Happy National Wine Day! How Much Do You Know About The Drink?

National Wine Day is upon us. That means being given a more plausible excuse to pour yourself a glass at three in the afternoon.

I got a real kick out of this piece earlier today: ABC’s short video talks about common misconceptions about wine, as well as validates what are thought to be misconceptions. Swirling the drink? It’s not just for show, as the oxygen brings out the wine’s flavor. Need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle? Probably not. The $15-20 price range is actually pretty good for most occasions.

I can definitely attest to that. Shout-out to my local Washington wine brands: you keep me buzzed.

For those that are getting into wine and struggling to figure out how to pair it with their meals, I like to look at wine flavors like a painting: just add contrast! If you’re eating something salty, pair it with a sweet wine. If you’re eating something savory, pair it with a fruity or tart wine. The more different the flavor notes, the more they bring out each other’s best. Don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you from trying new things. Even today’s leading wine experts are still learning something new about this old and delicious craft.

If you’re feeling like wine isn’t for you, for whatever reason, consider giving it a try this year. It’s a lot easier to get into than it seems and there’s a wine variety for just about everyone. All the French and Italian terminology will come later.

Everyone Has A Role To Play With Sustainability Labels

Sustainability has become a pretty convoluted word. It sounds nice on paper — and looks pretty snazzy — but the moment you start to scratch the surface, you run into trouble.

Which sustainability labels are actually inciting meaningful change for farmers? How are these certifications approved and maintained, much less reinforced by outside parties? Do consumers actually have any power when it comes to encouraging fair trade? These are just a few of the questions that The Week takes a look at: their illuminating piece goes into the nitty-gritty behind sustainability certification and what it actually means for farmers, traders and consumers.

Government initiatives versus non-profits. The issue of premium demand and production. The flaws in the reporting system and which standards are used to measure in the first place. There’s some good, insightful commentary here to pierce the labyrinthine tangle of fact and fiction. While the sustainability conversation won’t be ended with just one article — indeed, the oversaturation of certification labels is the problem — this article will give you a better idea as to what you’re looking at while shopping.

Just yesterday I was looking for coffee to stock up my shelf and wondering whether or not I should buy K-cups, thanks to recent recycling issues. I’m also planning on making the switch to a French Press for home coffee so I can focus on purchasing specialty, small-batch coffee. It’s not much…

…but change has to start somewhere.

‘Death before decaf’? If you still believe this, it’s time to refresh your data.

As a strict decaf drinker, seeing posts like these warms my heart. Decaf is so often treated as a lesser form of coffee, when in fact there are plenty of other reasons to enjoy the brew besides an energy rush. Take a look at this if you want to know how decaf is made and how to do it yourself at home!

Coffee with the Queen

Decaffeinated coffee can be organic, naturally-processed, and delicious! Long gone are the days when the sole option to remove caffeine from a bean was chemical decaffeination. Long gone should be the days of decaf bashing. To understand decaf, it is necessary to understand why offering a non-caffeinated coffee is important. Caffeine is a powerful, natural chemical that can remain in your body for up to 15 hours. For the caffeine sensitive, it can create jitters, exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux, worsen headaches, make it difficult to fall asleep, and increase anxiety and restlessness. Decaffeinated coffee offers all of the health benefits of caffeinated coffee without the side-effects. The key is finding a flavorful, naturally decaffeinated coffee. To learn more about the Mills and TheQueenBean decaffeinated coffees, scroll down to the end of this entry.

How is coffee decaffeinated and is it safe?

There are four primary methods of decaffeination: Carbon…

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party clinking wine glasses

Why Not Both? Mixing It Up With A Wine And Tea Blend

Something I make very clear when anyone meets me is my loves for a delicious drink. I won’t have single a meal without one. To me, a dish without a complimentary drink is like walking to the bus stop without pants: incomplete and a little odd.

This new wine and tea blend has already caught my eye, for obvious reasons. It’s no mere blender method (indeed, they mentioned it didn’t taste all that good), but a new approach to the distilling process. The creators of the Tea & Wine range talk about drying off their grapes on beds of tea leaves to infuse the end result with unique notes you won’t find elsewhere. They even take inspiration from classic cooking processes that have nothing to do with wine at all.

This isn’t available for the rest of the world yet, but consider me putting this on my to-buy list. With beanless coffee making waves and cold brew sitting pretty as a growing specialty bar choice, drink lovers have a lot to look forward to.