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Archive for June, 2012

How to Preserve Wine

Have you ever had a wine buying dilemma because you didn’t know how to preserve that expensive bottle of wine? We are sure many wine bottles are left sitting on those shop racks because of these apprehensions.

Here are a few simple and inexpensive tips on how to keep your precious bottle of wine intact at home.

For unopened bottles:

  • The first rule of thumb of preserving wine is to store it in a place that is dry, clean and well ventilated.
  • Wine bottle should not come in contact with direct sunlight. UV exposure rapidly changes the taste and quality of the wine. Now you know why they are mostly stored in underground cellars. Not all can boast of having one at home, so try keeping it in a dark closet.

  • While storing wine the bottle should be tightly sealed or corked so as to preserve and retain the actual taste and fragrance of this alcoholic beverage.
  • Wine should never be stored in kitchen or in the refrigerator. Kitchens are usually too hot to retain the original quality of wine and refrigerators are too cold for wine storing even at the warmest refrigerator temperatures.
  • Keep wines away from vibration. Vibration can disturb a wine’s sediment balance and speed up the ageing process. Hence, it’s a good idea to keep it away from all vibrating objects/places like refrigerators or cupboards under the stairs. And again don’t move your bottles more than necessary.
  • Store wine on its side. This keeps the cork wet and when the cork is in contact with the wine it keeps it from drying out and letting air in. This doesn’t hold true for screw capped bottles though which you can even store standing upright.

And for those bottles that were opened but left half consumed, it’s not difficult to preserve them either.

The reason that wine deteriorates after it is opened is because it is exposed to air. The oxygen in the air interferes with the taste and aroma of the wine. So the key is to minimize the wine’s exposure to oxygen.

Here are a few useful ways to do this.

  • Buy a wine pump and a few rubber stoppers. Now, pump out the air with wine pump and tightly seal the unfinished wine bottle with a rubber stopper. This usually keeps the wine fresh for two to three days. This might not work for sparkling wines.

  • Transfer the contents of the half bottle of wine into a smaller bottle, so that the bottle is full. Please make sure it is full to the brim so as not to leave any room for air to remain and attack your wine. This keeps wines fresh for over a week. Stick on labels to make it easy for you to remember which wine is in which little bottle.

  • If the cork is still intact after opening, you can use the same cork for closing the bottle. But try not to lay the now opened bottle on its side with re-used cork.
  • Keep the opened bottles in the refrigerator (even if it is red wine). You can take out the wine an hour before you plan to drink it.

Try to consume the wine within a day or two, or at most within a week’s time.
Well, now with these tricks in hand, don’t let anything deter you from enjoying your favorite glass of wine.

Cheers!

Categories: Tips

Wine Etiquette You Must Know

We have always believed in “Wine is a bit of class in a glass”. And like all classy things, wine too is supposed to be “done” in an appropriate manner. We are not simply talking about wine drinking here, but the whole gamut of things associated with wine, like ordering and drinking wine in a restaurant, wine serving at home, wine gifting etc. There is an ‘etiquette’ attached to all of them. Don’t get intimidated by the word, it’s really simple the way we tell you.

While Dining Out

The wine drinking culture in India is slowly picking up but you will just find a handful of very good restaurants (read expensive and classy) that engage the service of sommeliers.

  • It’s a good idea to do some wine research (wine pairing) yourself before you head out for a fancy meal.
  • Secondly, the most expensive wine on the list may not necessarily be the one that will go best with the food you’ve ordered. Don’t try to show off rather order a wine that everyone will enjoy and will go well with everyone’s meal.
  • Remember to ask your server to decant red wine and to chill white wine to the correct temperature before serving.
  • Always hold your wine glass by the stem. This way you not only get to appreciate the wine color and clarity, but it also helps to avoid smudging the glass with your fingerprints.

  • While clinking glasses make eye contact with the other person. And don’t keep the glass down before taking a sip.

Wine serving at home

As a host:

  • The basic wine etiquette is to serve a wine that pairs well with food.
    You can serve a lighter white wine like Nine Hills Chenin Blanc as apéritif. Then serve different wines with each course and can finish with a dessert wine. Check out our food and wine pairing blog – http://bit.ly/Lzab7K
  • Always use good quality wine glasses for wine serving; it needn’t be expensive crystal but avoid serving in plastic or paper glasses as well. If it’s a sit-out formal dinner, it would be better if you serve wines in proper wine glasses. For more on wine glasses, read http://bit.ly/xMAxzP
  • Never fill a glass to the top with wine. Fill red wine glasses 1/3 full, white wine glasses 1/2 full, and sparkling wine 3/4 full. If you plan to sample many wines throughout the course of a meal, serve even less than that per glass.

As a guest at someone else’s home:

  • Its good wine etiquette to allow the host/hostess to serve you wine, unless he or she suggests you help yourself.
  • For an informal party, ask the hostess for a wine charm to differentiate your glass from others.
  • If you are sipping wine, look into your glass and not at the other person you are talking to.
  • Don’t splash yourself in perfume and refrain from the urge to smoke. It lets you savour the aromas of the wines you drink; because the pleasure of wine drinking begins with your nose.

While having a glass of wine, if you accidentally break the glass, what is the proper etiquette to follow? As a hostess, say no when your guest asks if he or she can replace the wine glass. But if you are the guest, it depends on the quality of the glass and your relationship with the hostess. If it’s cheap stemware, don’t even bother to replace it; just apologize. But if it was an expensive Riedel, you can gift a box of good quality wine glasses or send her a gift voucher.

Wine Gifting

  • When you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, it’s always appropriate to take a bottle of wine. Your wine might not be opened that evening as your hostess would already have planned out wine pairing with the meal, so refrain from taking an already chilled bottle of wine.
  • While buying wine as a gift for someone you know well, choose a bottle you know the person will enjoy. In case, you don’t know the person too well, buy a wine that pairs well with most foods and are not extremely expensive.

On a final note, don’t be a wine snob and bore people with your wine jargons. Wine is a happy drink, enjoy and let people enjoy.

Cheers!

Categories: Tips

Cool It With Wine

Have the rains come in your city? Is it still hot and sultry? What better way to enhance the summer days than by drinking wines. We are not talking about just wines here; but a whole gamut of super cool drinks that you can make in a jiffy. They are not only easy to prepare but which look fantastic and taste awesome!!!

Here are a few delightful recipes to make your wine-drinking a larger-than-life affair.

  • Summer Wine Punch

Ingredients-

  • 2 l Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 l soda
  • 90 ml brandy
  • 90 ml orange liqueur
  • 240 ml strong black tea
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh fruit (apples, kiwis, grapes, berries) finely chopped for garnish
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Preparation:

  • Pour ingredients into a large punch bowl and add ice cubes. Stir. Garnish with sliced fruit and mint sprigs.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.
  • Tropical Wine Punch

Ingredients-

  • 340 ml pineapple juice
  • 170 ml orange juice
  • 2 l Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 canned pineapples
  • 5 peaches

Preparation:

  • Cut canned pineapples into small chunks.
  • Remove the seeds from the peaches and cut into little cubes.
  • Pour the wine, juices and fruits in a large jug and mix.
  • Chill thoroughly.
  • Just before serving, pour the punch into wine tumblers.
  • Strawberry Wine Cooler

Ingredients-

  • 500 gm strawberries diced
  • 10 gm mint leaves
  • ½ l Nine Hills Chenin Blanc
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp brandy

Preparation:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • You may add diced strawberries for garnish.
  • Crazy Fruit Punch

Ingredients-

  • 250 small pineapple, diced
  • 250 gm peaches, diced
  • 100 gm green grapes, halved
  • 100 gm strawberries, diced
  • 1 medium-sized alphonso mango, diced
  • ½ l Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 150 ml vodka
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ l orange juice

Preparation:

  • In a bowl, combine the pineapple, peach, grapes, mango, sugar and vodka. Cover and let steep in the fridge over night.
  • Add the strawberries and chilled red wine and orange juice. Taste if sweet enough and add more sugar, if desired.
  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice. In case you are using canned juice which is already sweet, reduce the sugar to be added.
  • Pomegranate Wine Cooler

Ingredients-

  • 200 ml pomegranate fruit juice
  • 100 ml grenadine syrup
  • 1 l Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon slices for decoration.

 


 

Preparation:

  • Pour all the ingredients together in a glass pitcher.
  • Mix carefully.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice, mint leaves and serve.

Try these cocktails out and let us know if you liked them.

Enjoy! Cheers!

 

Categories: Tips