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Tasting Wine

  1. Jake's Corner: 2014 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot

    Jake's Corner: 2014 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Merlot

    One of my favorite moments in wine was a visit to Robert Craig Winery on Howell Mountain on a cool January day (2017). The drive, the view, the company, the wine, creating memories. An even better day was an invitation to their release party on top of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. On that evening, we were randomly paired with...
  2. Do You Chill Wine Infographic

    Do You Chill Wine Infographic

  3. Something to Add to Your Wine Cellar

    Something to Add to Your Wine Cellar

    Vintage Cellars is not just about custom built wine cellars and wine storage equipment, it's about wine.  Though I have not yet made it to every wine region of the world (a lofty goal, I know), I like to have my palate travel to each region 1 bottle at a time. Currently, I'm spending the early summer months enjoying Zinfandels...
  4. Discovering Sonoma County!

    Discovering Sonoma County!

    Good Laughs and Port As wine enthusiasts, I’m sure by now you have seen the movie Bottle Shock and the event that put California wines and the Napa Valley on the map. Since that time, Napa has evolved into a major wine destination, with busy tasting rooms and weekend traffic heading north through Yountville, Rutherford and St. Helena. Personally...
  5. Why We Store Wine

    Why We Store Wine

    Recently after a long day shooting wine cabinet education videos, selling cooling units and putting the finishing touches on some wine cellar designs, we needed a refresher course on why we are in this crazy business. In an after hours discussion of the business, new cooling units on the market and recent wine trends, we broke out 3 wines from...
  6. A Cheery Holiday Wine Drink

    A Cheery Holiday Wine Drink

    Looking for a new holiday drink to add to your party repertoire?  How about one that combines your love for delicious holiday cheer with your love for delicious wine?  Try this recipe for Hot Mulled Wine, similar to the traditional German Glühwein.  Bonus: since you're changing the flavor anyway, you don't need to use an expensive bottle.  Also, the recipe isn't strict...
  7. Host a Blind Wine Tasting Party

    Host a Blind Wine Tasting Party

    Looking for something a little different to host this holiday season?  How about a blind wine tasting party?  Blind wine tastings can be a great way to learn about wine while having some bonding time with the ones you love.  A blind wine tasting can help you discover new favorites and inexpensive bottles with expensive flavor.  A blind wine tasting...
  8. A Wine Bar Party

    A Wine Bar Party

    We at the Vintage Cellars blog have been bringing you lots of holiday party ideas lately.  If you missed them, make sure you check out our guide to hosting a wine and cheese party and a blind wine tasting party.  But what if the last thing you want is your house full of mess-making guests?  Especially if you have family...
  9. How to Taste Wine

    How to Taste Wine

    We've all tasted wine, whether at a winery, a wine bar, or after ordering a bottle at a restaurant.  We swirl and slurp, but do we really know what we're doing?  Following these few simple steps can help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience. Look at the wine.  Yes, wine tasting starts with the eyes. Tilt...
  10. How to Decant Wine

    How to Decant Wine

    So you've got an old bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that's been aging in the cellar for years.  You think that dinner party Friday night might be the perfect time to show it off to your guests.  But let's do it right, shall we?  There's no sense in carefully aging a bottle for years if you're just going to plop it...
  11. Wines for Winter

    Wines for Winter

    Last time on the VC blog, we talked about how to pair wine and food.  That got me thinking about the kind of foods I've been craving and cooking this winter: hot soups, hearty braises served over polenta, and rich pear tarts.  The rich comfort foods of winter definitely call for wines that can stand up to deep flavors.  When...
  12. The Top Ten Wine Tasting Terms

    The Top Ten Wine Tasting Terms

    The top ten most common wine tasting terms, and how to use them correctly: Aroma: Since the human tongue is limited to detecting the five primary tastes of sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and umami, the aroma of wine is primarily detected through smell.  This is why we smell wine before drinking it; by both smelling and tasting, we allow our...
  13. A Few More Wine Terms

    A Few More Wine Terms

    Here's a new installment to our wine lexicon.  If you missed the first one, "The Top Ten Wine Tasting Terms", check it out now. Acetic: When the alcohol in wine oxidizes, it turns into acetic acid.  The common name for acetic acid?  Vinegar.  All wine has some amount of acetic acid, but too much means that the wine has gone...
  14. 10 Wine Terms

    10 Wine Terms

    Oaky: Many wines are aged in oak barrels.  Over time, the barrels impart a scent of freshly sawn oak to the wine.  An "oaked" wine can have a variety of different aromas, depending on the age of the barrels.  New barrels contribute stronger flavors to the wine.  Oak aging can give wine characteristics called "toasted," "roasted," or "smoky," tastes that...
  15. 7 Wine Myths Debunked

    7 Wine Myths Debunked

    1.  Uncorking the bottle before  service improves the wine. It's true that aeration before service does improve some wines.  But studies show that the neck of a wine bottle is too narrow to allow enough oxygen to get in contact with the wine to make any detectable difference in the taste and aroma.  If you want to aerate your wine...
  16. TOMORROW-California Wine Festival in Dana Point

    TOMORROW-California Wine Festival in Dana Point

    If you didn't already know about it, for the last few days, Dana Point has been playing host to the annual California Wine Festival.  This is a new venue for this event, and it looks like a great one: the whole event takes place beachside on the grass at picturesque Doheny State Beach.  The festival started on Thursday, but don't...
  17. Wine Tasting: Horizontal vs. Vertical

    Wine Tasting: Horizontal vs. Vertical

    No, these terms don't refer to the respective positions you end in before and after wine tasting.  Instead, horizontal and vertical are two different types of tastings, or comparing wines by sampling them.  The best way to judge wines is to compare them side-by-side, and so, a couple of different methods have developed to facilitate the best way to do...
  18. The Right Wine Glass

    The Right Wine Glass

    There are a lot of wine accessories and contraptions out there.  It can be tough to tell which ones are just a waste of money, and which can really enhance your wine-drinking experience.  One thing that's not a gimmick?  The idea that different wines should have different glasses. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with having just the standard four...
  19. Tongue Maps Are A Myth: How Taste Really Works

    Tongue Maps Are A Myth: How Taste Really Works

    Last week, we talked about Claus Riedel's obsession with designing the perfect wine glass.  One of his objectives was to direct the wine to the "correct" part of the mouth so that the right taste buds would make first contact.  Well, that seems logical--we all remember those "tongue maps" like the one below from elementary school science class, right?  But...
  20. Train Your Palate with a Homemade Wine Aroma Kit

    Train Your Palate with a Homemade Wine Aroma Kit

    The back of the bottle loves to promise a world of aromas inside the bottle.  But do you ever sniff, swirl and sip in vain, trying to find the aromas that you know are there, but you just can't seem to sense? Don't feel inadequate: sensitive palates aren't born, they are made.  Although it could be argued that sommeliers and...

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