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Did you know that Madeira was poured during Thomas Jefferson's toast at the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, or that it was savored at the inauguration of George Washington shortly thereafter? At one time, Madeira was so ubiquitous that it perfumed ladies’ handkerchieves; was given to military personnel for service of their country; and was frequently recommended for sick and overworked people – nicknamed the “milk of the old.”    What is Madeira Wine? Madeira is a fortified wine available in a range of dry to sweet styles. It gets its name from the...

For this weeks blog I found an old recipe used by my father for family get-togethers. When making Chilli it doesn't add much time making a big batch. This recipe will serve 12-15. As always, its good to have a bit of left over wine. Ingredients:4.5 lb Minced Beef5 Yellow Onions3 Red + 3 Green Bell Peppers5 Cans of Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce5 Cans of Whole Tomatoes2 Cups of Tomato Puree5  Solo Garlic (or equivalent amount) 3-5 Chili's3.5 Fl Oz Beef Stock3/4 a Bottle of Red Wine2 tbsp Chili Powder2 tbsp Paprika2 tbsp Garlic Powder2...

Corked wine is something we’ve all heard of, but you may not know if you’ve ever actually encountered it.   How a Wine Becomes Corked  A corked wine is one that has been contaminated with cork taint, and this contamination gives off a very distinct smell and taste. Cork taint occurs in a small percentage of all natural corks available in the world, with recent studies finding that only about 5% of wines with natural corks are actually corked. Since cork is a natural substance, little microorganisms often like to eat...

WHAT IS THE WINE AROMA WHEEL?  The Wine Aroma Wheel is an incredible tool to learn about wines and enhance one’s ability to describe the complexity of flavor in red and white wines. Initially, most people can’t recognize or describe aromas so the purpose of the wheel is to provide terms to describe wine aromas. The wheel has very general terms located in the center (e.g. fruity or spicy), going to the most specific terms in the outer tier (such as strawberry or clove). These terms are NOT the only...

Less powerful hangovers, fewer chemicals, and kinder to the environment???   When people talk about organic wine, what they usually mean is wine made from organically grown grapes. The distinction is important because wines can be made from organically grown grapes in a variety of ways. An organic wine is a wine made from grapes that have been grown without the use of artificial or synthetic chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides. To keep the weeds and bugs at bay, organic farmers work with nature, rather than against it, by boosting their vineyard’s...

We are back with another French classic - Confit Duck. But since duck wasn't available I went with chicken. The only change in the recipe is the temperature you bake the meat at.Confit is food submerged in oil and baked in the oven. It increases the tenderness and moisture of the meat. I am also slow cooking the meat at low temperature for at least 10 hrs to increase the tenderness a bit further. Basic Ingredients: Chicken/Duck LegsCanola oil  Salt & PepperButterFeel free to mixture with what you spices and...

Aroma is without a doubt the most diverse aspect of wine tasting. It is estimated that humans can identify approximately 10,000 unique smells. When it comes to tasting wine, the best way to release these many possible aromas is to swirl the liquid. We swirl wine to expose the actual liquid to the air, to run it up the sides of the glass and to get an extra look at its color. The drops, or tears, that trickle back down tell lots about alcohol content. The color of the wine,...