3 Ways on How to Enjoy Port

Port: This fortified sweet wine is made with a blend of red grapes from the Douro River Valley in Portugal. It’s often enjoyed alongside desserts (especially with chocolate) or, more modernly, served as an aperitif over ice with a simple garnish. Since there’s always a reason to have a bottle of Port on hand, here are several tips to help you enjoy it to the fullest.

How to Enjoy Port

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Straight: The most sophisticated way to enjoy Port wine is to serve it straight up, or “neat,” in a proper Port glass. Of course, not all Port wines are fine enough to be enjoyed in this manner. Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Tawny Port that is more than a decade old are the styles to look for (with a few special exceptions).

Cocktails: Port cocktails are a simple, fun, and delicious take on this very classic wine. The styles to seek out for cocktails include White, Pink, Ruby, and Tawny Port.

Cooking: Port wine reduction sauce is amazing drizzled over steaks and roasted meats, but it also works well when served ontop of ice cream or used in rich, layered chocolate cake. Although all styles of Port work well for cooking, the most economical option is a Ruby Port, which just so happens to have a long shelf life too.

Straight

Serious Port

Taylor Fladgate 2011 LBV with Scott Zwiesel Official Port Glass

A small sipper of Port is a marvelous way to wind down the day or end an evening meal. Not to mention that a sipper a day may keep the doctor away. In fact, the matriarch of Port, Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, is said to have drunk a glass of Port each night to stay healthy. Antónia also happened to live to the age of 85, which is a particularly remarkable feat in the 1800s.

Styles: Vintage Port, Late-Bottled Vintage Port, and Tawny Port

Classic Pairings: Portuguese/Spanish almonds, Stilton cheese, Portuguese blood sausage

Serving: Port is best served in 3 oz (~75 ml) portions at 55–68ºF (13–20ºC) in dessert wine or official Port wine glasses. If you do not have dessert wine glasses, use white wine glasses or sparkling wine glasses.

Serving Older Vintage Port: Vintage Ports are best enjoyed either within the first 5 years of release or after 20+ years of bottle aging. The longer they age, the more fascinating they become. Of course, old bottles of Port are challenging to open due to the fragility of the cork. A Durand wine opener or monopol are perhaps the best tools for opening these wines, but if you don’t have these tools handy, use a regular waiter’s friend and pour it through a stainless steel strainer into a decanter to remove any cork pieces. There is an even more elaborate way to open Port involving glowing hot Port tongs and a wet feather, which is amazing to see.

Storing an Open Bottle of Port

Most Port wines last open for about a month. That said, we were surprised to try a 20-year-old Tawny Port that had been open for 15 years (stored in a cellar), which was quite fresh and vibrant! The ideal place to store Port is in a cellar (~53ºF) but if you don’t have one, a refrigerator will do nicely, just be sure to let it warm a bit before serving.

Port Cocktails

Port Reimagined
Port Wine Cocktail - Ruby on the Rocks
Because of our move away from very sweet wines, you’ll see the Portuguese using Port wine in new and delicious ways. Here are several awesome cocktails made with Port wine:

White Port & Tonic
  • 3 oz White Port
  • 3 oz Tonic
  • Pour over ice into a tall glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Ruby on the Rocks
  • 3 oz Ruby Port
  • Pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Bar Drake Manhattan by David Wondrich
  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • 1 spoonful of Maple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Stir with ice in a mixing glass and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherries.

Cocktail by David Wondrich

Ruby Royale
  • 3 oz Brut sparkling wine
  • 1 oz Ruby Port
  • Pour Ruby Port into a flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of orange.
Pink Port Cocktail
  • 3 oz Pink Port
  • 3 oz Soda water
  • 2 Strawberries and 4 mint leaves
  • In a mixing glass, muddle strawberries and mint with Pink Port. Top with ice, transfer to tulip glass, and top with soda water.

Port Wine Sauce

The finishing touch
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Port Reduction Sauce for savory dishes
This savory-sweet sauce is excellent with roast meats and steak. For example, try it on steak topped with blue cheese crumbles. There are many great variations of this recipe (including balsamic, rosemary, and mint), so think carefully and choose what’s best for your dish.

Port Reduction Sauce Recipe by Taylor’s

Port Reduction Sauce for sweets
This very berry sauce with faint citrus accents is delicious over plain vanilla ice cream or poured over a dried fruit pound cake.

Port Wine Reduction Sauce by Emeril Lagasse


Port Wine Brands

There are many amazing Port producers in the world today. Here are some of the largest and most well-known Port houses to know (organized alphabetically):
Ramos Pinto Vintage Wine Poster

  • Burmester
  • Churchill’s
  • Cockburn’s
  • Croft
  • Dow’s
  • Ferreira
  • Fonseca
  • Graham’s
  • Kopke
  • Quinta do Noval
  • Quinta do Vesuvio
  • Ramos Pinto
  • Sandeman
  • Taylor’s
  • Warre’s

 

Montepulciano Wine Guide

Montepulciano (“mon-ta-pull-channo”) is a medium-bodied red wine grape that is supposed to have originated in central Italy. Montepulciano wines are commonly confused with Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, a regional name for the Sangiovese-based wine in Tuscany.

Montepulciano Wine Guide

Montepulciano is the 2nd most planted red grape in Italy (after Sangiovese) and has had a reputation for low-priced juicy “pizza-friendly” red wines. Fortunately, there are several producers in Abruzzo that have shown the amazing potential of this grape by producing inky, black-fruit driven, chocolatey wines best enjoyed after 4 or more years of aging.

 Food Pairing with Montepulciano

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Medium-bodied red wines like Montepulciano generally pair with a wide variety of foods due to natural elevated acidity. However, with Montepulciano, the robust herbal and tobacco-like flavors with grippy tannin often call for richer and more savory foods. Montepulciano will cut through some of the meatiest meats (like beef brisket) and pair nicely alongside rich, roasted winter vegetables. If you learn only one tip about pairing with Montepulciano, it is to match it with something with substance (fat).

Examples
Meat
Roasted Pork Shoulder, Beef Burgers with Mushrooms, Beef Bolognese, Barbecued Beef Brisket, Beef Tacos, Filipino Beef Adobo, Braised Goat, Shepard’s Pie, Meatloaf, Meat Lover’s Pizza
Cheese
Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Aged Cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago, Pepper Jack
Herb/Spice
Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Coriander, Black Pepper, Cumin, Caraway, Chipotle, Cocoa, Coffee, Balsamic
Vegetable
Stuffed Baked Potato, Southern-style Collard Greens, Black Bean Burgers, Roasted Mushrooms, Pinto Beans, Wild Rice, Winter Beets, Winter Farro, Sunchokes

Regional Montepulciano Wines of Italy

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Looking into the vineyards in the Offida region within the Ascoli Piceno province of Marche. by Offida Rosso

Italian wines are often labeled by region, so here is a guide to the regionally-named wines that are primarily made with the Montepulciano grape:

  • Abruzzo
    • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC (85% minimum)
    • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG (90% minimum)
    • Controguerra Rosso DOC (60% minimum)
  • Marche
    • Rosso Conero DOC (85% minimum)
    • Rosso Piceno DOC (30–70%)
    • Offida Rosso DOCG (85% minimum)
  • Molise
    • Biferno DOC (60–70%)
  • Puglia
    • San Severo Rosso DOC (70% minimum)

Two Profiles of Montepulciano Wine

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holding Montepulciano grapes in the Offida Rosso region of Marche. by Offida Rosso

Producers of Montepulciano wine in Italy generally follow one of 2 winemaking ideologies: those who use new oak to age their wines and those who don’t.

Oak-aged Montepulciano

Oak-aged Montepulciano wines have, by far, garnered the most enthusiastic following abroad due to their richness. These wines exhibit deep black-fruit flavors such as boysenberry, blackberry and prune, licorice, and oaky flavors of cocoa, vanilla and mocha. The wines are inky and sometimes have grippy tannin so look for one with about 4 or so years of age. Expect to spend anywhere from $30–$80 for a great one.

Neutral-aged Montepulciano

Because Montepulciano has a lot of anthocyanin (color) in the skins, some producers make a lighter style or even a rosato (rosé) by having less contact with the skins during fermentation. The wines come out bursting with red fruit flavors of sour cherry, red plum, cranberry and raspberry jam, and are supported with subtle notes of violet, dried herbs, and often an ash-like earthiness. Expect to spend about $9–$15 for a great bottle.

 

How to Choose Champagne

Choosing a bottle of Champagne can be stressful for a couple of different reasons. In the first place, Champagne is not cheap, so it’s not a purchase to fool around with. Additionally, Champagne’s production methods, regional differences, and labeling jargon can make it quite intimidating to most of us. The notes below will help you identify the important things to pay attention to when choosing a bottle of Champagne. So, whether you love a creamy, toasty style of Champagne or like it dry and lean, you’ll be able to pick out your next bottle of Champagne with confidence.

To get started, let’s get one thing out of the way: not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne specifically refers to sparkling wine made in the region of Champagne, France. The reason it’s worth mentioning is because this guide is specifically about this French Champagne. If you’re interested, there are other guides on Cava, Crémant, and Prosecco too.

Sweetness Level

Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry, Dry, and Doux

Champagne Sweetness Levels Illustrated by Wine Folly
All Champagne is labeled with a word that indicates its sweetness level. The sweetness in Champagne is unlike sweetness in wine because this sweetness comes in the form of a sweetened “dosage” (a mixture of wine and sugar or grape must) that’s added to the wine at the end of its second fermentation (the part that makes the bubbles). The reason there is a dosage in Champagne is because the acidity is usually soo high, the wine would otherwise be undrinkable. Just so you know, most Champagne is produced with a Brut level of sweetness. Here are the sweetness terms and what they mean:

Brut Nature
Bone Dry (0–3 g/L sugar). No added sweetness with 0–2 sugar calories per 5/oz serving. 
Extra Brut
Bone Dry (0–6 g/L sugar). A touch of added sweetness to balance Champagne’s naturally high acidity. 0–5 sugar calories per glass.
Brut
Dry (0–12 g/L sugar). The average Champagne dosage is usually around 6–10 g/L which adds body to the Champagne although, coupled with the high acidity level, it will taste dry or even bone dry. Brut Champagne adds just 5–7 sugar calories per glass.
Extra Dry
Fruity (12–17 g/L sugar). The level of sweetness is still low enough that Extra Dry Champagne will usually taste mostly dry, but with a distinctly more fruit-forward character. Adds 7–10 sugar calories per 5 oz pour.
Dry
Off-Dry (17–32 g/L sugar). A fruity and somewhat sweet style of Champagne with a richer body and texture. Adds about 10–20 sugar calories per glass.
Demi-Sec
Sweet (32–50 g/L sugar). A noticeably sweet style of Champagne that is perfect alongside desserts or cheeses and nuts. Adds 20–30 sugar calories per serving.
Doux
Sweet (50+ g/L sugar). A dessert-style of Champagne that is now relatively rare to find. Very sweet fruit flavors and pairs nicely with creamy desserts (without chocolate). Adds over 30 sugar calories per 5 oz glass.

Style

Standard, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Rosé

Illustrations of bottles of Champagne Rosé, Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs by Wine Folly
There are 3 grapes used to make Champagne (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier) and how these grapes are used (or not used) determines the resulting style. If Champagne doesn’t have a style listed, you can assume that the producer made it in the standard style, which is a blend of all three grapes in a blanc (white) style.

Blanc de Blancs

(AKA white of whites) This is a blanc style Champagne made with 100% white grapes. In Champagne, this means it will be 100% Chardonnay. There are, of course, a few rare exceptions to this rule with a few very rare grapes (in the same region) including Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Arbane, but for the most part, Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay. Blanc de Blancs typically have more lemon and apple-like fruit flavors.

Blanc de Noirs

(white of blacks) This is a blanc style Champagne made with 100% black grapes. In Champagne, this means some combination of just Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier. Blanc de Noirs typically have more strawberry and white raspberry flavors.

Rosé

The pink style is made usually by blending blanc Champagne with a teensy bit of red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier wine. The red wine made for Champagne is very different than the Pinot Noir you might think of. Its purpose is to provide pure fruit flavors such as strawberry and raspberry in the taste, along with little to no tannin and very high acidity. It doesn’t take a lot red wine to make rosé, in fact, several producers use 10% or less Pinot Noir for their rosé Champagne.


Aging

Vintage vs Non-Vintage Champagne

Vintage vs Non-Vintage Champagne by Wine Folly
One of the least talked about and most important factors that plays into the taste of Champagne is how long it’s aged. Aging Champagne on “tirage” (as they call it) gives it more bready, toasty, and nutty aromas – highlights of great Champagne. The best producers with the nuttiest wines are known to age their wines on “tirage” for as long as 5–7 years before release. Even though tirage time is usually not listed, the vintage style will give you a clue.

Non-Vintage
Aged for a minimum of 15 months. Non-vintage (NV) Champagne exists so that producers can make a consistent house style each year (regardless of the quality of that year’s harvest). So, if you buy an NV Champagne, you can expect it to be a fruitier and less yeasty style of Champagne.
Vintage
Aged for a minimum of 36 months. On special years when the harvest is good, producers will create a special single-vintage intended to age for a longer period, and that will usually develop into a creamy and yeasty style of Champagne.

Regional Classification

Premier Cru, Grand Cru, Autre Cru

grand-cru-champagne-illustration
Another feature on many bottles of Champagne is the commune name signifying where the grapes were grown. There are hundreds of communes, but only 42 have Premier Cru vineyards and just 17 have Grand Cru vineyards and are labeled as such. These classifications mean the vineyards have demonstrated their ability to produce exceptional wine grapes that make high-quality Champagnes. Of course, many experts believe that there are several “autre” crus (other crus) which are equally worthy, but if you have a wine with one of these classifications listed, it’s going to be a pretty good bet.


Producer Classification

Récoltant Manipulant (RM), Négociant Manipulant (NM), etc.

grower-champagne-types-of-rm-nm
If you’re one to support independent producers, there’s a useful notation on a Champagne label. Champagne classifies its producers and there are essentially 3 types of producers in Champagne: Maisons (big guys), Cooperatives (medium guys) and Vignerons (little guys).

Maisons are the big Champagne houses (Moët, Veuve Clicquot, Perrier, Bollinger, etc.) and they source their grapes from all over Champagne. Here are the label terms often associated with Maisons and other large producers:

  • NM “Négociant Manipulant” A producer who buys all or some of his grapes from other growers. Anything less than 94% estate fruit must be labeled NM. Maison Champagne is labeled with this producer class, but it’s not entirely uncommon to see grower Champagne under this classification as well.
  • MA “Marque d’Acheteur” aka ‘Buyer’s Own Brand’ A large retail or restaurant that buys a finished wine and sells it under their own private label. If you’ve ever seen a supermarket have their own brand or a fashion brand, this is probably MA.
  • ND “Négociant Distributeur” A buyer who labels and distributes Champagne that they neither grew nor produced.

Cooperatives are in specific villages in Champagne and make a cuvée with multiple growers in the same region (Nicolas Feuillatte, etc.).

  • CM “Coopérative Manipulant” A grower’s co-op that pools resources and produces wine under a single brand.

Vignerons are grower-producers, or a single family/person who grows his own grapes in a specific place and makes his own wine.

  • RM “Récoltant Manipulant” A grower-producer who uses a minimum of 95% estate fruit. This is classically considered the Champagne grower-producer type, although, it’s possible for a Maison to use this classification on a sub-label or brand.
  • SR “Société de Récoltants” A union of growers who shares resources and collectively markets their own brands.
  • RC “Récoltant Coopérateur” A grower-producer who has their own Champagne brand made at a co-op facility.

Regional Terroir

Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Côte des Bar, etc.

Wine Map of Champagne France by Wine Folly

The last and most in-depth discussion pertaining to choosing Champagne relates to where the grapes were grown. There are 5 main growing regions of Champagne and each is known for some distinct qualities. Of course, there are many exceptions to these rules, but for the most part, you’ll find Champagnes from the various regions to follow these traits.

Montagne de Reims

A hill south of Reims with many sloping vineyards that face south or southeast that allow wine grapes to achieve optimal ripeness. The focus here is on Pinot Noir which leads to a more full-bodied style of Champagne with bigger, richer flavors. The area contains 10 of the 17 Grand Cru vineyards including Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay, and Mailly-Champagne. For example, the prestigious Champagne brand, Krug, uses grapes from the Montagne de Reims.

Vallée de la Marne

The valley along the Marne river has many slopes planted with vineyards. There is just one Grand Cru vineyard here, Aÿ, which is located right outside of the city called Épernay. The focus in Vallée de la Marne is on the Pinot Meunier grape, which has an easier time ripening here (because it can be cooler) and produces a rich style of Champagne with more smoky and mushroomy flavors.

Côte des Blancs

This is a slope that faces east and collects the sun. Côte des Blancs is primarily planted with Chardonnay and contains the remaining 6 Grand Cru vineyard areas of Champagne. This is Blanc des Blancs country, producing some of the finest single-varietal Champagne wines on the market.

Côte de Sézanne

South of the Côte des Blancs is another slope which has many vineyards on it, with a similar dominance in Chardonnay. Despite the potential to this region, you’ll mostly find these wines blended into larger Maisons.

Côte des Bar

This region is far from the rest of the Champagne on the border between Champagne and Burgundy. This area is mostly planted with Pinot Noir and produces a richer style of Champagne, similar to that of Montagne de Reims. However, because the area is a relative newcomer in making Champagne, it doesn’t have a single Grand Cru or Premier Cru vineyard to demarcate its quality. Côte des Bar is a great place to look for exceptional value.


Last Word: Nothing To Lose

If you are a fan of sparkling wine, Champagne is the benchmark of quality and well worth a taste. Regardless of what you buy, just remember this: worst case scenario is you hate it and turn it into a delicious mimosa. We won’t tell anyone. Promise.

Wine Education Course Overview

I’ve got several requests for tips on passing wine exams and how useful it is to get a WSET certificate,  it definitely helped me a lot with the framework of the world’s wine regions and winemaking knowledge.

There are all together 4 levels in WSET programme, which leads you to the title of Master of Wine if you are the luckiest few who survives till the end. For wine lovers, especially those who devote all their passions to wine, it would be great to have this title- Mater of Wine, isn’t it cool?!

Without further ado, let’s take a close view on what are all these courses about…

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 Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET)

Highest Certificate Level 4  Diploma

What wine jobs will WSET help you get?
  • Marketing/Account Manager in a wine-related business
  • Sensory Analyst
  • Wine Educator
  • Wine Distribution Management
  • Wine Region Educational Director
  • Wine Marketing and Wine Sales Leadership Roles

www.wsetglobal.com

WSET Wine and Spirit Education Trust New Logo

WSET is approachable

For those who are new to the food and beverage industry and would like more direction than given by their place of employment, this is the place to start. This educational series is also great for those outside of the industry that just want to learn more.

The multi-tiered Level Awards make this program very approachable to the most novice of wine enthusiasts. And there is an element of “choose your own adventure.” Want to be more wine or more spirits savvy? Take the level courses for one or the other, or do both. Not all these courses are required to move up to the intermediate and advanced level awards and you do not have to take all the classes.

WSET Level 1 This is a beginner level course designed for anyone trying to get into wine.
WSET Level 2 If you can prove advanced knowledge you can start with WSET Level 2.
WSET Level 3  A Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits or equivalent is recommended.

Wine & Spirits
This course is 7 days of actual classes but outside study time is necessary. Tasting technique and learning about production and distribution of wine and spirits is the main focus. This could be an ideal class for those in distribution, retail or supervisory roles. Completing a 50 question multiple choice test, with a short answer quiz, and properly written tasting notes on two wines is necessary to obtain this award. 
Resume-building benefits
Passing the Level 3 WSET will award you the ability to apply to use the WSET Certified Advanced Logo on your resume.

WSET Level 4 & Diploma WSET Level 3 is a prerequisite. Receiving a WSET Diploma is a great segue into the IMW.

This is where the courses jump into the globalization and marketing of wine in addition to in-depth wine theory. Short multiple choice exams become passé at this point. A 6 unit exam looms as the gateway to your diploma.

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 Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)

Highest Certificate Master of Wine.

What wine jobs will IMW help you get?
  • Marketing/Account Director in a wine related business
  • Sensory Analyst or Wine Analyst
  • Wine Director of Education and Programming for large retail, restaurant or hotel chain.
  • Wine Region Director
  • Wine Program Manager in Media or Marketing
  • International Wine Business Director

www.mastersofwine.org

Master of Wine Logo

Prerequisite required.

Acceptance into IMW involves already having a strong core of wine knowledge and experience, made evident by a WSET Level 4 Diploma or equivalent, and having the recommendation from a few Masters of Wine (MW). If you want to pursue a career in the marketing of wine, or as a wine educator; becoming a Master of Wine holds a lot of cachet in both fields. Be prepared to work your ass off. This ain’t no cakewalk. They call you a Master for a reason.

 

What it’s like to pursue the Master of Wine title

Although a syllabus and a personal Master of Wine mentor is provided, setting your rigorous study schedule is up to you. A school year runs from October to May, and it takes at least two of these cycles to just be accepted to take the exam to be then accepted into the Institute. It is the Holy Tabernacle of Wine Certification. The directive with the Institute is to elevate the skills of critical thinking and articulation within each student in matters of wine; with special focus given to international business, and wine analysis on a viticultural and vinicultural level. This is accomplished by annual residential seminars lasting 5 days that are led by Masters of Wine and lots and lots of writing. The first year narrows in on reinforcing gaps in theory, service and wine analysis. An assessment exam of essays at the end determine whether a student progresses to the second year. The second year ups the ante with regular course assignments added to your self study regime. This serves as a continuation of fine-tuning a student’s ability to present their knowledge of any business of wine in a succinct and effective manner.

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Taking the MW exam

To become a Master of Wine you will endure a 3-part examination. Theory and Practical first; if passed, then a dissertation. All are comprised of, surprise! lots of writing. Theory is four papers, three hours apiece. Practical is three blind flights of 12 wines where, in addition to identification, the wines must be analyzed for their quality, winemaking, and style. The 10,000 word dissertation must be on an original wine topic chosen by the student and approved by the Institute.

wine-books

While preparing for my WSET level 4, few words to share with those who decided to take the same path as mine: It is NOT as easy as you have imagined, not at all! nevertheless, it does’t mean it cannot be achieved. If i can do it, you can definitely do it!

While we suffer from all the papers and theories, we learn, we grow and eventually we are more confident to call ourselves – wine lovers & grape adventurers!

Cheers to all!

 

 

2016 MEDOC MARATHON

I am going for Medoc Marathon in September 2016! Seriously training myself at the moment, Running the marathon involves much more than endurance and a good pair of sneakers.  I am so excited to embrace this challenge in my life, and what’s more, to embrace all the beautiful chateaux that comes along the way!

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Le Marathon du Medoc- An annual race in France, which calls itself the world’s longest marathon, is attempting to ease runners pain by offering them gourmet food and wine on the way to the finish line.

More than 30 châteaux, 50 music bands, 23 wine tastings plus some delicacies such as oysters, foie gras, entrecôte… Yes it is unique in the world, soooo French and so much worth a try!  

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It takes place around Pauillac near Bordeaux on 10 September – sees runners dress up in Carnival-themed outfits to run the 26-mile (42.2km) circuit. Along the way they can tuck into a banquet of French delicacies from oysters to ice cream, washed down with glasses of fine wine.

Participants get a rather generous six-and-a-half hours to complete the race, allowing time for pit stops at various chateaux lining the route. The hardest part for the runners, may be to stay on a straight path. “Above all, I’m going to take advantage of the festivities,” runner 44-year-old Bernard tells regional paper La Depeche du Midi.

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Adventure: from Grape to Wine

I always like to see myself as a small grape, still green, short of sweetness, dreaming about one day to become part of a great wine- Tasted all sorrows and joy, and been tasted by generations after.

It was funny why I insisted to have this funny little name- Grape adventure. It doesn’t even sound like a real deal, but maybe this is something i firmly believe in since the very beginning- everyone is like a green grape at first, but we need to put all our efforts in our lives to be nearer to wine, and if possible, a great wine to remember.

My adventure has started long before, and this year I have very excited news to share with you in September, and I decided to let more people with enthusiasm in life to join me, and share their adventurous spirits.

so, look closely to our next event.

see you all very soon!

 

2015-my summary of wine learning

2015 is going to pass by, like any other past years in our lives.

looking back, i have spent most of this year studying or tasting wine: i passed the exams of WSET Level 2 and continued Level 3 exam in December.

I have to say i have not regretted at all to sacrifice my casual time in studying the wine maps and memorising the name of grape varieties. What i have learned is enormous and i have decided to go even further to explore the wine world.

it is funny how i thought learning about wine in the very beginning: i thought it’s about swirling the wine glasses and sharing with others whether or not i like the wine… But truth is: no one in the serious business of wine world will jumped into conclusion rudely without lots of knowledge about the region, the terrior, the winemaker, the grape…

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Just like any other things in life, nothing is so easy to accomplish, and if you ever dive into any field, there are so much to learn and so much fun alongside while you explore the journey. I’ve got a chance to dreaming about travelling around vineyards around the world, by knowing beforehand the history and culture related, by understanding why they choose to plant in this way or make wine in that way. by knowing their climate and altitude , and how they fight with the natural disasters and mitigate the risk of sunburn, flood, hail, diseases, phylloxera…

it came up to me that we human beings are such a clever creature who invent this delicious drink 6000 years ago and manage to hand the culture down by generations. on the other hand, i realised that our mother nature has always give us just enough set-backs and know we have to respect her, and all different types of speciality in nature nurtures the wine to be himself/ herself- some are muscular and some are elegant and soft. each of them have their own characteristics and just like us, we are proud of who we are individually and i am also proud of all the beautiful bottles as how they are and all of us are universally unique!

i would like to give thanks to this year 2015, to all the lovely people around me and to all the fantastic wines i have tasted!

Cheers to our beautiful lives!

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Etiquette Tips To Master

When you’re not in the privacy of your own home (snorting a bottle of wine down with your favorite coffee mug) you’ll want to employ some wine etiquette. Etiquette is one of those things that, on the surface, seems unnecessary but it is a powerful tool. It is the outward way of showing that you are, indeed, not a monster.

Wine Etiquette tips (e.g. you are not a monster)

Wine etiquette can be useful in many situations:

  • Business dinners
  • Meeting the parents
  • Formal gatherings
  • Classy dinner dates

So, here are some of the most important practices to become familiar with:

9 Wine Etiquette Habits to Know

wine-folly-holding-a-wine-glass Hold your glass by the stem or the base.
wine-folly-smelling-wine Smell your wine. Sniff it, taste it, and think about it.
wine-folly-glass-lip-marks Try to drink from the same position on your wine glass to reduce unsightly mouth marks
wine-folly-how-to-open-wine When opening a wine bottle, try to do it quietly, like a ninja
wine-folly-clinking-glasses-so-they-dont-break When clinking: clink glasses bell to bell (it reduces breakage) and look your clinking-buddy in the eye.
wine-folly-holding-a-wine-bottle Pouring wine? hold the bottle towards the base.
wine-folly-standar-pour-size Fill your glass less than half way to give your wine room to breathe.
wine-folly-servings-of-wine Try to keep your portion of drinking equivalent to the other people around you.
wine-folly-almost-empty-barolo-bottle Offer wine to others before pouring seconds for yourself.

from: http://winefolly.com/tutorial/list-of-wine-etiquette-tips/

99 Reasons To Drink Wine

Feel the need to justify your new wine habit? We’re here to remind you why you love wine with 99 reasons why you’ve been drinking it.

  1. Because fermentation is fascinating.
    Because Fermentation is Fascinating
  2. There’s no such thing as wine-belly
    There's no such thing as wine-belly
  3. You need a serving of fruit everyday.
  4. Because beyond college, Master’s and Ph.D., this might just be the last tier of a higher education.
  5. You were going to give it as a gift, but decided to keep it for yourself.
  6. Some people find violet-stained teeth inexplicably attractive.
  7. You secretly enjoy the scent of sweaty saddle leather/ petroleum/ a mushroom forest.
    You secretly enjoy the scent of sweaty saddle leather
  8. Because people look at you funny when you sniff, swirl, and slurp a glass of milk
  9. How else can you justify using words like supple, brawny, fleshy, and gripping.
    How else can you justify using words like supple, brawny, fleshy and gripping
  10. It pairs well with…well, everything.
  11. It stains your tongue (just like those awesome blue lollipops once did).
  12. How else are you going to finish that wine-cork Pinterest craft?
  13. Waking up with a wine line across your bottom lip is a token of a night well spent.
  14. You just learned how to properly pronounce Gah-vurz-tra-meener…even though you still can’t spell it.
  15. You recently watched a YouTube video on how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew and you had to give it a try yourself.
  16. Mimosas are an acceptable breakfast food.
    Mimosas are an acceptable Breakfast food
  17. You’re so fancy (Iggy Azalea).
  18. Because the pursuit of happiness is an unalienable right (and the movie was pretty good too).
  19. Taylor Swift songs put you in the mood for a glass of red. #love-em #hate-em
  20. You still believe in the merits of 2-Buck Chuck.
  21. You wanted to class-up the block party.
  22. It makes you socially fearless.
    Because wine makes you socially fearless
  23. Your Spanish conjugations improve after a glass or two.
  24. It’s important to hydrate after waking up.
  25. The Pope does.
  26. They say it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, even though it turns out that’s really not true.
  27. Stemmed wineglasses make you feel like a real adult.
  28. You need something to wash down an awkward social experience.
    You need something to wash down that awkward social experience.
  29. The recipe calls for 2 TB of white wine and you don’t believe in wastefulness.
  30. You can’t afford a massage and this is the next best thing.
  31. Wine tasting is like bar hopping during the day.
    Wine tasting is like bar hoping during the day
  32. Wine keeps you feeling and looking younger.
  33. The wine aisle feels like an oasis of happiness.
  34. It’s the only investment you can drink.
  35. It’s Monday night and it’s going to be a long week.
  36. Tuesdays need to be appreciated too.
  37. Wednesday starts with the letter “W.”
    Wednesday starts with a W
  38. It’s Thursday and there’s still wine leftover from #WineWednesday.
  39. It’s Friday night and you (don’t) have plans.
  40. It’s Sunday night and Monday morning looms.
  41. Because five glasses in a bottle is a screaming good bargain.
  42. Because it’s time to call your mother.
    Because it's time to call your mom
  43. Because your mother-in-law just called.
  44. Because you removed your cellphone battery so that no one can call and interrupt your “Me Time.”
  45. Because you just deleted your facebook account.
  46. Your dinner plate looks lonely.
  47. The holidays are coming.
    The holidays are coming
  48. The holidays are over.
  49. Networking events make you feel nauseous.
    Networking events make you feel nauseous
  50. Your office called you and told you not to come in tomorrow, or ever again.
  51. You didn’t get the job/girl/boy/loan/joke.
    Reason #51: You didn't get the job/ girl/ boy/ loan/ joke.
  52. Your grandma just asked you to help teach her how to use her smartphone.
  53. You’re getting married.
  54. You’re not getting married.
  55. 9 months carrying a baby made you very thirsty.
    9 months carrying a baby made you very thirsty
  56. It’s the sweetest reward for surviving rush hour traffic and not yelling expletives.
  57. It removes stage fright almost instantly.
  58. Because it takes the stress out of air travel including altitude, recycled air, feeling like a sardine, and the chatty Kathy next to you.
  59. Studies suggest that wine may increase the sexual appetite of women.
  60. It makes your jokes funnier.
  61. It makes everyone else’s jokes funnier.
  62. Because wine ages well implies that you’ll age well too.
  63. Your dance moves need all the help they can get.
    Your dance moves need all the help they can get.
  64. If the glass is half empty, you’re not a pessimist, you open another bottle.
  65. Gorgeous wine labels make you feel warm and fuzzy.
  66. There’s something incongruent with drinking beer in a bubble bath.
  67. Because Benjamin Franklin was on to something: “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”
  68. How else were you planning to finish your term paper?
    How else were you planning to finish your term paper?
  69. Sometimes if you get the fermented juices flowing the creative juices will follow.
  70. Wine tasting parties bring together dozens of bottles in one place and you don’t even have to feel guilty about trying them all.
  71. You know you want to.
  72. There are so many words that sound better with the word “wine” in-front of them: bottle, box, bag, world, vacation, dinner, store, snorkel…
  73. The less you dust, the more expensive your collection looks.
    The less you dust, the more expensive your collection looks.
  74. We should all participate in water conservation.
  75. Because “wine and food pairing” sounds like they’re not meant to be apart.
  76. The movie #Somm was equal parts scary and inspiring.
  77. You’re Italian/ French/ American/ Argentinian/ Human.
  78. Mulled wine is better than Febreze.
    Reason #78: mulled wine is better than Febreze
  79. Grapes are a foundational part of the food pyramid.
  80. It’s after dark.
  81. Because someone offered to buy you a drink–might as well taste the good stuff.
  82. Because you said you’d never try online dating, yet here you are.
  83. It’s an election year.
    Reason #83 It's an election year
  84. It’s not an election year.
  85. Last week you finally identified a smoky flavor in wine and you want to see if you can do
    it again.
  86. Because sangria is practically a fruit salad, which makes it a health food.
    Because sangria is practically a fruit salad, which makes it a health food.
  87. You’re trying to remember something.
  88. You’re trying to forget something.
  89. You need more room in the refrigerator shelf.
  90. Tailgating with Malbec tastes better.
    Tailgating with malbec tastes better.
  91. Wine is more delicious than straight-up vodka.
  92. It’s important to teach your kids good drinking habits.
  93. You need to wash the chocolate down with something.
  94. The calories have been counted and it’s clear that beer is not the winner.
  95. An article in your Facebook news feed says red wine is good for the heart.
  96. Because everyone knows red wine is good for a broken heart.
    Because everyone knows red wine is good for a broken heart.
  97. It’s like a mini-vacation in a glass when you can’t leave the house.
  98. What other beverage offers antioxidants, probiotics, and a steady buzz?
  99. Because reading Wine Folly makes you thirsty.
    Because reading Wine Folly makes you thirsty

original post from http://winefolly.com/update/99-reasons-to-drink-wine/