Holiday Indulgences

Posted by | Posted in Accessories | Posted on 12-23-2010

Uploaded to flickr by neil conway

Ah yes, the holidays; historically known as the time of year to over indulge in everything, favorite food and beverages being no exception. If you’re like me, you have no qualms about gaining an extra layer of insulation during the holiday season. After all, it is freezing outside. However, if you should choose to suppress your inner holiday glutton, you will be happy to know that you don’t have to choose between an after dinner glass of wine or dessert. You can have both!

Dessert wine, folks. If you’re too full for — or can’t possibly bear the shame of eating — a slice of turtle truffle double fudge pecan caramel swirl cheesecake, why not opt for a glass of dessert wine instead? A 2 or 3 oz glass will more than quench the sweet tooth, and you won’t feel cheated in the least. Best part is that it will only run you 100-150 calories; much easier to rationalize than the, ahem, 700 calories in the monster cheesecake!

Several domestic vineyards up north make some really nice ice wines out of everything from Chardonnay to Cabernet Franc. They’re a bit pricier than your average bottle of wine, but they make a lovely gift for your host. No time to run a quick errand to Michigan? No problem. A bunch of vineyards in warmer climates that can’t make actual ice wine (by letting the grapes freeze on the vines before they’re picked) are making ice-style wines by picking late harvest grapes, and then freezing them before they’re pressed. Dessert wine will generally keep for 7-10 days in the fridge, so you can enjoy this treat all week!

Now, to tackle the new purse or new shoes dilemma…

Wine Drinker Stereotypes?

Posted by | Posted in Grape Adventures | Posted on 11-22-2010

Uploaded to flickr by Kyle May

A couple walks into a bar. A tasting bar, that is. The husband is a big burly guy, wearing a flannel shirt tucked in to a worn pair of jeans. He’s bearded and rugged, but jolly. The wife is a dainty thing with hair and make-up just right. With khakis, Keds, and a pink v-neck sweater, she’s the quintessential mom. Arm in arm with her husband, they bustle in out of the crisp fall air, looking around in wide-eyed wonder.

As they approach the tasting bar, I’m thinking I’ve got these two pegged. A hearty Cab Sauv for Paul Bunyan and a semi-sweet white table wine for the wife. I’d even put money on it.

So I’m smiling in anticipation, as the husband nods to his wife to order first. After scanning the selections, she delightfully exclaims, “Oh! I’ll have the Cab Sauv!” Ok, I say to myself, I’ll let this one slide because it IS fall, generally the season to shift to big reds.

As I knowingly start to pour two glasses of Cab Sauv, Mr. Bunyan stops me, sheepishly interjecting, “Actually, uh, do you guys have anything sweet?” A little taken aback, I stumble to say “Oh, sure! You’ll love our table white.”

This was my first experience at a winery’s tasting room — and it wasn’t unusual. Just about every day, customers completely surprised me with their wine preferences. And after a year of similar experiences, I did away with the stereotypes I had had.

While there’s no shortage of bachelorettes and grannies that love their sweet whites, more often than you’d think, you get the big guys asking for it as well. On the same note, I cannot tell you how many Chanel-donning housewives came in, refusing all whites, opting for a big red.

So, should one be ashamed to choose a certain type of wine? Or worse, drink a certain type of wine to fit the mold? Absolutely not. After all, everyone’s palate is different, both in maturity and taste. Drink what tastes good — to you.