Dessert Wine

history of wine german wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dessert WineDessert wines are sweet wines usually served with dessert.

A dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are compared as distinct from dessert wines.

In the United States, oppositely, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines. This dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification.

German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

Winemakers want to produce a dessert wine containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the alcohol is made from sugar. There are many ways to increase sugar levels in the final wine:

  • Grow grapes so that they naturally have sugar to spare for both sweetness and alcohol.
  • Add alcohol before all the sugar is fermented, this is called fortification, or 'mutage'.
  • Add sugar.
  • Remove water to concentrate the sugar.

Honey was added to wine in early Roman times Continue reading

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Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a traditional beverage that is offered during the Christmas holidays and Halloween. Mulled wine is prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with vanilla pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star aniseed, citrus, and sugar.
other consuming wine  %tages Mulled Wine
It has popularity in German- and Dutch-speaking countries. Mulled wine there named Glühwein. Blueberry wine and cherry wine can be used instead of grape wine in these countries for preparing Glühwein.

In France, vin chaud ("hot wine") typically consists of cheap red wine mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon. It must be not too sweet.

In Bulgaria, it is called greyano vino (Bulgarian: греяно вино) ("heated wine"), and consists of red wine, peppercorn and honey. Sometimes apples and/or citrus fruits, such as lemon or oranges, can be added.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia Continue reading

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Wine and Food Pairing

Here are a few guidelines to help plan the best wine for your meal.

Sweet

culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Wine and Food PairingSweetness in food cancels the fruit and/or any residual sugar in wines, making them taste drier than they are. Sweet dishes call for wines of at least equal sweetness.
Choice: Antigua Creme Brulee and Antigua Dessert Wine

Salty

Salty or briny foods also cancel the fruit in wines. Salty dishes call for aromatic wines with high acidity, some sweetness, low tannins, and/or intense fruitiness.
Choice: Fresh Oysters in Champagne and Sauvignon Blanc or sparkling wine

Tart

Tart foods cancel some of a wines fruitiness. Serve them with lightly sweet, very fruity, and/or full bodied white wines. In some cases, tart or crisp wines will also work well.
Choice: Endive Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and a crisp Chardonnay

Spicy

Spicy or hot foods cancel some of a wines fruitiness too. Serve them with lightly sweet, very fruity, low tannin, and/or crisp wines. Stay away from higher alcohol, tannic red, and/or oaky wines.
Choice: Sea Scallops with Jerk Marinade and Sauvignon Blanc or Gewrztraminer

Rich

Rich dishes overpower delicately flavored, lighter bodied wines. Serve with full flavored, full bodied, higher acid wines.
Choice: Braised Lamb Shanks and Cabernet Sauvignon

Fish and Game
culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Wine and Food Pairing
Fish and game overpower mildly flavored, medium bodied, dry wines. Try these with very fruity, full bodied, high acid, and/or medium sweet wines.
Choice: Roasted Salmon with Pernod & Baby Spinach with Pinot Noir

Smoky

Smoked foods overpower all but the fruitiest, richest wines. Low Continue reading

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Dry Red Wine Types

history of wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dry Red Wine TypesRed wines come in many unique styles, the most obvious difference being dry and sweet. The dryness or sweetness of a wine depends on its mount of residual sugar. The vast majority of red wines available are dry, meaning they have little to no sugar. It would be nearly impossible to create a complete listing of every type of dry red wine, but the basic categories are easy to define.

Classic French Reds

Many of the world's most famous and highly regarded dry red wines come from old France, and most of those come from three major regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. Bordeaux red wines are blends of several grapes, mainly cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Red wines from Burgundy are made exclusively from pinot noir. In the northern Rhone, red wines are made from syrah, while southern Rhone wines can be blends of as many as 13 grapes like the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape but are predominantly made from grenache. The best of the wines from these regions are extraordinarily complex and tend to age well.

Other Old World Reds

Italians create many well-known dry red wines in two main regions: Piedmont and Tuscany. The major Tuscan grape is sangiovese, which produces the ubiquitous Chianti, as well as the more refined Brunello di Montalcino. When sangiovese wine is blended with wine from non-Italian grapes, the wines are dubbed "Super Tuscans" and are usually wines of great quality and high prices. In Piedmont, the king of all grapes is nebbiolo, which produces such distinguished red wines as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most complex and robust wines made for long aging. Spain produces some high-quality reds from the tempranillo grape, including notable wines from Rioja and Priorat.

Countries all over the world have jumped into the wine-making game, many with great success at producing dry red wines. In California, Napa Valley Continue reading

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The Health Benefits Of Red Wine

health consuming wine  %tages The Health Benefits Of Red WineRecently, researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may be beneficial to more than just your heart. One study found that the antioxidant resveratrol, which is prevalent in the skin of red grapes, may inhibit tumor development in some cancers. Another study indicated that resveratrol aided in the formation of nerve cells, which experts believe may be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Which wines should you consume to reap the most benefits?

Researchers at the University of California, at Davis tested a variety of wines to determine which types have the highest concentrations of flavonoids. Their results concluded that the flavonoid favorite is Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir. Both Merlots and red zinfandels have fewer flavonoids than their more potent predecessors. White wine had significantly smaller amounts than the red wine varieties. The bottom line is the sweeter the wine, the fewer the flavonoids. Dryer red wines are your best bet for a flavonoid boost.

How much red wine should I drink?

health consuming wine  %tages The Health Benefits Of Red WineA four-ounce glass of wine is equivalent to one serving. Men will benefit from consuming one to two servings per day. Women should consume only one serving per day to reap the maximum benefits. This is not to say that you should start drinking alcohol if you presently do not. Occasional or binge drinkers have higher mortality rates than those who drink moderately on a regular basis. In those who consume three or more drinks per day, there is an increased risk for elevated serum triglycerides (fat in the bloodstream). Long-term, excessive alcohol consumption can damage nerve cells, the liver and the pancreas. Heavy drinkers are also at risk for malnutrition, as alcohol may substitute for more nutritious foods.

What if I have other health problems?

Recommendations to consume moderate amounts of wine are limited to individuals with a clean bill of health. It is clear that people with medical and social conditions worsened by alcohol should not consume any alcohol at all. Hyperglycemia, pancreatitis, liver disease, uncontrolled hypertension, depression and congestive heart failure are diseases that may be worsened by alcohol. Those individuals at risk for these conditions should consult with their physician before consuming any alcohol at all.

What about grape juice and non alcoholic red wine? Continue reading

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Wine and Chocolate Pairing

Two of life’s greatest sweet pleasures can be the hardest to pair together. Wine and chocolate are both decadent and pleasurable and a delight to have together, when done correctly. Sweet chocolate with tannic wine can make the wine taste bitter and is a match to avoid. You need to balance sweet with sweet – a good rule of thumb is: keep the wine as sweet as the chocolate. Read more

Storing Wine

For any wine lover, saving wine well is a big problem. There are a few simple principles that need to be understood in order to select proper wine storage conditions. We can logically break down the process into just three categories: storing wine for the short haul, storing wine for long term aging and storing (or saving) wines that have already been opened.

Short Term Storage:
This is wine you will consume within 6 months. These may be bottles that are just home from the store and destined to be consumed shortly or bottles that have been pulled from longer storage to be accessible for spur of the moment consumption.
storing wine consuming wine  %tages Storing Wine

The closer you can duplicate the conditions required for long term storage, the better. However, in many situations, keeping the wines in a box in an interior closet is a satisfactory solution.

Keep the bottles stored so that:

the cork stays moist the wines are at the lowest stable temperature possible the location is free of vibration the location is not a storage area for other items that have a strong odor

Stay away from those little nine bottle racks that end up on top of the refrigerator; it's hot, close to the light and vibrates from the refrigerator compressor.

Long Term Storage:
This is wine that you will keep for more than six months before consumption. A fine storage location for wine is usually dark, is free of vibration, has high humidity and has a low stable temperature.
storing wine consuming wine  %tages Storing Wine

Generally accepted 'ideal' conditions are 50 to 55 degrees farenheight and 70 percent humidity or higher. The high humidity is important because it keeps the corks from drying and minimizes evaporation. The only problem with even higher levels of humidity is that it brings on growth of mold on the labels or the loosening of labels that have water soluble glue.

Temperatures lower than 55 degrees only slow the aging of the wines. There have been wines found in very cold cellars of castles in Scotland that are perfectly sound and are much less developed that those kept at 'normal' cellar temperature. A near constant temperature is preferable to one that fluctuates.

Regarding to light, most modern bottles have ultraviolet filters built into the glass that help protect the contents from most of the effects of UV rays. Despite the filters in the glass, long term storage can still allow enough rays in to create a condition in the wine that is referred to as 'light struck'. The result is that the wine picks up the taste and smell of wet cardboard. This is especially noticeable in delicate white wines and sparkling wines. The condition can be created by putting a bottle of champagne near a fluorescent light for a month.

Regular or constant vibrations from pumps, motors or generators should be avoided since the vibrations they cause are thought to negatively affect the evolution of the wines. One additional factor to avoid is storing other items with very strong odors near the wine. There have been many reports of wines picking up the aromas of items stored nearby.

If you do not have a suitable wine cellar, there are many types of 'wine refrigerators' that will work as well. They differ from common refrigerators in that they work at higher temperatures (50-65 degree range) and they do not remove humidity from the air. There are kits available that will convert regular refrigerators into suitable wine storage units.

Storage after opening:
This is storage for bottles of table wine that have been opened but not completely consumed. There are many methods for prolonging the life of opened table wines but even the best can only slow the degradation of the wine. These methods are for still table wines. Continue reading

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