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Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Planning a party or a social event can be tricky as you must assess all the aspects of the party and decide on the guests, food, music and the drinks.

Some people believe that deciding how much drinks to purchase is more of an art than science. It can be a daunting task to buy the right quantities of drinks for a party but it just need a little bit of assessing or pre-planning.

Here are a few useful tips to assist you to buy the right quantities as well as a few tips on how to save money when serving the drinks.

There are several factors you’ll want to consider when you calculate the amount of alcohol you’ll need for a party.

  • - The length of the party. How long is the party?
  • - What kind of party are you planning? Is it a cocktail party where drinks are the focus or a sit-down dinner where it’s all about the food and wine?
  • - Do you know if your guests are late stayers and or heavy drinkers?
  • - How much variety will you offer? And if you offer variety, how will you balance the choices between beer, wine, and mixed drinks?

As you can see, deciding how much alcohol to purchase is more of an art than science. For example, a rule of thumb for a cocktail party where you plan to serve only wine and/or champagne is to plan on one bottle to serve every two guests, every two hours.

Another rule of thumb for the average drinker, calculate 1 drink per person, per hour and then increase that amount by approximately 25% to be on the safe side. On the other hand, if it’s a very hot day or you’re serving salty or spicy food, your guests will drink more!

There are several strategies you can use to save money on your alcohol budget. Those include:

  • -Limiting the menu to wine and/or beer. The more variety you serve, the more liquor, mixers, and garnishes you will need to complete your bar.
  • -Limit the bar to a “menu” of mixed drinks. This limits the number of items you’ll need to complete your bar.
  • -Create an alcoholic punch which will “stretch” your liquor budget.
  • -Add to the bar several selections of non-alcoholic drinks to quench your guests’ thirst, including water, ice tea, and soft drinks. A guest who may have taken another mixed drink because he was simply thirsty, may choose water instead.

Source: entertaining.about.com

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We are running a great competition on our Facebook page where you can stand a chance to win one of six grocery shopping vouchers worth R600 each.

Visit our Facebook page for more information on how to enter.

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Celebrated Wine Personality Oz Clarke has chosen our Shiraz Viognier 2009 for his 250 best wines of 2012 guide.

How cool is that? What is your best Douglas Green wine?

 

Here’s what Oz had to say:

2009 Shiraz-Viognier, Douglas Green, Western Cape, South Africa, 14% abv The Wine Society, £5.50

I’m continually puzzled as to why we don’t see more examples of ripe, enjoyable, affordable reds from South Africa, so well done the Wine Society for sourcing this one, with its ripe blackberry and black plum fruit, its dab of exotic peach flesh, its trail of smoke and intriguing suggestion of orange scent.

 

Congratulations to Jaco and the Douglas Green team!

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Where’s Douglas Green? In Johannesburg this week!

Looking forward to meeting our fans at Winex.
See you there?

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If you’re looking for something to go with wine, it will often be cheese. And if you’re looking for something to go with cheese, then it will definitely be wine. At dinner parties around the world, when you’ve exhausted the menu and are looking for something to nibble on, the wine and cheese pairing will never disappoint. But why do wine and cheese go so well together? Is it simply that they please our taste buds, or is there a more scientific reason for this match made in heaven?

Tannin – What Is It?

Actually, both are true. Most wine and cheese buffs will tell you that this food and beverage combo goes together because of the tannin. Whether they can explain it any more than that is unlikely, as most laymen don’t know the science behind this answer and don’t really know what tannins are.

Tannins are natural organic compounds usually found in grape skins as well as seeds and stems. They’re great antioxidants and wonderful preservatives, which is part of the reason they are added to wine. When the wine is being aged in oak barrels, tannins are added for structure and texture – and preservation.

Winemakers use tannin to give wines the distinctive flavors we recognize. Variations in the process result in variations in the taste, so there’s fine control over the bottle of wine we finally get to drink. Depending on the desired flavor, vintners can squeeze the grapes to remove the juice and ensure that little tannin is released. Alternatively, they can crush the grapes to release more tannin, as they do with red wine.

When there’s a concentrated amount of tannin, it can cause the mouth to pucker and result in a bitter aftertaste at the back of the mouth. That’s known as tannic, which is also the natural sediment found at the bottom of a wine bottle.

The amount of tannin also affects when a wine is drinkable. Red wine with only a little tannin is drunk at a young age. In contrast, a wine that improves with age will have plenty of tannin, but the ageing process will soften the taste and reduce any bitter aftertaste.

Tannins are also found in tea, resulting in the chalky, dry taste that hits the back of your mouth when you drink strong tea. And that’s why the English put milk in tea – to soften the taste of the tannins.

The Wine and Cheese Pairing

So what does all this have to do with wine and cheese? It’s this. Scientists have found that high fat, high protein foods balance the taste of tannin. That makes cheese the perfect food to go with wine. Of course, it doesn’t stop there, because there is always the question of which wine goes with which cheese, a hotly debated topic. After decades of testing, and countless “experts” brainstorming on holidays and have-a-go wine buffs drinking Merlot on the most expensive ski deals Austria has to offer, there are mile-long lists on the internet that claim to have the answer. And if you have a favorite wine or cheese, a quick Google search will help you find a good complement to add to your shopping list before your dinner party.

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“What a great honour!” says Oenologist Jaco Potgieter in celebration of Douglas Green Vineyard Creations Chardonnay 2010 that received a coveted Diamond at the Winemakers’ Choice Awards.

 

The Winemakers’ Choice Awards is the only Competition that is judged exclusively by winemakers and claims to be ‘a true reflection of wine perfection’. “Douglas Green is not made in isolation, and this recognition shows the great teamwork between our growers and cellars,” says Jaco.

This was one of only three Diamond Awards for wooded Chardonnay, and the news follows the recent Gold medal victory at Michaelangelo International Wine Awards for this same Chardonnay, confirming its consistency, quality and value.

“It’s a very lightly wooded style with a focused core of tropical fruit enhanced by a creamy complexity and great body from extended fine lees contact. It’s a very attractive wine at a very attractive price,” says Jaco.

Douglas Green Vineyards Creations Chardonnay 2010 is already flying off shelves of grocers and fine wine retailers across the country at around R35.

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Douglas Green’s Vineyard Creations Chenin Blanc 2010 has confirmed its celebrity status winning a gold medal at the Michelangelo International Awards on Friday. It was joined by the Vineyard Creations Chardonnay 2010 making it a double whammy for Douglas Green’s white wines.

“The 2010 Chenin Blanc has quite a reputation,” says Douglas Green Oenologist Jaco Potgieter.”It has done us proud locally and internationally with a string of awards this year.”

“This is a charming unwooded wine with all that deliciously generous passion fruit, ripe melon, yellow apple and honeysuckle that you might expect of a Chenin Blanc from the Perdeberg area. I am very pleased with the consistent performance of this 2010 vintage across the board, reinforcing the consistency and value for money that we strive for with Douglas Green.”

 

“The performance of our Chardonnay 2010 is also pleasing. This is a very lightly wooded style with a focused core of tropical fruit enhanced by a creamy complexity and great body from extended fine lees contact. It’s a very attractive wine at a very attractive price,” says Jaco.

The 15th Michelangelo International Wine Awards attracted a record number of entries from 226 producers. Douglas Green is delighted to claim 2 of only 176 Gold medals awarded y the prestigious panel of 15 international wine judges.

Vineyard Creations Chenin Blanc 2010 and Chardonnay 2010 are widely available from major grocers and fine wine retailers at around R35.00.

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