10 Facts About Different of Oaks for Barrel Aging

  1. It makes wine taste smoother and less astringent through the slow ingress of oxygen.
  2. It causes wines to taste creamier due to the metabolic reactions called malolactic fermentation that occur through a suitable environment.
  3. Some flavour compounds from oak include furfural dried fruit featuring burned almond and burnt sugar, guaiacol featuring burn overtones, oak lactone woody featuring dill and coconut tones, eugenol spices featuring cloves and smoke character, vanillian featuring vanilla, and syringaldehyde featuring vanilla-like tones.
  4. The two most popular species of oaks for winemaking are American and European oak
  5. American oak is used for bolder, structured wines like Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It breaks down wood sugar giving caramel, toffee, and brown sugar notes. It is heavy in lactones which give woody and tropical  flavours.
  6. Eurpoean oak is better for lighter wines that require subtly like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  7. Hungarian oak has substantial tannin and is rich in eugenols which gives flavours of spice and creates a richer mouthfeel.
  8. Slavonian oak is used in a variety of Italian wines and gives more sweetness and less tannin
  9. French oak tends to have a slightly softer impact, with subtle spice. Generally tighter grained, except for Limousin, French oak will impart smooth but substantial tannin.
  10. Japanese oak is associated with incense, citrus, coconut and sandalwood.


Spiced Cider Punch Recipe

Cook sugar, spices and 1 cup cider in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir in juice concentrate until melted.

Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in remaining cider.

Refrigerate, covered, until cold.

To serve, pour cider mixture into a punch bowl. Stir in ginger ale. If desired, garnish with orange slices

Yield: 12 servings (about 3-1/4 quarts).


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 bottle (64 ounces) apple cider orjuice, divided
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 liter ginger ale, chilled
  • Orange slices, optional


The Differences Between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio

  1. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the exact same grape variety. It is a white grape, with a grayish / brownish pink skin (hence the name gris, or gray, in French).
  2. The grape originated in France and is from the Burgundian Pinot Family.
  3. In France the grape is known as a Pinot Gris and in Italy it is known as a Pinot Grigio.
  4. While French in origin, the Italians brought fame and global recognition to the variety.
  5. Pinot Grigio Wines are typically lighter bodied, fresh, crisp, and have vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas with a touch of spice.
  6. Pinot Gris wines are full-bodied, richer, spicier, more viscous in texture, and have greater ageing potential.
  7. Pinot Gris also manifests itself in late harvest botrytis styles such as Vendages Tardives (VT) and the intensely rich, sweet and rare Sélection de Grains Noble (SGN).
  8. Pinot Grigio is for easy-drinking and early consumption.
  9. Pinot Grigio is lighter and suited for enjoying with lighter dishes such as grilled shrimp, fish or light appetizers.
  10. Pinot Gris works with heartier foods, such as a veal chop, rabbit stew, roast port, chicken casseroles as well as hard cheeses.

Zinfandel, The Most Underrated BBQ Wine

  1. Though often associated with California, Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to the Croatian grape, Crljenak Kaštelanski and a Southern Italy grape Primitivo.
  1. Around 1980, White Zinfandel achieved widespread popularity in America as a slightly sweet blush wine. In fact, this popularity was so strong that most think there is actually a grape called “White Zinfandel.”


  1. Despite White Zinfandel being made with the Zinfandel grape it is very different that the red wine. White Zinfandel is a blush, semi-sweet wine, made by removing the juice from the skins during fermentation and adding sugar.


  1. “Old vine” Zinfandel is particularly sought after as it intensifies the fruit and spice flavors of the grape.
  1. During prohibition, Zinfandel was popular with home winemakers and was used for making sacramental wine. Zinfandel was more popular locally as it was more likely to rot after a period making it less popular to send to the East Coast.


  1. Zinfandel is a sun-loving grape and can become very ripe on the vine, which, in turn, can lead to high alcohol levels.
  1. During the Gold Rush in the 1850’s Zinfandel made its way to California.  Throughout the 20th century, California has been recognized as having the most exceptional regions for growing this grape.


  1. When Zinfandel wine ages, it sometimes tastes “hot” (predominantly alcoholic) and is often at its best within 3-5 years of its vintage.

The mix of sweet fruit and spice makes Zinfandel a perfect varietal for anything on the grill. Try it at your next BBQ and enjoy!



Seven Facts About Sauvignon Blanc!

  1. Sauvignon Blanc is the 8th most planted wine grape in the world.        
  2. Sauvignon Blanc originates from Central Loire in France which makes the Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume mineral styles food-friendly and versatile.
  3. Aromatic styles with grass and tropical fruit fragrance originated from Marlborough New Zealand with similar styles made in South Africa, Chile and California. The most known exponent is Cloudy Bay.
  4. During fermentation a natural sulphur compound named thiols are created giving the wine that passion fruit/mango smell.
  5. The grass and green pepper flavours come from a natural grape compound called methoxy-pyrazine which is also found in green bell peppers
  6. Cabernet franc and Sauvignon Blanc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon
  7. The flavour of Sauvignon Blanc changes depending which materials are used to store it. Stainless steel Sauvignon Blanc is fresh, fruity, and for early drinking. Oaked Sauvignon Blanc is less aromatic, textured, and can be aged.

10 Facts About Muller Thurgau

Here Are 10 Facts About The Wine Varietal Muller Thurgau!

  1. Muller Thurgau is a blend of Madeleine Royale and Riesling
  2. It’s named after Thurgau, Switzerland, by the Swiss botanist Hermann Müller
  3. It was Germany’s most planted grape until 1979
  4. Grown in a wide range of climates
  5. The grape is second to Riesling in German plantings
  6. There are 104,000 acres cultivated worldwide
  7. Most widely planted ‘new’ varietal since the late 19th century
  8. High yield and low cost making it very popular to produce
  9. Early Ripening varietal
  10. Best consumed young

15 Wine and Cheese Pairings That Are a Must!

The delicious combination of wine and cheese is undeniable. The next time you’re in the mood for a cheese platter party give some of these a go!

  1. Prosecco and Parmesan                                                        
  2. Port and Bleu Cheese
  3. Monterey Jack and Merlot
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon and Aged Gouda
  5. Chardonnay and Gruyere
  6. Riesling and Ricotta
  7. Rioja and Manchego
  8. Mozzarella and Pinot Grigio
  9. Malbec and aged cheddar
  10. Gewurztraminer and Morbier
  11. Beaujolais and Feta
  12. Pinot Noir and Brie
  13. Viognier and Jarlsberg
  14. Sauternes and Fondue
  15. Sauvignon Blanc and Goat Cheese


10 Reasons Why Wine Bottles Have an Indent on The Bottom

Ever wondered what that indent at the bottom of your wine bottle is for? Most wine bottles have it but the reason behind it isn’t clear and has often remained a mystery. Here are the ten best theories as to what it’s for.

  1. It makes it easier to hold the bottle
  • If you place your thumb on the indent as you grasp the bottle it gives you a better hold
  1. It helps the bottle stand upright
  • Glassblowers used the indent for safety reasons, so the seal doesn’t push out on the bottom cutting people
  1. It used to indicate a well-crafted wine
  • That is not the case today
  1. It creates the deception that a bottle is larger than it is
  • It’s an optical illusion!
  1. It collects sediment
  • Some think that the angle of the indent helps to collects sediments from the wine so that it’s not poured into a glass
  1. It cools the wine faster
  • Some think it increases the surface area allowing more contact with ice
  1. It stopped a bottle from Refilling
  • According to legend taverns used to have a metal pin that would puncture the bottom of a bottle to prevent it from being refilled. This is the most…. creative theory.
  1. It makes cleaning the bottle more efficient
  • The water spreads evenly when it’s shot to the bottom
  1. It helps the bottle handle high pressure
  • Helps with holding carbonated wine, champagne and prosecco
  1. It makes organizing your wine easier
  • It makes stacking your wine a breeze

7 Facts About Riesling

  1. Riesling belongs to one of the oldest grape varietals originating in Germany in 1435
  2. Riesling grape vines have a thicker bark than most making it ideal for growing in cooler climates
  3. It has a lower alcohol content than most varietals
  4. It can be used to make dry, semi-sweet, or sweet white wines
  5. Riesling are well known for helping to clear the palette after a spicy meal
  6. Did you know their is such a thing as a red Riesling?! It’s made form a mutation of white grape varietal
  7. It makes an excellent desert wine!

Red Wine Sangria Recipe

Ever wondered how to make sangria? Not too sure where to start? With Sangria the best kinds of red wines to choose from are Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Try to look for ones that have berry or fruit flavours to them that way the fruit you add will compliment, not clash.

  1. First add your choice of red wine into a pitcher
  2. Then add fresh squeezed fruit juice from 2 lemons, 1 lime, and 1 orange
  3. add 1/2 cup agave nector for sweetness
  4. 1 litre club soda or sparkling water (can use a flavoured sparkling water for extra bite)
  5. Add some slices of fruit that compliment the flavours in your wine. You could add apple slices, oranges, pomegranate seeds, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, the list goes on!