How To Sound Like a Wine Connoisseur

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Love wine, but don’t know how to talk about it? Adore a bottle of red, but can’t tell a Cab Sauv from a Merlot? A clueless teetotaler eager to impress your wine-tippling superiors at the annual office party? Fret not; you have come to the right blog.

Let’s start with the word ‘connoisseur’. Connoisseur comes from the French word ‘connaitre’ (cone-ethre), meaning ‘to know’. A wine connoisseur therefore is someone who ‘knows’, or is knowledgeable about, wine. Given just how vast oenology (the study of all things related to wine) is, knowing everything there is to know about wine is quite a daunting prospect. What we’re aiming for, of course, is not to know it all—just to know enough to make it sound like you know a lot! This requires knowing at least a little bit about wine, and to use those basic facts to your advantage. Hopefully in the process, you will do more than just impress an audience, and find yourself finally articulating your passion for wine. Here are a few simple tips to help you accomplish this:

Learning the ABCs of Wine
If as the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, then learning a few key facts about wine and wine appreciation can be tremendously empowering. Read on to find out what these basics are.

Red, white, and blue…sorry, pink. Just how many kinds of wine are there?!
There are as many wines as there are stars in the sky. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but there is a vast array of wines of different colours and flavours, once cultivated in specific regions but now grown across the globe (climate permitting). Here are a few things to remember:

• Wines are distinguished by the type or variety of grape from which they were extracted: so a merlot comes from the merlot grape varietal, while a riesling comes from the rielsling grape. Some of these grapes are named after the region in which they are grown; but this is not true of all grapes. So while Champagne comes from the champagne grape, named after the Champagne valley in France where they were originally cultivated, the same is not true of Cabernet Sauvignons (there is no such ‘place’).
• Wines fall broadly into five categories: reds, whites, rosés, sparkling, and dessert.

Categories: Great Wine Ideas, Tips

How Long Will Your Favourite Bottle of Wine Last?

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We have all been there – whether to open that good bottle of wine or not! Not all of us can finish one whole bottle of wine, and wasting it is definitely out of question. When wine is exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates the taste, flavour and aroma of it, and within days turn it into vinegar. So, before you uncork your favourite bottle of wine, you must learn a thing or two about its shelf life.

Red Wine: Red wines like Nine Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Nine Hills Shiraz and Nine Hills Shiraz Rose generally last longer compared to white wines. Darker, heavier wines will last up to a week whereas lighter red wines might be drinkable for about three days. The tannins in the wine help in preventing oxidation, which is the main reason behind wine going bad.

White Wine: The same rule applies to white wines. White wines with heavier body and darker colour last longer than wines with lighter styles. If you are planning to open a bottle of Nine Hills Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc, then we suggest you finish the wine within a day or two, or you might end up wasting it.

Sparkling Wine: Unlike red and white wines, sparkling wine is not meant to be stored for later. Once you open a bottle of champagne, you might as well finish it. Sparkling wines tend to lose their bubbles within 3-4 hours of opening it, so make sure you have wine crazy people around you when you plan to open one of these.

If you really cannot finish that bottle of wine and want to save it for later then you must follow these steps. Stick the cork back in the bottle and close it as tightly as possible. You can vacuum seal the bottle, this will remove some of the oxygen from the bottle and increase its life. Once you seal the bottle, stash the bottle in the refrigerator. This will slow down the oxidization process and might help save your precious wine.

Categories: Tips

How To Taste Wine Like a Pro

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The first rule of wine drinking is to appreciate and savour the taste of it. Drinking wine is not same as drinking a glass of juice or milk, you will need to taste it and not just gulp it down. Before you start taking notes on how to taste wine, here is a little tip: Make sure your mouth is not tainted with tobacco, alcohol, caffeine or any other substance with strong odour/taste. This might affect the taste of wine and ruin with your wine tasting experience.
Explore the five S’s of tasting Wine.

1. See: The first rule of savouring wine is to see its appearance. Pour the wine into the wine glass and slightly tilt it against a white background. The main reason for doing this is to look for flaws in your wine glass, and you can also tell the age of wine by doing so. The colour of the wine tells a lot about its age, red wines tend to lose their colour whereas white wines tend to become darker as they age.

2. Swirl: Swirling is an important part of wine tasting. Make sure you don’t fill up your wine glass, doing so will make it difficult to swirl the wine. Pour small quantity of wine and swirl it around the glass by moving your wrist in small circles. This will release the aromas present in wine.

3. Smell: After you swirl the wine, get your nose as close to the wine as possible and take a deep breath. For most people smelling the wine is as pleasurable as drinking it.

4. Sip: After you smell the wine, you pretty much have an idea about its flavour, richness and intensity. Take a small sip and let it stay in your mouth for a while, you could take air through your mouth, this way the flavour of the wine will intensify.

5. Swallow or spit: After you take the first sip, and savour the taste of it, there are two things you could do: Swallow or spit depending on the place and occasion. If you are in a wine tasting event, it is advisable to spit out it since you will taste different kinds of wines and swallowing it will make you dizzy within a few minutes.

So, these are the basic rules of tasting wine. Follow this and you will soon be drinking wine like a pro!

Categories: Tips

Find The Wine That Suits You Best!

February 23, 2015 Leave a comment

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We all love tasting different wines, but did you know that each one of us has a perfect wine? Grab a pen, answer these quiz questions and find out for yourself!

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE IN THE MORNING?
A. Black without sugar
B. With milk
C. With Cream and sugar
D. I am more a tea person

WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM FLAVOUR?
A. Dark Chocolate
B. Vanilla
C. Coffee
D. Butter Scotch

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISH?
A. Steak
B. Pasta
C. Pizza
D. Roasted Chicken

PICK ONE
A. Onion
B. Mushrooms
C. Bell Pepper
D. Sweet Corn

Mostly A’s: Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is the Wine for You! You definitely have great taste in food and you can handle your wine pretty well.

Mostly B’s: Nine Hills Chenin Blanc is the Wine for You! You like subtle tastes, and Chenin blanc is a light bodied white wine, which is perfect for your palate!

Mostly C’s: Nine Hills Sauvignon blanc is the Wine for You! Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, dry and aromatic wine. With your taste preference, this wine will be perfect for you!

Mostly D’s: Nine Hills Shiraz is the Wine for You! You seem to like flavour in your food, and Shiraz is slightly sweet and tangy. This will be just right for you!

Categories: Tips

Cooking with Wine: Fish in Red Wine Butter Sauce

February 16, 2015 Leave a comment

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In our previous post, we covered Chicken and Red Wine Sauce. So, keeping up with the tradition, here is another delicious recipe coming your way – Fish in Red Wine Butter Sauce!

For Marinating:

1 fillet red snapper
Table Salt
Pepper powder
Olive oil or Vegetable oil

Ingredients to make the red wine butter sauce:

1/2 liter Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
A pinch of Sugar for taste
1 tsp mustard sauce
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
Thyme and coriander leaves, to garnish
Reduced balsamic vinegar, to garnish


Directions:

Marinate the fish with some table salt, pepper powder and olive oil.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a pan. Allow it to heat.
After a few seconds, Place the fillet in the pan.
Make sure you fry the fish on both the sides.
Keep aside and make the sauce in a heavy bottom pan.
Add ½ liter Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon to the pan.
Add bay leaf, thyme, mustard sauce. Keep on low heat and stir occasionally. Add sugar while you do so.
Once the sauce starts to thicken, add butter to the sauce and whisk it.
Let it simmer and remove from the stove once the aroma fills the room. Now Place the pan fried fish on a plate. Slowly pour the Red Wine Sauce all over the fish fillets.
Garnish it with reduced balsamic vinegar, thyme and coriander leaves.

Enjoy it with some salad, garlic bread and fries on the side! This dish is just perfect for a nice Sunday brunch. Enjoyed this recipe? Follow this space for easy cooking with wine recipes!

Categories: Tips

Surprising Health Benefits of Wine

January 30, 2015 Leave a comment

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The list of health benefits from drinking wine has been getting longer and more surprising by the day. Wine is one such drink that has numerous health benefits and drinking a glass of red wine a day is considered good for the whole body. Here are some reasons why a little glass of wine may do you some good.

1. Drinking a glass of red wine can be good for your memory. Research shows that drinking wine prevents clots and reduces blood vessel inflammation, which ultimately keeps memory loss at bay.

2. Research also shows that people who drink wine everyday tend to be slimmer than those who consume other drinks. It is believed that moderate consumption of wine helps in burning calories and keeping the waistline is control.

3. Wine is believed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women. Wine contains high levels of antioxidants, which might be the reason why women who drink wine moderately are less at risk compared to those who abstain from drinking wine.

4. Wine is good for the stomach. Drinking wine increases good bacteria, which helps kick-start good digestion in the body. Hence, drinking a glass of wine with meals can be beneficial for your health.

5. Studies show that women who drink wine moderately have higher bone density than those who abstain from it. Wine shows signs to boost the estrogen level in the body, making the old bones stronger.

6. Drinking red wine reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, especially in older women.

7. Modest consumption of wine can lower the risk of liver disease in people.

8. Moderate wine drinking helps in keeping cholesterol levels in control. The resveratrol present in wine helps in lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol in the body.

Wine can be a part of your healthy lifestyle. Drink moderately and live well!

Categories: Great Wine Ideas, Tips

Simple Rules for Wine & Food Pairings

January 27, 2015 Leave a comment

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With the Valentine’s Day and the most awaited Cricket World Cup entertaining upon us, there is no better time to talk about wine and food pairing. Most beginners are perplexed with the thought of pairing food and wine for a party. Even though there are no set rules, some safe food pairings will make your party a hit amongst friends. Here are some quick tips to get you started. Here goes!

1. Thinking of celebrating with some champagne this February? Since Champagne already has a faint touch of sweetness in it, it will go perfectly with anything salty. So, if you are planning to buy a bottle of champagne, make sure you order for simpler dishes with minimal ingredients.

2. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most loved wines, and can be very flexible with most foods. However, if you want to know what goes best with this delicious white wine then you might want to try out seafood like fish and Oysters, tangy Mexican and Indian dishes, grilled chicken or lamb, Pesto and green veggies and of course, Cheesy pastas and pizzas.

3. If you are looking for food pairings for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, then you don’t have to look very far. Anything from a marinated red meat, cheesy mushroom pizza, charred gruyere burger to a yummy veggie quiche, this wine goes great with a variety of dishes. So, let loose and explore the horizons of taste with this amazing red wine.

4. The freshness and acidity of Shiraz Rose makes food pairing almost endless. Anything from salad, seafood, lean meat, rice to spicy food, everything pairs perfectly with this special wine. Remember to serve this wine at about 13 degree Celsius, if too warm they turn sugary and if too cold, they lose their delicate aromas and flavours.

5. It can be a little tricky to pair food with this light-bodied white wine, Chenin Blanc. This wine has a wide range of flavours like pear, apple, passion fruit and peach and hence pairing food with it might need some thought. However, Mediterranean dishes, sushi and veal are a safe bet with this wine.

Remember, the goal here is to make both the drink and food taste good together and there is always room for little experimentation. So, choose wisely and enjoy your wine party!

Categories: Tips