Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fortified Wines-- Port & Sherry

Port & Sherry, both wine that you do not hear of often. What are they? Well a form of after dinner drink, not quite "dessert" wine, but some may consider it. SO fortified wines. What does that mean? Well according to the Spanish, where they began & the tradition port & sherry are, here are the facts...

Fortified= adding alcohol to stop fermentation, or adding after fermentation
(fermentation= The formula for the fermentations process is: sugar, added to yeast yields alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast, added to the grapes converts the natural sugars contained in the grapes (glucose and fructose) into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is then released from the wine mixture into the air and the alcohol remains.)

So the difference?
Port= fortification during fermentation. Port can be very strong, fruity, and semi sweet...
Sherry= fortification after fermentation. Sherry is often bone dry [and gross]

More facts, that could bore you-
Types of Sherry: Fino, amontillado, oloroso, & sweetened sherries
There are 2 different ways to make Sherries: Fino vs. Oloroso. It is made my the Palomino grape, and if it is slightly sweet, the PX or Pedro Ximenez grape is used.

Types of Port: Ruby, LVB, vintage, tawny.....these all relate to aging, so ruby would be aged the least & is cheap, while LBV may be aged 3-6 years, and Vintage can be anything more, like 10-20+ years...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Burgundy & Chardonnay

Allow me to educate you on a little place called Burgundy. Burgundy is an area in Western Europe that is known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. These just happen to be two of my favorite wine varietals.

In France, and other parts of Europe, they use a AOC method to label the quality of wines. Thus, a "grand cru" would be the Also, they dont just name any bottle "chardonnay" or whatever varietal the grapes are. Instead, they label their wines by village or vineyard. For example, in the map to the right you can see all the villages....Macon, buit st georges, chablis, chatillon...just to name a few... These all produce different wines. It is a bit odd, and confusing, but also it transcends a sense of orginiality into the wines and branding.

Chardonnay in Burgundy-- Most famous for Chablis, Cote de Beaune, Maconnais.
Something I learned that I thought was fascinating about Burgundy is that they use the "negociant system". After the French Revolution the land was all divided amongst commoners, thus creating fragmentation amongst the vineyards and causing over 100 different owners per vineyard. It was chaos. Thus, this system was implemented so others could buy grapes of eachother to help blend wines and make a better quality.

Main chardonnay regions of the world are also in California, South America: Argentina & Chile, NZ: Marlborough & Grisborne, Australia: Margeret River & Adelaide Hills, Hungary: produces cheap/bulk wine

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tobintini? Have not heard of it? Let me enlighten you. This drink is the classiest, most sophisticated, best mix between mimosa and glass of wine you can find. Caution though. This drink is strong, more alcoholic than you can imagine. What is it? It's sparkling Tobin James Champagne...mixed with a splash of their sinful liquid love. Ironic? A bit. Only because the two together is way more than anyone can handle, in any situation-- love or hate. Its the queen of morning beverages, the king of strong drinks, the prince of hangovers and the princess of seduction. (okay bad personification). But seriously, if you have not heard of Tobin James Winery, well wait for another blog spot. If you have not experienced a Tobintini, then I suggest, almost demand, you go out and buy the ingredients to make one. Perfect to impress the ladies, great for special occasions, necessary for morning engagements, and quite the exquisite drink. TOBINTINI! AMAZING.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cal Poly Wine Fest

Wine Fest. No need to explain I think, especially if you know me. Last weekend I ventured back to SLO and had an amazing weekend full of wine and fabulous friends. I was able to hangout with best friend, Stephanie one day/ night, and hung out at my old casa for a bit, then spent the rest of the weekend with my little, Suzie! I missed her and had such such a fabulous time staying with her. She took me to an AOII party where I had a blast singing Karaoke! Then we hopped on dt with some of my favorite pandas, Jen and Jessica. Probably one of the funnest nights I've ever had dt SLO!

Then came Saturday. Mayhem. Suzie, my old roommates: Mandy, Kristin, Sama, and Suzie's friend, and a bunch of boys began the morning having mimosas and tobintinis. Yum. Then we hopped on the bus to a random field in Santa Margarita! The rest is well predictable-- very crowded, lots of wine, not enough space,not enough water, not enough food, and a lot of chaos. :) It was great! Although I do wish it was more spread out. I frolicked throughout the tasting, losing people, running into people, and yeeaahhhh. SO fun! A very drunk day though for someone who doesn't really do much anymore besides work and workout, as pathetic as that sounds. It was such a fun weekend though and I loved seeing the seniors that will be graduating and alum friends! I'm definitely in need of recovery though, and now have two rough work weeks ahead!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why I'm a WINO

Yes. I am a Wino.

I love wine. Ask anyone & I'm that girl ordering wine at bars, bring wine to parties, slapping the goon over a keg, and of course totally up with wine. It's delicious, interesting, and brings drinking alcohol to a whole new level. Yes, I'm weird. I'm only 23 and I've already practically given up beer, rarely drink hard alcohol, and have a wine addiction. How did this happen? Well I'd like to start be blaming my college roommate freshman year. She would always have bottles of white Zinfandel in our dorm room and naturally as a inexperienced freshman, the cheap, sweet, wine was lovable & quite enjoyable. The next phase was going abroad to Australia. One of the best wine countries around, they have cheap cheap wine at a very nice quality. The other alcohol there? Pricey. Wine became my go to. I learned the Aussie ways, slapped the goon, took a wine class, researched Yellowtail, and consumed bottles of fine vino as I enjoyed the Aussie culture. Then, I turned 21 my mom & became my mom's pet, as she enjoyed having a someone to share her love of wine with. From there, it went became my vodka and replaced whatever alcohol I once drank. Friends made fun of me, people judged me, and I know certain bartenders in my college town did not understand it. I love wine. Going to school at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo only increased my obsession. Wine country. As a beach lover and born & raised San Diegian, I had never imagined a more scenic area than living near the ocean. Then I began traveling wine country, seeking the vineyards, tasting the wine, and roaming the green hills. It's beautiful. As I tasted and listened and learned I wanted to learn more. I began reading books, searching online, and researching wine. It's intriguing. All the thought and effort that goes into a simple bottle of wine is fascinating. From growing grapes, to soil, to non oak or oak, and climate's like a giant puzzle with endless missing pieces that just keeps growing. It's much more complicated than your typical vodka, rum, whiskey, or beer. And BETTER!

After I graduated Cal Poly, I took the WSET wine course and increased my knowledge and wino mentality. I now volunteer and attend wine events regularly. I cook and work on pairing fine wine with food. I love it. This blog is dedicated to everyone who wants to learn more about wine, understand why I drink it, or maybe wants to learn a thing or two about Vino. I'm no pro, elite, or wine guru. I'm a normal 23 year old trying to make a career, be happy, and live life to the fullest, doing things I love. Enjoy my blog!