Posted on

5 Hacks to Make Your Wine Taste Better

Wine Hacks | www.drinks.ng

While most people are down to drinking a glass of wine anytime, not all wine drinkers love the sweet-sour taste of wines.

Should the taste deter you from drinking wine? We don’t think it should. As much as wine is a distinct alcohol of repute, you can always switch up the taste to favour your palate.

Here are five (5) simple hacks to change the taste of your wine for the better:

  • Soda is always welcome

Adding soda to your wine gives it a semi-sangria feeling and makes it taste better. Make sure both the soda and the red wine are of the same quantity, pour on ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.

  • Pineapple has magic

A glass of white wine rose wine, or sparkling wine can benefit a great deal from the addition of pineapples. Cut your pineapple into triangular chunks and add them to your glass of wine for that extra hint of sweetness.

  • Hello Lemonade!

You can enjoy your glass of white wine with a twist of lemon by adding equal parts lemonade and wine in a glass over ice. Garnish it with a wedge of lemon for the extra citrusy feeling.

  • Use the Freezer

Have you ever tried freezing your wine? That is a whole new level of enjoying wine. Simply pour your wine into an ice cube tray, add 2 tablespoons of simple syrup and freeze. Once it’s frozen, you have for yourself a beautiful wine-y dessert to tell your friends about. Don’t shy away from garnishing with citrus or another fruit of your choice.

  • Bring in the blender

Wines generally taste better when they are well aerated. So where you do not own a traditional wine aerator, bring in the blender. Pour your bottle’s content into a blender, and turn it on. let it blend for a minute or two, then serve. Your wine will come out tasting better than before.

Posted on

Why You Should Drink Organic Wines

Toast to health Red wine | www.drinks.ng

These days, everyone is going natural.  We want to be healthier and more chemical-free than ever. The women want to go back to home births and birth their young in the comfort of their own homes as it used to be. They would hold their bedposts and scream out their lungs while the husband paced the hallways, waiting for the shrill cry of the newborn. They want to go back to the hair texture they had at birth. No more relaxers and heat. The only heat they would let in is the natural heat of the Sun. The only curls allowed are the kinky type that declares them Africans and then, of course, the Bantu nuts, twist outs and the likes, not the curls created with tools of intense heat. The only body art everyone wants is the Henna body art made with natural herbs to nourish the skin while beautifying it.

These days, Herbal doctors and treatments are on the rise. Going to the hospital to see medical doctors is no longer the only option. Now, people understand that those drugs from the hospitals are processed herbs and when possible, it is best to get the herb and enjoy better results, many times with fewer side effects. Now, everyone knows that Healthy food is medicine. More and more people are embracing the philosophy of food as medicine, not just body fuel.

Eru, ogiri, okpeyi and other local spices are fast replacing the heavily processed ones. Ofada rice that was once the food of the poor is now the king of the show because Nigerians want healthy food. They do not want to just eat for eating sake, they want food that will work much harder than an ordinary body fuel. People are choosing Honey over sugar, Crayfish over seasoning cubes, unprocessed whole grains over processed, beautiful and empty grains.

It is no wonder that they would choose organic products that are healthy and free of harmful chemicals. If you thought to go healthy means forfeiting red wine, think again. You can still enjoy your favourite red wine, but this time around, it is organic red Italian wine you should be looking for. You need to look no further than Nigeria’s leading online drink store.

If you like the natural things of life that are free from chemicals, you will like Organic red Italian wines. They are healthy and pesticide free. They are produced with organically grown grapes in a manner that will not adversely affect the environment. In order to have organically grown grapes, a vineyard manager must implement an entirely different set of practices to maintain their vines.

Organic wines are also free from additives and do not contain sulfites. Just like regular red wine, the organic version also protects against heart disease and stroke, helps increase good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots. Best of all, Organic red wines are higher in antioxidants than the regular red wine. In fact, the health benefits of red wines are increased in organic red wine. So drink organic.

Posted on

Do You Know Major Types of White Wines?

As you should already know, white wine is wine produced by the alcoholic fermentation of the non-coloured pulp of grapes, which may have a skin of any colour.

White wines themselves could be straw-yellow, yellow-green, or yellow-gold. Knowing white wine styles by variety and production area would help with better understanding and appreciating them. Some white wine grape variety could produce dry white wine or sweet white wine. Others could be made bubbly or still.

When only one variety is mentioned on the label, the wine is called a “varietal” and is named after the grape with a capital initial. Varietal wines primarily bring the fruit to bear, because how the wine tastes much depends on the grape variety. Below are seven major white wines styles by variety and production area:

Chardonnay

Chardonnay has been the most popular white grape since the 1990s. Pronounced “shar-do-nay”, it can be made sparkling or still. This grape variety is a great choice for fish, including salmon, and chicken dishes. Chardonnay makes the principle white wine of Burgundy (Bourgogne, France), where it originated. It’s quite versatile and grown successfully in most viticultural areas under a variety of climatic conditions. Still, it only amounts to 2% of the world vine areas. Total chardonnay vines cover more than 160,000 hectares (400,000 acres). As at 2005, the biggest states were:

  1. U.S.A.: California: 44,509 ha; Oregon and Washington state: 3,200 ha
  2. France: 35,252 ha
  3. Australia: 22,528 ha
  4. Italy: 11,800 ha
  5. Moldavia: 6,000 ha
  6. South Africa: 8,000 ha
  7. Chile: 7,500 ha
  8. Argentina: 5,155 ha

Chardonnay wines are often wider-bodied and more velvety than other types of dry whites, with rich citrus flavours. When fermented in new oak barrels, chardonnay adds buttery tones of vanilla, toast, coconut, and toffee for instance.

Sauvignon Blanc

Pronounced “so-veen-yawn blah”, sauvignon blanc is grown in the Bordeaux region where it is blended with Semillon, but the Loire Valley and New Zealand also produce some excellent sauvignon blanc varietals. Some Australian Sauvignon Blancs, grown in warmer areas, tends to be flat and lack fruity qualities. Sauvignon blanc usually shows a herbal character suggesting bell pepper or freshly mown grass. The dominating flavours range from sour green fruits of apples, pears and gooseberries through to tropical fruits of melon, mango and blackcurrant. Sauvignon blanc is significantly versatile, paired best with seafood, poultry, and salads.

Semillon

Sémillon is the major white grape in the Bordeaux region of France. It’s also known as hunter (river riesling), boal/bual of Madeira, Chevrier, Colombier, Malaga and blanc doux. Sémillon is also grown in Chile, Argentina, Australia, and California. The Sémillon wine varietal usually features distinct fig-like character.  This white wine type is often blended with sauvignon blanc to delimit its strong berry-like flavours. It goes with fish, but dry Sémillon pairs well with clams, mussels, and pasta salad. Sémillon is pronounced “say-mee-yaw”.

Moscato

Moscato (mos-cato) is grown in most vine-friendly climates, including Italy, the Rhône Valley, where it is called Muscat Blanc à petits grains, and Austria, where it is called Muskateller. The variety belongs to the Muscat family of grapes along with Moscatel and muscat ottonel. Often sweet and always fruity with a characteristic grape-fruity and musky aroma, Moscato wines are easily recognised by people who have tasted a Muscat table grape. It is best enjoyed on its own, but sweet Moscato wines pair well with dessert.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is planted extensively in the Venezia and Alto Adige regions of Italy. It’s also grown in the western coastal regions of the United States of America. Pinot Grigio is called “Malvoisie” in the Loire Valley and “pinot gris” in the rest of France. In Germany and Austria, pinot grigio is known as “Ruländer” or “Grauer Burgunder”. Similar aliases are used in the German-settled regions of Australia. Pronounced “pee-no gree-zo’, this is one of the most versatile of the white wine variety. It is typically crisp on the palate. The dry pinot grigio wines with good acid “bite” usually come from Italy and Germany. Oregon or Alsace Pinot Gris offers aromatic, fruity flavours.

Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer (Gah-vurtz-tra-meener) is most popular in wines from Alsace, Germany, the United States West Coast, and New York. It’s known as a considerably aromatic variety. The varietal wines have fruity flavours with aromas of rose petals, peaches, lychees, and allspice. A Gewürztraminer is generally considered not as refreshing as other types of dry whites. This is ideal for sipping. It pairs perfectly with Asian food, pork and grilled sausages.

Riesling

The classic German grape of the Rhine and Mosel, Riesling grows in all wine regions. Germany’s great Rieslings are usually made slightly sweet, with steely acidity for balance. Riesling from Alsace and the Eastern United States is also fantastic, though usually made in a different style, equally aromatic but typically drier. California Rieslings are much less successful, usually sweet without sufficient acidity for balance.

Riesling wines are much lighter than Chardonnay wines. The aromas usually include fresh apples. The riesling variety expresses itself very differently depending on the district and the winemaking. A riesling should taste fresh. If it does, then it might also prove tastier and tastier as it ages.

Posted on

Do You Know the Residual Sugar Level in your Wine?

What Wines Have the Least Sugar? | www.drinks.ng

The sugar level in wine is determined during fermentation when the grape’s innate sugar is converted to alcohol.

If fermentation is stopped well before all of the sugar is converted to alcohol, the wine will contain more residual sugar and taste sweeter.

Generally, sweet dessert wines, late harvest wines, fortified wines, and many regional Rieslings with lower alcohol levels of under 11% ABV contain elevated sugar levels.

For wine lovers who happen to be dieters, particular attention is given to the amount of sugar intake. The empty calories in sugar wreak havoc on insulin levels, aggravate health issues in some of us and can lead to insomnia while also making us gain weight.

So, it’s only natural to know the level of residual sugar contained in a bottle of wine.

Levels of Residual Sugar in Wine

  • Dry Reds and Dry Whites: These wines tend to be lower in residual sugar levels weighing in at 0.1-0.3% sugar per litre. In other words, with 1 to 3 grams of sugar per litre of wine, red and dry white wines often have considerably low sugar levels.
  • Champagne: If you’re looking to lower sugar intake on sparkling wines, go for extra dry, brut, or extra brut sparkling wine and Champagne as the residual sugar levels will be in the 0.6 – 2.0% sugar per litre range (or 6 to 20 grams of sugar per litre of wine), with extra brut being the driest wine and lowest in sugar content.
  • Off-Dry Wines: Most of these have a residual sugar range of up to 1-3% (or 10 to 30 grams of sugar per litre), so they tend to be a little sweeter on the palate.
  • Fortified Wines: The sweeter fortified wines such as Port, Sherry, and Marsala can weigh in as high as 15% residual sugar (or 150 grams of sugar per litre) but often runs a little lower in the 5% range.
  • Late Harvest Wines: While popular for being a sweet treat, and often served as dessert, late harvest wines can run as high as 20+% residual sugar with a whopping 200 grams, or more, of sugar per litre.
Posted on

Did You Know Moderate Drinking Makes You Live Longer than Exercise?

Drinking_Alcohol_and_Exercise | www.drinks.ng

Regular exercise is said to make one live to a ripe old age, but it seems to drink alcohol trumps what exercise is capable of.

A recent long-term study has found that regular moderate intake of alcohol will help you make it to your 90’s better than exercise can.

The team of scientists from the University of California led by neurologist Claudia Kawas tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.

According to The Independent, researchers found that subjects who drank two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18 percent less likely to die prematurely. On the other hand, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11 percent.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas stated over the weekend at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Asides the modest drinking, other factors found to boost longevity included weight. Participants who were slightly overweight — but not obese — cut their odds of an early death by 3 percent.

“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas noted in her address.

More so, participants who kept busy with a daily hobby two hours a day were 21 percent less likely to suffer an early death, while those who drank two cups of coffee a day reduced the risk by 10 percent.

Further study is needed to determine how habits impact longevity beyond people’s genetic makeups.

 

Posted on

5 Rosé Wine Questions Answered

Rose Wines | www.drinks.ng

The craze surrounding rosé wines is almost assuming a cult-like following with many millennials opting for the pink-hued wine at weddings, parties and other social functions.

Rosé wines offer a light refreshing feeling which matches any occasion and suits the sweet palate of the 21st-century wine drinker.

However, while you enjoy the amazing flavours of the rose wine, there are a few things you should know to stand you out among your peers.

1. Where does Rosé get its colour?

Rosé wines do not only get their colour from the mixing of red and white wines. While some producers adopt the method of adding a little red wine to white wine to make rose, others have stuck to the traditional method. That latter involves the immersion of the skin of red grapes in the wine for a short period of time (typically anywhere from 2 to 20 hours). The sooner the grape skins are removed, the lighter the rosé will be; the longer they are allowed to sit in the wine, the deeper pink the rosé.

2. Can I age my Rose?

Wine aging is believed to make the wine taste better. However, for Rose wines, it is best to drink it within 3 years of purchase. Rose does not have the same amount of tannins contained in red wines to enable it to age properly. Even some red wines are no longer capable of aging for long due to the need for commercial production.

3. Can I use Rose Wine for Cocktail?

Rose wines can be used to create a mean cocktail, it all depends on the skills of you mixologist or bartender. Rose can be used in making any style of cocktails, especially when considering most roses are rich in honeydew melon, citrus and rhubarb.

4. What food can I pair it with?

Rose is not selective when it comes to food pairing. From spicy Indian meals, to salads, pizzas and rich burgers, rose is a perfect pair. For those in love with tradtional African dishes, your rose wine pairs beautifully with melon (egusi) soup.

5. What is the best temperature?

Agreed that rosé is awesome when served chilled but there is no wrong in drinking it warm – the flavours are still released, just differently. Because of the casual nature of rosé, you can add ice to it before drinking.

Posted on

Does Alcohol Make You More Attractive to Others?

does-alcohol-make-you-attractive | www.drinks.ng

Alcohol is capable of many things including the ability to make us immediately appear more attractive to others than normal.

Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing attractive about a man or woman staggering back home after a rough night. So to get the best out of this magical ability of alcohol, as in all other benefits, moderate drinking is encouraged.

As a matter of fact, it goes both ways – alcohol can affect the way we see and are seen, by people. This just proves that the beer goggles theory is as real as we can imagine.

There is scientific proof

Just in case you have more doubts lingering on your mind, several scientific studies have proven the ability of moderate drinking making you appear immediately attractive.

At the University of Bristol in the UK, 40 students were supplied with wine but were asked to take photos of each other sober before the drinking commenced. They also took a photo of each participant after one drink, then after a second.

The photos taken after just one drink has been consumed were judged as more attractive than the sober photos. However, the photos taken after students drank more than one glass, were rated as less attractive than when they were sober.

“It suggests that, if it’s true, people are rated as more attractive once they’ve consumed a small amount of alcohol,” said the study’s senior researcher, Marcus Munafò, a professor of biological psychology at the University. “But if they go on to consume more alcohol, they’re no longer rated as more attractive.”

The study suggested that a single alcoholic drink could make people seem more attractive because it caused facial muscles to relax, pupils to dilate and cheeks to flush.

“Rosiness is attractive because it characterizes good physical health characteristics,” said Professor Munafò.

This gives us a confidence boost to have a glass of wine or a tot of whiskey before walking up to your crush to drop that cool pick up line.

Posted on

10 Truths About Red Wine

Red Wine Truths | www.drinks.ng

Truth, they say, sets you free, and knowing certain truths about red wine liberate your thirst to go for more of one of the most popular alcoholic beverages.

These fascinating truths will generally change your view about red wine, give you the needed respect among your peers, and make you the ‘uncertified’ sonmellier.

Here are 15 Truths About Red Wine You Should Know:

No! Not France

This one concerns wine in general, of which red wine is arguably the most prominent. Contrary to popular belief that wine originated in France, the oldest known wine making was in Iran back in the Neolithic period. Archeologists have found ancient pottery jars belonging to the Zagros mountain villagers who made and stored wine around 5400 B.C. A royal winemaking industry was also established in the Nile Delta circa 3000 B.C., with the Pharaohs of Egypt enjoying wine to the extent that several jars were buried with them for the afterlife.

Better to drink than not at all

While many people may abhor alcohol consumption in any form, it is, in fact, better to drink red wine than to avoid it totally. As surprising as this may be, the antioxidants found in red wine lower incidences of cardiovascular disease, mortality, and type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, consuming in excess leads to health risks, confirming the fear of those who choose not to drink.

Tannins do the magic

The health benefits in red wine come from the tannins in the wine. The most abundant type of tannisn in red wines are Procyanidins, which are also found in dark chocolate and green tea. Procyanidins inhibit cholesterol plaque in blood vessels, which is highly beneficial to heart health and longevity.

Young wines are better

While old red wines may taste better with age, for health reasons it is better to drink younger wines. There are higher levels of tannins in younger wines than any other type of wine in the market. So it might do you well to forego amazing taste for beneficial richness.

Some red wines are bettet than others

As you would expect, not all red wines carry the same level of benefits for the body. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon wines carry more condensed tannins than Pinot Noir wines. However, both wines have much less tannins when compared to Shiraz.

As a general rule of thumb, note that:

  • Dry red wines are better than sweet red wines
  • Red wines with more tannins are better than those with lesser tannins.
  • Red wines that do not exceed 13% ABV are better than higher alcohol red wines.

Grapes give it colour

The red colour comes from the skin of the grapes used, not from artificial colouring. It is the plant pigment called anthocyanin found in the skin of red grapes that give the wine its colour.

Different grapes – one specie

Don’t let the names confuse you, nearly all red wines made come from one specie of grape. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir all belong to a single species of grape: Vitis vinifera. While other grape species exist, that are very rarely used in winemaking.

China buys more

China has become the leading market for red wine. More than just the refreshing flavour, the Chinese seem to have fallen in love with the wine’s colour. The red colour is favaoured by the governmnent in China, while the populace also see it as a colour of luck.

Even cosmetologists benefit too

Red wine contains resveratrol found which have been found to reduce the scarring caused by radiation and is a component of many cosmetic products and applications.

Organic red wine

Normal red wine is beneficial to the health but organic red wine trumps it. The presence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides present in normal red wines rob it of its goodness. Meanwhile, organic red wines use 100% organic grapes with absolutely no chemical additives have added to them for processing or preserving. These red wines usually come with “100% Organic” label on the bottles.

 

If there are more red wine truths you know, kindly share in the comment section.
Posted on

5 Best Wines To Make Valentine’s Day Memorable

Ramp up the romance on Valentine’s Day with a fine bottle of wine to better celebrate the magical feeling of love.

Whether it’s a date in a fancy restaurant or its a trip away from the busy city life to a calm resort, a good bottle of wine goes a long way in making that Valentine’s night special.

Moët & Chandon’s Impérial Brut 

No mistakes here, Champagne is a wine – a luxurious sparkling wine. In fact, it is the queen of sparkling wines. So why not go premium on a bottle of Moët & Chandon’s Impérial Brut for that special dinner date.

You are not just opening a bottle of sparkly goodness, but you can make a toast and clink glasses to more love. happiness and celebration.

Martini Rose

When it comes to nice meals, the Italians do have an envious pedigree. Imagine pairing this fine Italian Sparkling wine with a sumptuous meal – what a Valentine that would be!

Martini Rose has an aromatic bouquet of rose, wild strawberry, and raspberry with a hint of black pepper. This lovely pink fizz exudes passion and excites the romantic feeling in your heart.

Thomas Barton Bordeaux

Arguably the best wine brand to come out of France. Red wines thematically blend into Valentine – red roses, red dresses and all forms of reddened romantic gestures. Thomas Barton St Emilion has strong aromas of black cherries, a soft, round structure, and spicy finish. it is a perfect pair for with light spicy fish and poultry dishes, seafood, white meat, blue cheese, tarts, light stir-fries, spicy Indian cuisine and gentle aromatic cuisine.

Frontera Late Harvest

A glass of white wine is good not just for the date, but can also serve in stating clear and immaculate intentions towards your special one. Coin a line of poetry around the wine, and serve your love a glass of Frontera Late Harvest – late because you waited for the best grapes to mature.
The wine is a golden yellow amber and brilliant. It has complex aromas of dry flowers and notes of honey. The palate is fresh, persistent and pleasant – just as your Valentine’s Day date should be.

Carlo Rossi Sweet Red

Sweet red wines are spectacular on the palate. They are not just lovely food pairs, they also come in handy as desserts or digestifs. The wine has a medium body with flavours of bright red fruits and floral notes with a crisp finish. It pairs well with barbecued or grilled meals.
Posted on

Why You Should Drink More Expensive Wines

Wines | www.drinks.ng

If you are still questioning why you should spend that extra cash on getting that expensive bottle of wine, scientists have provided a befitting answer to that.

The answer is steeped in the fact that more expensive wines taste better than the cheaper brands you would rather opt for. Researchers in in Germany and France have arrived at an explanation why more expensive wine taste better on the palate. Their findings also relates to the reward areas of the brain, aside from the palate.

Bernd Weber, of Germany’s Bonn University, conducted the research with France’s INSEAD Business School, and published in the journal, “Scientific Reports’’ on Tuesday.

“The reward system is activated in a significantly stronger fashion with higher prices and in this way apparently also the taste experience.

“The fascinating question is now whether we can train the reward system so that it is less susceptible to such ‘placebo marketing’ effects,’’ Weber said.

The experiment made use of 15 men and 15 women, placed in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner for a wine tasting. Each participant was told the price of the wine before drinking a millilitre through a hose.

After drinking, they required to press a button to evaluate the taste of the wine on a nine-point scale. While the wine was always the same wine, the price was given as 3.50, 7 or 21.15 dollars for a bottle.

“As expected, the test subjects claimed that the wine with the higher price tasted better than the cheaper wine,’’ INSEAD researcher Hilke Plassmann said.

The MRI scanner further showed that the frontal lobes and the ventral striatum said to be involved in reward processing and motivation were more active with the higher prices.

“In the end, it seems like the reward and motivation system is playing a trick on us,’’ INSEAD researcher Liane Schmidt concluded.