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Selecting Wines for Your House Party or Small Get-Together

by Administrator31. March 2017 11:44

With the official start of spring now behind us, it’s time to start planning all of the holidays and other celebrations that come around this time of year. As you’ll likely be gathering around the dinner table – or on the patio – over the coming months, it’s good to know how to thoughtfully pair wine with the type of gathering that you are hosting.

At Baskets Gourmet/Wine World, we have a long history of helping individuals select the ideal wine for their occasion, so we’re excited to provide our recommendations to you. Without further ado, let’s host a party!

The Traditional Dinner Party: Choosing Wine for Mother's Day, Father's Day and Other Formal Dinners

For most people, the simple mention of a “dinner party” conjures up the image of 6 to 8 guests gathered around a formally set table, enjoying 3 courses of meals. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ahead, you’ll likely have a reason to sit around the table with your immediate family during the coming months. While this may be the type of dinner party most frequently enjoyed by the majority of people, it can also be one of the most challenging types to plan. After all, when you have a group of 6 people or more it can be difficult to anticipate every individual’s preferences, let alone satisfy everyone. This is why, when it comes to selecting a wine for a traditional dinner party, you want to keep your selection – well – traditional.

Determining the Number of Bottles

To start, you will need to decide how many bottles of wine you will want on hand. For a formal dinner, consider having 3 bottles for every 4 people in attendance, including you. This means that for 8 guests, you’ll want to have 6 bottles on hand. In the event that you need a partial number – such as 7 ½ bottles for 10 guests – round up. It’s better to have more than you need, than make a guest go without.

From here, of course, you will need to select how many of those bottles will feature red wine and how many will feature white. For formal dinners, offering 1 bottle of white wine for every 2 bottles of red wine is a good rule of thumb. In the event that you have a partial number and have to select between an additional bottle or red or an additional bottle of white, the former is generally more popular.

With these two ratios in mind, here is a quick list that you can refer to:

·         For 6 guests: Have 5 bottles (3 red, 2 white)

·         For 7 guests: Have 6 bottles (4 red, 2 white)

·         For 8 guests: Have 6 bottles (4 red, 2 white)

·         For 9 guests: Have 7 bottles (5 red, 2 white)

·         For 10 guests: Have 8 bottles (6 red, 3 white)

Selecting Which Styles of Wine

Fortunately, the same foods and the same wines pair well together regardless if you’re serving them to 20 people or just 2 and so selecting exactly what style of wine to serve is much more straightforward.

Here are the classic food and wine pairings that you should be familiar with:

·         For beef dishes (filet mignon, New York strip, etc.): Cabernet or Zinfandel

·         For poultry dishes (chicken breast, turkey breast, etc.): Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc

·         For delicate fish (tilapia, sea bass, etc.): Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay

·         For meaty fish (tuna, salmon, etc.): Merlot or Riesling

While there are many other styles of wines that you can choose – particularly if you want a wine that is more complimentary to the types of sauces, spices, or other condiments you may use – the wines listed here are perhaps some of the most recognized and universally enjoyed styles. This is important to keep in mind, of course, because the last thing you would want to do is provide a wine that it can only be appreciated by a portion of your guests.

Table Setting

The Large House Party: Choosing Wine for Graduation Parties, Bridal Showers and Other Celebrations

Spring isn’t just a time to celebrate parents – it’s about graduates, too! If you plan on having your extended family, your friends or even your neighbors over for a large celebration, the considerations you’ll need to make will be slightly different.

Determining the Number of Bottles

Where a glass of wine is often served as the compliment to an elegant meal, house parties tend to offer a broader array of beverage choices. That's not to say wine won't be expected at any large gatherings you host, but you may not need as much as you would for a dinner party, especially if you'll have beer or liquor available as well. If you plan to offer wine alongside other drink choices, have a 1/2 bottle of wine on hand for each guest attending as well as-as often the case is with house parties-additional people who may show up. This means that for 20 people, you should have at least 10 bottles on hand; for 50 people, you should have at least 25 bottles; and so forth.

Selecting the Styles of Wine

Choosing just how many bottles should feature red wine and how many should feature white wine will primarily come down to the foods you plan on serving. If you plan on serving dishes centered on beef, poultry, or fish, the aforementioned recommendations will still serve you well; however, you can also plan around specific types of appetizers.

·         For heavily-spiced cold cut meats (capicola, etc.): Syrah

·         For lightly-spiced cold cut meats (salami, prosciutto, etc.): Champagne

·         For aged, hard cheeses (cheddar, parmesan, etc.): Zinfandel

·         For fresh, spreadable cheeses (mozzarella, feta, etc.): Sauvignon Blanc

You may already be familiar with some of these pairings from our weekly wine tastings.

When in doubt, remember that food and wine pairings are about balance.  Bold flavors pair well with full-bodied wines whereas more modest flavors are better suited for lighter-bodied choices.  This is why a red wine makes for a natural compliment to a heavily-spiced, greasy meat such as capicola, but can be too overpowering for the fresh flavor of mozzarella. Also, take into account the level of acidity in your selection. Since both cold cut meats and cheeses feature high levels of fat, you'll want a wine that is high in acidity to create a balance.

Variety of Wines

The Small Get-Together: Choosing Wine for "Just Because" Occasions

Not every gathering needs to be an ornate affair. Whether you’re celebrating a modest birthday, anniversary, promotion or just an ever elusive thing called “Me Time,” all you need sometimes for a satisfying get-together is takeout, a bottle of wine and a few of your closest friends. Unlike a traditional dinner party or a large house party, your decisions are going to be a little more straightforward. For starters, when you have a group of approximately 5 people or less, you’re likely already familiar enough with these individuals to know just how many bottles of wine you’ll need. The question, then, isn’t about how many bottles you need but what style to choose.

If you already know in advance what type of food it is that you and your guests will be enjoying in advance, you can follow the same food and wine pairings suggested for traditional dinner parties and house parties. If, however, you know that your food choice will be a last-minute decision, you’ll want a wine that pairs well with a wide range of foods.

Grenache, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling can be paired with a diverse selection of foods. While it may be going too far to say, “Riesling pairs with everything” it certainly comes close. When in doubt, it can be your go-to selection for an impromptu gathering.

Keep in mind that the intimacy of a small group also affords you the opportunity to be adventurous. If you're familiar with the personal preferences of your guests, don't shy away from the opportunity to select a style of wine that's tailored to your group or even try something extravagant like Amarone.  Boldly trying something new among good company will make the experience that much better!

Wine and Bread

Final Considerations

Rosé wines – which are especially delightful when the weather is nice – are also an option if you are concerned about offering too many reds compared to whites or vice versa.

Of course, if this is a significant concern of yours, you could simply have more bottles on hand than you anticipate needing and just save what isn’t used for later. As many of us would agree, having “too much” wine is rarely a problem and you may even want to consider providing a bottle to your guests as they leave. In fact, a bottle of wine is one of the best gifts that a dinner host can provide and it will ensure that the occasion ends on a high note.

Let's Throw a Party!

Follow these recommendations and you’ll be well on your way to throwing a party that you and your guests will certainly remember. If you want to throw the best party possible, however, you can always turn to us.

At Baskets Gourmet/Wine World, we know a thing or two about throwing the best celebrations around. Next time you’re in Anderson Township, stop in and let our friendly and knowledgeable staff take the guess-work out of selecting the ideal type of wine.

Let's make your party a success, together! We look forward to your visit.

 

 

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Valentine’s Day: Choosing a Wine for Your Date, Your Friends, and You

by Administrator7. February 2017 12:21

Ah, love is in the air.

Whether February 14 marks a romantic date, a time to exchange gifts with friends, or a relaxing day to yourself, you simply can’t discuss Valentine’s Day without discussing wine. After all, no other drink embodies the spirit of matchmaking better than wine. Moreover, a well-chosen bottle of wine can go a long way in making the highlights of your day even more exceptional.

At Baskets Gourmet/Wine World, we’ve helped hundreds of individuals choose a bottle of wine that offers just the right balance of characteristics that they are looking for. Needless to say, we know a thing or two about choosing the ideal bottle of wine for a variety of Valentine’s Day plans and we can help you make an excellent selection, too.

Here are a few of our recommendations for choosing a wine for your date, your friends, and you for Valentine’s Day.

For Your Date: Choose a Red Wine

Romance is the primary hallmark of Valentine’s Day and no other wine embodies passion like red wine. Whether your romantic evening includes dark chocolates, a chef prepared meal, or just shared company, red wine is a must.

Choose Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, or Merlot to pair with dark chocolates. Wine and chocolate are perhaps one of our favorite pairings but, just like in romance; it takes just the right mix of qualities in order for it to be exceptional. If your idea of a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart is a box of gourmet dark chocolate, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent addition, especially if the chocolate is 60-70% cocoa. Merlot, which is slightly less intense, will pair better with a medium dark chocolate. If you and your date opt the milk chocolate variety or even a full-fledged dessert, a dessert wine is a better choice.

Choose Bordeaux or Zinfandel to pair with your Valentine’s Day dinner. Whether you plan to treat your sweetheart to a gourmet dinner at home or one prepared at a restaurant, Valentine’s Day dinner is about creating intimacy and setting the tone for the evening. If you and your date plan to enjoy a fine steak dinner, Bordeaux has long been the classic choice for cooked steak, particularly one that has been dressed in a rich, buttery sauce. If, however, your entrée features sweet spices or dried pepper, Zinfandel will create a better pairing.

Choose Amarone if you want a wine that will impress your date.

Whether you take the traditional route of chocolates and dinner or not, you will undoubtedly want to make the best impression possible. Amarone is the wine that will do just that and is certain to be one that will leave a lasting impression on your date. With a dark, juicy flavor and a lush, velvety texture, this wine gets straight to the point and makes a powerful statement.

For Your Friends: Choose a Rosé Wine

Valentine’s Day, of course, is not exclusive to couples. Now is a good time to also show your friends and family your appreciation for the value that they add to your life. For a wine that is certain to please a wide variety of personalities in preferences, as well as one that is relatively inexpensive, rosé wines make excellent gifts.

If your recipient prefers a fruity wine, choose a Grenache Rosé or Sangiovese Rosé. While the latter tends to be the drier of the two, both offer a brilliant red color, strawberry and floral notes, and moderate amounts of acidity. These wines are also excellent choices for those who prefer their drinks cold.

If your recipient prefers a sweet wine, choose Zinfandel Rosé. This type of rosé, which is also commonly known as White Zinfandel, is deliberately made to be sweet making it the ideal choice for a friend or family member who enjoys a moderate amount of sweetness along with a fair amount of acidity. Common flavors include strawberry, lemon, and green melon. And, like Granache Rosé or Sangiovese Rosé, it is a good choice for those who prefer their wine cold.

If your recipient prefers a savory wine, choose Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé. While other rosé wines emphasize berry, citrus, and floral notes, Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé features notes of green bell pepper, cherry sauce, and pepper spice. Naturally, this makes it a good gift for a recipient who may shy away from a light, pink aesthetic. If you truly want a wine that is notably more “masculine”, Travel Rosé is savory, high in alcohol, low in acid, and much more reminiscent of a red wine.

No matter who is on your valentines list, there is a rosé wine suited for their personality and preference. At Baskets Gourmet/Wine World, we can even include a bottle or rosé, or any other type of wine, as the centerpiece of a gourmet wine gift baskets in order to create a truly unique Valentine’s Day gift.

For Yourself: Choose a White Wine

While our friends, family, and significant other are naturally the first people we think of during Valentine’s Day, don’t overlook the single most important relationship you have – the one you have with yourself! Now is also an excellent time to uncork a bottle of white wine and enjoy some well-deserved indulgence.

Chardonnay is an excellent choice for pampering yourself. It’s wider-bodied, voluptuous and velvety. Oak-aged Chardonnay, in particular, is nothing short of butter in a glass and often carries subtle hints of vanilla or caramelized sugar. Common flavors include lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, passionfruit, and peach.

If you’d enjoy a wine that is lighter-bodied white and one that you can sip and savor slowly, Riesling is also worth considering.

Whether your idea of relaxation is time spent on the coziness of your sofa or in the comfort of a warm, candlelit bath, a glass of white wine is the perfect companion for an evening spent pampering yourself.

Wine World Is Your Personal Wine Matchmaker

Whether your Valentine’s Day plans calls for a wine that is hot, smoky, and firm or one that is mellow, fresh, and delicate, we have what you need at Baskets Gourmet/Wine World. Best of all, our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you select the ideal wine for you and your valentine – let’s see Cupid create a better couple!

Visit our full-service retail wine and liquor store in Anderson Township and let us select a wine for you or craft a personalized gift basket. Either way, you’re guaranteed to fall in love.

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The 5 Steps of Wine Tasting for Beginners

by Administrator5. January 2017 12:15

The joy of a proper wine tasting is a multi-sensory experience that simply stands above the experiences offered by any other beverage.

While the art of wine tasting is often perceived as being inaccessible to anyone less than the most prestigious connoisseur, it’s actually a process that is easy to enjoy once you understand what the steps that are involved and the qualities you are looking for in your wine. The more you learn about wine and the tasting process, the more rewarding the experience will be.

Whether you’ve experienced a proper tasting before, or just considering the idea for the first time, here are the five steps of a proper tasting.

Set the Scene

Speak with anyone who has ever experienced a proper tasting and they will assure you that your setting plays a significant role in the process. Why? Aside from providing a more enjoyable atmosphere in general, your choice of setting will make all the difference when it comes to your ability to focus on the individual qualities of each wine. Your choice of table cloth, which is preferably white, as well as your choice of wine glasses, which should be large enough for you to swirl a few ounces, are other important considerations for creating the optimal experience.

It’s also important to taste your wine “blind” or, in other words, you want to ensure that the label of each bottle is well hidden. One way of doing this is by uncorking the bottle, rolling the bottle in foil, and marking each bottle in some way to ensure that the right wines are poured during each round of the tasting. The reason for doing so should be rather obvious – this step ensures that you are evaluating each wine on its own inherent qualities and not letting your opinion be swayed by any outside qualities such as its label.

And, of course, do not overlook the small details. You will want to have bread, crackers, or even some cheeses available to ensure a clean palate between each wine. You will also need to consider a small cup up to a larger bucket in order for you to empty your glass throughout the tasting.

Conduct Your Wine Tasting

Once you’ve perfected the atmosphere, it’s time to uncork your first wine and fill your glass a quarter full.

Step #1: Evaluate the wine’s appearance. Is it a light, pale color or is it a deep, vivid hue? Is it clear and transparent or cloudy and dull? Examining the color of the wine against a white background, such as a white table cloth, will help you evaluate its full appearance.

Tilt the glass away from you. Tilting your glass will reveal finer subtleties that are not apparent from just the wine’s color alone. Notice the wine’s movement. Does it drip down the side of the glass or does it move like sheets? Does the color change as your eyes follow it from the rim of the glass to its center? While there are many characteristics you can discern from just the appearance of a wine, including its age and flavor, all of these basic qualities discussed here are more than enough to enjoy a simple tasting.

Step #2: Swirl your wine. After you’ve made mental notes about its appearance, it’s time to swirl the wine in your glass. How you exactly swirl your wine, however, it entirely up to you. Some people choose to hold the base of their glass securely against the surface of the table and make a few circles while others like to become extremely showy. While we personally recommend a few modest swirls, the point is to agitate the wine enough so that oxygen is introduced into it. Oxygenating your wine, while not something you would want to do overnight, helps “open up” the wine allowing for its most noteworthy characteristics to come through later on.

Step #3: Evaluate the wine’s aroma. Sniff the wine in your glass. Although our tongues are only able to detect four primary flavors (sour, salty, sweet, and bitter), our sense of smell can detect thousands of different aromas. What do you note? Take a minute to contemplate the complexities of its aroma. In a lot of ways, you’re preparing your brain for the tasting step and so this step is necessary for maximizing your experience.

Step #4: Evaluate the wine’s taste. “Wine tasting” is no misnomer. The act of actually tasting the wine is undoubtedly the highlight of the experience but, when it comes to a proper wine tasting, keep in mind that the joy is in wine tasting, not drinking.

Start by sipping the wine and letting it linger in your mouth. After that, begin rolling the wine around your mouth in order to fully expose the wine to your taste buds.

What are the flavors that stand out? Are there any subtle, less noticeable flavors? Do the flavors reflect its initial aroma? As you think about or discuss these considerations, also note the tactical qualities of the wine, such as its weight or body. And – perhaps the most important thing to note – do you enjoy it?

Step #5: Savor the wine’s taste. Aside from an initial sip, it’s very common for tasters to also modestly slurp the wine. Just like sniffing your wine, fully exposing your senses to your drink will reveal additional qualities as your sensors become more acclimated to what it is experiencing. This is also the time to note the wine’s finish.

After you have thoroughly evaluated the taste of your wine, you have one more decision to make: Spit or swallow. As we previously recommended, having a spittoon, or a small bucket where you can drain the remaining wine in your glass, is ideal. Overexposure to any particular wine may make it harder to accurately evaluate each sequential drink in your tasting; however, the ultimate decision to spit or swallow is entirely up to you.

Discover More Wines to Love

Wine tasting is both complex and deceptively simple. When in doubt, remember the five basic steps: See, swirl, smell, sip, and savor. Whether you’ve experienced one tasting or one hundred, these steps will help you discover something new to appreciate about each wine you taste. In fact, we recommend that you keep a journal about your tastings which will not only help you discover the wine that is ideal for you but will also remind you of some of your favorite experiences.

We hope that you continue to find wines that you love and, when you join us for any of our weekly wine tastings, we know you will. We would be thrilled to have you join us at Gourmet Baskets / Wine World each Friday between 5:30 and 7:00 P.M. There is no better opportunity in Anderson Township or the surrounding Greater Cincinnati area to experience the full wonder of a true tasting. Thank you for reading and we look forward to you joining us soon!

2 Glasses of Red Wine

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"Old World" Wine vs. "New World" Wine

by Administrator1. December 2016 11:37

Wine is produced in nearly every country in the world today, although that was not always the case.

While winemaking has been a tradition for many countries located within Europe and parts of the Mediterranean for several millennia, it has also become an established practiced in regions such as the U.S., Australia, and South Africa over the past few centuries. As you can imagine, the difference between “Old World” and “New World” wines can be quite significant. And while it’s easy to jump into the mindset that traditional methods always lead to better quality, or that experimentation always leads to an improvement, it’s not necessarily the case for wine.

Old World and New World wines can be enjoyed by any type of wine enthusiast. Knowing the difference between them, though, can be helpful in selecting the ideal wine for your preference.

The Difference Between “Old World” and “New World” Wine

“Old World” wines originate from regions with long histories of wine production, namely Europe and parts of the Mediterranean.

“New World” wines, on the other hand, originate from countries that have only begun producing wine during recent centuries, following European exploration or colonization.

However, we think it’s safe to assume that for anyone who has ever expressed a preference between these two types of wines, their preference was based on much more than the country wine originated from. The difference between “Old World” and “New World” wine is more than where each wine was produced – their characteristics are different, too.

“Old World” wines tend to have a lighter body, taste less fruity, have higher acidity, and contain less alcohol. This is mostly due to the strong emphasis on tradition, which emphasizes terroir, or the role the environment plays in the winemaking process.

“New World” wines tend to taste riper, taste fruitier, have less acidity, and contain more alcohol. In lieu of tradition and a focus on terroir, newer winemakers are more apt to experiment and tend to play more emphasis on the quality of their fruit rather than the environment in which it is grown.

Comparing “Old World” and “New World” Wine

This, of course, is only a general premise. Keep in mind that there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. Even within the “Old World” where tradition is king, the winemaking tradition of one country may differ wildly from the tradition of another. For example, if you tasted a wine from France and then tasted a wine from Italy, you may note that they similar but not the same.

Whether your preference for wine falls into the broad categories of “New World” or “Old World”, or if your preference is more specific to a region, no style of wine is objectively better than another – and that’s a good thing! The relationship between wine and the region in which it is produced is part of why wine tasting is an endlessly fascinating experience.

Learn more about the differences between “Old World” and “New World” wines, or experience them firsthand, by joining Baskets Gourmet/Wine World for one of our weekly wine tastings. We’ll help you discover a whole new world of your favorite wines!

Wine Photo Collage

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Pairing Wine with Your Holiday Meal

by Administrator2. November 2016 10:38

November marks the start of one of the most special times of the year. As we begin to gather around the table more frequently for the holidays, you’ll likely have more than one good reason to celebrate the occasion with a nice bottle of wine. Finding a great wine to pair with your meal not only enhances the quality of the meal but can also make the occasion feel more special.

Whether time spent around the table means a sophisticated and ornate affair or a much more modest form of celebration, here are a few of our recommendations for pairing wine with your holiday meal.

Pairing Wine with a Brunch

The best wine to choose for brunch will largely depend on the main feature of your brunch spread. Riesling and Chardonnay are excellent choices for a traditional brunch focused around eggs. You may also want to consider Merlot if your brunch features steak or ham as an option. Of course, for the many of us who prefer French toast, pancakes, or crepes as the centerpiece of our meal, consider either Riesling as a compliment for a sweet syrup topping or Pinot Noir if you prefer a seasonal fruit topping.

Pairing Wine with a Turkey Dinner

When it comes to pairing a wine with poultry, warm spices, sweet-salty marinades, or fruit-based sauces, Pinot Noir should be the first wine that comes to mind. Made from red or dark berries, Pinot Noir is a wonderful pairing for both poultry and all of the sides you would expect at a turkey dinner.

Pairing Wine with a Steak Dinner

It’s no secret that red wines are a wonderful companion to a fine steak dinner. Zinfandel should be your first choice for a steak, or any barbecued meats that has been rubbed with sweet spices or sauces. If your steak includes a rich, buttery sauce, however, you may want to enjoy a glass of Bordeaux with it. And, of course, Cabernet remains a classic choice for a delicate filet mignon. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with Cabernet.

Pairing Wine with a Seafood Dinner

Similar to selecting a wine for a steak dinner, there are a number of wines that pair well with seafood. Sauvignon Blanc, for good reason, often rises to the top of the list; however, you may also want to consider several other wines depending on the exact type of fish or shellfish you will be enjoying. In general, a glass of white Burgundy pairs well with white-flesh fish, Riesling is wonderful for medium-bodied fish, and Merlot or another medium-bodied red is an excellent choice for red-colored fish.

Your Personal Taste

In the end, there is no “right” or “best” wine for your meal but a thoughtful decision can go a long way in creating a special experience for both you and your guests. If you want an easy decision that is sure to satisfy everyone at the holiday table this year, browse Gourmet Baskets/Wine World’s selection of gourmet wine baskets. You can also contact us and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will guide you through the process of selecting the best wine for your holiday meal. We will save you time and worry so you can focus more on your time spent with family and friends.

Candle Lit Dinner Table with Wine

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Terroir-3 More Reasons to Appreciate Wine

by Administrator26. October 2016 12:01

You’ve likely encountered the notion of “terroir” if you have ever had a serious discussion about wine, let alone browsed the dozens of bottles that now list it prominently on their label. Used by casual wine enthusiasts to expert sommeliers, terroir is a widely used term and one of the most important concepts to understand in order to fully appreciate the art of wine tasting.

So what does terroir mean?

Terroir describes the role a region’s environmental factors – including its soil composition, altitude, elevation, contour, sun exposure, and climate – play in determining a wine’s characteristics. Terroir, in its most simple sense, is Nature’s contributions to the wine making process.

The three most important factors that comprise a wine’s terroir are: Climate, soil, and terrain.

Climate

Depending on who you talk to, climate can refer to either the macroclimate of a large region, the mesoclimate of a more defined region, or even the microclimate of an individual vineyard or row of grapevines. Generally, though, climate will be discussed in terms of two main categories: Warm or cool. Wine grapes from warmer climates produce higher levels of sugar which ultimately result in higher levels of alcohol. Wine grapes from cooler climates generally have a lower level of sugar and retain more acidity.

Soil

Soil is also an important factor in determining a wine’s terroir. Aside from the richness of minerals it provides, soil also helps regulate a fruit’s temperature, water uptake, and water loss.

Terrain

Terrain refers to both the influence of region’s elevation as well as the influence of mountains, valleys, and bodies of water on the characteristics of wine grapes. Terrain, which is not simply limited to geographical features, also takes into consideration the complex relationship between wine grapes and other flora available in the area.

If this definition seems like a stretch from your current understanding of the word, it likely is. Terroir is often used loosely to refer to the region in which the wine originated from. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear a wine described as being, “from Napa’s terroir.” While modern usage of the word has, in some ways, diluted the meaning of the word, the concept the term ultimately describes remains an important one. Just as traditional winemakers use the complex factors of the environment to create a fascinating product, wine drinkers can learn to appreciate these same factors for a fascinating tasting experience.

Learn more at our Wine Tastings

Ready to learn more? Let us take you through the steps of a proper wine tasting and learn how to identify a wine’s terroir from our knowledgeable staff. Join Baskets Gourmet/Wine World for one of our weekly wine tastings. We look forward to seeing you!


Wine Grapes

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Rosé and Food Pairings for the Fall

by Administrator19. October 2016 10:58

Fall is here, and it’s the perfect time of year to go out and try different types of Rosé.  Rosé’s are similar to whites and red due to the different types of grapes used. Some are sweet, crisp, dry, rich and even full-bodied rosés are a thing!

The fall weather gives people a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to what to drink and eat. On the cooler days you want to eat heavy comfort meals like you would in the winter, but the next day could be 80 degrees and hot, in that case you would want to eat light, where seafood or salads are excellent.

Luckily for you, we have done the research!  We have come up with food pairings that go great with all the different kinds of rosé! All of these pairings are suggested with a type of grape the wine is made with, so when you come to Baskets Gourmet Wine World a staff member, and we will help you find the perfect match for the dish you are preparing!

Rosé Pairings

Appetizers and starters:

·         Cheese boards pair best with dry rosé like Bertar Rosé made from Molinara and Merlot.

·         Olive appetizers pair great with fruity and delicate styles such as Clarendelle Rosé 2015 or Cotes de Provence Rosé.  We have both of these in the store right now!

Main Dishes:

·         Shrimp Scampi pairs best with more dry, fruity and full-bodied styles like our Mont Gravet Rosé.

·         Chicken Salad pairs best with an acidic, lighter and mild bodied wine like the Bertani Bertar Rosé.

Desserts:

·         Angel food cake with fruit and cream pair nicely with some of the sweeter rosés made with zinfandel or pinot noir grapes like our Stoller Rosé of Pinot Noir.

Other Great Rosé Pairings

Rosé's and Rosé Baskets at Wine World

If someone’s birthday is coming up soon, an anniversary or other special occasion, we can build a basket that includes rosé and pairings similar to those listed above!  Find more information about pre-made and custom baskets on our gourmet baskets page.  Thanks for visiting, and we hope you enjoy a wine filled Autumn!

Glasses of Rosé on a Table

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Wine for a Chilly Spring Night

by Administrator29. March 2016 10:23

Whether you’re bringing some to a party or simply sipping at home, when searching for the perfect winter/spring wines you want to look for full bodied reds. Some red wines that are perfect for a chilly night could be, red blends, malbec, zinfandel or syrah (find more seasonal wine suggestions via Biltmore.) If you aren’t typically a red wine kind of person you could always try something like an oaked chardonnay and sparkling white wines.

How do you know what kind of wine you like?

If you are a beginner in the wine drinking world or even just want to branch out and try new types of wine, think about joining our Wine of the Month Club.  You can join and receive 2 bottles every month of something new that will help you figure out exactly what types of wine you like, while educating you with a detailed information sheet.  The monthly cost is only $30 to $35 and delivery is available for a small additional fee.

Are there any wines or things you can do to wines to really warm you up?

There is a technique that involves using spices to warm up your drink called “mulling.”  Mulling literally means “warm!”  Think of wine to mulled wine as tea is to chai tea in the fall.  This is a great way to try something new with wine, cider or even beer that is great for a cool spring night.

Need some ideas for fun wine drink mixes? Try some of these! (Thank you to: Vine Pair, find more recipes on their website!)

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

2- apples, thinly sliced

1/2 cup- cognac

2 cups- apple cider

750ml bottle- cava (any dry sparkling white wine you prefer)

1/4 cup- pomegranate seeds

Winter Fruit Sangria

1 cup- brandy

1/2 cup- sugar

1- orange thinly sliced

1- apple thinly sliced

2 bottles- zinfandel (any dry red wine you prefer)

1 cup- club soda

3/4 cup- fresh orange juice

Does this blog post have you in the mood for a nice glass of wine or eager to create some mulled concoctions?  Stop by Baskets Gourmet/Wine World to explore our collection and get started on broadening the horizons of your palate.  Thanks for reading!

Glass of Red Wine

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Wine of the Month Club In Cincinnati!

by Administrator25. November 2015 10:28

The holiday season is approaching quickly and what could be a better gift than a Wine Club membership?!  Joining something new and exciting would make anyone happy, and put them in the holiday spirit! The Wine of the Month Club at Baskets Gourmet provides perks such as: 2 bottles of wine each month, a history and background of the vineyard and grapes the wines are made of, food pairings, suggestions and more!

Trying new wine is more than just something new, it’s an experience you can gain knowledge and expertise from, and it demonstrates just how unique every wine is. Knowing things like the differences in grapes and acidity will give you the knowledge to throw incredible dinner parties or gatherings with your friends and family.  Guests will without a doubt be wowed when you offer them a wine and compliment that wine with a cheese or chocolate that is seemingly made for that specific wine.  With the appreciation of wine you’ll gain by tasting all types you may even encounter a wine that you might not have known before.   What we’re trying to say is, this isn’t your average monthly membership!  It’s a learning experience that you may find a new passion for, and it can help you to have greater dining experiences for the rest of your life!

Conveniently located in Anderson Township of the Greater Cincinnati Area, we are easy to get to.  To make our club even more accessible, we will deliver the monthly wines right to your doorstep so that if you don’t live near Anderson you can enjoy the Wine of the Month club hassle free! Another option we include in this membership is allowing people to prepay ahead of time, you can take advantage of this benefit with our 3 month, 6 month and full year subscriptions. If you don’t want to pre-pay ahead of time you can always pay as you pick it up each month or get billed through your credit card when we deliver it to your home. The options are endless so join soon or get someone a membership for the holidays to give a gift that can be enjoyed for a lifetime!


wines

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Top 3 Reasons to Appreciate Wine

by Administrator10. August 2015 10:32

As UB 40 said in their song, “red red wine you make me feel so fine.”  We agree, but also wonder if they like white wine too. Regardless of preference, wine is something to appreciate for many reasons.  It’s hard to go in a gift shop without seeing the signs that say “wine a little every day,” or something along those lines.   That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t put it to use for something other than drinking!  That being said, it seemed to be a good time to give our top 3 reasons wine is something we don’t take for granted

An obvious number one is for the the wonderful taste wine has to offer.  With so many blends and variations that are made today, there are endless possible experiences for your palate.  This is evident in the Baskets Gourmet Wine World store.  As you walk in, to your left you’ll find a great selection of wines, and one or two of our team members nearby at the counter.  We’re sure to carry some wines that many other stores may not have, along with some classics most people enjoy.  If you’re curious as to whether or not we have a particular wine you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

The second reason we love wine is because of the flavors you can extract from it through cooking.  Learning to do this can really enhance the meals you cook and help you to create a variety of dishes in the kitchen.  Chicken marsala, seafood in a white wine butter sauce, the possibilities are endless!

Last but not least, wine truly does have health benefits.  According to food & wine, drinking wine (in moderation) can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, colon cancer, cataracts, and even heart disease.  They even show the evidence behind it for any non-believers.  It’s good to know that you can have something to drink, and have good reason to not feel too guilty about it.

For any of your wine needs, stop into our store to pick up a bottle or consult with our staff on recipes, and the wines that will best suit your palate.  If you're looking to give someone a gift basket we can consult over the phone, and we offer shipping/delivery in the US!

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