People have many choices of beverages to drink during the holidays, but one drink stands apart from the rest – Christmas wines. Not only is wine the most consumed beverage at holiday events, but it is also a common gift. Today, consumers have a huge variety of holiday wines to select from for the holidays, but the task is not easy.
If you were to ask 10 wine experts about the best wines for the holiday season, you would probably get 50 different answers - all unique. There are many types of holiday wines available. Some people may just pick the wine on the top shelf, believing it must have been put there because it’s the best; others choose the cheapest wine, and yet others pick wine by the shape of the bottle, or something even more obscure. If you are confused as to which type of wine to gift or consume during the holidays, here are some tips.
Your budget: During the holiday season, people tend to consume a lot of holiday wine, and, therefore, you really should have a budget so that you won’t have the blues in January. In general, you should avoid wines that cost less than $10 as they tend to be sweet and heavy in calories.
White Wines Under $20
We have great white wines that you can purchase under $20.00, and they include the following:
Best Christmas Wines
If you plan to have a turkey on Christmas day, stick to the classics. They are versatile and can be paired with many foods. Some great classic Christmas wines include:
- 2018 WALLULA VINEYARD RIESLING
- 2016 HAHN HILL VINEYARD ICE WINE RIESLING
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CHARDONNAY
- 2018 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR
Wines With Low Alcohol Content
During the holiday season, people usually drink way too much and besides developing hangovers, there is also a risk of car accidents, falls, and missing other festivities. You can select a red wine with low alcohol content. Choices include the following:
- 2019 RAINSTORM PINOT GRIS
- 2020 SWEET RIESLING
- 2018 VIN DE GLACIÈRE RIESLING
- 2018 HAHN HILL VINEYARD CHENIN BLANC
Something Bubbly for the Holiday Season
No holiday season is complete without some bubbly. It is perhaps the first drink of choice during any festive event and the majority of people love sparkling wines. There are many affordable sparkling wines on the market, and they include the following:
Romance in the Air
During the holiday season, there seems to always be romance in the air. If you are planning something romantic, like an engagement, wedding, or celebrating an anniversary during the festive season, here are some special wines that you may want to consider:
- 2012 SELENIUM VINEYARD NOBLE WINE
- 2015 THICK SKINNED RED MOUNTAIN
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON
- 2020 RAINSTORM PINOT NOIR ROSÉ
There is a wine for almost everyone, especially during the holiday season. Because of the vast number of wines, it can get confusing as to which ones to buy. If you want a wine that pairs with your food, first read what the experts recommend.
The best advice is to speak to the vendor for recommendations and always buy one bottle first. If you like it, you can always purchase more later. Pacific Rim & Company will be more than happy to assist you in winemaking decisions this holiday season. Call them today at 1-503-863-5454.
The sweetness of red blend wine depends on the amount of residual sugar. During fermentation of the grapes, if all the sugar is not converted to alcohol, then the residual sugar left behind will make the wine sweet. When it comes to answering the question, “Is red blend wine sweet?” The answer is that there is a range of sweetness - from sweet and mildly sweet to dry.
There is a huge demand right now for sweet red blend wines, and, in the USA, California is the most prolific producer of these wine types. It appears that wine consumers today are finding sweeter wines preferable, which include fruity red blend wines. However, Washington State has also seen a boost in the production of sweet red blend wines.
How Much Sugar is in Red Blend Wine?
It all depends on the type of red blend wine you consume. Are red blends sweet? A single glass of red blend wine can contain anywhere from 1 gram of sugar (quarter teaspoon) to nearly 15 grams (4 teaspoons).
Does the Label State the Amount of Residual Sugar in Red Blend Wine?
Are red blends sweet? Unfortunately, there is no mandatory requirement that wine producers have to state the amount of residual sugar. Some producers do, but many do not. If the label states the residual sugar content, it may be expressed as grams/100 ml, grams/liter, or as a percentage.
So How Can You Tell If the Red Blend Wine is Sweet?
In general, the following rule applies to help answer the question, “Are red blends sweet?”:
- If the wine is inexpensive (usually less than $10 a bottle), then it will likely have residual sugar that varies from 2-15 grams/liter. There are exceptions to this rule, but, for the most part, you can't go wrong with this description. If you are looking for sweet wine, often the more inexpensive wines will be desirable.
- If you buy a moderately priced wine, costing between $14-$25, it will generally have less residual sugar, but, typically, the grapes used will be of better quality. These wines may not taste as sweet but will likely be fruitier.
Some Sweet and Not-So-Sweet Red Blend Wines?
- Pinot Noir has low sugar and is considered a dry wine. A glass of Pinot Noir will have about one gram of sugar. You can use Pinot Noir in a red wine blend.
- Merlot has low residual sugar levels and is also considered to be a dry wine. A glass of merlot will have about one gram of sugar. Merlot is often used in red wine blends.
- Malbec is a full-bodied wine with high alcohol content, thereby less residual sugar. A glass of Malbec will have about 1.5 grams of sugar. Malbec is often used as a blending grape.
- Zinfandel is a light wine with fruity flavors. It is a medium-sweet wine that contains about 10-20 grams of sugar per glass. Zinfandel is also often used as a blending grape, particularly with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.
- Both Grenache and Shiraz are light-bodied wines with fruity flavors. A glass of Shiraz or Grenache will contain about 20 grams of sugar. Both are used in blending red wine. Shiraz has a fresh and fruity flavor that is often chosen to help balance weaker grape varietals in red blended wines.
- Port wines tend to be higher in sugar content.
Most sweet sparkling wines will have a sugar content between 17 to 50 grams per liter.
Red blend wines are a combination of grapes. So, is red blend wine sweet? It depends on the mixture. It can be sweet, or it can be less sweet, depending on which other wines are used in its blending. For answers to all your wine questions, call the people who are passionate about everything involved in the winemaking processes, Pacific Rim & Company, at 1-503-863-5454.
Winemaking is many centuries old and evaluation of grape residue from ancient pottery has revealed that in the past several types of grapes were used to make this social drink. Fast forward to the 21st Century and now the term “red blend” is frequently used to label wine and its popularity is increasing at a rapid pace. But what does red blend wine mean?
What is a red blend wine? In the simplest terms, any red wine that is manufactured from more than one variety of red grapes is known as a red blend. This practice started when winegrowers had different types of grapes that were leftover and, rather than discard them, they simply mixed them to produce a wine, which we now refer to as “red blend.”
Some people tend to feel that red blends are low-quality wines or inexpensive table wines because they are made from poor-quality “leftover” grapes. That is not the case at all. Many of your favorite wines may be a red blend wine unbeknownst to you.
It should be noted that some red blends also have their own specific requirements, even though they are composed of several varieties of grapes. For example, in many wine-growing regions of Europe, the practice of combining grapes is very common. The Bordeaux blend comprises a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.
Today, many red wine blends are of extremely good quality, offering delicious and unique flavors as a result of the perfect matching of the different varieties of grapes. It is an art to match the grapes correctly.
What does red blend wine mean? In most winemaking regions, laws mandate that the wine be made from a specified variety of grapes and thus the label will say BLEND. If the winemaking process is not blended according to these specifications, it is called a generic wine or a table wine.
Where Do Red Blends Come From?
What is a red blend wine? Red blends have traditionally been made in the Old World (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc.), but today they are also made in the New World (South Africa, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, etc.). In North America, there is a huge production of slightly sweeter red wine blends made in California and Washington State. Some of the most popular sweet red wines fall into this group.
What Foods Pair Best with Red Wine Blends?
In general, the heavier red blend wines tend to be acidic and have higher alcohol content, and are best paired with meat dishes like lamb, sausage, venison, duck, and chicken. The more moderate or lighter red blends are best paired with foods like pasta, fish, bacon, mild Indian, Mexican, Thai dishes, etc.
Foods that should be avoided with red blends include seafood and salads.
What does red blend wine mean? What is a red blend wine? Red wine blends are very popular in the U.S. primarily because they are of low acidity, tend to be sweeter, have fruity flavors, are affordable, and are easy to drink. Best of all, if you have any red blend wine leftover, you can use it for cooking. Call Pacific Rim & Company to get all your wine questions answered. They have a staff who is passionate about wine; call them today at 1-503-863-5454.
Red blend wine is defined as any wine that is not made from any specific variety of grapes; or, in other words, a red blend is a wine made from several varieties of grapes. In fact, a significant number of red wines are blended. In California, the law requires that the manufacturer include 75 percent of the grape variety on the label.
The other 25 percent may be from one or more varieties of grapes. For example, the acrid taste of tannins in Cabernet can be softened with a touch of Merlot, and to bring flair to a less expensive Pinot, a few drops of Syrah may do wonders.
In general, red blend wines are mass-produced because they appeal to many wine drinkers. Today, the popularity of red wine blends is soaring and they are in very high demand from consumers.
Are Red Wine Blends Good For You?
Over the years, many studies have reported that red wines (including red blend wines) contain potent antioxidants which can improve health. Some of the health benefits of drinking red wine blends include the following.
Red wine can:
- Decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Lower the concentration of bad cholesterol in the body
- Aid in lowering blood pressure
- Decrease the risk of developing certain cancers
- Reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes
How Does a Red Blend Wine Offer Health Benefits?
It is believed that red wine blends derive health benefits from their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering effects. Red grapes of all varieties are rich in resveratrol, a naturally occurring antioxidant found in grape skin.
Researchers have observed that antioxidants can lower oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress has been associated with many disorders, including heart disease and cancer.
How Much Red Blend Wine Should You Consume?
For good health, it is important to consume wines in moderation. Too much wine can lead to liver damage. To be on the safe side, experts recommend that most people should drink no more than one or two glasses of red wine blends per day.
It is important not to rely only on red blend wine for good health. At the same time, one should always eat a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits and contains less red meat. A little bit of exercise is also highly recommended.
Red Wine Blends
Red blend wines are best paired with meat dishes, like steak, lamb, pork, liver, etc. if the food is spicy and hot, go for the bolder red wine blends. For any questions, you may have, Pacific Rim & Company has knowledgeable representatives who can provide you with answers. Call them today at 1-503-863-5454.
During the holiday season, many people will be hosting parties at their homes for friends and families. Unfortunately for many guests, it is the same old thing; there is the usual turkey, lots of snacks, ample desserts, and tons of alcohol.
So why not do something different this year, like hosting your own holiday wine tasting party? This will give your guests something unique to look forward to. So how do you get started for your wine tasting party?
Here's what you'll need:
- Wine glasses: One of the first things you will need for a holiday wine tasting party is some decent wine glasses. Good wine glasses have the power to amplify the aroma, flavor, and texture of wines. If this is your first wine tasting party and if money is no object, consider buying wine glasses from Zalto or Riedel. These specialty wine glasses are designed just to enhance the elements of the wine.
- Corkscrews: Next, make sure you have at least half a dozen corkscrews.
- Accessories: You will need utensils, small plates, and napkins.
- Decorations: Choose your tablecloth wisely and place a small bouquet of fresh flowers at each table.
The Wine Selection
You want to think up a theme for your holiday wine tasting party. You can select wines from a particular region, like the West Coast, or go international with wines from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, South America, France, or Germany, just to name a few countries that offer wonderful wines. Or perhaps you may want to serve only red wines from California or only white wines from Washington state.
Another option is to go bubbly with sparkling wines from France. The best recommendation is that only one person purchases the wine; if you let the guests bring their own wine choice, the party may lose its charm and surprise. For wine tasting party ideas, you could have a blind holiday wine tasting party. Make sure you cover up all the wine labels so no one knows which wine is which.
How Much Wine Do You Need?
This all depends on the number of guests you will be inviting. First, for wine tasting, it is recommended that you have about 5-7 bottles of different wines for a small group (6-8 people). In general, for wine tasting, one bottle will comfortably serve 5-6 guests. To be on the safe side for a small party of 6-8 people, have two bottles of each wine. Always have more wine than you think you will need; you can rest assured wine leftovers are never an issue.
Possible Wine Choices For Wine-Tasting Parties
- Chenin Blanc
- Dessert Wines
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Noir
- Rosé / Clarieting
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Shiraz / Syrah
- Vinho Verde
Foods That Are Perfect For a Wine Tasting Party:
The first thing to remember is to have ample food. Holiday wine tasting parties fail when there is not enough food to go around. No matter what you serve, have a little more than what you think you will need. You can either make the food at home or have it catered. For wine tasting, you have numerous food options, which include the following:
- Bread, including French baguette, sourdough, garlic bread, or European bread
- Cheese and crackers. Have both plain and salted crackers with at least 4-6 varieties of cheeses (e.g., cheddar, parmesan, gruyere, brie, goat, Roquefort) – the more variety of cheeses and crackers, the better.
- A variety of nuts, including cashews, Pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts. Nuts complement the flavors of wine.
- A variety of fresh and dried fruits, like apples, pears, apricots, grapes, berries, and nectarines.
- Pates that can be consumed with bread or crackers. Try and have both veggie and meat pates so that everyone can enjoy the mix.
- Sliced meats. If you want your guests to attain nirvana, have some variety of sliced meats, like Chorizo, Prosciutto, Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Chicken roll, Turkey, and Sliced Beef.
To complement the bread and crackers, also have some dips, such as:
- Spicy Avocado Hummus
- Buffalo chicken dip
- Pizza dip
- Pimento cheese dip
Finally, have several varieties of both light and dark chocolates. You cannot go wrong with Cadburys. You can mix the different types of chocolates and your party will end up on a high note.
Wine tasting party ideas include having the right type of soft music playing in the background. Don’t have the music too loud as you do not want it to overwhelm the conversations.
Finally, create an inviting atmosphere with soft lights and unscented candles. To end the party, offer the classic American nightcap - a cup of coffee with cream and sugar (have both regular sugar and substitute sugar on hand for diabetics).
Pacific Rim & Company are wine specialists and wine enthusiasts. They can offer an abundance of exciting holiday wine tasting party ideas. Give them a call today at 1-503-863-5454.