Tag: wine

Discovering the red wines of the Balearic Islands


Spain has the luck that all regions count with remarkable wines. Their flavor, aroma and properties make them unique and therefore, it’s vital to discover day by day new acquisitions which we can test.

In the Balearic Islands, we find special Denominations of Origin which enhance their wines and are becoming increasingly known. Today we will focus on analyzing its red wines, with color and body, ideal for any occasion, such as dinners during this fall season.

The process of elaboration of red wine on the islands is performed with the called ?despalillado?, where the solid parts of the grape are separated in order to obtain pure flavors in the maceration of the red grape must.

The red wines of the DO Binissalem are plentiful, really the star of this famous denomination. Some even are listed under the category “crianza”, being more tasty and high quality. We recommend them for all types of meat, such as poultry and beef.

In Mallorca, depending on the climate, red wines are made from native varieties such as Manto Negro, Callet and Fogoneu. But others are also used, such as Tempranillo, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon… The result is quality wines and various fruity notes.

Other remarkable red wines in the Balearic Islands correspond to the Wine VT Formentera. They bring a unique flavor of ripe fruit, which is perfect with foie, Mahon cheese and stronger main courses, such as casseroles, preferred at this time of year.

The Vino de la Tierra Ibiza thrives from the red grape varieties Monastrell, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. In this case, the wines are cherry colored, very bright and with some spice flavors, offering a remarkable taste that you can not miss.

The best drinks for a corporate event

 TAGS:Many of you will be already fully at work. Now comes a new year full of exhibitions, events and company presentations. If you are organizing a corporate event, you must take into account what beverages will be served to make it a success.

If you are going to invite clients or partners overseas to this act, it’s essential to offer Spanish DO wine. We can make a selection of the best known, like Rioja, Priorat and Rias Baixas, three really significant Denominations of Origin from different places, with wines that are identified immediately.

In the tables, the reds will be mixed with whites, especially if it’s a day event, to reach as many palates as possible. Sweet wines are also recommended with desserts or even to break the routine.

It’s essential to serve water. Good to quench thirst or to refresh palates. But not just any water. Currently, the market offers gourmet waters, such as Finé (still water) or Ty Nant (carbonated), whose bubbles are great for passing the digestion quietly.

If we give away a small cocktail for our guests, we will choose something with gin, which will be combined with acidic and exotic fruit juices. It’s a good idea to have the figure of a bartender who will elaborate drinks at the moment. For events of this magnitude, always it’s best just to put some notes of gin.

Another recommendation is the tonic water. It likes many palates and also helps the digestion of the meal which we will also offer to our guests. Clear examples of tonic waters to succeed in these events are Abbondio, that cleverly combines a touch of lemon and sugar cane with the bitterness of quinine; or Original Mint, with hints of mint. Happy event!

Wines and movies, a perfect combination

 - The seventh art has given moments of glory to the world of wine. Whether showing special landscapes with many vineyards, highlighting impressive wineries or letting us know the wine culture. We’ll refresh your memory with some movies where wine has been the protagonist.

Unax Ugalde and Nora Tschirner share wine and other passions in ?Bon appétit?, a just released film, which tells the story of a young chef and an attractive sommelier. In this case, the wines of the D.O. Ribera del Duero appear in several scenes, being the key axis of the story.

Who does not remember ?Sideways?? A very successful movie, thanks to its close approach and that touch of humor and drama at a time, in which the two protagonists do a fantastic tour from winery to winery tasting the best wines and making friends. Something you’d want to do in the future…

Keanu Reeves, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón… and a love story. The Spanish actress was carried away by the fashionable handsome in ?A Walk in the Clouds?, set among vineyards. It combines fantastic landscapes with passion between two characters who enjoy sharing wine. It explains also the winemaking and harvesting processes.

?Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona? offers corners of Gijon and Barcelona, and the wine comes alive, both in the restaurants where the protagonists eat, as in the more passionate scenes where Javier Bardem makes a role of conquistador, and the wine glasses go along the Woody Allen film.

A French countryside is the landscape of ?French Kiss?. Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline have a turbulent love story and a great passion for wine. In the film, the character of Kevin is a wine connoisseur which makes interesting considerations, comparing it to life, to people, to each one personality.

In ?A Good Year? Russell Crowe switches the business stress when he inherits a vineyard in Provence. There he discovers the true meaning of life and decides to taste it. Thus, wines move us into a new dimension and open up our eyes to how we’re wasting our time.

If you know more movies about wine, leave us your comments!

Photo: Bon Appetit

The surprising wine from California

 - California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, ranking first place in wine consumption in the United States, followed by Florida and then New York. The truth is that California wine has gained worldwide recognition due to the richness and variety of soil conditions and microclimates that exist in that area.

In this state there are 107 American Viticultural Areas and each of them has different varieties of wine grapes. These areas are recognized by the U.S. Government since they testify the variety of microclimates in the region, which has over 60,000 registered wine labels.

Each year, tourists visit the wine regions of California exploring over 2,000 wineries and a variety of cultural attractions to be found there. It should be noted that the varied terrain of California, with all its mountains, valleys and deserts, provides an almost unlimited variety of favorable microclimates suitable for cultivation of certain specific varieties of grapes which produce premium wines.

The Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes produce excellent white wines, while zinfandel grapes are a well known Californian variety that produces an excellent red wine. Among the wine regions of California highlights El Paso Robles Wine Country, which is located between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s central coast. It has 24 square mile territory that includes more than 26,000 hectares of vineyards and nearly 200 wineries.

Another valued region is San Luis Obispo, a growing region located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in California’s Central Coast. It has 26,400 hectares of wine grapes and about 90 wineries.

It is also famous the Santa Barbara region, that lies above the city of Los Angeles in California’s Central Coast, where are popular the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines and some crispy textures from Sauvignon and Riesling, while Mendocino County, located in northern San Francisco, is known by its Sauvignon Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel.

And we can not forget the famous wine region of Napa Valley, 5 km from San Francisco on the northern coast of California, which produces the best Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot. There are signs in almost all corners that invite you to take a tour or a complimentary wine tasting at its local wineries. Some of these vineyards are beautiful properties with palatial mansions and European castle styles.

Drinking wine helps women to keep their figure

 TAGS:According to a team of U.S. researchers, women who drink red wine are less likely to raise weight than abstemious women.

Although wine has calories, according to these scientists they replace those in other foods which are not consumed, since wine would partially satisfy the appetite.

The research, published in Archives of Internal Medicine followed over 19,000 women for 13 years. At the time of starting the study, all were 39 years or older and normal weight. The participants reported how many alcoholic drinks consumed per day, and during the 13-year study, all of them gained weight progressively.

The study, conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed the consumption of 4 alcoholic beverages: red wine, white wine, beer and liquor.

Scientists discovered that participants who drank no alcohol were those that gained more weight and found an inverse relation between weight gain and consumption of alcohol.

Women who consumed less than 40 g of alcohol a day were those that were less likely to become overweight or obese.

The best association between alcohol consumption and lower risk of overweight was found in women who drank red wine, followed by white wine.

With regard to the presumable explanations, it may be due to the fact that women who consume wine, consume fewer calories from other foods, so the wine could act as a partial substitute for the food. This substitution does not work in men, so the conclusions could not be applied to them. This difference makes researchers wonder whether, in addition to habits, there is any difference between men and women when it comes to metabolize alcohol in the liver, and other differences.

Experts say, however, that people should not conclude from these results that if you want to lose weight you should drink more. As the researchers note, ?given the potential problems both medical and psychosocial related to alcohol consumption, should be considered their adverse and beneficial effects for each individual before making a recommendation.?

This is not to make apology for alcoholism, but to promote responsible drinking of both wine and the overall diet, matched with healthy habits.

Pairing wine with music

 - When we think of pairing we always have in mind a meal, and we try to buy wines that best match with it. But wine accompanies us even in good times when food is not present, as the company Wines that Rock reminds us.

Wines that Rock has been in contact with some of the biggest bands in the world to produce wines that perfectly accompany the experience of listening some of his best albums. So, wine helps us to feel the music in all its magnitude and enhances the good times which songs make us feel.

 - The Police and the wine ?The Police Synchronicity Red Wine Blend 2007?, which the band itself helped to create especially to enjoy its album ?Synchronicity? is the last band that has joined the initiative. They also have its own wine Pink Floyd (?The Dark Side of the Moon?), The Rolling Stones (?The Forty Licks?), and even special events such as Woodstock.

The truth is that this is an interesting idea. You can pair with anything, actually: for example, I like to drink Oporto Osborne 10 años to see ?Águila Roja?, and you might even pairing a match of the Spanish national team or a novel by Vargas Llosa. Or maybe do you think it’s too much?

And you? Do you have a favorite wine for music? Want to share with us?

Tokaj and Tokaji: Puttonyos!

 TAGS:The Tokaji is one of those wines which every blog friend of the liquor of Bacchus is required to write about at least once.

Tokaji is the typical wine from Tokaj-Hegyalja, an area that lies between Hungary and Slovakia. Although in Tokaj, as in many other places, all kinds of wines are produced, the most famous are the called aszú.

What are the Tokaj aszú wines? First things first. There is a fungus, Botrytis Cinerea, which affects the vineyard rotting it, the so called ?noble rot?. The grapes dry up and lose water, so the result is a rotten grape filled with sugar or aszú grape.

The botrytizated grapes or aszú grapes were traditionally collected into containers called Puttonyos, with a capacity of about 25 kg grape approximately. Once collected, several puttonyos -3 to 6 – were threw to a 136 liters tank where the normal wine of the year was stored before its fermentation, in order to take the sweetness of the grape. The more puttonyos of aszú jumped into the must, the sweeter the resulting wine was.

At present, the Puttonyo no longer corresponds to the amount of Botrytis grape added, but rather to the sugar concentration of the resulting wine. It has been estimated that 1 puttonyo is equal to, more or less, 25 g per liter of wine. Thus, a tokaj wine of 5 puttonyos would have 125 g of sugar per liter of alcohol.

There is another interesting type of Tokaji, called Eszcencia, which some mistakenly associated with a 7-puttonyos aszú. Actually, the 7-puttonyos aszú does not exist, and Eszcencia is not a wine to which is added a portion of rotten grapes, but is a wine made entirely with the must of that grape.

The texture of Esczencia is similar to syrup or even honey. Imagine the amount of grapes that is necessary to make an eszcencia, so there really are not cellars engaged in the elaboration of this wine in an organized manner.

What they do is collect the must of the grape that naturally flows through the grating at the bottom of the vats where the grapes are placed while collected. It is usually not enough to make Eszcencia so it is added to the Tokaj aszú deposits, but sometimes Eszcencia is created, called also tear from Tokaj.

In Spain the Tokaji Oremus is very famous, with Tokaji Oremus 6 Puttonyos as a flagship, owned by Bodega Vega Sicilia, who took advantage of the post-communist privatization process in the area to get a cellar in the area and produces wines of Tokaj respecting the most traditional processes.

Another Tokaji that you can easily find is Disznókó, also great quality. There is a Disznókó 4 Puttonyos 2004 which is pretty good.

Actually the most important thing for Tokaji is to be Hungarian, because Hungarian law is more severe on the quality of wine. Since Tokaj is a bordering area between Hungary and Slovakia, is also accepted the production of Slovakian Tokaj, but there the law is more permissive, so the quality is not equally guaranteed. Enjoy.

Pla de Bages, north of the magic mountain

 TAGS:The north face of Montserrat, the mountain range that protects the Penedès, hides a pleasant surprise: the Pla de Bages wine.

This is a privileged region, with significant cultural and tourism centers such as the Monastery of Sant Benet, the salt mines of Cardona, the cave of Sant Ignasi or the route of La Sèquia. One of the peculiarities of Bages are the ?Barraques de vinya? (?Vineyard barracks?), dry stone constructions that were necessary for the ?pagesos? (farmers) to store agricultural tools or to protect against inclement weather. Coinciding with the notable expansion of cultivation of vines, there were built many of these barracks, still remaining about 4,000, most of them well preserved.

In the area the climate is continental-mediterranean and mid-mountain. It offers ideal conditions for growing grapes, with loamy and limestone soils. Their wines are impregnated with balsamic notes of thyme, rosemary and lavender. These aromatic plants inhabit the forests of pines, oaks and holm oaks that surround the vineyards.

All wineries at Bages have their own vineyards, thus the Bages wines offer different expressions of the land and the people who work it.

Here are some recommendations:

 TAGS:Abadal Picapoll 2011Abadal Picapoll 2011

Flowers smell, fresh and lively, the best expression of this grape



 TAGS:Solergibert Pd'A Picapoll D'Acàcia 2010Solergibert Pd’A Picapoll D’Acàcia 2010

Using acacia wood for the barrells, a very different wine



 TAGS:Sensus Crianza 2007Sensus Crianza 2007

Bordeaux grapes feel here very comfortable, and give wines a unique taste



 TAGS:Blunt 2005Blunt 2005

Best Bages’ Cabernet Sauvignon, deep and mature



 TAGS:Arnau Oller 2007Arnau Oller 2007

Arnau Oller 2007, a good merlot, with vanilla and cocoa hints

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

Liebfraumilch, a German white wine

 TAGS:In his long wait for maturity, besieged by the threat of frost and intense cold, the German wine makers carve their vineyards on steep hills or mountain feet in the main regions of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz and Baden. They patiently await the Mosel and Rhine rivers, among others, along with the Gulf Stream, to temper up the air; and provide, at best, the humidity required by the grapes to develop a fungus called Botrytis Noble, which consumes the water in the vines while concentrating its sugar and acidity.

Some say that thanks to global warming, Germany is becoming warmer, and consequently produces more and better wine. Light, low in alcohol graduation and slightly sweet, these labels increase their popularity among consumers.

According to statistics from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine -OIV-, in 2008 Germany was the fifth largest wine consumer, with 20.7 million hectoliters of wine per year, with an increasing trend. The first four places on this list were held by France, USA and Italy. In the same year, the country has the ninth place among the top 12 producers of wine.

Despite its renowned reputation among experts, in international markets Germany was always associated with the elaboration of white wines lacking personality, cheap and sweet, taking the latter feature as a pejorative aspect, called Liebfraumilch.

 TAGS:The Liebfraumilch, meaning ?beloved woman’s milk? or ?milk of the Virgin Mary? is a wine that has at least about 18 g of sugar per liter, its quality is QbA and generally the grapes used are not identified. Which does appear on the label is one of the four regions where it is produced, namely Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe, being the first two the main ones. The classification QbA (QmpQualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete) is indicating it as a table wine with sugar added to the must.

This label, presented in a typical blue flute bottle, created in large volumes, without special care on the vineyard or in wine making, was for years the country’s export flag. However, the Germans have been de-stigmatized not only by their largest importer, the UK, but also by the Americans and Scandinavians, who now believe that there are made the best white wines in the world.