News from around the world of wine... and our take on it. Check back often: whether it's research findings (People Who Drink Half Bottle of Wine a Day Are Healthier, Study Finds; How Drinking Champagne May Prevent Alzheimer's; Is Red Wine Good for You?), lifestyle pieces (The Many Faces of the ‘Wine Mom’ and Petrus revealed as Bordeaux wine aged in space), or wine industry news (Fizz in the Family: Female-Run Champagne Houses and How Did 2020's Wildfires Impact California Wine?) if we found it interesting, you'll find it here.
Wine and chocolate
Italian gourmet market Eataly has published a handy guide to help you pair wine with your favourite chocolate (or chocolate with your favourite wine): How to Pair Wine and Chocolate, and there's more advice here from The Spruce Eats.
We love this little guide on How to Have an Eco-Friendly Picnic, from picking your meal to serving it; setting the scene; and even how best to get it all there. Yasmin suggests that rather than plastic drink bottles, you buy glass (we have plenty of those!) and also recommends organic wines (we have those too). We think wines in easy-open screwcaps and cans are particularly well-suited to picnics, especially cans which are light to carry and quick to chill. Cheers!
Vegan wine and food pairings
Wine Enthusiast magazine recently published an article How Pros Pair Wine with Plant-Based Proteins on vegan wines (we have a great selection here at halfwine.com) and how to pair them with meat substitutes.
Impossible Whopper - or McPlant burger - and a juicy vegan Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, anyone?
Even more good news for women who enjoy a glass or two of red wine! Wine Spectator reports that the anti-inflammatory resveratrol - plentiful in red wines and potentially helpful with everything from depression to diabetes to cancer - may also be effective as a treatment for endometriosis (Red Wine Compound Offers Potential Treatment for Endometriosis).
Guide to choosing wines
We love this guide to selecting wine that we were sent by the digital magazine, Psyche: How to choose a bottle of wine.
It offers some good ideas for wine tastings that focus on various forms of a single grape variety; halfwine.com has tasting packs that compare the author's recommended Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet or Shiraz, as well as several other combinations here. Or, browse our individual half bottles by varietal to build your own.The author also recommends five wines that are easy to like and that taste distinctive, as a great way to get started:
Prosecco from Italy
- try our San Simone Prosecchino Frizzante Prosecco
Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
- try our Villa Maria 2020 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
- try our Bott Frères 2017 Gewurztraminer
Barossa Shiraz from Australia
- try our Dandelion Vineyards 2018 "Lionheart of the Barossa" Shiraz
Fleurie from Beaujolais, France
- try our Jules du Souzy 2018 Fleurie
We suggest rounding these out to a six-pack with a wine from South Africa, either an unoaked Chardonnay (De Wetshof 2019 "Bon Vallon" Chardonnay) or a Cabernet-based red blend (Miles Mossop 2017 Max).
Incidentally, the Psyche guide's paragraph about educating your senses put us in mind of this piece in The Telegraph about scent training for COVID sufferers who've lost their sense of smell: Four months on from Covid, and everything still smells like almonds. "When you have no way of getting smell messages up to your brain by sniffing, the training helps to send messages into the bulb from the top down. 'It’s like if you were in a restaurant and the steward tells you the wine has blackcurrant notes, when you sip the wine you’re prepared to think you get the blackcurrants,' she says."
Trend report: virtual wine tastings
halfwine.com's Kevin popped up in an article about virtual wine tastings: How virtual wine tasting became 2020's hottest drinks trend. Visit our Virtual Tastings page for tips from Kevin on how to host one yourself, and find our curated tasting packs and video guides here.
We also enjoyed Psyche's There is more to the experience of wine than its taste alone. "Let’s consider wine not an object to be measured but an encounter to be experienced... Wine is never just itself. It is I who encounter it with you, within our surroundings in which all the things of the world are flowing. When we say: ‘I liked this wine more today than last time,’ what we’re saying is not that ‘the wine’ has changed but that the entanglement has changed – and that we have changed with the wine."
At Halfwine we've always believed that the kindest way to tell a winemaker you don't much like their offering is to say, "The wine is not to my taste today." 😉
Too much champagne?
Finally, a Mark Twain quote we saw the other day: "Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right."