Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#Wine Gum, When Drinking Wine is Not An Option #Wine

Wine Gum for Lovers of All Things Wine

As lovers of the vine, we seek out all things vinous and the markets have not disappointed. From main courses made with wine to wine-infused cupcakes, cookies and candy bars-wine is what we want.  What happens when those items are not available and it's just not a conducive wine-drinking setting?  What can you do?  You can pop some wine gum in your mouth and call it a day.  That's right, we said it-wine gum.

Wine Gum is a sensational sensory wine experience.  According to its creators, wine gum gives you the chance to "experience your senses all working together; a smell sensation, a tasting and the after-taste...Our design intensifies the perception of wine by pouring it into a new edible form."  The Real Wine Gum is a "luxury adult food and aims to achieve the taste of that first sip wine in a new way, without actually drinking." So when you can't relax by drinking some wine-you can eat it.

Behind The Scenes of The Real Wine Gum

Marleen Teters and Mireille Reuling, the creators, used their love for wine and their business expertise to create Vinoos by AMS, which makes The Real Wine Gum. It was interesting to learn that The Real WINE gum originated as part of an ART Experience installation. Mireille Reuling, who is a conceptual designer (3D and New Media) in Amsterdam, developed a 3D art installation called The Wine Xperience in 2012. She wanted to achieve 'The relaxed feel of the first sip of wine, without actually drinking it." Her experiment was designed in a way for the spectator to utilize all of their senses. It was a combination of sources for inspiration: Visual Arts, Theater, Food & Drinks and Entrepreneurship. This Wine Xperience installation experiment gave birth to The Real Wine Gum. 


The Real WINE Gum is currently available in Merlot Red & White Chardonnay, although the founders are working on additional flavors and options. Wine gum is suitable for vegetarians and it is gluten, fat, nuts, gelatin and lactose free. It also contains no artificial coloring. 




The Wining Hour's Tastes Wine Gum!


We tried both the Chardonnay and Merlot flavored Wine Gum.  The Chardonnay Wine Gum had fruity, pineapple notes similar to a Lifesaver candy.  On the other hand, the Merlot Wine Gum was more flavorful and reminiscent of real wine flavors.  It should be noted that The Real Wine Gum does not contain alcohol and has more of a gummy bear consistency, than that of an actual wine gum. The Real Wine Gum is not chewy like gum and does not have the same viscoelasticity as gum, as we know it.  Nevertheless, it makes a good, fruity snack and can provide the wine taste that many of us crave on the palate.  It was exciting to taste The Real Wine Gum, as it's a novel idea and one that gum and candy lovers alike, who are also wine lovers will enjoy.  Thanks Marleen!

About The Wining Hour

The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:






Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friulian Pinot Grigio and Roasted Branzino #Wine #Travel

Italy's Gateway to Eastern Europe


Friuli, also known as Friuli Venezia Giulia, is a small region in the northeastern tip of Italy. Although it is one of the smallest regions, it has a huge impact.  This little region, west of Veneto, is the connector, or gateway to central Europe, as it borders Austria and Slovenia. As a result, Italian is spoken, along with some Friulan Slovene dialects near the eastern border.


Fruili is characterized by a diverse terrain, consisting of mountains (Fruilan Dolomites, Carnic and Julian Alps), pastures, streams, lakes, lagoons and a beautiful coastline.  It's main city is Trieste. The economy is based on local crafts, farming and tourism of both the sea (Lignano, Grado, Monfalcone and Trieste beaches) and the mountainous areas.

Friulian Gastronomy
Influenced by the Eastern European culture, Friuli cuisine is characterized by polenta and dumplings (perhaps even more so that pastas) soups and cured meats.  This area is famous for its prosciutto, specifically Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP.  Other cured friulian meats are prosciutto di Sauris, Carsolino and Peta from Valcellina. Valcellina, which is sausage stuffed with beef, goat, pork and some other game meats can also be found here.  Montasio DOP is the important cheese for this region.  Latteria and Tabot are notable formaggi.  Gubana, is fruitcake dessert, as well as carnia and strudel or strucolo (with apples and fruit).  Strucolo is a traditional Austrian dessert, which is further evidence that the Friuli culture has been influenced by its neighbors.

In terms of vino, Friuli Venezia Giulia is known for having some of the best white wines in Italy. The region has 11 Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC),  3 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and 3 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) designations.  More than half of the wine is DOC.  Friuli has 9 wine regions: Collio Goriziano, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Isonzo, Carso, Lison-Pramaggiore (shared with Veneto) Annia, Aquileia, Grave and Latisana, which means that there is lots of wine-tasting to do.

As this was a northern Italian region, we decided to make Roasted Branzino or Branzino Arrostito.  While this delicious fish is called Branzino in the north of Italy, it is known as Spigola in the south of Italy.  In the U.S., Branzino is sometimes referred to as Mediterranean Sea Bass, NOT to be confused with Chilean Sea Bass, which is a different fish. Here's how we made it:

Roasted Branzino 
 

Ingredients:

1 lb filet branzino
3 garlic cloves crushed or thinly sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning and fresh parsley leaves.
2tbsps freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. salt (to taste)
2 lemon wedges
1/3 cup dry white wine or white wine vinegar

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 450.  Mix oil, salt, pepper, garlic. Rub the fish with the mix. drizzle with wine.  Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes uncovered.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and/or Italian seasoning, and then roast for another 5 minutes.

We dined on our branzino with a simple mixed green salad and the wine selection below.

The Wining Hour's Friulian Wine Selection:

We selected a 2014 Paolo Valle Pinot Grigio from the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOP district. First, I would be remiss if I did not say that this is one of the best Italian Pinot Grigios that I've ever tasted. I repeat, this is one of the best Italian Pinot Grigios that I've ever tasted!  This pinot grigio is a white wine that even red wine drinkers would enjoy.  This wine was a full bodied dry white wine with aromas of pear and peach and even apricot on the nose.  These same fruits, in addition to cantaloupe, were on the palate.  It was light, refreshing, crisp and well-balanced, with just the right amount of acidity.   De-lic-ous.

We paired Paolo Valle's Pinot Grigio with branzino and it was like a match made in heaven.  The two tangoed down my palate as if they owned it.  This pinot grigio would pair well with most grilled or roasted fish, shellfish and sushi.   This wine was dry, but very rich wine with 13% alcohol by volume and aged in stainless steel tanks.

It was interesting to learn that the winemaker, Paolo Valle, collaborated with Alessandro Gallici, another famous Italian wine maker, to craft this delicious white wine.  They used a technique that helps to further enhance the flavor intensity of the grapes.  This was easy to see, smell and taste.
For more information on other Friuli wines, see Friuli's First Class Whites

Want more Friuli?  Keep reading and...

Join our live chat Saturday December 5th at 11am EST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.  We can't wait to hear from you.  

Here are the rest of my fellow bloggers featuring Friuli:

Vino Travels – Pignolo and Schioppettino and Picolit, oh my!
Culinary Adventures with Camilla – Roasted Lobster with Pesto + Ca'Bolani Sauvignon
Rockin Red Blog – Wine at the Center of Cultural Crossroads
Food Wine Click – Friuli Wines with Nutmeg Braised Goat
Enofylz Wine Blog  A Taste of Friuli, Got Prignolo?
Cooking Chat -  Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta with Wine from Friuli
Italophilia - Castello di Miramare: Pearl of the Adriatic
Orna - A Stroll through Grado: The Sunny Isle
The Wining Hour - Friuli Pinot Grigio and Roasted Branzino

We can't wait to start off the 2016 new year with you exploring some of the lesser known regions of Italy starting in January with the Basilicata region.  So come back on Saturday January 2nd as we explore the rest of Italy's regions. 

About The Wining Hour

The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:







Friday, December 4, 2015

Celebrating #CabFrancDay #Wine

How Are You Celebrating Cabernet Franc Day?



Dracaena Wines has been very instrumental in having a day set aside to honor this grape varietal for several reasons.  Cabernet Franc is the varietal produced by Dracaena Wines, so that wine is, in effect, their baby.  In addition, Cardinal Richelieu, the Prime Minister of France, who is known for many things, is also believed to have been responsible for Cabernet Franc's transportation from Bordeaux to the Loire Valley.  He died on December 4th, and for this reason, that date was chosen to honor the grape varietal. This year, December 4th marks the second celebration of Cabernet Franc Day or #CabFrancDay. 

Cabernet Franc is a blue black grape variation that originated in Bordeaux France and is a staple throughout the country.  The grape grows well in cooler climates and is pretty adaptable. Although it originated in Bordeaux, it can also be found in the Loire Valley, France, Italy, U.S., Hungary, Chile, South Africa, Spain, Canada, Argentina and other countries. 



Cabernet Franc happens to be the parent of a wine we all love.  Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc merged and gave birth to Cabernet Sauvignon.  Therefore, we would not have Cabernet Sauvignon without the Cabernet Franc grape.  Cab Franc is used for blending not only Cab Sauvignon, but Merlot, Petite Syrah, Bordeaux and a few other wines. In fact, Cabernet France is the main grape used in some of the worlds best Bordeaux wines. Additionally, there would be no Cabernet Sauvignon without the Cabernet Franc grape.  As most parents and children share certain similarites, Cabernet Franc is similar in taste to Cabernet Sauvignon, but is lighter and less tannic.  This grape is also used for many ice wines. Despite being a wonderful grape for blending, it makes for a fabulous wine on its own. It can be aged for 10-15 years.


The Wining Hour's Cabernet Franc Selection:

As #CabFrancDay was initiated by Dracaena Wines, it was only fitting to pour one of their wines. Last year, for the inaugural celebration, we were delighted to have Lori from Dracaena Wines join #WiningHourChat (@WiningHourChat) to discuss it.  Lori contributed some great information about the grape, its history and some pairing options.  We tasted Dracaena Wines' 2013 Cabernet Franc vintage.  It needed to be aerated, so as it decanted, the scents and flavors opened up nicely. 


To the nose, it had aromas of spicy, dark fruits such as raspberries and dark cherry and fresh herbs. Spicy raspberries were also on the palate. In addition, it was earthy, peppery and smooth with soft tannins.  This Cabernet Franc was definitely full bodied, more so than expected. Dracaena's Cabernet Franc was 85% Cab Franc and 15% Petite Syrah, and aged for 2 years in French oak barrels.  


We paired this tasty Cabernet Franc with a boneless rib eye steak and sweet potato fries. Due to the full body of the wine, it supported the steak nicely. Other typical pairing options include steaks, hamburgers, stewed and roasted meats like lamb,beef or rabbit and dishes with robust red sauces.


We enjoyed our Cabernet Franc and certainly deem it worthy of having its own day.  You can celebrate too.  To be apart of the conversation, join Dracaena Wines on #CabFrancDay on Twitter at 8pm/Eastern to show how much you #LoveCabFranc.

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:






Saturday, November 28, 2015

5 Wine Gifts for Dog & Cat Lovers #Wine #Gifts

These Gifts are for the #Winelover & #Petlover in You

Plain and simple, if you love wine and love your dog and/or cat, then read on.

There's no denying that our pets are a big part of our lives. Wine is also a big part of our lives. I think most of us are familiar with the infamous explanation, "It's not drinking alone if the dog (or cat) is home."  In some households, this refers to the dog and cat...and the fish and birds.  In any case, our pets are our partners.  They are always there, faithfully standing by us and supporting us.  We love them!

Here is a curated list for the #catlover, #doglover AND #winelover.

1. Playful Pup Bottle Holder -$34 This playful yellow lab is simply adorable and will get everyone's attention.  It holds one standard wine bottle in its mouth while it balances on its back. This is also available as a black lab/retriever.


2. Klutzy Kitten Bottle Holder-$34 This wine bottle holder reflects the clever, klutzy and adorable nature of kittens and cats.This one is no different, and it holds a standard sized wine bottle.  

3. Corky the Cork Dog Cage-$32 Corky provides a great way for doglovers to store and display their cork collection.  It can also hold a standard size wine bottle inside the dog.

4. Personalized Wine Barrel Pet Bed-$425 This pet bed is handcrafted from reclaimed white oak wine barrels.  It includes a lift up storage compartment for toys and treats.  This personalized bed is also available in a smaller size for smaller dogs and/or cats. ($200)

5. Rustic Pig Cheese Board-$19.99 Well, no, this little piggy is not a dog or cat, but he delights animal lovers nonetheless.  This pig is made from beautiful acacia wood and serves as a cutting or serving board. With rustic elegant character, this board is a lovely addition to any kitchen and wine tasting!


With these gifts, you can cater to your love for wine and pets!

For more gift ideas, please see the following posts:

5 Wine Gifts For HER
5 Wine Gifts for HIM
10 Gifts to Wow the Winelover in Your Life

Do you have a favorite wine gift item to give at holidays?

About The Wining Hour

The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:






5 Wine Gifts for HIM #Wine #Gifts

Gifts for Guys Who Love Wine 


Let's begin by saying that although this is entitled "Gifts for HIM," these are gifts that SHE may enjoy as well...and there's nothing wrong with that.

Now, have you been in a position where you just don't know what to get him?  Well, we have put together a small list of things that would be great ideas for the guy who loves wine.  We also included some things to consider when shopping for gifts.

Here is The Wining Hour's Criteria to employ when gift-shopping:

1. Need-Ask yourself, What does this person need?  What do they need, but don't have?
2. Want-Ask yourself, What does this person want?  What have they been mentioning?
3. Tastes-Ask yourself, What does this person like? What matches their personality, interest, hobby?
4. Decor-Ask yourself, What would go with their decor?  Which color, which theme, which style?
5. Novelty-Ask yourself, Is this item unique? or Is this something I can just find anywhere?

Using that criteria, we have curated 5 wine items that will make great gifts for guys who loves wine. These items, which will suit a range of budgets and are not in any particular order, are what many people need and/or want, suits their tastes and decor and are unique:

1. 3 Bottle Wine Tote-$35 This carrying bag has a reinforced handle and an adjustable shoulder strap. It can safely transport 3 bottles of wine, as it is made of durable canvas.

2. Premium Wine Accessory Set (4 pc.)-$37.99 This accessory set has the finest wine accessories including a cherry wood finish corkscrew, bottle stopper, drip ring and wine thermometer, all in a fine wood gift box.


3. Gear Shift Bottle Stopper-$17.99 This wine stopper allows you to preserve your wine in style. Made from wood and metal, this classically designed item is a perfect gift for anyone who loves cars and novelty wine items.

4. Knightsbridge Leather Flask-$24.99 This 6 oz. flask is crafted from high quality leather and makes a nice gift for the discerning man or woman.  


5. Golf Caddy Cheese Board-$60 The Golf Caddy Cutting Board and Tool Set is shaped like a golf bag and holds three brushed stainless steel cheese tools to mimic golf clubs. It also includes three wine tools. The Caddy is a thoughtful gift for anyone who loves wine and enjoys golf.  It's definitely a conversation piece.


For more gift ideas, please see the following posts:

5 Wine Gifts For HER
5 Wine Gifts for Dog and Cat Lovers
10 Gifts to Wow the Winelover in Your Life


Do you have a favorite wine gift item to give at holidays?

About The Wining Hour

The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:






5 #Wine Gifts for HER #Wine #Gifts

Gifts for Women Who Love Wine

Ladies, ladies, ladies...we probably don't really need this article, but, just in case, we're going to post it anyway. We have all been in a situation where we need to buy a gift for a fellow winelover woman, and we were unsure of what to buy.  Do we get her favorite bottle?  A case? Tickets to a wine event? Decisions, decisions.  What do you buy a woman who loves wine?

We have posted some ideas to help you with those decisions and to get you started.  Here is a small list of things that would be ideal for the woman who loves wine.  Below, you will also find some things to take into consideration when shopping for gifts in general.

Here is The Wining Hour's Criteria to employ when gift-shopping:

1. Need-Ask yourself, What does this person need?  What do they need, but don't have?
2. Want-Ask yourself, What does this person want?  What have they been mentioning?
3. Tastes-Ask yourself, What does this person like? What matches their personality, interest, hobby?
4. Decor-Ask yourself, What would go with their decor?  Which color, which theme, which style?
5. Novelty-Ask yourself, Is this item unique? or Is this something I can just find anywhere?

Using that criteria, we have curated 5 wine items that will make great gifts for women who love wine. These items, which will suit a range of budgets and are not in any particular order, are what many people need and/or want, suits their tastes and decor and are unique:

1. Stiletto Wine Bottle Holder-$28 This lust red sequin stiletto shoe bottle holder shows you are a fashionista as well as a wine lover. It is also available in black ($25), as shown in the photo. They both hold standard sized wine bottles.

2. Cork Cage Handbag -$28 What lady doesn't like a good handbag? Display and store your cork collection in something uniquely stylish and fun!


3. Wine Flight Tasting Set-$25 These delightful mini-decanters have the classic decanter shape, a wide base and flared opening.  They are just the thing for sharing with your friends. Each decanter is designed to hold 250ml. The white ceramic tray holds and carries all 3 decanters.


4. Napa Wine Soaps (Boxed Set of 3)-$30 This soaps smell absolutely delicious and will delight your senses like no other! Featuring 3 fragrant bar soaps with thick and creamy suds, this gift set is perfect for your kitchen or bathroom.  Handmade in Napa, each bar is poured and wrapped in flower petal paper and tied with a ribbon. Each set includes 3 6-oz. bars of the following (red wine) fragrances: Clean-O Noir, Cabernet Soapignon and Figs & Zinfandel.  They are made with grapeseed oil and wine (an antioxidant), and beautifully presented in a wooden gift box.  Note: These soaps are also available in a white wine boxed set, a set of 6 and sold individually. Priced accordingly.


5. Vinturi Aerator and Tower Set-$60 Vinturi delivers perfect aeration and the elegant Red Wine Tower cradles complements Vinturi aerators and accents any table, counter-top, or home bar. This is not only a great gift, it's a stylish and economical gift for red wine drinkers.

BonusZinZig Wine Tasting and Trivia Game-$37.99 
If you like wine, this game is for you.  Not only is it fun, but it is also informative.  You will certainly be the life of the party or any social gathering with this wine game. This game includes: 6 winemaker pieces, 3 bottle covers for the blind wine tasting, a wine tasting guide, 9 winery deeds, 250 trivia cards, 50 blind wine tasting cards, and one die. This was also featured in 10 Gifts to Wow the Winelover in Your Life, but it would certainly make for a fun gathering for the girls or Ladies Night get-together.

For more gift ideas, please see the following posts:

5 Wine Gifts For HIM
5 Wine Gifts for Dog and Cat Lovers
10 Gifts to Wow the Winelover in Your Life


Do you have a favorite wine gift item to give at holidays?

About The Wining Hour

The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:








Friday, November 27, 2015

10 Gifts to Wow the #WineLover In Your Life #Gifts

Top 10 Gifts Ideas for Wine Lovers

Barrel Stave Wine Bottle Holder
Shopping for yourself means different things to different people.  According to one of my colleagues, "Shopping is my god-given right...It's what I deserve!"  To others, shopping for themselves can be like work. This is only magnified when it is time to shop for someone else and you have to discern their likes and/or dislikes. What if the person you're shopping for happens to be a wine lover? What would a wine lover want? What would a wine lover need?  Is there anything else, other than wine that would make a nice gift?

Drum roll, please....

Relax, you do not have to face this dilemma alone...We are here to help lessen the stress of having to shop for both yourself AND for others.  There are certain things that shoppers need to consider.  We have provided some basic questions to help you get started and we've also curated a great gift list.

Here is The Wining Hour's Criteria to employ when gift-shopping:

1. Need-Ask yourself, What does this person need?  What do they need, but don't have?
2. Want-Ask yourself, What does this person want?  What have they been mentioning?
3. Tastes-Ask yourself, What does this person like? What matches their personality, interest, hobby?
4. Decor-Ask yourself, What would go with their decor?  Which color, which theme, which style?
5. Novelty-Ask yourself, Is this item unique? or Is this something I can just find anywhere?

Using that criteria, we have curated 10 wine items that will make great gifts for someone who loves wine. These items, which will suit a range of budgets and are not in any particular order, are what many people need and/or want, suits their tastes and decor and are unique:


1. ZinZig Wine Tasting and Trivia Game-$37.99 If you like wine, this game is for you.  Not only is it fun, but it is also informative.  You will certainly be the life of the party or any social gathering with this wine game. This game includes: 6 winemaker pieces, 3 bottle covers for the blind wine tasting, a wine tasting guide, 9 winery deeds, 250 trivia cards, 50 blind wine tasting cards, and one die. 



2. Riedel Bliss Decanter-$190 The Bliss Decanter is handmade and mouth-blown of 24% lead crystal by the renowned Riedel master Glass makers, making each decanter a unique work of art. This decanter makes the list of the Top 7 Decanters In the World as curated by @SocialVignerons.



3. Wine Gift Baskets-$-$$$ Wine gift baskets are always a good choice.  Plain and simple, who doesn't want a basket full of all kinds of treats and goodness, that may have 1-4 bottles of wine and/or champagne???? 



4. Wine Barrel Cork Cage-$25 The Wine Barrel Cork Cage is both a creative and memorable solution for your cork collection. It is crafted from metal with multi-colored glass accents.  Not only will this cork cage hold your corks, but it can also display a bottle of wine! There are other cork storage options too.


5. Wine Enthusiast Wine Cooler-$270 This wine refrigerator allows you to store and serve your wine from 2 separate zones! This thermoelectric, energy-efficient, CFC-free wine cooler, which can hold up to 18 bottles, protects the taste of both reds and whites. It has a convenient touchscreen temperature control and a reflective
smoked-glass door.

6.  Half Barrel Wine Bottle Rack-$525 This wine rack is hand-made in the USA from reclaimed oak wine barrels.  The shelves are removable for additional storage capacity. Using 1 shelf, each rack holds up to 32 bottles, and using 2 shelves, each rack holds up to 27 bottles. These are also sold in sets of 3.

7.  The Wine Check Bag-$69.99 This is THE gift for anyone who loves travel and wine.  The Wine Check Bag is really a wine travel suitcase that enables you to safely and efficiently check your wine in stead of having to ship it home. The Wine Check can hold 12 bottles and it stays under the 50 lb. airline weight limit for luggage! The Wine Check is collapsible and reusable, so you can store it and use it whenever you want to take wine with you.

8.  Cellini Red Wine Glasses-$40.99 Beautiful 12.oz red wine glasses that would decorate and liven up any table. These are also available stemless.

9.  Chill Deluxe Cooling Pour Spout-$27.99 This cooling pour spout allows you to cool, pour & preserve your wine with ease. It is stored in the freezer until you are ready to chill your wine and placed in your wine bottle when you want it chilled. Voila! Additional chiller sticks can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Q2UKpB


10. Coravin Wine Access System-$299 Coravin allows you to

taste your wine, while preserving it for a later date.  Taste your 
favorite wine without pulling the cork and opening the bottle. 

Although we are featuring these items, there are many other items that would make great gift choices.

For more wine gift ideas, see the following articles:

5 Wine Gifts for HIM
5 Wine Gifts for HER
5 Gifts for Dog and Cat Lovers

Do you have a favorite wine gift item to give at holidays?

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:






Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Great #Carmenere Caper #Wine

Celebrate World #CarmenereDay

 


Carménère, originally from Bordeaux, was thought to have disappeared.  Although it was thought to have been Merlot and mistaken for about 21 years, Carménère has made a comeback! Carménère, which gets its name from the French word carmin, actually means 'crimson,' due to its deep reddish color.  The grape is a dark, deep purple colored grape varietal that has been rediscovered in Chile, and is, in fact, the largest produced by volume in Chile.  Carménère produces a dry red wine, rich in berry fruits and spice and is often used to blend with other wines. 


Carménère was featured as the selection for the #wininghourchat on 11/24, which happened to fall on #CarmenereDay.  The chat group was honored to have Wines of Chile (@DrinkChile) participate and share some insights on Carménère's history, characteristics and pairings. 

The Wining Hour Selection:
To celebrate World Carménère Day, we choose a 2011 Primus Carménère from Colchagua, Chile. Colchagua is one of South America's most promising wine regions, as it is home to Chile's top red wines.  The Primus Carménère was dark crimson, almost purple to the eye, like black licorice, tobacco and peppery chocolate to the nose and earthy, dark chocolate covered plums on the palate. It was smooth with a moderate finish.  Although we have not had lots of experience with Carménère in the past, the Primus Carménère had a distinctive, balanced taste.  

Carménère pairs well with smoked and grilled meats.  This one was sipped alongside a grilled steak.  While it was decent, I think it would actually have paired better with pork or even alone.  Exploring other pairing options is on the agenda for my next Carménère.  This particular one needed to be decanted to open up the flavor, and we did so for about an hour.  This wine had 14.5% alcohol level by volumn, and made for a nice relaxing #CarménèreDay.

To learn more about Carmenere, visit:

*Wines of Chile

*Wine For Normal People

It is clear to see that Carménère has certainly made a comeback and is here to stay!
Have you tasted Carménère? What was your experience?

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour:








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hooray for Tempranillo Day! #Wine

Nae to Temperance and Yea to #Tempranillo!


The Temperance movement of the 1800’s, which was an effort to prohibit the drinking of alcohol, is long gone!  Today, we can partake of a variety of alcoholic drinks, from rum, gin and whiskey to hard cider, beer and wine-wine like Tempranillo!  In fact, there are days set aside to celebrate many wines.  The second Thursday in November is annually observed as International Tempranillo Day.



Tempranillo grapes have been around for many years, possibly since the 17th century. Tempranillo is a black grape variety native to Spain.   Its name is derived from the Spanish “temprano,” which means early, as this grape tend to ripen earlier than many other Spanish grapes.  Although native to Spain, the grape is also planted throughout South and Central America, Australia and other regions across the world.  The Tempranillo grape is the main grape used in Rioja.  Due to its neutral profile, it is often blended with other grape varieties like Grenache and Carignan, as well as Tinto Roriz and Aragonez in Portugal.  


The Wining Hour Selection:
We certainly enjoy this Spanish wine, and to celebrate #TempranilloDay, we chose a 2006 Castillo Roquero Tempranillo Reserva from Valdepenas Spain.  The wine was a medium ruby to the eye, and a smelled of ripe berries and vanilla.  Roquero Tempranillo was pretty smooth, with coconut, vanilla, mild spice and berries on the palate. The flavor opened quickly and was well-balanced.   We paired this wine with ribs. However, Tempranillo will pair well with most pork or lamb dishes, whether its chops, stewed or roasted. It can also be enjoyed alone.  It was interesting to learn that this particular Tempranillo was aged in oak barrels for 5 years, and is known by the name, Cencibel, to the locals.

Moreover, this wine was made by a female winemaker, Pamela Geddes, which is always of interest to me.  Castillo Roquero Tempranillo Reserva is a good, easy to drink table wine.

The Tapas Society organized the first Tempranillo Day celebration and provides many suggestions for pairing and celebrating this Spanish wine.

Based on that, we say, “Nae to Temperance and Yea to Tempranillo.”  Horray for #TempranilloDay!

How did you celebrate #TempranilloDay?

About The Wining Hour
The Wining Hour writes about wine, Italy and global travel.  The Wining Hour boutique caters to wine-lovers across the globe by offering all wine-related items.  The Wining Hour markets unique wine décor and furnishings, accessories, glassware, barware, wine racks, storage and cooling options, games, gifts and more. The Wining Hour also hosts #wininghourchat on Twitter (@wininghourchat) on Tuesday's at 9 p.m. EST.(For more, see links at the top of this page)

For more information, please visit www.thewininghour.com.­­­

Follow The Wining Hour: