Blueberries, pomegranates, black cherries and grapes aren’t the only wine varieties. Sometimes a vegetable will work too. Rhubarb might not be the first thing you’d think of for wine, but this sweet plant is perfect for it. And Here We are has a delicious-sounding, easy-to-follow recipe right here: Rhubarb Wine
I know several people who won’t drink wine “because of the sulfites.” One friend says the sulfites trigger her asthma. Another friend is convinced that’s what gives her a headache after a night of drinking.
Maybe it’s because many wine labels say “Contains Sulfites” like a warning, but many people have the mistaken idea that sulfites are bad for you, says Will Lyons of the Wall Street Journal. Lyons writes that some of the safest foods — and ones that won’t get you drunk, like apricots — have even higher levels of sulfites than wines.
Sulfites in wine are sulfur compounds added as preservatives. They help keep wine from oxidizing and turning into vinegar.
Those bad reactions some people may have after drinking wine, such as runny noses or headaches, are probably due to other factors. However, a tiny population of people can have allergic reactions to sulfites, especially asthmatics. So, my friend is probably not off base for passing on the wine.
Sounds like it’s the good and fancy stuff, right? Not exactly, says Anthony Giglio of Details magazine.
When a wine has ‘Reserve” on the label, it might mean that the wine has been aged a specific amount of time depending on the regulations of the wine region. Many wineries added the term to the label if they had produced cheaper wines. However, nowadays “Reserve” is usually just a marketing ploy.
Giglio explains that only Old World, or European, wine regions regulate what can go on wine bottles. New World regions such as the United States, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa do not have systems for those rules and regulations.
Says Giglio: The term is so misused on American bottles that most of the wine critics and sommeliers ignore it unless we know that the producer has a sense of integrity.
So, what’s your strategy for ordering wine when you go out to eat? Do you pick the cheapest bottle on the menu, or do you aim to impress with the most expensive?
Choose neither of those options, says sommelier Gerald Morgan, Jr. of Simplified Wine. Morgan advises picking the second cheapest wine on the menu. The next cheapest wine is often the best value — it costs the restaurant at least twice as much as the cheapest bottle.
Also consider choosing a wine from a good region. Morgan suggests Argentina, Chile and Washington state. Although, we would add a Finger Lakes wine to that list.
The New York Cork Report just released a really great breakdown on the Finger Lakes wine industry. They collected their data on more than 100 wineries and almost 2,000 wines from Finger Lakes wine- industry-related websites. The Cork Report admits it’s not the most scientific method, but the info is still pretty interesting about what’s being made and what’s being sold in the region. Some highlights:
- The average price of a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes is $16.15. This makes it one of the better value regions in the country, considering that the average cost of a bottle of wine in the U.S. was $37.62, according to a 2013 study from Wines & Vines quoted by the Cork Report.
- Riesling is the top wine in the region. Finger Lakes rieslings have earned plenty of buzz, even from the New York Times. According to the Cork Report, 88 percent of Finger Lakes wineries in their sample produce at least one riesling.