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Wine Storage Blog

Custom Wine Cellars & Wine Storage Insights

Wine Storage Specialist:

Laina McConnell

  1. Wine Screw Caps vs. Corks: Round 1 (USED ELSEWHERE)

    Wine Screw Caps vs. Corks: Round 1 (USED ELSEWHERE)

    Wines with screw caps are becoming more and more popular.  Though some purists hold fast to the idea that corks are the only appropriate wine stoppers, several connoisseurs have been greatly pleased by the benefits of screw caps in recent years. Not only do screw caps allow for the tightest seal, they completely eliminate “cork taint” (TCA contamination) and oxidation...
  2. All Good Wines Take Time

    All Good Wines Take Time

    Serving wine is a ritual for the senses, similar to having British tea. There’s the artful process of wine selection followed by bottle presentation, uncorking, pouring, relishing the initial aroma of the nose, taking the first sip followed by a lengthier taste to judge both body and finish, and so on. The process of serving wine is not meant not...
  3. A Versatile South American Red: Domaine Monte de Luz 2008

    A Versatile South American Red: Domaine Monte de Luz 2008

    Domaine Monte De Luz 2008 The Tannat grape is believed to have its origins in the Basque region; however, its use in winemaking is associated with the Madrian region in southwestern France.  One of the easiest varietals to grow, Tannat does quite well in South America, Uruguay in particular. The  Tannat Domaine Monte de Luz 2008 is a very rustic...
  4. Pass the Butter, and the 2545 Cellars Chardonnay!

    Pass the Butter, and the 2545 Cellars Chardonnay!

    2545 Cellars Chardonnay 2009 Although I don’t usually keep Chardonnay on hand in my home, I decided to try a bottle of 2545 Cellars Chardonnay 2009 this weekend.  Though not a frequent Chardonnay drinker, I was pleasantly surprised by this delightful wine.  In fact, this is one of the better Chards I’ve had in the past few years.  The nose is...
  5. Pin the Tail on the Wine: Blind Tasting with Pleasant Surprises

    Pin the Tail on the Wine: Blind Tasting with Pleasant Surprises

    Bottle Shock, a highly amusing film from 2008 featuring a well-cast Alan Rickman, introduced moviegoers to the concept of blind wine tasting.  Based on actual events, the climax of the film occurs when an American wine from California scores higher than a haughty French wine during a blind horizontal taste test. You can use some numbered bags...or just wrap bottles...
  6. Avoid the “Cooking Wine” Woes

    Avoid the “Cooking Wine” Woes

    Although “cooking wine” is sold in supermarkets across America, I would never use it for cooking.  The myth that “since wine evaporates while cooking no one can tell the difference” is flat wrong.  If this were the case, why bother cooking with wine at all?  Yes, many sulfates disappear during the cooking process; however, a wine’s essence and characteristic flavor...
  7. iWine for Your Wine: A Great iPhone App

    iWine for Your Wine: A Great iPhone App

    The ability to consult your own palm-sized wine journal, at any time, is now available for a flat $2.99.  That’s right!  Brought to you by Ageasoft, LLC, iWine is an iPhone app that makes a wealth of wine knowledge accessible at your fingertips.  Packed with extensive wine info, wine experts will be delighted by this handy wine encyclopedia-cum-oenophile.  And if...
  8. Fooled by Numbers: Wine Ratings and You

    Fooled by Numbers: Wine Ratings and You

    Have you ever been browsing through a wine selection, and notice that some of the wines have a number rating displayed near them? Many of these ratings are given by fancy, highly paid staff from organizations like Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.  Sometimes, however, staff from the actual wine establishment where you find yourself may have given these wine...
  9. Cooking with Chardonnays

    Cooking with Chardonnays

    After my pleasant Chardonnay experience in early March, I decided to try my luck at incorporating a few Chards into my recipes.  To my delight, many of my dishes turned out quite well.  First of all, I used some splashes of Chardonnay on pan-fried salmon, covering both sides.  This proved delightful, especially when a creamy parmesan cheese sauce was drizzled...
  10. Simple Label, Complex Wine: the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red

    Simple Label, Complex Wine: the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red

    Never judge a book by its cover, or a wine by its label.  The somewhat plain, non-memorable label on the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red gives credence to this old adage.  This delightful, earthy and rich red consists of a fine blend of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Malbec.  (The Malbec provides exceptional body, with earthy flavors including blackberries and plums.)  In...
  11. The Wine Doctor Is In!

    The Wine Doctor Is In!

    Wine Ph.D. With access to information about thousands of wines, all filterable to match criteria including price, varietal, region, and food pairing, Wine Ph.D. by Perk Software allows users to do all of this, plus more.  This informative, elegant program lets you view wine ratings from professional wine publications, rate wines yourself, photograph and catalogue your wines, add personal tasting...
  12. Classy Storage for Classy Wines: Go EuroCave!

    Classy Storage for Classy Wines: Go EuroCave!

    A Sleek and Modern EuroCave Wine Cabinet It's no secret that we love EuroCave wine cabinets!  Especially for someone living in a more contemporary home, these units fit seamlessly into virtually any space with a little bit of creativity.  Not only do they provide a perfect environment for wine, they also compliment your home environment. EuroCave cabinets are aesthetically pleasing...
  13. American Wine "Newbies": Blame Prohibition

    American Wine "Newbies": Blame Prohibition

    Contrary to what you may think after reading a recent article about wine “newbies” in Wine Spectator, Americans have been enjoying their wine for quite some time.  Historically, the first Europeans that explored this land dubbed it “Vinland” because of the massive grape vines they saw covering the terra firma.  In fact, the early American colonies included “wine making” as one of...
  14. Red, White, and One Grape for Two Zins

    Red, White, and One Grape for Two Zins

    Recently, the Washington Post ran an article recommending various Zinfandels.  Although the recommendations were quite good, particularly the Frog’s Leap 2008, the Washington Post piece confused many wine newcomers.  White Zinfandels are well-known and well-liked, but few non-wine-expert-folks realize that Red Zinfandels exist.  White Zinfandel makes up 9.9% of U.S. wine sales, which is six times greater than sales of...
  15. A Springtime Rose: the 2010 Triennes Rosé

    A Springtime Rose: the 2010 Triennes Rosé

    The first rosé of the year has arrived just in time for spring, and spring-like it its!  For a longtime fan of rosés, this beauty certainly does not disappoint!  Made from an exquisite blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Merlot, and Grenache grapes, the proportions of grapes in the 2010 Triennes Rosé were expertly chosen.  The merlot flavor, in particular, is more...
  16. All the Pretty Colors

    All the Pretty Colors

    Though much of the emphasis of wine tasting is placed on scent and taste, appearance has an important part to play, too.  Like being able to tell the age of a horse by studying the appearance of its teeth (their shape, number of permanent teeth, angles of incidence, and disappearance of cups), visually evaluating a wine is equally informative.  A wine’s appearance...
  17. Wine Review: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

    Wine Review: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

    Since my introduction to the Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009, it has become a staple in my home.  I’m always prepared with a few extra bottles in the event of unexpected guests. This Argentinean wine has a beautiful nose of berries, dark fruit, spices, and a trace of violet.  It is nicely balanced and smooth, with an exquisite finish that...
  18. “Contains Sulfites”--Don’t Fear the Label!

    “Contains Sulfites”--Don’t Fear the Label!

    “Contains Sulfites” is printed on most bottles of wine we purchase.  We may even know people who claim to be allergic to sulfites and abstain from drinking red wine.  (They often substitute a few glasses of white.)  Other people complain that the sulfites in all wines give them headaches; they avoid drinking wine altogether, preferring other spirits. What is interesting...
  19. Salad Dressing With Red Wine: A Colorful Recipe

    Salad Dressing With Red Wine: A Colorful Recipe

    I was recently exposed to a surprisingly flavorful salad dish prepared by a friend.  It's finally warming up, and there's nothing  quite like indulging in a cool, crisp, hearty salad.  My friend was not sure where she picked it up, but it was good enough to inspire me to share it with you.  Although a variety of spices are required...
  20. Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintner’s Blend 2008

    Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintner’s Blend 2008

    This incredibly affordable California red zinfandel is bursting with dark berry flavor!  The Ravenswood Winery motto, “No Wimpy Wines”, certainly applies to this well-structured, rich blend.  With a nose that includes cherry, dark berry, and black pepper aromas, this wine is perfect for pairing with red meats, pasta, and well-spiced poultry.  Moderately complex, its flavors include black cherries, mint, and...

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