Don’t Just Throw You Wine Rack On The Counter!

A counter top wine rack is a perfect solution for wine enthusiasts (or wine enthusiasts at heart) looking for a short term storage solution for smaller quantities of wine. Not only are they stylish, but they are also available in so many varieties of styles, materials and capacities that there is a counter top wine rack to fit the personal tastes of almost anyone. What most people don’t understand, however is that using a counter top wine rack is not as simple as placing it on a counter and filling it with bottles of wine. If your wine is going to be consumed quickly this might be ok, but if you are looking to store a bottle of wine for even more than a couple of weeks there are a few things which should be kept in mind to help keep your wine tasting it’s best when you pop the cork.

1.Temperature: A wine rack should never be placed where it is going to be in close contact with extreme heat, whether it is a counter top wine rack, floor standing or wall mounted. Never place a wine rack near a heater, stove, oven or other appliance that generates heat. Wine that becomes too hot can “cook” and degrades the wine. On the contrary, some wines should never be store in extreme cold either. For example, a wine rack storing red wine should never be stored near cold drafts.

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2.Sunlight: can also affect the aging process. It is important to keep wines out of direct sunlight, which is one reason many wines, especially reds, are distributed in tinted bottles. As such, white wines are usually the most susceptible to sunlight. Even though UV rays can still affect and if left long enough ruin, a bottle of wine, if your are using a counter top wine rack for short term storage of wine just keeping the bottles out of direct sunlight will be sufficient.

3.Vibration: If storing wines for any length of time it is best to put it in a place where large heavy vibrations will not be occurring. For example in my kitchen I have an under counter washing machine/dryer which tends to vibrate and shake quite a bit when in the spin cycle. It would be unwise of me to put a counter top wine rack on that counter because the vibration from the washing machine would cause the wine to become shaken up and disturb the sediment.

Keeping these three simple factors in mind might initially make it a little more difficult to find the perfect place to put your counter top wine rack, but you will thank yourself for it when you open your first bottle of wine and it tastes perfect!

Build Your Own Wine Rack With A Wine Rack Kit

When it comes to household decorating, a new crop of do-it-yourselfers has emerged, eager to spackle, paint, measure, hammer, and hang. To keep pace, manufacturers of household products work diligently to provide the weekend warrior a bevy of projects. For wine enthusiasts who like to display their wine as well as drink it, a wine rack kit offers the perfect opportunity to build your own dynamic showcase.

A wine rack kit contains the essential parts for building your own wine rack. Just like a wine rack that you would purchase completely assembled, a wine rack kit comes in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes. So prior to choosing your wine rack kit you must first decide your preferences regarding its overall look.

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First and foremost, you must consider your home’s décor. If you prefer contemporary décor then clearly you should choose a wine rack kit that blends with this style; the same holds true for a home decorated in any other style such as country or eclectic. The materials that make up the wine rack kit range from solid wood of all varieties, to metal and wrought iron. While a wood wine rack would complement a home with country flair, a wrought iron wine rack may look better in a more eclectic home.

When considering a wine rack kit it is important to evaluate the space with which you have to work. For someone living in a smaller environment, a hanging wine rack may be best suited for this space; this particular model hangs from the ceiling in any area of your home, keeping wine bottles out of the way while making a beautiful showcase for your collection. If you have a larger living space, then you may want to consider a standing wine rack that fits into a corner or against a wall. Either design is available for assembly with a wine rack kit.

Also consider your wine collection when purchasing a wine rack kit. If you prefer to only display a few nice bottles of wine, then a smaller wine rack kit that offers a smaller space for bottles will make the most sense. For a larger collection, or for the ability to also store or display stemware and barware, then a larger, more comprehensive wine rack kit may be in order.

Find your wine rack kit at any home good store – including the larger retail outlets. Or shop online to find some great deals. Either way, the wine rack kit is an inexpensive design feature and an enjoyable do-it-yourself project.

And Yet More Benefits For Wine Drinkers

It is a proven fact that wine has beneficial side effects on the heart, having some role in preventing heart disease. There have also been recent discoveries that indicate that drinking wine during pregnancy might not be as damaging to a growing fetus as previously believed. Some studies have also found that drinking wine in moderation also helped alleviate the damage caused by higher cholesterol levels. However, a newer study has also found that there may be even more side effects to wine drinking, particularly for women. A recent study conducted in Spain has found that wine can help lower the inflammation of blood vessels in women.

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A Spanish research team, headed by Dr. Emilio Sacanella, reported his findings to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that wine was capable of lowering levels of the various chemicals that cause the inflammation of blood vessels and arteries, which then have the effect of lowering the risk of heart disease. This is apart from the already-documented effects that red wine has. The study found that both white and red wine had this effect, though most tests reflected that red wine had a much more appreciable effect than white in the same period, given the same amounts.

A variety of studies have already found that heart disease risks are lowered by regularly drinking certain amounts of wine. The length and amount of wine varies, with some taking place over an extended period while others were more focused on the immediate effects. The Spanish research team conducted their study over a period of four weeks, with each test subject taking four glasses of wine per day. The results were observed and recorded over that period, though there was no indication of any effort being made to eliminate lifestyle factors. There were no test subjects taking heart medication during or prior to the test period, however.

However, Sacanella was quick to add that just because they had better heart health, it does not mean wine was the only factor in the results. The researchers have not yet eliminated other potential factors. Among these factors are exercise, diet, and habits. According to the study, any of them could have had as much of an effect on the results as the wine theoretically could have. Further study has been proposed to eliminate all possible factors to determine what, specifically, caused the benefits to occur.

Should wine prove to be the key to the results, there are already some theories as to how it came about. One of them involves the number of polyphenols in wine, which are known to have effects similar to the ones that have been observed by various studies. Theoretically, that would also explain why red wine has a more appreciable and noticeable effect than white, due to the higher polyphenol count and concentration in red wine as opposed to white. However, this is merely speculation at this point and researchers agree that further conjecture is not going to be of much use until it can be determined whether or not the decreased inflammation was caused by the wine, or by other factors.

Add Elegance And Luxury To Your Wine Drinking With Wine Storage Furniture

Nothing speaks of elegance quite like a fine piece of wine storage furniture. The truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of products on the market – for seasoned connoisseurs of wine to the occasional drinker – that can add a fancy look to your home.

Wine storage furniture can range from storing only a few bottles to massive and intricate storage systems capable of filling up an entire wine cellar. The decision you have to make is which piece of wine storage furniture best suits you.

The storage of wine is highly important to the preservation, aroma, taste and color of the wine. If wine is not stored properly it will begin to lose all of these essential attributes. Fine wine collectors especially have to consider this possibility as certain bottles of wine can cost thousands of dollars.

There are a few ways you can go in selecting the proper wine storage furniture for you. One method is to buy one of the manufactured products that have saturated the market. If you look around, the bulk of consumer product retailers have gotten into the wine storage furniture market. These products can also be found on the Internet with relative ease. Just type in your search query and you will instantly be greeted with thousands of products to sift through.

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Another, more costly way is to look into a custom unit. This is recommended for serious wine connoisseurs. Custom wine storage furniture can be tailored to fit your home, especially if you are lucky enough to have a wine cellar. Contractors and experts creating this form of storage are available. If you have invested heavily in wine this may be the best option for you.

Don’t forget that the temperature you store your wine in is very important. Make sure you factor this important information into your decision. The majority of wine storage furniture on the market is not equipped with coolers. Instead, simple wooden racks and cabinets rely on your setting of room temperature to properly store the wine.

The next time you are at a wine tasting event remember to ask people for their opinion on how to store wine and their recommendations as to the best furniture on the market for doing so. As one of the finer things in life, wine should be treated like royalty.

A Taste Of Wine

Red Wine

The first operation performed on grapes after they are removed from their storage is to de-stem them, which is the process of removing the grape from the shoots to which they are attached.
As soon as all the grapes in the batch are de-stemmed, they are placed into the wine press where they are compressed into a paste which in turn releases the must (the juice of the fruit). The resulting paste (or pomace) and must combination then spend time together in a cask and it is the length of time that the mixture sits with the must in contact with the grape skin and pulp that determines the character of the finished wine.

When the winemaker determines the right amount of time has passed, the juice is drawn off and yeast added to begin the fermentation process with the remaining pomace, in many cases, being returned to the vineyard to be used as a fertilizer.

Once the colour and sugar content are correct the cask valve is opened and the first juice, which is the best quality wine, is then transferred into other containers where the fermentation process is finalized.

‘Pressed wines’, which are full of tannin, are made from the leftover solids. They have a strong colour and are generally mixed with the first juice in many different ways to create wines of different strengths and flavours.

When the fermentation process is complete, the wine is either bottled straight away, or left to age.

White Wine

When making white wine it is important not to damage the grapes, so they are poured into the receiving bins as quickly as possible. Once they are all in the receiving bin, the grapes are then transferred to the press where the must is separated from the skins and other solids.

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At this stage the solids are disregarded and the remaining must is slightly refrigerated before being transferred into a stainless steel vat where it is allowed to ferment. Care is taken to maintain the temperature during fermenting which preserves the delicate aromas of the finished wine.

Once the fermentation process is complete, the resultant wine is decanted taking care to avoid the sediment which collects at the bottom of the vat. After decanting, the wine is bottled and ready to be sold, and is best drunk within two years.

Sweet Dessert Wines

Dessert wines are produced in one of two ways. In the first method, Botrytis Cinera, a fungus which grows very quickly, is used. This transforms the fruit and changes the colour and also alters the acid components and sugar levels. The second method is to interrupt the fermentation process by adding alcohol. This method creates a strong, sweet wine where the grape is the major flavour.

Grapes used for sweet wines are of the white Moscatel and Garnacha varieties which, along with the production process, leave the wine with a mushroom type smell as the bottle is opened.

California Wine Caves

What do you picture in your mind when you think of caves? Spelunking or perhaps crawling on all fours to fit through a small space may come to mind. Perhaps the experience of absolute and complete darkness, the degree of darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you? Maybe you imagine more sinister things such as spiders, cobwebs or other imaginable things in the dark. Caves evoke different ideas and feelings to many people. One idea is that of an ideal environment to age fine wine in oak barrels or age a sparkling wine in a bottle.

Caves have been used for thousands of years for aging wines in different parts of the world. In Wine Trail Traveler’s trip to Sonoma and Napa Valleys in California, we experienced different caves. Chinese workers built some caves in the late 1800’s after their work was completed on the railroads. These workers built miles of caves with the use of picks, axes and shovels. In contrast we also experienced caves built with modern technology such as a Welsh mining machine. The walls were then covered with shotcrete, a mixture of sandy cement and pea gravel.

Some of the caves were very clean and lit by electric fixtures whether they were overhead bulbs or elegant electric wall sconces. Other caves were darker and lit by candles or lanterns giving a romantic glow to the oak barrels lining the sidewalls. Some caves showed lichen growth hanging several feet from the ceiling. One wonders why they were never cleaned with a broom or vacuum. We observed thousands of bottles, showing dust resting quietly for years.

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Early winemakers who came to the Napa and Sonoma regions in the 1800’s from Europe were familiar with the use of caves. We trekked through two cave systems dating from the late 1800’s.

One advantage of caves is temperature control. The cave temperature is often constant yearlong and varies very little. It doesn’t matter if the outside temperature is 110 degrees F or 10 degrees F, a cave system can maintain an even temperature often between 57 and 64 degrees F. This cool even temperature provides an ideal aging environment for wine. This constant temperature also provides economic benefits for a winery. Fewer resources are spent on heating or cooling a cave than a building. Often the land above a cave can be planted with grapevines.

A second advantage of caves is darkness. Light can harm wines and caves are dark. This darkness is a particular advantage to sparkling wines undergoing aging in glass bottles.

Humidity control is a third advantage of a cave system. Oak barrels breathe. Some of the wine evaporates. If the humidity is high, less wine will evaporate. In some cases caves have reduced the amount of evaporation from 6% to 1%. This also is an economic bonus for a winery since less wine is needed to top off the barrels.

Although the lichen hanging from the ceiling looked eerie at one winery we visited, it actually helps to filter the air in the cave.

Some wine caves have an area that can be used for special events. The atmosphere can provide a rewarding experience. All of these advantages led to an interest in constructing new caves during the 1980’s. Expect to see more wine caves constructed in the future.

Wine Bottles Fit Perfectly In Wine Racks

When choosing the type of wine rack you need to consider the following, do you want a freestanding, wall mounted or table top wine rack. For example, one popular choice for wine racks is steel, since this material can be heated and made into beautiful artistic pieces. Wine racks can be made out of several materials. Today you can find any type of wine rack on the internet there are tower, table and wall mounted wine racks.

You can use tall wine racks and great a bar, the way to do this is to place the racks on either side and place a countertop across them. Many people use wood wine racks because these are the best for a large collection of wine and are relatively cheap. Temperature-controlled, freestanding wine racks are a perfect storage system, though they are more expensive than a simple wine rack in a cool spot. When installing a wine rack many people turn to a baker’s style of rack because it puts to good use the extra shelving, there is more storage and there is a work center. Storage racks allow you to organize your wine collection and keep it safe and sound.

Wood is hardy and durable. In addition, it might have mismatched wood grains, which would show if stained. Simple wood racks are available to attach underneath a kitchen cabinet. You can make your selection from pieces made from all types of finished wood and wrought iron, or a combination of materials.

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Many of the metal wine racks today combine artistic art with functionality; some have circles, spirals and many other unique designs. Using a metal wine rack allows the wine collector to add artwork and style, while wooden racks are built for functionality. It is important when purchasing wrought iron wine racks that you buy one that is preassembled. Wrought iron wine racks are made to last. Stainless steel wine racks are more moderately priced than wrought iron wine racks, for example, although the latter have become very popular as well.

Wine bottles themselves are elegant and beautiful to look at, and the right wine rack can really add to the visual appreciation of your wine bottles as they await their opening day, whether in a cellar — or on display in your kitchen or living room. Many home owners who keep a wine collection do not have as many bottles as a commercial establishment. Many of the wine racks are designed for everyday use where the wine aficionado is able to retrieve the wine for everyday use. Metal wine racks can be used to store wine bottles but metal wine racks are not as flexible as wood wine racks, with wood racks you are able to adapt them and make different sizes to save space.

There are some wine rack that are able to be divided into separate cabinets, the ability to divide is great because some wines need cooler temperatures while other types of wines do not. Find a spot in your house that stays about the same cool temperature year-round. When choosing where to store your wine make sure you get a suitable wine rack where you are able to control the temperature and the humidity so the wine does not get ruined.

Calories In Wine

 

Most people have a general idea how many calories they consume when it comes to solid foods, although it is quite common to forget that when we drink, we are still consuming calories. Alcohol drinkers, especially wine drinkers, may be surprised at the calorie intake associate with wine. So how many calories are in wine?

The answer depends on your discernment. Most wines come in under the 100 calorie mark per glass. This is assuming that you are using the appropriate wine glasses. There are fewer calories in wine than most other alcoholic beverages. White Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc come in at 80 calories per serving. Considering that one glass of wine per evening is good for cardiovascular health, this can be a reasonable compliment to an evening meal.

Marsala also weighs in at a mere 80 calories per serving while Chablis is a mild 85 calories. Red Zinfandel as well as the majority of other popular wines, comes in at 90 calories per serving. Riesling, Chardonnay, White Burgundy, and Cabernet Sauvignon all round out at 90 calories per 4 ounce serving. Topping it off with just 5 additional calories you can sip Red Burgundy, Red Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Merlot, Rhone, or Rose.

Considering that most people have more than just one glass, the remaining wines are considered to be a little heftier in calorie count. While a single 4 ounce serving may only add about 100 calories to an evening, those who drink wine regularly tend to do so with a certain amount of vigor, consuming between 3 and 5 glasses in an average evening.

Wines such as Mosell, Pink Champagne, and Chianti contain 100 calories preserving while Sangria and Sauterne climbs that calorie ladder by and additional ten calories. Dry Champagne meets them in the middle at 105 calories.

It’s not just about the calories in wine when trying to maintain a low calorie lifestyle and still participate fully in social events or a romantic evening. Some calories are easier to burn while others are easier to store. Wine comes from fruit which is a form of sugar. The sugar in wine, even dry wines, makes the calories a bit harder to burn off. Sugar that comes from fruit is a natural and healthy energy, although once the fruit has been fermented, the sugar content raises and becomes more fructose-like than its original form.

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Other wines weigh in much heavier in the calorie counting battle. Muscatel comes in at 160 as does Madeira. Tokay sneaks up to 165 while White Port hits 170. Ruby Port tops the list at 185.

Now, keeping in mind that an average gin and tonic comes in around 280 calories and that most frozen delectable alcoholic drink can average 800 calories or above, wine is certainly a low calorie choice given the options.

And of course we are all familiar with a “beer gut,” which is never referred to as a “wine gut.” Regular beer can be anywhere from 140 to 200 calories per 12 ounce serving and light beer weighs in on average around 100 calories. The conception that light beer means that it is calorie free has produced a high level of sales for the lighter version of the basic favorites. In no way are these beers saving on significant calories. Not to mention they are filled with empty calories.

It is perfectly possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy the occasional evening out or a couple glasses of wine with dinner. The wine drinker is fortunate as the calorie count in most wines do not necessarily call for large alterations to diets in order to enjoy a few drinks. For the occasional social wine drinker, cutting out about 100 calories per meal during the few days before a social event will help to keep a solid daily average. The calories in wine are low enough that most people can simply cut out the desserts offered at the social event and just one or two lighter calorie meals preceding the event. For daily wine drinkers, skimping a few calories out of every meal will allow for basically normal eating and avoid the build up of additional calories.

Skipping meals before a social event is not likely to keep the calorie count down. In fact, it is likely to raise the overall calorie count for the evening, as alcohol in any form lowers blood glucose levels and tells the brain to signal to the body that it is experiencing hunger. A few drinks in the system and what would normally be a decision based on health becomes a decision based on a lack of willpower or the attitude that “it’s only one night, it can’t hurt to throw my cautions to the wind!” Which can be true, but in most cases those who are trying to maintain a low calorie diet are tempted to “make up” for their sinful evening by crash dieting the following two or three days which only creates yo-yo dieting.

The calories in wine can easily be adjusted for simply by keeping track of the basic consumption for each situation and adjusting by about 100 calories for each glass of wine. Unless someone is a continual and heavy wine drinker, the daily food consumption really shouldn’t suffer due to the alcohol consumption. If it is, then it is time to get some help.

A Guide To Storing & Enjoying Wine

No matter what you tipple is; white, red, pink or sparkling, storing your wine correctly is essential. Simply putting your favourite bottle above the fridge and forgetting about it for a year could drastically alter the taste, then, when you come to enjoy it at that special occasion, it might not be as favourable as you hoped.

Despite wines being a perishable commodity, properly caring for and storing your wine can actually improve its’ aroma, flavour, texture and complexity over time.

Step 1: How long are you storing your wine for?

The first decision to make is how long you are planning to store your wine for. Generally short term storage means 3 to 6 months and should be your cheaper, less cherished wines, where as long term can mean decades and should be reserved for your quality, precious wines.

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Step 2: Correct storage conditions

Whether it’s short or long term storage the same rules apply, firstly and most crucially the bottles should be laid horizontally instead of upright, this ensures the cork remains moist, to stop it drying out.

It is essential to keep the wines in a vibration free environment so they can not move about, therefore on top of electrical appliances or a place subject to external forces (i.e. from a subway) should be avoided.

Wine can be greatly affected by its surrounding temperature; the ideal temperature is roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12°C). Bottles should be kept out of drafts and any temperature change should be very gradual.

Additionally light can negatively impact on a wine, which is why some wine bottles are made of coloured glass. Wine must be kept out of direct sun light, since too much light can react with proteins in wine, forming a haze and bad aromas to pollute its’ flavour.

For long term storage, the correct atmospheric conditions are required. Humidity has to be very high, approximately 70% or more, in order to stop the cork drying out and to reduce the chance of wine evaporating. Also when storing long term, consider the wines surroundings, ensure there are no other foods or liquids that could be absorbed into the wine itself. Substances with strong aromas for example fuel or vinegar must be kept elsewhere!

Step 3: Enjoy…

When the time comes to pop the cork and savour all your hard work, drink responsibly but do try to finish bottles within a few days of opening, since as soon as the wine is exposed to air it starts mixing with oxygen. This is known as oxidation, which also alters the essence of the wine.

Correct wine storage is fundamental for any serious wine lover, enthusiast or even hobbyist. The most effective storage is in a wine cellar, since numerous bottles can be kept conveniently out of sight yet in the perfect conditions.

The GE Monogram Collection: Wine Chillers

When it comes to serving beverages to complement your exotic dinner cuisine, nothing beats a well aged fine wine. Wines come in a variety of flavors and types, such as a sweet wine that’s perfect for dinner, or a bottle of champagne to ring in the New Year. Your taste buds are in for a treat with a relaxing sip of wine.

If you really like collecting and serving wine for those social gatherings, you might be in the market for a wine chiller. What better way to chill and serve wine to guests than an appliance specifically engineered for that purpose? Of course, you’ll want a machine that matches the sophisticated nature that wine possesses. In that case, a wine chiller from the General Electric Monogram Collection would be your best bet.

With GE being in the household appliance game for a long time, one can be certain of purchasing a high quality product. GE machines are manufactured for reliability and long life. The special GE Monogram appliances add to that quality with its sleek and classy look that’s fit for any household. You can even customize these appliances to further meet your decorative needs.

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A GE Monogram wine chiller will definitely add to your home. Not only will you be able to cool and chill your wine bottles to perfection, but you’ll also amaze your cohorts at your next dinner party. A sleek transparent glass door lets you peer into the interior of your wine chiller. The cherry wood shelves will match any nearby cabinet or other wooden structure. Interior lighting will automatically illuminate the appliance when the door is opened.

The shelves come unfinished, but you can choose to have the wood finished. Or if you don’t like the appearance of the shelves, the door can be customized. A special glass is available so that you can change the glass between a transparent and opaque setting. This enables you to quickly conceal or reveal the contents of your wine chiller.

There is plenty of space to store your wine bottles in a GE Monogram wine chiller. Seven shelves provide more than enough room to chill your drinks. If you require a little more area for those larger wine bottles, one shelf can be sacrificed to accommodate the margin that you need.

To allow easy use and control over the temperature, the GE Monogram wine chiller has simple temperature control. This lets you set the ideal temperature for the desired task, whether it’s for aging the wine or serving it. The controls can be either a digital panel or a conventional knob. Both controls sport an LED display that lets you monitor the current temperature with a quick gaze.

GE Monogram wine chillers are a safe bet for your wine storage needs. Not only will a wine chiller preserve your collection, but you also have a great asset to your aesthetic quality. If any old wine chiller simply won’t do, consider looking into the Monogram Collection. You will definitely find something that parallels your taste.

Your Choices: Decisions To Make When Making Wine

One of the great advantages of making your own wine is that you are able to take control of as much of the process as you want. If you want to grow and harvest your own grapes or any other kind of fruit and produce wine you can control every aspect of the process. If, on the other hand, you choose to purchase grape concentrate, you can begin making your wine from that point on. Making wine is largely about making a number of different decisions and taking various factors into consideration. Each factor and each decision will have an impact on your final wine.

One of the first choices you will need to make if you elect to make grape wine and use fruit in order to do it instead of concentrate is whether you want to de-stem the grapes or use the entire cluster. When making this decision it is important to keep in mind that it really does make a difference. If you decide to use the whole cluster then you will find that your wine has a certain flavor and even nuance that is not present if you de-stem the grapes first. This flavor may or may not be appealing to you. Some people describe it as somewhat ‘green.’ If you like that sort of flavor, then using a whole cluster is an excellent choice. A number of very good, award winning wines are produced using the entire cluster. If; however, you do not think you would like that flavor, then it is best to go ahead and de-stem the grapes before you use them for your wine.

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Another choice you will have to make is how you want to ferment the must. Yes, there are choices to make here as well. You have two basic choices. You can either ferment in a barrel or a tank. Most winemakers prefer to ferment using a tank. This gives you greater control over the process because the sleeves on the tank give you the option to either heat or cool the must. For example, in the beginning of the fermentation process you may wish to ensure the tanks are cool in order to extract the color from the grape skins. This can also help to stabilize the wine. Of course, you can also choose to ferment your wine in a barrel. This is a popular method when producing white wines because it tends to give them some character that might not be possible from tank fermentation. In the end, it is really up to you and your personal choice, but you will need to make this decision before you produce your first batch of wine.

You will also need to give some thought to the types of yeast that you wish to use. Most beginning winemakers are not aware of the fact that grapes picked straight from the vineyard actually have yeast on them. These are naturally occurring yeasts. As a result, you may choose not to add any additional yeast to the fermentation mix. In this case, you can allow the natural or native yeasts to work on their own. The one downside to this problem is that you may run into a problem known as a stuck fermentation. This is when the yeast reaches a certain point and then it just simply stops. Generally, yeasts that are created in the lab will be more stable. Of course, there is a downside to this as well. Many winemakers feel that lab created yeasts are lacking in flavor when compared to natural yeasts.

If you do choose to use natural yeasts, you will need to be prepared to handle a stuck fermentation in the event that it does occur. Adding a yeast nutrient or energizer can often help to combat this problem by providing the natural yeasts the ‘kick’ they need to finish the fermentation process.

Finally, you will need to give some thought to whether you wish to filter or not filter your wine. There is no set rule regarding this matter. You may find that a wine that has been unfiltered will have a great amount of richness; however, do be aware that there are bacterial issues which may arise if you choose not to filter your wine. In addition, wines that have not been filtered tend to have a cloudier appearance than those that have been filtered.

Helpful Tips On Wine

Chilling your wine

A helpful tip to chilling your wine faster would be to add 1/3 cup of salt to your ice bucket. Wine is cooled faster by salt water which cools by as much as 50% faster than ordinary tap water.

Headaches

Red wine can cause headaches. This is basically due to the fact that histamine is found in the grape’s skin and is in higher concentration most especially on the red grapes. You can avoid this by taking an anti-histamine 30 minutes prior to drinking red wine.

Stubborn cork

If you are having trouble removing the cork, try placing the bottle neck for 10 seconds in hot water. Temporarily, the glass will expand helping loosen the cork and making it easy for removal.

Cooking with wine

Foods that are browned through broiling, roasting, grilling and baking are best with oaked wines. Foods that are poached, steamed, braised, saled or cooked in clear liquids are best with white wines or reds with subtle oak.

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Red wine stains

Citrus based removers can remove red wine stains. You can also mix items like lemon juice and white vinegar that have high acid content with water and dab it on the area to remove the stain.

Storing wine in the refrigerator

Wine can be stored in the refrigerator but not for long. It begins to lose its flavor after two to three weeks.

Champagne

Champagne and sparkling wines when kept in the fridge will keep their bubbles for even up to 24 hours even after being opened in the same manner like enjoying carbonated soft drinks the very next day after keeping it in the fridge.

Wine as gifts

Wines basically make ideal gifts for men. You will find them in a variety of tastes, colors, packages, wrappings, baskets, etc. Wine gifts are considered elegant and have been becoming the symbol of elite gifts. In general, wine gifts are given with a basket along with sea foods like lobsters or others depending on the recipient’s preference. The wine gifts are elegantly wrapped and may come with accessories like stoppers and corkscrews. Crystal ice buckets, tongs, wine totes and bags, crystal glasses and other wine related accessories would also make great gifts in addition to the wine. Purchasing wine online Many wine gifts can now be purchases online with the many online stores offering a good selection of wine. You even have the option of giving a wine gift certificate to enable your recipient to have his choice of wine from the online company’s collection.

Style Of Wine Racks

Have you ever been in a home with a massive iron wine rack that didn’t quite fit the decor? How about an iron wine rack that is poorly designed but fits in beautifully with the decor? Iron wine racks come in literally thousands of styles and the better ones can be quite functional while still maintaining the room’s “feng-shui”. Iron wine racks are usually black classic wrought iron that hold from a few bottles of wine to many bottles. Some come with places for the glasses and assorted wine accessories. This makes it easy as with this type of iron wine rack, you know where everything is. Have you ever been frustrated at not being able to find your corkscrew or the wine charms that mark specific glasses? This is no longer a problem should you get the correct wine rack.

Iron wine racks can be short and wide or tall and thin. The short ones can be stacked on top of each other, creating a little wine corner that can be built onto like a Lego set. There are lots of options with such wine racks. They can have individual bottle containers or various shaped compartments to hold multiple bottles. This version may be perfect for the person who collects different wines as they give you lots of space for different types of wine.

The tall and thin iron wine racks are frequently called wine jails because they have individual cells and usually a cage door on the front. Find the right spot for one of these long, thin iron wine racks and it can make a lot of difference in a room’s style. Although the wine jails are not designed to be stacked, they can be added onto against a single wall if you have enough space. They can hold 40 or 50 bottles of your favorite wine each. Being as compartmentalized as they are lends them well to an inventory system. When a cell is empty, providing you store them with a sequence, you will know right away which one you need to purchase to keep the rack full.

Types of Wine Racks

There are many types of wine racks available. One of the most sought after types of racks are the designer wine racks. They come in wood, wrought iron, plastic, and concrete. They look sharp and hold your collection securely. There are over 20 different designer racks on display at http://www.wineenthusiast.com. They come in all shapes and sizes and are priced quite reasonably. On the site, they have categorized the racks as to price, bottle count, height, width and depth.

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Decorative wine racks are supposed to complete a room. They lend themselves to being a focal point in some rooms. They also come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and bottle count. At http://www.wineenthusiast.com, they have over 60 very sharp looking wine racks. Price ranges from 19.95 to almost 1,000 dollars so there is something for every budget. The most expensive model, the Bamboo Bar Cart is an example of functionality. It has wheels and space for everything you need to serve wine or other drinks. It has compartments for wine glasses and wine bottles. It has a butcher block parquet top for drink preparation, along with shelves and drawers for all your supplies. This is a quality unit made from bamboo and some stainless steel for things like towel dispensers and handles.

Functionality of wine racks isn’t limited to just bottles and wine accessories. Some wine racks also double as furniture. While not cheap, these units combine style, functionality and multiple uses. They range up from 200 dollars to almost 8,000 dollars.

VintageView wine racks are quite distinctive and are generally a showplace for your most prized wine bottles. They display the bottles with a minimum of coverage but a sturdy support system. This model is perfect for the serious wine collector who wants their guests to go ooh and ahhh. These are really quite reasonable starting at 10 bucks for a one bottle display unit to 80 dollars for a 30 bottle unit. They usually have a distinct support system for the bottles such as just holding the bottles by the neck or the base, displaying the bottle very prominently.

These are just a few of the models available. There are many more types and sizes and price ranges for wine racks at http://www.wineenthusiast.com. With all the choices available, you have a myriad of possibilities and styles. From oak cabinets to wrought iron wine racks to new age materials, you can make a room very stylish just with the addition of one of these beauties.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Bordeaux Wine Tours

When thinking about a vacation in France, there is always the image of going on one of the many delightful, relaxing and wonderfully delicious Bordeaux wine tours. The Bordeaux region of France has long been known for the amazing wines it has produced – and continues to produce. The Bordeaux region was divided into four wine producing areas by Emperor Napoleon III in 1855, and each area produces a unique and distinctive type of wine. Since the region of Bordeaux is relatively small, it is possible, with some planning, to tour each of the regions and sample the amazing qualities of wines produced in the area.

Most wines on the Bordeaux wine tours will be reds, but with constant pressure from other wine growing countries, the French vineyards and wineries have responded with an ever increasing variety. Today, on a wine tasting tour of the area, participants can expect to sample the traditional full-bodied red wines, together with medium-bodied reds and dry and sweet white wines.

There are many options when considering one of the many Bordeaux wine tours. One of the more popular tours for wine lovers, and those new to wine tasting and enjoyment, includes the harvest tours. These tours allow participants to actually work alongside the grape pickers in the field, helping with the harvest for a brief period of time. Lunch is then served in the fields and is usually a traditional French meal, served, of course, with wonderful wines from the winery. After lunch the tour continues with wine classes, wine tasting and then ends up with dinner in an authentic Bordeaux restaurant. For those that really like to learn about wines and wine making, this is an ideal chance to experience the whole production.

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In addition to the harvest tours there are also many other options for Bordeaux wine tours. There is a bicycle wine tour offered through the area that allows participants to experience the countryside in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Everyone will ride bicycles to and from the very centrally located vineyards and wineries, and will also stop for lunch at local restaurants for wonderful traditional fare.

For those that wish to travel in comfort, Bordeaux wine tours have just the options. There are limousine tours that will provide individual or small group wine tastings at various chateaus and wineries within a given area of Bordeaux, or may complete a larger circuit of the various wine houses. There are also large charter bus services that provide guides, instructors and even chefs that can provide ideas for meals that are compatible with the various types of wines found in the Bordeaux area.

Do You Know These Little Known Facts About Tuscany Wines?

Entertain with the Region’s Finest Wines

Wine can add a sophisticated touch to any party or dinner that you host. When entertaining, treat your guests to the smooth flavor of Italian wine, specifically Tuscany wine.

Italy produces more wine than any other country in the world, and some of the finest varieties hail from the Tuscany region. Wine has been produced in Tuscany for hundreds and hundreds of years. In recent decades Tuscan winemakers have put great effort into the quality of their products, resulting in the excellent Tuscany wine on the market today. Tuscany wine is enjoyed widely and is easy to find in restaurants and diners as well as stores.

Super Tuscan Wine

In the past few decades an unofficial category of Tuscany wine has arisen, given the name Super Tuscan. Wines created by making unconventional blends of different grape varieties fall under the Super Tuscan category.

Tuscany Wine Zones

Tuscany is divided into several wine zones. Three of the most important of these are Bolgheri, Chianti Classico and Montalcino.

What is Bolgheri Tuscany Wine?

The Bolgheri zone, located in the west of Tuscany, is the birthplace of Sassacaia and Tignanello, which began the Super-Tuscan trend. In recent decades Bolgheri wine has received much attention for the quality of its wines. Winemakers in the Bolgheri zone specialize in red Tuscany wine created by blending the grapes of Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Several different wines are produced using different combinations of these grapes.

What is Chianti Classico Tuscany Wine?

What more classic image of Tuscany wine is there than the straw basket covered bottle of Chianti resting on a checkered tablecloth in a cozy Italian restaurant? The Chianti Classico zone lies in central Tuscany. Red Sangiovese grapes are the primary ingredient of Chianti Classico, but they are generally blended with other grapes, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Canaiolo. Chianti Classico is a full-bodied, bold wine that makes a good complement to well-seasoned food. Chianti Classico wine has come a long way from its inexpensive, straw bottled past and today there are some excellent wines produced in the region. You can still get the straw basket variety if you choose, however.

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What is Montalcino Tuscany Wine?

The Montalcino zone is located in the Siena area of Tuscany. Montalcino is known for producing the Brunello di Montalcino variety of Tuscany wine. Brunello di Montalcino is a red wine made from the Sangiovese grape and normally aged for at least four years, two in oak barrels. Brunello di Montalcino goes well with steak, roasts and flavorful cheeses.

More Tuscany Wine

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a robust red wine that is also based on the Sangiovese grape and is similar to Brunello di Montalcino. Trebbiano is a traditional white Tuscany wine. Bianco di Pitigliano is produced in the southern Tuscan region of Pitigliano, and is a popular white Tuscany wine. Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made near Siena, is one of the best known Tuscany white wines.