Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

Explore the U.S. Wine Trails
by Laura Hofman

Follow a Local Wine Trail to Discover the Secrets of Fine Wine

Suppose you want to kick back after a long day at work. You light a candle and put on some quiet music but realize the evening isn’t complete, so you run out to your local liquor store, looking for the perfect bottle of wine to cap the evening. What will you buy? When you see all the choices, you will probably look for a brand you tried before or a name you recognize—perhaps White Zinfandel by Sutter Home, the California winery.

What you might not realize is the wines that are stocked in local liquor stores tend not to be local, but are from the largest wineries that can afford a wide distribution. Often, small, local wineries have a smaller distribution, and even though their wine is better, you will have a harder time finding it unless you buy from the winery itself.

There are probably many local wineries within a short drive of your house. A quick online search reveals that, around Detroit (for example), wineries exist in Ann Arbor (less than one hour away), Albion (less than two hours away), and even in south-western Ontario (less than one hour away). All fifty states have wineries, and each winery often produces their own distinct-tasting wine. A merlot, for example, will taste different depending on geographic location and the particular winery. Some wineries specialize in creating basic wines (i.e., merlot) while others focus on creating fruit or specialty wines (i.e., blackberry merlot or ice wines).

One way of discovering these wineries is to take a day, perhaps on a weekend or during a vacation, and visit several of these wineries. Because of the conditions needed to grow and harvest good grapes, many wineries are often clustered together along a very scenic “wine trail.” Following a trail can be very informative and educational, as you learn about wine-making and taste many of the different wines the wineries make.

Once you have followed your local wine trails, you will know how to pick out a good local wine you will enjoy. You’ll probably even buy several bottles from the wine trail you visited! Not only will you be drinking good wine that you didn’t know about before, but you will be supporting your local economy.

Another benefit to visiting a wine trail is that you can turn the visit into the perfect family trip. Many wineries have U-Pick fruit orchards, so you and your family can pick fresh fruit during your winery visit.

One way to begin learning more about wine and local wineries is to make a commitment to following one wine trail each month. You can begin in your home state, visit a few wineries, and then begin branching out to other nearby states. By the end of a year, you will have visited many of your own local wineries, as well as wineries in many other states!

Jim and Laura Hofman are avid travelers who enjoy exploring and learning about various wineries and wine regions in the United States. Known as unofficial “travel advisors” for their family, friends, and business associates, the Hofmans enjoy the simple pleasure of sharing a bottle of wine and enjoying life. Subscribe to their free, monthly online newsletter at http://www.WineTrailsUSA.com

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article33562.html

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Overcoming Red Wine Spills

Overcoming Red Wine Spills
by Matthew Keegan

Red wine spills can be a disaster whether they occur in your home or onboard your $43 million executive jet as members of our corporate flight attendant web community are quick to point out. Taking care of a spill is another thing, but we have discovered two “tried and true” solutions to the problem. Please read on to find out what we discovered:

1. If you have just spilled red wine, immediately pour white wine over a red wine stain. The white wine [white grape juice is fine too] dilutes the pigmentation from the red grape.

2. You can also put salt on the stained area, wait a few minutes and rinse with running water. If you have an old stain, try soaking the stain with a lemon-water or vinegar-water solution, then wash it with your other laundry items. Of course, we’re talking about treating clothing not carpeting or furniture fabric.

The more expensive the item affected, the more likely you will seek professional cleaning care to resolve the problem even if you do emergency management. Not everyone feels comfortable with treating red wine spills, but doing nothing can cause the stain to set making it virtually impossible to get rid of later.

Matthew Keegan - EzineArticles Expert Author

Matthew Keegan is the owner of a successful article writing, web design, and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several sites including the Corporate Flight Attendant Community and the Aviation Employment Board. Please visit The Article Writer to review selections from his portfolio.

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article38426.html

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5 Tips For Experiencing A Wine Festival

5 Tips For Experiencing A Wine Festival

by B Hopkins

Copyright 2006 B Hopkins

Almost every state in the country has a wine festival. It is a great way to sample the wines of the region and to become familiar with some of the great wineries that are right in your
backyard.

If you decide to go to a wine festival, there are some things you can do to make the most out of the wine festival you are attending. Coming back from the festival with your favorite
bottle of wine is always enjoyable, but to get even more benefit, you can follow these tips.

1. Decide beforehand if you will do wine tasting or not.

If you decide to taste the wine, you will need to make sure of at least 2 things: First, bring along a designated driver who will decide to go dry during the festival, or, if you do wine
tasting, make sure you spit the wine out in one of the many buckets they have available.

Another thing you will need to decide, is which wines you would like to taste. Many wine festivals are arranged by types of wineries and the wines they serve. Most wineries will have their own booths which are easily indicated on the maps of the event
that are given out at the wine festival.

2. Sample the foods at the food booths at the wine festival

One of the great pleasures of having wine is the combination of the food and wine together. Many of the food booths that are on display are great in combination with the wines that are in the tasting tour.

Be sure to ask the vendors at the food tables what wines that are currently in tasting go best with their foods. The vendors should have a list of the wineries and wines that are up for tasting, so they should be able to give you some additional insight with the food and wine combination.

Another benefit is that it will put food in your stomach, which will keep you from being tipsy early on in the wine festival.

3. Sample some of the wines from each of the different wine regions

Depending upon the size of the festival, the variety of wineries will dictate how many regions are introduced. At the Lafayette Wine Festival in Colorado, there were several different regions throughout the state represented. Colorado has some varied climates so there are a number of wines that should be tasted, to experience the variety of flavors that come from the Colorado wineries.

4. Keep track of your wine tastings on a score card

Most wine festivals will give you a card or sheet of paper to be able to keep track of your wine selections. As you taste the wine, keep track of the wine you tasted and how you liked the flavor. Get ideas from the wineries serving the wine about which foods would go best with the wines you really enjoyed, and write that down.

The more you take notes at the wine festival, the less you will have to think about after the festival. There is nothing more frustrating that trying to remember which wines you liked, and what foods they would go best with. After a full day of wine tasting, your brain cells probably won’t function as well by the end of the day, so take notes as you go through the festival.

5. Have fun at the wine festival

Last but not least, as if I had to tell you… Have a lot of fun at the wine festival. Wine festivals are almost always a festive event where most people are having a great time. Experience the energy of people tasting wine, getting a bit tipsy, and just
having a great time.

Meet and talk with the other wine festival attendees. You will usually find them quite friendly after an hour of wine tasting. The winery merchants are quite willing to talk to you about their wines, and the tours of their vineyards they offer. Make a full day of it and see if you can make a new friend or business associate.

Wine festivals can be a lot of fun and also a great learning experience for the wine enthusiast. Following some simple tips can give you a lot more out of the experience and will give you a great springboard to enjoy more wine festivals in your area or
in another state entirely.

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article41881.html

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Pairing Wine and Food: Tips and Guidelines

Pairing Wine and Food: Tips and Guidelines
by Jack Reider

Not so long ago, serving white wine with red meat or serving red wine with a plate of fish or poultry was considered almost as inappropriate as eating a soup using your hands. Although the food and wine pairing rules are less strict than they used to be, many people still tend to be puzzled when selecting a bottle of wine to match their fancy dinner. If you are one of them, here you can find some useful tips and guidelines to help you match wine to the food.

The first and the most important tip is that the ancient wine and food pairing rules are not valid anymore. In fact, there are no rules when it comes to your personal taste. Your kitchen is your private chemestry. laboratory, so allow yourself to feel free to experiment new recipes, and creating unique wine and food pairing as much as you want.

A successful wine and food pairing is like a good relationship: the two different personalities has to live side by side peacefully without having one of them standing out on the expense of the other one. For example, pairing a beef stew with a chardonnay would be like matching a fat man with a skinny girl. The heaviness of the stew would take over the light, delicate nature of the wine and erase its presence. Therefore, it is recommended to pair a fuller bodied wine to a heavy meal and the opposite: serve a light dish such as chicken and vegetables with a light bodied wine such as chardonnay or pinot noir.

In addition to the lightness or heaviness of the meal, the flavors of both the wine and the food should be taken in consideration. You can either select a wine to contrast the main flavor of the food or to compliment it. Since there are no rules, both ways it can work out fine.

However, bear in mind that both food and wine react differently when tasted together than apart. For example, if you drink wine following a sweet flavored food such as a honey mustard glazed breast chicken, any wine would taste drier than it would if it tasted apart. Therefore, an off dry, slightly sweet wine like a Riesling or a white zinfandel would be the perfect choice to a food that its dominant flavor is sweet.

More examples:

1) If you are serving sour foods such as fish with lemon, high acid wines such as sauvignon blanc or pinot noir would be a great match.

2) Pair fruity wines such as merlot or chardonnay to foods that contain a bit of bitterness like a green salad.

3) Salty foods like anchovies would go well with sauvignon blanc or a light red Chianti.

4) A Riesling or a dry rose would balance a spicy food such as an Indian curry.

Bottom line, nothing can go wrong when pairing a good bottle of wine to a good dinner, especially if you add pleasant company to the equation. Bon appetite!

Jack Reider is an enthusiast cook who loves to invent new recipes as well as food and wine pairings. As an enthusiastic poker player, Joseph also writes articles and reviews for a casino portal.

Source: http://www.PopularArticles.com/article153205.html

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Fauquier County, Virginia

The rich and colorful history of the county where Chief Justice John Marshall grew up and Colonel John Singleton Mosby rode to fame is preserved in markers and monuments and in twelve stops on the Virginia Civil War Trails.

Old Town Warrenton, the county seat, is an architectural and historic treasure. The majestic columns and graceful spire of the “old” county Court House, still in use, beckon visitors to streets lined with well-preserved homes and appealing shops and restaurants. The Old Jail, built in 1808, houses a museum of local history. Modern accommodations, traveler services, shopping centers and a variety of restaurants border the tree-lined “old bypass” west of Old Town.

A year round smorgasbord of events and outdoor adventures for the entire family is highlighted by the Virginia Gold Cup, spring and fall steeplechase races, the oldest horse shows in America, farm and stable tours, statewide wine festivals, winery tours and tastings, Civil War reenactments at Sky Meadows State Park, Flying Circus Airshows, antique shows, craft festivals, holiday parades and celebrations, trail rides and pick-your-own orchards.

Whether you come to “get away from it all” or to seek recreation, we invite you to experience the warm hospitality, natural splendor and storied past of Warrenton and Fauquier County. Enjoy your stay, and come back soon! ~ Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce

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