Tag: wine

Wine against stress

We know that wine has many properties. It maintains heart rate, is an antioxidant and provides general health. Many doctors recommend drinking one or two glasses a day.

It also serves to reduce the stress. A study of the University of Sunderland in England analyzed the drinking habits of five different groups of workers, both public and private sector between 21 and 55 years old. It states that British consumers who drink wine use it as a stress reducer.

This happens much more in the middle class workers. In fact, it establishes that they can drink wine to escape, for example, after a tiring day. The choice is based on the knowledge of each drink when choosing the type of drink they want, either for dinner or for a quiet drink.

Research of the University of Sunderland concluded that there is a common perception among some groups of people who regularly drink wine at home to combat stress. And it states that they normally have a low consumption, regulated, studied and nothing problematic.

And that wine, particularly red wine, provides minerals for the body, such as zinc, magnesium, iron and potassium, as well as improving blood circulation in the brain.

Wine is an anti-stress drink, since the percentage of alcohol is relatively low and acts directly as relaxing in the brain.

Does it mean that a good Rioja wine will help you be more relaxed? By the way, today I recommend two great wines for you:

 TAGS:Campo Viejo Crianza 2008Campo Viejo Crianza 2008

Campo Viejo Crianza 2008



 TAGS:Dinastia Vivanco Reserva 2005Dinastia Vivanco Reserva 2005

Dinastia Vivanco Reserva 2005

Spring drinks

 TAGS:Spring is back, the sun begins to shine, the days are longer and we are looking for fresh air. Thus, the most refreshing drinks are the stars of the season.

The terraces are filled with friends, installed in order to chat and have fun while the day goes away. In these encounters nothing better than to enjoy a good beer, if lager, much better, by providing less consistency, more freshness and lightness, and fewer degrees of alcohol.

The pink and white wines are perfect for outdoor midday. They can be combined with salads, pasta, paella, fish and as an appetizer before a heavy meal. And to wash it down, mid-afternoon, nothing better than a sweet wine that will combine perfectly with many different desserts.

The Saturday and Sunday noon spring are also perfect for informal meetings with friends or families. Gin and tonics is the perfect cocktail for this meeting, accompanying all sorts of meats and food.

In parallel, the pink martini also has a great success during this period of the year.  It’s the classic cocktails of all time; you can even enjoy it before dinner, something that is a getting more and more usual in European cities.

The heat makes us want sweeter flavors. The fruit liqueurs are perfect to quench thirst and provide new and sweet experiences to the palate: from peach, pear, to other more exotic flavors such as lychee, coconut, blackberry, guarana

 And after dinner, we recommend refreshing herbal liqueurs, coffee, pacharán or limoncello sweeter and milder.

 Do you dream about a fresh beer for the days of pre-summer heat? Here you go!

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Blanc Pescador



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Peñascal Rosado Aguja

How many bottles must I buy?

 TAGS:Are you one of those people who enjoy organizing meeting with friends and family at home, but always doubt about the right amount of wine you need to buy? It might help you to know that the international standards are 6 glasses of wine per bottle. But you must consider some specificities in order to please all your guests.

It is important to note that the amount of wine used is different for each occasion. If during a regular occasion you will be able to serve 6-7 glasses of wine per bottle, you must keep in mind that the tasting glasses have less capacity than regular glasses.

The wine bottles classic content is 0.75 liters, and the glasses themselves have a standard capacity of 125 milliliter. But those standards can be changed, a good example is the glass of Bordeaux. These differences are generated by the type of wine and its flavor, because some of them (such as Muscat) should be used moderately in order to keep the taste.

The temperature issue has an impact on the number of glasses per bottle. Sometimes, by serving hosts several small amounts of wine in repeated rounds you can prevent a too big change of temperature.

If you take these factors into account, and if you do a conscious choice on the type of wine you will serve, you will have a better estimation of the amounts of wine you need to buy for your celebration.

Are you ready to serve wine? Today we recommend two great wines at the best price:

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Siglo Saco Crianza 2008



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Palacio de Monsalud

How can the Port Wines be distinguished?

 TAGS:The port wine has been made since 300 years and belongs to the category of the fortified wines. The fortified wines are made by increasing their alcohol content by adding a specific quantity of brandy during the fermentation.

At first, this process was carried out in order to prepare the wine for the transfer by sea from one continent to another. Fortified, the wines could resist to humidity and temperature swings.

Now the fortified wines are multiple and it’s complicated to understand what the labels refer to. You can be confronted to different styles, that are created thanks to a difference in aging.

Some of the varieties used for red port are Latouriga, Tinta cão, Tinta barroca, Tinta Roriz or Tempranillo and French Toutiga , while for the creation of white port the Malvasia king, Malvasia thin and Codega are used.

The styles of port:

Vintage Port: This is the highest category of port wine. It is made from the finest grapes from different vineyards are bottled between the second and third year without a filter. The minimum aging time is 10 to 15 years.

Porto Crusted: These wines are hard to fine. Also called encrusted because of the sediment left in the bottom of the bottles. They are like vintage wines, but they are made from mixtures of two to three different crops. They must be decanted before drinking.

Porto LBV: The initials indicate Late bottled Vintage. Developed since the 60s, they are bottled after spending 4-6 years in wood, from what it takes its dark and powerful flavour.

Garrafeira Port: This port spends seven years in the pipe, then is aged for approximately 40 years in carboys. They are very durable and retain their qualities intact.

Tawny: It can be identified by its brown color, obtained by contact with the wood between 5 and 7 years. After the process it will spend 10, 20, 30 or 40 years bottled before release.

Porto Ruby: A classic red port wine, its taste is fruity and its color as indicated by its prestigious name : ruby.

Porto Branco, Blanco or White: One of the less popular port as it is overshadowed by the red.

An Albariño from California?

 TAGS:The Albariño grape from Galicia and Portugal has exciting possibilities in California, and more specifically in the Russian River Valley. This vineyard seems to prosper in their harvest and Marimar Torres, from Bodegas Torres states that they have great expectations.

“The Californian Albariño is not as sour as the Galicia Albariño. The one that we are reaping in the Russian River is round, aromatic and mineral”. Let?s recall that the Albariño is a white grape variety used for wines with Denomination of Origin ?Rias Baixas? and Portuguese ?Vinho Verde?. The story says that the Cluny monks took this grape from the Armenteira monastery in the twelfth century. Its cultivation then spreads throughout Galicia and northern Portugal. According to Executive Order of June 13 APA/1819/2007 the grape Albariño is a variety used for a wine that is recommended to produce in Galicia and authorized in Cantabria, Castilla y León and Catalonia.

Torres experiment this aromatic variety since 2004 and now wants to make use of the global furor that has occurred around the Albariño. Besides this variety, she said that he planted Tempranillo in his vineyard in the Sonoma Coast, but was not successful in reaping because of the extremely cold weather. She then made another attempt: “I had to start from zero, placing American rootstock varieties in the organic vineyard Don Miguel, where we reach the expected success”.

Torres plans to revisit Galicia to study more in detail the grapes directly in their homelands. “The greatness of Albariño grape is its freshness?, she said, ?with notes of peach and lemon, and a mineral taste that is currently highly sought by consumers. “

Regarding the Tempranillo, Torres already has 400 vines of this variety in the vineyard Don Miguel. She is expanding other areas outside the vineyard and plans to create its first 100% Tempranillo wine this year 2013. These last two years, he developed a mix of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Syrah. She said that “the Syrah gives both structure and body to the wine, but it?s the Tempranillo that brings the complexity”.

The original wine 100% Albariño is white, dry and light. This variety is considered to be one of the most important within the 220 that Galicia cultivates. Now we have to see, smell and taste the wine 100% Albariño Torres and compare the results with the gem of Galicia.

Do you think that Albariños can be done in California? Could it reach the greatness of the Galicia?s production? Or will it only be a commercial success? Meanwhile we recommend two great Albariños from Spain, the ?one and only?:

 TAGS:Terras Gauda 2011Terras Gauda 2011

Terras Gauda 2011, a great offer now!



 TAGS:Albariño de Fefiñanes 2011Albariño de Fefiñanes 2011

Albariño de Fefiñanes 2011, a classical albariño

What is the difference between sweet and fortified wines?

 TAGS:Confronted to the vast choice of wine available on the market we often have to take difficult decisions when it comes to choose one. Don?t forget the original flavours of the sweet and fortified wines! These are two options to consider when you are facing the wide (and wild?) world of wines.

The most important difference between a regular wine and a sweet wine is its residual sugar content. Sweet wines are those that have a high percentage of alcohol and are sweet thanks to a long aging. The grapes are crushed and put to fermentation. The yeast then converts the sugar into alcohol. The idea is to stop the fermentation process before it?s complete and enjoy the sweet taste that the natural residual sugar gives to the wine.  Different techniques are used, from the choice of a very sweet grape variety, to freezing the water present in wine, passing by the elimination of the yeast.

Most sweet white wines are made with Moscatel or Macabeo, while most red ones are made with Grenache.

The fortified wine’s average alcohol content is around 15 and 23 degrees. It is usually made from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. It is fortified by adding alcohol to the base. This alcohol added is named ?Natural grape spirit?. It is distinguished from liquors because the spirit is not made by distillation but simply added to it. While most fortified wines are made in the sweet style, the fortified wines can also be dry.

The sweet wine complexity can be revealed thanks to the contrast with food that has a completely different taste. Also, it can then be reaffirmed with similar sweet food.

The ideal mix in order to enjoy the fortified wine is the Roquefort cheese, blue cheese, nuts, cream-based desserts and chocolate.  Want to try some? Today we recommend 2:

 TAGS:Ximenez-Spinola Pedro XimenezXimenez-Spinola Pedro Ximenez

Ximenez-Spinola Pedro Ximenez, a sweet wine



 TAGS:Muscat de Beaumes de VeniseMuscat de Beaumes de Venise

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, french taste

Sweet wines from southern Spain

 TAGS:Spain is one of the countries of the world in which the quality and variety of wine is more prominent internationally, especially since, in recent decades, local producers, institutions and numerous appellations of origin have taken care of these areas, traditionally reserved to a few varieties.

Apart from the famous wines -reds and whites- of Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Penedes, to name just a few appellations, the sweet, fortified or ‘generous’ wines have always been placed among the most consumed varieties, especially Sherry, thanks to the success they have had for centuries in the British Isles and other European countries. 

The elaboration process, in fact, of most of the varieties produced in Spain, has remained unchanged for a long time and is born precisely from the need to preserve them for transport in times when this was extremely complicated, considering the long distances and sailing conditions. 

Thus, particularly in southern Spain, began to produce these wines, especially in Andalusia, but also in areas such as Valencian Community, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, especially with grape varieties such as Pedro Ximenez, Malvasia, Moscatel and Monastrell, with infinite variations by region, type of soil, mixture of grapes, elaboration process… but all with a common counting, the hours of sunlight needed to get a grape with a high sugar content. 

Although these wines are usually taken after meals alone or to accompany desserts, often very well complemented with, it is also interesting pairing them with cheese, ham or other salty foods, offering a contrast of flavors which sometimes can be extraordinary and surprising.

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Tío Pepe



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Barbazul 2010



Foto: Flickr

Celebrities who make or launch spirits

 TAGS:The world of gastronomy is increasingly linked to actors or singers who decide to have their own cellars to make wine or elaborate spirits or sell them under their name. 

It is always an important marketing strategy that makes many people to buy this drink always under the name of a famous person. We have some remarkable examples, such as Marilyn Manson, known for leading the industrial rock band of the same name, which promoted a famous absinthe liqueur

Other colleagues, including British band Motorhead, have also been handed with the drink business and have launched wine and vodka with the name of the same band. The truth is that, both Marilyn Manson and Motorhead have successfully sold their drinks. 

The handsome actor George Clooney can do many more things right, in addition to acting. He just released his own tequila, Casamigos, together with the Cindy Crawford’s husband, Randy Gerber. In addition, the actor has written and produced the spot to advertise the drink, which has as an attraction the appearance of himself, the supermodel Cindy Crawford, her husband and partner of Clooney, Randy Gerber, and the girlfriend of the actor, Stacy Keibler

The bottle is attractive because its design is very caring and it has printed the autographs of the actor and the businessman. It costs about 33 euros. 

The world of wine offers more and more appeal to celebrities who have their own cellars and vintages. Tell that to Francis Ford Coppola, who was one of the pioneers and has already produced several bottles, as well as other popular faces, such as the actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the Spaniard Antonio Banderas or singers such as Julio Iglesias or Lluís Llach.

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The Famous Grouse 1L



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Smirnoff Gold 1L

Photo: Flickr

Great Italian white wines

 - Although Italy is renowned for its red and rosé wines, it produces also white wines. His most recognized appellations of origin produce high quality white wines, fresh, full-bodied and with a light touch of spicy flavor that usually fascinate the most demanding palates.

We have an example of this in Tuscany, a region famous for its Chianti and other red wines, which elaborates also white wines made with the Vernaccia grape variety. Their elaboration is mainly located on the famous medieval town of San Gimignano. 

Verona produces the soave, another of the most popular white wines. Made from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave varieties, is usually somewhat dry and goes perfect with salads, fish and seafood. 

The Classic Orvieto, meanwhile, made in Umbria, is usually sweeter and somewhat dry, defining characteristic of most of the Italian white wine. The Orvieto provides transparent yellow color and a delicate scent, besides having a fresh taste and a bitter touch. 

In this review of Italian white wines, we can not miss the Frascati, which comes from the city of the same name within the region of Lazio, in central Italy. The Frascati wine is dry and intensely fruity. It is usually served cold to drink with appetizers before a meal and is made from Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes. 

Perhaps one of the most known Italian white wines is the Marsala, produced in the region surrounding the city of Marsala in Sicily, and it is one of the most exported to different countries. The Marsala is made with the white grape varieties Grillo, Inzolia and Catarratto. And it is also usually served cold with the first or second course, or even with desserts, because of its dry and sweet taste.

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Casa Sant’Orsola Moscato d’Asti 2011



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Planeta la Segreta Bianco 2011

Wine consumption in France reached a record low

 - French producers are concerned, and rightly so, because -apart from other problems related to competition and appellations of origin– they are seeing as, in recent years, their countrymen are drinking less and less amount of wine. In fact, according to a recent study made by FranceAgriMer, under the French Ministry of Agriculture, the average consumption is just one glass a day when traditionally it was much higher.

Besides the economic crisis, which has had a fairly negative impact on the consumption of all types of products in France, as in other countries, they are beginning to detect a shift in consumer habits of the French, who increasingly tend to soft drinks and juices to accompany their meals, something that could be called a cultural transformation.

The study data are conclusive, especially when compared with similar studies of the past. So, currently the average French -still being the Europeans who drink more wine- consumes 57 liters annually, while in the mid-sixties of the last century the figure was around 160. Compared to recent years, the data should make think the key industry players: in 2005 the daily drinkers of wine represented 21% of the total, and today only 17%, increasing instead the number of occasional drinkers.

No doubt, some data that should also be considered by wine producers from other countries, traditionally wine consumers. The popularization, firstly, of soft drinks and refreshments (of controversial nutritional value) and, secondly, of fruit juices (more suitable with healthy consumption habits) are slowly changing a tradition rooted in France for centuries, so that its strong wine industry is starting to be forced to take action on the matter.

 TAGS:Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut RéserveChampagne Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve

Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut Réserve



 TAGS:Châteu Minuty Château Minuty M Rosé 2011Châteu Minuty Château Minuty M Rosé 2011

Châteu Minuty Château Minuty M Rosé 2011