Friday, January 30, 2009

Wine at the Super Bowl. yessssss.

OK, I'll admit it. This may come as a shocker, but I am not a football fan.

Go ahead, call me un-American.

The sport is like war. Men dress up in several inches of thick padding so they don't KILL each other on the field when they tackle their opponents. I sit through the university games because I know a few of the players, and the school spirit makes it tolerable. But watching football on TV is like torture. I won't even sit through a game for the Super Bowl commercials.

Now, Super Bowl Sangria. That is something I am willing to sit through a game for.

I don't know what exactly makes this Sangria more Super Bowl friendly than others, but I'll take it. On ice, please.


3 cups dry red wine
2 cups 7-Up
2 cups orange juice
2 sliced limes
2 sliced lemons
2 sliced oranges
1 sliced apple (sweet variety)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Cointreau
2 tbls grenadine
2 tbls lemon juice
2 tbls lime juice

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Boxed Wine.

Friend or foe?

I used to think wine from a box was juvenile. Wine, to me, is the epitome of class. Refined, elegant, cultured. Drinking wine makes me feel classy. And class comes in glass -- not cardboard and plastic.

But pro-boxers explain that the plastic bag in boxed wine, which holds all the liquid, is usually sealed airtight (unlike those classy bottles, where wine quality dwindles from oxygenation after a few days).

Well, I suppose that makes sense. Especially for lightweights like me who can't finish a bottle in just a few days; and what a terrible waste that is! Oh, I get such a guilt trip with every wasted ounce of wine I have to throw away because I couldn't finish it just one day earlier. Is it not better to sacrifice your vision of class? To swallow that lump of pride and reduce your wasteful ways?

Or is that compromise even necessary? Can boxed wine be... classy?

A post by Al Dente unveils the pinzon wine stand.

Genius. Brilliant. Everything in the world is right again. I can decorate my once-trashy wine box with rustic curled iron shaped in an "elegant scroll motif." I can serve guests Merlot from a plastic spout, relishing in the fact that it is raised 2 1/2 inches off the kitchen counter by a stand that "adds distinction to any boxed wine." I will sleep in peace at night knowing that I have retained my classy standards AND saved countless quarter-filled bottles of wine from losing their lives to the mean mix of oxygenation and low-alcohol tolerance. There is a solution. There is hope.

Thank. Goodness.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The beginning.

Sitting at the kid's table during Thanksgiving, year after year, I would stare longingly at the adult table. I watched with envious eyes as my relatives sipped on classy, long-stemmed glasses full of dark purple juice. I didn't necessarily like the taste of wine as a kid, but I forced myself to enjoy any bitter bit my mom could sneak me.

Thankfully, my palate has evolved since then.

FIU offers a wine technology course taught by Master Sommlier Laura DePasquale. It goes without saying that I jumped at the chance to enroll once I was legal; thus my love affair with wine took off. Taking wine tech was like opening my eyes – and my taste buds – to a universe I didn’t even know existed. Wine is a culturally uniting experience. Every taste has a thriving history and a life behind it. And the life of wine is a truly fascinating thing.

So I’m not drinking any first growth Bordeaux’s (blame my budget, not my taste), but I do know what I like. And that’s what I intend to write about here.