Expert sommelier and wine educator Marnie Old guides you through four premium varieties of red wine: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz or Syrah. Learn the difference between each variety, as well as how to choose the best bottle of red for your tastes.
This video is an excerpt from iPad/iPhone book “Wine Simplified.” For more tips and tricks to navigating the world of wine visit: http://betterbook.com/wine
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Dear Fellow Cigar Lover,
The Premium Cigar of the Month Club’s™ nine-member panel of professional tobacconists takes its job seriously. Collectively, they spend nearly half a year in man hours in Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Their 50 combined years of experience in the tobacco industry ensures that you or your gift recipient will enjoy:
Both Boutique & Small-Batch Cigars
Rare Cigars at Exceptional Values
Variety by Region, Brand and Blend
Detailed Tasting Notes and Manufacturer/Brand Profiles
Re-order Your Favorites at Substantial Discounts
Flexible Gift Ordering — Personalized Gift Message
Our panel smokes over 12,000 international cigars per year, rating each for appearance, flavor profile, aroma, smoke volume and construction. We’re looking for proper aging, outstanding blends, an even burn and effortless draw. In short, we smoke a lot of bad cigars so you don’t have to. We’re so proud of our selections that we archive online our tasting notes for every cigar that we’ve ever featured in our Past Cigar Selections section.
I stand by every cigar we’ll send you and know you’ll be impressed by the quality and value that we deliver each month.
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Dear Fellow Artisan Cheese Lover,
I’ve been passionate about artisanal cheese long before we founded this company over 20 years ago, and have led The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club’s™ selection process from the start. We travel internationally working closely with cheesemakers who experiment with slight changes to their process and raw ingredients to perfect their cheeses. Each month, we select 3 different farmhouse cheeses made from pure and natural, quality ingredients. You’ll enjoy:
Professionally Selected Hand-Crafted, Artisan Cheeses
An International Variety in Every Shipment
Hand-Cut Selections That Have Been Carefully Aged
Detailed Tasting Notes and Cheesemaker Profiles
Flexible Gift Ordering — Personalized Gift Message
You’ll discover cheeses you wouldn’t easily find on your own since we buy each from its place of origin; we look for Brie from the Île-de-France, north of Paris, and Leicester from English farms with small herds of pedigree Holstein cows. Each selection is freshly cut just prior to shipping from wheels or blocks. It’s quite labor intensive and you’ll appreciate the difference it makes.
I stand by every cheese we feature and know you’ll be impressed with the quality delivered in each shipment.
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Dear Fellow Artisan Chocolate Lover,
I’ve been passionate about artisan chocolate long before we founded this company nearly 20 years ago and have headed up The Gourmet Chocolate of the Month Club’s™ ‘ selection process from the start. All great food starts with great ingredients. And that’s exactly where we start when sourcing our featured chocolatiers. Each month we select hand-crafted chocolates based on quality, creativity and fresh wholesome ingredients. You’ll enjoy:
Award-Winning, Boutique Artisan Chocolates
Innovative Ingredients & New Taste Sensations
An International Variety of Confections
Detailed Tasting Notes and Chocolatier Profiles
Flexible Gift Ordering — Personalized Gift Message
You’ll discover signature creations created by International Chocolatiers using secret cacao bean blends, Grand Cru single bean chocolates and closely guarded roasting and conching techniques.
I stand by every truffle, bar or bark we feature and know you’ll be impressed with the quality delivered in each shipment.
Watch the video – argue, complain, criticize, pick YOUR favorites
Not exact wines, but whole regions, types f wine
From #10 to #1
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Finding The Best Wine And The Best Wine Deals, On A Budget
By Paul Earhart
Learning the Lingo
The wine industry may seem to have a language of its own but then its origins can be traced back many thousands of years when modern language was in its infancy. Pioneers of various wine making processes gave their names to production methods and the names of towns, villages and grape growing regions were adopted as the names for various types of wine, with the Champagne region of France perhaps being one of the most famous. Learning a little terminology can help you immeasurably when researching your wine offers. Although we are only scratching the surface here, the following terms may be of use:
Appellation – The region of a country where particular wines are produced such as the Languedoc region of southern France or the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy.
Balance – The levels of acidity, fruit flavour/scent, tannin etc. in a particular wine. This tends to be more of an individual perception as everyone’s tastes and sense of smell is slightly different.
Chaptalization – The process of introducing sugar to grapes which are already fermenting with the aim of increasing the alcohol content of a wine.
Herbaceous – An aroma or flavour associated with wine where the grapes are grown in a cool climate, either on higher slopes or further north of the equator.
Kabinett – A German phrase used to describe high quality wine associated with the driest German Rieslings.
Legs – An enthusiasts term used to describe how the liquid adheres to the inside of a glass when it has been swirled inside the glass or tasted.
Nose – Also referred to as bouquet and used to describe a wine’s particular aroma.
Reserve – A term of American origin used to describe a high quality wine.
Steely – A term used to describe wine with high acidity that has not been aged in the barrel. Also described as crisp.
Tannins – Phenolic plant compounds. Grape tannins are found mostly in the skins and grape pits. Tannins are sharp-tasting and give structure to the wine. In more aged liquids, the tannins die off and the liquid becomes less sharp.
Vintage – Often mistakenly used as a term to describe a wine of great age, the term actually refers to a particular year or harvest in the wine business. All bottles have a vintage, be it 1895 or 2014.
There are, of course, many more terms used in the industry but through introduction to a few, you will invariably encounter and learn more. Do a little research and read some reviews written by budget wine connoisseurs with reference to the 5 S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip and savour).
High street and on-line wine wholesalers and local off licences are always holding regular tasting events to encourage new customers. What better way to discover new wines, taste them and then find out about which of your favourites are currently featured in great wine offers and promotions at your local shop or supermarket, or on-line? All you need to do is ask in a store or do some on-line research to find out about dates and venues. Very often you may discover a new varietal that you particularly like and have never even tried before.
Make a list of your favourite varietals so that you can keep an eye out for them, whether you’re shopping on the high street or on-line.
Research On-line Offers
The internet is a wonderful mine of information and, if you’re working to a fixed budget, there are a myriad of websites with reviews for wine in certain price brackets. This is most useful if you’re buying wine online for an event. Many of these websites have a simple calculator which can help you to work out how many bottles you need to order depending upon the expected number of guests. On-line wholesalers don’t have the overheads of many high street retailers and so may be able to produce a great wine offer for you. It is often well worth getting in touch via the website contact page and speaking to a sales representative for your chosen on-line supplier. They may be able to let you in on a little insider knowledge about future offers and dealing with people on a personal level can often lead to a more favourable business relationship.
Offers In Emerging Wine Regions
You may find that you can locate great wine offers by finding out a little about emerging grape growing regions which are not as well-known as Mendoza in Argentina or Napa Valley in California. South eastern UK vineyards are gaining a good reputation amongst enthusiasts as are the vineyards of Mallorca, Spain. You may find a particular varietal from one of these regions that you enjoy and consequently come across a great wine offer as vineyard owners seek to promote their new range of wines and win over new customers.
You may also discover new varietals that hail from very well-known growing regions around the world where the producer is trying to gain a foothold for their new product in the marketplace by offering great wine deals in an effort to spread the word amongst wine drinkers.
Buying Wine in Bulk
As with any product when bought in bulk, you can benefit even more from great wine offers if you buy more of it. It may be well worth your while to find out if any friends, colleagues or associates have a need for a large quantity of wine in the near future so that you can both benefit from big discounts by approaching the supplier with a much larger order quantity. If you have a reasonably frequent requirement for purchasing wine in bulk, why not try joining a syndicate? These groups will usually have members with a good amount of expertise with regards to finding offers and they can organise large orders at discounted prices and also offer sound advice.
Searching for Offers in Supermarkets and Off Licences
There are always great offers in most supermarkets or high street off licences and wine merchants, but there will be more offers featuring a wider variety of wines in the run up to seasonal celebrations such as Christmas or other special events throughout the year. As a rule of thumb, you are probably going to be better off selecting the wine with the biggest discount rather than the least expensive, as the discounted wine may usually be in a price bracket that would put it outside your selection list if it were full price and you may be missing out on a treat.
Pop into your local supermarket, make some notes about the discounts on offer, then do a little research on-line. You may find that the supermarket’s website has some reviews by experts and customers to assist you in making your final decision. You could even purchase a selection of the discounted wines if you are then intending to buy a larger quantity, so that you can try them and get some opinions from friends and family before deciding which wine offers to go for.
Offers in Cash & Carries
A local cash and carry would be an excellent place to look for wine offers if you need to buy in bulk. They don’t all offer access to the general public, some are purely for business owners looking to supply their shops or restaurants, but many will happily open an account for anyone whether they own or business or not. Many employers will also offer schemes to their employees which grant you access to a cash and carry. It’s worth asking your HR department about this, especially if you work for a large employer.
General Wine Buying Guidance
Finally, the following is some general advice about buying and drinking wine, such as how to store your wine or how to pair wine with food.
A bottle of wine should remain perfectly drinkable for up to 5 days especially if kept in the fridge or in a nice, cool place. You won’t need to discard it if you haven’t finished the bottle on the first day.
Wine should be kept in a cool environment to stop it from degrading, especially if bought in bulk and then stored for a period of time. Keep the temperature as consistent as possible between 4 and 20 degrees centigrade. Experts recommend that corked wine bottles should be stored at an angle so that the wine is always in contact with the cork. You could store boxes on their sides to do this. Bottles with a screw cap can be stored upright.
Screw Caps Versus Corks
Modern wines come with both options and it certainly doesn’t differentiate between higher and lower quality wines. It’s more about manufacturer preference and bottling plant set up. A lot of producers switched from traditional corks to either plastic alternatives or screw caps to prevent the wine from becoming “corked” – where the cork degrades and spoils the liquid.
Don’t Take Risks With Offers
Stay with what you like. Just because you spot a wine offer on a different wine from the varietals that you would normally drink and the bottle has a fantastic label, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will enjoy the wine. A rash, on the spot decision could mean disappointment. Always do your research.
Happy bargain hunting!
For great wines and wine advice visit the Premier Estates Wine website or call and speak to a member of the team.
If you drink wine regularly, and you’re on the quest for the perfect budget-friendly wine between $15 and $20, take a look at these top ten wines from around the world. Whether rich or light, fruity or spicy, read on to find your perfect bottle of vino.
Choosing a wine in this price range can be challenging for some, but for under $20, you can find a wine that is excellent for your meal, an event, a gift or just for staying at home and relaxing. Often, wines under $10 can run the gamut from “exceptional value” to “horrible mistake” and unless you have tried a particular bottle in that price range, it’s generally better to go with a wine above $15 to ensure you’re getting good quality grapes from well- kept land.
1. Chehalem INOX Chardonnay 2012
For a perfect summer Chardonnay, try Chehalem INOX Chardonnay 2012 from Oregon’s famous wine producing Willamette Valley. It’s a very light and crisp Chardonnay, yet offers a full bodied flavor at a great value.
2. Seghesio Zinfandel 2012
If a rich, bold red is what you’re looking for, try Seghesio Zinfandel from California’s Sonoma Valley. Full of flavor, this bottle goes great with bold, spicy and hearty meals. This bottle is one of the best values of the Sonoma County Zinfandel’s to be purchased. This wine is bold and structured enough to go with rich foods, but not too strong as to be overpowering.
3. Khroma Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
For something far from the norm, try the Khroma Cabernet Sauvignon, also a California wine. With overtones of ripe blueberries and vanilla and an oak finish, this isn’t a wine you’re likely to forget.
4. Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses 2013
Summer meals aren’t complete without a great Rose. Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses from France is a simple, fresh Rose that offers great balance and flavor to pair with your favorite light summer meal. It offers a very slight bit of sweetness and is excellent served very cold.
5. Canoe Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
For a deep and balanced Washington red, try Canoe Ridge Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very deep and dense flavored wine and has hints of fruit without being overly sweet. Washington’s Columbia Valley is known for producing excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and this particular bottle doesn’t disappoint.
6. Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012
For a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, try Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc. The flavor is very fresh and pure. It’s a very bright wine incorporating the taste of citrus and spice. For a dry and crisp white wine that is delicate yet flavorful, this is a perfect pick.
7. Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Reserva 2009
No list would be complete without a big, bold Italian Chianti. Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Reserva 2009 delivers just that. This is a very bold and full wine with flavors that are definitely earthy, but remains a very well structured wine.
8. Chook Shiraz Viognier 2012
For a smooth Shiraz, try Chook Shiraz Viognier, a Shiraz Syrah blend from Australia. This wine gets high marks for its breadth of flavors that finish nicely and with good length. It has notes of berries with hints of spice and pepper to give it a lively yet smooth flavor.
For something a little more full bodied than a Pinot Grigio, try a Pinot Gris from Alsace, France. Domaines Schlumberger Princes Abbes Pinot Gris is darker than a Pinot Grigio and has a stronger aroma and flavorful taste. Unlike its lighter cousin, this Pinot Gris is best described as a full bodied wine that tastes rich and creamy.
10. Pacific Rim Vin de Glaciere Organic Riesling 2012
To end on a sweet note, those who enjoy a nice dessert wine won’t want to miss Pacific Rim Vin de Glaciere Organic Riesling from Washington’s Columbia Valley. The wine has hints of honey, fruit and walnuts with an extra-long finish. This Riesling is best served cold and is one to savor. At just $15.99, this bottle offers exceptional value.
Be adventurous, try new things and keep notes when you find a bottle that you particularly enjoy. In time, you’ll be recommending great wines between $15 and $20 per bottle to your friends and family.