Hello, Wine Lovers! My Facebook LIVE “Wines of the Week” series continues with a special Saturday episode entitled, Wine Collecting 101, a topic I’m very passionate about! Nothing is more magical than the way a wine transforms over time. Acid, tannins, sugar and alcohol converge in a dynamic, alchemical dance which ultimately creates something greater and more complex than the sum of its parts.
And while many people are used to consuming wine shortly after purchasing it, I hope this episode inspires your curiosity and patience. Think of wine collecting as delayed gratification that will reward you many times over. In today’s episode I debunk some commonly held myths about aging and collecting wine and feature some stellar selections to add to either your existing collection or inspire you to start one. The first myth I’d like to debunk is that you need some custom built, 5,000 bottle cellar to collect wine – you absolutely do NOT!
All you need is a cool, quiet, dark place on your home free from vibration, light or widely fluctuating temperatures and you are good to go. Please see below for the featured wines & resources mentioned in this episode as well as the full Facebook LIVE video. Even if you watch it after the live broadcast, please feel free to ask questions or make comments – I PROMISE to get back to you!
TODAY’S FEATURED WINES:
1.) Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone Valley, France, 2010 ($120)
[To purchase the current release of this wine, please click the following link:
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone Valley, France, 2015 ($80)]
2.) Marchesi Antinori Tignanello IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2001 ($90)
[To purchase the current release of this wine, please click the following link: Marchesi Antinori Tignanello IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2014 ($90)]
3.) Darioush Shahpar Late Harvest, Napa Valley, California, 2004 ($140 – 375 mL)
[To purchase the current release of this wine, please click the following link: Darioush Shahpar Late Harvest, Napa Valley, California, 2011 ($70 – 375mL)]
4.) Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal, 2005 ($28)
[To purchase the current release of this wine, please click the following link: Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal, 2012 ($20)]
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
– Coravin Model Two Wine System ($290) – One of my FAVORITE wine accessories which uses a super thin, surgical grade needle to pierce the porous cork of a bottle, allowing you to extract some wine without affecting the wine’s aging process. This way you can see if a wine is ready to drink without committing to the entire bottle. If it’s not quite ready, simply return the bottle to its resting place and sample again at a later date. For info on purchasing, please click here.
– Suggested Age-Worthy Wines:
(1) White Wines: White Rioja, German Riesling, White Burgundy, high-acid white Greek wines & Champagne
(2) Red Wines: Bordeaux, Burgundy, California Cabernets & Spanish reds
(3) Late Harvest/Dessert Wines: Sauternes from Bordeaux, Quarts de Chaume from the Loire Valley, Hungarian Tokaji & German Riesling
(4) Fortified Wines: Various styles of Port, Sherry, Madeira & Marsala
– Photo of grapes affected by Botrytis Cinerea (aka Noble Rot) used to make Sauternes, the legendary, sweet wines of Bordeaux.
To view the full “Wine Collecting 101” Facebook LIVE episode please play the video above and for information or questions regarding my Cellar Consulting Services, please e-mail me at Stephanie [at] theglamorousgourmet [dot] com. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Also, to view previous episodes of “Wines of the Week,” please click here. Thanks so much for tuning in and if you’d like to share any of your own experiences with ageing or collecting wines – I’d LOVE to hear about them! Please let me know in the Comments section below and be sure to join me next Friday, February 9th at 5pm EST on Facebook LIVE for some special Valentine’s Day wine selections.
With your New Year’s Eve hangover in the rear view mirror, here are 5 Fabulous Wine Resolutions to guide your vinous exploration in the New Year. From becoming a better taster to planning a trip to your favorite wine region, I’ve got ya covered:
1.) Mix It Up: Because the world of wine can be confusing it’s often easier to just stick with the same wine day in and day out – but how boring is that?!? To break out of your vinous rut, why not vow here and now to sample a different wine every week or at least every month. I’ll have plenty of great recommendations here on The Glamorous Gourmet as well as my weekly Facebook LIVE Show “Wines of the Week.” I also recommend finding a local retailer who can guide you towards selections based on your preferences. To sign up for my weekly newsletter with ALL the latest wine dish, please click here.
2.) Start a Wine Collection: If you’ve been drinking wine long enough to have a favorite wine region and/or producer why not sock a few bottles away for a later date? Aged wine can be a truly enjoyable revelation but collecting wine does NOT mean you have to commission a custom built, 15,000 bottle capacity cellar, in fact, far from it! All you’ll need is a small wine fridge and a few age-worthy bottles to put in it. This piece of equipment is VERY important since varying temperatures and humidity levels as well as any mechanical vibration (i.e. refrigerator, A/C unit) are the arch-enemies of wine. Also, if your budget allows, purchase a fridge with a little room to grow, wine lovers have a habit of outgrowing them faster then they think.
3.) Learn to Taste Wine: I know we all know how to physically “taste” wines, just take a sip, right? But to really learn about wine you need to taste it in a particular way, utilizing ALL of your senses including sight, smell AND taste. This sensory information provides valuable insight into a wine’s place of origin, grape variety and “terroir” which are all critical factors to learning about and understanding wine. So if becoming a better wine taster is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, please join me every Friday at 5pm EST for my brand new Facebook LIVE show “Wines of the Week” where you can taste four wines along with me EVERY week (click here to be taken there).
4.) Drink more sparkling wines: The focus on sparkling wine/Champagne consumption around special occasions like New Year’s Eve leaves the majority of the year unbearably bubbly-free. While Champagne’s price tag may limit it to more of a special occasion wine, there are many sparklers from around the globe that are priced for everyday consumption. Wines like Prosecco, Cava and Crémant (for some examples, please and here) are perfect for enjoying on a Tuesday night after work or when a friend stops by to visit. As an added bonus, sparkling wines also have less calories and alcohol than a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir – affordable, delicious AND figure-friendly – what’s not to love about that?
5.) Wine-related Travel: Next time you’re booking a getaway why not head to your favorite wine region? Whether you’ve collected wine for years or are new to it, nothing will give you a greater appreciation for what’s in your glass than standing in the vineyard where the grapes are grown and talking to the people who make the wine. Most wineries offer tours and tastings which you can sign up for via their website and they’re usually very happy to hear from you! Here’s a link to some of my travel-related articles.
I hope these suggestions inspire you to further embrace the world of wine in the New Year! If you have any other wine-related resolutions I’d love to hear about them, please let me know in the Comment section below.
Our latest Wine Word of the Week is “en primeur” which refers to the practice of purchasing wine in advance of its release date, usually while it is still in barrel. Also referred to as “wine futures,” wines purchased in this manner aren’t usually released until 2-3 years after they are sold. Why spend money on wine that far in... Read More
Our latest Wine Word of the Week is “en primeur” which refers to the practice of purchasing wine in advance of its release date, usually while it is still in barrel. Also referred to as “wine futures,” wines purchased in this manner aren’t usually released until 2-3 years after they are sold. Why spend money on wine that far in advance, you might ask? Purchasing wine en primeur is done primarily for two reasons: (1) to obtain wines which are produced in limited quantities, and (2) to lock in the best pricing of a wine, usually lower than the release price.
The practice of purchasing wines en primeur is most prevalent in France’s Bordeaux region where it has existed for centuries. Every April the grand cru classé properties produce barrel samples of their wines for the international wine trade who gather in Bordeaux to assess them. Based on these tastings, wines are given scores or ratings which reflect what they will taste like once they are bottled and how well they will age. The estates then release a portion of their total production at special pricing to wine brokers, known as négociants, who then sell the en primeur offers. Selling to négociants helps producers mitigate the risk of decreased demand in poor vintages: négociants are obligated to purchase their allocations in poor vintages for fear of not receiving any allocation in good vintages. The en primeur system works best when global demand outstrips supply and with skyrocketing prices of Bordeaux over the past decade due largely to Chinese interest, many US collectors have lost interest in the en primeur process.
Bordeaux is not the only region in the world to sell its wines en primeur; regions such as Burgundy, the Rhône, Port, Italy, and California also implement this practice. Consumers interested in purchasing wines en primeur from any country should consult a reputable wine merchant to handle the transaction since they’ll be waiting 2-3 years to receive their wine.
Thanks for checking out our latest Wine Word of the Week and to see previous “words,” please click here. If there’s a wine word you’d like to learn more about, please leave it in the comment section below – we’d love to hear from you.
With your New Year’s Eve hangover in the rear view mirror and the long, winding road of 2014 laid out before you, here are 5 wine-related resolutions to help you embrace and explore the world of wine in the New Year.
1.) Mix It Up: Because the world of wine is so vast and often confusing it’s easy to just stick with the same wine, day in and day out. To break out of your wine rut, why not vow to sample a different wine every week or learn more about a specific wine making region? Find a reputable retailer who can guide you towards selections you might like or subscribe to a publication and/or website where you can learn more about a variety of wine regions around the world. Here on the blog we plan on offering an array of wine coverage in the New Year and our Explorateur Wine Club is a wonderful way to explore a different wine region every month!
2.) Start a Wine Collection: If you’ve been drinking wine long enough to have a favorite wine region and/or producer it’s probably a good time to start collecting. Collecting wine does not mean you have to commission a custom built 15,000 bottle capacity cellar – far from it! All it takes to start a collection is a small wine fridge and a few age-worthy bottles to put in it (for some age-worthy wine recs, please click here). The wine fridge is an important piece of equipment for the beginning collector. Please don’t forgo this purchase and make the mistake of storing your wines in a spare closet or on the kitchen counter. The varying temperatures and humidity levels in any home (kitchens are the worst!) are the arch-enemies of wine so be sure to protect your investment with this useful piece of equipment. Also, wine lovers invariably have a way of outgrowing wine storage units so, if your budget allows, purchase a fridge with a little room to grow.
3.) Drink more white wines that are NOT Pinot Grigio: Much like Rodney Dangerfield, white wine often “gets no respect”. I conduct many tastings where people want to skip right over the white wine and go straight to the red. Sometimes it’s personal preference but, more often than not, I think people are under the impression that red wines are somehow superior to whites, which couldn’t be farther from the truth! People are also under the mistaken impression that all white wine tastes like the bland, mass-produced Pinot Grigios we often encounter which doesn’t help white wine’s reputation. It’s rewarding to see someone’s face light up after taking a sip of White Burgundy or Alsatian Gewürztraminer and marvel at their flavor and complexity. So whether it’s Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Arneis or Chenin Blanc embrace the world of white wine but, whatever you do, stay away from the Pinot Grigio! For a selection of delicious whites from The Wine Atelier, please click here.
4.) Drink more sparkling wines: Unfortunately sparkling wines are most often associated with special occasions and New Year’s Eve celebrations, leaving the majority of the year unbearably bubbly-free. While Champagne’s price may limit it to more of a special occasion selection, there are many sparkling wines from around the globe whose price point makes them a perfect candidate for an everyday wine. Wines like Prosecco, Cava and Crémant retail for under $20 (for some examples, please click here) making them perfect for enjoying on a Tuesday night after work or when a friend stops by to visit. As an added bonus, sparkling wines have less calories and alcohol than a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Affordable, delicious and figure-friendly – what’s not to love about that?
5.) Wine-related Travel: Next time you’re booking a Spring or Summer getaway why not head to your favorite wine region? Nothing will give you an appreciation for what’s in your glass more than standing in the vineyard where the grapes are grown and talking to the people who make the wine. Whether you’ve collected for some time or are new to enjoying wine, traveling to different regions can be a lot of fun and facilitate your passion for the subject. Start with a region you’re interested in and plan from there. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the wineries directly, they’re usually very happy to hear from you. Of course here at The Glamorous Gourmet we’re always happy to assist you with wine and food related travel so please don’t hesitate to reach out. Here’s a link to some of our travel-related articles.
I hope these suggestions help you make it through 2014 with a renewed passion for all things vinous! If you have any other wine-related resolutions we’d love to hear about them, please tell us in the comment section below.