Archive for the ‘special occasion wine’ Category

The Wine Lady Suggests Wines for Easter Dinner

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Open That Bottle! Join the International OTBN Wine Event

old btlsI’ve seen it way too often. Casual or serious wine collectors have cellars where they carefully guard their prized wine collection. They delight in telling me about their 1982 French, or 1987 Napa, or whatever. When I ask, “So have you enjoyed any lately?”, they invariably say, “I’m waiting for the right occasion to open something.”

Guess what? Any occasion is the right occasion for a great bottle of wine! If you keep putting off the pleasure because it’s not a good enough occasion, you may just find that… you’ve run out of occasions!  And worse yet, you’ve run out of drinkable wine. Because too often, cellar dorks keep their wines cloistered beyond the point when they were at their peak. I can’t tell you how often I’ve sat around a table swirling my 19whatever and heard, “Damn, I should have opened this last year.” Or the year before, or the year before that.

So here’s a great way to avoid all that sorrow. Participate in this year’s Open That Bottle Night on February 26, 2011. I read about this on one of my favorite blob/websites,, which is manned by a group of very fun Australian and New Zealand wine freaks. They reminded me that the last Saturday in February has become an International Wine Event. Anyone and everyone can participate at a restaurant or in someone’s home. The only stipulation is that everyone bring a bottle they’ve been waiting to open. “It could be a special vintage, your dad’s favourite wine, the wine you enjoyed on your first date or one you bought on a memorable visit to a winery. Or if you aren’t saving a wine (wine is meant to be drunk after all!) OTBN is a good excuse to go out and buy a bottle and treat yourself.”

My feelings exactly. So start planning your evening now. Call up some family and friends — anyone who also enjoys good wine (that leaves out half my family). Commandeer someone’s dining room table (the biggest you can find), and start searching your recipes for a wine-friendly dish to bring along with your wine.

It sounds like a blast. Stay tuned, because I’ll report on our OTBN and I’d like to hear some comments on yours, too. Cheers!

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Warm and Spicy Wine — Really?

spiced wineI’m about to do something wild and crazy: I’m going to throw spices, fruit and sugar — yes, sugar! — into perfectly good wine. Will it kill a bottle of otherwise decent wine? Maybe. Is there a reason I’m going to violate this wine? Well of course there is.

This winter I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Spiced Wine, or Mulled Wine. There must have been an article in a woman’s magazine or a TV talk show, because Spiced Wine is suddenly all the rage. Everyone wants to try it, and expects to buy some Spiced Wine already bottled and ready to pour.

“Not so fast,” I say. “If you’re going to drink some crazy concoction, or a weird and wonderful mixture of anything, you better be mixing it yourself.”

Why? Because then you know what’s in it. I feel the same way about Sangria, too. I refuse to drink some off-the-shelf Sangria made from horribly cheap wine, dolled up with added chemicals, sugar and artificial flavoring. If I’m going to drink some blended rubbish, then I’m gonna be doing the blending.

So what about the Spiced Wine? I know it has a long, long tradition in Europe and England, because it’s the perfect drink to warm you up on a frigid winter evening. Practically every country in the Northern Hemisphere has their own variation on spices, fruits and booze, but I intend to make a quasi-English version, because that’s where my ancestors hail from. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Grateful “Thank You” to Wine

wineYou may have heard about a new book, “365 Thank You’s,” written by a guy named John Kralik. The story goes that he was hitting rock bottom in his life, and instead of inviting himself to the world’s biggest Pity Party, he decided to focus on the things in his life for which he could be grateful. Every day for a year, he forced himself to find someone he could thank with a hand-written note, and in so doing turned his life around.

His point is well taken. I’ve discovered that finding something (or many things) to be grateful for is the best way to stop being ridiculously self-absorbed and start thanking God and my lucky stars for all the ways I’ve been blessed.

So today I want to be thankful for wine. Not just for drinking it, although that has been fun. Sometimes really fun.

And not just for selling it, although that has provided me with gainful employment and (usually) decent profits.

I want to be thankful for what wine does to bring people together. In my life, wine has often been the excuse for family and friends to get together, maybe for a wine taste or perhaps a dinner. We taste, we eat, we talk, we get to know each other better. Wine helps break down barriers and helps relationships grow. Wine has created the opportunity for us to connect with each other and enjoy many, many memorable moments. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wine Lady and Wines for Thanksgiving

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