Traditional recipes

5 Annoying Wine Terms

5 Annoying Wine Terms

Overused words that don't tell us a thing about wine

Wine can be a pretty stuffy topic. Historically, it’s been dominated by old men tasting wine in wood-panelled libraries, speaking with a little Locust Valley lockjaw (if you know what I mean, Lovey).

The fact that the people responsible for tasting wine and writing reviews seem intent on confusing their audience continues to amaze me! I mean, let's call 'em like we see them and stop using the most annoying words in wine writing!

Click here to find out the most overused, and overrated, wine terms.

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth

Here&rsquos How to Make Wine in Your Instant Pot&mdashYes, You Read That Correctly

You cook almost everything in your Instant Pot, so why not wine?

The Instant Pot has become a worldwide sensation. Millions of people have purchased the product to make the perfect rice, create healthy steamed veggies, and slow cook food throughout the day. But, according to one food blogger, we’ve all been missing out on the Instant Pot’s best recipe: Wine.

Yes, that’s right, you really can make your own wine in an Instant Pot ($130

Inspired by a meme that asked, “Why hasn’t anyone figured out how to put grapes in an Instant Pot and make wine,” food blogger and recipe developer David Murphy decided to give it a try.

“Yes! I totally decided to put in the effort and figure out how to do it! This meme inspired me to try to figure out how to make some Instant Pot wine I LOVE a challenge,” Murphy wrote. �lieve it or not, it’s not as hard as you might think it is to make Instant Pot wine, but it does take a little bit of patience.”

According to Murphy, you can’t just throw juice in your Instant Pot and hope for wine—sorry.

Instead, you must start things off by fully sanitizing your Instant Pot. To do so, take one tablespoon of bleach and one gallon of hot water. “Mix well, and pour into your Instant Pot liner pot.” Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 seconds to kill any type of bacteria. Dry with a clean towel, 𠇊nd you’re ready to go,” he wrote.

Next, gather your ingredients, which include:

  • Welch’s Grape Juice (64-oz. bottle)
  • 1 cup of sugar (granulated)
  • a funnel
  • 1 packet Lalvin Red Wine Yeast (with yogurt function)

Combine these ingredients in a six-step process, which you can follow on Murphy’s site, and leave in your Instant Pot for 48 hours. Then, transfer your wine to a plastic container and let it sit for eight full days. And voila! You’ve made Instant Pot wine.

“I seriously didn’t think this was going to work at all,” Murphy shared. “I was expecting a failure, but I was patient and played that annoying waiting game. Honestly, it was so much better than some of those cheap bottles of wine that I’ve bought. Dare I say, even better than the Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s!”

Honestly, thank God for brave souls like David Murphy. Check out four more things you probably didn’t know you could make with your Instant Pot, and maybe try to discover a new recipe for yourself.


Chevriere calls this "the most parodied step in the process"𠅋ut if you&aposre serious about wine tasting, it&aposs an essential one. "The point here is to expose the wine to oxygen and kick-start the process of it &aposopening up&apos and expressing its full range of aromas and flavors," she says. "When it comes to technique, find what feels most comfortable to you. It&aposs often easiest to start out by keeping the base of the glass on the table and then gently swirling in a clockwise motion. Also take note of how quickly the &apostears&apos or &aposlegs&apos slide down the side of the glass. That&aposs an indicator of viscosity the slower the roll, the higher the alcohol content."

Manners Matter: Annoying, Noisy Neighbors

The people who live right beneath me in my apartment building “treat me” to their loud music at various points during the day. The people across the hall entertain several nights a week – loudly and well into the night. (I wish I had that many friends!) It seems that one of the two occupants isn’t capable of saying anything at a normal volume because I can always hear his voice shouting above all the others during their parties. Don’t even get me started on the probable lack of mask wearing by the partygoers.

I’ve discussed these situations with the apartment managers, but I understand that there’s only so much they can do to control behavior. Plus, I hate to be “that person” who complains every few days. One manager suggested that I call the police when things get too loud, but that seemed like an extreme reaction and a waste of police resources.

I realize I could knock on either door to politely ask the occupants to keep the noise down, but it’s very much not in my nature to have such interactions – even friendly, respectful ones – and there’s always the chance that things could turn ugly if my request is not well received.

Do you have any suggestions?

Just Want My Quiet

Dear Just Want My Quiet,

You could certainly try asking politely once. I suspect that it might fall on deaf ears because they’re already showing a lack of concern for their neighbors. Simply put, they have to be at least aware that they’re loud and don’t really care. In apartment/duplex/townhome living, you’d hope that people would show more consideration, but it’s not always the case.

There are a few things that you could try from your end that might be helpful.

• Try renting in another part of the building.

• Make sure that your front door doesn’t have any cracks where sound is getting in. Ask your landlord to seal any cracks, or try getting a door draft stopper. Check your windows for cracks as well.

• Add more artwork to your walls to help absorb some of the sound. Adding rugs with rubber backing and soundproofing ceiling panels might help as well, but check with your landlord before affixing anything permanent. Better yet, ask the landlord to pay for some of the soundproofing. He or she might say no, but it’s still worth checking and will serve as a further alert to the seriousness of the problem.

• Invest in a white-noise machine, or keep a fan on during the evening hours.

• Consider rearranging your furniture in a way that will put more distance between your neighbor’s apartment and where you need the most quiet – most likely your bedroom.

Calling the police for noise complaints usually makes the situation more tense, so use that as an absolute last resort.

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages, including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email Mary Pat at [email protected] .

There are health benefits for drinking wine and preventing colds.

Wine is full of health benefits, but did you know that red wine can boost the immune system? In a May 2002 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, doctors found that the health benefits of drinking a moderate amount of wine include developing immunity against 200 viruses that trigger one of the most annoying ailments out there: the common cold.

The study, which included more than 4,000 faculty members and administrative staff at five Spanish universities, asked participants to keep a diary noting any colds they developed during the year. Results of the study found that people who had more than 14 glasses of wine per week had a 40 percent lower risk of contracting a cold than those who drank less. Cheers to that!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (3 pound) beef pot roast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves, or more to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • water to cover
  • 1 head cabbage, quartered, or more to taste

Place pot roast, onion, mint, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, and bay leaves in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in enough water to cover the roast. Cook over medium heat until roast is tender, adding more water if needed, about 4 hours.

Stir cabbage wedges into the pot. Simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Re: Annoying

@goldgirlfun wrote:

I unintentionally offended some. It was not my intent. Maybe it was envy someone was having fun. I think this past year has made me far less joyful. I was only surprised corporate encouraged the "talking over" each other. I like Belle's clothes so I will take the suggestion to use the mute button.

No need to apologize. You're entitled to your opinion just like everyone else.

For me, I want the facts. The goofiness is fluff and a time killer. The CEO wants Q to be entertainment which appeals to many people, just not me. I want the details up front and then they can do whatever they want.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch slices and each pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed (12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • Cooked polenta, for serving

Place flour in a shallow dish. Season pork with salt and pepper, then coat with flour, shaking off excess.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook pork until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and shallots, and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Season. Add wine and broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add cherries and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Return pork to pan along with any accumulated juices and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, 2 minutes. Serve over polenta.

The 7 Habits of Highly Annoying Wine People

Lettie Teague

WINE IS A BEVERAGE meant to bring pleasure, perhaps even joy. And yet, for me, some aspects of wine can make it much less enjoyable. Some of these irritations are small, some are much bigger—from waiters who unceremoniously dump the contents of a bottle into customers’ glasses to wine shops that sell every bottle by means of a numerical score. Here are my top seven wine-related pet peeves. Perhaps you have one or two of your own?

1. Wine-dumping waiters

I’m not the kind of person who lingers long over a meal. I once managed to eat a five-course dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant in less than two hours. (And that was in France!) But I want to set my own pace: I don’t like to be rushed along by the staff, and I especially dislike it when a waiter takes hold of my bottle and dumps the contents into my glass without asking whether I’d like more—or not.

The bottle is mine I’ve ordered it and I will be paying for it soon (though clearly not soon enough for some waiters), so I should be able to control how much or how little goes into my glass or the glass of my guest. I hate a glass that’s filled to the top. It’s impossible to swirl the glass without slopping liquid over the rim or to get an aromatic impression when there’s no space for your nose inside the glass.

Most of all, I know that dumping wine into glasses is calculated to get me to order another bottle—fast. This may work sometimes, but I think overt manipulation of a guest rarely ends well. When I encounter this kind of aggressive upsell (that’s what it is) I might not order a second bottle, and drink water instead.

Ultimate Guide to the Champagne Wine Region

­It's New Year's Eve. You have your fancy outfit, a date and a party to attend. What's missing? The bubbly! There's nothing like a big bottle of champagne to help you cele­brate.

Most people are familiar with the characteristic bubbles or specific flavor of champagne, but there is so much more to learn about this famous French wine than just what makes it bubbly. It comes from the Champagne region of France, which is one of the most heavily praise­d and restricted wine regions on Earth.

Countries throughout the world use Appellations of Origin to mark their wine territory. The appellation for France is known as Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Wines bearing this label have been subjected to strict rules. There are 35 rules French winemakers must follow, but these are the most important concerning wine produced in the Champagne wine region:

  • Wine must come from a designated area of 84,000 acres (34,000 hectares).
  • Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier are the only grapes that can be used and blended to make champagne.
  • You may only harvest and press a certain number of grapes at one time.
  • Vine restrictions include spacing, height, pruning and density.
  • All grapes must be harvested by hand.
  • You must age the product for a specific amount of time [source: wine-pages, Le Champagne].

­For centuries, Champagne has been limited to its strict territorial boundaries, but in the early 2000s, the French started realizing it might be time to expand. The global market for champagne is quite large -- it's been hard to manage while picking grapes by hand! The Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) has approved a tentative plan to increase the ­area where grapes can be grown and still maintain the name Champagne [source: Gaffney]. Needless to say this has caused quite the controversy in the region. It will take years to sort out the logistics, but there's a demand for champagne, and France is trying to meet it.

Read on to learn about the region's history and culture, and find out how the center of Champagne came to be.

Champagne Wine Region History and Culture

How did Champagne become famous? It turns out that monks were t­he first people responsible for producing wine in this region. But in 496 on Christmas Eve, the region of Champagne officially entered into history when Clovis, the king of France, was anointed with sparkling wine by Saint Rémi to celebrate Clovis's conversion to Christianity [source: Le Champagne]. However, the champagne that we know today was actually not invented until the 17th century. According to the French, the invention of champagne, by a monk, is generally attributed to Dom Péringnon [source:].

The region got its major boost after the cathedral in Reims was designated the location for crowning kings from 987 to1825 [source: Le Champagne]. This led to champagne being consumed at all kinds of celebrations. Visiting royalty from other countries were also given the opportunity to taste the royal drink. And so, as the years went by, the legend of champagne wine grew.

In 1882, the champagne houses of France realized they truly had something special. They joined together to form the Union of Champagne Houses, with two objectives: protect the Champagne name and fight against phylloxera (a disease that destroyed grapevines). They called their group l'Union des Maisons de Champagnes (UMC), and it's still active today. The Union is the force behind any lawsuits that are brought against producers of sparkling wines who try to use the Champagne name [source: UMC]. Yes, that's right. Many winemakers of sparkling wine have attempted to use the name Champagne on their labels of sparking wine. But unless it's made in the Champagne region of France, sparkling wine cannot be called champagne.

It can be mesmerizing to watch champagne bubbles. The magical lines shooting out in long strings from the bottom of the glass are beautiful and mysterious. But the magic is quite easy to explain -- it's just carbon dioxide. The bubbles are created during the fermentation process, which is known by winemakers as "the capture of the sparkle" [source: UMC]. ­

Champagne Wine Region Agriculture

The Champagne wine region is locate­d about 90 miles (145 kilom­eters) northeast of Paris [source: wine-pages]. The key to this rich, grape-growing land is chalk. You might think of chalk as that annoying substance that shrieks on chalkboards, but this chalk helps to produce fantastic grapes for winemaking. There are three reasons the chalk is so useful:

  • Chalk in the soil will reflect sunlight back up the vines to boost growth.
  • Chalk can absorb up to 40 percent of its volume. During rainy seasons, chalk can retain the water to ensure drainage for the vines.
  • Because the chalk maintains moisture so well, the vines are protected during extremely dry periods. The grape vines receive water through the roots that are buried in the subsoil [source: UMC].

There are specific steps involved in caring for Champagne grapes. Growers throughout the region know they must adhere to these standards or they won't be popping any corks in the spring:

  • Pruning: There are four authorized ways to prune, but in general, this just means cutting back stems.
  • Binding and lifting: During binding, the vines are attached to wires to control growth. Lifting involves wiring new growth (shoots) upright toward the sunlight.
  • Palissage: Vines are clipped in place on the wires due to strict spacing regulations.
  • Ebourgeonnage: Clipping off excess new growth. Some buds may be hacked off in the process.
  • Shredding: Any clippings dropped below the grape vines are added into a compost to ensure healthy vines and help deter diseases.
  • Special processes: There may be additional steps taken due to any number of random farming problems. In short, call in the experts [source: UMC].

Each employee of the vineyard works in sync to carry out these steps to ensure agricultural success.

Champagne flutes are tall, thin and easily knocked over. So why are they used? The tall shape ­provides a better visual of the bubbles as they climb to the rim of the glass. And it's not just about aesthetics -- the bubbles aren't just pretty, they carry aroma and flavor to the top of the glass. [source: Tanasychuk].­

Famous Wines of the Champagne Wine Region

Having trouble deciding on which champagne to choose for that special celebration? Don't worry, you can­ narrow down your choices based on looking for the official Champagne appellation labels from France. Once you find the labels, there are a variety of things to consider before making your selection.

Champagne comes from three types of grapes. Depending on your preferences, you can choose wines based on one of the three main fruits:

  • Pinot Noir has aromas of red fruits and produces a powerful punch
  • Pinot Meunier creates a fruity, supple flavor
  • Chardonnay has a floral flavor and sometimes contains mineral aromas [source: Le Champagne]

Once you have narrowed down the particular flavor you fancy, you can move on to the houses. The Union of Champagne Houses provides a complete list of official houses used to produce its sparkling wines [source: UMC].

If you'd rather just pick up a bottle based on the region's acclaimed champagnes, consider these, which have received international accolades for their excellent qualities:

  • Cristal (Louis Roederer)
  • Dom Pérignon (Moët & Chandon)
  • Comètes de Champagne (Taittinger)
  • Grand Siècle (Laurent Perrier)
  • Grand Cru (Mumm)
  • Dom Ruinart (Ruinart)
  • Belle Époque (Perrier-Jouët)
  • La Grande Dame (Veuve Clicquot
  • Charlie (Charles Heidsieck)
  • Clos du Mensil (Krug)
  • Noble Cuvée (Lanson)
  • Winston Churchill (Pol Roger)
  • La Grande Année (Bollinger)
  • Louise (Pommery)
  • Rare (Piper Heidsieck)
  • Charles VII (Canard Duchene)
  • Clos des Goisses (Philipponnat)
  • Celebris (Gosset)
  • Amour (Duetz)
  • Nec Plus Ultra (Bruno Paillard)
  • Femme de Champagne (Duval Leroy)
  • Josephine (Joseph Perrier) [source: UMC]

For more wine-related information, visit the links on the next page.

One of the most difficult aspects of using champagne flutes is washing them. Hand washing can be difficult due to the size of the flutes and the delicate structure, but you might be afraid to wash them in the dishwasher because they might break. The French champagne industry recommends not washing flutes, but simply rinsing them out with warm water and leaving them upside down to dry [source: Le Champagne]. One of the reasons for this is that soap scum left behind can diminish the bubbles in your bubbly.­