Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wines By The "Tasting" Glass

How can you learn enough about wine to enjoy what you drink without feeling that you need to become a sommelier?

I say, "Go to wine tastings!"

My husband and I do this every other weekend (and even more often if the opportunity arises).

Some wine shops offer a simple tasting - just a few bottles poured by someone working in the store - while others have a wine distributor come with a larger variety of bottles to pour.  

Usually the person pouring the wine will give you a detailed account of each wine, and while you are tasting what they pour you can ask questions.  Any question at all, so you don't need to worry about being shy or embarrassed.  Not everyone knows about every wine.

Is it a full-bodied wine, does it have aromas of blackberry, what fruit am I tasting, does it have legs, when can you drink it, what grapes are in it, can it be put away for a few years, how is this vintage compared to last year, describe the area where the grapes were grown... are just a few questions you might ask. There are many others, and the more you ask and the answers you get will assist in your learning.

You may find that the price point of wines does not always reflect the quality of the wine.  And taste varies from person to person.  It is not always a given that my husband and I will agree on a wine.  Our method is that what we buy will most always be what we both enjoy, with a deviation every now and then.

Wine tastings are fun and very social.  You are tasting wines with other people and you can compare notes or just start a conversation about anything and before you know it, you are exchanging phone numbers.

The world of wine is enormous and there is never a shortage of wines to taste. We are still learning about grapes we never tasted or at least never tasted in combinations with other grapes.

You can call your local wine shop and ask about tastings.  Even the big box wine stores offer tastings.

So go to a wine tasting or two and see what you discover about wine.  You just may find yourself attending more and more.

I would recommend two of my favorite wine shops to start if you are in the Westchester area: and  You can also get on their mailing list for upcoming wine tastings and special offers.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Just found out how to save some time.  A new app called "Aisle411" is now a touch away on your smartphone.

Sounds like a great idea, but for now the retailers are limited.  We need to get our favorite stores to sign up and begin to make our shopping experience easier as well as a little fun.

Here is what it can do:

1.  SHOPPING LIST-create, organize and share multiple shopping lists from your phone.

2.  SEARCH-quickly find the location for what you need inside stores.

3.  RECIPES-search over 130,000 recipes to add to your shopping list and cookbook.

4.  NAVIGATE-find the fastest route through your store in select markets.

Right now the only stores I shop in which use this app are Walgreens and Home Depot, where I spend too much time walking up and down aisles asking employees where everything is. Hopefully with this app I can get out of the store quickly and get home faster, giving my dogs less time to wreak havoc in the house.

Check it out:

  • Shopping List: Create, organize and share multiple shopping lists from your phone
  • Recipes: Search over 130,000 recipes to add to your shopping list and cookbook
  • Search: Quickly find the location for what you need inside stores
  • Navigate: Find the fastest route through your store inselect markets

Download the app for free!