Wines with Zing! for Spring – It’s Time for Sauvignon Blanc

Article contributed by Eve White

The flowers are blooming; the sun is shining. This is the season to start thinking about Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe it is the renewal of nature that signals my return to wines from the sauvignon blanc grape, or maybe the warm air prompts me to move from the deep reds of winter to a chilled white wine. Whatever the reason, this is the season for these lively wines with a zing of acidity and melon fruit flavors. In the New World these lovely white wines, ranging in color from straw yellow to pale yellow-green, are produced from Chile to New Zealand to California . Here they exhibit an herbaceous quality with lively citrus or melon fruit flavors. Sauvignon blanc, also known as Fume blanc in California , may confuse consumers because of the different names it carries, but don’t be confused. Buy a bottle, pour a glass and sniff. Ahhhh! It reminds me of freshly cut grass on a glorious spring day.

In France’s Loire valley, the wine named Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape grown in the chalky soils on the banks of the Loire river. This wine is a delight, offering distinctly different characteristics from New World sauvignon blancs but the similar freshness of bright fruit and intense flavors. The pronounced minerality of this wine is the signature of Sancerre, and is sometimes described as smoke or gunflint. An appealing steely flavor, it excites the mouth and imparts a racy quality to the wine, leaving you wanting more.

Pair these winning whites from the New World or Old, with shellfish or serve them as sippers with a selection of appetizers. You will delight in the sensations ranging from grapefruit to melon, herb to mineral and your taste buds will thank you.

Continue reading “Wines with Zing! for Spring – It’s Time for Sauvignon Blanc”

Change to the Wine Life Updates e-mail

Just some administrivia.  The e-mail subscriptions were getting pounded by spam (i.e. alot of fake e-mail addresses were entered).  I’ve changed methods of e-mail updating so those of you signed up via e-mail may notice a change in the format.  Signing up is where most of the changes have come so you probably won’t notice much else different.

Wave of the Future? We’ll see…

Ice wine is a great desert all by itself or paired with the right fruit or sorbet.  I love the stuff.  Interesting packaging story at The Moodie Report.  Seems Schönmarke Gold Icewine is now being packaged in 50ml sizes.  To get the idea think “the little liquor bottle that you get hammered off of on a plane ride”.  The marketing plan (not a bad one) is to sell not only in retail stores (about $8) but to have them on planes. 

Terry Moran, President of Schönmarke Gold Icewine, said: “The mini is a great way of bringing new consumers to the brand. The promotional work we’ve done shows that, once travelers taste Schönmarke, there’s a very high level of acceptance, especially among women.”

Once you try it on the plane you can get off and buy it at most North American airports including John F. Kennedy International, Chicago O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Vancouver International.

Can’t complain about better wine selection on a plane…anything to help choke down the food on a long flight


Wine Storage Basics

Fine and Everyday Wine CellarTips
contributed article by Eve C. White

For a wine novice or connoisseur, proper wine storage is extremely important. You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your wine in top shape – even your precious California cabernets, however, you may prevent some major disappointments if you remember these wine storage tips.

Your storage options may be limited by space or budget, but whether you opt for a rack in the back of dark closet, a wine refrigerator, or (sigh) a custom-designed, humidity controlled walk-in cellar, regulating the three most important conditions, temperature light and humidity, will be imperative to wine storage success.

The key to proper long-term wine storage is to consistently regulate temperature, light and humidity. Temperature is the most important. The ideal temp for wine is 55 F, although a range of 45-65F is acceptable and easily maintained. Colder temperatures will slow the aging process while warmer temps may actually promote premature aging. A constant temperature is key as rapid fluctuations increase chances that air will get past the cork as the wine expands and contracts in the bottle. If enough oxygen reaches the wine, it may prove fatal for your juice.

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Two interesting new sites…

Got a couple referrals to some interesting new wine sites this week.  I know, its been a while since I’ve posted anything but the reality of life is hitting.  I started a consulting company which has made the last several weeks VERY hectic, and, of course, my little angel daughter is just starting daycare so there’s been adjustment there as well.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand – the two new sites.  These two sites are showing me that the wine cyber-community is getting more and more sofisticated.  Both are very cool and worth a look.

First site The Wine Library.  At first glance its a nice, comprehensive wine retail site.  Apparently based out of New Jersey and, I’m happy to say, I can now purchase from there and have it shipped to CA.  The cool part about The Wine Library is its innovative use of a very new medium – Video Blogging or vlogging, as I’ve heard some Silicon Valley types call it.  Wine Library publishes “Wine Library TV” which they describe as follows:

Conceived as a “day in the life” view into our experiences with wine and the wine trade, this section will feature audio/video shorts perhaps focusing on a particular wine, or a grape-growing region, a winemaker, or some aspect of what we do here at the shop with a view toward sharing our professional lives with the consumer to confer a deeper understanding of the many joys, chores, and even the disappointments of working in the wine trade. Our hope is that you will be educated, amused, inspired, and perhaps even a little angered by what we present. But since this is indeed a blog, we also hope that you will express your views and challenge and educate us in return.

Site uses .MOV files so you need Quicktime.  Check it out.  Very cool.

The second site was sent to me by another friend.  Women and Wine is a very comprehensive site with tons of information and targeted squarely at women.  The reason I find this site interesting is because its obvious that there is money coming into the wine sites.  This site has an associated magazine, been reviewed on CNN (obviously has PR efforts in full force), and its kind of the next evolution of what you can do with a wine related site.

Enjoy the Wine Life!