I don't consider myself a wine connoisseur, but I do love learning more about wine by tasting new varietals! To really make the most of wine tasting, we've created a
downloadable worksheet. It's your space to make notes on all of the wonderful wines you taste. The tasting notes are perfect for a wine club meeting, a wine tasting, or simply a night in with the girls. Filling it out can help you learn more about wine in general, and it will also help you remember certain beloved bottles. To check out a list of wine-related vocabulary and to download our free, printable tasting-notes worksheet, read more
I like to consider myself a hostess with the mostess. Entertaining is what I do; it's what I live for. So naturally, putting together a gift guide for the ultimate hostess was incredibly easy. I simply looked for fabulous gifts I would love to receive!
Give the party queens and kings in your life a gift that they can show off while entertaining.
A pretty pot holder, sleek cocktail shaker, or stylish tray are all wonderful options. Or give them a great conversation starter like these introductory cocktail napkins. They break the ice and totally eliminate small talk. For more ideas, scroll below!
Lately I've been encouraging my grandfather and his lady friend to start a wine club. I love wine clubs because they are a great way to get friends together while learning about wine. When I first got into wine I tried reading stuffy books full of information on wine varietals, grape types, and climate conditions. These reads were too textbooky, which is why I enjoyed Maureen Christian Petrosky's The Wine Club - a book that's packed with knowledge without all of the stuffiness. Each chapter is labeled by months of the year, with one type of wine for each month. Within each section are fun facts about the wine, bottles at different price points, and tasty recipes. Petrosky writes in a female-friendly, snob-free tone and the text is in purple and green print (like the color of grapes!) instead of the standard black. Get this book and host your first wine club party!
Commonly found in older bottles of red wine, the deposit or residue that can accumulate in the bottle during the aging process. The solid matter can be from yeasts, fragments of grape skins and pulp, or it can form naturally. Sediments are not considered a negative quality, and can sometimes be associated with finer red wines. Sediment should be allowed to settle completely and can be separated from a well aged wine by decanting.
A group of astringent and bitter compounds found in the seeds and skins of grapes. These compounds slow oxidation and promote aging. Sometimes tannins are found in the barrels that are used to hold the wine. Important to the production of good red wines, because they provide flavor, structure, and texture, tannins have antioxidant traits that contribute to graceful aging. You can detect tannins in the wine you are consuming by the puckery, drying sensation in the back of the mouth and throat.
In order for me and my guests to fully understand the wines we shall be tasting, taking a few tasting notes are highly encouraged. To make it super easy (this a party and not a class) I've created a wine club tasting notes worksheet. You can download it, print it out and use it at your own wine club meetings. Or if you are sampling a new wine and want to remember it at a later date, print one out and fill it in. For detailed directions on how to fill it in and vocabulary definitions, read more
Lately I have been reading a lot of books about wine and they all say the same important message: the best way to learn about wine is to taste as many and as much as you possibly can. Thats why I am forming a wine club. By inviting a small, intimate group of friends to each bring a bottle of the same varietal of wine, I hope to refine my palette and ability to judge aromas, flavors, and finishes. The first meeting is coming up (perhaps meeting isn't the best word to describe event, it's more of a party) in which we celebrate a love and appreciation for wine while learning about what we are drinking. I know education and alcohol rarely go hand in hand, but in this case they do. I began preparing for this party on Monday when I made invitations that can be changed each month. On Tuesday I talked about the menu, on Wednesday tips for successful sipping, and yesterday the look. Today I must come up with a soundtrack for the get together so come party with me. read more
Every week YumSugar highlights an essential tool for the ultimate kitchen. People are always asking her what her favorite kitchen tool is and in a response to this perpetual question, she is creating a list of kitchen must-haves and special splurges (attention brides: use this as a checklist when creating your registry!). Lately I've noticed that more and more people are asking me about what the perfect hostess should have in her bar. To answer this question I thought I would put together a list of important tools, glasses, and gadgets that The Ultimate Bar (for the ultimate at home mixologist) should have.
Let's start with a tool that no bar (or kitchen for that matter) should be without: a good, reliable corkscrew. I have tried out the more expensive rabbit screw pull gadget like wine openers (test for yourself: the one pictured is $100), yet the two that I had both broke after several months of use. That's why I prefer the leverage winged, modern spiral corkscrew. It's by far the most dependable and one of the easiest to use: as the center coil is screwed into the cork, the arms rise up. When you press the arms down, the cork extracts. In some circles this twin handled affordable ($9.99) corkscrew is referred to as the Charles de Gaulle. The top of most can also be used to remove bottle caps.
Two more corkscrews so read more
After I graduated from Cal, I was scared by the thought that my education was officially over until I realized that while my school education was over I would never stop learning. Now instead of having to study subjects required of me I could study what ever I wanted: cooking, baking, current events, tennis, and knitting. In January I decided to further my admiration for the culinary world and fully understand wine. To aid in my quest for wine knowledge I am forming (and challenging you to do so with me readers!) a wine club that will meet monthly to discover, taste, and appreciate a distinct varietal of wine. I've made post card invitations (post card invites are great because you save money on postage!) that can easily be customized on my computer each month, planned a small, simple menu of savory and sweet appetizers to pair with the wine we will be tasting, and organized the tasting. Now I am envisioning the look of the wine club so read more