Charcuterie and Wine 101

 

charcuterie and wine 101 winestyles

What’s that funny word: charcuterie?

Charcuterie (French, pronounced: shahr-koo-tuhree) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes. (Source: Wikipedia

The history of charcuterie, in the sense of salting, smoking, and cooking to preserve, may date almost to the origins of Homo sapiens. It has been carried on in many forms through virtually every culture, and it has been one of the foundations of human survival in that it allowed societies to maintain a food surplus and therefore helped turn early peoples from nomads into clusters of homebodies. Sausage recipes date to before the golden age of ancient Greece. Even before that, the Egyptians were fattening geese for their livers-and possibly making the first pate de foie gras. (Source: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn).

Charcuterie board

DIY Charcuterie Board

Step 1: Pick your Platter

Choose one, two, or a few! There are endless options of cheese and charcuterie boards. Have fun picking one that suits your style. Hint: check out the selection at your local WineStyles store.

Step 2: Select your Meats

When choosing charcuterie, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety.

Step 3: Add your Garnishes

Make it colorful! Add some pickles, small dishes with brightly-colored jams, olives, mustard, nuts, the options are endless!

Step 4: Slice the Bread

This main food group completes the picture. Best to stick with simple baguettes. Toast with olive oil for a gourmet touch.

Step 5: Serve with Wine!

When in doubt, stick to bubbles. Bubbly pairs great with charcuterie because the acidity will cut through the fattiness of the meats. Try a semi-sweet option to please everyone’s palates.

Wine and Beer Boot Camp Class “Charcuterie and Wine 101”

Charcuterie and Wine class

In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of pairing charcuterie and wine – a gourmet tasting and learning experience! Attend this class so the next time you order a charcuterie board, you’ll know exactly how to enhance that experience with the perfect wine pairing. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper

3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people

6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading,

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German Beer Video Round-Up!

Oktoberfest is already in full swing in Germany!  Grab a glass and RSVP for our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class “Exploring German Beer”!  Spruce up on your beer knowledge and check out these informative and fun videos about German beer. Prost! (Cheers!)

germanbeer

EXPLORING GERMAN BEER: In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of German beer, its origins, how it’s made, and how best to enjoy it. The best part of learning is the tasting! Join us for a delicious and educational German beer tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt
Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Video 1 German Beer – Centuries of Tradition

This video talks in-depth about the German brewing economy. It details how much beer is sold in Germany each year, and the number of breweries the country has. (Statistics as of 2013). You’ll hear from a Professor of Biotechnology from Berlin’s Technical University, as well as a student in the field, and how they feel about the ongoing use of the German Beer Purity Law, “das Reinheitsgebot”. Enjoy the views of Oktoberfest tents and crowds towards the end. It really is a big celebration!

Video 2 – Top 10 German Beer Styles

This video gives a great overview of the 10 most common German beer styles. The host, from Beerland Diaries, also peppers in some great German beer-drinking cultural norms, such as the two-man beer race called “Bierkasten Rennen”, and how to properly toast with a Weizen.

Video 3 – Beer Geek – Germany Part 1: The Reinheitsgebot

This third video is very approachable, from an avid beer-drinker and self-proclaimed “beer geek”, Oli Haydon. Oli will walk you through the Berliner Weisse beer style, as well as the German Beer Purity Law and what it means in Europe today. If you want to continue learning about German beers, follow Oli’s YouTube channel here as he continues with his series on German Beer.

Video 4 – Ein Prosit – Oktoberfest Song Karaoke

Now for a German beer drinking song! Oktoberfest isn’t complete without crowds of people sloshing around huge beer steins loudly singing together traditional German beer-drinking songs. This one is often heard in large Oktoberfest tents in Munich, and all over Germany. It’s titled, “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” which roughly translates to “A Toast to Good Cheer”.

“Ein Prosit”, means “A Toast”, but “Gemütlichkeit” is one of those untranslatable words from German to English. It isn’t just one thing. It’s cheer, and warmth, and belonging, and acceptance all rolled into one – rather fun to pronounce – word.

Of all the German beer drinking songs, you’re sure to hear this one should you visit Germany for Oktoberfest. It helps keep the party going, because each time it’s played, guests are invited to stand up, toast each other, and chug!

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit – German lyrics:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
OINS! ZWOI! DREI! G’SUFFA!

A Toast to Good Cheer – English lyrics:

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.
ONE! TWO! THREE! DRINK UP!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Oktoberfest! Prost!

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Choosing Wine by the Label and DIYs!

As you walk into a wine store, the varietals and wine label descriptions can be a little bit overwhelming.

What on earth is a “Blaufränkisch” and why is every French wine called “chateau this” or “chateau that” you whisper to yourself.

You’re perusing the red wines thinking, “OK, pinot noir, I know that one” and suddenly you see it – the coolest wine bottle label on the shelf. You pick it up and look it over with great intrigue.

Cool wine labels

Find unique and fun wine labels at your local WineStyles store!

Ah yes, this one has all the right components – striking colors, an illustration that reminds you of that one art class you took in college, and how you keep meaning to visit more art galleries (some of them have free wine tasting!). You think how your friends will comment on the label when you invite them for dinner or snap it on Instagram.

Then, suddenly, the store associate comes your way and asks, “finding everything ok?” You scramble to remember anything about the wine you’re holding that doesn’t have to do with its appearance and spit out, “yeah, pinot’s the best!”

Do you feel like a wine fraud? Let us be the first to tell you, it’s OK to love that bottle just because you like the label.

There’s no shame in wine shopping based on aesthetics! Appreciating wine is like appreciating fine art, and if you happen to appreciate the art on the label, then we say all the better!

Wineshop

Let’s take a look at what you can do with that beautiful label after you’ve tasted the grapes inside. There are so many ways to re-purpose wine bottles.

Below are a few of our favorite wine bottle crafts for preserving those quirky or funny wine labels. So go on, pick a wine based on your favorite label design. The point of wine drinking is to enjoy the whole experience!

And after you’ve been inspired with crafty tutorials, check out our upcoming class on How to Read a Wine Label! That way you can choose great wines by the grapes inside, and by the cool labels. 🙂

Want to enjoy that wine label and all the beautiful birds it attracts? Make a DIY wine bottle bird feeder! Find instructions on The Garden-Roof Coop blog:

wine bottle bird feeder winestyles

Photo: The Garden-Roof Coop blog

Make an easy centerpiece from empty wine bottles simply by adding candles! For a bigger centerpiece, use a few bottles grouped together. Enjoy supper as you watch the wax drip down the bottles representing time passing and an evening enjoyed with friends and loved ones:

Centerpiece wine bottles with candles winestyles

Wine bottle centerpiece with candles

Remove the label from the bottle to save in your wine journal, or to re-purpose later. This tutorial by blue i style will help you peel it off with ease:

remove wine labels winestyles

Photo: blue i style blog

Light up your outdoor gatherings by using small solar lights (the kind meant for sticking in the ground) inside old wine bottles! This project was found by happy coincidence from blogger Our Crafty Mom. A fun and simple way to add a little wine charm to your backyard summer BBQs:

solar light wine bottles winestyles

Photo: Our Crafty Mom

 

Check out WineStyles on Pinterest for more wine craft ideas!

Learn how to read wine labels in our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class this August!   We won’t judge if you still want to choose your wines based on the fun and pretty labels, but just in case you’d like to impress your friends and know what all those markings on wine labels mean, we’ve constructed the perfect 101 class for you!

ReadWineLabel

HOW TO READ A WINE LABEL: In this class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of reading a variety of wine labels from different countries and regions, and of course the best part of learning is the tasting!  Join us for a delicious and educational wine tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:
Stamper
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading, cheers!

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LIVE webcast with Doug Frost – January 12

Wine101SPECIAL EVENT:
TASTE LIKE A PRO with Doug Frost, MS, MW
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

W&B_BootCamp_logoJoin us for a LIVE webcast wine educational class with Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.  Attend our very first Wine & Beer Boot Camp educational series of 2016 and learn how to Taste Like a Pro!  Doug Frost will share his tips of the trade, making you look like a pro!  Seating is limited – call your local WineStyles Tasting Station store to RSVP.

DougFrostDoug Frost, Master Sommelier & Master of Wine

In 1991, Doug Frost passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine.  He was the second person in history to complete both exams and almost two decades later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions. According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” The Wine Spectator has also bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Mr. Frost, and he is one of the founders of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), considered by most industry professionals to be the preeminent education and examining body for the spirits and cocktail industry. He continues to teach and examine for BAR and within the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine programs; currently he serves as President of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America.

Doug Frost also reviews, tastes and approves the monthly selection of Wine Club wines for WineStyles Tasting Station.

His first book, Uncorking Wine, is a staple for many restaurant and retail companies and their staff and management. Frost’s second book, On Wine, published by Rizzoli International, was released in 2001 and his most recent book, Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide, the third edition released in 2011. Frost is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, Opus Vino, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and The Wine Report, an annual report edited by Tom Stevenson. He writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Sante Magazine, and Epicurious.com and is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star, as well as Hemispheres Magazine, Missouri Life and Fine Cooking. Frost is the host of Check Please!, an Emmy Award nominated weekly public TV show filmed in Kansas City. He also appears as a featured judge on Public Television’s The Winemakers, PBS’s first nationally broadcast reality show.

To learn more about Doug Frost, please visit his blog at DougFrost.com

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your participating local WineStyles to RSVP!