Hosting a wine tasting event is a great excuse to get together with friends, learn about wine, and have fun while doing it. The US wine industry began an unprecedented resurgence in 1994, and the film Sideways and online personalities like Gary Vaynerchuk have propelled the industry even further in recent years. The US is now the number one market for wine sales and one of the top three countries for total consumption of table wine. Wine is no longer a mysterious drink for the wealthy, and young adventurous wine drinkers are driving the growth. Wine isn’t just a drink, it’s about the experience. And what better way to experience wine than to host a wine tasting party?
The first step in any event planning process is to choose the date. Get your feelers out by mentioning your plans to several important guests. Since you will be drinking wine, it’s best to hold your event on a Friday or Saturday. If you’re planning a big party, you’ll need to choose a venue as well. Call around to local wine bars, wine shops (not the huge retail establishments), restaurants and hotels. Depending on how you’d like to structure your party, you’ll often have a lot of negotiating power on your side. You may be able to convince the owner to allow guests to bring their own wine, or the retailer or restaurant could work alongside a distributor to provide wine for the event that will later be available for purchase.
If you are hosting the event at home, you’ll have a lot of flexibility about what type of tasting you’d like to have. A fun option is to hold a blind tasting in which each guest or couple brings one or two bottles of wine to the party. As guests arrive, the host wraps each bottle in a paper bag and writes a number on the outside with a black marker. The bottles are simultaneously recorded on a master “Answer Sheet” and also recorded (in random order) on a public “Wine List” that everyone gets to see. As the night begins, everyone is free to taste the wine in any order and at any pace and attempt to match each numbered bottle to a wine on the “Wine List”.
Another popular wine tasting event style involves having two or more wines available for each grape varietal. Guests can then try the two wines side-by-side and compare differences in taste that could be attributable to the vintage (year the grapes were harvested) or the appellation (where the grapes were grown). If you’d like to host this type of event, you’ll want to coordinate up front so that each guest brings a wine from a specific varietal or appellation.
In order to make sure the night is a success, you’ll need to do a bit of preparation up front. Ensure that you have a wine glass available for each guest. It’s always a good idea to have clear plastic cups or glasses available in case you run out. Don’t get solo cups as they are too big, but also make sure that the glasses are not too small. Plastic wine glasses or plastic champagne glasses are often very small and can cause big problems when drinking wine, including spills and the inability to swirl. Having wine glass charms or ornaments on hand is also a great idea, as they allow each person to keep track of their wine glass. It can get confusing with twenty people walking around the kitchen! Make sure that you also have enough wine available in your own rack, even if you are asking guests to bring wine. You never know how much fun everyone will have or how long guests will stay, and you should always be prepared.
You’ll also want to have appetizers available throughout the night. While chocolate is a classical wine pairing, it actually isn’t the best accompaniment when trying to focus on the flavor of the wine, as it can alter the taste profile. The same can happen with cheese, but to a lesser extent. Hard cheeses go best with wine and cheeses with cow’s milk typically go well with red wines. Plain crackers, bread, and water are all very important as they can help cleanse the palate between wines. Grapes and other fruits go well with white wines, and salami and other cold sliced meats often work well with a variety of wines.
Michael Siegler is Founder and CEO at WineMcGee.com – “The Local Wine Website”. Visit WineMcGee for help in planning, promoting, and ticketing your wine tasting events. WineMcGee offers local wine content throughout the US including wine tasting events, winery and retailer listings, and BYOB restaurants. The site also features comprehensive wine review technology, and a wine-related question and answer section.
Author: Michael Siegler
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Sat, March 8 2014 » Cooking » No Comments
Shopping with your new baby is going to be a whole new experience and you should know what you are in for before attempting it. One thing you can do if you are still pregnant and haven’t started trying things like this yet is watch other moms when you are out. You will see lots of moms with kids, but very few moms with newborns.
Having a newborn is harder than having a couple kids with you that can walk and talk and get in and out of the car on their own. If you watch other moms, you will see what gear they bring with them and multiple methods of transporting baby around.
Talking to other moms is very useful as well. Something as simple as going shopping may not be on your list of things to ask about, but you will see that every simple thing you used to do solo is more complicated now. It is not negative, it is just definitely a change.
At home, all us new moms need are our nursing bras and baby has everything else they need in their nursery. They have a changing table loaded with all the goods and a nice crib to sleep in. Newborns need little else besides breast milk, new diapers, and a warm, cozy place to sleep.
Going mobile with a newborn is a different story all together, but thankfully in this day and age there are products and gadgets for everything you can think of. You will find that your baby’s car seat is the best tool to have with you at all times. Baby can be changed in there if need be, sleep in there and travel in there. You will need your nursing covers now that you are in public. Trust that baby will still want to eat just as often even though you are out. You will find yourself having to nurse in the strangest of places, but you will get used to it faster than you think.
Maggie H. Day writes articles related to nursing tops and nursing bras
We are a maternity and nursing clothing website specializing in soft, comfortable, stylish clothing and accessories for pregnant and nursing women.
Visit our website to shop for yourself or find gifts for a friend!
Author: Maggie H Day
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Thu, March 6 2014 » Random » No Comments
The fun part is that for the first time you will actually focus your senses and try to discern the different tastes and aromas of the wine. Some might be more difficult than others and you might not be able to distinguish between all the aromas and tastes but you definitely recognize some of them. From here on forward it will just get easier and the next time that you buy a bottle to share with your friends you will actually try and analyze the different tastes and aromas yourself. Enough of this, let us have a look at the process of wine tasting and how it is supposed to be done?
First of all ensure that you have a wine glass that curve inward at the top to channel the aroma better and allow you to swirl the wine inside the glass without spilling. When holding a wine glass hold it at the stem of the wine glass otherwise the heat of your hand can warm the wine. The sequence of testing wine is to look, swirl, smell, sip and spit. Lastly please remember that when tasting wine we are not busy running a race and definitely not trying to finish as many bottles as quickly as possible. Slow down, concentrate on your senses and savor the wine.
Let the process begin. Pour a little bit of wine into the glass. Hold the wine up against the sun or against a light if possible. Red wine that has a raspberry color denotes that it is young wine and the wine will get darker in color the older it gets. White wine ranges from pale green to golden the older they get.
Next you want to swirl the wine inside the glass holding the glass stem firmly in your hand and with tiny circles let the wine wet the sides of the glass. This will ensure that the wine while coating the sides of the glass will set of the aroma and releases its bouquet.
Now is the time to smell the wine. This might be difficult at first but you might discern things like strawberries, spiciness or cinnamon. You decide for yourself as nobody has the same smell and there is no correct way in doing this. Some people hold their nose above the glass; others stick their nose inside the glass.
The second last step is to taste the wine. Ensure that the wine fills your whole mouth as the mouth and tongue detects different tastes inside the mouth at different places. If possible, breathe in whilst having the wine in your mouth through puckered lips. This will enhance the smell and taste of the wine. Lastly you may spit out the wine if you want to into buckets that will be provided. This however is not required but if there are a lot of wines to be tasted it might dull your senses. Professional wine tasters however will not swallow the wine.
At wine tasting sessions water will be provided as well as cheese and other snacks. It is important to use this as it helps in clearing the palate between different wines. Those in the know say this is the only time that it is beneficial to be a smoker as it brings out the best in wines especially if you smoke cigars.
Having dealt with how to taste wine you can now start making your own homemade wine and taste that in the privacy of your own home. Please visit http://www.squidoo.com/Homemade-Wine-Made-Easy to get your own guide how to make your own homemade wine.
Author: Johann Du Plessis
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Mon, March 3 2014 » Cooking » No Comments
New parents are appreciative of gifts for their little ones and those presents boasting the personal touch are likely to be treasured for a long time.
Suppliers of items for youngsters know the importance of practical purchases that assist adults in caring for their newborns. Clothing and bedding are popular gifts as they are in demand by parents who require purchases like this around-the-clock. As kids grow, sleeping suits and their outer wear need constant updating so they fit comfortably.
Shoppers who wish to purchase more permanent presents may instead like to browse personalised baby gifts. These are designed to celebrate important events, including the birth, christening and birthdays of little ones. Buyers usually have the opportunity to include the name and birth date of the new arrival, which adds the personal touch to these kinds of items. For example, images of the child’s name that are encased in solid wood frames make excellent gifts that have greater longevity than practical items.
These beautifully designed pieces of artwork also feature further drawings connected to each letter of the little one’s name, in addition to the origin and meaning of their forename. Similar images can also be printed on special canvases, which make contemporary baby gifts that suit modern nurseries. Another popular option is to have photos of children transferred to canvas sheets, along with details of their birth date or other celebratory day, such as their baptism.
Brightly coloured plates with pretty drawings also commemorate the birth of a new baby and come in several designs to suit both boys and girls. As well as framed images and canvases, shoppers are also able to order personalised baby gifts, such as jewellery that are engraved with the name of the youngster, which are popular as christening presents. In keeping with the personal aspect of these purchases, shoppers are able to buy hand finished boxes in which to present the gifts.
Tracey operates two successful award winning websites for baby and kids –
Baby Gifts from Baby Gift Gallery and Christening Gifts from The Baby Gifts Co.
Author: Tracey Mcbain
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Thu, February 27 2014 » Random » No Comments