Looking For A Quality Wine Refrigerator?

Do you enjoy drinking wine? Do you drink wine every week? If yes, do you have multiple bottles laying around in a cellar or refrigerator just waiting to be enjoyed? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then you should definitely consider investing in a wine refrigerator to keep your best wines stored in their optimal conditions.

Why you need a wine refrigerator

First off, lets look at why you should consider buying a wine fridge. First and foremost, did you know that most refrigerators are actually too cold to store wine? Yep, that’s right. Most fridges are kept below 40 degrees, which is too cold for your wine, especially red wine! Generally, optimal storing temps for red wines is between 50 – 60 degrees and white wines between 40 – 50 degrees. Failing to keep wine stored at their optimal temperatures can slowly degrade the quality of the wine over time. Wine has a delicate mix of sugars from grapes, and failing to store wine properly can lead to a dud the next time you bring out a preserved bottle of wine.

What makes a quality unit

Now that we understand why having a wine fridge is important, lets look at what makes a quality unit. The best wine coolers have a digital thermometer which allows you to more precisely set the temperature. This is very important for ensuring your wine is stored in an optimal environment. Also, a quality unit will be built with a thermoelectric cooling system instead of a typical compressor. Thermoelectric units are much quieter, and more convenient to have inside your home.

How to find the best wine cooler for you

Wine coolers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. Some can be built into cabinetry, while others are built as free standing units. You can even find dual zone wine coolers which allow you to keep your reds and whites at separate temps. Dual zone coolers are typically the units of choice for the serious wine enthusiasts.

When shopping for a wine refrigerator it’s important to first understand what features are important for your home or business. Will you be storing both reds and whites? Will the unit be built into cabinets? Or will it be free standing? These are all important questions to ask yourself before venturing into a store.

We’ve found that some of the highest quality wine coolers are made by EdgeStar. They make very durable, and also attractive units in all types, sizes, and prices.

I Love Italian Wine and Food – The Campania Region

If you are looking for fine Italian wine and food, consider the Campania region of southern Italy. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour.

Campania is the shin of the Italian boot. It is located in the southwestern Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its total population is about 5.8 million, making it the second most heavily populated region of Italy.

Campania’s best-known city is its administrative center, Naples, once glorified by the phrase “See Naples and Die,” which referred to its beauty and not its high crime rate. Other well-known cities include Sorrento, a playground of the jet set, and Pompeii, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius about two thousand years ago.

Campania devotes about 100,000 acres to grapevines; it ranks 9th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is about 52 million gallons, also giving it a 9th place. About 64% of the wine production is red or rosé (a bit of rosé), leaving 36% for white. The region produces 17 DOC wines and one DOCG wine, Taurasi, one of the two DOCG wines produced in southern Italy. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine. The G in DOCG stands for Garantita, but there is in fact no guarantee that such wines are truly superior. Only 2.8% of Campania wine carries the DOC designation. Campania is home to almost three dozen major and secondary grape varieties, with a few more white varieties than red ones.

Campania is not a major producer of international white grape varieties. Common Italian white varieties include Falanghina, Fiano, Greco, and Coda di Volpe.

Campania is not a major producer of international red grape varieties.The best known Italian red variety is Aglianico, best expressed in the DOCG wine, Taurasi, and Piedirosso.

Before we reviewing the Campania wine and cheese that we were lucky enough to purchase at a local wine store and a local Italian food store, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful region.
Start with Scialatielli alle Vongole, Herbed Pasta with Clams, Garlic, and Cherry Tomatoes.
Then try Branzino all ‘Acqua Pazz’, Sea Bass in ‘Crazy Water’.
And for dessert, indulge yourself with Coviglie al Caffè, Coffeee Custard and Ladyfingers.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY While we have communicated with well over a thousand Italian wine producers and merchants to help prepare these articles, our policy is clear. All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed

Mastoberardino Radici ‘Fiano di Avellino’ DOCG 12.0 % alcohol about $20

When you see a green band on an Italian white wine bottle, you have a DOCG wine, Italy’s top of the line classification.

Mastoberardino is the largest and best known producer in southern Italy. Fiano di Avellino is an indigenous white grape variety. They came together in an excellent wine.

The wine had a beautiful straw color. I found it to be delicate yet complex and elegant, not the least bit thin. At the first pairing it held up to spicy barbequed chicken and barbequed eggplant slices. Among the many flavors, it was spicy and smoky.

The next pairing was with whole wheat pasta and chicken meat balls in a peppery tomato sauce. Here the wine took on a floral character.

I would have loved to taste this wine with the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (Water-Buffalo Mozzarella cheese) described in my article “I Love Italian Wine and Cheese – The Latium Region” but it is not sold in my city. I had to settle for Pecorino Sardo, a nutty cheese made in Sardinia, an island almost directly west of Campagnia. In the presence of the cheese the wine became almost unctuous.

I really feel that this wine deserved its top of the line designation. The best white wines often come from cold climates such as Germany and northern France. Who would have thought that such a fine white wine could come from sun-baked southern Italy? The neighboring woods and eighteen hundred foot elevation of Avellino are certainly an essential part of the final product, well worth the $20, which is more than I usually spend on a wine bottle.

Wine Lovers Across the Land

The US is a hot market for wine consumption and it is growing each year as more Americans find themselves buying bottles at the local grocer, wine and liquor stores. What once was a market, saturated with overly sweet wine coolers and large jug wines (remember the White Zinfandel craze of the 80′s?) has changed to favor boutique wines from all over the country. But they don’t have to be expensive to be good, you can find a lot of great wines that are affordable.

Besides an increase in wine consumption, there has also been an increase in winemaking. In fact, in many states throughout the country, new wineries are opening everywhere. Outside of California, the largest wine producing state in the US with 2,900 wineries in existence, there are many other states where the wine industry is growing very fast. We are all becoming more familiar with the wonderful Pinot Noir coming out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon or the German-style wines coming out of Missouri. Michigan’s wine growing area is situated close to Lake Michigan and the Traverse city area, which has a microclimate favorable to growing such varietals as Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and more. So you get the picture. Wine regions are developing all over the country but they still have yet to overshadow California.

And it seems that every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV, someone is spouting off about the great health benefits of wine (mainly red wine) which could be the reason that the US is poised to become the number one in wine consumption in the world by 2008, so say the French who are exporting nearly 25% of their wines to the US. And on the east cost, the wine of choice is still more in the French, Italian, or Spanish category, but back on the west coast, it’s California or Oregon. Overall the west coast is doing fairly well as lapping up Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara and the rest of the California wines as well as Oregon, Washington and Australia, New Zealand and South America’s.

So now you’re completely confused – what wine should I buy? First, what is a price range that you feel comfortable with? Trader Joes became famous selling ’2 buck chuck’, a staple they get from Charles Shaw. But you can’t bring that to a dinner party. While there are some decent wines on the TJ shelves, you would do best to head to your local wine bar or wine store. These are located in just about every decent sized city. These people usually spend the day pouring tastings for customers, getting feedback on the wines and, of course, tasting the wines themselves. When you walk in, perplexed with what it is you want to buy, you will most likely be greeted by some general questions such as whether you prefer ‘dry’ or ‘sweet’ wines, ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ and so on. Next, there will be a glass in front of you with a small sample to taste and before you know it, the perfect wine for the occasion if hand with you as you leave the store en route to your next event.