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Archive for Wine

NEW PRODUCT: You’re Invited To Drink Swill

Would you go to a swill party? That’s swill, not swell. One manufacturer is selling a Swill® Wine Tasting Party kit as a fun and casual way to conduct a blind wine tasting. It’s targeted to people who enjoy wine but aren’t very knowledgeable about it. Or apparently, very knowledgeable about the meaning of the word, swill.Excuse us for recoiling, but here are some dictionary definitions for swill (these from Dictionary.com):

1. liquid or partly liquid food for animals, esp. kitchen refuse given to swine; hogwash
2. kitchen refuse in general; garbage
3. any liquid mess, waste, or refuse; slop
4. a deep draught of liquor
5. contemptibly worthless utterance or writing; drivel
6. to drink greedily or excessively
7. to drink (something) greedily or to excess; guzzle
8. to feed (animals) with swill: to swill hogs

 
The SWILL Wine Tasting Party Kit has
everything you’ll need to host a wine
tasting party for eight.
The word is also used to refer to human food of very poor quality, e.g., “I can’t believe they served us that swill!” We don’t eat or drink swill. However, if you find this concept clever, or think it will make a good joke gift (at $24.99), you can order a wine-tasting kit at SwillParty.com.

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TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream


Our two favorite flavors of Mercer’s Wine
Ice Cream, Ala Port and Red Raspberry
Chardonnay, can be served at the most
elegant dinner party. Photography by
Saidi Granados
.
  Like ice cream? Like wine? Here’s something to make you glad you’re over 21: Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream. Made with 5% alcohol, you must be of age to enjoy—no, to wallow in—such ice cream happiness. July is National Ice Cream Month, and we’re in love with this wine ice cream.

We first discovered Mercer’s two years ago. This upstate New York dairy had a standout Port ice cream and three other flavors of wine ice cream that were a distant second. A lot of work has gone into making all four flavors medalists at THE NIBBLE Ice Cream Olympics, and two new flavors are about to join them.

All of the flavors are an ice cream and wine lover’s dream. In Ala Port, Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet, Peach White Zinfandel, Red Raspberry Chardonnay and Royal White Riesling, these seductive frozen dreams rock. As they soften in your dish, they evolve into an ice cream cocktail. No one we know is satisfied with just one serving, so here’s our advice: Don’t show restraint; order two of everything and call over your nearest and dearest to celebrate. Scoop up the details in the full review. And for a great line of wine sorbets, read our review of Wine Cellar Sorbets, another Top Pick Of The Week.

 

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TRENDS: Wine No Longer Bought By 1/4 Of Vacationers

Air travel restrictions have changed wine drinkers’ buying and travel practices, according to results from a poll released by BottleWise, a manufacturer of airline-friendly wine travel bags. BottleWise asked attendees at last month’s Food and Wine Expo in Washington, D.C., what impact, if any, TSA carry-on restrictions have had on their wine buying habits when flying home from wine country or other destinations. U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began restricted liquids carry-ons to three-ounce or smaller containers. A bottle of wine is 750ml or 25.4 ounces.
· 24.4%, said they no longer buy bottles of wine when traveling by air
· 41.2% wrap bottles in clothing or bubble wrap and place it in their checked luggage
· 18.1% ask the winery to ship the wine directly to them
· 10.4% reported no impact because they never travel with wine
  Wine Bottle Tote
Pack wine in luggage safely with a wine tote like BottleWise.
Airlines do not provide compensation for damage to luggage contents created from spills or leaks. Passengers must take the necessary precautions to protect wine bottles, olive oil, perfume and other glass purchases packed away in their checked bags. While bubble wrap is a good start, and the luggage compartments on modern aircraft are pressurized (there is no risk to bottles popping an unopened cap or cork, but transporting opened bottles is not recommended), people with fine clothing may want to take an extra step and use a device like BottleWise, which has liquid-tight pouches. At $48.95 to $58.95 for a carrier that holds just two bottles, it may seem like a luxury; but rolled into the cost of the vacation, it’s just rounding error. Learn more at BottleWise.com. Learn more about wine in the Wine Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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NEWS: California Invites You To The “Land Of Wine And Food”

Apricot Orchard
Harvesting apricots in the Bonacich Orchard. Photo by Robert Holmes | California Travel and Tourism Commission
  As more and more people are planning their entire vacations around food and wine, the tourism industry is taking notice. California, with its vineyards, bountiful farms, cheese makers and star chefs, is the hottest destination in America for culinary tourism (yes, that’s what it’s called). We attended a luncheon and wine tasting organized by the California Travel and Tourism Commission, to celebrate its new campaign called “Land of Wine and Food.” You’ll see magazine ads, a website and even TV spots featuring celebrities, wine makers and chefs. At the launch event in New York City, we were greeted with a table of goodies, prepared and presented by the Food Network’s Guy Fieri (the original winnner of “The Next Food Network Star”).

Guy had prepared some of California’s signature dishes: A Tomales Bay Kumamoto oyster tasted so fresh, it was hard to believe that it had flown across the country. The fried version of the oyster with a generous smattering of Californian Dry Jack cheese had us asking for seconds. Also on Guy’s appetizer table were succulent Cornish game hens and San Francisco’s seasonal favorite, Dungeness crab.Now that we had a little food in our system, we were ready to partake in the “Wine Tasting Tour of California,” led by some of the winemakers whose wines were showcased. We tasted seven wines, ranging from a dry Muscat from Chalk Hill to an oaky Cabernet from Oakville (which seems funny when you see it in print, but not all wines from Oakville are oaky). Our personal favorite was the 2004 Curtis Winery Syrah from Santa Barbara County, presented by the winemaker (and former star of “The Bachelor”) Andrew Firestone. It tasted of plum and blackberry with a hint of vanilla and a caramelly finish. We’ll be searching for bottles of this one on our next trip to the wine store.

All this was followed by…lunch! John Stewart and Duskie Estes, the husband/wife chef team behind the restaurant Zazu in Santa Rosa, presented us with a delicious family-style meal, focusing on the seasonal and the sustainable for which Zazu is known. (in fact, many of the ingredients were picked from the organic garden at the back of the restaurant). A whole roasted lamb, raised by one their neighbors in Santa Rosa, was tender and bursting with flavor. The side of “Enormous Fagioli,” big Italian-style white beans, was accompanied by crisped vegetable bits that imparted a smoky flavor. We even discovered a new vegetable, puntarelle, which tastes a bit like chicory and is completely addictive.

The meal was accompanied by many of the same wines that we had tasted, plus new ones including a Bordeaux-style blend by Rodney Strong called Symmetry. Dessert was a stellar finish to the meal—burst-in -your-mouth goat cheese fritters, topped with chestnut honey (also provided by a beekeeper who is a neighbor to the restaurant.) In California, it seems, the best meal is the one that comes from just next door. Go locavore! Go culinary tourism! Go to California and taste all of this great food firsthand. Visit LandOfWineAndFood.com for information and to enter to win a six-day adventure to California’s Central Valley.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Watch Your Wine Timelines

If you have an unopened bottle of spirits, it can last for years. But except for collector wines that need bottle age, most wines are meant to be drunk within a year: otherwise, they deteriorate. If you’re not sure about a wine you own, ask at your local wine store. You don’t need a special occasion to open a nice bottle of wine. If you don’t have enough participation to finish the bottle in an evening, use a wine preservative and enjoy it over a week. Here’s a good wine preservative spray. Read more about vino in the Wine Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Wine Preservative Spray
If you have no one to share that fine wine with, enjoy it yourself. Use a preservative spray to keep the remainder fresh for a few days or a week until you can finish the bottle.
 

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