Wine is one of the oldest and most celebrated alcoholic beverages on the planet. It’s found throughout history in virtually every part of the world in some form or another. Today, there are so many wine varieties available that it can be overwhelming for someone who is new to wine to find one that’s perfect for his or her palate. If you’re interested in getting into wine, you should have some idea of how to start finding your favorite variety.
Consider Your Favorite Foods and Flavors
Throughout history, people have consumed different types of wines with different types of foods to enhance and complement their flavors. While most people know that red wines complement red meats and rich foods and white wines pair better with poultry, seafood, and lighter fare, you can take this deeper and find a wine that complements your other tastes when it comes to food and drink.
For example, how do you take your coffee? If you prefer a creamy, silky latte over bitter black coffee, New World wines such as Merlot, Shiraz, and Malbec could be great entry points for you into the world of wine. If you prefer bold and bitter black coffee, Old World wines such as Bordeaux reds, Aglianico, and Sangiovese are probably more your speed.
Refining Your Wine Tastes
As you develop your taste in wine, you should probably find one or two reds and one or two whites you prefer. When it comes to white wine, you can define your taste more easily by thinking about what you typically like to drink with your breakfast. If apple juice and sweetness is more your preference, sweet white wines like Moscato and Riesling could be perfect for you. If tart grapefruit juice is your style, then reach for a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Verdejo.
Next, think about the flavors you prefer for desserts. Is something sweet and creamy your preference over sharp and tart fruity flavors? Then you will probably want an oak-aged white wine like Pinot Blanc or Oaked Chardonnay. If you love the acidity of lemon sorbet, then reach for a bottle of white wine with higher acidity like Pinot Grigio, Albarino, or German Riesling.
When it comes to choosing your favorite reds, the two most prominent factors in red wines are acidity and body. If you prefer fruity flavors and tartness over creamy flavors, then a bold and acidic red wine will probably hit the spot for you. If you want something more earthy and bold, a red wine with a strong body will feel lusher in the mouth.
Remember that Your Tastes Will Change Over Time
If you look at a wine tasting list at a local winery, you may see more than 100 different varieties of wine and feel completely lost. It’s unreasonable to expect to learn everything there is to know about every variety of wine, so instead of focusing on specific grape varieties or brands, start thinking more about the types of flavors you want to enjoy.
Once you try several varieties of wine, you will start to develop a pattern in your wine preferences and generally have an easier time selecting the one you want at the time. Your preferences will change over time, but there are so many different wines available that you’re sure to find something that hits the spot. Contact Payless Liquors if you’re looking for something in particular; we’ll be glad to help you find the perfect wine for you.
Most people have seen popular advertisements for the many hard seltzer products available today. These canned drinks have grown incredibly popular in a very short time, and this trend may be much more than just a passing fad. If you haven’t tried any hard seltzers yet, you should know a few interesting facts about this new drink craze.
One: Seltzers Appeal to the Health-Conscious
It’s no secret that Americans have grown steadily more health-conscious over the last several years. Clean organic eating has become the norm for many Americans of all walks of life, and the search for healthier ways to live, eat, and have fun continues to expand for many. Hard seltzers have significant appeal to the health-conscious due to the fact that they are very low in carbs, lower in calories than most beers, and have a very low sugar content.
Two: The Market Says Seltzer Isn’t Going Anywhere
White Claw, a brand owned by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, kicked off the hard seltzer craze in the summer of 2019, which quickly became known as “White Claw Summer” thanks to clever marketing and savvy use of social media. White Claw sales increased more than 250% over previous year sales in 2019, and promoters predict that the hard seltzer market will triple by 2023.
Three: People Are Passing on Beer for Seltzer
While the craft beer boom of recent years hasn’t seemed to lose much traction, many people are passing on beer in favor of hard seltzers due to the lower nutritional impact and the variety of flavors now available. The number of major beer brands launching hard seltzer products could indicate that these brands fear a public shift toward hard seltzer over beer.
Four: Major Beverage Companies Are Jumping Into the Hard Seltzer Market
Major beer brands including Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, and the Boston Beer Company have taken note and launched their own hard seltzer products in response to this growing trend. While White Claw continues to enjoy tremendous sales thanks to the steam generated by its 2019 marketing campaigns, countless other brands have appeared, even generating something of a craft hard seltzer market.
Five: The Variety Available Speaks to a Much Wider Potential Audience
One of the most appealing aspects of the hard seltzer craze for many people is the sheer amount of variety available. People who aren’t big beer drinkers may love the chance to try a wider selection of hard seltzers, especially since they aren’t as negatively impactful on their health as most beers can be. Companies that have launched hard seltzer products have generally offered large flavor selections, creating more opportunities for people to find hard seltzer flavors they love.
Hard seltzer hit the alcoholic beverage market hard, and the impact seems to have lots of momentum. We’re sure to see a wide variety of new hard seltzer products appearing soon, and more and more people are turning to this beverage option as an alternative to beer. As major beverage companies shift their focus toward the changing market, you can expect to see many new varieties of hard seltzer available very soon. If you haven’t tried hard seltzer yet and want to see what all the fuss is about, contact Payless Liquors today and see which hard seltzer sample packs we have available.
Whether you’re planning a big family celebration for Easter or simply have entertaining plans this April, a few spring cocktails are great additions to your recipe collection and will delight and refresh your guests. Try these for yourself and see which ones would complement your spring party menus the best.
- Iced Sparkling Honey Lime Red Tea
Cool tea is one of the best spring drinks, and you can add a delightful kick to your favorite red tea with this light and crisp recipe. Start by brewing a few bags of your favorite red tea, enough to make a full pitcher. Brew the tea according to the package directions and then add honey to taste. Let the mixture cool, then add lime juice to the pitcher. Pour the mixture into drinking glasses over ice and top with club soda, garnish with lime slices, and serve.
- The Classic Champagne Cocktail
A signature celebratory cocktail that’s great for springtime, the Classic Champagne Cocktail is a great way to add a bit of fun and class to your next April gathering. You’ll need a sugar cube for every champagne glass, your favorite bitters, and of course, champagne. Start by soaking each sugar cube in bitters. The best way to do this is by opening the bottle of bitters, placing a sugar cube over the open top, and then holding the cube with your thumb as you tilt the bottle upside-down, soaking the cube in bitters in just a second or two. Place each soaked cube in a champagne glass and then pour your champagne. Add a twist of lemon peel as a garnish and serve.
- Spiked Strawberry Lemonade
Few drinks are as reminiscent of the springtime as homemade strawberry lemonade. If you’d like to try a more grown-up version of this classic spring drink, start by adding your favorite vodka, lemonade, and sliced strawberries to a metal shaker. Shake well, then strain into drinking glasses over ice. A lemon wedge and a sprig of mint make the perfect garnish for this light and fruity cocktail.
- Moscow Mule Punch
Looking for a big batch cocktail to serve at your next Easter or spring party? Start with a large punch bowl and combine ginger beer and your favorite top-shelf vodka over ice. Mix in freshly squeezed lime juice, mint leaves, and limes cut into thin slices. Serve with a ladle into copper mules and garnish with more lime slices.
- Creamsicle Punch
Orange Creamsicles are some of the most beloved spring treats, and now you can capture that amazing flavor in a cocktail for your next April party! Start by combining pulp-free orange juice, ginger ale, vodka, and prosecco in a large punch bowl. Very carefully add small scoops of vanilla ice cream and thin orange slices. Ladle into drinking glasses to serve.
These are just a few examples of fantastic cocktails that are perfect for Easter parties or spring gatherings of any kind. Payless Liquors has all the top-shelf alcohol you need to make these amazing drinks for your next party, so contact us today to find out what we have in stock.
If you like to cook with wine or want to learn how to successfully use wine in your cooking, there are many ways to learn. Recipes for dishes with wine in them abound. If you are savvy in the kitchen, a little trial and error can also produce some spectacular results. One important thing to remember is that the quality of wine you use affects the quality of the dish you create.
Some choose to cook with leftover wine, which isn’t a terrible idea, as long as the wine hasn’t gone bad. Others opt for “cooking wine” that they find at the grocery store. This, on the other hand, IS a pretty terrible idea. There are so many wonderful, affordable wines on the market that you can use in your cooking, there is no need to use this inferior product.
If you are new to cooking with wine, try your hand at these recipes to get started.
Red Wine Spaghetti With Olives and Anchovies
- 2c + 2 Tbsp Fruit Forward Red Wine
- 9 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 2 oz Can of Anchovies
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Sliced Garlic Cloves
- ⅔ Cup Pitted Olives
- ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Chopped Parsley
- Sea Salt
Bring 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp of water to boil, along with ¾ cup of the wine. Add a teaspoon of salt and cook your spaghetti on this mixture for 7-8 minutes. Drain, but save 1/2cup of the liquid. Drain the oil from the anchovies into a pan and add the olive oil. Sauté garlic over low heat. Chop the anchovies and halve the olives. Add pepper flakes, tomato paste, liquid reserved from the spaghetti, and the rest of the wine to the garlic. Bring to a boil and add the olives and anchovies. Simmer for a few minutes, add the spaghetti, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Toss with ¾ of the parsley, then serve with the remaining parsley as a garnish.
White Wine Garlic Chicken
- 4 6oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 6oz Sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ Cup Dry White Wine
Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to ½ inch thickness and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil on medium and cook chicken breasts 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the pan and add mushrooms, cooking on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds, then add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve over the chicken breasts.
Get the Right Wine for Your Recipe
Cooking with wine isn’t strictly for those old traditional French dishes we think of, like Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon. It can be used in a variety of sauces, glazes, soups, and even ice cream. For a great selection to choose from for your next venture into cooking with wine, visit us at Payless Liquors and pick up a few bottles. Just remember to save a glass to drink while you’re cooking!