Tag: red wine

Spring is here! Long live the wine!

 TAGS:Spring is here! long live the wine! Yes, yes, do not look so surprised and let me explain you what I mean because I am sure you are going to understand it at first and I bet you that you will start feeling exactly the same way I do regarding this season… Once the last weekend of March is over, all I see reminds me of wine (in all its varieties, what I am going to hide it for?).

In spring the weather starts to give us a break and those cold winter temperatures give way to others, warm and delicious, perfect for tasting a chilled rose wine, a claret Designation of Origin Rioja (we do not need to look any further). What I mean is that kind of wine that makes you regret not to have one more bottle cooling in the fridge.

The arrival of warm weather coincides with the appearance of the first flowers, with their delicate aromas that remind me of those central European white wines which combine beautifully with cold starters and seafood dishes.

The flowers are beautiful, we rejoice to life with their colours, but many also cause us the dreaded hay fever of every year. Every spring we have to suffer until the summer starts. We spend more than half the day sneezing while we try to hide our big red nose. And whenever I think of something crimson with an intense and noteworthy nose I remember those wonderful Ribera del Duero red wines, I cannot help it.

In the coming weeks we will only be able to get rid of the symptoms of allergy to pollen when some clouds appear on the horizon and we enjoyed one of those rainy days. The raindrops pattering on the windows, while the temperature drops a few degrees, that smell of wet ground, those puddles … those puddles where drops falling make appear some small bubbles… Do not they look like sparkling wines?

I do not know if it will happen to anyone else or do I have to get it checked, but I am not able to go out at this time of the year without thinking about wine, so if you cannot beat them, join them. Long live the wine! Viva the spring! And to celebrate it let’s get some bottles:

 TAGS:Blanc PescadorBlanc Pescador

Blanc Pescador

 

 

 TAGS:Corte Viola Fragolino RossoCorte Viola Fragolino Rosso

Corte Viola Fragolino Rosso

The wines of Alicante

 TAGS:

Spain has exceptional wines in each of its provinces. Alicante could not be less, and the DOP Alicante ensures enhancing its wines and expanding its sales and popularity.

We’re talking about wines elaborated thanks to a wide variety of climates, where the Mediterranean is one of the highlights. The style of the wines of Alicante is one of their values, and the winemakers from this area struggle everyday for it. Its wide range of wines offers different tastes, so there’s one for every type of consumer. Choose yours!

The moscatel of Alicante stands among the most renowned sweet wines. Ideal for desserts and to drink with appetizers, this is a sweet liqueur wine that is made solely with the Muscat grape variety. Its color is clear and bright, and notes of flowers and young fruits. The palate is fresh and has a distinctive flavor. You may be surprised by the amount of flavors that come in a bottle of it. Exceptional!

As in other appellations of origin from the Comunidad Velanciana, the reds are some of the higher quality wines. The variety Monastrell is the protagonist, as its bright red color, totally distinctive characteristic of this grape variety. The fruit aromas are intense and it’s often combined with all kinds of food, including a great paella by the sea, traditionally paired with white wines.

While sparkling wines have a different quality than reds, in Alicante DOP we can find aromatic varieties of sparkling wines. They have Mediterranean Sea flavors, an atmosphere where these wines acquire the marine environment of the land. To a lesser extent, we have to emphasize the noble wines still preserved fruit of long and strong aging.

 TAGS:Beryna 2009Beryna 2009

Beryna 2009

 

 

 TAGS:Marina EspumanteMarina Espumante

Marina Espumante

Wine, the best afterchristmas present for dads

 TAGS:

Wine lovers! If you have been good this year, you deserve the best and so you will certainly end up the holidays very happily with a good wine as a gift. Perfect for welcoming a year full of good hope.

You know, wines have many properties to the body and also give us a great deal of comfort. Request, then, a wine for special occasions, a wine tasting to learn about the aromas and the various flavors or a day at a spa trying the benefits of wine therapy.

And do not forget the Corkscrews and Decanters, so you’ll have a complete wine kit for your special moments.

This time, one of the wines that you can include in your letter to Santa Claus is the white Paco & Lola 2010. DO Rias Baixas and elaborated with albariño, it will delight you by its yellow-green transparent color, its aroma of citrus and fresh and a light and fresh flavor that makes it the perfect wine for seafood.

The rosés are increasingly gaining projection. This is because its bubbles and freshness are ideal in in any season, but in spring they taste better. Surely Santa will not ignore you and bring a Gran Caus Rosado 2011. A delightful Penedès which is great for sweets and fruits. Its intense fruity aroma will transport us to other seasons and its powerful taste, more like a red than a rosé, are something different.You can not wait that long to open it!

The red star to celebrate Christmas is Pago de Carraovejas Crianza 2010, a fine red, merlot and cabernet sauvignon based Ribera del Duero that goes well with any dish. You will enjoy for sure!

Summer is coming… And sangria!

 TAGS:It’s one of the most international Spanish drinks. Everyone has sometimes drunk sangria, that drink that comes always by the summer thanks to its refreshing powers.

Although there are many ways to make sangria, the most traditional is really simple and inexpensive, since you have just to mix wine with portions of various fruits and ice. The secret of its flavor depends on the quality of the fruit and wine used.

A popular sangria which you can get at a lot of places in our country, puts together peaches, lemon and orange, sugar, gin, macerated red wine, a glass of lemon soda and lemon slices. Add a lot of ice, shake and serve in a large jar, since it will be usually consumed by several people.

It’s one of the refreshments for the summer, ideal for sharing with groups of friends, especially when we eat by the sea, with a paella or a fideuà. We recommend not drinking sangria in excess, as it could inebriate you quickly being so sweet, thanks to the fruit and large doses of sugar.

With lots of fruits

Another way to make sangria is mixing even more fruits, always at choice of the consumer. From apples, pears, peaches, lemons, oranges… or even soda, in addition to wine.

With various wines

Sangria is not made only with red wine, some variants also incorporate white and rosé wines.

With strawberries

Sangria with strawberries is also called ?Love sangria? and usually consumed in Valentine’s Day. It’s made with rosé wine and has a very sweet taste. It includes soda, sugar, and some other liquor but in small doses.

With cava

One variant of the traditional sangria is the the one with cava. It includes various fruits and other alcoholic beverages such as brandy or cointreau. Serve very cold!

Do you want some other liquor recommendation for the summer? Here are some of the best sellers:

 TAGS:Licor 43Licor 43

Licor 43, the best liquor for summer cocktails

 

 

 TAGS:Tanqueray TenTanqueray Ten

Tanqueray Ten, with lime, refreshing and unique

Buy wine for tapas

 TAGS:Buy wine for tapas should be at this point our favorite subject, but if it is not, we are still on time to become the Cum Laude of wine choices for starters, that kind of expert who becomes essential at any meeting, whenever there is good food involved. We will choose the best Spanish wines to go with tapas.

The first thing to do is getting straight down to the business. Let?s get inspired with two examples: one sunny day in the Calle Laurel in Logrono or an afternoon at La Latina area in Madrid. Streets full of bars, bars full of people and tapas, glasses of red wine, white wine, rosé and also some beers.

The important thing in tapas and the basic to enjoy an original ?tapeo? are the moment, the conversation and the combination of flavours. Clearly, a Spanish omelet could taste better accompanied by a Gran Reserva or a known Crianza, but it is also true that the wine itself is not fundamental, but an accessory, only one element.

The wine we choose for tapas has to be good, it has to taste good and has to be consistent with the tapas that we will have, but it does not need to be expensive. I recommend doing a small selection of inexpensive wines with ten or fifteen affordable ones, in which we will have to include different grape varieties, different backgrounds and multiple red and white wines to choose from. Just in case, we can also include some rosés.

This will be our basic list to choose which wines will go with the tapas. It should often be updated and improved. To do this all the wines on the list must have been tasted before, it is best not to risk. In this way we will also know how to be right in our choice depending on the menu and guests.

It’s easy to find good wines from Rioja for less than 10 euros: El Coto, Ramón Bilbao, Cune, Luis Cañas, Vina Albina, Viña Herminia Excelsus, Beronia or Azpilicueta. Many wines are around 6 euros what means that success is guaranteed in return for very little investment.
La Planta, Protos, Prado Rey or any of Pago de los Capellanes are red wines from Ribera del Duero that may be on our table from 6 euros to just over 8.

We cannot ignore in our list wine regions as Penedes, Extremadura, Toro, Jumilla, etc … So, in our selection of inexpensive wines we have to include wonders like Habla del Silencio 2010, Erumir Crianza 2006, Finca Constancia 2009, Martúe 2008, Prima 2009 or Gotim Bru 2008. In addition to their low price these are some extraordinary wines.

As for buying white wines, I can sum up my choices in Albariño and Verdejo, with some contributions to the list of Txacolís, wines from Catalunya and wine of Cadiz, a land of which I have great memories: Protos Verdejo, José Pariente Verdejo, Blanc Pescador Premium, Txomin Etxainz Txacoli, Txacoli Eizaguirre, Martin Códax, Barbadillo Castillo de San Diego and Oda Blanc.

Finally one of the pink wines I usually have, if given the chance to take them: Marqués de Riscal Rosado, Peñascal Rosado Aguja and Enate. I am waiting for your contributions to my list!

 TAGS:Blanc PescadorBlanc Pescador

Blanc Pescador, the jewel from Catalonian Coast to share with fish tapas.

 

 

 TAGS:Palacio de MonsaludPalacio de Monsalud

Palacio de Monsalud, a red wine to pair with meats.

Red grapes, a matter of tannins

 -

We keep talking about grapes! On this occasion we mention the most famous and suggestive red grapes…

Cabernet Franc

Renowned for its elegance and floral aroma, Cabernet Franc grape is related with Cabernet Sauvignon and widely grown in Bordeaux. In Uruguay is used to add delicacy to cuts based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. When elaborated alone, this grape produces a light and soft wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This variety is the most widespread in the world and when it reaches its optimal maturation is associated with cassis, while with lack of maturation reveals vegetable notes similar to sweet peppers, and canned or cooked food like black olives. In the typicality of Cabernet Sauvignon the experts find hints of spices such as black or red pepper, and identify its color with the absence of shine, while its colors go from violet shades in youth to red brick over the years.

Merlot

Raspberry and prunes are the descriptors for the testers used to refer to this fruit. When mature it gives notes of dark chocolate, while the violets are the flowers chosen to name its perfume. This grape is an essential part in the great French mixes and it is fundamental to renowned wines such as Petrus. In young bottles predominate fresh aromas of red fruits, so is included in rosé wines.

Pinot Noir

Said to be the summit of any producer and preferred by any taster. With no resistance to frost, rain and heat, this variety is of complicated maturation. Low color intensity by the low amount of anthocyanins and difficult preservation, result of the low presence of tannins, Pinot Noir provides anyway fruity young wines and robust vintage wines. Its flavors are associated with blackberries and cherries, while its aromas are generally of cut grass, black tea and leather.

Syrah or Shiraz

Fresh raspberries and blackberries, prunes and quince, black pepper, leather and even tar are the descriptors that identify this variety, typical of France, which today finds its highest expression in Australia.

Tannat

Recognized in Rio de la Plata as a flagship grape, this variety has green leaves of medium size and its fruit is dark purple, almost black. In young wines is associated with raspberries, quince and figs, which results in an intense aroma of leather, with a marked astringency produced by its high percentage of tannins.

Tempranillo

The tempranillo grape, also called ?tinta del pais? or ?Tinta Roriz?, is the key in most Spanish wines. It is unusual to find this variety in mono-varietal wines out of Spain because although it produces a colored wine, its acidity is very low and is low in tannins.

Malbec

Called Cot in France, this black fruit grape is recognized by its dense coloration, almost black. Adopted in Argentina as a flagship red variety, it can become a young wine, an extended aging wine or a rosé, and always reflects aromas similar to cherry or cassis and violet perfume. In the elaboration of red wines it provides also notes of spicy anise or licorice.

The color of wine

At the beginning of a wine tasting, the first thing to consider is the color of it, its appearance, the visual features. In order to appreciate its color in the best way, it should be done in natural light since artificial light can be quite misleading. It is true that for many the candlelight can be convenient, on a white background, to recognize a tonality, but in the case of red and white wines, sunlight is what allows a better way to find subtleties in its tonality.

The changes in the color of wine are due to several variables, such as the vine from which it comes, the form of wine elaboration, the time which the skins remain in the must, the fact of having been placed in wooden casks or not, its age and the manner in the wine was preserved.

 TAGS:

The color range is usually much more varied in red wines than in whites. In those, the color ranges from deep purple to brown tones, maroon or violet, to a large range of middle tones: crimson, vermilion, ruby, brick red, russet, etc. Whenever we talk of these tonalities, we must made clear that there is always room for discussing about. There is not a color palette that can be considered a pattern and which allows to accurately describe the color of a wine, with some exceptions such as ruby and russet.

Anthocyanins are the pigments that give its red color to wine, these are found in the skins of red grapes and are extracted by alcohol. Depending on the time that the skins are in contact with the must, will be obtained a more or less intense color. When the wine is young, red can get closer to orange and over time it becomes increasingly close to brown or russet.

In regard to to white wines, the tonalities are less and really seem that white wines today are increasingly clear, pale, even with some degree of transparency that had once been considered aqueous. Those wines that could be considered golden, are no longer seen anywhere, luckily, since they are considered to be of poor quality because of deficiencies in their elaboration, since this tonality is due to an excess of oxygen. Another feature that no longer is usually seen in white wines is the turbidity that the existing filtering processes have been removed. We must clarify that there are particular white wines such as sherry or manzanilla, which can have golden tonalities not due to a bad process of elaboration.

The elaboration of wine

 TAGS:In the first place let’s clarify that is difficult to express how to elaborate wine in a few words, we just try to convey to the reader what we can summarize after visiting wineries, especially in times of harvest and what the experts explain about.

If we simplify, we can say that what is needed for the grape juice to transform into wine is a process that should be the most natural way possible: fermentation. This is a chemical phenomenon whereby the grape sugar turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and it is produced by the intervention of the yeasts found in greater proportion in the skins. When the grape skins are broken, yeast start to work on sugar resulting in fermentation.

Then the grapes are brought from the vineyard holding together the bunches, then settled to the wine press, a cellar space for that function, next they will pass through the destemming process, there emerge the grains to be pressed and the juice extracted. This juice, consisting of pulp, skins and seeds is called must, and this will be put to ferment in tanks or barrels. Normally yeast would act to transform all the sugar into alcohol, or at least until it reaches a level of 15% alcohol in wine, but often happens that some grapes are too sweet and the process must be stopped manually.

 TAGS:

Currently the process by which wines are elaborated is accompanied by the use of technologies never even imagined for such process, elements that are now extremely needed to ensure quality. For example, it is known that white wines require that fermentation occurs at low temperatures, thereby cooling equipment will be necessary to slow down the fermentation process, achieving control of the process and preventing the oxidation, an absolutely damaging agent in the process of creating wine. By contrast, red wines do not require temperatures as low, but the oxygenation should be also avoided in its elaboration process.

Those wines which mature in oak casks, whether white or red, face a very soft oxygenation process because the element is ?strained? in small proportions, but stops if it is bottled and corked. Its stay in bottle is necessary and essential to make the wine settle, achieving an optimal point of maturity.

The ideal temperature to drink wine

 TAGS:The temperature of wine is a long-standing and much controversial topic. As is often popularly said, white wine is drunk colder than red wine but, what is the right temperature to enjoy wine at its best? We will try to elucidate this and other questions below.

Usually the wines are stored in basements or cold spots in the house, places that could reach 11 degrees Celsius, considering that normal room temperature ranges from 18 to 25 degrees Celsius. These environmental details are even more complicated, since everything depends on where you are and what season it is. The range of different climates opens in a myriad of options that make it impossible to get an exact temperature. However, it is always advisable to use wine thermometers to check the temperature exactly.

The temperature in red wines

Red wines should be drunk in what is commonly known as room temperature, i.e. between 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. This temperature will help keep the flavor, aroma and body of wine.

However:

  • If the wine in question is young, the ideal temperature will be lower, between 12 to 15 degrees Celsius, so we can savor its freshness, and eventually a floral or fruity flavor.
  • If it’s an aged wine, the temperature should be between 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, so we can appreciate its bouquet as best.
  • If the wine is of great vintages, it can be drunk up to 20 degrees Celsius. This will depend greatly on the type of origin of wine.

The temperature in white wines

White wines definitely are best enjoyed cold, more than red wines. But as in the case of red wines, there are some specific varieties of white wines. If the white wine we are about to drink is a young white wine, enjoy it ideally below 10 degrees Celsius, up to 7 or 8 degrees is ideal, so we can highlight its aromas, without actually stripping its acidity or alcohol flavor.

If the white wine is semi-dry, we could drink it up to 6 degrees Celsius, so we can highlight its soft, sweet and fruity taste. The fine white wines are enjoyed well at 10 degrees Celsius, for example the Manzanilla wines.

Rosé wines deserve a special mention. These should be drunk preferably below 8 degrees Celsius, never below 6 degrees. In regard to the Cava wines is recommended to drink them between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius.

Red wine against heart attack and cancer

Vino tintoRecent studies confirm the protective effect of black grape and red wine against heart diseases but now they also have a further merit: cancer prevention. The key? It?s in flavonoids, which can also be found in tea and some vegetables.

The god Bacchus, or Dionysus, would be so happy knowing that science finally discovered the power that black grape and red wine have in preventing heart attacks, cerebral infarcts, as well as certain types of cancer . Antioxidant properties of grape seeds, usually used to produce red wine, have been demostrated. Grape seeds contains flavonoids which are also founded in some types of vegetables (mostly broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower), as well as in the great majority of fruits and in teas.

Flavonoids explain the reason why red wine has been indicated as a protector of arteries, heart, and brain, as long as it?s consumed in moderation: 2 glasses per day, maximum. These compounds, thanks to both their antioxidant and antitoxic action, can help patients affected by diabetes and atherosclerosis, or those who have undergone bypass surgery or liver transplant.

Both flavonoids and other types of antioxidants like selenium, zinc, beta-carotenes, as well as vitamins C and E, are employed to prevent cardiovascular disease and delay the process and apparition of cancer and of cataracts. They are also used against acute and chronic stress, against the damage caused by excessive exposure to sun rays and also when liver is been hacked by medications.

In the case of wine antioxidants, some of the latest research shows that drinking two glass of wine daily reduces mortality by 35% from cardiovascular disease and by 20% from cancer. The air we breathe is composed of 20% oxygen and 1% of this gas when absorbed by the organism transforms itself into free radicals, which are compounds that bombard cells and cause negative effects such as the transformation of cholesterol into a basic substance of plaques that can gradually obstruct the arteries. Antioxidants neutralize the damage caused by these oxygen free radicals.

This is the reason why doctors usually prescribe antioxidants starting at the age of 35 to 40, especially for people suffering from diabetes, obesity, sedentism, and for those who have genetic predisposition of cardiovascular disease and high colesterol, or those who are regular tobacco smokers. They are also presiscribed to patients suffering from angina pectoris, cerebral vascular insufficiency and heart attack.

It seems that, due to the lack of time necessary for a healthy and balanced diet, antioxidant supplements will start to be implemented in order to increase life expectancy. So let?s buy wine and have a nice glass of red wine. To your health!