Some tips on paring wine with food. A tip about wine tasting and some tricks that will show you what you can make and do with all your used Wine Corks.
Tip of the Month: With local wineries now springing up in most parts of Pennsylvania, be sure to ask for local wine when you go to your favorite restaurant. Restaurant owners need to know that there is a demand for local wine before they will take a chance on it. If local wine is available on a restaurant wine list, many customers will choose the local wine to support local business. So make it a point to ask the waitress or bartender at your favorite local restaurant for local wine choices.
Wine Food Pairing Tips:
Wine And Chocolate Tips:
- First important tip is to notice the sauces accompanying your food. Most people try to match with the texture of the food. But does your chicken come with a light sauce, buttery sauce, a mushroom sauce, or a heavy gravy? Its all chicken underneath but the sauces are very different requiring different wine parings.
- White, creamy, citrus sauces require light acidic white wines such as Hummingbird White or Semi-dry Riesling. Usually these sauces accompany fish and seafood plates.
- Light brown sauces go with lighter reds such as Hummingbird Red.
- Dark or heavy sauces go with bold, full bodied reds such as Hummingbird Red Reserve.
- Spicy sauces go with wines that are semi-dry such as Hummingbird White. These will balance the spicy tastes of food.
- No sauce, no problem. Check the color of your food. Whitish – white wine, pink – roses, dark meat – bold red, game type meats – hearty reds
- Desserts and other sweets – no brainer – go with dessert wines such as Hummingbird Ridge Ports. You can also go with bubbly wines. The trick is to make sure your wine is sweeter than your dessert, not the other way around.
(a) When pairing wine with chocolate, typically the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter than the chocolate you are serving it with. Otherwise the taste may quickly veer towards bitter or sour.
(b) When pairing wines with chocolate, your best bet is to match lighter, more elegant flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines; likewise, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.
(c) When tasting with Chocolate: if you will be experimenting with several varieties of chocolates, work from light to dark. Start with a more subtle white chocolate and end on a dark or bittersweet chocolate.
(d) White chocolate tends to be more sweet, mellow and buttery in flavor and generally pairs well with sweet white wines. Milk Chocolate generally pairs well with semi-dry reds and some whites, and Dark chocolate generally pairs well with Dry reds and Port wines. But these are just general suggestions. Dare to be bold and experiment. You will find that the perfect wine and chocolate pairings bring out the best in both the wine and the chocolate!
Wine Tasting Tip:
If you can never seem to find a dry red wine that you like, maybe you are not giving your reds enough of a chance to show themselves at their best. Remember that many red wines need to be exposed to air and allowed to “breathe” a bit before they become their best, especially if they are newer vintages. Just letting the wine sit in your glass (or decanting the wine into a decanter or glass pitcher) for as little as 30 minutes allows the alcohol aromas to “blow off” and also starts a reaction that softens and smooths the tannins and “unwinds” the tightly bound flavors in red wines. So give your red wine a chance to show itself at its best and “let it breathe”!
Holiday Meals and Wine Tip:
It's often hard to pair Holiday meals such as Thanksgiving with wine, not just because of the variety of foods presented, but also because of the variety of people at the table. Trying to please a variety of people can be hard, but here is a possible solution. Present several wines at the table in different styles that guests can choose from. A nice sparkling wine is always nice, as well as a fruit-forward dry red, and perhaps a semi-dry white and of course, a sweet wine for those that are not big wine drinkers. Fortunately, Hummingbird Ridge Winery is your one-stop shop for Thanksgiving wines. From our Hummingbird Red & Semi-Dry Riesling on the drier side to our Sweet Dreams & Ruby Elixir on the sweeter side, you can present your guests with the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving celebration. Stop in our tasting room for more advice on pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner or any meal.
Things To Do With Used Cork Tricks
: Do you save the corks from the wines that you drink? There are many uses for corks. Here are a few:
1. Napkin Ring, Drill a hole in the center, thread pretty ribbon through and tie.
2. Cork Wreath, Look online for instructions.
3. If you do scrap-booking, you can carve your own stamps into corks.
4. Cork Tabletop, Look online for instructions.
5. Fishing Bobber, put a staple in the cork and pull the staple back out a little bit & put your line through.
6. Pin Cushion
7. Glue thin slices of cork on the bottom of tables, chairs, pottery, etc. so they don't scratch the floor or other surfaces.
8. If you've lost the cap to a soda bottle, use a cork.
9. Cork and Bead necklaces or curtains, Drill holes in corks and string beads through the corks.
10. Door Stop
11. Trivet (Pot Stand), slice corks in half & frame with wood for a place to put hot pans.
12. Put small pieces of cork over the ends of knitting needles, fishing hooks, or any sharp object to protect it and you.
13. To decorate a potted plant, lay corks on top of the level potting soil in patterns.
14. Wrap a cork with sandpaper for a Sanding Block for small sanding jobs.
15. Key Ring for boaters, if your keys go overboard, the cork floats.
16. Wall Border
17. Fill holes in floors left by previous tenants. So go and put your used corks to good use!
Wine Making Term Rack:
To draw off from the lees or sediment, the term has its roots in
Biblical times from the word raca meaning “worthless” or lowest parts.
When winemakers say they are going to “rack” the wine, they don’t mean
that they are going to put the wine in a wine rack or that they are
going to torture the wine, they mean that they are going to carefully
siphon or pump the wine to separate the sediment at the bottom of the
tank created from the fermentation and clarification process from the
clearer wine above the sediment. The racking process normally begins
after fermentation is complete and the wine is racked at periodic
intervals until clarified to the winemakers liking.
- Wine Q & A
: Why is wine with little or no sugar content called
“dry wine”? We get asked this question a lot at the tasting room and
the origin of the term “dry wine” is unfortunately, not easy to explain.
In researching the question, the best answer that we can find is the
following from a Word Origins Discussion Board: "In medieval times (and
pretty much up to the advent of modern winemaking), wines were typically
drank young, since it was difficult to keep them from spoiling. Any
aging that was done would have been done in wooden barrels, since the
bottle- and cork-making techniques of the time weren't good enough to
permit long-term storage in the bottle. (The ancient Romans and Greeks
had airtight containers for storage, but these methods were lost during
the dark ages.) So although it's possible to age the astringency out of
modern wines, in medieval times there would have been a tradeoff between
sweetness and astringency. As a general rule, non-sweet wines would
have been more astringent ('dry' in the mouth) and sweet wines less so.
From this, it's not surprising that 'sweet' and 'dry' would have come to
be regarded as opposites in wine, and that non-sweet wines would
continue to be called 'dry' even when improved methods of winemaking led
to the production of non-sweet wines that weren't particularly