Month: January 2018

3 Easy Steps on How to Love Wine Correctly

Do you love wine? Are you wondering how you can develop your wine palate? Given all the complexity in the world of wine, the first answer is remarkably simple: Drink.

In moderation, of course, but on a regular basis. As with most learning, developing an appreciation for the distinctive aromas and flavors of wine begins with experience. Drink, read, watch, listen, write, drink some more, and more after that!

You Can Love Wine Even More With This Easy Guide

Here are three strategies for learning to appreciate the wine you already love – and for getting more enjoyment out of every sip.

Love Wine at the Right Temperature

To taste wines more fully, drink them at castle temperature – the temperature of a typical basement (from now on referred to as a cellar). Too much refrigeration can chill away the flavor of wines. In fact, try no refrigeration – for any wines, except sparkling. You may be surprised at how much more flavor that Chardonnay has.

Love Wine by Knowing the Categories

Learn the categories of taste experience: Tannin, oak, acidity, sugar, alcohol, and fruit. Tannin comes primarily from the skins of grapes and provides the structure for red wines. It can be astringent and potentially bitter. It is also abundant in tea, so to experience a direct dose of tannin, brew very rich black tea. Oak comes from the barrels that the wine ages in and often shows itself as a hint – or a dollop – of vanilla. Acidity, which provides the structure for white wines, tastes tart and tangy. Sugar, of course, tastes sweet. Alcohol is always in the wine glass but is often balanced with the fruit. If there’s too much alcohol and it’s out of balance with the fruit, it can leave a burning sensation on the finish, like the aftereffects of tequila. Which leaves the flavor profiles of the fruit – often the most complex experience in tasting wine, including fruit flavors but other flavors as well.

Love Wine By Drinking Slow

When drinking wine, take your time to savor the flavor and don’t be concerned about making noises. Smell wine in short intense sniffs. Taste slowly, aerating your mouth as you hold the wine in your mouth. While smelling and drinking the wine, think of familiar fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables. Pay attention to the initial flavors (the attack), the flavor as the wine moves through your mouth (the mid-palate), and the lingering tastes after swallowing (the finish). A garden of earthly tastes waits to be detected and appreciated.

Canned Seafood Ideas That Will Change Your Perspective

You most sardinely want these canned seafood ideas!

If you think of just tinned tuna when you think of canned seafood, it’s time to cast a wider net! A variety of the world’s best seafood—often packed straight off the line, with just a bit of salt and olive oil—can be found in canned format. And, we carry them at City Vineyard.

Change Your Perspective on Canned Seafood and Wine

Canning has been invaluable in the seafood industry and has been a great way for non-coastal dwellers (like Montanans) to access quality seafood products. So why is canning so great for seafood? It happens quickly after fish are caught, and it involves minimal processing of the fish. Both attributes result in superior muscle quality of the fish (preservation of taste) and reduced oxidation of oils (maximum health benefits). Further, for fish with small bones, the canning process dissolves these bones. So, there’s no need to search meticulously for these osseous annoyances. Actually, the dissolved bones add a good source of calcium to the canned product.

Our favorite purveyor of canned fish is Matiz Gallego, a Spanish company with a focus on old-world fishing techniques, artisan canning practices and environmental friendliness. City Vineyard’s current selection of Matiz products includes:

  • Pulpo (octopus in olive oil)
  • Bonito del Norte (white-meat tuna in olive oil)
  • Sardines (both in olive oil and in oil with lemon)
  • Sardinillas (small sardines with olive oil and sweet piquillo peppers)
  • Mussels in oil and vinegar
  • Berberechos (cockles, or baby clams, in brine)

These treasures from the northeast Atlantic Ocean are beautiful alone, but they also pair perfectly with a variety of other City Vineyard goodies: For wine, try Albariño, Rosé, dry Spanish whites (like Torrontés) and maybe even a light Spanish Grenache.  For beer, try Pilsners or IPAs.  For food, pair with a light cracker that doesn’t overpower the fish (like Cowgirl Creamery’s Rustic Bakery cracker); a Spanish cheese, like El Trigal Manchego; and Spanish Marcona almonds.

Recently, we sampled Matiz Gallego’s canned seafoods and fell in love all over again, and the most skeptical non-seafoodies joined us in being enamored. Unanimously, we encourage you to add canned seafood to your next City Vineyard shopping list.

Simple Guide to Value Wines – More Than Just a Good Price!

Where should you look for the best wine values?  The answer is simple: All around you. At City Vineyard we have selected the best wines in an affordable price point for your convenience. Leave the guessing games at the big box retailers. We have the expertise, product knowledge and customer service you won’t find anywhere else around town.

Know What You Get With Value Wines

The ratio of quality to price is greatest in the $10 to $25 range. For those who wish to spend less, there are sound bottles available for less than $10. But is “sound” really what you’re searching for?  . . . Or do you want exciting and distinctive?  This often requires more labor-intensive, expensive farming and winemaking.

City Vineyard is willing to pay a little more because exciting wine is important to us. Something else to keep in mind – most wines in the under $25 price point are great values because they do not have the sort of pedigree that almost always raises prices. Many come from little-known regions, made from little-known grapes. Trying them requires a commitment to the unknown.

Fear not thrifty wine enthusiasts, City Vineyard is here to be the great wine shop with friendly professionals you trust!  This is crucial to finding a great wine shop. Even the biggest, recognized stores won’t have everything. American laws governing the distribution of alcoholic beverages virtually assure that every state will have a very different selection. If a wine merchant can’t find the exact bottle you are looking for, good wine merchants can often suggest something similar.

Trust us (and see above on keeping an open mind). In wine and in life, the best discoveries are often on the back roads.

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