|» Log In » Register » Suggest » Feeds » News » Podcasts » Tags » Pings » Documents » XML » Web Services » Categories » Statistics » Help » Site Map » About|
Previous Syndicated Feed
||Random Syndicated Feed
Next Syndicated Feed
|Headlines||Poll Results||Statistics||XML||Action Log(2)||Notes(0)||Categories||Contacts||Locations||Subscribers||Changes|
|Wine Events in North Carolina||
Looking for a winery event or wine festival in North Carolina? I've just added and updated a new calendar on my North Carolina Tourist site.
While there you can see a planning map for your next winery visit, whether it's along the Haw River Trail or Yadkin Valley. This is an interactive map that moves, zooms, and overlays with satellite images.
Have an event you don't see? Just email me with the information.
Up next, California Central Coast.
|Drinking Cowboy||A cowboy, who is visiting Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more. The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time." The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One isin Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself." The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn. One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss." The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs. "Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking." "Hasn't affected my brothers though."|
|Please, Joel, Don't Put Wine on Your Resolution List||
In today's article Joel Achenbach lists his New Year's resolution in which he seems to give up drinking wine.
His list includes:
Imbibe no spirits of any kind, no fermented beverages, no Rum Raisin ice cream, no brandied prunes, and consume cough medicine only in moderation and at meals (Robitussin pairs nicely with chicken).
Obviously he hasn't been reading the articles here. If so, he'd know the health benefits of 1 - 2 glasses of wine a day. Flavonoids and other antioxidants like resveratrol, quercetin and epicatechin appear to lower the chance of stroke, heart attack, kidney stones, and upper digestive tract cancer.
So Joel, please don't stop. Your health and sense of humor might depend on it.
|Blood Pressure & Wine - Maybe Not So Bad||
The health benefits of wine have been touted for years now, with components like resveratrol, quercetin and epicatechin seen as antioxidants and helping cardiovascular health.
Two problems with drinking are liver damage and high blood pressure. Despite many articles recommending the health benefits of wine, depending on your metabolism as few as three drinks a day can cause cirrhosis.
It's also been thought that wine may be off limits if you suffer from high blood pressure.But a new study suggests if you stay below that magic number of two or fewer drinks a day you can keep that appointment with happy hour.
In a new study of over 11,000 male health professionals researchers found that those how had two drinks a day had lower rates of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks than the others. But their overall death rate was not lower.
The effects dropped off at three or more drinks.
So eat, drink, and merry but tomorrow we may not die.
|Raffaldini Sangiovese - 2005||
If you're looking for a wine that is a bit more robusto, the Raffaldini Sangiovese is a good choice.
It's a drier wine than North Carolina natives may be used to. The tannins are more moderate than a comparable cabernet savignon.
Sangiovese grapes are famous for the passionate Tuscan chiantis that are made from them. This isn't the mixed chianti, but stands well on its own.
The wine has a spicy sweet aroma reminiscent of clove. The flavor is dry with a combination of plum, cherry, and blueberry. It has a clean finish that leaves a taste of tannins on the toungue offset by well balanced acidity.
The color is a light red purple.
I was snacking on a spiced cheddar at the time I opened the bottle. It turned out to be a good combination, with the wine holding its own well. Other foods that go well include red meat or roast vegetables with a bit of garlic.
At around $14 it's on the high side of what I usually buy. This wine was also recommended by George, and after all it was New Years. I'm very happy with the quality of wine I received for the price.
When the wineries start appreciating all of my hard work I'd be happy to take a case to put down for a year or two to see where it goes. But don't leave it too long, a couple of years is best.
|Shelton Vineyards American Riesling||If you're looking for a pleasant sipping white wine, Shelton's American Riesling is a good choice. This is a sweet wine with a fruity bouquet and the taste of green-apple. It has a good balance between sweet and acidic, sweet from start to finish but not cloying with just enough acidity to give it a crisp flavor. It finishes with a pleasant apricot taste. At around $12 direct or Total Wine this is a good bargain. Thanks to George for pointing this one out.|
|A North Carolina Champagne for New Years||Since I'm exploring everything wine about North Carolina, I thought I'd try a local champagne, or sparkling wine. Yes, I know it's not really champagne unless it's from France, but I'll use it as a common term. The only champagne I could find was from Bilmore Estates, which produces several varieties but Harris Teeters only carries the Brut. I'm not a big fan of brut, preferring a dry champagne which is slightly sweeter. The wine consists of a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, though little of the fruitiness remains. True to form, it is dry. It's one time I agree with the winery's description of apricot and strawberry aromas. The taste is dry with a citrus finish that I wish was a bit cleaner. It's won several gold and silver medals, but I rarely use this as a guide since there seems to be enough medals for every wine produced to get one. Their web site lists it at $19.99, I bought it for around $12. If it had a cleaner finish I'd say it was worth it. It is competitive with California champagnes under $10. For now though, I'll keep looking.|
|Short Tips - Choosing a Wine Glass||
Choosing a wine glass is important for the finicky wine taster. For reds, you want to maximize the aroma you get. For whites, prevent warming. And for champagne, take advantage of the carbonation, or the bubbly.
Here's a fun little video from VirtualWine to start our foray into multimedia.
|Buttery Chardonnays - An MLF Minute||As the number of North Carolina wineries producing chardonnays grow, so does their consumption by locals. But if they're new to you, what do you look for in a chadonnay? There are two processes that make a huge difference to me. The first is whether the wine is aged in oak barrels or stainless steel tanks. A process we'll explore later. The second is malolactic fermentation. How does malolactic fermentation, also called malo, ml, or mlf, make a difference? Think of the difference between lemonade or orange juice. Both are acidic by nature, but the taste is quite different. So goes MLF. One chardonnay is crisp, tangy, and light, the other is rich, buttery, and full. MLF is different from traditional yeast fermentation and actually happens after the regular fermentation that turns the grape's natural sugar into alcohol. In MLF, strains of bacteria are used in the process. This process releases carbon dioxide like yeast fermentation, so it's still regarded as a fermenting process. Even though bacteria is used, don't think bad bacteria, think of good bacteria like in yoghurt or pickling. In fact, the same bacteria that turns cucumbers into even better pickles, Lactobacillus, is one of the main players in MLF. And like yoghurt, the result is richer and creamier. Instead of turning sugar into alcohol like first fermentation, MLF turns the harsher, more metallic malic acid into lactic acid. This softens the flavor, gives the wine what's called a "full mouth", and most importantly, the buttery quality many people like. Done wrong,it's a disaster. But by the time the wine reaches you the bad is usually done away with. Done right, it's a great sensation. So next time you're tasting wines ask the host whether or not there's been MLF. Or get a bottle of Glen Marie with and a bottle of Cypress Bend without, and compare the taste. But I'd suggest finishing with the wine that's been MLF processed. Santé!|
|Grapefull Sisters Tabors Choice||While Lu Mil's Bladen Blush has hints of watermelon, Grapefull Sisters Tabor's Choice has hints of strawberry. Interestingly, both of these wines are processed at Duplin Winery. A relative production giant, they offer services to other local wineries. In this instance it really is in the grapes. This is a muscadine wine with a bit more sweetness and distinctive muscadine aftertaste. Like most muscadine wines, it has a fruity aroma and flavor, with the most distinct fruit being strawberry. The tannins are light, with just a bit of dryness. If you like traditional muscadine wine you're sure to like this one. If you're a traditional wine drinker, this is sweeter than an eiswein with a fuller mouth. This wine is still in the $9 - $12 range.|