Using the Correct Wine Glass

Using the Correct Wine Glass

Most wine glasses look utterly similar and can be a little confusing. With many variations, choosing the correct glass to enhance your wine drinking experience may instill fear. Just how important are the shapes and sizes of wine glasses and does the glass affect the taste of the wine? Continue reading to find out how the different types of glasses compare.

 

WINE GLASS ANATOMY

There are 4 parts to a wine glass.

  1. The base gives the glass its stability. A base that’s too small would allow the glass to topple over. On the other hand, a base that’s too large would get stuck under your plate and just get in the way.
  2. The stem elongates the glass giving you something to hold on to, without raising the temperature of the wine.
  3. The bowl is most likely the most important feature of the glass. This holds the wine and should be large enough to allow for swirling without spilling. The bowl is also tapered allowing the aroma of the wine to be retained.
  • Full-bodied red wines need room to breathe and to release their aroma. Therefore, a large bowl is required when drinking these wines.
  • White wines need to release their aromas, as well as maintain their chill/coldness. Therefore, a smaller “U”-shaped glass is required when drinking these wines.
  • Sparkling wines are typically served in flutes, as these allow the bubbles to last longer.
  1. Lastly, the rim. A thinner rim is less distracting to the drinker, and a smoother rim doesn’t impede the wine as it flows from glass to mouth, giving you a nice smooth flow. Thicker, rounder rims are the sign of a cheaply made glass and may end up being more distracting as your palate tries to pick up on the notes of the wine.

 

TYPES OF WINE GLASSES

There are many different types of wine glasses. Each glass can enhance or change the way you perceive the wine. A few glasses that are widely known are the:

  1. Pinot Noir (Burgundy)
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot (Bordeaux)
  3. Pinot Grigio/Sauvignon Blanc

 

CRYSTAL VS. GLASS

Wine glasses are made up of many different materials. But did you know that the material used can also affect how the wine reacts?

Glass

  1. Nonporous, meaning it won’t absorb chemicals and can be used in the dishwasher.
  2. The glass is thicker and more durable making it less likely to break.
  3. The more affordable option and widely known/used.

Crystal

  1. Capable of being spun thin while maintaining its strength.
  2. Refracts light better, making the glass look sparkly.
  3. Allows for a smoother drink flow against the tongue because the rim is typically thinner than glass.
  4. Porous and not always dishwasher safe.
Pairings that work to perfection: Exotic Fruits and Wine

Pairings that work to perfection: Exotic Fruits and Wine

Some combinations of wine and fruits have become indisputable classics. For example, Rosé and strawberry are not only romantic but also satisfying from the gastronomic point of view. It is no surprise that wine and fruit complement each other but in actuality: Wine and Fruit either emphasize and enhance each other or, on the contrary, are combined according to the principle of “opposites attract”. Some citrus fruits do not match the taste of exquisite dry wine, while sweet fruits make dessert varieties too cloying. After all, not every drink can cope with the excessive sweetness, acidity, or the specific taste of certain fruits. In other words, fresh fruits and berries are great as a dessert, but for wine, especially dry wine, it is better to look for an alternative. There are some simple rules, you can follow, to be able to create wine and fruit pairings that work to perfection, and we are here to help!

It is particularly important to pay attention to the color of the fruit when pairing it with wine. Relatively speaking, lighter (yellow and green) fruits favor white wines more, while dark (red and purple) fruits complement reds. It is not a coincidence that when we talk about our white wines, we often talk about the aromas of apples, pears, and citrus fruits, and in red wines, we get berries, plums, and fig notes. The only exception is oak-aged tannins – it is best to save them for a more substantial dinner – BBQ or red meat. Now, let’s talk some fruits:

Pineapple

Pineapple is the fruit of a perennial herb native to South America. Portuguese sailors, having reached the shores of what is now Brazil for the first time and having tasted pineapple, called it “the most delicious fruit on earth.” The Spaniards, because of the outward resemblance, called it “bump” (piña), later this word migrated into many languages, including English. Hence the famous ” Piña Colada “, a cocktail based on rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk was created.

There are many types of pineapple, but they are all high in acids. Fruit that is not ripe may even cause irritation so only sweet wines can compensate for such acidity. Our 2019 Ephemere Vidal Blanc will perfectly cope with this and enrich the tropical taste of the fruit with nuances of orange peel and honeydew.

Banana

The fruit of a plant named genus Musa, the banana is, strictly speaking, a berry. Bananas are typically eaten fresh, and as plantains that require heat treatment. In some countries, bananas are an important part of the local diet. For example, a citizen of Burundi eats an average of 190 kg of bananas a year. Even though some Latin American countries hold the title of “Banana” Republics, the world leaders in fruit cultivation are India and China. Bananas are used in many classic American desserts, such as banana split and banana cream pie.

Combining bananas with wine is not difficult, there is no bitterness or acidity in them. The average banana contains about 16 grams of sugar, so wines must be picked from the dessert category. Our 2019 Reserve Riesling will complement the simplistic and iconic taste of the fruit with notes of sweet melon, peach, and honey-apricot.

Fig

There are suggestions that the fig tree is one of the first plants domesticated by man. It is mentioned in many sacred texts, that it was with the leaves of the fig tree that Adam and Eve used to cover themselves. Figs are incredibly tasty, but they do not tolerate transportation well, so they are usually found in the form of dried fruits, preserves and jams. Fresh figs go perfectly with our 2019 Ephemere Baco Gamay and our 2019 Ephemere Gamay Noir. These wines are best served slightly chilled for a more fruity and silky steam.

Kiwi

Kiwi is originally from China, however, it gained worldwide fame thanks to the New Zealanders. In the middle of the 20th century, the fruit entered the country under the name “Chinese Gooseberry”. New Zealand breeders have worked on the size of the fruit and sugar content and brought out the fruit we know. The new name was not immediately thought of, but the similarities between the local kiwi bird and the green fruit did not go unnoticed. This is how the name kiwi appeared, which officially took root on the market only in the 1990s. Drier wines combine perfectly with the sweet and sour taste of kiwi. Our 2018 Select Fleur Des Marais will not only complement the Kiwi taste, but will additionally give you very unique and tropical notes on top of it!

Coconut

Despite the name, coconut is not a nut, but a stone fruit, just like a cherry or a peach. Originally from South Asia, however, thanks to the Portuguese sailors, it has spread throughout the world. There is a story about it coming to America long before the era of the great geographical discoveries, which some scientists interpret as evidence of contacts between the Indigenous inhabitants of the two continents before the arrival of Europeans. Others say that the coconut is waterproof and could easily float across the Pacific Ocean on its own. The fruit also owes its name to the Portuguese. The three dark spots on the surface of the fruit reminded them of demonic eyes and mouth, so they gave it the name “coco”. That was the name of the monster that scares children, comparable to the “boogeyman”. Oily coconut pulp requires wines with a similar structure. Our 2018 Ephemere Pinot Grigio Vidal is not only perfectly structured to complement the Coconut, but also will give you a very pleasant and clean aftertaste on the finish!

Mango

When Europeans speak of mango, people from Asian countries ask: “What kind of mango?”, because there are more than 300 varieties of this fruit. It is common in Southeast Asia and is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Chutney is made from unripe sour mango in India, while sweet ones are typically used for desserts and drinks. Ripe mangoes are high in sugars and low in acids. Our 2019 Select Sauvignon Blanc, with its aromas of lemon, green apple and grapefruit will add the much-needed acidity to your mango and will leave your palate wanting more!  

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit is a fruit, or rather a berry, of a passionflower plant. It is called the “fruit of passion”, which is why many believe that passion fruit has aphrodisiac properties. Passion fruit is common in countries with tropical climates and is used both fresh and in desserts, drinks, jams, and hot dishes.

Passion fruit has a sweet and sour taste at the same time, but acidity often dominates, so it is worth playing either on similarity or in contrast. Our 2019 Select Sauvignon Blanc will exude passionfruit aromas, so the combination will turn out to be similar, however, in this case, the acidity multiplier may not be pleasing to everyone’s taste. Of the sweet wines, the most successful pairing will be our 2019 Ephemere Vidal Blanc and our 2019 Ephemere Gamay Noir.

The suggested recommendations can also be used for desserts with matching fruits. However, keep in mind that when combined with sweet dishes, the wine should always be sweeter than the dish, otherwise the taste may be overcome by that of the dessert.

To learn more about Wine and Dessert combinations, happily check out our Perfect Dessert Pairing blog!

 

Cheers from us at Holland Marsh Wineries!

Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Wine Tasting at Home

Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Wine Tasting at Home

We are thrilled to announce that our Tasting Patio is officially open! While we are excited to welcome you back to enjoy your favourite Holland Marsh wines with us at the winery, we wanted to put together a few insider tasting suggestions for those who prefer to continue tasting from home for the time being. Keep reading below for expert tasting tips, straight from the Winemaker, that will help you get the most out of your wine tasting (at home).

Pick a ThemeWhen deciding which wines to add to your tasting lineup, consider choosing a theme. Think regional, grape varietal, or vintage year—just to name a few. We recommend tasting between 4 and 6 different wines, within your chosen theme, to truly make your tasting an experience. Also, be sure to taste your driest (least amount of residual sugar), and lowest-tannin wines first as this makes the most sense for your palette.

Choose the Right Glass – If you have tasted with us or other wineries before, you most likely enjoyed your tastings from a standard tasting glass. These glasses are specifically designed to optimize the aromas and flavour notes of all wines (even sparkling). While you cannot go wrong with a tasting glass, we recommend investing in some varietal-specific glassware to take your tasting to the next level. Varietal-specific glasses are excellent tasting tools, particularly for novice tasters, as they will accentuate and optimize key attributes that are unique to each wine, even to the untrained palette.

Highlight Subtleties with Pairings One of the easiest ways to elevate your at-home tasting experience is to incorporate food pairings. When choosing your menu, it is important to consider the balance of each pairing. Meaning, that both food and wine should always compliment one another in body, acidity, and sugar content.  Likewise, neither should ever overpower the other. While these are fantastic basic guidelines to follow, when it comes down to it, every palette is different. It is important to stay loyal to your own tastes, and if that means breaking the rules a bit, then go for it!

Keep it SimpleTake the guesswork out of the equation and consider ordering a tasting box or virtual tasting package from a local winery. Many vineyards are getting creative these days—us included—at finding ways to keep the wine flowing for our loyal at-home tasters. Check out our online store for more information on our Mystery Tasting Box, complete with wines, tastings notes, and pairing suggestions. Elevate your experience by adding a cheese or charcuterie box to your order. We also highly suggest making your at-home wine tastings a weekly tradition by choosing a different winery to taste each week!

Lastly, remember that tasting is a journey. Slow down, take your time, listen to your palette, savour every sip, and (of course) enjoy!

The Perfect Dessert Pairing

The Perfect Dessert Pairing

At Holland Marsh Wineries we love to pair our delicious wines with steak, seafood, creamy pasta, and sometimes with other excellent alternative dishes like hamburgers or pizza. While our wines are great with dinner, the most exciting part of any meal is often the dessert that follows. Let’s imagine for a moment, you open your fridge after a delightful dinner and discover an unfinished bottle of our 2019 Gamay Noir (unlikely, we know –but play along). Now, you need to make sure to pick a dessert with the intensity to match that of the wines. Fortunately, we are here to tell you about one of our favourite wine and chocolate pairing options.

The 2019 Ephemere Gamay Noir captures ripe, red fruit aromas, with notes of red currant and blueberry jam. This is when the Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake makes an entrance. This delicious and notoriously tempting dessert is a must try. With fresh raspberries being in season, no taste complements them better than chocolate! These two flavours are meant to be together and the best part? It is an excellent pairing with the Gamay Noir. This is mainly because the dark chocolate making process is remarkably similar to the wine making process. Both cocoa beans and grapes are fermented using similar yeasts. Despite their similarities, wine and chocolate, once paired, very often begin to compete for superiority in taste. So, when it comes to pairing this dessert with our Gamay Noir, the crucial part is to consider the wine as an extra ingredient. The combination will enhance the taste experience and take your palate to a whole new level, creating a unique and entirely new flavour profile.

This recipe is your perfect end to a romantic dinner.

Sunshine, Wine, and Birria!

Sunshine, Wine, and Birria!

Now that the chill of winter is gone and we are starting to see a little more greenery around the vineyard, patio season pairings are certainly on our minds. Over the winter, we have been pairing one of our newest and favourite blends, the 2018 Cabernet Merlot, with hearty, deeply flavoured dishes—and it has been hitting the spot! But with all this warm weather and sunshine, we’re craving something vibrant, complex, and a little smoky with our Cab Merlot: Birria Tacos!

If you haven’t heard of this delicious traditional Mexican dish, then let us take you on a little culinary adventure…

Originating from the small town of Cocula, in the State of Jalisco, ‘Birria’ evolved over several generations from a simple family stew into a traditional celebratory dish served at special occasions and holidays. Though the word ‘Birria’ roughly translates to ‘mess’ in English—kind of fitting for tacos, wouldn’t you say? —its culinary meaning is actually: “Exquisite savory dish, full of culture and tradition.”

Today, Birria is still served in its traditional form, however, it has recently taken on a more modern connotation within the street food scene: Birria Quesatacos. The taco meat is prepared in the customary Birria method: stewed for several hours in a unique combination of herbs and spices, after which it emerges with fantastically complex flavour and is unbelievably tender. Accompanied by fresh shredded cabbage, diced onion, cilantro, cheese, and lime, this dish has “patio” written all over it.

Be forewarned: though this dish is not overly complicated to master, it is definitely not a 30-minute meal. We recommend attempting this pairing over the weekend, or when you have a day or two to spare during the week. SO worth the effort, though. Trust us.

Now, the wine!

The 2018 Cabernet Merlot boasts dark red berry fruit notes delicately intertwined with toasted cocoa, and ripe tannins. Its bold character stands up beautifully to the vibrant flavours in this recipe, helping to bring out the subtle smoky flavours and hints of sweetness.

We absolutely love this match up and we have a feeling you will too. If you happen to try it out, feel free to tag/message us on social media to let us know how it went.

We always love a good taco + wine story!

P.S. Vegetarian/Vegan Friends: We didn’t forget about you! This recipe is easily customizable by replacing the beef with jackfruit, swapping the beef stock for veggie, and by using vegan cheese (if needed). Bon Appetit!

Spring Wine Pairing with Jerk Chicken

Spring Wine Pairing with Jerk Chicken

Spring has sprung in Newmarket! We are craving bright and flavourful dishes to entice our spirits and embrace the spectacular weather to come. Before we know it, we will all be enjoying asparagus, radishes and fresh greens straight from the Holland Marsh!

These sunny spring days have us of dreaming of the beach and this Caribbean Jerk Chicken takes our palate there too. This flavourful one-pan meal has a homemade jerk seasoning that will offer comforting warmth on those cooler nights spring always throws at us. Chicken, jerk seasoning, bell peppers, coconut milk, pineapple and rice come together to create a well-rounded dish. 

Our 2018 Ephemere Vidal Blanc is our Sommelier’s top pick with this recipe! For spicier dishes like this one, we recommend a slightly sweeter wine that will complement the meal and refresh your palate rather than compete with the spice. The Vidal has a bouquet of honey and flowers with notes of peaches, apricots and honeydew. The sweeter finish of this wine allows you to fully experience the beauty of the tropical fruit characteristics – it is still wonderfully balanced with a hint of acidity. 

The 2018 Ephemere Vidal Blanc is also a fantastic choice when enjoying dessert. Finish off your meal (and wine bottle) as you enjoy a fresh rhubarb tart or keep in the Caribbean theme with a Toto Coconut Cake!

Cheers to spring, good food and great wine!

Our Wine Shop is open and we are offering tastings on the patio! Our Store Hours Tuesday-Thursday 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM and Friday - Sunday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM - We are now Booking Tours!

You can also visit our Online Wine Store to have your wine delivered or scheduled for Patio-Side Pickup.

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