Pacific Rim
November 12, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Wine Cork Crafts for the Holidays

During every holiday season, wine can play an important role, whether consumed at home or out and about at social gatherings and events. Every time you drink wine, you are left with two residuals: the empty bottle and the wine cork. The empty bottle can be recycled (and it can also be used in crafts) but what do you do with the wine cork? 

Many people save the corks in a see-through glass container. You could also, however, use them to make holiday wine cork crafts for Christmas.

wine cork crafts for the holidays

Mini Cork Christmas Trees 

One of the wine cork crafts for Christmas is the mini cork Christmas tree.  Paint both ends of the corks with Christmas colors and/or Christmas patterns.  Start with a base of five corks, gluing them together, laying side by side.  

Layer four corks in the next row (layering them so that the four rest/roll easily atop the five), then three corks, then two corks, then have one cork at the top, all in an ascending line with the single cork at the top.  

You can cut one cork in half and use it as the base of the tree, and you can find a star and glue it to the top of the Christmas tree.  Always save any trimmed cork pieces as you’re sure to be able to use them in another craft.

Pinecone Christmas Trees

Another one of several holiday wine cork crafts is the pinecone Christmas tree.  Gather some pinecones and spray them with green paint.  Use a cork as the base/stand of the “tree” and put a gold star at the top of the pinecone.

Gift Tag 

Make a gift tag from the cork by drawing a face on it, maybe gluing a bow on top of the cork’s “head” from a Christmas-y piece of fabric, and gluing a piece of cord to it, long enough to go around the bow on the package perhaps, or around the top of a gifted wine bottle.  Put a small name tag through the cord as well, listing the name of the recipient.

Hershey Santas  

Take your corks and draw a thick, black line around the middle for a belt and perhaps paint the bottom half of the cork green (a Christmas color!).  Crumble up some thin white embroidery thread and glue it halfway around the bottom, like a skirt.  Add some more crumbled white thread at the top of the cork for hair.  

Draw a nose and eyes on, and then glue a Hershey’s chocolate kiss (Christmas kisses, of course!) on top.  Add a small cotton top to the kiss as if it were the top of a hat.  Be careful how you glue the Hershey’s kiss on – don’t use too much glue as someone might want to disassemble it and eat the chocolate candy sooner or later!

Hanging Heart

Take about 40 or 50 corks and pattern them in the shape of a heart.  Once you have the heart-sized the way you want it, glue them all together.  Glue a cord for hanging to the back of the heart and you can hang it anywhere.  You can leave it the natural cork color, or you can paint it red, or any color you choose.  The fact that the corks are lightweight will help keep this heart together and also allow it to be hung in a lot of places.

You can also make a Christmas wreath and Christmas reindeer holiday wine cork crafts, too (look online to find instructions).  Before you can make any wine cork crafts for Christmas from wine corks, though, you first need to start collecting them. 

You will need lots and lots of corks; therefore, you (and your family and friends) will need to drink lots and lots of wine.  That’s not a hard task, right?  You can Google and/or YouTube cork crafts to get dozens of more ideas.  Cork is a wonderful material to work with, as it’s lightweight and pliable.  

Call Pacific Rim & Company today at 1-503-863-5454 and order some wine to help you get started!

Time Posted: Nov 12, 2021 at 7:12 AM Permalink to Wine Cork Crafts for the Holidays Permalink
Pacific Rim
November 8, 2021 | Pacific Rim

How to Master the Art and Etiquette of Gifting Wine

The holiday season will be upon us in no time at all. During this season, gift-giving is a common practice both at home and in the workplace. For most people, gift-giving is an awkward ordeal because you never know how much to spend on a gift and if the other person will like your gift. Can you go wrong when gifting wine bottles? Probably not.

gifting wine bottles in a basket

Consider buying wine as a gift and you will not regret it. There are all types of wine, and they make a great gift for almost any occasion. You can match the wine to the individual’s personality and, maybe more importantly, wines are affordable. So, what type of wine should you gift?

If the event is an anniversary or a celebration, go with champagne (or other sparkling wine). Sparkling wine screams sophistication and luxury and will make most people feel special.

Wine Gift Baskets

Another option is a wine gift basket. If you have been invited to a family party, consider a wine gift basket. There are many types of wine gift baskets, and they usually include a bottle of wine, wine accessories, and either cheese and crackers or chocolate. 

You can even add all types of delicious treats like fresh nuts, fresh fruit, or chocolate truffles to make it extra special.  Wine gift baskets can vary in price from $75 to $200.  Gifting wine is a great idea for many people and on many occasions. Plus, if you are feeling particularly DIY, you can create your own wine gift basket with a selection of products that you carefully curate yourself.

Red Wine as a Gift

When gifting wine bottles of red wine, you have plenty of choices, including the following:

  • Pinot Noir: a soft and elegant wine 
  • Malbec: full of fruity flavors
  • Bordeaux-style Blend: easy wine to drink with cherry flavor
  • Merlot: smooth wine with plummy taste and notes of chocolate
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: full-bodied with fruit flavors

White Wine as a Gift

There are many great white wines that also make great gifts. If you do not have a clue about white wines, pick up a bottle of Riesling that is moderately sweet with peach and pineapple flavors, and you will not go wrong. Other great white wines include Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, and Pinot Grigio. Buying wine as a gift works well whether you choose red or white wine.

How Much Should You Spend on a Gift of Wine?

There is no absolute answer to this question. You can buy the most inexpensive wine and many people will love it and sometimes you can buy the most expensive wine and no one will like it. When you buy wine for someone, it should come from your heart and not the pocket. 

You can walk into any wine store and ask for the most expensive bottle of wine, but there is no guarantee that the person will like it. Experts recommend spending anywhere from $15-$30 for a bottle of wine. Choose a wine that is not too sweet or too dry. 

Select something that you have tasted and know is good. Another safe bet is to go with the classics, such as Chardonnay, Riesling, or Zinfandel, and your gift will be much appreciated.

For questions about gifting wine bottles or buying wine as a gift, call Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454 and talk to a knowledgeable representative.  Our staff at Pacific Rim is passionate and enthusiastic about all things wine-related, and they will be happy to help you.  The holiday season is coming soon; stock up now and you can make your own gift baskets!

Time Posted: Nov 8, 2021 at 6:23 AM Permalink to How to Master the Art and Etiquette of Gifting Wine Permalink
Pacific Rim
October 25, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Is Riesling a Dry Wine?

Is Riesling a Dry Wine?

Riesling comes as both a sweet and dry wine. Riesling is originally a wine made from grapes grown in the Rhine region of Germany. Initially, most Riesling made was of the sweet variety. However, over the past few decades, wine drinkers' tastes have changed, and they are choosing more and more unsweetened or dry wines as their beverage of choice. Is Riesling a dry wine?

dry white wine

How dry is a Riesling?  The dryness of Riesling wine is based on the content of residual sugar left at the end of fermentation. In general, if the wine has less than 10g/liter of sugar, it is considered dry. Riesling wines that contain more than 30 grams of sugar/liter are considered sweet. Anything in between is said to be off-dry wines.

Unlike red wines, most white wines like Riesling are usually dry. Other dry white wines include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner Veltliners, and Spanish Albarino.

Where is Riesling Produced Around the World?

Today, Riesling wine is produced in many countries other than Germany, including neighboring Austria and France. Outside Europe, Riesling is produced in Australia, Chile, South Africa, and the USA (California, New York, and Washington).

Grape Acidity

Riesling wine features make it so appealing to wine drinkers, but one unique characteristic is that the grapes are quite acidic.  The grape acidity is usually due to the environment (climate) it is grown in and the minerals in the soil. In general, unripe grapes usually tend to have high acid levels, and this acidity starts to drop as they ripen. 

Overall, grapes grown in cool or temperate climates tend to be more acidic due to the lack of sunshine and warmth, which are needed to boost the grapes' pH and sugar levels. Often the wine producer will artificially increase the acidity of the wine by adding tartaric acid before fermentation. This is frequently done when grapes grown in warm climates become overripe and have high pH levels.

How Dry is a Riesling?

Is Riesling a dry wine? If you want a dry Riesling, learn to read the labels. In general, look for the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage on the label. If the ABV is less than 9%, then the wine is sweet. If the ABV is between 10-11%, then it is semi-dry and half sweet, and if the ABV is 12% or more, you have a dry wine. 

Most Riesling wines from Oregon, Washington, and California are dry. If you are buying the German Riesling, the label will say “Trocken,” which means dry. If all else fails, then simply taste the wine, and you will have your answer.

You can call Pacific Rim and Company at 1-503-863-5454 to have all your Riesling questions answered by a knowledgeable and experienced connoisseur.

Time Posted: Oct 25, 2021 at 7:49 AM Permalink to Is Riesling a Dry Wine? Permalink
Pacific Rim
October 22, 2021 | Pacific Rim

How Much Sugar is in Riesling Wine?

How Much Sugar is in Riesling Wine?

These days many people are concerned about weight gain, even wine drinkers. Hence, they all want to know the sugar content of the wine they drink. What is the Riesling sugar content? 

measuring the sugar content in wine

First, it is important to know that there are some wines with no sugar content, and at the other extreme end of the spectrum, there are wines with a lot of sugar, perhaps twice the concentration found in cola beverages. 

Second, you cannot tell the sugar content of the wine by tasting it.  The human tongue has a very low ability to detect the presence of sugar, and thus tasting is not the best way to judge the sugar content of wine. In addition, there are subjective differences in human taste; what may be very sweet to one person may be bland to another person.

Where Does the Sugar in Wine Come From?

During the fermentation process, the natural sugars from the grapes are released, the majority of which are used by yeast to make alcohol. However, some sugar is usually leftover, and this is known as residual sugar.  It is this remaining sugar that causes the sweetness of the wine. If the fermentation process is prolonged, all the sugars can be used up, and there is no residual sugar. 

These wines tend to have higher alcohol content and have a distinct bitter taste. On the other hand, if the fermentation process is short and very ripe grapes are used to make wine, there may be a lot of residual sugar leftover, which can make the wine very sweet.

Sugar and Riesling Wines

How much sugar is in Riesling wine?  Sugar in wine is classified on a scale from bone dry to very sweet.  The amount of sugar in Riesling wine depends on the type of wine you buy. The best way to tell is by reading the label to check for alcohol by volume (ABV) and residual sugar (RS) concentration. 

Unfortunately, many producers of wine do not state the RS level on the label as it is not mandated by law. But you can still tell if the wine is sweet by the ABV percentage. If the label says 8-9% ABV, this Riesling wine has low levels of alcohol and most likely is sweet. If the label says 10-11% ABV, this is a medium-dry wine, probably semi-dry and half sweet, and if the label states ABV greater than 12%, this wine has higher levels of alcohol and is not sweet.

How Many Calories Will You Acquire From Riesling Wine?

In general, if the Riesling wine is bone dry, a glass of wine will have less than 2 calories. For medium-dry Riesling wines, a glass of wine will contain about 20-30 calories, and the sweet Riesling will contain anywhere from 30-130 calories per glass.

What If the Label Does Not State the ABV or RS Content?

How much sugar is in Riesling wine? If the label does not state the ABV or RS content, how do you know if the Riesling wine is sweet?

Look for a Riesling that is less than $15. In general, less expensive Riesling wines are assumed to have some residual sugar between 3-15g. Some less expensive and sweeter Riesling wines in the U.S. include:

  1. Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling 2015
  2. Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2015 (Washington State)
  3. Hugel Riesling 2014 
  4. Eroica Riesling 2013 (Washington)
  5. Stiletto light Riesling
  6. Gray monk Riesling
  7. 2019 Sweet Riesling

If you want to avoid too much sugar in your Riesling wine, go with a bottle of slightly more expensive wine, such as:

  1. Old Vines Niagara
  2. Riesling estates
  3. Nadja’s vineyard
  4. Riesling heritage
  5. 2018 Wallula Vineyard Riesling

If you want to avoid sugar at all costs in your wine, select a Riesling with an ABV of more than 12% like:

  1. Riesling dry
  2. Riesling raw
  3. Riesling speck
  4. Riesling heritage
  5. 2018 Dry Riesling

If you are trying to avoid a lot of sugar, try dry wines.  If they don’t agree with your palette, try the medium dry/medium-sweet wines.  If you like sweet wines, enjoy them – just watch the rest of your sugar content for the day. 

What is the Riesling sugar content?  If you have any questions about the dry, medium, or sweet Riesling options, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1.503.863.5454.  They are passionate about wine, especially Riesling wines, and they are very knowledgeable about them.

Time Posted: Oct 22, 2021 at 7:56 AM Permalink to How Much Sugar is in Riesling Wine? Permalink
Pacific Rim
October 20, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Does Red Wine Help Get Rid Of Acid Reflux?

Does Red Wine Help Get Rid of Acid Reflux?

Is there such a thing as wine acid reflux? Heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux – a burning pain in the chest area) is very common in the North American population. The disorder is associated with reflux of acid backing up from the stomach into the swallowing tube (Esophagus). While some people may have chronic heartburn, most adults will experience an acute episode of heartburn at some point in their life. 

Heartburn is an unpleasant disorder because acid reflux can result in chest discomfort, burning pain in the throat, cough, and bitter taste. Often, the symptoms can be so intense that heartburn can be mistaken for a heart attack. The symptoms can wake you up from sleep and can also ruin a nice dinner at a restaurant. It is well known that one of the risk factors for heartburn is the consumption of alcohol.

Factors That Can Trigger Acid Reflux

Besides alcohol, other trigger factors for acid reflux include smoking, drinking beverages like coffee, eating acidic and spicy foods, anxiety, stress, using certain medications (such as ibuprofen), and being overweight. The symptoms of heartburn can occur at any time but are most common when lying down or sleeping.

Alcohol and Acid Reflux

Studies have shown that alcohol is a risk factor for acid reflux. The reasons why alcohol causes acid reflux include the following:

  1. The alcohol generates more production of acid in the stomach.
  2. The alcohol also makes the tissues more sensitive to acid.
  3. Alcohol relaxes the muscles around the stomach, which then causes the acid to flow back towards the throat.
  4. The combination of alcohol and smoking increases the risk of acid reflux as both act similarly.
  5. The alcohol plus any spicy or acidic foods you may be eating can also trigger acid reflux.

Wine and Acid Reflux

What is the best alcohol for acid reflux?  If you are a wine drinker and at risk for acid reflux, here are some options:

  1. Drink small amounts of wine at a time.
  2. Avoid acidic wines; learn to read labels and avoid wines with more than 9 percent ABV.
  3. In general, white wines tend to be more acidic than red wines. Try drinking mild, red wines.
  4. Do not drink wine right before bedtime.
  5. Avoid drinking wine while eating spicy and acidic foods as both are triggers for acid reflux.
  6. Do not drink wines on an empty stomach, as this can trigger acid production.

The following wines are recommended for people with acid reflux:  Grenache, Chardonnay, Merlot, Marsanne, and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are no guarantees, of course, that these wines won’t produce acid reflux for you as every individual is different.  

Keep a wine diary and see which wines cause symptoms and which do not.

Seek Medical Help

If you continue to have acid reflux after drinking wine, the best recommendation is to see your healthcare provider. You may benefit from the use of certain medications (PPIs), but at the same time, you will need to change your lifestyle to lower the risk of acid reflux. This means you will need to:

  1. Lose weight - even losing a few pounds can make a big difference
  2. Don’t smoke
  3. Improve your posture and sit upright after a meal
  4. Do not take a nap immediately after a meal
  5. If the wine causes repeated episodes of acid reflux, you may have to discontinue drinking that wine and look for another, milder wine choice
  6. Avoid eating spicy foods
  7. Sleep with your head elevated on several pillows to prevent acid reflux

What is the best alcohol for acid reflux?  Pacific Rim and Company has a staff of knowledgeable wine experts.  Call them today at 1.503.863.5454 to learn more.

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2021 at 1:50 PM Permalink to Does Red Wine Help Get Rid Of Acid Reflux? Permalink


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