It’s always nice to be the one to open that first bottle of wine, gracefully poised with party-goers looking on in quiet expectation. A certain hush comes over the crowd and all eyes are on you… “The gatekeeper” of promised fun and adventure. A resounding POP seems to come from every angle of the room, then growing smiles and claps from all around. It’s a job well done!
Yes, there’s always that one time where it just didn’t go quite right. The corkscrew lever didn’t quite lift, or the drill burrowed its little self into the side of the cork instead. So, you try again. Only now, the cork of that beautiful fine wine has been expertly lodged or shall we say “bottlenecked” between you and a certain coolness of the evening.
It may be time to re-think that corkscrew from years past.
But, “which wine opener is the best?” You might ask. Well, we’re happy to share our key secret that works pretty well for us. The truth is (aside from the really poorly made wine openers) it’s all in which one works best for YOU! Everybody does everything a little differently; an opener will work better for one than another. That said, here are a few of our favorite wine openers you might want to try.
- Brookstone Connoisseur’s Wine Opener – Ergonomic friendly.
- Waring Pro Professional Cordless Electric Wine Opener – Compact, cordless, and lightweight.
- Xtrend Professional Rabbit Wine Opener – Durable stainless steel.
- Waiters Corkscrew – Most common and compact, for being on the go.
We know all about feeling adventurous, which is why we’re going to share a not so secret, little secret with you. When you’re not enjoying a great glass of wine from a winery you already know and love, you’re quite possibly standing in the grocery store aisle looking at various labels. It’s okay, we’re not offended. We recognize and encourage a healthy dose of curiosity. … from time to time.
Let’s face the facts though, because many more of us hoard the bottles we know to be good, and do not often stray from our personal collection of “rare and exquisite” finds. Why should we chance a dull and distasteful pairing with our carefully prepared dinner? The herbs have melted into the butter just right. The blissful aroma of a meal, well prepared, is in the air. There’s no way we’re going to pervert our table with an untested pour. …at least most of the time.
Well, for the adventurer and those wanting to avoid catastrophe, here’s the not-so-secret we recently discovered.
Meet the Vivino Wine Scanner app!
Applications like Vivino will allow you to scan a bottle of wine and write a review. You can keep a running list of the wines you’ve reviewed, as well as explore wines that others have reviewed. Perhaps you’re thinking about exploring a type of wine within a specific price range. The app allows you to filter your search of wines by price, rating, food pairing, grape, vintage, and more.
Can you believe it!?!
We were intrigued by the article “How Technology Is Transforming the Wine Industry” by Daniel Burrus, (Technology Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author) which we found at the Huffington Post website. We loved that Burrus was looking for the positive spin on tech in today’s world. Awesome that it also pertains to our industry.
Upon further exploration of the tech, we also found “Best wine label scanning apps 2015” by Richard Hemming MW, (Contributor) at the Jancis Robinson website, where we discovered that the Vivino app was one of many a person could use to feed the adventurer within, while helping them prevent a mob of unhappy party goers. Hemming, in this follow-up article referenced above, does a very good job of providing highlights and app recommendations. Vivino was one of two he suggested for use.
While these apps are great for the adventurer, they’re also great for the strong, consistent personality types who like to know what they’re getting themselves into before buying their wine, or haphazardly taste testing at an otherwise well thoughtout dinner party. Who cares about the “red vs white” debate at the table, if they both suck! Your consistent and even-keeled friend will begrudgingly defend you (the adventurer) for only a short time while the guests lose their frickin’ mind. After that, you’re on your own and you’ll be wishing you had stuck to what you know to be exquisite, or at the very least make a mental note to download the app later.
Remember, when you’re headed off to the pantry to make amends with your guests by grabbing a bottle of Rosella’s – we’d love a review on whatever adventurous, calm-the calamity app you’re now using, and we thank you in advance.
Ever wonder, about how grapes become this perplexing yet marvelous potion? An elixir if you will, just sitting ever so reposed upon our fine dining tables? A drink as old as time itself awaits our indulgence, after a long day, in merriment with friends, or in times of quiet reflection.
Truly, it is an amazing concoction, contrivance, a medley of fascinations. Wine is akin to a wonderful novel. It captures you, sustains you, and from time to time…moves you to draw back in contemplation and wonderment of its very essence. The ancients of Greece, Rome, Egypt and even as far back as Mesopotamia, understood the importance of Wine. Vitis Vinifera, the original Wine Grape, believed to originate somewhere deep in the Caucasian Mountains occupies our homes still to this day. To inherit such a custom from so long ago is nothing less than astounding.
Harvesting The Grape
When it comes time to cultivate the grape clusters, Wine Producers carefully choose the perfect time for the type of wine they will be producing. Sampling the grapes from different parts of the vineyard is common in the decision-making process. An early harvest will produce a thinner, less sugary, low-alcohol wine, whereas a later harvest can produce the opposite. Grapes are then hand-picked or mechanically harvested, put into buckets and then large bins to be washed and sorted.
Pressing The Grape
These days, the crushing of grapes is done by machinery. As grapes get sorted on wide moving belts, they move into crushing bins. These crushing bins often have the ability to separate grapes from their skins as well (known as Must.) Grapes made without their skins (the Must) turn into the delicious White Wines we are so fond of. Although crushing of the grapes by foot is becoming rare, groups of people around the world still hold to this tradition, as a celebration ceremony to bring in good wine.
Separating the juice is often called “Racking.” There are many ways to accomplish this part of the wine making process. After the grapes are crushed, must, sediment and wine barnacles float freely in the liquid…changing its composition as we know it. Many Producers use stainless steel tanks and filter hoses, moving the juice several times from one vat to another. Similarly, and like the days of old, some Producers use wooden barrels made of Oak or French Oak, to achieve this goal. The juice is then left in the barrels to settle for many days and weeks. After sediment has made its way to the bottom, the barrels are gently filtered or poured out into larger barrels or tubs (and is repeated to perfection.)
The process of fermenting has a certain complexity, which may differ with one Winery to another. Often, Wine-makers leave the must, skin, seeds, and all, for an accomplished wine. In this case “cap management” is necessary to move liquids and solids around regularly, such that the fermentation process is guaranteed to continue. Temperatures of 77F (for reds) and 68F (for whites) are recommended, however, is not set in stone per se. Varied levels of sugar and yeast are checked and added, along with preventative measures of oxidation. Just as temperature maintenance is important for the yeast to stay alive and active, sugar management is also necessary, as the yeast feeds on the sugar. This then results in the famous alcoholic, vintage-drink, enjoyed now for centuries.
Looking to start the Autumn season with some Zazz?
How about Hosting a Party!
If you’re feeling rusty at playing the host or hostess, here are some refreshers to infuse some fun into your well-earned festivities with friends and family!
1) Get a theme going! Theme parties help clue your guests into the type of celebration you’re having: Loud and Exciting, Quiet and Elegant, Relaxed, Intensely Conversational, or just an “anything goes motif.”
Remember, the sky is the limit, so don’t resign yourself to the commonplace get-together if you’re looking for something a little more exceptional.
A few party theme ideas might be:
- A Safari/Jungle Party
- A 1920’s Party
- A Woodland Party (and stargazing)
- A Murder Mystery Party (with dinner scripts)
- A Vintage Party (everyone brings an impressive antique)
2) Be sure to send out your invitations well in advance, and check the local community event-dates which might otherwise usher your guests off in another direction.
3) Be sensitive to your guests food allergies/needs. Make sure there is something for everyone to nibble on, and while you’re sampling your hors d’ oeuvres go ahead and un-cork a bottle! It’s important to enjoy yourself as you plan the party and its food pairing ideas. (Click on Tasting Notes to get a feeling for our wine and the flavor they can bring to a dish.)
4) Welcome your company in at the door with their choice of beverage, as you introduce them to at least one other guest. This helps everyone to feel appreciated and ready to mingle with others.
5) Make sure you are enjoying yourself as the festivities commence! Don’t wait to have fun, or get too caught up in having every detail perfect…a relaxed host/hostess is important in guiding a party to its most potential.
6) Complete your evening with a delectable dessert. As the evening winds down, ensure your friends and family are contented with one last taste of something fabulous before they depart.
Join us at Rosella’s to sample some really great wine for an amazing bash!