Cabin Fever Cures: Best Beach Drinks for Your Spring Break Staycation

Posted by Beau Farrell on Mar 7, 2019 11:22:47 AM

You’ve been waiting all winter for the chance to escape the routine of work/school, eat, sleep, repeat. Even if you’re not taking a trip to a stunning island or far away destination for spring break, now is your chance to bring some tropical flavor home.

Here are the best beach drinks to make for your staycation.

Read More ➜

An Intro to Muscat Wine: Characteristics, Pairings and Recommendations

Posted by Beau Farrell on Mar 1, 2019 9:29:32 AM

Cabernet Blanc, Syrah, Pinot Grigio, Tempranillo, Malbec, Muscat — wait, what’s a muskrat doing in a lineup of wines?

All kidding aside, Muscat wine may not be the most recognized varietal in your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a spot in your rotation. You’ve probably heard of Moscato or Moscatel — yes, the same grapes — but withhold your judgment long enough to learn what there is to appreciate about Muscat wine.

A Brief Overview of Muscat Wine’s History

Like many a grape varietal, Muscat wine’s humble story begins in France — the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape family, to be precise. These small grapes have grown in the Southern Rhone Valley of France and gained popularity among wine drinkers in the 1990s. Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grapes are related to those used to produce wines including Moscato d’Asti in Italy, Grüner Veltliner in Austria, Rutherglen Moscato in Australia, and Vin de Constance from South Africa.

Some believe Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape vines were brought by the Romans from Italy to France 2,000 years ago, or possibly by the Greeks from their vineyards near the Mediterranean Sea. The small grapes are light brown, pink, or red, and are sometimes used to make raisins. Unlike many other sweet wine grapes that are picked late in the harvest, Muscat grapes are often picked first in the season. “Muscat wine is the one that sincerely tastes like the grape,” you might overhear some people say at wine tastings or dinner parties.

Read More ➜

Rice, Rice, Baby: How to Drink Sake

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 22, 2019 1:14:39 PM

You’ve tried all the beers that stood out at the local beer shop. Even though you love it, you’re just not in the mood for wine. You’d rather not round up a bunch of ingredients to make cocktails this time around.

What do you do when you can’t quite find the right drink? Try something new!

If you’ve been to some Japanese restaurants, or maybe perused some shelves of lesser-known liquors, you saw sake hiding in plain sight. What is sake? What is it made of? How do you drink it? Let’s take a brief excursion to give you a proper introduction to sake.

Read More ➜

Gewürztraminer and Other White Wines to Try This Winter

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 15, 2019 10:31:00 AM

They tell you dark beer is for winter and citrusy beer is for summer. They tell you to stick with red wine when it’s cold and leave the white wine for warmer weather — but what haven’t they told you?

We’re here to say, emphatically, that you can and should drink white wine in the winter, especially Gewürztraminer.

Ge-what’s it? Yes, it’s a mouthful, but this superb white wine — most known in Germany, France, and Austria — is one you shouldn’t overlook, even if the forecast still has freezing temperatures and snow.

Sure, some white wines are light, simple, and better suited to hot, breezy summer days lounging in the sun. But let’s explore a few different Gewürztraminers and learn why they make a fine fit for snowy afternoons and cozy evenings protected from winter’s worst.

Read More ➜

You Betcha! The Best Drinks to Pair with Your Favorite Hotdish Recipes

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 8, 2019 8:17:51 AM

There's nothing better than a good ol' Minnesota hotdish on a cold winter's eve, dontcha know.

What’s a hotdish, you ask? You must not be from Minnesota, but that’s OK. Hotdish is a quirky Minnesotan term for what everyone else knows as casserole. We’re a friendly, hotdish-sharing bunch, and we welcome you wholeheartedly. (We’re called Minnesota Nice for a reason.)

So, to welcome you into the uniquely Midwestern fold (and keep those of us who already know and love hotdish firmly connected to our roots), we insist on sharing hearty food and drinks. But, before you grab a glass of "melk" to enjoy with that tater tot hotdish recipe, here are some great wine and beer pairings to try instead.

Pro tip: make sure the defining characteristics of your beverage match those of the hotdish. Or, for the adventurous amongst us, balance the flavors of your hotdish with a beverage that has the opposite flavor.That’s good advice, but there’s one other tidbit you’ll find especially helpful when pairing hotdish recipes with beer or wine: don’t gloss over the sauce. The creaminess, thickness, and flavors of a sauce will be one of the most distinct ingredients to join in a good pairing.

Read More ➜

Mix Things Up: 3 Valentine's Day Drinks to Try for Date Night

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 1, 2019 8:56:06 AM

Valentine's Day is right around the corner — a time to express your love through food, candy, cards, and drinks. So, play a little music to set the mood and surprise your significant other with dessert and drinks. It beats waiting in line at restaurants and picking from an over-priced menu. Plus, this will let them know you're willing to go the extra mile.

To get you started, here are three Valentine's Day drinks and two easy-to-make desserts that you'll fall in love with.

Read More ➜

Rams vs. Patriots: Tailgate Drinks for The Big Game

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 24, 2019 5:04:39 PM

West coast vs east coast. Rookie coach vs longest tenured coach in the league. A second-year starting quarterback vs a 16-year starting quarterback.

This year's battle for the NFL Championship is set. The New England Patriots, who are returning for the ninth time in 18 years, will take on the Los Angeles Rams, who shocked everyone with a 13-3 record this season.

So, will you root for the savvy veterans or talented underdogs?

The good news is no matter who you root for Feb. 3, you're bound to cheer on a record-breaking team. If the New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, they will be the first NFL team in history to win their sixth national championship under the helm of the same quarterback, Tom Brady. If the Rams upset the Patriots, Head Coach Sean McVay will become the youngest coach to win the title at age 33. Currently, former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin holds that record, winning the title in 2009 at age 36. 

Regardless of the outcome, it's sure to be a showdown of epic proportions. And the best way to celebrate the most-watched annual sporting event on TV is with drinks and food, of course! Here are our favorite tailgate drinks for The Big Game that hail from Los Angeles, New England, or just remind us of our favorite team.

Read More ➜

Wine Shopping Tips: Top Questions to Ask the Experts

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 17, 2019 1:49:06 PM

You've likely experienced some confusion when shopping for a new wine to try. There are hundreds of options to choose from in just one store, so how do you know which wine pairs best with your dinner, or which is easy to drink on its own?

This situation shouldn’t mean you avoid trying new wine altogether. It means you should learn how to distinguish between what’s worth your time and what isn’t. And what better way to learn than from the wine experts themselves.

Here are five wine questions to ask the experts to ensure you leave with a bottle you'll love.

Read More ➜

Barolo vs. Brunello: The Difference Between Italy's Popular Red Wines

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 11, 2019 9:58:50 AM

When you start paying attention to wine, you’ll hear a lot about certain wine regions — and when you pay attention even longer, you’ll hear about two gems from Italy: Barolo and Brunello.

They may not be name-dropped as much in American restaurants and some shops, but you can bet Barolo and Brunello are a recurring topic of recommendation when you’re looking at high-quality wines, especially from the Old World (classic European wine regions).

Here's what you should know about both varietals.

Read More ➜

Hostess With the Mostest: How to Plan an At-Home Wine Tasting Party

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 3, 2019 10:00:44 AM

You like wine — trying different wines, serving different wines, telling your friends about wines — but now you want to try something for yourself: hosting a wine tasting party.

If this describes you, chances are you've attended a wine tasting event at a liquor store or winery, where a sommelier educated you on several types of wines and told you what scents and tastes to expect from each. Not only are wine tastings fun and easy ways to try a variety of wines you may not have sampled before, but they are also good opportunities to learn about wine, how to describe wine, and how to find new wines you may enjoy.

But how exactly does one host a wine tasting party? We'll share the basic tips you need to know to plan your very own wine tasting at home.

Read More ➜