Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Great Beer Infographic

I love the chart below, from CraftBeer.com, which offers beer and food pairing suggestions.  But what I like best about it is the information about the beers themselves!  It shows 28 different beer styles, along with their typical alcohol content, flavor intensity, color, and level of bitterness.  It even suggests glassware and serving temperatures.

Here's a link to the chart in pdf for easy printing.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review: The One Minute Wine Master

I recently read The One Minute Wine Master by Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine.  The book aims to help all of us – beginners to professionals – quickly identify our wine preferences and find new wines we will like.  This is accomplished by an 11-question (1 minute) quiz about our food and drink preferences.

People differ in how many taste buds are physically present on their tongues.  This accounts (at least in part) for why some of us can tolerate spicier and/or more bitter flavors.  Supertasters/hypertasters have the most taste buds, are very sensitive to strong, spicy, or bitter flavors, and make up about 25% of the population.  Tasters are in the middle, making up about 50% of the population.  Non-tasters have the fewest taste buds, can tolerate the strongest, most bitter, most spicy flavors, and make up about 25% of the population. 

The quiz works by asking questions that reveal our tolerance for various characteristics in our food and drink.  If you like dark chocolate and black coffee, you can tolerate a good amount of bitterness.  If you love lemon on your fish, you like a lot of acid.   If you add sugar to your tea and prefer apple juice, you probably like things mild and sweet.  And so on… 

You used to be able to take this quiz online, but the link given in the book no longer works, so I’ve reproduced the quiz here:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A French Wine and Cycling Infographic

Here is a graphic designed by Headwater, a tour company, which combines wine facts with a map of the French regions where cycling tours are offered.

Click here for the full-sized version!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Local Wine Class: Picasso's Roots - Wines of Spain

James King of the Houston-based Texas Wine School is giving 2 wine seminars that complement the current Picasso exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts.  One will focus on Spanish wines (April 25), and one on French (May 2).  Tickets are $45 for MFAH members and $50 for non-members.

Find out more here:
Picasso's Roots: Wines of Spain - April 25

Picasso, Bon Vivant: Wines of France - May 2

And if you haven't seen the Picasso exhibit yet, you're missing out - it's wonderful!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wine Infographic: Cabernet Sauvignon Cheat Sheet

Here is the 2nd installment in my series of grape profiles.  (See the full collection of wine cheat sheets here.)  Hopefully this will help you to learn more about a wine you already like, or explore the flavors of a new grape or a new region!  (Click on the graphic for a larger view.)

To see the Cheat Sheet in full size…
…in Internet Explorer, right click on it and select “open in new tab.”
…in Chrome, right click on it and select “open link in new tab.”
…in Firefox, right click on it and select “view image.”   

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tempranillo in Texas

This article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last month discusses Tempranillo's future in Texas, predicting that it will become the state's signature varietal, like Malbec for Argentina or Shriaz for Australia:

Tempranillo Hits Pay Dirt in Texas

This makes perfect sense, because the climate and topography of west Texas resemble parts of Spain, where Tempranillo is from, and where it makes some gorgeous wines.  I love this grape, so I hope it will help Texas establish itself as a great state for wine!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wine Infographic: Sauvignon Blanc Cheat Sheet

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular wine grapes in the world.  It's one of the "Noble 6" or "Big 6" grapes, which are used to make about 80% of the wines in the world.  (More about those here.)  It's also considered an "International Variety," which means that it is grown all around the world, and it displays it's own natural characteristics as well as the terroir of wherever it's growing.  Another fun fact:  it is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon. (Cabernet Franc is the other parent.)

Here is your official Sauvignon Blanc Cheat Sheet!  This covers the typical wine style, aromas/flavors, and primary growing regions around the world.  (It's grown in other places of course, but these are the big ones.)    Use this to get to know a new grape, or to find new regions to taste from!  (click to see a bigger version)

To see the full collection of wine cheat sheets, click here.

To see the Cheat Sheet in full size…
…in Internet Explorer, right click on it and select “open in new tab.”
…in Chrome, right click on it and select “open link in new tab.”
…in Firefox, right click on it and select “view image.”