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Duck Breast and Pinot Noir

As we all have to stay in isolation during this trying time, we get to spend time cooking with family.  My twin and I  are doing this remotely and sharing recipes and wine pairings.  The other day she cooked a fantastic duck breast dish.   Moira Rose made fruit wine hilarious in a Schitt's Creek episode.  My twin found some old fruit wine and decided to make a delicious sauce with it. She used a Cherry Fruit Wine as the base of her reduction and then used fresh strawberries and blackberries to compliment to sauce.  She sautéed shallots in a little butter and then reduced the cherry wine down adding in the fresh fruit. She made whipped potatoes and sautéed...

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Sancerre made Simple

People love Sancerre.   Sancerre is fun to say and even more fun to drink.   Some people do not realize it but Sancerre is the region and the primary grape is Sauvignon Blanc.  The district is located on the left bank of the Loire River and also grows limited production of Pinot Noir which makes lovely rosé.   Just across the river is the acclaimed region of Pouilly-Fumé which also produces beautiful Sauvignon Blanc. The soils around the area can be roughly classified into three categories. The far western reaches heading towards Menetou-Salon have "white" soils with limestone & clay.  Around the village of Chavignol the soil also includes some Kimmeridgian Marl.  Wines from these western reaches tend to have...

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Madeira

Maderia has always been a cool subject to educate people about. Here's the scoop: Madeira is an Portuguese island off the coast of Africa and produces fortified wine that can be stylistically reminiscent of Ports. Typically enjoyed as an aperitif or a digestif and not to be confused with an inexpensive "cooking" version which is made for cooking not consumption on its own. These wines were made by accident back in the 15th century where they were fortified with a brandy to allow the wine to make the long sea voyage. During the journey the wine was exposed to high temperatures during the day and cold temperatures at night. The result was a very beautiful style that has a maderized...

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Malolactic Fermentation

Malolactic Fermentation (MLF) ​​Perhaps my favorite of the geeky wine language is teaching wine novices about Malolactic Fermentation. As a wine Professional I enjoy making wine approachable and accessible. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. When a sommelier identifies certain aromas and bouquets there is a reason they are evident. Malolactic fermentation is literally the chemical process where malic acid (picture yourself biting into a green apple) is converted to lactic acid (now picture yourself drinking milk). Both are acids but the palate perceives them very differently. The malic acid will create a mouthwatering effect and a sensation felt in the sides of the cheeks. With lactic acid, it’s softer and felt over the surface of the tongue. When you...

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