House

Your In-Home Wine Cellar

A Home Wine Cellar

A Home Wine Cellar

If you’re a serious wine lover and you’d like to store a few (or a few hundred) bottles, having your own in-home wine cellar is essential. Wine doesn’t keep its flavor, aroma and color for weeks on end, but if your wine is stored in a dark, cool, humid place, it will.

You can put a wine cellar anywhere in your house. Most folks naturally consider the basement, but any room where you can create the right conditions will work. It can be an attic, a storage room, an unused part of the house, or even a corner of the garage or a hall closet.

The Right Conditions for Your Wine Cellar

Your in-home wine cellar should be in the coolest, most humid part of the house. The right temperature is 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity should be from 55 to 75 percent. This is a bit cooler than room temperature and much more humid. If the room you use    Read More...

The Perfect Patio for Wine Tasting

Relaxed wine tasting on a comfortable garden patio.


The backyard patio is known as the premier spot for barbecues, but if you’re a wine lover, it can be an excellent place for a wine tasting party. It serves this purpose well. If you’ve toured wineries, you know that they always have a nice outdoor deck for enjoying not only the wine but also the fresh air and scenery. Your house can have one too.

You can just take the bottles outside and sit around the table drinking wine, but a little preparation can go a long way in making your patio wine party ready.

Functionality and Simplicity

Start by thinking about functionality. The best patio for wine tasting is simple and functional. Put all of the supplies you’ll need either on a surface there or just inside the house on the dining room table. You might consider putting a small refrigerator out there for bottles you want to chill. Start with the basics and add extras for atmosphere.

Patio Décor    Read More...

Italian Wines 101 – A Basic Primer

A White, a Rose, and a Red

A White, a Rose, and a Red

There are hundreds of wines produced in Italy each year. If you’re new to the world of Italian wines, choosing a good one to complement your Saturday night lasagna can be a task. Books have been written on the subject and it’s impossible to cover everything in a quick guide, but here are some of the very basics.

Table Wines vs. Unique Regional Wines

There are two types of Italian wines – vino de tavola, or table wines, and higher quality regional wines. The table wines are lighter and of lower quality, but are still widely enjoyed. In Italy where wine is a way of life, they appear in huge jugs on the table of every family restaurant. Because they’re somewhat generic and light in taste, they’re designed to go well with just about any dish.

The higher quality wines are certified by the Denominazione di Origine Controlla, or DOC, which was set up in the 1960s to standardize wines throughout the country and    Read More...

Holding Your Own Wine Tasting

Tasting through aroma

Tasting through aroma

If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday night and you’d like it to involve wine, why not have a wine tasting? You can have your own casual wine tasting at home and invite your friends. It’s a great way to kill a weekend night and also learn about different wines in the process.

What to Drink

There are several ways you can choose wines, depending on your taste and your wine knowledge. You can:

  • Pick several wines you’ve heard about but haven’t tried yet
  • Ask everybody to bring their favorites
  • Choose a certain type of wine or wines from a certain region to compare
  • Pick a bunch of wines from different regions
  • Have a blind tasting. This means wrapping the bottles in tinfoil or covering them in some other way so no one knows what’s what. They have to guess.

A good wine tasting usually has 4 to 8 wines. With any more, all the different flavors get hard to tell apart. With any less, let’s be honest and admit that you’re just killing    Read More...

Drinking Wine the Italian Way

Toasting to a good friend

Toasting to a good friend

Wine pervades all areas of life and is an important part of Italian culture. It’s impossible to imagine Italian art or history without its influence. But it’s also an important part of everyday life.

Wine alone makes up about 2% of an average family’s budget. While elsewhere wine is a drink we break out for special occasions, it’s nothing particularly special in Italy. It’s not considered high-brow, but a normal, unpretentious part of nearly every meal, and is enjoyed by people of all classes and backgrounds.

Wine and Food

Wine is almost always served with meals. Everywhere in Italy you see inexpensive table wine being poured when people sit down to eat. Wine brings out the flavors of the food and enhances the social experience of eating. The food does the same for the wine, bringing out its natural flavors. Matching wine to food is an art-form.

In fact, wine has traditionally been considered a type of nourishment. In    Read More...

The Best American Wines – 4 Must-Visit Wine Destinations

Harvesting in California's Napa Valley

Harvesting in California’s Napa Valley

Throughout American history, immigrants came from all over the world, bringing the old world with them and blended it with the new. Nowhere is this unique blending more apparent than in the combinations of cultivated old world grapes with the wild varieties of the Americas.

Although none of North America’s wild grapes alone produce tasty wine, when mixed with the old varieties, they create something fantastic. Today American wines are on par with what you find in the wineries of Italy and France. Here are four essential destinations for tasting the best the United States has to offer.

 

Napa Valley, California

No United States wine tasting tour would be complete without a trip to Napa. Sure, it may be overrated but most wine lovers will admit that it lives up to the hype. There are several hundred wineries and you can find every type of wine imaginable. Napa Valley has been an important wine area since the early 19th century and many of the old wineries are still    Read More...