Three Unique Foods that are Amazing with Red Wine

Everyone knows that red wine and steak are a match made in heaven. In general, the rule of thumb whether it be an expensive vintage, or less expensive bottle, is that red wine pairs with heavier foods like beef, pasta, and of course chocolate. However, there are so many other amazing options! Try these suggestions and you may just be pleasantly surprised. If you are having guests for dinner, try making custom wine tags and have them guess what is in their glass.

Here are three unique pairings that may end up becoming favorites to serve with red wine.

Oysters

Oysters and Beaujolais

Shocked? The taste combination pairs wonderfully. Beaujolais is perfect because it is light bodied, low in tannins and can be served chilled. This is actually what really makes this combination work. The cooler wine mirrors the oyster’s chilly temperature. For a casual-chic host atmosphere, use a large serving platter of oysters next to a bucket of Beaujolais. This is perfect for a summer backyard get together.

Red with an Appetizer

All too often, red wines are not served until the main course of a meal. They can, however, pair well with darker colored vegetables, and creamy cheeses, that complement the heavy tannins. Think about this at your next vineyard tasting and make a note on your Remember Your Wine custom wine labels to try with an eggplant or spinach based appetizer at your next get together. A fabulous, hearty appetizer that is delicious with Merlot, or a Cabernet Sauvignon, is Mushroom and Goat Cheese Eggplant Rolls. Get the recipe here.

Pair with Curry

Warm, spicy and rich Indian curries can be difficult to pair with any type of wine, but the right combination can be amazing. It is best to steer away from a red that is too oaky or high in alcohol content as it can unbalance the delicate spice blend of the dish. Browse your cellar labels for a juicy Syrah or Pinotage that will make a surprisingly great match with medium to hotter curries. For a truly unique dinner and wine combination, serve a spicy duck dish with a Pinot Noir.

Part of the joy of drinking wine is the discovery process. Trying new food and wine pairings are exciting and so rewarding when you find a new combination that is just spectacular. Make an effort to try other foods besides the typical white with fish and red with meat. Chances are, you will be pleasantly surprised. Try to imagine how a certain type of red wine will taste when paired with a unique ingredient or dish. Make notes on custom wine labels, so the next time you are hosting a dinner party, you will have a reminder for some great suggestions to try.

What Makes a Bottle of Wine Expensive?

Have you ever wondered why some wine or champagne can cost $250 while other bottles have a $10 price tag? Do you really get more enjoyment from an expensive bottle versus your favorite budget friendly go to brand?

There are a few reasons why there is such a price difference between bottles and knowing why can help you make a decision on whether or not to splurge and how to do so wisely. When in doubt, turn to a wine app. There are several available that have detailed reviews by trusted sommeliers and can give insights on the winery and their production methods. A quick look up on a wine app can give you confidence in your purchase selection next time you are ready to try an expensive Cabernet Sauvignon or fancy Champagne labels.

Why Is Wine So Expensive

Production

Generally speaking, expensive wine costs more to produce. The cost for raw materials can significantly vary which impacts the final price tag. For example, a mass produced, high-yielding grape that is fermented in a stainless-steel tank will only cost a fraction of what a low-yielding grape, grown in a marquee vineyard, by a recognized wine consultant, and is fermented in new quality oak barrels. There also can be a substantial difference in labor costs. Does the vineyard hand pick and sort their grapes or is it mass machine produced?

Other factors such as packaging and distribution impact the final price tag on any bottle of wine. Whether or not the producer used natural corks or screw tops to seal the bottle can affect the price. The type of labels and whether it is embossed or silk screened to even the quality and shape of the glass all adds to overall production costs. Larger wineries can sell through distributors at a volume discount while independent wineries have smaller volume, limited distribution, and have higher costs to get on a store’s shelf.

Perceived Value

Sometimes wines are expensive because they can be. This is called perceived value which means how much a consumer is willing to pay affects the price of the bottle. Some brands fall into a luxury category where production costs are not the main price component. Part of this is physiologically driven by what we taste and what our brains expect us to taste. With a $150 bottle, we expect it to be exquisite. Many studies have been conducted where the same type of wine has been served, but in a different bottle with a drastically different price tag. In most cases, people claimed that the more ‘expensive’ wine was the best choice and detailed its features with words like ‘complex and balanced’ versus the ‘cheaper’ brand being ‘flat or faulty’.

Champagne

What exactly makes champagne so costly? You are actually paying more for the history than the cost of what is in the bottle. It is only produced in the Champagne region of France and has been since the time of the Romans. Some of the costliest brands like Ruinart have been in business for over 300 years. The price tag is reflective of their reputation, knowledge that has been passed through generations, and their dedication to excellence.

But when it really comes down to it, personal experience should be what matters most when selecting wine. Who you will be sharing it with, what occasion it will help you celebrate and the life experiences and memories it will make outweigh any price tag. If you are in the mood to splurge, make sure to do your research and install a trusted wine app on your smartphone. One thing is for sure and that is all expensive wines are not created equal.

How Long Will Wine Last Once It’s Been Opened?

Most wine lovers will agree that some days it’s nice to sit back and relax with a glass or two without having to wait for an occasion and company to share the bottle with. However, the million-dollar question is how long it will  it last once opened as no one wants to have to pour wine down the drain. You may have heard the general rule of thumb is that wine will keep for three days, but this time frame can significantly vary based on the type of wine it is.

Once a bottle of wine is opened, the oxygen in the air begins a subtle process that gently breaks down the flavors and releases the wine’s aromas. With oxidation, the wine will eventually develop a sour or vinegary taste. The next time you pop a cork and do not finish the bottle, follow the guidelines below to make sure you know just how long your wine will retain its maximum flavor. Have some blank wine labels on hand to mark down the date to ensure you won’t forget how long your wine bottles have been opened.

Wine Question Mark

White

Most light white, or rose, wines can last up to a week when properly stored and re-corked. Some wines like Italian Pinot Grigio or French Riesling, which are produced in cool mineral climates, can even taste better the day after.

Full bodied whites with less acidity spoil quicker. For an oak-aged Chardonnay, it is best to finish within three days.

Red

Light red wines that contain few tannins such as Pinot Noir will oxidize quicker and are best consumed within three days. Heavier wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot can last up to five days provided they are corked and stored in a cool, dry place. A tip for red wine in addition to marking the date with blank wine labels is to keep it in your refrigerator. The cooler temperature will slow down the oxidation process and you can just remove half an hour before drinking a glass.

Champagne

Sparkling wines or champagne can keep bubbly and fresh for three to five days. The bottle needs to be properly sealed, and if you do not have the cork you can tightly place plastic wrap over the opening and secure with an elastic band. Keep your opened wine bottles in the fridge and if you find there is less fizz than what you prefer, you can use the leftovers to make a mimosa or wine cocktail.

Fortified

Sweeter wines will last longer, especially fortified wines like Madeira as many contain brandy. The higher alcohol level increases its shelf life. Ports will keep for up to five weeks. Sweet dessert wines like Sauternes will be fine for two to three weeks and Sherry can last for up to three months. Make sure to mark these wines with custom labels, cork, and store in your fridge.

Never worry about having a bottle of wine go bad again. By following these recommendations, properly storing and marking your wine with custom labels to remember the date opened, you can make sure that you will fully enjoy the entire bottle while its flavor is at its peak.

Salute!

Football Worthy Wine Cocktails

Everyone loves Sundays. Rest, relaxation and of course Football! From August to February, many households pretty much rename Sunday to Gameday and that usually means a mean spread of food and beer. But, if you are not a fan of beer or prefer to change up your beverage of choice, wine cocktails are a contender to shake up the routine and you might just even touch down on a new favorite.

Getting into the game spirit is half the fun. From decorating to chomping down on your favorite wings in your team’s jerseys, a little wine can be incorporated into the theme. Print out stickers of the competing teams and use as mini wine bottle labels for some added spirit. Arranging the mini wine bottle labels beverages in a cooler with ice makes a new twist to the typical beer selection.

If you are a super fan of a particular team, consider ordering engraved wine bottles with the logo on the front. You can order a batch at the beginning of the season and have your teams engraved wine bottles ready to go along with dinner every game day.

There are also some robust wine cocktails that will hold their own against any lager or ale. These are also great opportunities to use up any cheap wine you have as there is no need to use an expensive bottle of wine in a mixed drink.

Need a few ideas for what to sip alongside spicy wings, chili, nachos or cheese dip? Here are a couple amazing wine based cocktail recipes that will add to your mini wine bottle labels cooler and favorite team engraved wine bottles. Who knows, maybe you will even skip the beer next Sunday!

Gameday Sangria

Use an inexpensive bottle of Pinot Grigio to make this refreshing take on sangria that also mixes in hard apple cider. Add lemons, ginger ale and apple slices and you have a perfect Football Sunday drink that will go fabulous with some mozzarella pie.

Tequila Sangria

Looking for something a little more feisty to sip on as you cheer on your team? This zingy and flavorful cocktail packs a punch and is a bold twist on traditional sangria. Again, select one of your inexpensive bottles of Sauvignon Blanc to make this drink.

red-wine-ceasar

 

Red Wine Caesar

Horseradish, Clamato Juice and Tobasco…an absolute perfect match for cheese dip or quesadillas. The traditional vodka is still included but the Cabernet Sauvignon brings this cocktail to a Game Day worthy level.

This Sunday get excited to try something different! And for those that are not beer fans or have guests that may not be, serving one of these amazing cocktails is the perfect solution. Now that you have so many great gameday wine beverage ideas, it’s time to plan the menu. What new wing sauce, or bold nacho combination will you serve next week? Either way, cheer, have fun, wear your jerseys and enjoy the game!

2017 Wine Bucket List

The New Year is finally here! After surviving a hectic, indulgent and wonderful holiday season, we all need a little something to look forward to in the coming months ahead. Now is a perfect time to start thinking of a Wine Bucket List for 2017, and some interesting upcoming trends to be sure to try. You can make your list crazy and far-fetched, or keep it simple and attainable.

Here are a few suggestions to get your 2017 list started:

Drink Wine from a Can

It may seem so wrong and against everything you have been told about wine, but 2017 will see the sales of canned wine skyrocket. Driven by millennials and their laid-back style and tendency to want to shake the stuffy wine image, canned wine became a popular sales item in retail stores in 2016, but this year expect to see it on menus at restaurants and bars. Give it a try! Pack it for a picnic or try sipping from a can on a patio.

wine-can

Travel

Pick a destination that is calling your heart! Imagine sampling custom wine bottles in Chile, Australia or closer to home with a road trip to Michigan or Napa Valley. Not sure where to start? How about a trek to the Dora Sarchese vineyard in Italy that recently launched a free flowing 24/7 red wine fountain to welcome guests.

Marathon du Médoc

Every September, Bordeaux, France hosts a running event that embraces “wine, sports, fun, and health.” The 26.2-mile race weaves through gorgeous vineyards and participants are treated to 23 glasses of vintages and local snacks such as oysters, cheese and foie gras along the way! Dare to sign up?

Join a Wine Club

Make 2017 the year you try a lot of new wines. There is no better way than to sign up for a wine club that will deliver a selection of custom wine bottles to your door monthly. It will force you to try wines that you may not have chosen on your own and it’s a fabulous way to discover new favorites. Make a scrapbook for the year by saving the personalized wine labels to note what you did or didn’t like and if you would buy it again in the future.

Try Young Wine

Age isn’t always everything. Young wines that have had very little aging time and no contact with oak will see a surge in popularity in 2017. Refreshing and fruit forward, these wines are made with specific grapes which are meant to be used for immediate enjoyment. Try a bottle of Vinho Verde, Gamay and Albarino. Make sure to add the personalized wine labels to your scrapbook collection!

Personalize your Experience

If you are a fan of visiting wineries and tasting events, use removable wine stickers to document what you loved about the wine and attach to the bottles you are purchasing to take home. You will appreciate it several months later! Remember Your Wine Labels are a fantastic accessory to bring on wine trips. It just takes a moment to jot down why you bought the wine, when you want to drink it, and any interesting notes from the sommelier. With using these removable wine stickers, you will always be able to find the perfect wine to serve at every occasion in 2017.  Visit RememberYourWine.com to purchase your labels. It can be your little secret!

There you have it! What will you be putting on your Wine Bucket List this year?

2016 Wine Trends

Every year new wine trends come and go. As the final days of 2016 dwindle away, it’s fun to reflect on some of the year’s fads and highlights that came about and ponder if they may last or disappear along with the year itself. Wine is always an exciting world and from a surge in custom engraved wine bottles to what some new vineyards have done to be sustainable, it will be interesting to see what trends 2017 will have us sipping and swirling.

Bourbon Barrel Wine 

Mixing sustainability and the love for aged wine enters the unlikely process of using old barrels formerly used to produce whiskey to age wine. Barrels are expensive and quite a few new boutique wineries decided to reuse, recycle and reduce their startup costs by using discarded bourbon barrels while also giving their wine a unique story. The intense smoky and charred aroma lends an adventurous twist to the wine it produces. The trend seems to be picking up more steam and many people are just discovering this innovation and it will likely receive more lip service in 2017.

Custom Engraved Wine Bottles 

A new rage in ramping up the cool factor in giving wine as a gift! Businesses have popped up across the country that will create etched wine bottles with any design or message someone can dream up of. Custom engraved wine bottles are being purchased to celebrate weddings, birthdays or special occasions and the beautifully etched wine bottles make a lovely souvenir long after they have been emptied.

etched wine bottles

Wine Slushies 

Pinterest exploded this summer with a delicious world of cool and icy wine slushies. Mixtures of fresh fruit, ice, and wine became a DIY trend that captured a lot of attention and followers. Some of the most pinned were versions of peaches and nectarines strained into a glass of ice, red wine and mixed with mint while another fantastic heat refresher was a blend of rose, lemonade, ice and garnished with sprigs of lavender.  Come summer of 2017, it’s a safe bet that some of these concoctions will be added to restaurant summer patio happy hour menus.

It’s been a great year! Will see what trends 2017 brought us when we reflect next December. Enjoy the ride and surprises that it will bring.

Pairing Wine and Cheese

“There’s nothing a glass of wine and block of cheese can’t fix.”

Pairing wine and cheese is the perfect combination. Although a glass of house red and some slices of old cheddar make a wonderful accompaniment for a Friday evening of relaxing down time, the age-old classic of personalized wine and cheese pairings can be as traditional or as bold and adventurous as you’d like to dare.

With holiday parties and get-togethers dominating our calendars for the next month, wine and cheeses are simple to prepare, but adored by guests. It is an amazing way to sample the world and discover flavor pairings that are a destined match. Stray from the wine bottle labels suggestions and get creative! Some combinations may be surprising, but that is part of the true pleasure of the tasting experience.

Search through your cellar to showcase your local personalized wine collection from winery visits that have been tagged ‘Can’t wait to drink with cheese!’ with Remember Your Wine bottle labels. If you need a few ideas for fantastic cheese and custom label wine pairings, here are a few suggestions:

Whites:

White wines are generally easier to pair than red and can really go with a number of cheese combinations to create a wonderful taste experience. Because they do not contain tannins, the light, and fruity flavors really highlight delicate cheeses that would be overpowered by reds.

  • Ricotta & Pinot Grigio
  • Camembert & Champagne
  • Gruyere & Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gorgonzola & Riesling
  • Asiago & Prosecco

Reds:

Bold reds match best with very intense cheese flavors as they tend to compliment each other. Lighter reds are better reserved for a medium firm, more delicately flavored selections. A key tip to remember if you are serving some seriously funky blue, it is best to pair with a very old vintage port as the sweet flavor will provide a perfect balance between the two.

  • Buffalo Mozzarella & Merlot
  • Roquefort & Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Goat Cheese & Pinot Noir
  • Smoked Gouda & Shiraz
  • Stilton & Port

The best part about a wine and cheese experience is everyone will find a pairing that they absolutely fall in love with.  Actually, the real perk is that all the preparation for a custom label wine and cheese party can be done in advance, leaving you to enjoy each and every moment alongside your guests. Make sure to have some sparkling water on hand as it makes an excellent palate cleanser. Some baguettes, crackers and fruit will add the finishing touch to your spread. It’s always a good idea to have a knife for each cheese, so that the flavors do not accidentally mix.

Whether it is a festive holiday event, romantic evening for two, or a start to an exciting girls night out, you can never go wrong with serving wine and cheese!

 

When to Give Wine as a Gift for the Holidays

Wine and other alcoholic beverages go hand in hand with the holiday spirit. That being said, a bottle of wine may not be the most appropriate gift for everyone on your list. Even if you went ahead and made a batch of personalized red wine at a local winery, and are excited to design your own wine labels to decorate the bottles with, be cautious.

wine labels

There are a few situations you may want to avoid giving wine:

  • Avoid giving personalized wine gifts unless you know that the recipient will enjoy it.
  • Just because you love wine, doesn’t mean that everyone else does.
  • If you do not know the person well, their cultural or personal practices may mean that they do not consume alcohol and the gift may be considered offensive which is the last thing it was intended to be.
  • Be cautious in corporate settings. You may not be aware, but your organization may have a policy in place that prohibits gifting alcohol at the office. When in doubt, check with your HR department first.

However, there are many occasions where wine is a welcomed gift and where many people will appreciate your personalized red wine choice. A few situations where giving personalized wine gifts can be appropriate are:

Host or Hostess:

The more wine, the merrier! Gatherings filled with mingling guests, fancy finger food, and festive holiday music are absolutely perfect occasions. Design your own wine labels with a humorous note or well wishes for the New Year to dress up your personalized wine gifts and make them unique for each person you give them to.

Friends:

Giving your wine loving, vineyard tasting friend a bottle of personalized red wine will always be a hit. Holidays are meant to be fun, so select a brand that may be unusual or something they have not sampled before. It just might become their new favorite. If not, they will enjoy the creative thought that went into your choice. Design your own wine labels with a story about a special memory you shared with them this year and how much their friendship means to you.

Family:

We all have those family members that are hard to shop for and seem to have everything. If they love wine, a beautiful gift is a pass to a regional winery for a tour and tasting, accompanied by a bottle of that vineyard’s wine. It gives them a chance to sample the wine beforehand and they will be looking forward to an afternoon of learning and discovering in wine country.

If you are ever unsure if giving wine is appropriate for the occasion, it is probably best not to. There are plenty of people on your list that you know it will be a fabulous gift.  For all those other tricky situations, something that is not food or beverage based is a safer choice. No need to stress, just give only when you know it will be enjoyed!

Best Wines to Give as Gifts for the Holidays 

With the holidays fast approaching, it is time to start considering what to get those on your shopping list. A personalized bottle of wine can be a wonderful gift, especially for hosts, neighbors, and friends. Most people enjoy the surprise of a nice bottle of wine, with wine accessories, as it is the perfect time of year for gathering and making memories with the special people in our lives. By wrapping it in a fancy bow and making some heartfelt wine tags, a beautiful gift is ready to go in no time at all.

Although it is helpful if you know someone’s wine preference, there are a few suggestions to help you select the perfect personalized bottle of wine for situations where you are unsure.

holiday-wine-gift

Stick with Classic Varieties

If you are not familiar with what the person you are giving a personalized bottle of wine to enjoys most, the safest bet is to stick with the classics. A simple red or white is always welcomed and will come in handy for them to serve at holiday dinners and parties. Don’t expect that they will serve the bottle right away. They may have a specific pairing in mind for the event that they are hosting, but will tuck away and enjoy at the perfect time!

Think of Pairings

Especially around the holidays, think of food pairings that will frequently be served with wine. Chocolate, cheeses, olives, and nuts are common appetizers at most gatherings. Sparkling wines are wonderful for their versatility and also bring out the festive celebratory spirit. For reds, Pinot Noir is a fantastic light option that pairs wonderfully with any meal from fish to red meats. To spice up your gift, package it with one or two wine accessories such as a corkscrew or wine stopper and wrap in a nice gift basket. To make the gift even more thoughtful, add Remember Your Wine labels to the bottle with your notes on why you selected the wine and what you absolutely love about it.

Socially Responsible

If you are still unsure of what type of wine to select as a gift, consider a brand that has socially responsible values, which people will appreciate. A local winery that uses regional ingredients with a low carbon footprint or a winery that may donate a certain portion of its proceeds to a charity are always welcomed and make the gift special as it supports a good cause. Handwritten wine labels to attach to the bottle with a note on why you felt this wineries cause was special, makes a lovely personalized touch. Including wine accessories, like a box of local chocolates or a handmade cheese board, make a wonderful present for that special someone on your list.

Enjoy the process of selecting a new wine for someone for the holidays and remember the famous quote by Plautus, “Let us celebrate with wine and sweet words.” Hopefully, this year you will also receive some wonderful new wines to sample amongst family and friends.

Stocking up on Quality Wine for the Holidays

In the blink of an eye, we will be wondering how it already became a New Year. Time flies, especially November and December as people’s calendars explode with holiday get-togethers, dinner parties and plenty of good cheer. Which usually means that there is a lot of wine involved! Whether you are hosting or need to bring wine bottle gifts to your events, the cost can quickly add up. Therefore it is always important to have wine bottle tags and gift labels on-hand to gear up for the holidays.

wine bottle tags

With a little bit of planning, there are a few ways you can get good quality wine at discounted prices for the holiday season. Before you go to the store and start randomly choosing wine bottle tags that have the lowest cost, save yourself the disappointment. There are affordable and excellent wines out there, you just need to know what to look for and have an action plan. In no time, you will be stocked up with a personalized wine cellar to toast throughout your festive celebrations.

Avoid Popular Brand Names

These can be marked up in price by stores as they know they will sell due to their popularity. Look for a wine bottle tag that is the same grape blend but new to the market. It will likely be priced to sell. Plus, it’s always exciting to introduce people to a new brand and share a personalized wine selection.

Look Beyond Oak

Oak barrel fermentation increases production costs. Selecting an unoaked wine can usually save money. When a wine has not come in contact with oak, it tends to be lighter and fruitier, which makes a nice accompaniment to rich holiday foods. These are perfect wine bottle gifts to present to a host.

Shop Supermarkets

Many large supermarkets run heavily discounted wine promotions in November and December. With specials ranging from 20% off or more, these savings can really add up. Although supermarkets do heavily promote the large distributors, most do carry a decent selection of mid-size wineries and foreign brands. Check the wine bottle tags for tasting notes that appeal to you and are a good variety for the dinner table. To maximize savings, buy a case which usually is 10% less than individual bottles and you will receive the additional sale discount on top of that.

Local Wineries

If your favorite personalized wine selections come from a local winery, give them a call. Many boutique vineyards host an open house day with discounted rates on your favorite cases of their blends. It’s always fun to visit a winery, and these local producers make wonderful wine bottle gifts for everyone on your list. Supporting local, independent businesses is important to communities and guests will appreciate a regional selection to sample.

When it comes to entertaining, the perfect wines are ones that are enjoyable and affordable. Stock up on a mix of red and whites and you will have a festive, budget-friendly wine rack that is ready for the holidays. And remember, the best wines are the ones that we drink with friends!