine. You can enjoy it on various occasions like in the parties, on the dinner or celebrate and occasion. Everyone will be surprised when they will know that you have made the wines with your own hands. This too without using any yeast. The Chinese takeout boxes by TCB provide good boxes for the storage of the food products. For this service, contact thecustomboxes.com, they will provide you services in this regard.

Understanding Spanish Wine Classifications

Coming from the top wine exporter in the world, Spanish wine is known for its premium quality and exquisite taste. No wonder it is the most popular wine according to the latest international export figures.

But despite its popularity, not all Spanish wine lovers know the proper classifications. The Spanish wine qualifications are strictly followed by vineyards or regions. Having such knowledge will give you an edge as a consumer because not every Spanish wine exporter follow these regulations and you might end up paying more for a cheap wine.

Here’s a simple guide that will help you classify the Spanish wine you love.

DOC or Denominación de Origen Calificada

The wines under DOC are considered the most premium quality of the region since it is the strictest Spanish wine classification. Only the designated regions of Rioja in 1991, followed by Priorat in 2003 and Ribera del Duero in 2008 have the DOC title to date.

Vino de Pago (VP)

This classification is intended for individual single-estate with an international reputation and as of now, there are only 14 estates in Spain that have this status.

Denominación de Origen

DO System was organized in 1932 and is a classification similar to Italy’s Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (DOP), France’s Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) and Portugal’s Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC ).

The wines under DO represent high-quality wines from over 80 Spanish wine regions and considered as the mainstay of Spain’s quality control system.

Each region has its own designated Consejo regulardor who decides the boundaries, permits, maximum yields, limitations of alcohol content, and other quality standards production zone limitation.

Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD)

Proposed in 2005, this classification is considered as the stepping stone towards achieving DO status.

VdlT Sp. Vinos de la Tierra

Also known as country wines or wine of the land, this level is similar to France’s Vin de pays system.

Vino de Mesa (VdM)

All unclassified vineyards and grapes are under this designation, and usually refer to most country’s table wines.

Spanish Wine Aging Classification

Aside from classifying regions and vineyards, Spanish wines are also classified based on aging time. Mostly applied to red wines, each region may have their own classification, but is generally the following:

Joven or Cosecha

This means young, and no minimum aging is required. Mostly, the wines are directly bottled to age, no longer requires for barrel aging.

A Joven wine are known for its fresh fruity flavour and is best for immediate consumption.

Crianza

Crianza means aged and is required a minimum of 12 months in a barrel and another 12 months in bottle. However, aging requirements still depends on the regions. These wines are quite complex, and you can smell the oak and has soft tannins.

Reserva

The wines under reserve are those who are aged longer than 12 months, thus coined the term “reserve”. Although not followed by most regions, Reserva wines are followed by top vineyards and regions like Rioja.

However, such a term is sometimes used for a marketing strategy that is why you should buy only to Spanish wine exporters a reputable wine producers.

The Wine Lover’s Guide To Wine Bars

Over the course of the last few years, more people have started to regard going out for light snacks and drinks as a bit more of a fancy affair. They don’t mind getting a little dolled up for a fun evening, and some of the main destinations they have in mind are wine bars.

Wine bars are one of the hottest trends in the restaurant industry, and given the great ambience, convivial atmosphere, and rustic nature of these social hotbeds, it really should be of no surprise to anyone. However, if you’re a wine lover, you might find yourself a bit torn about whether or not it’s the proper way to really enjoy wine.

After all, there are centuries-old documentation of some vineyards, and families still take their stewardship of their family’s wine lineage very seriously many generations in. The notion that such a refined beverage as wine could find itself being consumed in a bar seems outrageous.

Then again, who gets to make the rules about enjoying wine? If you’re a wine lover but still on the fence about all of this, maybe you need a bit more insight into what these cool places bring to the table.

Here is a wine lover’s guide to wine bars:

Laid-back and Rustic – Unlike the usual settings we see for wine consumption and enjoyment being made up of sharp edges, stainless steel, and crisp white linens, wine bars are all about the rustic setting. They choose to embody the old-world vineyard spirit of letting the wine do the talking rather than the surroundings.

Not A New Idea – Wine bars actually go all the way back to the 1980s. This was a decade of excess and no restraints, and there was no better time to experiment in the often elite market of wine. The trend continued through the 1990s, though the popularity had waned. The rise of the foodie revolution has certainly been key in the resurgence of the wine bar in America.

Domestic Wine Development Pave the Way – Over the last fifty to seventy years, domestic wine has not only become a thing, it has made an impact on the global wine market. As more stateside wines earn their keep among the best the international community has to offer, the more people in the U.S. want to see what the hype is all about.

Local Flavors Reign Supreme – Wine bars are especially great for the local, small wine maker trying to gain a footing somewhere in the market. They create partnerships with wine bars, which gives them an ‘in’ to a broader audience.

Wine bars are big on the scene right now, but they aren’t anything new. What is new is the interest in wine and the tinge of class it brings to every setting in which it’s found. More and more chefs and restaurant owners are trying to find an edge on the competition, and they have found that the best way to do so is by making even the most luxurious ingredients and offerings more accessible.


Three Craft Beers For Non Beer Drinkers To Try

If you are the kind of person that has enjoyed one brand of beer for years, you are also the type of person that has been asked numerous times, “So, have you ever given any thought to a really good craft beer?” Depending on your audience, your answer may vary, but ultimately, you come to the conclusion that your beer of choice has been a part of your life for years, and it’ll stay that way.

Good on you for sticking to your guns, but with as many people who have asked you about craft beer, do you ever wonder if you’re missing out? What if there was someone who just didn’t enjoy beer or had made the decision to not drink beer? Is their not having tasted craft beer unsettled their general existence on this planet?

Technically, the sun has done right by us all and provided light when we’ve needed it, but as soon as we had electricity and light bulbs, we knew they were the future, right? When it comes to beer, the traditional stuff has always been great, but is craft beer a sign of the times?

Truth be told, craft beer is a return to old-school ways of making beer, but it has the added sensibility of being a bit experimental with exotic ingredients, all for the sake of developing a unique flavor profile you can’t find anywhere else.

If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the craft beer waters, here are three beers you should definitely try:

Luna Rosa Wit – Subtly spiced with coriander and rather than the orange peels traditionally added to Wits, we’ve added a puree of blood oranges, giving this unique beer a pink hue and refreshing citrus character. If you’re thinking about food pairings, veggie dishes and sushi would probably make a killer combination.

Nebulas Hazy IPA – Loaded with tropical and citrus flavors, this beer features Ciara and Mosaic hops to create an out-of-this-world, easy-drinking IPA. You could find foods that are pretty run of the mill to go with this beer, but maybe trying more of an international flair would make this beer really stand out. Dishes from the India, African, and the Middle East would be top candidates.

Flix Golden Ale – A light golden ale that starts slightly sweet and has a crisp and dry finish. Medium bodied, so it is satisfying for any palate and is extremely easy to drink. Sometimes, a good beer doesn’t need to be complicated with exotic food pairings. This bad-boy goes well with your standard backyard grill foods like brats, hotdogs, and hamburgers.

As you can see, craft beer is nothing to fear. It really is just a refinement of the flavors we’ve come to love in our own beer, but the hope is to take those flavors to very new levels. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, you may find yourself enjoying craft beer as part of some culinary experimentation. Either way, that sounds like a total win-win for everyone.