• contact@pyrennesvinyard.com


Pyrenees Vineyard and Cellars is an artisanal winery that’s located in the rolling hills of Southern Oregon. The region is one of the best regions in the US for producing wines. In fact, the areas altitude and ocean-based winds help to produce a seven-month growing season like Europe.

This helps to make Southern Oregon unique from all other wine-growing regions in on the US’ West Coast. In fact, that also includes all of the Americas. This is a plus because it’s a unique area in the Americas for growing wines. This allows our winery to provide a unique experience for people who are looking for a wine-drinking experience they can’t get in other areas.



Southern Oregon is a great place to grow wines due to some key factors. For example, there’s the temperature changes and the mountain geography. This splits the region into different climates that are ideal for growing more than 70 unique varieties of grapes.

This allows you to enjoy a wide variety of wines at our winery. It’s a plus over other regions that have less diversity in terms of geography and temperatures. It helps to ensure that visitors to our winery can enjoy tens of different wines and hopefully they can find their new favorite wine variety.

This means that you can find different grape varieties growing in the right climate. The results are amazing. That’s due to the grapes’ acidity, alcohol levels as well as classic flavors and aromas. It’s not unique that we’re offering multiple wines from various grape varieties. What makes our experience special is that the grapes are growing in an environment that’s perfect for them. This helps to provide the best experience for wine lovers who visit Southern Oregon.

We’re a family-owned business. The winery is located on the famous Umpqua River. Our company thinks it’s critical that we don’t become a huge corporate that’s only focused on mass producing wines. We’re against that approach because we believe it compromises the quality of our wines. That’s something we don’t want to do. The reason is our company has been around for a long time.

We use a very precise process for making our high-end wines. So we want to make sure that the process continues as it has over the years. If we were to use methods to sell mass-produced wines we’re certain that it would have a negative effect on the quality of our wines. That’s a risk we’re not willing to make. The reason is we’re dedicated to providing our customers with top-notch wine.

Our customers are big fans of our wines and we want to provide the best wines possible to them. The company focuses on capturing the diverse weather/soil conditions that are found in the 30-acre vineyard. This helps to produce quality Oregon wines that are complex and balanced. Our goal is to provide the best wines possible to our customers.

The Umpqua River is a river on the Pacific coast of Oregon that’s about 110 miles long. It’s one of the main rivers located on the Oregon Coast. It’s well-known for its bass and other fishes. The River flows northwest via the Oregon Coast Range then empties into the Pacific Ocean at Winchester Bay. The location of the winery is definitely one of the reasons we’re able to offer such high-end wines to our customers.

That’s because the area is very fertile. That, in turn, helps to produce high-quality wines. There are other wine-growing regions in the US. However, Southern Oregon is easily one of the top ones in the US. This helps us to provide some of the best wines grown in the entire US. If you visit our winery you can sit on the river view deck and enjoy a 150-degree view of the surrounding landscape.


We believe that the experience of drinking wines isn’t just about the wine itself. That’s why we want to provide our visitors with the panoramic view of our vineyards. This will help to make the win-drinking experience even better. The area is so lovely it will be a feast for your senses. When combined with a glass of one of our wines we’re certain that it will be one of the best experiences you’ve had during your entire life.

If you visit Oregon it’s highly advisable to visit our winery to learn about the history of making fine wines at our winery. This will give you a better appreciation for our wines. There’s something special about seeing the process that’s involved when you learn the meticulous process that’s involved in the making of your favorite products, such as one of our wines.

It’s a life-changing experience. When you tour our wineries and vineyard you’ll get to experience every step of the wine-making process. This is something you might have seen on TV or read in a book. However, it’s quite another story when you when you experience the process yourself. It will definitely help to give you a better appreciation for our wines.

We’d also like to invite you to join our wine club. We believe the members are the essence of our winery. It’s a small group of true wine lovers who can truly appreciate the quality of our wines. Our Wine Club is a small group that can enjoy our high-quality wines.

Seasonal Availability: With every season, we offer a different type of wine than we normally would. For our Fall 2017 season, we’re offering our famous mulled wine, made by the best sous vide machine that was reviewed by Sous Vide Wizard.

You can also sit down and enjoy a bottle of high-quality Pyrenees wine with your friends or family. The members of our wine club can appreciate the experience of drinking our hand-crafted wines. In fact, it’s important to note that it’s an experience and not just an activity. They know that the sight, smell, and taste of our wines are unique and an experience that they’ll treasure forever.

This is one of the main reasons why we make sure that our wines are hand-crafted. We don’t want to make our wine a mass-produced product. We know that if we were to do that the quality would suffer and we don’t want to cause that to happen. Instead, we want to give the best to our customers.


Tips In Buying Sous Vide Machine

Tips In Buying Sous Vide Machine

Whatever investment you would like to add to your home or restaurant, it is best to research it first so you can get some simple yet useful tips in buying especially if you are getting the product for the first time. Below will inform you things you need to know about Sous Vide Machine so you can choose the right kitchen investment.

The Types Of Sous Vide Machines

It is true that Sous Vide Machines is responsible for the perfect and consistent result that allows you to serve quality and tasty food for your guest but there are types of sous vide machine in the market. One of it is the one mostly referred as immersion circulations in which the operation is simple. It will need a pot or container and some suits just any containers while few other types need its own sous vide container for cooking. On the other hand, there is also a type of Sous Vide Machine that looks like a pressure cooker or an oven, which has a stainless or plastic exterior and this is suitable for commercial purpose. Though there is also immersion circulation Sous Vide Machine that can be used for commercials and they are called the thermal circulation Sous Vide Machine. This is the type of Sous Vide Machine that is commonly used by chefs because it can accommodate up to 65 liters of water. Also, you have to know that there are types of Sous Vide Machine that are platinum-made rather than stainless that is why the prices can range depending on the materials used in manufacturing the product.

The Thermal Or Temperature Control

There is a simple selection of control to regulate the temperature such as low and high but there are also setting that are complex in some brands and types such as in Fahrenheit or preset setting. With the commercial purpose Sous Vide Machine like the oven type, it is like a square rice cooker with a stainless body structure. You have to put water and close its lid and set the temperature and wait until the food is cooked. If you are buying a Sous Vide Machine for commercial use, note that these types should be capable to handle heavy duty and with big capacity compared to home-use.

The Pressure Flow And The Temperature Sensor

For personal and home use, these functions may not be as important but if you want to use it for restaurant and other commercial purposes, you must note that the temperature sensor and the pressure flow is responsible so it will not overheat and overload. Normally, a Sous Vide Machine for commercial use should have the maximum of 12 liters per min pressure rate so you will not be in trouble.

Energy Efficient

There are brands and Sous Vide Machine models that allow you to save on the energy consumption. Check out the description of the product or items if it has a high energy saving rate or asks the seller if you are confused. In this way, your monthly bill won’t rise and would not add burden to your budget.

Automatic Switch Off

With commercial purpose Sous Vide Machine, it is essential that you must pick the model with low-water level protection. In this way, the Sous Vide Machine will just automatically switch off in case you forgot to put water on the Sous Vide container. If it is sous vide machine for commercial purpose then it uses more power so if it will not automatically off when there is no water inside then accidents or fire can start.

Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking

Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking

If you’ve already read our posts on How to Make Sous Vide Mulled Wine and Tips for Buying a Sous Vide Machine for Wine, then you’re ready for our latest article: the Best Wine for Sous Vide Cooking.

As you’re well aware, not all wines are created equal. While we love the wines that Pyrenees Vineyard makes, there are some wines that are even better for cooking sous vide.

Cooking with Merlot

Cooking with Merlot is one of the oldest cooking wines out there. Even back in the days of Ancient Greece, people were cooking with merlot. Why? Because it has the sweet, bold characteristics that just seep into the meat that you’re cooking with.

Notice how I said meat. You’re going to want to use Merlot if you’re cooking with meat. If you’re solely cooking with vegetables, then you’re going to want to use our next wine:

Cooking with Chardonnay

Cooking wtih chardonnay is ideal if you’re working with vegetables. The dry, bold flavor of chardonnay is the perfect compliment to vegetables – especially green ones. The flavor really gets cooked into the heavier parts of the vegetable, giving it more flavor and more life. When the wine and vegetables are in the vacuum sealed sous vide bag, they’re going to infuse and become one.

Remember, when you’re cooking sous vide, you’re cooking food in a water oven. You’re going to need to use more wine than you normally would if you were using a skillet. Also, you’re going to need to cook the food a tad bit longer. Sous vide is all about timing and precision. Make sure you look at time and temperature charts before you get started on your sous vide wine cooking adventure.

Guide to Organic Wines

It is no surprise that organic wines are growing in popularity today. Take one of the world’s most popular beverages and combine it with a leading global green imperative and what do you get? That’s right; massive, growing demand for organic wine. Organic wine means that the wine (French wines honor organic in a huge way too) is made from grapes that are grown organically. Often, there is more to it however.

Vineyards can be cared for and harvested in sync with the earth (and moon). This is referred to as the biodynamic practice of growing wine grapes. And little, if any sulfates, can be used during the wine making process. Finally, how does an organic wine hold up during a wine review? Think of a grape that is not chemically dependent; cultivated without use of synthetic fungicides, herbicides or fertilizers, from vines that grow in living soil, full of worms and grape-loving bacteria. You get an absolutely delicious wine, naturally!

So, what should you look for when you buy organic wine?

1) Wine made from organic grapes – The grapes are grown in the same manner as other types of organic produce – natural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides – under practices adopted by the US Department of Agriculture. The packaging will reflect this. You may want to do some reading on the vineyard itself for additional background on their organic, eco-friendly wine making processes.

Where to buy? Try the Organic Wine Company (they have a huge and impressive selection of organic wines). You can buy wine online or place orders by phone.

Read up on this “green blogger’s” favorite eco-friendly wine makers for additional options.

2) Biodynamic wine – Grapes grown through biodynamic practices are ultra-organic; the goal is to not only use natural materials, but to synchronize the growing process with nature’s rhythms. Biodynamic growers will, for instance, plant and harvest based on the phases of the moon while also following traditional organic practices. Some go so far as to plow vineyards by horse (picture of horse taken by Domain Leflaive of Burgundy).

A Wine Connoisseur’s Guide to Inexpensive Wines

There is an urban legend in wine-tasting and wine appreciation that ‘you get what you pay for’. In other words, if you want a good wine, you must be willing to pay a higher price. This is simply not true, unilaterally at least. Obviously some lower priced wines lack the bouquet and depth of a Clois du Bois. But it is very easy to purchase a respectable wine for a very reasonable price. Here’s how.

Let’s look at a wine that is fast becoming America’s favorite: Shiraz, or Syrah as it has been called in times past. Perhaps the epiphany of Shiraz is due to good years for the grape. Or it may be that wine connoisseurs are developing a taste for heavier-bodied wines. In the days when dinner in wealthy homes consisted of five to seven courses, each with its accompanying wine, diners needed wines that paired well with each course. Can you imagine the indigestion from consuming five to seven different wines, on top of soup, fish, fowl, joint followed by rich dessert liqueurs and heavy Stilton cheese?

For wine connoisseurs want to enjoy a good vintage without paying top dollar, there are several really nice reasonably priced wines at your local grocery store. These red wines are rich and dark with a heavy body that clings to the glass.

Oak Leaf from Ripon, California is quite good and retails for $2.97 a bottle at Walmart stores. They don’t carry a Shiraz, but their Merlot is similar in taste.

Crane Lake: a modest-priced 3 bottles for $10 might cause the less discerning to shy away, under the mistaken assumption that Crane Lake couldn’t be good wine with such a low price. Such shallow thinking will mean that the wine-lover misses a very respectable wine. I’ve not tried the other varieties, but Crane Lake Shiraz is very tasty. This is one of the smokiest of Shiraz that I have ever consumed. I happen to like my Shiraz very oakey and this wine was a nice treat.

Gato Negro: $4 to $6 a bottle has a Merlot and a Cabernet Merlot variety that have a nice bouquet and rich, rewarding taste.

Redwood Creek is slightly higher in price but absolutely worth it. A rich dark red that rivals Woodbridge and Robert Mondavi.

Bon Appetit and may you enjoy your wine in bliss!

Hearty Red Wine Roast Beef with Winter Vegetables

Hearty Red Wine Roast Beef with Winter Vegetables – For those who like to put a variety ingredients together and have fun: a preparation for a satisfying, mouth-watering roast with a high-class taste!

What Goes In:

  • ½ bottle good quality red wine. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink! Shiraz and Pinot Noirs are great for this – Merlots can be a bit too soft.
  • 1 red onion, minced up fine
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • Beef broth
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast (trimming is a good idea)
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thick slices
  • 1 lb carrots sliced
  • 7 Red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 large onions, cut into sixths or eighths
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2-3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Coarse ground pepper

Now What Do I Do Then, Huh?

  1. Slice up the garlic cloves and sautee them over medium heat in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until you get that nice, garlicky smell and they go a little brown
  2. Combine wine, onion, sautéed garlic, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a cup of beef broth if you need some more liquid volume. Place roast in a large pan or ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 10 hours – more like 16 or so is great.
  3. Remove the roast and place in a pan with a thin pan of vegetable oil. Not too much or you’ll have greasy meat! Honestly, you don’t have to brown the thing. It’s a pain in the rear and doesn’t “seal in juices” or any of those myths.
  4. Cover the roast in heavy aluminum foil and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours. At this point, take the roast out and turn it over, making sure to evenly coat it with the juices at the bottom. After turning, add the potatoes, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Bake 1 hour, then add the squash and celery. Bake one more hour or until roast is done.

Wait, that’s it? Come on.

  1. Nope, now the sauce! Remove the roast and vegetables Skim fat from juices in roasting pan and use something to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. You can also add a little more of the leftover wine (just a few tablespoons) – unless you’ve swigged the rest of it already in your holiday cheer.
  2. Whisk together cornstarch and about a half to 2/3 cup of very cold water in a small bowl until smooth. Then, mix the cornstarch slurry into the into juices in pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken.
  3. Brush the roast with the sauce and save the rest of dipping. Put a little coarse pepper on the top and voila! You’re golden!
  4. Arrange the roast in the middle of a serving platter with the vegetable around it for a great presentation. A sprig of holly on top always looks festive as well

Making Sous Vide Mulled Wine

Sous Vide Mulled Wine

Making mulled wine has never been so easy thanks to sous vide. Mulled wine making used to be an incredibly tedious process, that would sometimes take days depending on what kind of base wine you were working with. Well, thank to sous vide, that process that used to take days now only takes a little over an hour!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Bottle of Red Wine
  • Juices of 3 Oranges, 2 Peels
  • Juices of 1 Grapefruit, 1/2 Peel
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 75g Stevia
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 4 tbsp Vanilla Extract


Plug in your top rated sous vide machine and set the temperature to 140 degrees F. Note: If you don’t already have a sous vide cooker, then I suggest you pick one up based on the best sous vide machine reviews at Sous Vide Wizard. Once the sous vide water bath is heated to 140F, you’re going to combine all of the aforementioned ingredients into a bowl and mix lightly. Pour the mixture into 3 sous vide bags and vacuum seal them shut. Place the bags in your sous vide water bath for 60 minutes.

After 60 minutes, take the mulled wine out. Let it sit for a few minutes. Serve chilled.

Guide to Wine Storage and Serving Temperatures

Guide to Wine Storage and Serving Temperatures

The key to enjoying a good wine is not only its storage temperature but also its serving temperature. However, are you certain of which serving temperature for the particular bottle of wine you purchased? It the previous statement made you question your basic knowledge of wine serving temperatures, please read further as I explain the proper storage and serving temperatures.

Wines continue to develop character and flavor after they are bottled. The primary external factor affecting that development is the storage temperature. The ideal temperature for storing wine is not room temperature; it is instead between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should also be kept constant so that the cork doesn’t expand or contract, letting in impurities and air. The best way to keep wine at a constant temperature is to purchase a wine refrigerator. If you no not have the money for a specialty refrigerator, a basement storage center in a darkened corner will be adequate. Make certain that corner is not too drafty, though.

Most people are aware that red wines can be served near room temperature. However, that does not imply that they can be served at room temperature. The ideal temperature for red wine is between 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have just purchased a bottle of wine and would like to serve it right away, wine.com suggests that you refrigerate the bottle for about 20 minutes to bring it to the appropriate temperature. Uncork it, let it breathe for about ten minutes, and then serve it in the appropriate wine glasses.

White wine requires a cooler serving temperature. White wine such as chardonnay should be served at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or directly out of the wine refrigerator. Wine.com suggests that you can achieve this temperature for a freshly purchased bottle of wine by refrigerating it for one-and-a-half hours to lower it from room temperature.

Fuller-bodied white wines need an even cooler temperature than other white wines. Wines such as Riesling and Sauternes need to be chilled to between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to WineIntro.com. You may discover disagreement about the proper temperature at which these wines should be served. My personal experience suggests that these wines taste much better and have a more developed nose when served slightly cooler than the cellar temperature of 55 degrees.

Finally, champagne should be served chilled. Chilled does not mean ice-cold; the ideal champagne-serving temperature is 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. People associate champagne with an ice bucket. You can also chill it in an ice bucket for 20 minutes before serving. Ideally, it will be refrigerated before placement in the ice bucket.

Though you can drink wine outside of these recommended serving temperatures, your experience will not be the same. Proper temperatures bring out the true character of a wine. Notice that, and enjoy the wine more fully.

Easy Wine Sauces

Easy Wine Sauces

I wouldn’t consider myself an outstanding cook, but I try my best. My biggest problem is following recipes. I can’t really do it for some reason. I always have to improvise or add a little something extra. Most of the time that works. I can tell you one time where it definitely doesn’t work for me and that is…. baking. Not my area of expertise and believe me I have tried. I am not even able to make the simplest batch of sugar cookies without screwing it up. When it comes to cooking though, now we’re talking. I believe there is one reason that I can cook and that is, if I can add wine to it, then by all higher powers, I will add wine to it. Now how can you mess that up? Trust me, it’s kinda hard to do and if you allow yourself to sip the wine while cooking, well, if you screw up you won’t care by then.

The one thing I don’t cook at home but once in a long while is fish. I’m not a big fan of fish unless its Yellow-Tail Snapper. That is about the only dish I go out to dinner for and will pay whatever to get. However, that is not practical to do as often as I like. I think my favorite part of that dinner is the sauce. Essentially it is just a beurre blanc sauce at the restaurant which is incredibly simple to make at home. It’s as easy as chopping some shallots, saute in pan until soft (do not brown them) and then adding butter, white wine and lemon juice (all in small amounts) and lightly bubbling until it’s the consistency you want it to be. Since I buy cheap white wine, it’s almost always in the house. I have also made this sauce without the shallots and instead I add a little heavy cream to thicken the sauce for noodles. Pouring this sauce over a baked piece of talapia (or any other mild flavored fish) almost makes me forget I’m not eating snapper. I also love this sauce on egg noodles served with thin breaded pan-fried chicken or pork. Another alternative if you’re not cooking with shallots is to add chopped chives and white pepper at the end of cooking this sauce. The white pepper adds a little bite to it and the chopped chives (fresh is preferable) really liven up the flavor.

When it comes to meat, which we eat a lot of in our house, I had to have an alterative. Steak, steak and more steak. Due to this fact, I had to have something other than a steak sauce or, dare I say it, ketchup. Yes. I am guilty of dipping my steak in ketchup (I think that’s sacrilegious in some parts of the world). I think the first time I used red wine in cooking, other than pouring loads of red wine in my spaghetti sauce, was my mother’s stroganoff recipe. I remember asking my husband to dinner for the first time while we were out on a golf date. I asked him if he liked stroganoff and he thought it was a vodka. Well, maybe he didn’t know what it was, but once I made it for him, the rest was history. To this day though I’m not sure if it was me or the gallon of red wine I used in that beef stroganoff that hooked him. I guess I can’t bring that up and then not tell you how I make my stroganoff, so here it is, as simple as I can make it. First I cut a bottom round roast into small chunks and place them in a bowl of red wine until ready to cook. Chop regular onion and brown in butter in skillet deep enough to fit all beef and once browned I add the beef as I drain it from the red wine. Cover skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender. As the liquid cooks out I slowly add red wine to the beef to keep it simmering. I then add a packet (or two depending on how much beef you cook) of brown gravy mix adjusting the water amount added as I want the sauce to be thick. I also always throw in a couple teaspoons of Gravy Master. If the sauce is too thin I’ll just add a little flour mixed with a small amount of water (paste consistency) to the beef. Once the gravy is as thick as I like it (i.e., when I know it’s going to stick to the egg noodles) I will take the cover off and turn the stove to low and slowly add in sour cream until smooth. I then pour this over cooked egg noodles and let rest for about 20 minutes and serve. Yummy.

Now back to my easy red wine sauce for steaks. Just as I do my white wine sauce, I will chop shallots and cook in butter. I slowly add red wine and stir while simmering until I get a nice thick consistency and will pour this sauce over my steak. It works on any kind of steak whether it be rib-eye, sirloin, strip or tenderloin. If you have some in your house I would also add a dash of red wine vinegar and chives. If you sauce is thinned out too much by the wine, then just add in a little more butter, cooking until it thickens. Worse case scenario, add a little corn starch to thicken.

With these two simple little sauces you can have an abundance of simple yet romantic dinners every day of the week. I caution though, this is not for children. I have been pleasantly buzzed from eating these sauces and we don’t want to turn our children into eating alcoholics. However, the white sauce can be made without the white wine. Add a little white vinegar instead for the kiddies.

Wine Review: Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Wine Review: Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Fall is all about getting together with friends and family, not sure exactly why but it just seems like the comfy season to sit at home while chatting it up. When guests come to my house, a new bottle of wine is always waiting for them to engage them in relaxation throughout their duration at my house. Drylands has come out with the perfect fall wine selection that goes great with all those cinnamon and pumpkin flavored meals and snacks.

A weekend ago a group of friends were coming over for a little get-together full of appetizers and fantastic wine. Since the seasons have changed, so has our house wine list for party celebrations. Usually my husband and I prefer to serve at least one white wine and one red one. During the summer we prefer a nice and cool German White wine however in the fall we wanted to have something a little more robust and spicy that matched the foods of the season. We found a selection at our local spirits store called Drylands Sauvignon Blanc from 2006. It was not a disappointment.

Appearance/Visual: The white wine had almost perfect clarity and looked healthy. It had a light yellowish color however was not as dark as say lemonade. It was easily seen through in the wine glass which is important to wine drinkers.

Nose/Smell: It does hold a medium level of body in the bouquet however is not overpowering intense to non-wine drinkers.

Sweetness/dryness: This is a really dry white wine; it can not be compared to a gewürztraminer. Due to the characteristics of the fall season snack foods that tend to be sweet, this dry white wine pairs perfectly to hold back a little of the sugar.

Acidity: This is a sophisticated white wine, therefore it does have a slightly higher level of acidity which can make some people pucker with the flavor. Seasoned wine drinkers will find this selection to be very crisp.

Weight/Body: Since this is a white wine, it does have a lighter body. It is not as heavy as sophisticated white wines.

Fruit: Much to my amusement, this white wine tastes a lot like pineapple and other tropical fruits. In fact, when my husband and I first took a sip of this wine that is what we both stated. It has other herbal flavors however are not very prominent over the pineapple flavor. Years ago, many farmers would use pineapples in the southern states and place chunks into pumpkin soup in the fall months. I am reminded of this flavor when I drink the wine and eat pumpkin cookies or pumpkin soup.

Cost: Although prices vary in different areas, the bottle we purchased was around $15.00.

So, if you are looking for a good fall white wine that pairs with the fall foods of the season, try this Sauvignon Blanc from Drylands. It is good paired with foods but also warms the body on those cold nights as an after dinner wine.

Note: This wine has just won the honorary 90 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

White Zinfandel or Merlot? How to Choose the Right Wine

White Zinfandel or Merlot? How to Choose the Right Wine

The world has hundreds of wines to choose from. Some of the top vineyards are Ridge Vineyards, Russian River Valley, and Rutherford. The vineyards produce thirteen different types of wines, choosing one that will compliment your meal can be difficult.

From my experience as a bartender and server to your home, I offer you a definition of each type of wine, the types of foods that they can be served with, and what wines are in high demand this season.

Do I serve red wine with meat? Do I serve white wine with fish? What do I serve with duck? What is the difference between sweet wines and dry wines? These are probably questions that are coming to mind when you’re trying to choose a bottle for your guests.

The best thing to do is to have both a sweet and dry wine for your guest. Each person has a different palette (taste) for wine. Some will prefer a sweet wine with what you are serving and some will prefer a dry wine.

With the knowledge that there are 13 different types of wines, I am going to do my best to demystify the difference between white, reds, and blush. I do want to start off by explaining some of the words that Wine lovers use in their descriptions of wines.


When someone uses the word Tannic, they are talking about the taste of a wine. The presence of Tannin gives wine an astringent or clean flavor. Tannin is the chemicals that come from oak. A tannic flavor usually comes from a red wine being aged in oak.

Cabernet Sauvignon Wines

The Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep red color to purple color wine. Most Cabernet Sauvignons are rich in flavor and tastes. You will want to purchase a Cabernet Sauvignon Wine from a vineyard located in warm climate because this allows the grapes to ripen fully.

When you’re testing a Cabernet Sauvignon Wine, there are some aromas that are characteristic to this type of wine. Old World Cabernet Sauvignon wines, those made in Italy and France, have the scents of violets, blackcurrant, cedar and spices.

New world wines can carry the same scent as older counterparts but most have a dominate smell of earth, pepper, oak, raspberries, blueberries, or chocolate. The new world wines are made in Australia, Argentina, California, and New Zealand.

Wine from Australia will have a strong smell of eucalyptus, especially wines made in Coonawarra. Cherries, herbs, and green peppers have been known to lend their scent to wine in cool climate vineyards.

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine is a perfect paring with a hearty meal of beef or stew. If you have a meat dish that is peppery then a peppery scented wine will go well.

Petit Sirah

Petit Sirah is a red wine that is produced to blend with other types of wine. The Petit Sirah became popular in the 1970’s for its color and full tannic taste. The Petit Sirah is made in Australia, France, and California.

If you are having a dish with beef, lamb or a spicy sauce then a Petit Sirah would be a could choice of wine.


Merlot wine is a red wine that is good for blending with other red wines like the Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot based wines have a medium body with aromas of berry, plum and currant.

Merlot is primarily produced in France and Italy but it has become a favorite in California because of its flexibility of blending with other red wines. Merlot wine is actually produced around the world in countries like Romania, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Croatia, and Hungry.

Merlot wine can be a medium red to dark ruby color. Its rich fruit flavor goes well with dishes of beef, chicken and pasta. A Merlot wine is also a great wine to serve after dinner because it goes well with chocolate.

Other red wines include the Pinor Noir, which is a dark burgundy wine. Pinor Noir wine goes well with a meal light beef, fowl, or pasta with red sauce. The Syrah or Shiraz wine has a heavy red color. The aroma can very from pepper to fruit. Syrah wines compliment spicy Indian or Mexican foods. Syrah wines are also known to go well with hearty beef dishes.

A newcomer to red wines is the Red Zenfandel. This wine is very popular in the United States for its body, color and flavor. The Red Zenfandel has a spicy peppery flavor and goes well with burgers, pizza, and red sauce pasta.


Known as the Grandfather of White Wine, Chardonnay wines make up most of the white wine market. Chardonnay wines are made in the cooler climate of France, United States, Australia and New Zealand. Though, Chardonnay wines were first produced in Chablis, France.

Many Chardonnay wines are used for making Champagne and sparkling wines.

The Chardonnay is a pale to straw yellow white wine. The flavor can vary from semi sweet to sour. White wines are best served with meals that consist of low fat poultry, seafood, red meat and cheeses.

Chenin Blanc

The Chenin Blanc is used for sparkling, dry and sweet wines. Chenin Blanc wines are usually pale to medium yellow color. A meal of chicken, seafood or fish would go great with the dry, semi-sweet, and acidic taste of a Chenin Blanc wine.


This is actually a wine made out of a spice grape. It is a sweet white wine with a fruity ad spicy flavor. Asian food, ham, and pork meals would be a good paring with this type of wine.


Reislings can also be know as Rhine or Johannisberg wines. The Reisling is a dry white wine that has a pale yellow straw color to almost a sparkling white color. When tasting a Riesling expect to experience a dry tartness to the wine. Reisling wines are great for pork and oriental dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc wines originated from France but are now produced around the world. A Sauvignon Blanc wine is a white wine that has the blend of fruits and grapes. The wine color could be light to medium yellow in color with a tinge of green. This is because it is produced from a green grape.

Most Sauvignon Blanc wines have a crisp dry flavor but some can be sweet. In the U.S., The Sauvignon Blanc can also be know as the Fume Blanc and is very popular with picnics. Sauvignon Blanc wines can be a great addition to a meal of fish, shellfish, chicken and pasta.


A recent addition to California vineyards, it is a very difficult grape to grow and therefore grown in only a few vineyards. The grape yields a medium bodied white wine, noted for it’s spice, floral and citrus flavors.

White Zinfandel – A newcomer to the wine industry, it is very popular with new wine drinkers because of it’s sweetness and ease of taste. Although labeled as a white wine, color is pale-rose and tends to have citrus and lights flavors. The wine is delicious with light sauces and pasta, fish, pork and other light meals.

Returning a Bad Bottle of Wine to the Wine Store

Returning a Bad Bottle of Wine to the Wine Store

Despite major improvements in the wine industry over the past several decades, bad wine still exists. Problems during production can be diminished, but not always eliminated. The cork industry has made significant strides in reducing cork taint in recent years, but some wines are still corked. Thermal blankets and temperature controlled shipping containers have reduced heat and cold damage, but sometimes units fail, temperatures fluctuate more than anticipated, and wines become damaged. Wine, like any agricultural product will sometimes be bad, spoiled, or flawed.

How to Return a Bad Bottle of Wine:

If you believe that a wine is flawed after you open it, don’t drink it or toss it down the drain. First, wait about fifteen minutes. Make sure that your glass is not dirty or covered in dishwashing detergent or soap. Then try the wine again. If the flaw remains, then the wine may be damaged or bad. It happens.

If the problem persists after a second taste, put the cork or cap back on the wine and stick the bottle in the refrigerator to preserve the wine as much as possible. Then bring the bottle back to the store where it was purchased and tell them about the noticeable flaw or defect in the wine.

Most stores will replace the bad bottle with a good bottle unless you are a royal jerk about it. Ask one of the employees to taste the wine. Typically they will know the wine fairly well and will quickly be able to notice a flaw or defect in the wine. If they refuse a refund without a good excuse, then you should probably find a new wine shop to frequent.

Wine distributors offer stores refunds on all bad bottles. However, some distributors do make stores remind them over and over before giving them a refund. So they may be mildly irritated about having to take a return depending upon the relationship they have with that particular distributor. But that is not the concern of the end consumer.

Wine producers offer discounts up front to distributors and wine importers. Generally, importers and distributors get two percent of their wine for free. With that two percent they can open bottles and sample the wine to potential consumers and customers to try and sell it, and cover the cost of returned bottles. However, agreements vary widely from one wine producer to the next.

About Returning Controlled Substances

Alcohol is a controlled substance, and controlled substances are regulated differently than other retail products. Technically, alcohol cannot be returned to a store for cash or credit. It must be returned only for a replacement due to a defect in the original.

However, each state enforces their liquor laws differently. Many stores are ignorant of the law and offer cash or store credit for a return. But do not be surprised if a store refuses store credit and only offers a replacement bottle of the same wine. Legally, that is what they are supposed to do.

Returning a wine that you simply do not like, will only get you more of the same. If you don’t like a wine, invite over friends. Chances are pretty good, someone will like it.

Tips for Buying a Sous Vide Machine to Make Wine

Are you looking for the best dishes to complement fine wine? If so then you should consider a sous vide machine. It’s a great way to prepare a great meal in a short amount of time. Here are some key features to consider when shopping for such machines:

  1. Price

There’s no doubt that the sous vide method of cooking can provide excellent meals that could be coupled with fine wine from Southern Oregon. However, it’s important to note that as with other cooking appliances the prices of the units vary. That’s based on various factors including the brand, features, quality, etc.

  1. Features

There are also various features you can find for the best sous vide equipment. They include silent operation, temperature control, push-button operation, and water capacity. These are all important factors to consider.

There are no right or wrong features. However, you should definitely consider the particular features you need for your home or work. It’s important to also keep in mind that the features offered will also affect the price tag.

On the other hand, it’s tough to put a price on a kitchen appliance that does what you need it to. If it meets all the requirements you’re looking for then it’s definitely worthwhile. However, just make sure that you’re not getting a unit with all the bells and whistles just for the sake of doing so. In that case, you could end up with a unit that you don’t really need.

  1. Brand

You should also consider the unit of the brand. This is especially true because not all makers of kitchen appliances also make sous vide units. It’s a good idea to do some search to determine if this or that brand is a good option for you. If that’s the case then you should certainly go with the brand.

The next step is to determine which model is also a good option. That’s because there are several options and it’s important to pick one that’s ideal for your use of the kitchen appliance.

  1. Operation

There are different types of machines that use the sous vide method of cooking. The general idea is to cook food in water after putting in an air-tight pouch. However, you should keep in mind that there are also different types of units that are available in terms of their operation. This will help you to pick the best one for your needs.

  1. Size

You can also find the kitchen appliances in different sizes. It’s greatly due to the water capacity of the unit. However, you should consider factors such as countertop space that’s available. It will help you to pick the right unit for your home or work.

These are some of the top issues to consider when buying a sous vide machine. These units are great for cutting cooking times. However, there are many options to make sure you’re making the best choice for your particular needs. Shop around to ensure you’re picking the right unit for your needs.