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3 Reasons Why We Drink White Wine – in Winter

Few think of white wines as a winning choice any time of year, let alone now in the heart of winter here in New England. Red wine somehow seems the natural way to soothe the impact of the cold, dark days we experience.

In fact, once we shed our own similar inclinations, we discovered a surprisingly wonderful coping mechanism.

Here’s why adding white wine to your repertoire right now will help assuage your winter woes:

1.   Dry Air Begs for a Palate Pick-Me-Up

If you’re like us, you’re heading for the water cooler on the regular. Nothing seems to quench your thirst. Guess what? Many white wines can. Add a little zip to your regularly scheduled wine-down and you can refresh your taste buds (and your spirits) with the natural burst of mouthwatering acidity whites are best known.


2.    Hearty Fare Hearts Robust Wines

The importance of texture should not be underestimated either. Just as you reach for that soft, cozy blanket to wrap yourself up in, many white wine styles offer the same satisfaction. Here we're talking about wines that have a touch of heft, and can be deemed oily, or fleshy.


Robust whites complement the weight of heartier fare. Think Chowder or thicker soups like pumpkin, cauliflower, butternut squash, etc. Gratin potatoes. A tangy, goat-cheese quiche. Monkfish or Swordfish. Chicken casserole. Even an old-school (or re-imagined, newer school) Mac & Cheese.

You get the idea. Just be sure the weightier wine you select also has that essential acidity we talked about above, too. You’ll need that element to cut through the fat of such bold dishes.


3.   Winter Helps Ensure Whites are Enjoyed at the Right Temp

One guest at an event we hosted said oh-so-sagely, he feels “whites have to work harder to woo” him. When he tasted the white wine flight we had curated, he mused at how much more depth the wines had – he could taste their nuance.

So often whites are served way too cold. Whites show more layers of aromas and flavors when they are served at the ideal 50ish degrees Fahrenheit. And in New England many of us are blessed with enclosed vestibules or unfinished cellars that naturally ensure wines are stored, and then easily served, at the right temp. You don’t have to fuss with the fridge. Nature works to your logistical advantage. Meanwhile you’re able to discover what so many whites really have to offer.


Certainly white wine is a huge category, just as red wine is. The winter simply proves an unsuspecting time to explore the possibilities.

Satiate your cravings for comfort food, resuscitate your senses and otherwise bring life back to your body and soul by giving whites the chance they deserve this winter!

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How to store open wine - 4 survival tips especially useful for summer days


Bottle Half Full?

Even when a heatwave can spoil things pretty quickly, if you're not predisposed to finishing an entire bottle of wine in one uncorking, we've got 4 easy, essential tricks that will help keep your tastebuds happy a few days at a time, no matter the season.

First, remember 2 things:

1 | Oxygen, aka air, is kryptonite for wine.

2 | Heat (and direct sunlight) is another big-time spoiler alert.


Here's what you can do:

TRICK 1.  Whether we are talking about wine of the red, white, or pink persuasion, keep your wine fresher longer by keeping oxygen at bay once you've had your fill.

There are some fancy tools out there, but our greatest success has come from the basic Vacuvin model. With easy handy work, a simple mini-pump sucks air out of the bottle using the special "cork" they've crafted. (For sparklers, use a proper closure and DON'T pump - see Trick No. 2 instead.)

TRICK 2.  You can also transfer unused wine to a clean half-bottle. If you're not usually a half-bottle kind of person, we've just given you a very good reason to buy at least one; a screw cap closure is all the better. And, bonus, you'll get to enjoy the contents on your way to happy wine storage.

Trendy Trick: A sealed Mason jar works, too.

TRICK 3.  Store the wine upright. This will minimize surface area exposed to oxygen, and the potential mess of a leaky seal!

Alright, you've officially employed at least one of the above three tricks (probably No. 3, right?), perhaps "cheating" as circumstance demanded on step one or two. We get it. You're on vacation, with limited resources! You're off to the right start, and we've saved the best for last:

TRICK 4.  The "Cork'n Chill" Method

Store remaining wine in the fridge. Reds, too? Not just YES, but YES,YES, YES! You'd never leave cut produce out to rot, would you? Well - guess what? - wine comes from grapes. Crushed ones! If you skip all of the tricks above, you MUST take this one little (quality of) life-saving measure: PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE.

But, but, but... what about drinking my red wine the next day?

Too often people are served or are drinking red wines too warm - particularly in the summer when "room temp" is well above the 62 degrees you should be serving most reds. It's a lot easier to get your red warmed up than it is to chill it, too.

INSIDER TIP.  To get your reds to optimal temp post chillfest, pull the wine out of the fridge as you start prepping for dinner and pour it into glasses. By the time dinner is on the table, the wine is at proper serving temp.

If you just picked up take-out or are in a hurry, you can run the bottle under warm water (not hot) for a few minutes and you'll be good to go. #thefridgeisyourfriend

Cheers, to a very happy Second Serving!

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storing wine, a few tricks of the trade

A question I field at almost every tasting I conduct is... "how long can I 'save' my leftovers"? This is a great question and one I don't mind answering again and again because I keep learning new things through trial and error myself. I'll report on a couple of basics first and then give you a story from my recent experiences to provide a little perspective, too. 1. Always store leftovers in the fridge, red, white, pink or bubbly! The cold climate in your icebox helps the wine's components remain fresh and lively.

2. It's worth investing in a cheap-o Vacu-Vin pump. Yes, I said it. For a few dollars, you can pick up a plastic wine pump that will give your wine remarkable 'life' if combined with fridge time. It comes with a couple of bottle stoppers specifically designed to collaborate with the pump and suck the air out of your wine bottle. This prevents the wine from getting stale or, worse, completely oxidized (depending how many days it'll be hanging out with your milk carton).

NOTE: Bubbly requires a special champagne stopper; it has little arms that clamp down on the top of the bottle to prevent the cork from popping out. You will not be able to pump out the air of this bad boy (or you'd pump out the wine's bubbly mojo), but it will give you another day or so in the fridge.

CULINARY TIP: Left over champagne is particularly fabulous if you are cooking any kind of fish, shelfish or otherwise. Put a little bit of the bubbly in the skillet to sear your shrimp and you won't need an ounce of butter. I've done this even when the near-empty bottle has been in my fridge for weeks and had a good result. Give it a go!

The "experts" say that if you simply leave a bottle in the fridge with the cork tucked deeply in the neck (no pumping) you can drink the wine fairly reliably the next day. (White) wines that are higher in acidity (like Sauvigon Blanc) will hold up better and longer, too. (Red) wines with more tannin tend do better as well. Those components in wine act as the backbone of the wine and allow it to age (while in the bottle). Once open, those components help the wine 'stay together' or stay fresh and tasty, if you will.

My opinion is this - with pumping out your wine, you can do very well for several days if not weeks. No joke. It depends on the type of wine, of course. But I have found (mid-priced) well-made wines do surprisingly well. Case in point: late June I opened a bottle of Graham Beck's 2007 Gamekeeper's Reserve Cab. I only had a glass and a half or so and then pumped it out and fridged it, thinking I'd have company the next night to polish it off. Well, I ended up going out to dinner the next night. After that I had fish on the menu and opened a bottle of white, then it was the weekend and I was out again, etc. Eventually it was ten days later and I headed out of town for 4th of July for another week. Once home again I was in the mood for a glass of wine and remembered the Gamekeeper still in the fridge. I decided it was worth pouring into a glass and seeing what was what before just dumping it out and opening a new bottle. SUCCESS! The wine did remarkably well despite my neglect. The fruit was still full, the acidity intact and the dry tannins had mellowed a bit (bonus!). I was amazed - and thrilled - how well the wine held up after 2.5 weeks!

So let my little inadvertent experiment be a lesson to us all: don't relegate a wine to "cooking" or "dumping" status before you've given it a quick taste. You may be SOL, but then you're no worse off either, are you? Just make sure you give yourself half a chance and pump it out and get it on ice.

Have you had a wine life (longevity) surprise lately? What wine was it that held up beyond your expectations?

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