Wine Tasting Tips: How To Wine Taste Like A Pro

Wine Tasting Tips: How To Wine Taste Like A Pro

Check out these tips for your next wine tasting!

Tasting a glass of wine invokes almost all the senses. First, you must look at the wine’s color, then you must smell the wine, and then you taste the wine. While the process may seem easy enough, tasting a wine properly significantly improves your enjoyment of the wine.  Check out these tips to help your taste wine like a pro.

Sight:

For proper wine tasting, be sure that your glass is filled one-third of the way full. Be sure to look at your wine from all angles. Start by looking straight down into the glass. Tilt it from side to side so that you can see a full range of color. The color indicates the density and saturation of the wine in addition to the type of wine. Next, check out the side view, look at the wine through the side of the glass. As you look at the wine you’re testing its clarity. A murky wine may indicate issues with the fermentation process.

Smell:

When it comes to smells, you’re evaluating the quality of the wine as well as the subtle hints that come from the wine’s environment. As you sniff your wine make sure to check for any “off” smells that indicate that a wine has spoiled. Grapes pick up scents and flavors from their environment. You may get a floral or earthy scent depending on where the grapes were grown. Additionally, the barrels in which the wine is aged have an affect on the smell and flavor. Pay careful attention to these hidden aromas when sniffing your glass of wine.

Taste:

Be sure to sip your wine so that you can really taste its flavor. Pay attention to each individual flavor. Your wine should be balanced in flavor so that one flavor isn’t over powering another, yet all the flavors should blend together harmoniously. Additionally, pay attention to the complexities of the wine. You should be able to taste hints of each flavor that have been layered upon one another.

Taste wine like a pro, and be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Check Out These Eco-Friendly Wineries For Sustainable Wines

Eco-Friendly Wineries For Sustainable Wines

Eco-friendly wineries for your Earth Day festivities!

In honor of Earth Day, we have a listing of the top eco-friendly wineries in the country. Check out these wineries and see what makes them our top picks for the most eco-friendly wineries.

Alma Rosa

This California winery makes certified organic wines. Originally built using environmentally-friendly building standards, this winery has continued to implement green business practices. They are big advocates of water conservation and they use a standard bottle mold that helps to keep waste to a minimum.

Frog’s Leap Winery  

This winery is unique in that it uses dry farming, meaning they use moisture in the soil during the dry season, to produce their wines. Their water conservation efforts paired with their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) winery and solar energy use makes them one of the greenest wineries around.

Grgich Hills

This estate houses a sustainable winery. With their use of solar energy, natural corks, and organic farming, this winery is eco-friendly.

Cakebread Cellars

This winery makes use of old bottles to produce new wines. Not only are their vineyards certified organic, but these winemakers bottle their wine in bottles made of recycled glass. There’s no need to use brand new glass! Recycled glass will do the trick all while reducing the amount of waste sitting in landfills.

Kendall Jackson

As one of the largest wine makers in the country, this winery uses the latest and greatest in environmental sustainability. They’re a trifecta of green practices. They use solar energy, practice water conservation, and recycle as much as they can through their vineyard inputs.

Drinking local wines helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Try This Delicious Brisket Recipe With A Cabernet Sauvignon At Your Next Dinner Party

Brisket Recipe Paired With A Cabernet Sauvignon

Check out this delicious brisket recipe that pairs perfectly with a cabernet sauvignon!

When it comes to your springtime dinner parties, you can’t go wrong with a juicy brisket. Be sure to dazzle your guests with this wine-braised brisket recipe. It’s the perfect centerpiece to your meal and it pairs well with a cabernet sauvignon or a merlot. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Ingredients:

1 beef brisket

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, peeled

1 onion

1 1/2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees. Using a pan on the stove, marinate the meat. Cover the brisket in a healthy dose of salt and pepper and add it to the pan of olive oil. Cook the meat on both sides until browned on both sides and then set the meat aside. In a clean pan, cook the 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic, and onion for about two minutes. Add in the wine, chicken broth and simmer over medium heat.

Put the brisket in a baking dish and pour the broth mixture over the meat. Cover the dish and place it in the oven. Cook for about two hours.

Flip the meat over and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until tender. You’re welcome to add in a few vegetables to add to the dish. Potatoes, carrots, and turnips are all great options.

Once the brisket is done cooking, be sure to add in the lemon juice and if you’d like, a little more salt and pepper.

Cut and serve will a delicious full bodied red wine.

For helping finding the perfect cabernet sauvignon or a merlot to pair with your brisket, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Check Out These Creative Ways To Reuse Your Wine Bottles

Creative Ways To Reuse Your Wine Bottles

Learn how to get creative with your empty wine bottles!

You pop the cork and enjoy a delicious bottle of wine. You’re left with great memories and an empty bottle. Rather than throwing away your empty wine bottles, reuse them! There are lots of ways that you can use your wine bottles around the house. Get creative and check out these ways you can recycle your empty wine bottles.

Fight Mosquitos.

There’s nothing more annoying during outdoor entertaining than pesky bugs attacking you and your guests. Use your old wine bottles to make citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay. You’ll need some torch wicks, marbles, a copper coupling with a stop and tube cap, Teflon tape, and tiki fuel.

Wash Up.

Turn your wine bottles into soap dispensers. Invest in a bottle pourer and you’re set. All you have to do is clean the bottle to get rid of any residue, add the soap, and attach the bottle pourer. Keep in mind that this works better for dish soap than for hand soap.

Table Décor.

From candles to place settings to vases, wine bottles make excellent additions to any table. Arrange several bottles in a cluster to make a candelabra. Clean the bottles, remove the labels, and secure a tapered candle into each of the bottle mouths. Additionally, you can decorate the bottle, fill it with water, and add a few flowers. It’s an instant vase that can jazz up any table.

Get Cooking.

In need of a rolling pin? Try using a wine bottle. Make sure that the bottle is clean and label free and go to town rolling out everything from cookie dough to pie crust. It’s a great way to make use of your wine bottles.

Make the most of your wine bottles. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California for all the wine bottles you need. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

This Amazing Deviled Eggs Recipe That Pairs Perfectly With A Prosecco

Deviled Eggs Recipe Ventura County CA

This deviled egg recipe pairs perfectly with a Prosecco!

Get ready for springtime entertaining. Whether you’re throwing an elaborate dinner party or are just having a casual get together with a few friends and family, you can’t go wrong with deviled eggs. Plus, they’re great to pair with a Prosecco or a light rose. Be sure to check out this delicious deviled egg recipe for your next get-together. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Smoked paprika

Start by boiling the eggs in a medium saucepan. Put the eggs in the saucepan and cover them with water so there’s 1 ½ inches of water above the eggs. Heat the pot until the water comes to a boil. Then, cover the pot and continue to cook at a low heat for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for about 15 minutes. Once the eggs have cooled a bit, run them under cold water.

Remove the eggshells and then slice the eggs in half. Be sure to remove the yolks and set them aside. Mash the yolks in a separate bowl – add in the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and be sure to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Lay the egg whites out on a platter and fill their centers with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle each egg with paprika and enjoy! It’s the perfect recipe for an easy yet delicious appetizer.

For helping finding the perfect Prosecco to pair with your deviled eggs, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Wine Aroma vs. Wine Bouquet, Do You Know The Difference?

Wine Aroma vs. Wine Bouquet Ventura County CA

Wine aromas and bouquets are more complex than you think!

A wine’s aroma, a wine’s bouquet, they both refer to the way a wine smells. They’re just synonyms, right? Not necessarily. There is a difference between a wine’s aroma and a wine’s bouquet. While they both have to do with the way a wine smells, they come from different stages of a wine’s development process. There are three stages of a wine’s aroma. The first two apply to the aroma, the last refers to the wine’s bouquet. Be sure to check out these main differences between an aroma and a bouquet.

Aroma:

The first, or primary, aroma is called a varietal aroma that comes from the type of grapes used to make the wine, while the secondary aroma is called the vinous aroma. The secondary aromas are developed during the fermentation process. You’re more likely to find these in a younger wine.

Bouquet:

A bouquet is the tertiary aroma. It is the smell developed after the fermentation process. The bouquet develops as the wine ages within the bottle. The chemical compounds in the wine called aldehydes and esters are developed and matured while in the bottle through the process of oxidation. This bouquet takes time to develop and as time progresses the bouquet becomes more complex. A wine’s full bouquet comes from layer upon layer of aroma. Not only does age play a role in the bouquet, but the aromas from the first and second stages. You’re more likely to find a bouquet in an older, or vintage wine.

To learn more about the differences between the complexities of wine aromas and bouquets, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

A Quick Look At The Wine Grape Growing Process

Wine Grape Growing Process Ventura County CA

Take an inside look at how wine grapes are grown!

The business of making wine is not an easy process. You must harvest the fruit, crush the fruit, put the grapes through a fermentation process and then age the wine. But, before any of that can happen, you must grow the grapes. Growing the crop isn’t as easy as you may think. It’s a complex process that requires lots of time and energy. Check out how wine grapes are grown with this grape growing guide.

Pruning.

Pruning is an important part of the grape growing process. Every winter pruning is needed to control the growth of the grapes. Experts come in and use very precise methods to maintain the crops.

Buds & Flowers.

As the seasons change, the grapes begin to bud and then flower. Very tiny flowers sprout along the vines and are responsible for bearing fruit. Each flower is capable of producing a single grape. This is the most stressful part of the grape growing process as the grapes have not yet formed and colder weather threatens the survival of the crop. Careful measures are taken to prevent the crop from dying.

Fruit Bearing.

Fruit eventually forms! But, you’re not out of the woods just yet. Until the grapes are ready to be harvested, frost is still a concern.

Crop Management & Thinning.

As the grapes reach their optimal growing threshold, there is some work to do before harvesting occurs. Maintaining the canopy requires leaf removal, shoot thinning and positioning, and crop thinning. Along with the good comes the bad. There is often fruit that is not yet ripe and isn’t of use to the wine making process. Those bunches are cut loose to keep the vines even.

Reap the rewards of the harvest and enjoy a delicious bottle of wine. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Wine History: Check Out These Fun Facts!

Wine History Fun Facts Ventura County CA

These fun facts about the history of wine are sure to impress at your next cocktail party!

Wine has been a staple throughout history. From ancient Rome to the royal courts of Europe, wine has been present. But how did our modern consumption of wine first begin? Julius Caesar likely didn’t pair his dinners with a cabernet sauvignon and merlot.  Check out these fun facts about wine throughout history.

  • Wine has been consumed for as long as history has been written. The earliest known documentation was on a cuneiform tablet dating back to 2031 B.C.E. The tablet was a receipt for the sale of wine jugs. However, it is believed that wine drinking began as early as 4000 B.C.E.
  • Wine has its origins in the Middle East, as that’s where grapes had originated.
  • Wine was the beverage of choice back in the day, not necessarily because of taste. Beverages such as water or milk were often unsafe to drink. The alcohol in wine, however, eliminated such pathogens making it the safest drink.
  • Wine drinking has played a part in folklore around the world, from Persia to Ancient Rome.
  • The first development of different types of wine from different regions began during the Renaissance in the 14th
  • Our modern take on wine as far as grape growing, wine production and wine storage came about during the Enlightenment period in the 18th century.     
  • The invention of fine wine is relatively recent. Historically there was very little fine wine. In the early 20th century there was fine wine called “vin fin”, but most wines were “vin ordinaire”, or just regular, ordinary wine.

Appreciate the wines you know and love. Be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Red Wine Could Be Beneficial To Your Health

Red Wine & Health Ventura County CA

Red wine may have a few heart health benefits.

February is American Heart Month! While too much alcohol is bad for your heart, a little red wine could be beneficial. Many studies boast about the benefits of red wine to heart health. Although studies are still in the works, they’ve claimed that a glass of red wine every so often can help provide antioxidants that can increase your good cholesterol and protect your arteries.

Studies are examining polyphenols which are thought to help keep your blood vessels in good shape. However, there is one polyphenol called resveratrol that has gotten extra attention. Studies believe that it is the antioxidant in wine responsible for keeping your arteries healthy.

The resveratrol is found in the skin of the grapes. Red wine is said to be healthier than white, because the fermentation process for red wine is longer than that of white wine.

The benefits though to come from the resveratrol are:

  • Increases your good cholesterol. Your high-density cholesterol (HDL) helps to keep your blood vessels healthy.
  • Keeps arteries healthy by fighting the bad cholesterol. Low-density cholesterol (LDL) builds up in your arteries against the arterial wall and can eventually lead to a heart attack.
  • Lowers your risk for blood clots.
  • Effects your blood pressure.

The same antioxidant is also found in peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries, however research has not yet concluded how eating these foods stacks up to drinking red wines. Research also hasn’t reached a consensus when it comes to alcohol consumption. While some think it helps health, others disagree.

It’s important to remember to always drink in moderation. Too much alcohol consumption has negative health effects. The Center for Disease Control recommends that women drink no more than one drink per day and men drink no more than two drinks per day.

Enjoy your wine responsibly. If you would like to know which local wineries in Ventura County, California offer the best tastings, contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Great Beef Stew Recipe To Pair With A Cabernet Sauvignon

Beef Stew Recipe Ventura County CA

Pair a cabernet sauvignon with this delicious beef stew recipe!

Warm up on cold winter nights with this beef stew recipe. This hearty stew pairs perfectly with a nice full bodied cabernet sauvignon. Here’s what you need to get started.

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups beef broth

3 potatoes, diced

4 carrots, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

Get out the slow cooker! Start by cutting the vegetables and cubing the meat. Make sure the beef cubes around one inch pieces. Next, put the cubes in the slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, prepare the spices. Combine the flour, salt and pepper, hold off on adding the other spices, you’ll need them later. Pour the mixture over the beef. Make sure that they’re well coated. Now add in the remaining spices. Add in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 hours or so on the low setting.

**If you’re in a rush, speed up the cooking time by setting the heat to high. Then cook for four to six hours.**

For helping finding the perfect cabernet sauvignon to pair with your meal, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

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