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Archive for July, 2011

Wine in a Box? How Fancy!

July 6th, 2011 No comments
black box wine of sauvignon blanc

Image courtesy of thehautekitchen.com

If you’ve seen the film Grumpier Old Men, what was your reaction when Walter Matthau introduced Sophia Loren to wine in a box?  While boxed wines used to be cheap and über sweet White Zins (or fruit-flavored abominations!), today there are some boxed wines that are pretty decent.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few at recent tastings, those by Black Box in particular.

One of the main “problems” with boxed wine, why it still continues to have a bad reputation, is that people don’t treat it the same as bottled wine.  Boxed wine is frequently put in the fridge next to the milk, making it extremely slow to open (masking its aroma and flavor), or it’s left it out with the bread and crackers on a shelf that’s not climate controlled.  And because the volume of wine in a box exceeds that of a single bottle, the box needs additional time to reach an ideal serving temperature…  If issues of cooling are addressed, however, boxed wines can be expected to open with the same delight as their bottled brothers (at least in the same price range!).

It is worth mentioning that boxed wines are not intended to be stored long-term, but should be consumed fairly soon after purchase.  Boxed wines do contain a “boxed on” date, or a “use before” date, so look for this before purchasing.  (If your box has a “boxed on” date, you should ideally drink it within a year of that date.)  For those of you consciously “going green,” you’ll be happy to learn that boxed wine decreases landfill waste by 91%, and also reduces greenhouse gasses by 76% compared to bottle-and-cork wines.  If you plan to chill your boxed wine in a wine cabinet, make sure you have ample space for the size and shape of the box; many cabinets are designed to only fit bottles.  Certain storage units, like various Marvel Wine Coolers, have room for odd boxes and even magnums.

If you’re up for a silly night of summer fun, rent Grumpier Old Men and pick up a box of wine to go along with the show.  Treat the box like a bottle, drinking it at the proper serving temperature, and see what you think.  Not all vintners are equal, of course, so ask for recommendations!  Enjoy!

Wine Review: 2007 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon by Pine Ridge

July 4th, 2011 Comments off
2007 Forefront Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Image courtesy of Snooth.com

The delicious, first-class 2007 Forefront Cabernet Sauvignon pours out a regal, dark purple.  With a powerful nose consisting of aromas including blueberries, raspberries, slight truffle, leather, and light vegetable notes, this scintillating wine pleases before it is even sipped.  On the tongue, it certainly demands attention, too!  Surprisingly well-balanced for such a young Cabernet, it is mouth-watering, rich, and meaty.  Its pleasant berry tastes also mix splendidly with well-integrated, smooth tannins.  The finish, excellent and long, gives rise to hidden coffee, dark cherry, and chocolate flavors.  Try a bottle with steak and butter-rich dishes to neutralize the tannins and bring out the wine’s inherent fruit flavors.  Or, match the wine’s oak influences by serving with grilled or smoked meats.  And for tasty dessert ideas, this wine pairs exceptionally well with dark chocolate recipes.  This is a big, harmonious, excellent wine worth every penny!  Open a bottle today, and consider saving a few sips for friends using The Keeper Wine Preservation System.

The Keeper Nitrogen Wine Preservation System

White Wine Sauce Over Chicken Breasts

July 1st, 2011 No comments

Here’s a fast and easy chicken recipe that’s perfect for a quick, healthy meal in!  You’ll need:

  • 2 to 4 boneless chicken breasts,
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil,
  • 4 cloves of finely-chopped garlic (minced garlic will also do),
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch,
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (your choice),
  • and the juice of a freshly-squeezed lemon.

Wash your boneless chicken breasts.  Add the olive oil to a medium-sized pan, heating it on medium for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic distributing it evenly across the pan.  Just before the garlic begins to turn brown, lay the chicken in the pan directly over it.  Keep cooking the chicken breasts, turning as necessary, until they are nearly done.  (“Done” chicken will have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Use a meat thermometer for accuracy and safety.)  While the chicken finishes cooking, combine the dry white wine, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and corn starch in a separate bowl.  Stir well, then pour this mixture over the chicken.  Cover, and allow the sauce and chicken to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as desired, and enjoy!  (Be sure to scoop up and serve all of the sauce remaining sauce in the pan with the chicken.)

Black Pek Wine Steward Preservo Wine Preservation If you’d prefer a thicker sauce, simply add more corn starch to thicken it up.  You can also top the chicken with soft greens, baby spinach, or soft baby carrots before covering it for the last 2 to 3 minutes.  You may also wish to use white pepper instead of common black pepper for better aesthetic presentation, or for a more subtle spicy flavor.  Don’t forget, if you’d like to save the remainder of your bottle of white wine, use the affordable Pek Wine Steward Preservo (recently featured in Wine Spectator). We also recommend using a partial bottle you drank with last night’s dinner for cooking. Enjoy!