Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Wine, I've Cheated but I Love You Still

I was raised by my dad.  When he had his friends over, I never saw little cute drinks with umbrellas in them.  I rarely saw them mix anything with orange juice and never even had cranberry juice in my refrigerator until I became an adult.  When I think back, the only wine we had was Tawny Port. and trust me, it wasn't a good one.  What I saw were various versions of liquid that looked like tea and smelled like gasoline. (And burned like hell!)  I knew that one day, although I've become sorta like a wine expert, I would take it back "home" to explore what my father and his friends were drinking and cozy up to the brown liquor.

So here is my confession.  I have fallen in love with Bourbon.

Recently, G and I visited a friend who is a real Bourbon connoisseur.  He has launched a company that does Bourbon education through classes or parties.  His Bourbon stash looked more robust than most ABC store whiskey aisles!  During our visit, our friend treated us to one of his Bourbon "tours".  We discussed many of the nuances that make this fine whiskey as diverse and refined as wine.  Made with at least 51% corn in new oak barrels that have been charred on the inside, I found that the care put into achieving optimal results was no different than the making of a quality wine.  As we talked, even the language in describing the nose, taste, and textures were no different than what we use when we talk about the qualities of wine.  After tasting about 9 different Bourbons, I knew that I could do this all night and still not know all that there is to know about the complexities of Bourbon.  But because I'm in love, the courtship will continue.

Any good Sommelier should know not only wine but spirits as well.  So I am committed to stepping up my game by becoming a Bourbon Sommelier (yes, that is a real things!).  Over the next few months, my friend and I will be planning an event that features my two and stay tuned!

If you're interested in a Bourbon tasting or class, email me at  I will pass your information along to my friend (until we officially rollout his marketing plan).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Drink Pink!: A Quick Lesson in Rose'

I love a good Rose'.  To me, they go perfectly with lots of foods and are even as great as your chosen sipping wine. I don't know that I am the only one but the first time I had a Rose' that wasn't White Zinfandel, I expected sweet and fruity.  Some are!  But they can also be bone dry, like the first one that I had ever tasted.

Today's blog can be classified as a quick intro to Rose'.  It isn't meant to be heady or is just meant to answer some very basic questions.  So if you are looking for big, fancy, wine words, stop reading now!  It's Thursdays AKA Little Friday!  Chill out!

What is a Rose'?  Where does that pink juice come from?  Well you're right if you said that they come from red grapes where the skin has had very limited contact with the juice.  You're also right if you said that it is a combination of a little white wine and a little red wine.  We did learn in kindergarten that red and white make pink, right?  The first method that I briefly described is the most common method.  I will admit that I think that second method, although acceptable in the wine world, is cheating.

Are Rose' wines sweet?  I guess they can be but, like other wines, Rose' wines come from all over the world and take on the characteristics of the grape used to make it.  What is missing is the tannins that are sometimes associated with red wines.  Since the tannins come from the skin, you don't get that with a Rose'.  Pink wines made from grapes and in a style that traditionally produce a more acidic juice, you can expect the same from that juice, acidic and a great compliment to your meal.  If the grape and style making traditionally produces a more fruit forward wine, you can expect the Rose' to be very fruity and soft with notes of berry.

Where is Rose' produced?  EVERYWHERE!  About a week ago, I had the opportunity to drink pink from Vinho Verde!  What???  I thought that all wines from Vinho Verde had to be green.  That is what the name translates to, right?  Well this Rose' from that Vinho Verde region was as light and crisp as one of my favorite summer sippers.

Join us tomorrow on "Off The Vine with Benita and Terricinia" as we devote our entire show to Rose' wines.  We will be joined by our well-informed guest Brian Fairtile as he accompany us on a trip around the world with Rose'.  To join us, click here Friday at 3:00 pm.