Photo: Kelsey Curtis via Unsplash
When it comes to healthy living, wine--and alcohol in general--often doesn't fit into the picture. Whether you're counting calories or just trying to keep your alcohol consumption light, an abstract wine label can leave you wondering what the heck you're actually consuming and what it might mean for your health. Luckily, you really only need to know one thing: Alcohol content matters! When you see that little percentage on a wine label, pay attention.
Alcohol content signals a few things. First of all, it's the primary way to decide whether or not a wine is high in calories. Because alcohol is produced with sugars (in wine's case, natural grape sugars), we know that wines with a larger alcohol content (15% +) may contain left over sugar (called residual sugar) because the yeast used in the fermentation process has been exhausted. Remember, yeast eats sugar--kind of like Ms. Pac-man--during the fermentation process, and the bioproduct is alcohol. Wines that contain this left over...
October is the perfect time to binge watch (again) season three of Netflix’s Stranger Things. I mean, what could be more Halloween-adjacent than a little weird and retro romp through Demagorgon-infested Hawkins, Indiana? Exactly.
Season three of Stranger Things brings the advent of The Mall, that glorious beacon of the 1980s. It’s new, it’s flashy, it’s...strange! Everyone in Hawkins loves it and the Starcourt Mall is really the center of some of the juiciest, most climactic moments in the season.
In the final scenes of the season, the Stranger Things gang splits up into smaller groups to more effectively kick the Mind Flayer's butt. Each group gets a code name to communicate with the others over walkie talkie: The Griswold Family, The Scoops Troop, and Bald Eagle (of course!). So, in the spirit of trying new and strange things, I’m recommending a super off-the-beaten-path wine to pair with each of the Stranger Things factions that face the Mind Flayer in this spooky and totally rad...
Photo: Jo Jo
Sure, you could have beer at your next barbecue. But why not play the wild card and pair your smokey outdoor eats with WINE?
Pairing wine to grilled meats and vegetables is a lot easier than you think. Just make sure neither the food nor the drink overpowers the other. So, if you've got a super savory marinated steak, you'll need a heartier wine--like a Cabernet or Zinfandel--to stand up to its big ole flavor. Similarly, try a lighter bodied wine that's full of fruit when enjoying the more delicate flavors of grilled zucchini or pork chops.
Pro tip: Try chilling light-bodied reds (Pinot Noir, Gamay, Frappato, lighter Nebbiolos) before serving them. They'll taste extra fresh and keep you cool while you man the grill.
Below are some of my favorite red wines to grill and chill with in the summertime, complete with some handy little pairing ideas:
1. Elk Cove 'Estate' Pinot Noir Rosé | Willamette Valley, Oregon
This sunset-colored rosé of Pinot Noir is all juicy, tart cherry and rose petals...
Photo: spotted at Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
When you first start learning about wine, it can feel a little freaky to drop $20 or $30 on what you’ve heard is a “nice” bottle.
Wine labels aren’t always forthcoming (or even in your own language!), so you could be left fending for yourself, taking anyone and everyone’s advice and just defaulting to what’s most expensive. Because what the heck do YOU know?
But that, my friend, is no way to live. And! There are plenty of affordable wines out there (like, cheaper-than-a-cocktail affordable!) that are truly delicious and compromise nothing in the way of value. I’m here to clue you in! Once you’ve got these 3 wines in your back pocket, you’ll start developing your palate and gain the confidence and courage to continue learning and seeking out other wines. Maybe even some of those “nice” bottles? It’s all up to you.
Here are 3 wines under $12 that you should try:
1. Evolúció (Dry) Furmint | Tokaj, Hungary
Furmint is the most prolific grape in Hungary, and you’ll usually find it featured...