• Cheese and Wine

    Cheese and Wine

     

    It’s no secret that wine and cheese go together but that doesn’t mean that any cheese can go with just any wine. It’s important to understand that whatever you decide to pair your wine with, it’s supposed to enhance the flavor along with your experience.

     

    While some of us are beginning to become wine connoisseurs, not all of us are cheese connoisseurs so a lot of it will be trial and error on your part. If you’re hosting a party and you want to serve some cheese and wine, it’s always a good idea to dip your toes in the water a bit to know what you’re working with. Here we’ll explain some wines that you can pair with whatever cheese you have.

     

    • Starting off with hard cheese. This may include cheddar and Manchego. They are probably one of the easiest cheeses to pair with wine. You will see a lot of people pair it with a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or even a Rioja. That may be the more enjoyable pairing. You will also find that some people try cheddar with Chardonnay.

     

    • After that comes soft cheeses. This will range from Philadelphia to B A lot of people have said that they like these cheeses with a fruity red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. It is also common for white wine to be considered fruity. In this instant, Rose will also be a good pairing for this kind of cheese.

     

    • Next on the list is the infamous Blue Cheese. With this kind of cheese, the wine pairings do tend to be on the sweeter side as well. You’ll eventually see people have it with Sauternes or even Port.

     

    Those are some of the more common pairings. It’s good to keep in mind that when it comes to cheese and wine, it can be completely up to your interpretation. What may taste good for one person, may taste terrible for someone else. It’s a good experimenting experience. It can also help branch you out and find some different wines that you may like.

     

    One of the best tips that we can give you is to pair wine and cheese with equal intensity. According to Wine Follys “6 Tips on Pairing Wine and Cheese” wines over 14.5% ABV are more intense and taste better with intensely flavored cheeses. It doesn’t stop there. It’s good to keep in mind that it’s also good to pair wine and cheese that come from the same place. This is because they have some of the same traditions and will often work really well together. Of course, we will never know for certain until we try. If all else fails a good trick is to pair any wine with a nutty kind of cheese. These types of cheeses will have enough fat to balance red AND white wines. You can’t go wrong.

     

    As you may already know, wine is a very complex kind of drink. Not everyone likes it but a lot of people love it. What kind of wine tasting blog would we be if we didn’t help you explore all the different possibilities of the wine world. While doing that, we think you should stop by The Wine Barn so that you can try our assortment of wines.

     

    Our Wine Down Thursdays will be a good time you don’t want to miss. Get endless wine and food for just $25 per person!

  • 4 Dry White Wines You Should Try

    If you’re not familiar with these selections, consider them when possible.

    Most people are looking for dry white wines because they want to use it for cooking. The issue is that if one of these wines are marketed for cooking, then it may not be suitable for actually drinking. Why would you cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink? That doesn’t make sense.

    With that being said, there are some people who prefer to drink these wines instead. If you’re someone who’s looking for a new choice, consider one of these next time.

    Sauvignon Blanc

    Whether you’re looking for a wine that is for cooking, drinking, or both, this is one of the most popular choices and for good reasons. It’s a lean wine that is grassy with a subtle fruit taste to it. In the US, it’s normally found in Washington State or California. Internationally it comes from places such as South Africa, New Zealand, and Austria. If you have goat cheese, then these two would make a great pairing. Pastas like ravioli and risotto are also good choices. If you’re having a delicate fish like sole, feel free to have this along with it.

    Albariño

    Pronouced as “al-ba-reen-yo”, this is a very dry wine that has a refreshing citrus flavor with a light salt taste as well. The grapes originate from places like Spain and Northwest Portugal. Some versions are bottled with carbon dioxide, which helps the wine produce a light and sparkling taste to it. Aside from its native land, this wine is also produced in California and New Zealand. White meats like chicken and pork would accompany this wine very well. You could also consider steamed mussels or white fish.

    Pinot Grigio

    You may also know it as Pinot Gris. The former name comes from Italy, and the latter comes from France and Oregon. Whichever name you prefer, it’s a medium-dry wine that is light with a fruity taste with mineral notes. The Italian version has a more profound mineral taste to it. If you’re looking for a wine that is drier, go with the French option. If you’re going to have this wine with a meal, pair it with seafood or a light pasta dish.

    Riesling

    This is a wine that thrives in Germany, but can also be found on the West coast of America. There are dry and sweet versions. If you see “spatlese”, then it’s the dry version. It will have a more intense fruit flavor with a fuller body. The drier Riesling will go well with light seafood along with salty and fried foods.

    Conclusion

    Over the years, dry white wines were always associated with cooking, but this understates the quality that they can provide as a drink. They make a great complement for many seafood dishes or would go well on its own too. They are most popular during the summer months, but can be enjoyed any time of the year.

     

  • 4 Red Wines You Should Drink for the Sake of Your Heart

    These choices are good tasting and good for you.

    Did you know that every time you enjoy a glass of red wine, you are actually improving your health? You may have been drinking because you love it, but there is actually a health benefit to consider.

    Acoording to the Mayo Clinic, the alcohol and antioxidants that are in red wine could help prevent coronary artery disease. This means it potentially could decrease the chances of suffering a heart attack. The antioxidants in red wine may increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

    If you’re going to take the time to sip some wine and focus on your health, then you might as well enjoy the selections, right? Here are four red wines that you should consider having the next time you treat yourself or are out on the town.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    Originating in France, this wine is known for its dark color. The alcohol content for most brands are over 13.5 percent and some versions can be as high as 15 percent. There is a significant tannin level, which is why you might feel your mouth drying when you drink it. You might notice a taste of green pepper, cassis, and dark cherries. Some brands also have a vanilla-like taste to them. While any wine can be consumed on its own, having this one with food is highly recommended due to the alcohol content. It would go well with almost any food you choose.

    Merlot

    After Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is the second-most popular red grape in the United States. The name is French for “The Little Blackbird”. The high end of alcohol content approaches 14.5 percent. In the United States, you’ll find it in abundance in Washington State and California. Across the globe, it’s more popular in Australia and Chile. The taste could be described as plum-like with hints of chocolate. It’s a smooth beverage compared to others. If you’re going to have beef, roast chicken, or pork with your meal, order this to accompany it.

    Garnacha

    These grapes originated in Spain but now are among the most widely distributed in the world. Internationally it has peaked and dipped in the market, but it is enjoying a wave of popularity in recent years. The taste of this wine is undeniable. It has been described as similar to fruit candy with cinnamon. It’s among a group of wines that has a higher alcohol content (around 15 percent), but is lighter in color. The fruity taste may be why it doesn’t supply as much heat. It’s good on its own as well as a part of blends. It’s popular for fall and goes well with roasted vegetables and with prime rib.

    Pinot Noir

    No red wine list would be complete without this one. The people that enjoy this wine are enthusiastic about it. This wine is perfect for celebrating big occasions. It’s also known to the locals that produce it as red Burgandy. Alcohol content ranges between 12-15 percent, depending where it comes from. It’s more prevalent in cooler climates such as France and Burgandy. Aside from parties, Pinot Noir could be enjoyed with duck, salmon, and casseroles.

  • 5 Wines You Should Try for Autumn

    You can definitely “fall” for these choices.

    With certain seasons come certain ways to enjoy wines. When it comes to Autumn, having the right wine can make your meal and experience even more enjoyable. Pumpkins and spices are always associated with this time of year, but you’re certainly not limited when it comes to wine selections. These choices below can please your palate any time of the year, but you should feel a greater satisfaction during these months.

    Pinot Noirs

    This is a favorite among many wine enthusiasts and that is even more so during Autumn. Pinot Noir is one of the 10 most planted grape varieties on the planet. This red wine is lighter than others and also has low tannins. The best of these wines have aged at least 10 years. This should be enjoyed with a bell-shaped glass. If you really like to swirl your drink around, then go with a round glass that has a stem.

    Viognier

    A white wine that is full in taste, viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) originated in France. It is also produced in Australia and the United States, among other countries. This wine has a scent that offers a blend of tangerine, mango, peach, and honeysuckle. If it’s oak aged, then you will also notice a taste of vanilla. This type is what makes it a great autumn choice. This wine is definitely for swirling in a stem glass.

    Italian Rosé

    Rosés can be produced anywhere you have access to red grapes. You might be thinking that the Italian version should be more of a summer choice. However, it’s a great way to start your fall season. Some of the more popular flavors include grilled fruit, orange zest, and tart cherry. All of these are also positively influenced by spices. This makes them more crisp and savory which should be more enjoyable during those earlier sunsets. Any stemmed glass of your choice would serve you well.

    Tempranillo

    When this type comes up, the first thought that comes to mind is probably Spain for obvious reasons. The aromas that are associated with Tempranillos include cinnamon, clove and nutmeg which are both closely associated with this time of year. There are other strong aromas when it comes to autumn, but these are among the most popular. This medium to full-bodied beverage is best enjoyed in a tall stem bowled glass.

    Chardonnay

    When white wine is the topic of conversation, the one that most people think of first is Chardonnay. The deeper and rich flavor of an oaky Chardonnay would go well with almost any meal or on its own. Any brand with a more golden hue will be a great choice to enjoy. To get the best flavor, use a stemmed glass with a wide bowl (a bowl that is too narrow will offer more of an oak taste).

    Conclusion

    Of course, you can enjoy any wine of your choice any time of the year, but most wine drinkers prefer certain wines to go along with certain seasons. Picking the right choice for this time of year can enhance your experience with both the wine and the season.

     

     

  • What Wine Should You Have with Pizza?

    The type of drink you choose could improve your entire meal.

    Pizza night is always a great evening to spend with those you care about or to relax at home alone with your favorite movie. Having the right wine can make that pizza even better. If you choose a random drink with no reason, it can actually negatively affect the entire meal. Here are a few recommendations of choices to make based on the style of pizza you’re having.

    Basic Toppings

    If you’re going for a simple pizza, like pepperoni and cheese, then consider a wine that has a lower acidity. The tomato sauce is going to have plenty of that on its own. For a good counterbalance, a great option would be a California Zinfadel or Italian Chianti. The latter would pair even better if it went with a blend of cheese on the pizza.

    Supreme

    Now, if you’re on the other end of the extreme and prefer a pie that has everything except the kitchen sink, then you may need a wine that has more of a grassy aroma and taste to it. A white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc has a refreshing crisp taste to it due to its low sugar and high acidity. This also provides an increased intensity of taste if your pizza has special cheeses on it like goat or feta cheese.

    Meat Lovers

    For the top choice of what to have with a meat lover’s pizza, all you have to do is look at what people have with burgers or steak. That choice more often than not, is red wine. A heartier option would be with the proteins that make up the toppings like Italian sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon, and pepperoni of course. The meats can make your mouth feel slippery while the wine would provide a dry mouth feeling if you were to drink it on its own. The two go together to provide a nice balance, and going with a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will provide a nice balance. You will be glad you did.

    Hawaiian Pizza

    We will leave the debate about pineapples on pizzas for another time. The topic of discussion now is what you should have to drink with it should you choose to go Hawaiian. Prosecco is a sparkling wine that would provide great company for your meal. Brut is the most popular level of sweetness, but don’t be afraid to try the dry version if that’s your preference. Riesling is another suitable choice if you want an alternative. It will amplify the pineapple while counteracting the saltiness of the ham.

    Conclusion

    For many people, pizza and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. There are other combinations of toppings you can have on your pizza, but the bases here are covered. You should be able to determine what type of wine goes well with your pizza if you have different combinations of toppings that are included here.

  • Which Wine Glass Should You Use?

    What you drink and how you drink it have the same importance.

    If you go to a restaurant that offers wine, you may notice that some patrons are using different glasses than others. If you know someone that is very familiar with these types of drinks, you might wonder why that person is looking for a certain glass when you’re about to try whatever is being offered.

    No, that person isn’t being picky about the glasses and the restaurant wasn’t short on glasses either. There are actually certain glasses that allow you to enjoy a particular wine more than others. If you don’t use the right glass, then you may notice a stronger or different flavor than what was expected, and the glass may not have a full appreciation for what the wine truly offers.

    This guide should offer you a little more insight on which glasses work better with different wines. You should have a better understanding of why the glass matters and how it can enhance your wine. You may benefit more should you decide to try one on your own.

    Table Wine Glass

    The image that comes to mind when you think of “wine glass” is likely this one. There are several different versions, but they all have similar features. There’s a stem, a wide bowl, and a rim that is slightly narrower than the bowl itself.

    The stem keeps your hand away from the bowl, which helps with the temperature of the liquid. The width of the bowl is for swirling, and the narrow rim compresses the aroma so you can completely take it in. If you have a red or white wine, this glass would be a good choice so you can swirl them and enjoy those aromas before tasting.

    Champagne Glass

    You’re likely already familiar with these glasses. They’re the stemmed glasses with the tall and narrow bowl that is also known as the flute. Champagne and sparkling wines don’t need to aerate. They also aren’t necessarily going to be affected by swirling since the smell of them won’t change. The key feature of these glasses are the narrow rim. This provides a lower surface area so the bubbles last longer. Aside from the previously mentioned drinks, these glasses aren’t used too often for anything else.

    Stemless Glasses

    These glasses have been around, but they’ve received more positive attention over the last couple of decades. They can be used for swirling or straight drinking. The wide rim allows a greater flow and stronger taste. Many people prefer them because of the ease of cleaning them. However, they’re beneficial for some red wines and sweeter wines like pink moscatos and fruit wines.

    Conclusion

    There are different versions of wine glasses out there, but these are the main categories. Hopefully now you have a better idea of which glass you should use the next time you drink wine at home. Of course, you can also come to the Wine Barn and join us, too. Go to www.thewinebarn.net for more information about how to set up an event or reser