Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE Wine for Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving: Do you know what type of wine you will be serving with the bird?

If you’re only pouring one wine for the festivities, make it a Riesling.

Riesling Grapes
A Riesling wine will compliment that savory turkey, dressing and gravy just as well as it accentuates the cranberry sauce and butternut squash. In fact, it will even pair nicely with a slice of pecan or pumpkin pie for dessert.

And Riesling has just the right acidic kick to keep your palate cleansed throughout the meal so you can enjoy those sweet and savory flavors together.

If you’re willing to have some fun with the meal, add a Beaujolais Nouveau. These wines were released last Thursday after aging on the skins for only six to eight weeks. Some years they are outstanding with notes of cherry. Other years there will be more berry notes.
Since Beaujolais Nouveau is a very fruit-forward wine, it pairs well with most Thanksgiving dishes. And if you remember that the point is to enjoy it NOW, you won’t be disappointed.

Whatever you’re serving tomorrow, may your meal be perfect, your wine faultless, and your day filled with happy memories!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Joy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Beaujolais Time!

Gamay Grapes
Tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. local time, the latest Beaujolais Nouveau will be released to the public. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine crafted from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais wine region in France. The grapes have been around since the 15th century when Beaujolais Nouveau was just a regional wine enjoyed by locals celebrating the end of the harvest season.

But what began as a fad wine in the 1960s morphed into a cult wine for the 1980s and beyond. Wine critics won't give it much press, saying it's a gimmick fashioned mostly by French wine producer (of Beaujolais Nouveau, of course) Georges Duboeuf.

Georges Duboeuf
Duboeuf saw a way to market the new wine, and make a good profit from it – only a few weeks after the grapes had been hand-picked. It was a stroke of marketing genius when he held a race to Paris with the first bottles of this extremely young and immature vino. Media from around the world covered the story and by the 1970s it was an annual event.
In 1985, the date of release was legally changed to the third Thursday in November to take advantage of the holidays. 

Carbonic Maceration Occurring
Beaujolais Nouveau is unique in that the grapes are harvested and tossed in fermentation tanks without an official crush allowing for fermentation on the skins and a flavorful wine.  After only 6 to 8 weeks of carbonic maceration fermentation, the wine is bottled and shipped. The purplish-red color, light body, and very fruit-forward flavors only add to the mass appeal.

While wine critics don’t rave about it, many wine lovers do, lining up to purchase the limited number of cases at wine shops across the world, just in time for the holidays.

Each vintage tastes differently but generally you can expect the flavors of strawberry, cherry, and red raspberry in a bright, fresh wine that’s easy to drink, and fun to pair with holiday foods. (Think turkey, ham, and cranberry sauce.)

Beaujolais Nouveau is indeed a party in a bottle and you’ll see lots of festive decorations surrounding it in the liquor stores. Just remember, it’s meant to be enjoyed NOW. And unlike most red wines, this one will become more enjoyable if chilled for 20 – 30 minutes before serving. If you forget to cool it down, just add a few ice cubes!

Beaujolais Nouveau
Beaujolais Nouveau is a great wine to serve with Thanksgiving since it pairs well with those savory flavors.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun, so put aside any preconceived notions, kick back and enjoy this wine with friends because Beaujolais Nouveau will be gone very soon! 

And then you may find yourself waiting another year for that third Thursday in November…

~ Joy

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Celebrate Wine Tourism Day

Wine lovers, get ready – this Saturday, November 8, 2014 is officially Wine Tourism Day in North America!

Wine tourism is growing in this country as casual wine lovers and wine enthusiasts visit regional and state wineries and then share their finds with friends on social media platforms. There are so many good wineries out there but most of us will never know about them because the wines will never reach distribution. So how to get the word out?

Designate a special day for wine tourism! The first Wine Tourism Day in North America was held last year, with the idea originally coming from Europe where they’ve celebrated a European Wine Tourism Day on November 9th since 2009. The reason for a day targeted toward wine tourism is to get people motivated to visit wineries they’ve never been to, support them, and enjoy some amazing wines.

Wine Appellations
There are over 7,500 wineries in the U.S, Canada and Mexico with 205 appellations in the United States, 40 in Mexico and 38 in Canada. The winery visiting opportunities are endless for the casual oenophile.

Founders of the event believe that by calling attention to wine tourism with it’s very own day, more people will travel to wine regions while on vacation or trips, or head out on regional wine trails for a weekend of winery hopping. That information will be shared on Facebook and Twitter, making more people aware of these little known wine regions and motivating others to visit them (or order wine from on the internet).

Events are planned at wineries, restaurants, hotels and other wine businesses throughout North America on Saturday. Many wineries and wine shops will hold special tastings to encourage customers to come out and celebrate.

But you don’t have to be a winery or a wine business to celebrate. Grab your wine-loving friends and head out to some wineries on the 8th for a fun-filled day of tasting and exploring.  Then plan a weekend dinner later in the month and have everyone bring a bottle of wine they purchased on Wine Tourism Day. Pair it with food and enjoy the wine and ensuing discussion: a great way to celebrate wine tourism and enjoy some different wine-finds with friends.

Just be sure to pop a cork this Saturday and celebrate the day in the best possible way – with a glass of local or regional wine.

~ Joy

Wine Tourism Day is sponsored by:

For more information, visit