Saturday, February 19, 2011

5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life - with Wine

Came across these great, but simple, ideas in my latest issue of Food and Wine magazine. Thought I'd share them with you, so you too can simplify your wine life.

1 - Who hasn't gone to a fancy restaurant, then spent 20 minutes trying to figure out which wine will work best for the group? I'm glad to see that Food and Wine is spreading the word! I figured this out for myself just a few weeks ago and give it two thumbs up! Look for the winelist online before you leave for the restaurant. That way, you'll already know what they offer, and you can quickly come up with some suggestions for your table. Saves time and aggravation.

2 - Buy wine sealed with a screw cap! Yes! Why? Screw caps are not just for Boones' Farm anymore! More wineries are making decent wines available with a screw cap. Once opened, they seal better than cork and will last just a little bit longer (though not in my house.) Recommend the Nautilus Estate Sauvignon Blanc, a lovely New Zealand white with a light grapefruit scent($17 retail).

3 - Vintage, schmintage! Don't worry about good or bad vintages. Instead, take the time to develop your own selection of favorite wine producers. (Of course you can refer to my blog for suggestions on which wines to try, but keep a list of your own favorites.) Look for the wineries that make excellent wines year after year.
4 - Find an affordable wine you like, buy it by the case and make it your house wine. I've done this in the past, and continue to do it, but I never made the connection between "affordable wine I like" and making it my "house wine". I like that idea! In addition to always having a good wine available, you'll save money when you buy it by the case. Locally, our wine shops and grocery stores offer a 10% discount whenever you buy a case of wine (mix or match).
5 - GET RID OF THE ANNOYING CORKSCREW WITH THE WING-LIKE ARMS AND WOBBLY SCREW! (OOPS, sorry, was I yelling?) It takes up too much space in your kitchen drawer. It's always a little bit of a pain to use, and it's sooooo 1997.

We picked up a corkscrew like this waiter's corkscrew at one of the wineries we visited. It was highly recommended by the owner. After more than three years of heavy use, it has yet to develop any wobbly bits. It's easy to use, and includes a foil cutter. Fast, efficient and takes up little drawer space. You will love it.

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