Zinfandel Wine Information Blog

5:56 PM

2009 - Cellar Tags

The Best Articles on Cellar Tags

Wine Openers- 6 Styles Reviewed

Waiter Corkscrew

This is probably the most ubiquitous wine opener in the world, and the ultimate in simplicity. This tool features a design that allows the entire tool to fit in your pocket, and as such has become the overwhelming favorite of wait staff and picnic goers. There are three essential parts that all fold out from the body of the tool: the corkscrew itself, a lever that acts as a fulcrum on the top of the bottle, and a small foilcutter to cut the foil from the top of the bottle. No wine cellar would be equipped without one at a minimum for backup. To use the opener simply remove the foil from the neck with the knife, twist the corkscrew fully into the cork, and then place the lever on the top of the bottle and pull the cork up and out. Some devices feature two shoulders on the lever in order to maximize leverage, in this case use the one halfway down the lever first, finally use the top shoulder to get the cork the rest of the way out.

Wing style

Here is another very popular type of wine opener. Using the mechanical advantage of a lever and gear, this device makes uncorking a bottle easier than a typical cork puller. While the price is a little higher than the waiter style, it is a great choice for the home user or anyone that does not wish to wrestle with a wine bottle. Simply rest the bottom of the opener on the top of the bottle, screw the corkscrew into the cork, and then push the levers down and they will lift the cork out. This could be the second most important accessory for the wine lover, second only to the wine glasses. These models come in a wide selection of metals including nickel-plated steel, or plastic. It is highly recommended to buy only heavy-duty metal types as they are more solid and will last for years.

Lever Pull

This type was made famous by the brand named "The Rabbit", and it does make very quick work of opening wine bottles. Featuring a clamp you hold around the neck of the bottle with one hand, and a lever that plunges then pulls the corkscrew with the other. This gizmo efficiently removes a cork in just seconds. If you have a lot of wine to open, you will certainly find this toll useful. But be aware that this premium product comes at a premium price. A quality lever pull wine opener will cost up to $100 or above.

Twist Corkscrews

A two piece corkscrew with no levers, clamps, or hinges makes this one of the easiest and our favorite corkscrew for every day use. Use the device by first placing the bottom "seat" on top of the wine bottle. The corkscrew piece then slides into a guide hole in the top and is automatically centered on the cork. Begin twisting and the screw first drives into the cork, than it stops against the shoulder of the seat and as you continue twisting it lifts the cork clear. Broken corks are pratically impossible when using this style, as are cork pieces floating in the wine when completed. And at prices less than $50.00, this is in the top 10 accessories for any wine buff.

Uncorking Machines

If you have an entire room reserved just for your wine collection, than you are likely ready for an uncorking machine. With the simple pull of a lever in one direction, you will be able to twist the corkscrew in, and then pull it out of the bottle. Reverse direction and the cork will spit out and you are ready to do it again. The entire process takes less than 10 seconds. The design of these machines makes opening wine not only efficient, but also impressive. But be sure these machines are not cheap in the least; expect to pay over $100 for the most basic model that clamps to a tabletop. And for advanced models you would expect to see on an Italian estate the price tag will exceed $500.00.

Pump Style

The last style opener we will mention is the pump style. These insert a long needle through the cork into the air space above the wine. Then using either a pump or a cylinder of compressed air, the cork is removed by building up pressure under the cork so it pops out, just like champagne. These tools are a little bit more gizmo than workhorse, but for the enthusiast who has it all, this might make a good gift just for the amazement factor when it is time to open the bottle.

About the Author

Michael Briggs is a wine enthusiast and a frequent contributor to Winery-Mall where you can learn all about wine enjoyment

A synopsis on Cellar Tags.

Wine Openers- 6 Styles Reviewed

Waiter Corkscrew
This is probably the most ubiquitous wine opener in the world, and the ultimate in simplicity. This tool features a design that allow...

Click Here to Read More About Wine ...

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Current Cellar Tags News

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Five days a week, an entertaining introduction to a new, exciting organic wine and food or cheese match (with recipes) by award winning wine professional/journalist Randy Caparoso.

Best Organic Cabernet 2008

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Most oenophiles will agree that the organic wine industry is pretty limited, young, and newly developing. I would actually rate some of the organic red wines I’ve tasted as worse than the worst boxed wine. The exorbitant price just further leaves a bad taste.

Organic Champagne Guide

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Champagne is a luxurious symbol of celebration popular during the holiday season. Although fizzy or bubbly wine grown in the Champagne region of France is the only bubbly allowed to call itself champagne, numerous organic sparkling wines are produced around the world.

Organic Farming Yields the Finest Wines

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Americas Greenest Wine Region

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 11:02:07 -0800
In Mendocino--a Northern California county known for its dramatic hills, logging and a certain illegal recreational crop--vineyards are now so prevalent that even the hippies and the cowboys have become wine snobs. Mendocino also has more organic wineries than any county in the nation....

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LeVin--Another small, ridge-top vineyard in this appellation growing organic grapes and olives, whose hippie-ish owner, Eric Levin, believes that Roundup "takes the life out of the soil by killing microbes and earthworms." While the Mendocino wine industry is using "green" as a marketing term, he wants it be known that he got into organics for the.

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5:56 PM

January - Cheap Wine

A Featured Cheap Wine Article

Food and wine choice advice from an expert wine taster

Food and wine were meant to go together. In my big Italian family, no gathering was complete without plenty of both. Winter feasts were easy for the food and wine lovers among us - a hearty red table wine is the perfect foil for most southern Italian dishes. A pitcher of table wine drawn from the cask in the basement was the typical accompaniment to our everyday meals.

Red, white or rose, Italian table wines are meant to be imbibed in the casual atmosphere of a family dinner. They are light enough to be enjoyed even by the casual food and wine enthusiast, and robust enough to complement the full-flavored richness of smoked and barbecued food. Which leads us to the subject of this little soliloquy - mixing and matching food and wine for the barbecue. My own tastes run to Italian jug wines, and if it was up to me, I'd tell you to just go out and buy a jug of Chianti and a jug of Lambrusco. It's what I grew up with, and I happen to love the little sparkle that a good Lambrusco (yes, they do exist!) adds to food.

In the interests of presenting a fair and educated view, however, I decided to check with an expert. Austin Liquor has been voted Best Liquor Store in Worcester for the past 5 years, mostly on the strength of its weekly wine tasting. A Friday night tradition in Worcester since the late 1970s, each tasting offers food and wine based around one or two specific vintages. I was directed to Richard Beams, Austin Liquor's resident wine expert, and directed my question to him: "What food and wine combination would you recommend for a summer barbecue?"

I did get my recommendations - but I also got a wonderful overview of Rich's philosophy of choosing wines, especially for fun or everyday occasions.

"I don't think it's necessary for people to spend more than $12 for a bottle of wine for an everyday dinner," he told me. "For a special occasion like an anniversary dinner, sure, you can spend $20 or more for a bottle. A barbecue is a fun occasion, though. For a barbecue you can get really good quality wine for under $12."

That may come as a surprise to those of us who have been intimidated into believing that the only true quality wines come with corks and high price tags.

Said Rich to that: "I like wine to be fun. It should be fun. Too many people try to snob it up and break down the flavors so far that it's not fun anymore. I advise people to find something they like and enjoy it. I like to steer people to the less expensive wines that are excellent quality."

So what does Rich recommend to go with the food at a summer barbecue?

"I like to recommend a nice, light Riesling, " he told me. "Something crisp and fresh."

In fact, he told me, several of their recent wine tasting afternoons have featured barbecued food and wine that complements it. He recommended several wines that he feels are 'fun wines' with good value.

Flaio Primitivo (Salento, Italy) Primitivo is a grape varietal grown in the heel of Italy's boot. It's very similar to a good California Zinfandel - in Rich's words it's "almost an exact copy". It retails for about $7 a bottle and is a great accompaniment for burgers and ribs.

Bonny Doon Big House Red (California) Bonny Doon has a lot of fun with their wines, according to Rich, and he does believe that wine should be fun. Big House Red is a blend of 7 or 8 grapes. According to Bonny Doon's own web site, those varietals include syrah, petite sirah, Grenache, barbera and malbec. It retails for about $12 a bottle and its robust licorice and raspberry-accented bouquet stands up to the spiciest barbecued ribs.

Monte Antico (Tuscany, Italy) - "very similar to a Chianti Sangiovese," said Rich. At $12 a bottle, it's got great fruit, balances a barbecue, holds up well, and has a very Italian looking label." To quote Monte Antico's own press, this wine is "Dark ruby in color, its bouquet of leather, earth, herbs, black cherries, licorice and plums is confirmed on the medium to full-bodied palate - round, spicy, elegant, attractively fruity and extremely versatile with any fare from pasta or risotto, to meat, fowl and cheese."

Rich's final recommendation was another 'fun' wine, one that he says is a great 'food wine'. The top in his book is:

Three Thieves 2002 Zinfandel was voted #8 as one of the Hottest Small Brands of 2005. The wine comes in a 1 liter jug with a screw top, and is marketed as a 'fun thing', says Rich, but the wine inside is a full bodied red zinfandel that goes great with burgers or eggplant parmagiana.

"The wine is excellent, and it's about $11," Rich added. He also added the following advice for would-be wine fanciers. "You don't have to spend a lot to find excellent quality wines. If you find something that you like, make a note. You can go into a store and tell someone there that you liked 'this brand' and they'll steer you to other similar wines for you to try."

Final analysis? Good food and wine that's fun are the cornerstone of a great summer barbecue. Skip the fancy labels, vintages and price tags and pick out a wine that you like. Who cares what the noses think as long as your nose is tickled pink?

About the Author

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.
Visit this Food Website and Majon's Food directory.

Cheap Wine and More

Food and wine choice advice from an expert wine taster

Food and wine were meant to go together. In my big Italian family, no gathering was complete without plenty of both. Winter feasts were easy for the f...

Click Here to Read More About Wine ...

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Just in time for the holidays, eight Oregon pinot noirs from the excellent 2006 vintage that are both affordable and delicious

Chumeia Vineyards Souper Wine Friday

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 01:08:04 -0800
Take the chill off Winter with our complimentary soup and wine pairings. On Friday, January 9th, taste our featured Cream of Mushroom soup and Pinot Noir Argentina 2005 pairing from noon to 5pm. Deli case stocked with assorted cheese and salami for picnicking and picnic grounds available.Visit www.chumeiavineyards.com

Pinot Wines - Your Basic Orientation

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 15:37:07 -0800
Your basic orientation to pinot wines, including pinot noir wines, with definitions, examples, and tasting notes

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