Cooking With Italian Wines

The Art of Cooking With Italian Wines
By Jennine Cambell

Few pleasures feel as amazing as taking a sip of a good Italian wine while enjoying dinner. Well for us it is before, during and after dinner. Yet, it is not necessary to gulp down a full glass of wine if your main goal is to simply savor the flavor of it. You can enjoy the flavor of your Italian wine by cooking dishes with it, too.

Let us find out what cooking with Italian wine is about.

Why Italian wine?

A number of international dishes make use of wine, most common being Spanish, Italian and French cuisines. All of these cuisines can be prepared using nearly any variety of wine, yet the Italian varieties seem to have established a rather large fan base, especially when it comes to cooking with it. They are the largest producers of wine in the world. Cooking with Italian wine is a wonderful way to give a unique flavor and an added kick to your dish.

Aspiring for greatness

Whether a dish cooked with wine comes out great or not depends on the quality of wine used. If you use a wine of lower quality, your dish may not taste as great. But if you make use of an amazing wine, the same dish will turn out delicious! To determine whether to use a wine for cooking or not, you may want to taste it first. If you like the taste, you can then proceed to cook with it.

Note also that, when it comes to Italian wine, price has nothing much to do with quality. So, buying the most expensive wine is not guaranteed to give you the best results. The way we see it, if you enjoy drinking it, then you will enjoy using it in your dish.

Another technique is to pairing the wine’s region with a regional dish. If you have a Tuscan recipe then try pairing it with a wine from the same region.

Not all wines are the same

Different dishes do best with different varieties of wine. Desserts do best when a fruity, rich variety of wine is used. Strong white wines, on the other hand, compliment sauteed and baked dishes beautifully. Red wines bring out the best of hearty dishes and foods rich in meat.

The best part of cooking with wine

The best part about Italian wine, in the context of cooking, is that foods cooked with it can be enjoyed by everyone. Since the boiling point of alcohol is 175 degrees Fahrenheit, the alcohol contained in Italian wine gets evaporated very quickly during the cooking process, making the final dish free from alcohol. Boiled long enough and the wine will turn into more of a glaze, perfect for use on ice cream and other desserts. Therefore, even food lovers who are underage, or who do not consume alcohol, can enjoy delicious foods cooked using Italian wine!

Cooking is an enjoyable hobby and cooking with wine can be even more enjoyable. Gourmet Food Review is the place for recipes, cooking tips, cooking videos and an online food magazine. Perfect for those looking to explore all that is new in the culinary world. For videos related to cooking with wine is your source.

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9 Facts You Never Knew About A Winery
By Alfred Ardis

When you think of wine, do you picture a gorgeous place setting for two; a sultry bottle of red; people stomping on grapes in a bucket, or maybe even a gorgeous vineyard and winery? If you’re a wine enthusiast, you may have thought of the winery, but do you know how fascinating those places are? Here’s a list of facts you may not have known.

1. They’re Mostly Located In Industrial Areas

You’ve probably got an image of rolling hills and gorgeous rows of grape vines with a quaint little stone building. Actually, that’s not at all how most wineries look. They’re usually located in urban and industrial areas. You might be wondering, well where do they grow the grapes? That brings us to our next fact.

2. Grapes Are Shipped In From All Over

Now that you know wineries don’t actually grow the grapes, you won’t be surprised to hear that they import their grapes from other areas. Some grapes needed in the United States are grown in Colorado, for example.

3. Wine Is Shipped Worldwide

From local vineyards to shelves across the world, some of the largest wineries ship their products all across the globe.

4. Some Are Immensely Exclusive

Some of the producers are so exclusive that the only way to get their products is to approach them directly. They usually only deal with locals, thus cutting down on marketing and shipping costs. This also creates an air of luxury around the brand.

5. There’s a Winery On Every Continent Except…

I’ll give you a guess at the only continent on Earth that doesn’t have one of these alcohol production sites. You guessed it! Antarctica is the only continent without one!

6. Some Wine Is Only Sold In The Tasting Rooms

All of that hard work has to be sampled before it’s sold. Some facilities only sell their products straight from the tasting room. No grocery store shelves for these wines-just exclusivity and lots of taste testing!

7. Fermentation Has Become A Science

Natural fermentation of the delicious little fruits takes about a week, however that wouldn’t develop very much color or flavor. The expert winemakers extend this process a few weeks to develop the rich flavors and colors people would expect from quality wine.

8. Tours Are Vital

Some faculties love to open their doors to the public. Oftentimes, this helps drive their sales, as you’ve read. Touring a winery is a great way to have fun and learn something new.

9. Food Is Served

Along with the tours, some facilities serve food, enticing customers to come on in. Of course, they’ll serve food that promotes their products, so if Italian isn’t your thing, then maybe you should look somewhere else for dinner.

Honestly, how many of those facts did you know? Unless you work at one of these facilities, chances are you learned something new!

To learn more about their options for a winery, Pittsburgh residents should visit

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Ontario, Canada Wine

Wine Touring – Prince Edward County, Canada
By Nagib Georges Araman

The United States has the beautiful Napa Valley and European countries like Spain, France and Italy have their respected wine regions but Canada’s very own Prince Edward County is making leaps and bounds in the field of international wine tourism.

Situated in southeastern Ontario and sitting on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County has become a popular getaway to city dwellers, especially because it’s only a 3 to 4-hour drive from Toronto and Montreal. Although it is relatively new to the international wine scene, Prince Edward now offers its guests more than 40 wineries. Pinor Noir is a specialty of the region, and some of the popular brands to sample are Hubbs Creek and Norman Hardie.

Established in 2001, Black Prince Winery was one of the first wineries to exist in the County. Situated in the town of Picton, this winery covers 50 acres of land, which includes a vineyard that spans to 10 acres. Black Prince has a tasting center that provides one of the region’s largest wine selections, which include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. It is also equipped with a vinegar cellar and an on-site barrel maker.

Another prominent winery in the County is the Casa-Dea Estates.The winery was one of the first founded in Prince Edward and is located on Greer Road in Wellington. Since it’s opening it has emerged as one of the largest in Prince Edward. It’s picturesque 65-acre vineyard features grape varieties like Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Casa-Dea also houses an Italian restaurant called La Pergola. The property also has banquet facilities ideal for weddings and outdoor events.

The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery is another property that has made a solid reputation in terms of winemaking. The Grange boasts one of the largest vineyards in the County. Its scenic pastoral setting has also made it a favorite among frequent visitors and photographers.

Winery tours are also made extra special in Prince Edward because of the sweeping landscape, adorned with undulating lush hills and rugged coastline. Pair your wine with regional cuisine offering the freshest ingredients which are grown in the region as well. A visit to Prince Edward Country these days, can also mean visiting not only wineries, but also organic farms, cheese factories and breweries. To explore over 20 wineries, cheese shops, restaurants and breweries, consider a tour on the Taste Trail.

If you want to take a break from wine tasting, you can drop by the incredible Sandbanks Provincial Park, where you can enjoy picturesque dunes and a breathtaking white-sand beach. For some quality shopping, make your way to Main Street in Bloomfield, where you have a wide range of shops and fashion boutiques to choose from. Aside from being a wine haven, Prince Edward has unofficially become a hub for the artistic-minded. The Arts Trail is a designated route that directs you to the most prominent galleries and art studio in the county.

If you have time, plan a visit to Prince Edward for more than just a day as there are plenty of things to do and places to visit in the County. As for accommodation, there is a range of charming and cozy bed and breakfasts that will make you feel right at home!

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Pinot Noir

A Comprehensive Guide to Pinot Noir Wine
By Alfred Ardis

In the world of wines, Pinot Noir is a top contender. This variety is striking for its flavor and ability to pair with virtually any type of food. Known as an ancient grape of France, Cistercian monks grew this fruit in their monasteries in Burgundy.

Regions of Origin

Pinot Noir comes from grapes grown in a variety of regions. France boasts the most vineyards with over 75,000 acres. The United States comes in at a close second. Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa are also countries that grow these grapes. Dijon, France, is the most famous location that produces this wine.

Taste Details

Many connoisseurs consider Pinot Noir to be a fickle wine with a great flavor range. Both vintage and growing location have a significant impact on flavor.

– Grapes grown in France usually have a light flavor and color. People may describe this taste as having floral and sweet undertones.

– In Germany, the wine produced has an earthy flavor with touches of cherry and raspberry.

– Italian Pinot comes from vineyards located in this country’s cooler climate. Although these varieties still have a fruitiness, they also have other distinctive flavors such as clove, white pepper, and tobacco. Italians like to boast that their product has a higher alcohol content.

– The wine produced in California is bolder and fruitier. Vineyards offer interesting flavors such as black raspberry, black cherry, and caramel. In Oregon, the product tends to have a lighter color and a tart flavor.

– New Zealanders are proud of their spicy and rich grapes that create a strong wine. The Australian variety is similar to the New Zealand one; however, it tends to be a bit sweeter.

– South American wine resembles that of the product produced by the United States. However, it often has more of a floral undertone than a fruity one.

Growing Details

The grapes used to produce Pinot Noir are difficult to grow. They have thin skins, and they tend to ripen early in the season. Farmers must care for this fruit attentively to ensure that it thrives. It’s only with precise climate and patient tending that these grapes will grow well. For optimal growth, plants need cool temperatures, plenty of spacing between vines, and sandy soil. Plants grown in warm areas usually produce grapes that are milder in both flavor and color. A number of diseases can plague this fruit. This plant is also susceptible to point mutations. It’s typical to find vines with unique shoots that do not resemble any other ones existing on the same plant. A farmer might capitalize on this type of mutation by using it to propagate new plants.

Pinot Noir is commonly known by a variety of names. Other names include Franc Pineau, Salvagnin, Morillon, Pineau de Bourgoyne, and Auvernat. Different countries have different names for the wine.

Although the color of this product tends to be pale despite cool growing conditions, the flavor is anything but mild.

For more information on Pinot Noir, visit

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Argentina Wine

Why Try Argentinean Wine? Why Not?
By Steven Lay

Every place in the world that produces wine has some unique characteristics that impact the aromas and flavors of their wine. Argentina’s most visual awe-inspiring feature is the backdrop of the Andes Mountains to the West. The Andes give most of the vineyards cool night winds and sun filled days; most importantly the Andes give the high altitude vineyards the irrigation from the snow melt in the summer.

Since the 1550’s have been vineyards in Argentina and since the late 16th century the Mendoza area has been recognized as a premier wine grape growing region. “But it wasn’t until 1880 that a French botanist planted the first French grape varieties in the area. Italian and Spanish premium varieties were similarly introduced by immigrant wine makers from those countries,” according the Argentina Wine Guide.

Like California’s San Joaquin Valley and the area around Sacramento, Mendoza would not now be world renown as a wine region without plentiful water; both areas are naturally arid. In addition, Mendoza is at a relatively high elevation relative to traditional vineyards; Mendoza ranges from 2,600 to 5,000 feet above sea level. The Andes provide the irrigation water during the hot summer months and cool breezes at night.

But Argentina is not new to the wine scene, New World by definition, but old world by way of wines. Argentina was originally colonized by the Spaniards but Europeans have followed in the past few hundred years and as a result the varietals that have adapted to the Argentina climate variables have a great deal of European influences. Malbec is the grape that has made Argentina famous, but there are others that are important. In addition to Malbec there are other successful reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Tempranillo. Chardonnay also enjoys great acceptance and growth in the white category.

The following is a recap of the growth in premium wine varietals denoted as a percent change over a 10 year period ending in 2006. Source: Argentina Wine Guide.

Varietal-REDS Chge 2005 vs 2000





Cabernet Sauvignon








Pinot Noir (Pinot Negro)




Cabernet Franc


Varietal-WHITES Chge 2005 vs 2000





Chenin Blanc


Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano)




Sauvignon Blanc


Sauvignonasse (Sauvignon Vert)




The 6 provinces/regions account for Argentina’s wine industry and this inordinate growth in traditional European varietals.

The most important wine regions of the country are the provinces/regions of: Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Salta, Catamarca, Rio Negro and the newest being Southern Buenos Aires. The Mendoza province produces more than 70% of the Argentine wine.

Growing Provinces Acres in Vines



San Juan


La Rioja


R�o Negro








Other provinces (total)


Over the past couple of decades I have noticed more Argentinean wine on the shelves. It appears that Argentina wine industry has been expanding and the subsequent surplus in wine is going into the export market. Contrary to early history, most Argentinean wine was not high quality and most was consumed in that market. Looking at the U.S. wine industry, a parallel set of circumstances exist whereby excess production of quality wines go to the export market-European Union’s 28 member market to be specific. That export market accounts for $622 million in sales and 40% of U.S. wine exports in 2015, according to the Wine Institute. The total wine export market for the U.S. was $1.61 billion.

Do not think Argentina is not serious about the importance of wine on the World stage and the economic impact it has on a relatively small country; approximately 25% the size of the U.S. Some of the newer wineries are architectural marvels and produce award winning wines that rival the finest in the World. The production technologies in newer Argentinean wineries are second to none. The industry is also being populated by major wine producers and wine makers famous in the U.S. and Europe.

Today, some well-known wine consultants have put their stakes in the ground in Mendoza; such as Michel Rolland from France and Paul Hobbs from Napa and Sonoma, California. Until his death in 2011 Ward Lay, his father was the founder of Frito-Lay, was the owner of a new start-up winery that produces award winning wines. The name of that winery is Andeluna.

Just like in the U.S. there are small family operated wineries and large conglomerates, but the majority realize that the focus must be on quality. With 1,300 wineries in Argentina, that compares to 6,225 in the U.S. (with 26,000 vineyards). With a small population, smaller land mass, and impressive production numbers it is impressive what Argentina’s wine industry has accomplished. It also explains why we will see more Argentinean wine.

Mr. Lay started Image of Wine to manufacture and sell high end wine accessories to corporations as gifts and branding items. These are items may be personalized.

All products are custom manufactured and recognized for their quality. Inquiries are welcomed by calling: 702-289-4167.

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Romance Strawberries Champagne Glasses

Who Could Possibly Turn Down a Glass of Bubbles?
By Deborah Carpenter

Geographically limited to a town in France, Champagne is unable to be manufactured or produced in any other location in the world other than Champagne itself. Similar to the Italian equivalent Prosecco, this means it has an element of speciality to it unlike other sparkling wines. But who exactly created Champagne? Dom Perignon himself of course! A monk in the 17th century, he created Champagne wine which was soon popularised by King Louis XIV, who loved it so much.

But the drink created by Dom Perignon was a light red wine without the special fizz that is so widely associated with it today. It wasn’t until the French, in the 18th Century, decided that bubbles were actually good for your health that they were introduced to create the effervescent drink. Today, the Dom Perignon brand is a vintage form of Champagne, with rare bottles being considered as collectors’ items, and sold for over �1000 each! There are other far more affordable brands from the Champagne region, such as Mo�t & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

It is estimated that the popular sparkling wine we have today can hold up to approximately 49 million bubbles in a 750ml bottle – that’s a lot of bubbles! This amount of bubbles means Champagne has three times the gas than beer, and the cork can reach speeds up to 40mph if it isn’t popped correctly and safely! So be careful when you’re cracking open your new bottle of Champagne!

So how do we drink our beloved beverage? There are traditionally two types of Champagne glasses, the flute and the coupe glass! Legend has it that the coupe was modelled on Marie Antoinette’s breast shape, as an ode to her love of the drink. Although there’s no evidence of this, it’s still a romantic idea of the decadence associated with the bubbly drink.

In reality, the bowl type glass was created in England in the 17th Century and then taken to France. It is with this style of glass that makes it possible to create incredible towering glass fountains which look stunning at glamorous events and weddings.

In recent years, the flute glass has become the glass associated with Champagne for its ability to keep the drink cold and bubbling for as long as possible. Loved globally for its light, refreshing taste and exciting fizz, the flute has been designed with scientific reasoning to ensure the drink is enjoyed to its maximum capability. For example, the bubble trains, called ‘collerettes’, keep darting up the side of your glass whilst you drink your Champagne because the flute glass is shaped in a specific way. As it thins out towards the top of the glass, the reduced surface area retains the carbonation process of the bubbles for longer! The lengthy stem of the glass is also designed specifically to be held in order for the temperature of the drink to remain unaffected by those holding it. In extreme cases of etiquette, only the base of the glass will be touched.

You can choose from a selection of Champagne gift hampers and glassware over at Smart Gift Solutions, many of which can be personalised to suit any occasion and to create the perfect keepsake gift.

For an amazing range of unique champagne gifts to celebrate any special occasion visit Smart Gift Solutions… with next day delivery, including Saturday, and International delivery options together with lots of free add-ons such as printed ribbon and photo cards… let us help solve your gift dilemmas!

For all enquiries you can send an email or give us a call…
t: 0870 609 3448

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Drinking Wine

Here Is A Great Source Of Information And Ideas About Wine
By Janna Limbaz

Do you feel like you’re out of the loop when it comes to entertaining or cooking with wine? Perhaps you don’t know what is good, or perhaps you’re not sure about correlating your use of wine with the foods you eat. Learn more by reading this article, and find out more about wine.

Do not buy large quantities of a wine you like. Your preferences will change quickly as you discover new wines and you might regret spending your money on a wine you will eventually come to consider as average. Purchase small quantities and keep trying new wines to expand your horizons.

If you are having red meats, stick to red wine. This is the general principle, and should rarely be veered away from. Red wine helps to bring out the flavor in the steak or meat that you choose and vice versa, giving you the best possible experience while you are eating lunch or dinner.

Select the right glasses when tasting wine or serving it. It is best to use a clear glass so you can look at the color of the wine. Choose a glass with a long stem and a round shape so you can easily swirl the wine. You should avoid using glasses that can contain more than twenty two ounces.


If you are in the market for champagne for a wedding or other festive event, consider a sparkling wine instead. Sparkling wines are typically from California, and they taste similar to a Champagne. They are almost always less expensive, making it easier to afford a large quantity for big events.

Effervescent wines and champagne are meant to be served chilled. A white wine served at a different temperature will not expose the flavors that you deserve to experience. Chill your champagne for a few hours in the fridge before drinking it.

Dessert wines are a great choice for post-dinner drinking. There are many dessert wines including California Port, Italian Moscato and French Champagne. Sipping on this wine after you eat allows you to relax and wind down after a great meal.

Weddings are not the only occasion for drinking champagne. It is a tragedy that champagne is frequently used only for special occasions. Champagne accompanies many different foods very well. This drink also cleanses your palate, in addition to combining wonderfully with your meal. Champagne can be paired quite well with foods of the salty variety.

If you want to surprise your guests with a delightful and daring choice, you should try serving a sparkling wine. More wineries are releasing their own sparkling wine, and you should be able to find a sparkling version of your favorite wine. A sparkling wine is perfect for a festive occasion if you do not want to serve champagne.

Next time you go to buy a bottle of wine, whether to entertain socially or use to cook, you should be more equipped with the right knowledge. Use what you’ve learned here to make things easier on you. Wine can be used to impress, and you now have the tools.

Send Champagne has been created to showcase a fantastic range of Champagne gifts. Find us at to see our collection of Champagne for all occasions.

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Pinot Noir

The Guide to Pinot Noir Wine
By Maria Williams

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape that originated in Burgundy and it is one of the oldest wine spices planted in France. The name is derived from the French words pine and black, pine to describe tightly clustered grapes. Today, Pinot Noir grapes are all around the world. The first historic evidence is associated 2,000 years ago in the French region known as Pasco Robels – this was an ideal soil to produce tightly packed clusters. Some wine experts call it “heartbreak grape” because of the thin skinned grapes capable for early ripening with overwhelming flavour.

The thin skin of these delicate grapes requires diligent management as the balance of the wine can be easily destroyed by intervention. As one of the fines wines in the world, it is recognizable by cherry aroma mixed with strawberries. Soon after the wine ages it can bring the potential to develop “barnyard” aroma and savoury fleshiness with more fruit prominent and cleaner appearance.

The international success of the Pinot Noir as the most highly prized wine is typically evident during the late 1980`s and through the next couple of decades. The 1990`s showed an increase in the world production and sale in several wine growing regions of Australia, Austria, Canada and France. This wine is very fickle and can have quite a range of aromas, depending on the vintage and the earth where it`s grown. The major Pinot Noir produced in Burgundy is usually herbaceous with earthy aromas close to wet leaves. The wine in Germany tends to offer more sweet and fruit aromas which are quite different from Italian Pinot Noir where the climate is much cooler. Pinot Nero, as the Italians call it, tends to have more colour extraction and higher alcohol content.

Australians have identified Victoria and Tasmania as being cool enough for this wine. New Zealand is capable to produce the best Pinot outside Burgundy and certainly there are many fine examples of cooler regions in which the grape can develop interesting flavours. Often described as a difficult grape to deal with, wineries around the world are really passionate about its sensuality for the purpose of making wine. The popular image persist that this type od wine creates a long lasting impression in every person`s memory. The aroma is widely accepted as one of the most complex of all varieties starting with fruits enhanced with cinnamon and mushroom as common spiciness for identifying Pinot Noir. Most of the best Pinot Noirs are bottled under screw caps, which further highlights the fresh, clean fruit of these wines.

There is one component in which Pinot Noir seems naturally quite rich, 3-4 times higher compared to other varieties, especially when it is grown in chiller and more humid environments: resveratrol. While this may not affect the aspects of sensory enjoyment, it may draw the attention of health-conscious consumers.

Pinot Noir is not a simple wine. It is likely that it fascinates everyone by its greater complexity rich with dark fruit aromas and flavours.

If you are curious about how it tastes why don`t you take advantage and order a bottle of Pinot Noir wine from an online liquor store at extremely reasonable prices.

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