IT'S TIME TO WINE! is a blog for those of us who enjoy the lighter side of life and the fun side of wine, "For over a bottle of wine, many friends are made." So jump on in and share your favorite wine varietal, wine story, wine trivia or cartoon because life is just to short not to wine!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You don't have to be a Beer Drinker to Celebrate St. Patty's Day!

Who needs Green beer??
(You will also need to have on hand one bottle of Sprite, 7UP or Gingerale to add to the sangria just before serving).

 Sangria Base:
1 Lemon cut into wedges
2 oranges cut into wedges
1 small bag of frozen apricots, peaches, or raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 shots of whiskey
1 bottle of (not cheap)  dry red wine
Squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and oranges into a pitcher. Toss in the wedges of lemon and orange (leaving out seeds if possible), along with the frozen fruit, sugar, and whiskey. Mix and chill overnight.
1 bottle dry red wine to the above.
And top off each person’s glass with a splash of Sprite, 7UP or Gingerale.

Please Share your Sangria Recipes!  It's a great summer time drink too~ And Believe it or not, Summer is just around the corner! In meantime, I will continue to fortigy myself witha a little irish added to my sangria.   
Happy St. Patricks Day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What does Chardonnay really taste like?

When conducting private wine tasting sessions I sometimes hear people comment ”I don't care for chardonnay” when what they really mean is that they don't care for overly oaked whites.

The majority of chardonnays on the market are fermented in oak with the un-oaked chardonnay being the exception. Because of this, when people think 'CHARDONNAY' they think spicy, smokey, vanilla, and butterscotch. This isn't the grape they are tasting though, it is the oak in which chardonnay is typically fermented.
An unoaked chardonnay has little in common with the often overly oaked Chardonnay.  
A quality crafted un-oaked chardonnay will boast deliciously fruity flavors ranging from apple and
melon in the colder growing regions to luscious tropical fruit flavors such as pineapple in the warmer climates.

I have recently discovered an un-oaked chardonnay blend from The Traveling Vineyard that has been a real hit at my wine tasting sessions.
The Scotto family has masterfully blended 13.7% Marsanne with 86.3% Chardonnay to create a fruity, crisp Chardonnay blend that is full of flavor and intrigue.  The wine went through a cold fermentation (fermented at 52 degrees Fahrenheit) to protect and develop the delicate fruit flavors, and was not aged in oak, but rather was aged sur-lie (on the yeast) to add smoothness, complexity and character.
Fruit flavors evident in this Chardonnay/Marsanne blend include tropical citrus, pineapple, melon, and green apple.  The wine pairs beautifully with shrimp, fish, or Asian cuisine.
I am loving this Scotto chardonnay! If you would like to give it a swirl you can find it at www.myttv.com/freewinetasting

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Save the Earth Drink Wine With Cork!

We’ve had the cork or screw cap debate on many occasions in the past and yet there’s still some confusion. Today we have a look at the  some “urban legends” about cork, screw caps and plastic closures.
  1. Cork trees are not cut down, they are harvested, by hand, every 9 years.
  2. A cork tree that is harvested of its bark will, over its lifetime, absorb 10 tons more CO2 than one not harvested.
  3. There is no cork shortage; in fact, there is enough cork to close all the bottles of wine produced for the next 100 years.
  4. Cork forests support one of our planet’s highest levels of forest biodiversity and keep 6.6 million acres of the Mediterranean basin from becoming a desert.
  5. Wineries are choosing screw caps and plastic closure for financial reasons, not wine quality.
  6. Screw caps and plastic closures are not sustainably sourced or biodegradable.
  1. People claim that screw caps can be recycled. – No, they can’t. They are too small to be picked up in the sorting facilities and end up in landfills.
  2. Screw caps are more environmentally friendly than cork. – Mining for bauxite remains one of the most environmentally devastating practices on our planet. The aluminum industry uses 1% of all the electricity generated in the world.
  3. Wine cannot be “tainted” if closed with a screw cap. – About 2% of all screw cap wines are affected by some sort of “taint”.
  4. There are no health issues when using a screw cap. – Recent studies have shown higher than normal levels of endocrine disruptor’s in wines closed with screw caps because of the plastic seal inside the cap.
  5. Plastic closures are recyclable. – Yes, but less than 1% of them ever are. They end up in landfills, being incinerated or floating around in our oceans.
  6. Plastic is safe for use with wine. – Wine is a solvent due to its alcohol content. When plastic and solvents come in contact, there is leaching (much the same as with the screw cap).
  7. Plastic is safe for our environment. – Plastic never goes away, it may break down into small particles, but it is here forever.
The cork forests of the Mediterranean basin have been placed on the United Nation’s “25 Hotspots for Biodiversity” list. They are vital to the environmental sustainability of our earth. By supporting wineries that use natural cork, you are making a statement about your commitment to our planet’s health, and your reward is a wonderful glass of wine.

Article From:   winetimes

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mulled Wine for the Holdiays

Happy Holidays! It's time to Wine~
This is my favorite time of year.   I love shopping and wrapping and gift giving and especially gathering with friends to celebrate the year.  What I don't care for though is the part where temperatures plunge and we skitter around with our shoulders up to our ears in an attempt to keep warm.
Mulled wine is great for taking the chill out, relaxing those shoulders and filling your home with wonderful aromas.  I will post a few recipies over the next few days and would love to read yours as well! After all 'tis the season of sharing~
Happy Holidays

 Mulled Wine -
1 bottle of Merlot,
1 t almond extract,
2 cinnamon sticks (plus xtras for garnish if desired).
3 whole cloves,
1/2 t nutmeg,
1 T honey.
 Pour wine into top of double boiler, warm over med heat. Add remaining ingredients, stir til honey dissolves. Reduce heat, cover, simmer, stirring occasionally.
and Sip!
Makes the house smell delicious too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Warding off the Red Wine Headache

I have a lot of people ask me why red wine gives them a headache. My first response is to tell them that they are either drinking cheap wine, or drinking way to much cheap wine. This is commonly referred to as a HANGOVER.

However, there are some people who,despite drinking a quality red wine above the $15 mark still suffer from headaches and/or flushed skin.  Although there are many theories as to why this happens, there are no solid  answers.
Luckily, there are preventative measures  you can take without giving up your cup of red nectar, (providing you aren't drinking cheap wine.)
Try drinking a cup of black tea before you drink the wine. If you will be drinking over the course of an evening, have another cup or two of black tea during the evening. Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in black tea, significantly inhibits the headache/flush response (which is an inflammatory effect from histamines), according to Tareq Khan, M.D., a pain expert with St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Or if the problem you suffer from is bloating due to alcohol's dehydrating and water retention effects, try munching on magnesium-rich snacks like dark chocolate and unsalted nuts, according to Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Viva la Screw Cap!

As late as the mid-17th century, the French wine makers did not use corks. Instead, they used oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles.
Sure makes the screw cap sound a bit more attractive, doesn't it?!