Tag Archives: wine

Tuesday Tip: Temperatures for Storing and Serving Wine

When it comes to wine, one of the most asked questions is in regards to temperature. Serving wines at the wrong temperature can mute some of the flavors of the wine, denying the customer of the full potential of the wine. Avoid this by following these guidelines from Wine Spectator:

  • There are two temperatures you should worry about: Storage temperature and Serving temperature.
  • Ideal storage temperature for both reds and whites is between 45°F and 65°F, with 55°F being the “perfect temperature.” This allows some wines to age and develop a richer body.
  • Serving temperature will depend on the wine.
    • Light dry white wines, rosés, and sparkling wines should be served at 40°F to 50°F to preserve their freshness and fruitiness
    • Full-bodied white wines and light, fruity reds should be served at 50°F to 60°F.
    • Full-bodied red wines and Ports should be served at 60°F to 65°F, just cooler than room temperature.

For restaurants and bars, an easy way to accurately store wine at the correct temperatures would be to invest in a wine refrigerator. There are models offering single or dual temps, in a variety of capacity options. This can also be a home option as well, but only if you keep enough wines around to warrant it. The benefits of wine refrigerators are that they keep a consistent temperature, dual temp models allow you to keep both reds and whites in the same place at different temperatures!

Photo via Visual hunt

 

Wine and Cheese Pairings

Wine and cheese: two of life’s greatest treasures. As with any food and wine pairing, experts suggest pairing strength of flavors. Hearty red meat, for example, traditionally pairs best with a bold red, like a cabernet sauvignon. White meat and fish, on the other hand, often lean on the lighter side and can be pleasantly accompanied by a buttery chardonnay or a refreshing Riesling. The same theory is at play with cheeses.

As with pairing meats, it’s best to think of the variety of combinations as either complementary or contrasting. A wine with high acidity will cut into the cheese’s sweetness, whereas a lush wine works rather nicely with a triple-cream cheese like brie.

What kind of cheese are you looking to pair? Is it bloomy (creamy, decadent, soft rind), hard (stiff, sharp), blue (pungent, salty, blue tinge), or fresh (soft, often spreadable, mild)? Many connoisseurs argue that white wines tend to pair better with cheeses, but we shouldn’t discount reds altogether. Half the fun is experimenting. Decide on a cheese you’d like to pair, try a taste and see how the flavors connect when you mix in wine. Too opposing? No worries. The combination possibilities are endless.

Here are some common wine and cheese pairings examples courtesy of Wine Enthusiast:

Bloomy Cheeses

Camembert – Champagne

Brie – Chardonnay

Robiola – Sparkling Wine

Taleggio – Pinot Blanc

Hard

Gouda – Merlot

Cheddar – Cabernet Sauvignon

Parmesan – Chianti

Double Gloucester – Zinfandel

Pecorino – Valpolicella

Gruyere – Sauvignon Blanc

Fontina – Bardolino

Blue

Gorgonzola – Port

Stilton – Sauternes

Blue – Riesling

Cambozola – Eiswein

Fresh

Ricotta – Pinot Grigio

Mozzarella – Sauvignon Blanc

Goat – Chenin Blanc

Feta – Beaujolais

Burrata – Tocai Friulano

 

Interested in learning more about wine? You may enjoy some of our other blogs:

You can also browse our large assortment of wine supplies here. Cheers!

Thanksgiving Dinner Wine Pairings

Turkey is the main attraction for Thanksgiving dinner, but the wine you choose to serve at your restaurant or home can be just as important. The decision can be quite daunting with the endless wine options. When deciding on wine purchases, you have to take in account all the variables. For example; how many will be attending dinner or will be dining at your restaurant? How long will the dinner last?  White or red? There is still time to make last minute wine purchases to cater to your Thanksgiving Day guests.

 How Much to Buy

Before the decision of what wine to buy, it is important to know how much to buy. You don’t want to run out of wine before the main course!  The amount of wine your guests will drink depends on the amount of food being served.  The longer the meal, the more wine is needed. If you have appetizers before the main course you will want to account for that as well.  Keep in mind, if the meal is longer, you’ll want a wine with a lower alcohol percent.  Thanksgiving is a time when adults tend to drink more wine, and you don’t want any of your guests to have to leave early!

 What Wine to Serve

Once you have figured out how many guests you will have and the length of the meal, it is time to choose the combinations of wine you will be serving.  Better Homes and Gardens suggests serving sparkling, white and red wine throughout the meal.  A sparkling wine, like champagne, is perfect to start with as your guests arrive and are mingling with others. These help the celebration start on the right note with their light and bubbly taste.

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CC Image courtesy of Bar Wines by Alex Brown on Flickr

Moving to the appetizers or finger foods, white wines can be served to your guests to get their pallets ready for the main course. Serving a white wine with a lower alcohol percent would be beneficial here. Your guests will be drinking as much as they are eating. Better Homes and Garden advises to serve more fruity wines that are light, but crisp. Moscato or a Riesling would fit this description perfectly.

As the afternoon (or night) moves to the main course, red wine can be an option for your guest.  Not everyone enjoys red wine, so be sure to have enough white wine for the main course as well.  A red wine can add to the decoration of the dinner as well. It is important to choose a light red wine over a dry one. This will allow your guests to enjoy the smooth taste without the bitterness.

For dessert, it is really up to you. It also depends on the selection of desserts as well. If there is a bigger selection, wine might be too overwhelming for your guests.  Wine does not necessarily need to be part of the dessert, but having it available for the guests who want it is not a bad idea. Sweeter white wines can be served again after dessert when your guests are starting to wind down and are grazing on leftover food.

Shop Central

Whether your are hosting guests at your home or at your restaurant, keep in mind these tips while purchasing wine for a great Thanksgiving Day.  For all your wine needs from glasses to merchandisers to wine savers/stoppers, Central has you covered!  Shop online or call one of our helpful product consultants at 800-215-9293 for information about all the options available.

Serve Wine Right with Eurodib Wine Cabinets

Recent statistics from a Wine Institute/Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates study showed that wine consumption once again rose in 2013, with total wine “consumption per resident” reaching 2.82 gallons – up 4% over 2012. While some of that may be consumed on a Thursday evening geared around a certain network’s TV lineup, more and more diners are looking to add a glass or two of vino with dinner at their favorite restaurant. If you are not lucky enough to have room for a wine cellar in your establishment’s basement – how do you ensure you are serving your reds and whites at the peak temperature and freshness? Consider a Eurodib Serving Cabinet from Central Restaurant.

Eurodib Wine Merchandisers are a Perfect Solution

Eurodib cabinets keep your wine fresh and at the right temperature

Eurodib cabinets keep your wine fresh and at the right temperature

Central recently added several new Euordib cabinets to our online assortment. Models include the 36″H undercounter MH-54DZ that is perfect for your front-of-house bar or the full-height MH-168SZ and MH-168DZ with extended capacity. All models feature a stylish black finish with stainless steel door frame. These coolers have a stylish look that will blend into any environment and can also be used as an ageing cabinet. LED lighting adds to the presentation without creating the extra heat a fluorescent bulb can introduce into the cabinet. Door locks are standard to ensure complete security.

All models use a thermostatic cabinet to maintain accurate temperature, and beech wood shelves help to regulate the humidity. The MH-168SZ has a single compartment that can be adjusted between 41 and 61.4°F. Offer a variety of wine types? The MH-54DZ Undercounter and MH-168DZ models have two separate zones that allow red wines to be stored at a proper 50 to 64.4°F while you keep your white and sparkling wines at a colder 41 to 50°F. Setting and monitoring temperatures is easy with a multi-function digital control visible through the glass door.

Capacity is king too. The full height, single zone MH-168SZ can hold up to 176 bottles of wine in their proper horizontal position on 16 shelves . The 36″H undercounter model still holds up to 46 bottles on 16 shelves.

Shop at Central with Confidence

This 36"H undercounter model is great for front-of-the-house

This 36″H undercounter model is great for front-of-the-house

Still have questions? Talk with one of our knowledgeable Product Consultants by calling 800-215-9293 – or use our online chat option. We also carry a wide selection of wine glasses and stemware for every operation. And if this is your first time offering wines, our Central Restaurant blog has previously covered this topic, including the a September 2014 guide to equiping for wine season and a help with understanding everything from Stemware to Service.

 Feature image courtesy Jakub and his Foodie’s Feed.

From Stemware to Service–All things Wine for Restaurants

Serving wine at a restaurant is about much more than the wine itself.  Having a great selection and the ideal stemware can provide your customer with a great experience while maximizing your profits at the same time.  Here’s a rundown of all things wine from a brief lesson to choosing the best stemware for your establishment.

A Brief Lesson in Wine

There are several different types of wine, categorized in either red or white.

“While many believe white wines are made with white grapes and red wines are with red grapes, it is actually the skin of the grape that gives wine its color,” said Stephanie Paulson, designer for Central. “The longer the skin has contact with the juice, the darker and more tannic (dry or “puckery”) the wine will be.”

When it comes to flavor, typically white wines are sweeter than reds.  Paulson said the sweetness of a wine is determined by how much of the grape’s natural sugar is converted to alcohol during fermentation.

“It also has to do with skin contact as well.  Grape skins contain natural tannins (astringent, bitter plant compounds) that balance out sweetness.”

There are also other factors that tie into a wine’s sweetness from the varietal (type of grapes used or the “name” of the wine), time of year grapes are harvested and the winemaker’s preferences throughout the fermentation process.

But wine isn’t only made of grapes.  In fact, according to Lisa Jilbert of Jilbert Winery in Valley City, Ohio, honey wine (also known as mead) is known as the first alcoholic beverage.

“A man and a woman were given a full month supply of honey wine when they were married,” she said. “If the woman became pregnant, it was attributed to the skill of the mead maker.”

She also said mead is very important in literature as it has much to do with fertility and virility.

And really, for wine, Jilbert said it can be made out of anything that has sugar in it because yeast feeds on sugar.

“So if your shoe had sugar in it, theoretically, you could have wine made from your shoe. Thus, it is not uncommon to see wine made from a variety of fruits, apples, cherries, elderberries, etc.”

Common White Wines

  • Chardonnay: Most commonly fermented in oak barrels, giving it a distinctive flavor
  • Moscato: Very sweet
  • Pinot Grigio: Basic white wine, good balance of sweetness and fullness
  • Riesling: Sweet and fruity with bright citrus flavors
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Crisp, subtle with light fruit flavors (i.e. melon)

Common Red Wines

  • Merlot: Fruity and herbal with a rounded flavor profile
  • Pinot Noir: Fruity and delicate, soft and usually easy to drink
  • Syrah or Shiraz: Hearty and full with darker fruit flavors like cherry and currant
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Full, tannic and spicy
  • Zinfandel: Very deep, spicy/peppery and very tannic

 Choosing the Proper Stemware

Since customers want a full experience when being served wine at a restaurant, choosing the right glass is critical because it enables your restaurant to increase the quality of your tabletop presentation.

Typically, a tall and narrow glass is used for white wines and a short and wide glass with a larger bowl is used for red wines.  Then you have an even narrower and taller glass for champagne.  But now things are shifting as many restaurants are condensing to just one glass that works for both.

According to Jay Allie, crystal stemware expert at Anchor Hocking, a restaurant’s main goal should be to choose stemware that will help them sell more wine and improve profitability.  This can be done by using high-performance glassware in focused applications.

“Instead of setting the tabletop with a red wine glass, white wine glass and a water glass, many operators select to use one all purpose wine glass for their red/white by-the-glass offerings and in many cases, they will use the same wine glass for water,” Allie said. “They have created a very high image glassware presentation and eliminated two stems.”

Programs and Services

By-the-Glass

For by-the-glass programs, Allie recommends to try using one upscale stem for both red and white wines.  The best ounce capacity for this is 15 ounces, as any smaller capacities won’t allow red wines to breathe.

“To improve profitability, another suggestion is to improve portion control by using 6 ounce mini carafes or developing a pour line decoration on the stem,” Allie said. “The all purpose glassware goes down due to ease in handling one stem for by-the-glass service.  Customer’s wine experience is greatly improved; restaurant sells more glasses of wine.”

Bottle Service

Fine dining customers who normally order wines by the bottle no longer accept drinking from commodity stemware.

They prefer it to be served in a high-performance wine stem.

“If the restaurant operator is not automatically presenting a high-performance wine glass with each bottle served, they are at a distinct disadvantage in their market,” Allie said.

Serving Tips

You can have ideal stemware and the perfect bottle of wine, but it all must be served correctly to complete the full experience.  Here are a few tips from Libbey Glassware:

  • Always hold the glass by it stem as touching the bowl can affect the look and taste of fine wines
  • For perfect tasting, a glass should be one-third full, except for sparkling wines and champagne, which should be two-thirds full

Libbey also lists the following recommended wine-serving temperatures:

  • Sparkling wines: 44°F to 80°F
  • Mature and complex dry wines: 44°F to 50°F
  • Rosè and nouveau wines: 50°F to 53°F
  • Young red wines with low acidity: 48°F to 50°F
  • Structured red wines: 59°F to 62°F
  • Aged and dry red wines: 61°F to 64°F
  • For fine aged wines, it is possible to go about 64°F

Wine Products from Central

Bar Glass Racks          Stemware

Bottle Coolers             Stoppers and Corkscrews

Merchandisers            Wine and Champagne Servers

Shelving                         Wine List Cover

Central’s Week in Brief: September 30

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1.) Usually when you go to a baseball game, common beverage options are water, soda and beer. Well, it looks like there’s another beverage that’s become quite popular at ballparks–wine! Andrew Shipe of Aramark told the Houston Chronicle, “Five years ago, wine was mostly limited to the premium seats.  But these days, it’s more likely to be on the main concourse.” Read the full story here.

2.) When it comes to advertising, sometimes looking into your company’s archives may hold the key to success, or at least is a good shot! Wendy’s latest marketing campaign answers the 1984 question, “Where’s the beef?” by simply, well, answering it!  “Here it is!” they say.  To address it, Wendy’s has thrown in snippets of the now decades old commercial into new commercials for their line of “Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers.” Check out more information on the New York Times website.

3.) In the last few weeks, a listeria outbreak from cantaloupe has claimed at least 13 lives and has infected over 70 people, according to statistics from the Center for Disease control.  Then just this week, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. has recalled 131,000 pounds of ground beef under the suspicion it may be contaminated with E. Coli.  An ABC news article reported that so far, no one has reported being ill from the beef  and the recall was voluntary.  With two major recalls, now is a good time to review standards and procedures at your restaurant. Click here to view ABC’s article, which includes tips.

4.) Is your restaurant using social media or mobile apps? At this year’s MUFSO (Multi-Unit Foodservice Operator) conference, which was held September 25-27, NY Times Columnist David Pogue stressed the importance of using these methods of communication.  He noted many restaurants are leery of social media and apps but, “if you use it right, there are some incredible things you can do.” Read the full story here from Nation’s Restaurant News.

5.) Exciting news from Central! We’ve recently rolled out our Monthly Customer Newsletter which includes the latest from our blog, foodservice news, tips, questions, a Twitter topics and more. This month’s @CRPRestaurant Twitter topic is “What is/was your favorite school food and why?” Answer it on Twitter by using the hashtag: #crplunchfaves.  Then enter in #crplunchfaves in Twitter’s search tool to see what others are saying.  Feel free to get creative and dig deep to remember some of the neat things you ate as a kid!  Also, be sure to check out the newsletter here!

 

Hot? What to Drink to Cool Down

The weather in our neck of the woods has been unusually hot these last few weeks. People are flocking to the pools, taking refuge in the air conditioning, and drinking a lot of cold beverages. We came across an article today, originally posted by Food and Wine, that covers what types of drinks will help you cool down.

In the Northwest, where the weather is ranging from the high 60°F mark to the low 80°F mark, try a 2008 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay.

In the midwest or Northeast, where temperatures are reaching 80°F to 100°F try a 2008 Weingut Fred Loimer Lois Grüner Veltliner ($14) or a 2009 Clifford Bay Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($10).

In the West, where temperatures are nearing or surpassing the 100° mark try a 2009 Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde ($10). And for those REALLY hot in the Southwest, where temperatures are 110°F and above, skip the wine and have a cold beer. Try Stella Artois ($10 for a 6-pack). Need help keeping those drinks cold or keeping your wine fresh. Try these products. 

Keep your wine fresh by extracting the air from the bottle with this pump.

Store your wine horizontally without the fear of spillage with this wine stopper.

Keep your wine cold with this polycarbonate wine bucket.