Wine blog

Pinot Grigio - How Do You Say "Chug" In Italian

When reviewing wines for 2 Guys Uncorked, I usually come home from work, pop the designated bottle for that night, grab a nice thin-rimmed glass and fill it up. I make sure it’s a big glass of wine because: 1)I am thirsty, and 2)I want to see how the wine changes when it gets warmer and is exposed to air. A glass of wine can change a lot over 30 minutes and I want to be thorough in my review.

Barker ChugThis week Ted and I reviewed Pinot Grigios from Italy. My usual review method left me unimpressed… until I came home one hot night, grabbed the bottle from the fridge and took a big swig out of the bottle. Now I get it. Italian Pinot Grigio should be drunk like water: cold and gulped.

Pinot Grigio is not complex, but it’s refreshing. It’s not elegant, but it’s clean and simple. Each bottle that I tried tasted slightly metallic. Like mineral water right from the spigot of a natural spring like Saratoga or Calistoga. There’s also some tart lemony and straw flavors. All of these bottles came from the Veneto region of Italy, where Venice is located. It’s coastal and cool there, so the wines tend to be lighter, and the food is more seafood oriented, which calls for white wine.

So here’s my advice. Check out the 5-day forecast. If it looks like it’s going to top 90 degrees, then run down to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and pick up a couple bottles of Italian Pinot Grigio. When the sun is beating down on you, get some friends together and chug.

Drinking Red Wine Will Extend Your Lifespan, Prevent Cancer, and Make You Thin

If you aren’t drinking red wine right now, stop reading and fill up a glass. Take a sip. Congratulations!! Recent studies show that if you drink red wine you will live longer, be healthier and look thinner.

Drinking Wine is Good for You Wow. This 20-year study, performed by Dr. Leonard Guarente of M.I.T., and recently confirmed by Dr. Richard Weindruch of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, shows that Resveratrol, a chemical compound in red wine, peanuts and green tea, can do so pretty fantastic stuff for humans.

Sure… this isn’t the first study to find fantastic health benefits in wine. And I am sure that next week, I will read an article about the grievous dangers of alcohol abuse. This has been an ongoing debate for decades. I’m no scientist, but I see it this way: French people eat lots of butter and drink red wine. They are thin and healthy. People from Wisconsin eat lots of butter and drink beer. They are not. These scientists might be on to something.

But before you fill up a glass, make sure that it’s red wine. Resveratrol comes from the skins of grapes, so you will find it in higher concentrations in red wine which is fermented with the skins.

Eat, drink and be merry (and thin and healthy and old). Your welcome.

Viognier - White Wine with a Rebellious Attitude

First off, let’s get the pronunciation down: Vee-ohn-yay

Viognier is not for everyone. This grape has a bundle of strong flavors that most people find strange. If picked at the right time, you get apricots, alcohol and spice. Sometimes its even a little oily on the tongue. It will smell like fragrant white flowers (think Gardenias). If picked at the wrong time, it sucks… a lot. I have poured more than one bottle of Viognier down the drain.

American Syrah/Shiraz - Chardonnay's Hot Red Sister

Syrah from California is turning heads recently. Bored and broke from unwhelming $25 Napa Cabernets, people have found a red that’s bold, rich and almost always tasty… and cheap! Given all these great qualities, if you are a red drinker, how can you say no?

Shiraz - The Thunderous Grape from Down Under

Rich, deep and cheap. Australian shiraz is a killer deal. The Aussies grabbed some syrah from Europe, renamed it shiraz and planted it throughout hundreds of thousands of acres in South East Australia. The result: powerful, consistently tasty, affordable wine! Ted and I love it because that’s what 2 Guys Uncorked is all about.

This week we will review 3 well-priced Australian shirazes. At worst, they were tasty. At best, they were impressive.

Shaking It Up: 6 Tasty Wine Cocktails

This week, 2 Guys Uncorked is getting unconventional. Forget the usual swirling and sniffing, Ted and I are going to mix things up, literally, with wine cocktails.

Wine does not need to be drunk alone. If you have a bottle of wine (sparkling or still) sitting in the fridge, grab some mixers and turn it into a tasty batch of cocktails. Here are six of our favorites:

2 Guys Alert: Santa Ema Cabernet $5 at TJ's

This is not a test of the emergency broadcast system. I repeat, this is not a test. Stop whatever you are doing to get your butt to Trader Joe’s. In the South American section, you will see a bottle by the name of Santa Ema. At my TJ’s, they have a cabernet and a merlot. Either one is great. Ted and I absolutely love this Chilean red.

3 Ravenswood Wines... Getting to know the Godfather of Zinfandel

No Wimpy Wines LogoRavenswood is the “godfather” of zinfandel. It pioneered the grape in Sonoma County three decades ago and has been instrumental in its explosion in popularity. Since its founding in 1976, Ravenswood has been driven by one mission statement: “NO WIMPY WINES”.

Organic and Biodynamic Wines of the Week

Ted and I stormed Whole Foods and bought up their inventory of organic and biodynamic wines. We got 6 bottles (which is a pretty good selection) and set out to work.

Overall, we found the wines to be disappointing. My $10 bill could have gone much further with a non-organic bottle. However, there were a few stand-out bottles which had the grace, flavor and balance of our usually weekly “Best Buy” with the extra bonus of the organic/biodynamic certification. If drinking organic is important to you, make sure to snap up the first two bottles before they are gone.

3 Great Spanish White Wines

If you are looking to try something new, head right for the Spanish section at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Spanish wine is unlike anything else you’ve tried. Most everyone has tried the Spanish red grapes, Tempranillo and Garnacha, but you have to check out the whites.

This week, 2 Guys Uncorked reviewed three white wines from different regions of Spain. We loved them all (sorry, but no “Don’t Buy” this week). Ted was amazed by the Albarino from Rias Baixas, while I went for the Verdejo/Viura blend from Rueda.

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