HAPPY SPRING! Let’s Go Shopping

 

Wine clubs come across our purviews to entice us to buy and try or in the case of the collector find finds that are out of reach, remember they collect not drink. Let’s go shopping to sip!

You can find wine clubs online, through vineyards, professional periodicals as well as marketing ads in most rags, online wine stores and Groupon. With all those options, what’s all the hype about wine clubs? Are they really worth the time & money? Well, let’s take look. They have a certain appeal to people who like to shop online, who like to receive gifts and packages in the mail. What else is there to wine clubs? They generally give you a pretty good introductory deal for 3, 6 or even a case of wine. Most clubs you can choose the varietal, red, white or combination of both, but you have no idea about anything else that appeals to your taste in wine. You’re leaving it up to whoever picks and chooses what you’re being sent There are some, such as Bright Cellars which will do a little quiz to see what your taste may be and pick from that, but does that really tell the true palate in which wine becomes your friend? What happens if you don’t like the bottle(s), can you return, with S&H on the sender or is your best bet is to include them in your favorite recipe, freeze them and use them as ice cubes in your wine cocktails or just down the drain? At least you’re not being wasteful if you put it to good use as in the first three fore mentioned. Then there’s the cost of shipping handling and tax and you must be home in order to receive your wine c because someone has to sign for it and they have to be over 18 if not it will be sent back to the sending station FedX, UPS or USPS and then you have to make arrangements for it to be redelivered or for you to pick it up. You can have it shipped to a place where you know someone will be available during the hours of delivery. Some have gotten better in delivery, by you being able to track your package and know within hours when they will be stopping by. I found FedX to have a good method.You then have to consider how long, once you put in your membership to a wine club is it going take for you to sample your wine, 2 days to process and then another 7 to 14 days until delivery with standard shipping or extra charge if you want it within the next 2 days. I can go to my favorite wine shop and buy something that I know I’m going to like. One other thing that is important is to find out is if I do join a Club and they have a good selection can I re-order thru the club or am I out of luck. Does the local wine shop carry or can they bring it in?

I have found local wineries whose wines I enjoy and are not in local wine shops. Membership to local wineries has their privileges, discounts on wines, free tastings, and tours, and an endless supply of something worth sipping over and over again. A membership, it’s like owning stock😊 Check out my favorite local wineries where membership has bennies;

What benefits besides wine; some online clubs such as wine awesomeness includes a booklet/magazine that educates you about the wine and its regions, pairing recipes and discounts on re-orders and great customer service, check them out through their link,  https://www.wineawesomeness.com/become-a-member.html

Then there is Bright Cellars which  you take a quiz to assess your wine style and you are able to choose from their inventory, https://www.brightcellars.com/

If you’re interested in an online club here are a few suggestions when making a selection

Aside from the obvious varietals, and number of bottles per shipment;

  • Return policy (If any)
  • Number of shipments in your membership (can you delay or cancel a shipment)
  • Is S&H included in the membership
  • How long is it going to take before you get your wines
  • Research to see if an online selection is just that and cannot be found at your nearby wine shoppe
  • Do I have to continue my membership or can I cancel and start at any time

If you are a wine enthusiast try a wine club but just make sure you’re not being pushed into something that doesn’t meet your needs.

Send me some suggestions of wine clubs that you may have tried and like

HAPPY SIPPING!

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Let’s Go Tasting!

My question…rather challenge, has been when shopping for a new bottle of wine. Whether it be to take home and savor myself or something to bring to a gathering of friends, I always hope to introduce a winner and not a bomb – that half empty bottle that sits alone on the table at the end of the evening. This can still happen even after going through my checklist; region, grape, vintage, presentation (label), and in some cases a suggestion from a reputable wine enthusiast.  Well, I have found a way to overcome this obstacle…Wine Tastings!

This has become my happy hour, my weekend excursion. With my wine journal, phone tasting1(for the camera) in hand and my wine buddies, I can circle the vineyards and wineries of the world, new and old, and back home with a bottle or two all in time to enjoy my finds. Tastings are frequent – you can find at least two a week locally but if you live in a metro area there can be a lot more. In my neck of the woods, urban-suburban, I can find one during the week and many on the weekend. Some are sit down, casual to elegant. Sampling 5-8 wines, with something to cleanse the palette, like-minded folks to mingle with and share the tasting experience, informative background on what you are tasting by a wine connoisseur, a vineyard representative or if you’re lucky, the winemaker. A nominal fee of $5-25.00 is a drop in the bucket compared to a cover charge at your local watering hole and the cost of a glass or two.  And that’s without the guarantee of good conversation or a good time. There are some that give you samples of those that are being highlighted or  what’s on sale in the weekly flyer: taste, buy and go. You can find these tasting on a Friday, Saturday and in some places on a Sunday.

I attended a wine tasting event recently at a restaurant that was hosted by a local wine tastingshop I frequent.  It was well attended; several wines were served all from the Oregon wine region and presented by a spokeswoman from the wine region. I attended solo but was seated at a table with a lively group of wine enthusiasts like myself. They also raffled of several bottles of wine. I wasn’t as lucky in the raffle as I was in enjoying the sips, nibbles and company and all for a nominal fee of $10.00.  

The best ways to find out about tasting? Get on your local shop email list and ask your go-to places if they have tastings. Some places like Total Wine, post on a board in their establishment, not just with wine, but spirits and beers are also on the board. Vineyards have their own tastings where you can buy a flight and take off from there with a glass or bottle.

I made friends new friends with Sandy, Nancy, Carol, Elaine & Chris, and our pourer Joey Jtasting2acobson who is also the owner of one of my favorite shops, Manchester Wine & Liquor. My favorites of the evening were 2014 Trentadue La Storia Merlot, Trentadue Chocolate Port and Foris Pinot Noir

 

Go forth my fellow enthusiast! Taste, try and buy a few new wines and Let us know where your favorite tasting places are!

HAPPY SIPPING!

Summer is for Rosé

The wine I choose to drink depends on a variety of things – my mood, the season, the situation and in some instances, the occasion. Then there is what my discretionary funds look like. This season, my sights and palette have been on exploring all thing Rosé and so has everybody else! The other night the local news did a feature story on the upsurge in Rosé drinkers. This brought back memories of the days when Rosé was known as Lancer and White Zinfandel. Both still on the shelves and still inexpensive, but have upped their game through presentation and hanging out with “uppity” Rosé relatives.

What makes Rosé’s such a summer time libation? The word Rosé invokes light, and airy, with over tones of sophistication. The word simulates the senses of sight, sound, and taste. The flavors are of the fruits grown in summer. What becomes visually appealing are the ten shades of Rosé, all produced from red grape. The skins removed at the right time for the right hue. So that Pinot Noir that I love so much delights me in a Rosé because there is just enough of the color to be clear and summery to embrace me and still retain the flavor of the grape.

rose-wheel

Since I have been drinking single varietal wines, (Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Zinfandel and Merlot to suggest a few) my tasting and shopping experiences have been steered towards Rosé based on the varietals that I know. Seeing that all Rosé are made of these varietals or a blend of them, a few that have crossed my palette and meet my drinking approval are Phebus – 100% Malbec Rosé 2017; Mendoza – Argentina & Spier 2017 Rosé, and an old favorite, Mateus – a Rosé from Portugal. All drink well by themselves, or as an accompaniment to a summer salad with a vinaigrette dressing or a spicy fish taco with corn salsa.

 

We are more than half way through the summer and there is an abundance of Rosé to sip your way through. Don’t forget the sparkling ones which can be presented as a wedding gift or use to toast that special occasion. And your local winery probably having a Rosé on their tasting list.

So, with no further ado – HAPPY SUMMER SIPPING!

rose-wine-taste

Try making this Rosé popsicle with watermelon, strawberries, & mint this weekend!:

Ingredients

350ml of good quality Rosé

2 large slices of watermelon

100ml of orange juice

scant handful of fresh mint

Approximately 6 strawberries, sliced

Blend the watermelon, orange juice and mint together. Strain through a sieve to remove any large chunks or pulp. Or leave them in. Up to you. Stir through the Rosé.

Divide the sliced strawberries between the popsicle molds and pour over the Rosé mixture. Freeze ideally overnight. They will melt rather speedily due to the alcohol content so best to eat them as soon as you pull them out of the freezer!

What Do We Drink Out Of?

There’s a lot of conversation around what we drink are wine from; box or bottle, then what to drink out of; stem or stemless glass, the bowl size and shape for the style of wine, and the composite of the vessel from which we drink.

The real question, do any of these attributes or characteristics effect the taste of the wine or the drinking experience?

I know that when I go to enjoy the nectar of the gods I want the experience to be about the senses. Sight – the visual especially when it comes to the swirl and the legs that form along the bowl, the aroma, and above all the taste.

I have my favorite glass, a stemmed, Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal from their Pure collection. I am not what some may call a “bougie” wine enthusiast, but I do go for style and class. So, I have found a glass designed for burgundy, but for me it’s my go to glass no matter if it’s red or white. What I like about this glass is the thin, smooth rim so that not a lot of glass comes with the sip and its delivery to the tongue. And the flare bowl which has a capacity of holding 23oz, gives me plenty to sip on before the refill and the bowls’ structure allows for easy swirling to fully enjoy the aroma of the bouquet.

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Schott Zwiesel Crystal, Pure Collection, (the one on the left is my go to)

The style of the glass, the crisp, geometric lines appeal to my personal style and fits into my décor. This collection of glasses are durable, chip and scratch resistant, this works with the fact that they don’t have to be handled with a lot of care. They’re dishwasher safe and can hit the table without shattering into pieces….very forgiving. There noted as “an elegant tall stem and a unique shoulder sloping to the bottom part of the bowl, Pure glasses provide stunning visual appeal, are perfectly balanced in the hand, and designed to enhance flavors of specific wine varietals.” Not only does this glass provide me with a great drinking experience the cost is doable – averaging $14.00 for one and less if purchased at the store with never expiring 20% off coupon

This is not to say that there aren’t other companies that make a fine wine glasses. The other on my list is Riedal. A lot of the same characteristics as Schott, but a bit pricier and not as durable yet they do give a fine drinking experience. If you live in an area where there’s a Total Wine and More, I would recommend you attend a Riedel event. Well worth the cost! They match the glass with the tasting and you get to take a set of their glasses home with you. All the expert talk about the wine and its glass is not for me. I’ve found my drinking vessel, now to find the right carrying case for it so that it goes where I drink (where permitted, of course)! Oh, and if you need a little more info check out the Wine Folly take on; What Types of Wine Glasses Do You Really Need?

My Most Recent Adventure…

My most recent adventure in the world of wine has been wine tastings at local wine shops. I find them to be a fun and an inexpensive way to taste before buying. It hurts my wine allowance and palette to spend money on a bottle that that doesn’t suit my drinking taste – they ultimately get used as a cooking ingredient rather than drinking along with the dish; you meet interesting people from the whole wine enthusiast spectrum; and the evening can be very educational and informative. Not to mention my personal wine list has grown to a few pages after a few rounds of tastings.

Recently I attended a blind tasting to distinguish the characteristics of wine grape varietals, Old World and New World characteristics, and quality of wine without being influence by the label.

I am going to share by experience from the Old vs New World perspective. At present I am partial to New World wines. New World wines are from the Southern hemisphere and Americas. South Africa, Chile, and lately Oregon and Washington State, are definitely my go to. With New World, there are no laws restricting where grapes are grown or how they are tended. Most New World wines are designed to be sipped rather than be paired with food (the way I like to sip) and are recognized by the grape type rather than region.

Although I have my favorites from the Old World – Spain, Germany and Portugal, I am tipping the scale with New World. A more in-depth look for me was the Pinot Noir. It has been what I find myself drinking a lot of lately. At this particular tasting, they put Old up against New world. The first was a bit drier than I prefer, but had subtle fruit flavor, imparting earthy notes of chalk and minerals and hints of spice. The other had a strong fragrance, fuller fruit taste and subtle spice, this pleased the senses of my palette, while not being quite as dry.

The reveal…

The first was Le Renard Bourgogne Rouge, an Old World. The second was Kudos Reserve from Willamette Valley, Oregon, a New World. As I said in the beginning, I lean toward the New World style with this varietal. The grapes are grown in different climates and soil, along with how the winemaker crafts winemaking.

wine      wine1

The tastings continued, uncovering my preference of varietal style from Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon. And although I prefer the New World style of winemaking, I am not saying that I can’t be swayed to enjoy those wine produced in the Old World. I’ll have to be discerning of the region where the grape is grown and the process the winemaker takes in crafting his wine.

I am going to host my own blind tasting with a few friends, Zinfandel vs Primitivo. Join me by hosting your own blind tasting and share your results. Also search your local wine shops and see what type of wine tasting events they offer.

HAPPY SIPPING!

TGIF! Let’s Sip!

Happy Friday & “TGIF” its now officially the weekend and as the O’Jay’s put it, “Living for the weekend.”

https://youtu.be/PMVN-rSTJtw

Spending the evening in alone, with friends, or with your boo?

Let’s unwind with a good glass or bottle (if you prefer wine), good eats, a movie, your favorite playlist or something to read. Any or all will help in de-stressing from the week.

If you bring the take out of your favorite Asian flare, grab an Oregon Pinot Noir. Two of the Wine Drawer favorites are Pull Eighty 2014 Williamette Valley and Primarius Winery in Dundee, Oregon.

Or, for a mellow wind down, grab a bottle or two of RESLING.  Blue Vin and Willamette Valley are two that the Wine Drawer highly recommends.

HOPEFULLY this will help you jump start your weekend!

HAPPY SIPPING!

PS; If you want to get out and enjoy sipping wine there is a mini passport program going on with the CT COAST & COUNTRY WINTER WINE TRAIL , explore CT wine one sip at a time.

Click on the link below

http://bishopsorchards.com/newsevents/whats-happening/winter-wine-trail/

Welcome to The Wine Drawer

Hello to all those who are wine enthusiasts! Grab a glass, pour your favorite varietal and let The Wine Drawer provide you with all sorts of goodies about wine.

Along with drinking the wine, we will explore all things wine. My name is Renee, a wine enthusiast and founder of The Wine Drawer. I started this several years ago because I enjoyed sitting down to a good glass or in most cases a bottle of wine. But because it wasn’t the go to spirit at the time I found myself enjoying and tasting the many varietals by myself. I didn’t want to drink alone which evolved into ways to share my passion which has brought me to this point. This is one of the ways I share to broaden the scope on this organic delectable and get introduce to folks who do the same I am not a collector, nor a wine snob, just a drinker and am appreciative of all things wine. I am not here to be uppity, over the top or wordy about the subject. I like good food paired and prepared with good wine, the formation of grapes on the vine, the accessories that are used to appeal one to consume and enjoy.

But in all it just taste good! Just sit back read about some of the great adventures, tips, facts and “aahh” moment one sip at a time.

I dream of the day when my glass of wine is a beverage of choice rather than a cocktail that’s drank after dark in a bar or with a meal at an eatery. I don’t perceive wine as being an alcoholic beverage. It is known in some counties and cultures the same as juice or soda to be consumed at every meal by all. Wine genie take me away! Another angle on wine enthusiasts, that the majority are women. Where are the men who have an appreciation for a good wine? The industry is primary run by men so where are they when you just want to kick back and enjoy the fruits of the labor?

All right already I have introduced you to The Wine Drawer, hopefully given you reason to come back and have a glass of wine with me! I invite you to join me in a glass of your favorite wine. Tonight mine is a Riesling a domestic from Washington State, Kung Fu Girl, vintage 2014 its been coined as being “quaffable”. Don’t know the word, it’s a wine word meaning easy and pleasant to drink a lot of it. I brought in take-out Caribbean jerk pork, and the blockbuster hit The Accountant. If you choose to join in a Riesling let us know your preference. CHEERS!

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