Tag: outsmarting wine

Affordable Weeknight Wines — Outsmarting Wine

by in Drinks, August 31st, 2011

boxed wine
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

A word of reassurance to casual drinkers: Even wine pros like to drink simple, affordable wines most of the time.  While high-dollar, prestigious juice is always appreciated (especially when it’s on someone else’s dime), the eternal, ongoing quest is for delicious bottles that are as affordable as they are easy to come by.  Here are three types that will enchant any night of the week:

Vermentino: If you’re up for a more interesting alternative to Pinot Grigio, look no further than this fun-to-pronounce white from Italy. Increasingly in stores and restaurants, Vermentino is medium weight, with sassy notes of citrus and a clean, appetite-stoking finish and rarely a trace of oak.  Typically ringing up less than $15, it makes fast friends with seafood of all sorts, including this tangy, toothsome Red Mullet Wrapped in Paper.

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Tangy, (Sea)foodie Whites for Anne’s Scallops

by in Drinks, August 24th, 2011

wine for seafood
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

Anne Burrell’s Seared Scallops With Citrus, Arugula and Pomegranate Salad represents the best of both worlds: It’s light and citrusy enough to refresh the summer palate, but it’s also deeply delicious thanks to its caramelized scallops and garlic and onion accents.  These three white wines will harmonize beautifully with this sumptuous seafood salad:

Sauvignon Blanc: Because the dish is dominated by lip-smacking notes of lemon, grapefruit and pomegranate, your primary goal should be to choose a wine with a tanginess to match that in the recipe.  Sauvignon Blanc — especially plumper versions from California and New Zealand — will provide the citric snap that this dish deserves, while bringing enough weight to stand up to its piquant flavors.  Moreover, the wine’s famously herbal “grassy” quality in wine-speak makes it a bull’s-eye choice with greens like arugula.

Pair seafood with Chardonnay and Albarino »

Some Like It Cool: Serving Temperature and Wine

by in Drinks, August 17th, 2011

wine in bucket
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

The serving temperature of wine is like weather conditions in a city: Small differences can vastly change your attitude about what’s in front of you.  The following guidelines will cast your wine in the most flattering light:

White wine: It’s no surprise that most of us like our whites — along with our rosés and sparklers — fully chilled.  It’s just more refreshing that way. At the same time, if you are drinking a special white — say, an expensive California Chardonnay or French Pinot Gris — in a setting where you really want to appreciate its subtleties, you might allow a cold white to warm up 15 minutes or so before serving. As eating a frozen Snickers bar demonstrates, coldness numbs our perception of flavor.  A slightly warmer temperature, therefore, unleashes a fine white wine’s aromas and flavors.

Tips for red wine after the jump »

Sips for Hot Summer Nights — Outsmarting Wine

by in Drinks, August 10th, 2011

summer wine
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

There’s no shame in the expression, “I don’t want to have to think,” when it comes to selecting wine for the sizzling soirées of summer.  At this steamy time of year, even wine aficionados want their pleasure immediate and their price tags moderate.  When contemplating which corks to pull, strive for the alcoholic equivalent of a steel drum or the Black Eyed Peas’ exuberant “I Gotta Feeling” — these wine types are guaranteed to make “tonight a good night.”

Prosecco, Vinho Verde and Beaujolais »

3 Sizzling Wine Types for BBQ — Outsmarting Wine

by in Drinks, August 3rd, 2011

rose wine for bbq
Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

The aromatherapy of summer is the sweet perfume of a fired-up grill, accompanied by wine that complements whatever happens to be sizzling and smoking above the coals.

If burgers or steaks are your ‘cue of choice, you’ll never go wrong with a rich, fruit-forward red, preferably one with hints of smoke to match the food’s flavor and a tinge of oaky sweetness to flatter the meat’s marinade.  Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and simple versions of Cabernet Sauvignon get the job done with aplomb, often with a slightly dry sensation that pairs so well with the protein and fats of red meat.  If the weather is as sweltering as your grill, don’t hesitate to make these reds more refreshing by giving them 10 or so minutes of refrigerator time.

Wine recommendations for hot dogs, chicken and more »