Tag: wine wednesday

Terroir: Does Your Wine Taste Like Somewhere?

by in Drinks, September 14th, 2011

terroir
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.

My friend Carl is an apple-cider savant. If you put three different glasses of cider in front of him, after a few sips of each, he can tell you which one is from Gravenstein Apples in Sonoma, which originated in Canada and which came from the Jonagold apples of central New Jersey. This is because the taste of each cider reflects where the apples come from — their geography and growing conditions — so each possesses a distinct aroma and taste.

So the same goes with wine.  Enthusiasts often talk of a wine’s terroir (tare-WAHR), the consistently identifiable taste that reflects where the grapes came from. A terroir-driven wine expresses not only its grape type, but also all of the natural conditions in which those grapes were grown: the soil type, the angle of slope on which it was grown and the particular micro climate there. Certain wine types, like from France’s Burgundy and Alsace regions, are known to express their terroir — that is, these wines have a unique personality that conveys the natural conditions from which they came. They express a “sense of somewhere,” which is how the term “terroir” is often translated from French, though there is no precise definition in English.

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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 »

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 »