Wine Wednesday: How to Read Wine Labels

Have you ever walked in to the grocery or liquor store and felt completely overwhelmed with all the wines there are to choose from?  If so, check out Jennifer Arnold’s suggestions to get the best wines for the right price.

Determine where the wine is from // A wine’s flavor is influenced by where the grapes are grown. New World wines are wines from America, Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. These wines will generally give you most of the information you need right on the front of the label. Old World wines are from France, Austria, Italy and Spain.  These wines are a little trickier and you may need to look at the back of the label for more information or even consult Google.

Determine the producer or shipper of the wine // This is the most important piece of information on the label, because the quality of the wine depends to a great extent on the reputation of the winery.  The highest designation would be “grown, produced and bottled by.”

Determine the varietal // The type of grape used in making the wine will be clearly listed on New World wines as long as the wine contains 75% of the varietal listed.  If there is no varietal listed, then the wine is a blend of at least two different varietals.  For Old World wines, you may need to consult Google as the region is really what indicates the varietal.  Below is a small chart to help you identify which grapes are grown in the different Old World regions.

Chablis 100% Chardonnay Grapes
Bordeaux White wines are generally a blend of Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon

Red Wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot & Malbec

Loire Valley-

Pouilly-Fume or Sancerre

100% Sauvignon Blanc
Muscadet Melon de Bourgogne
Vouvray Chenin Blanc
Burgundy Chardonnay for whites/ Pinot Noir or Gamay for reds
Rhone Valley Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre for reds Viognier for whites

Determine the quality level // For French wines, look for the shipper, the appellation, the vintage and the name of the Village or Chateau.  Also look for quality designations such as Premier Cru or Grand Cru.  For Spanish wines look for Riserva or Gran Riserva.  For American wines look for the AVA as well as single vineyard or estate bottled.  On American wine labels there are no legal requirements to call the wine “Reserve” so don’t be fooled into thinking the wine is better because it says Reserve on the label.   

Advice for Hosting an Anniversary Party

From Wexford’s Food & Beverage Team

In the spirit of this being a big anniversary year for Wexford (35 years!!), we thought we would bring you some ideas on how to throw an amazing wedding anniversary celebration for you personally.

Invitations // There are several local businesses who can help you create beautiful invitations. There are also some great websites like evite.com that allow you to electronically send invites and instantly keep track of your guest list.  Make sure to include the RSVP phone number or email address for responses. The RSVP deadline should be seven to ten days in advance.

All about the bubbles! // Anniversary parties are a great excuse to pop a bottle of bubbles. Classic favorites like Tattinger, Veuve and Moet are always a go-to item, but also consider a trendy Brut Rose or Prosecco to add a fun twist to the cocktail hour. 

Cocktail Hour // One of the best welcomes is someone offering you a refreshment. A nice touch is to pass a specialty cocktail. You could have a “groom” or “bride” favorite or maybe a cocktail that was popular in the year you tied the knot. If you’re celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary this year, a Harpoon would be the perfect signature drink to represent 1968. This is the year Ocean Spray decided it was going to make a name for itself in the adult beverage industry. In a cartoon they printed a recipe for the Harpoon (which would later transform into what we know as the Cosmopolitan). Here’s the recipe: 

Ingredients:
5 ounces of Vodka
2 ounces of Cranberry Juice
¼ ounce of Fresh Lime Juice
Pour all ingredients in to an ice filled rocks glass and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge. **If you prefer gin, you can substitute it for vodka.

Hors d’ Oeuvres // The second favorite welcome at cocktail hour is the food! We always suggest including a land and sea option.  It’s best to have a seafood, a vegetarian option (includes cheese) and a meat option. This is a safe way to make sure you can please all palates. We also love having several passed as well as a stationary option so that food is easily accessible. 

Décor // Enlist a florist to help you create stunning centerpieces that set the feel of the party. Include flowers you had in your wedding as a great memory of the day you said “I do.” Luxurious linens are also a great way to add personalization. You can get specialty linens for all the guest tables or if you just want an extra pop, only cover the dessert table and the bar! 

Entertainment // This is not necessary but can certainly set the tone of the evening. If you’re looking for a big party that is talked about for years, go for a fun band or a great DJ. If you prefer an elegant evening, a violinist or a string trio is a beautiful way to add background music. 

Personalization // Don’t forget the best part of the day is the two of you! Make it feel as formal or as casual as you want. The same goes for the size of the party and whether you do a cocktail party or a full sit-down dinner. A personalized cake that has themes representing the places you have traveled to together or your life milestones is a great way to share your story with your friends. Themed-food highlighting where you have lived together is also a nice touch to share with your guests.

Whether you decide to host your anniversary with us at the Clubhouse or at your home, we are happy to help you come up with ideas to make it memorable, just ask! 

Cheers!

National Rum Day Special

Cheers to National Rum Day! What better way to celebrate than with yours truly, Kenrick! Check out our new drink feature, Spiced Negroni. Come on over to the Clubhouse and try it out! 

Spiced Negroni Recipe:
Dash of Sweet Vermouth

1 oz. of Campari
1 oz. of Ginger Liquor
1 oz. of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
Garnish with cherry and orange wedge

Mixing It Up Behind the Bar

Guest Bartender 8.26.16 (2)Last Friday we hosted our ever-popular Guest Bartender Night.  We first introduced Guest Bartender last year- and it was a hit!  It’s an evening in which we invite two brave Wexford members to hop behind the bar (with support from our knowledgeable bar backs!) and serve their neighbors and friends, with all tips going to a good cause. Interested members throw their hat into the ring and their names are selected at random.

This time Cindy Creamer and Josh Johnson were the two lucky members selected!  They chose the theme, Yacht Rock, and the specialty drinks, Smooth Operator and Lido Cosmo.  Everyone had a blast – patrons and bartenders alike!

Guest Bartender 8.26.16 (1)

Tips from this Guest Bartender Night went towards a fund for one of our longtime (over 27 years!!), dedicated employees who’s been with forced to go out on permanent disability to due severe foot problems.