10 tips for your valentine wine

Valentine’s Day is approaching and many couples will celebrate the occasion with an elegant dinner out or stay home and share a candlelight dinner over a romantic glass of wine. Then there are people that will scramble to grab a romantic card or pick up a bottle of wine on the way home from work. However, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are some important things to consider about wine before popping the cork, or perhaps even popping the question.

This month, the members of The Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association have compiled a list of the “10 Things You Should Know about Wine for Valentine’s Day.” The list includes tips ranging from the best type of wine to pair with chocolate to the best way to remove a wine stain.

1. Popping the cork
Just like in a relationship, getting off to a good start always helps. To open a bottle of wine, using a waiter’s corkscrew, cut the foil all the way around the rim of the bottle. Remove the foil. Unfold your corkscrew and penetrate the cork slightly off center so the “worm” of the corkscrew will feed into the center of the cork. If you are using a double-clutch type of corkscrew, use the first stop to loosen the cork about halfway then use the longer stop to pry it the rest of the way out.

2. How to master the pour
If you’re looking to impress your partner, you will want to start with the pouring process. When you pour the wine, try not to clang the top of the glass with the neck of the bottle. When you are finishing your pour, give the bottle a slight twist upward to keep it from dripping.

3. Spillage is never good
If you’re a little nervous on the big night and you happen to spill some wine, it is important to know how to save yourself, your clothes and maybe the relationship. Typically, you can blot the spill with a paper towel then immerse it in soda water, blot it again and then apply a baking soda paste. There are commercial products like Wineaway that will do the job, too!

4. Use the right wine glass
Scientific studies have been done and there is a method to the madness. Red wine glasses are generally larger and have a bigger bowl. White wine glasses are narrower and taller. There are some companies that make glassware that is specific to the type of grape that a wine is made from, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux glasses.

5. Best wines with chocolate
Syrah-based wines have a richness of plumy, blackberry fruit and a dense, textured mouth-feel that can’t be beat with chocolate. Syrah thrives in myriad wine-growing regions including the Rhone Valley in France, McLaren Vale in Australia, Columbia Valley in Washington, and Santa Barbara in California. It is available at price points from $6 to $26, and frequently tastes far above cost so they really tend to over-deliver.
6. Storing wine for the special night
The basic rule of thumb for wine storage is “cellar temperature” which is generally about 50 degrees. Equally important is the serving temperature. On the whole, American’s consume white wines too cold – resulting in closed, tight, uninteresting, flat-flavored wines – and red wines too warm – yielding “hot,” alcoholic, burned, over-cooked flavors.

Based on a starting point of 50 degrees:

Whites – refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours prior to service. Initial pours will be chilled; optimal flavors of the wine will be displayed as the wine begins to warm by way of ambient room temperature. Place wine in a ceramic bottle holder for dinner. The wine will hold a good temperature of roughly 45 degrees in the chiller and “open” in the glass it will warm to 50 – 55 degrees as you enjoy the wine.

Reds – remove from “cellar” storage (50 degrees) about 20 minutes prior to service allowing the wine to warm. Optimal enjoyment level for reds is between 62 and 66 degrees.

7. Wine can be considered an aphrodisiac
As with any alcohol, wine has been known to increase a person’s sexual desire and has been used for centuries as a natural aphrodisiac. In particular, red wine is rich in resveratrol, a form of antioxidant which increases estrogen production. In general, wine helps people relax while also stimulating their senses.

8. Great relationships mean go ahead and buy in bulk
If you’ve found the person of your dreams and the wine he/she loves, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.

9. You can buy local
There are several wineries  in West Virginia and Virginia to check out. Everything from Breaux to West White Hill, local varieties are certainly worth a look (and a taste).

10. The best wine for pairing with lobster is chardonnay
As with any wine pairing with food, this is a personal preference. Chardonnay is the wine of choice for lobster; since lobster is fairly rich, it helps to pair it with a wine with enough body to match that richness. During the winter, lobster meat is usually sautéed in butter, graced with a splash of sweet muscat and heavy cream and served over linguine. As a result, this dish is best suited to a full-bodied, tropical fruit-flavored chardonnay from California’s Russian River Valley or Monterey County, or one from southern Burgundy.


Happy Valentines Day from your local beer & wine distributor.


[org. article source: http://www.mainebeerandwine.com]


Food Babe Attacks Your Favorite Beers.

foodbabeI don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for another round of prohibition. So, unless you’ve been living under a rock (A shout out to all the rock people) you’ve probably heard something about the recent stink of Food Babe vs the big American beer industry.  In case you didn’t know (I didn’t, don’t feel bad) Food Babe is a healthy living blogger on a mission to uncover the ‘truth’ about what’s in our consumables. Sounds reasonable enough. We probably should be more concerned about what we put in our bodies. But if you’re going to call yourself a journalist you should have the decency to at least do your research. And it appears she did just enough research to sound like she researched it…without actually researching it.  This resulted in drafting a petition to Miller Coors in which thousands of people signed.

The Treasury Department (TTB) regulates beer – not the FDA – so beer manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors are not required to put the ingredients on the label – or on their website. After finding out that we know more about what’s in a bottle of Windex and Coca-Cola than we do one of the world’s most popular drinks, beer; I knew I needed to bring this subject to light.


It’s scary because it sounds so reasonable to someone who knows nothing about beer and is too lazy to use this little thing called “google“.  Type in “Miller Coors Ingredients” and you will find the ingredients listed right on the miller coors site as well as nutrition facts and an entire run down of how they make beer. Sure, Miller Coors may be the big dogs of beer but there’s never been any big mystery about the beer they make. Jay Brooks of the Boston Beer Bulletin writes:

For just one example, she claimed glycol was in beer. But that’s merely a coolant used to chill beer in the brewing process. It never touches the beer … ever. If it did, it would ruin the beer. But it’s still there in her list, displaying either a comic ignorance or a malicious intent to mislead. But that’s the irony. She’s claiming to be holding brewers’ feet to the fire to be truthful and transparent, while she herself is being completely dishonest.


Everyone who know anything about beer is chiming in. Steve Parkes, owner of the American Brewers Guild and kind of a big deal in the craft brewing scene laid it out straight.

The article is misleading at best. Her main sources other than brewers are organizations that want to ban alcohol. The brewers are naturally a little defensive when questioned about their processes from the public. Presumably those brewery PR departments checked out the Food Babe…perhaps even read her article on microwaves where she claims water exposed to microwaves resembles water that has been exposed to the words “satan” and “Hitler”. So they were understandably reticent to engage her knowing what was coming.

Among brewers, the companies listed are quite open about their ingredients and processes. I’ve read long papers in technical journals describing how Guinness optimize their use of use isinglass. I’ve met with Anheuser Busch and Miller brewers and talked about their processes at length. There’s no scandal there…. The process at Anheuser Busch is quite natural and traditional in fact, and AB have a line of gluten free and organic beers made in the same facilities as their other products.


In fact, you can read more about this in depth there:


or here:



So, What’s your take on this? An over sensationalized  media stunt to gain attention or is she saving us from our own beer? You can probably tell where I stand on this one.

Chill While We Grill, Rumsey Tavern, 6/19

Looking for an awesome way to spend next Thursday (June 19th)? Well, look no further. “Chill While we Grill” is back at the Rumsey Tavern. Next Thursday, June 19th, they will be sampling Angry Orchard from your friendly neighborhood distributor, MDC. Go check it out and sample yummy cider and delicious food.

Father’s day ideas in the panhandle

It happens every year. We all know it’s coming and yet it always sneaks up on us leaving us feeling completely at a loss for what to buy and do for dad. And in many situations, Father’s day might as well be also called ‘Husband’s Day’. Sure, you want to do something nice for your dad. That’s pretty much a given. But as a new mom (of a three year old), the novelty of watching my husband bloom into the  role he was born to play hasn’t (and I suspect never will) wear off. Finding something interesting, exciting and thoughtful  for my husband on fathers day has been a challenge. If you too are struggling, how about heading over to Linda Kilroy’s blog for some ideas to get the old brain thinking creatively this fathers day.  Everything from nature walks to car shows are happening around town as well as ideas on gifts the guys in your life might actually want. Happy Fathers Day guys!





Need Superbowl Plans?


If you’re looking for a few options for this years super bowl, here’s a few. 

Super bowl party at the copper still, 5:00 PM

Super bowl Party at the American Legion, 5:00 PM.  50 cent wing and happy hour prices.  

We’ll let you know if we hear of any other super bowl parties in the pan handle.  Share the love and add some here that you know of.