Happy Mother’s Day Smileys and Wine Enthusiasts! Here is a delicious and refreshing Sangria that you can make for yourself, your mom or your friends!
Salu’d, XOXO Smiling Danny
*Please excuse my Barefoot Contessa reference *
Have you ever wondered while drinking your wine about the glass that you are drinking out of? I usually don’t, until I visited a winery that only serves their wine out of Riedel wine glasses. If you haven’t heard, these are supposed to be THE Wine Glasses of all wine glasses. So, recently I decided that I would conduct a little experiment of my own. Since I have a set of Riedel Merlot wine glasses, I decided that I would put this experiment to the test with a bottle of Merlot.
Before I get into my experiment, I want to tell you a little bit about wine glasses. As you saw above, I said that I have a set of Riedel Merlot glasses. Did you catch that? Merlot glasses. Most people are familiar with there being white wine glasses and red wine glasses. I also knew that there were sherry wine glasses due to my frequent watching of the sitcom Frasier when I was in school. Oh, and then there are sparkling wine glasses as well. But most people don’t know that there are wine glasses for each grape varietal. The purposes of these glasses, whether designated by wine color or grape varietal, are to aid in the aeration of the wine and to aid in the way you experience the wine. What I mean by that is, let’s say you have a sparkling wine, if you put the sparkling wine in a white wine glass, you will not get those bubbles that you would get in a champagne flute. The skinny shape of the flute promotes the flow of the bubbles. Also, the red wine glasses have larger bowls than white wine glasses. This allows the bolder flavors of the wine to have enough room to breathe. So then when you go to smell the wine, you can identify the notes of the wine more clearly than you would if you poured red wine in a white wine glass.
Now that you have been given a little bit of information on wine glasses, I will carry on with my experiment. I used three wine glasses to conduct my experiment: a Riedel Merlot glass, a nice red wine glass that I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond (BBB) and a $1 wine glass I bought from a local grocer.
|Heb Glass||BB&B Red Wine Glass||Riedel Merlot Glass|
|Nose||Only smell alcohol. Even though the glass has a wide opening, in fact wider than the others, the notes are hard to detect.||Mainly smelling the glass and potpourri.||Smells like a young wine with notes of plum and cocoa|
|Legs||The legs are inconsistent. After letting the wine rest a little longer, the legs came down slowly but still hard to see a consistent flow.||Coming down quickly but consistent.||The legs are beautiful, streaming down like a motion picture.|
|Taste||Just tastes like alcohol and metal. No real flavors coming out.||Tannins are subtle and the spice is heavy.||Tannins are more pronounced.|
|Notes||Tastes like a watered down juice that lingers on the palate.||Heavy on the oak, raisin. Here the spice tends to taste like it was heavy on the pepper. Instead of a rounded feel of spice you get a punch of heat on the palate.||Notes of spice, earth and a hint of oak. Here you get notes of spice and earth. The spice is more rounded verses a punch in the face like the BBB glass. The spice feels like earth on the cheeks. Also, notes of cocoa and dark fruit dance on the palate.|
As you can see, there was a difference in the smell and taste of the wine depending on the glass. After, looking at my notes, I thought to myself, am I expecting a difference because everyone speaks so highly of these glasses or is there a true difference in taste and smell? So, I conducted another test, blindfolded, and my conclusion was the same.
Does this mean that I will go out and buy a bunch of Riedel glasses? Probably not, but I will look into Cabernet and Zinfandel glasses since I tend to drink more of these.
If you remember from my previous posts, I have not found a bottle of Merlot that I have fell in love with. While drinking from the HEB glass and the BBB glass, I didn’t particularly care for the wine. However, when drinking from the Riedel, I was able to appreciate the notes and enjoy the glass of Merlot.
The bottle of wine that was used for this experiment was: Cycles Gladiator Merlot, California, 2019. It has notes of cherry, blackberry and cedar. It also has hints of pencil shavings and moss. I think this wine is better paired with red meat; possibly brisket.
After conducting my experiments, I used the remaining wine to make a Pomegranate Sangria. Here is the recipe below:
2 parts Merlot
1 part Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate juice
1/4c Pomegranate Seeds
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
Combine the above ingredients and pour over crushed ice in a red wine glass. Salu’d!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Leave me a message below and tell me if you have tried Riedel glasses. Does glass matter to you?
XOXO, Smiling Danny, Salu’d
Hi Smileys and Wine Enthusiasts!
In this post, I will be sharing with you how to taste wine. The three S’s in tasting wine are: Sight, Smell and Sip.
First, examine the color of the wine. The color of the wine will tell you a little bit about the body and the flavors of the wine. The lighter the color, the lighter the body and flavor notes and vice versa. Looking at the color of the wine is also very important when comparing wines with each other. When comparing a Sauvignon Blanc with a Chardonnay, you will see that the Chardonnay will have a deep golden yellow color; whereas, the Blanc will be a soft pale yellow. When tasting the two, you will notice that the Chardonnay will have richer flavor notes and a heavier body than the Blanc. While the Blanc will taste crisp, light and refreshing on the palate.
The next step in tasting wine is to smell. You will want to start off by gently swirling your glass of wine. This will oxygenate the wine and release the aromas in your glass. Next, put your nose in the glass, take a deep breath and breathe in the wine. By the third sniff, you should smell the different flavors that you will possibly taste on your palate.
Now it’s time for the best part. Sip the wine and get a good taste. Gently swirl the wine around your mouth, letting the wine coat your cheeks. Breath in your nose as you take a sip and begin identifying the flavors that you are tasting. After tasting your wine, think about other wines that you have had and start making comparisons. Make mental notes about what you may or may not have enjoyed about the wine.
What I love most about wine tasting is that I feel like I am on an adventure every time I try a new one. It is very important in your wine tasting journey that you explore the world around you. Try new foods, explore new places, and be adventurous. You wouldn’t believe how smelling the flowers at your local grocer or florist shop will help you pick up on the different floral notes in a wine. Try new fruits and smell them. All of this helps in identifying flavor notes in your wine.
Well Smileys, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite wine and your most unique tasting note.
Salu’d, XOXO, Smiling Danny
A lot of people have asked me how to go about pairing food and wine. I usually say it’s all trial and error and ask more questions to gauge what they’re going for with the dish. Here are a few other tips that may help as you explore pairing food and wine:
Let’s Be Adventurous
Normally, white wine is suggested as a pairing for fish but the next time you are ordering dinner or grocery shopping, I challenge you to get a broiled salmon and to pair it with a Pinot Noir. Notice I said a broiled salmon, not just salmon. I haven’t tried this yet myself so let’s come back and share notes. You can share your thoughts on today’s Instagram post or here on the blog.
I hope you find this helpful as you continue to explore the World of Wines.
XOXO, Smiling Danny
Buying and learning about Wine can feel overwhelming but it isn’t as gruesome as it may seem. The exploration of wine can be fascinating and adventurous. So, this month I thought I would walk you through the Wonderful World of Wines.
What is Wine?
Fermented grape juice (and all of its sugar) + Yeast = Alcohol
Wine is prepared by adding yeast to the juice of grapes. Adding the yeast will convert the sugared juice into alcohol. This is called the fermentation process. The yeast comes from the natural fungus that grows on the grape skins. Wine is then added to wooden oak barrels or steel vats for fermentation. (pictured left)
Wines are identified by its grape varietal; such as Tempranillo, or by its region; such as Bordeaux. They come in two colors: Red and White. Pink or Rose’ is considered a secondary hue but not a color itself.
They also come in different styles, such as:
Smileys, I hope this put a little ease to the caution of trying wine or trying new wines. Take a big leap into this wonderful world and share with me your exciting adventures! I look forward to sharing more with you. But until next time,
Salu’d, XOXO, Smiling Danny
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This month I am excited to share with you my tasting notes on the wine: Chloe, before and after using an aerator.
Wine: Chloe Red No. 249
Region: North Coast California
Notes (without an aerator):
Notes after using an Aerator:
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
After aerating the wine, the alcohol note was eliminated, the spice notes were more leveled out and the finish of the wine was more luxurious.
Have you used an aerator? Did it change the profile of your wine? Aerators mix air with the wine, allowing it to breathe more quickly than just letting it sit. Swirling your glass of wine also adds air to the wine and will open the profile of the wine before the taste.
I hope that you liked this article on wine aeration and learned a little bit about how letting the wine breathe enhances your experience of the taste.
Salud, XOXO, Smiling Danny