Author: californiawino

Growing wine in cool climates

Growing wine in cool climates

It has been said that wine is proof that God loves us and he wants to see us happy, among many other myths related to grapes. Wine is related with and a status of class, elegance, and intelligence. The world’s most renowned wine growing area is found in California. The Northern region of this state is the best example of growing wine in cool climates; the area has been a tourist attraction for decades. Travel tips constantly advise wine aficionado’s to visit wineries tucked away in these lush coastal mountains. Here you can get to experience the wine culture through wine tastings and chat with local wine experts on everything grape-related. The best way to taste wine is in a copper wine glass to get the royal feeling. The area is popular for wines such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, hearty reds and Zinfandel. Another area for growing wine in cool climates is Britain, their wine industry has seen a sharp boost over the last few years. In 2015 it was responsible for injecting more than 100 million pounds into the economy. England is mostly known for its sparkling wine but it also produces white and red wines. Travel reviews mention different species of grapes and where they are grown. For example, Albarino is grown in Chichester and Grenache in Glasgow. These destinations show The coming of age of British wines.

Fruit wines; a toast of enchantment.

Fruit wines, the latest trend.

Fruit wines in the UK have always been well received at luncheons and are frequently associated with dessert wines, however that could not be further from the truth today. Flowery essences, especially organic, are emerging as a top request among wine lovers across the country. Often referred to as “mead” in the UK, some of the best samplings will be available at festivals and wine tastings in 2016 as they soar to a classy revival among connoisseurs. Lindisfarne Mead, promoted by the infamous wine merchants, Nickolls and Perks is made on the Isle of Northumbria and offers a hint of honey that is incomparable to any other. At the Love Wine Fest 2016 , held on November 5th in Birmingham, Nickolls and Perks will offer this mead among other fruit wines. Among the festivals exhibitors will be Three Choirs Vineyards which offers tours and tastings in Gloucestershire and Hampshire, where they recently acquired Wickham Vineyards. Among the trend setters in fruit wines is Field Bar out of Gloucestershire; amid some of their best is a delightful elder flower sparkling wine. Another worthy mention goes out to Lyme Bay Winery which offers a mild, dry, yet delicately well toned strawberry wine called Lymelight. As mentioned earlier many wineries continue to refer to their fruity wines as mead but keep an eye out for them on supermarket shelves. Regardless of how they are referenced, fruity wines are making a reputable come back to the wine lover´s collection.

Religion and Wine Connection

Religion and the wine connection

Well today I would like to bring to you the discussion I had with friends over dinner last week. It was about wine and its connections with various religions. Nearly all ancient religions have wine as a special gift from god. Let us take a closer look at each of the religions.

Egyptian religion – The Egyptians had a god of wine. Yes folks Hathor the god of intoxication was honored every month by drinking parties on the “Day of intoxication“. Greek Religion – The old Greek religion was similar and had a god Dionysus who was the giver of all gifts and behold the greatest gift was wine. The Romans – The Romans believed that wine was  given by Jupiter and grape growing and wine making was part of the agricultural cycle every year. The Shinto and Chinese – Even in the religion believed to be the oldest, casks of Wine are placed as an offering at the shrines. The old chinese religion also practised offering wine at altars to the god of prosperity. Hinduism in India – The association of wine has really changed over the development of the religion. The early religion had “Soma” the name given to wine which was only for the gods and was a secret recipe. However drinking alcohol was a taboo for the normal people. Judaism – A passage in the Hebrew Bible associates wine with the divine. Presence of wine in almost all the rituals is a testimony to the bond of wine with this religion. Christianity – There are two really important instances in life of Christ which has the wine connection. The first instance is about Jesus turning water into wine and the second one is the Last supper where Jesus shares Wine with bread with his disciples. As for other religions like Buddhism and Jainism wine drinking is a taboo. In Islam wine drinking is a sin. But majority wins I presume.

Napa Valley Wine Train Set to Begin!

Anyone that follows the Napa Valley Wine journey knows know of this amazing train experience.

With the Super Bowl this year being held in Santa Clara in February, the area is capitalizing on the tremendous amount of press, tourists, and attention to our area of the world  with wine making and a culture defined by that,  we are so proud of.

One of the things you can do is hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train, it recently kicked off it’s “Championship Wine Flight” that is tying NFL greats who founded wineries themselves. I’ve heard Dick Vermeil, Rick Mirer, Charles Woodson, are some of the NFL stars who have wineries you can visit on this unique football inspired wine train.

Napa-Valley-Wine-Train travel though lush countryside drinking in the wines

A view from inside “The Wine Train”

There will be lunch and dinner trains with affordable ticket prices for those interested.  The prices are reasonable for the experience, so please look at the menu thoroughly and appreciate what all you gain from this journey.

Even for those of who most of the public consider wine snobs, I have to recommend this train experience! It’s just awesome! Every friend that comes to visit me from the UK I make sure they spend an afternoon the train.

Napa-Valley-Wine-Train-Silverado-Car an elegant experience.

It takes you back to another era, with the dining cars and meals brought to you as travel across the country side. A full restaurant experience complete with every great local wine known imaginable. This 25 mile journey in the heart of Napa Valley is a must for tourists!

Please check into their main site “Napa Valley Wine Train” to see how to book, the menu, and make a reservation. You won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Wine and Nutrition

Calories in different wines

Wine nutritional facts are not found on the label. Be aware wine is not calorie free. It has lots of calories. All the types of wine contain alcohol which is the major source of calories. Now some nutritional facts about wine.

  • Wine does not have  a standard nutritional facts – There cannot be a standard because wines are made from grapes. Grapes that are used to make wine may be green or black. The dark grapes will give rise to wine with higher alcoholic content. On the other hand white wine made from green grapes will have lower alcohol content.
  • Alcohol has more calories than sugar – If you are having alcohol in any form you are taking in calories twice that of sugar. You did not know this? Well friends one more fact is the drier the wine the more calories. Sweet wines will have lesser calories. So if you are on a fitness regime better to skip wine for a while.
  • Other Nutritional facts – (1) Contains Fluoride which means wine is good for teeth.(2) Potassium keeps the heart muscles healthy.(3) Manganese which is good for nervous system and liver.(4) Iron good for keeping active (5) Phosphorous for strengthening bones and aiding digestion. (6) Vitamin B2 the vitamin which helps reduce ageing effects.

Wine is good for health: Fact or Fiction

Wine Good for health

Cersie the mother of Tommen and wife of Robert Baratheon in “The Game of Thrones” is addicted to wine. That is just an excerpt from my favorite TV series, but the question is Wine really healthy? Well I tried to find out facts about the same. I visited Doctors and medical professionals and also some of our elders to find out.

Is wine beneficial for heart? Well the medical practitioners told a story about a boy. John was a boy and he used to drink tea daily with milk and sugar. It kept him going and he was really good at studies and sports. Someone told him that tea is good for health. Now he started drinking 10 cups of tea daily and what happened? His body took the toll and he was sick. Doctor came and told him he was drinking too much tea. Well friends the same is the case with wine. If you drink one glass daily it is good for your hearty. On the other hand if you are addicted it will ruin your life. The alcohol in wine can cause liver problems and death due to alcohol is very common. Every fifth man dies due to ill effects of alcohol.

The doctor also added that wine is better than other alcoholic beverages but only when taken in moderate quantities. My grandfather is of the same view. He said that wine is good and is best with dinner. Somewhere both elders and doctors agree. Well the small research put forward that my favorite drink is good but not in large quantities. Beware wine is taken without additions so it has more alcohol than whiskey which is generally diluted with water.

Types of Wine

Types of wine

I am a fan of great tasting wine. One day a thought came in my curious mind about the types of wine that are available. I researched and here are the results.

Wine can be classified according to the color of the liquor.

  • Red wine – This is my favorite. The color is just like blood. In ancient times stage actors used to use red wine as false blood. The wine is made from black grapes and is sweet in odor and taste.
  • White wine – This looks more like vodka, and is clear with no color. It is made from green grapes and the taste is creamy. A favorite of women folk.
  • Rose wine – The color is just like rose a pinkish tinge. The wine is made from black grapes. The skin is removed before fermenting hence the light color instead of the usual blood-red. It may also be made by blending white and red wine together. Taste ranges from sweet to bone dry.
  • Sparkling wine – There are bubbles in the wine that sparkle, hence the name. The wine is made by secondary fermentation that causes these bubbles. A favorite at cocktail parties. The taste ranges from sour to sugary sweet.
  • Fortified Wine – This is the blenders area. Most of the wines with high alcohol content that give you the kick are these. The natural wines are fortified by adding spirits. It is a wine generally used in desert making as it requires the extra spirit. Sherry is a fortified wine loved by the English people.

Fruity California Wines

After watching a news cast this week I decided to go along to California Fruit Wine Company to see, well taste their wines. . The difference with these to others I frequent is they make fruit wines. Now I know grape is a fruit but here they use different fruits as the base for their wines – no grapes.  The emphasis at this winery being on fruit, not vegetable, corn or rice.  Currently they are promoting their Harvest wines, which include Pumpkin Spice and Cranberry.

The company is owned by two great blokes who really have a love for what they do. They are willing to chat and share their knowledge with customers and let you try glasses of their unique bouquets. They source their supplies from vendors up and down the west coast, ensuring the finest quality for their wines.

Now to the wines I tasted….art wine for the table

I found Pumpkin Spice to be a little sweet for my taste, but my companion could not get enough of it!! Its a delicate wine spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.

The Cranberry wine I found refreshing and crisp; definitely one for my table. Another up and coming wine I was told is Pomegranate. Pomegranates in general have had a huge raise in popularity and this wine is fruity and tart at the same time, great for the autumn palate. I can see a least a couple of these on my table at Thanksgiving.

The California Fruit Wines large facility is inviting, easy to find and definitely worth a visit. I recently read an article on a bonfires. It was real fun.You can read the entire article here.

The Other California Wine Country

Paso-Robles-VIneyards-e1360177457785

When most people think of California wine country they just think of Napa, which is indeed the most well-known region for wine in California. However, I’ve come to learn that Paso Robles is another up and coming wine region in the golden state. According to Huffington Post it is more laid-back, less expensive and somewhat cooler.  I would say I have to agree with Huffington Post on that one. Paso Robles is a small town of 30,000 inhabitants located about 5 hours south of Napa Valley in the Central Coast part of California. It is in between San Francisco and Los Angeles. I decided to take a little detour and explore the region a little bit while on a road trip down the well-known Pacific Coast Highway heading to LA.

Paso Robles has more than 200 wineries which are mainly smaller and family-owned wineries and vineyards. While visiting Paso Robles I had the opportunity to try different wines from a variety of 40 different wine grapes. However, as I didn’t want to go  overboard I decided to only try out a few on this adventure!

pasorobles

I started by heading to Le Vigne Winery where they are known for their French and Italian grape wines including 30 different varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard was stunning and I was treated very well by the people serving me the excellent wine. I definitely got that family feel while being warmly welcomed during my visit. As I didn’t have much time to make a stop-over in Paso Robles I decided to check out one more vineyard. On my way out of town heading back towards the coast I decided to visit Derby Wine Estates. Also a family run business I was impressed with the high quality of their wines that I got to taste while enjoying the California sun on their tasting room patio.

Unfortunately it was only a quick stop over in the “more laid-back Napa.” But I can guarantee that I will be back soon! I would recommend Paso Robles to wine lovers of all sorts!

 

Mumm Napa Wines

Mumm Napa Valley Winery perfect sparkling wines from a traditional method of production

 

Read a nice blog review on Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, thought he made it sound interesting so bought myself some and really enjoyed it. I decided to pay the winery a visit not having been to Napa for a while I thought I would take a couple of days break there. Once I said I was going to friends, it sort of snowballed with it ending up 8 of us going. I booked us all on a tour of the winery at $25 including a tasting not too bad a price I also booked for further tasting on the terrace, which went down very well, as did the two bottles of sparkling we drank. The tour included a vist to the Fine Art Gallery housed at the winery and we were lucky enough to be there for the Nash exhibition of photographs. Graham Nash, founding member of Crosby, Stills and Nash and The Hollies is a world renowned photographer. Nash says of his photography, ““I sense the very same energy in photography that I find in music . . . conveying what is so difficult to put into words.” They were certainly interesting viewing, well worth a visit to see that alone, the exhibit is on until Aril 2015.
I would recommend that you visit this pleasant winery with its proud connection to French Champagne. Throughout its history here in Napa Valley it has adhered to traditional growing method and production to provide the superb sparkling wines you can buy today.

Selection of the excellent wines you can find at Mumm Napa Winery