Thursday, December 30, 2010

Argentinean Wine Tasting at PepperTree Steaks N' Wines

Argentine wines are hot hot hot! Come out to Peppertree Steaks N' Wines to explore the famous malbec that is bringing this region into the world spotlight!

Enjoy these fine Argentinean Wines - we will taste 2 Malbecs, a Rosado, a Chardonnay and a Sparkling Chardonnay just in time for New Year's Eve.

Wines of Argentina Tasting- Discover your Inner Tango!
Thursday, December 30th
5:30 - 7:00 P.M.

PepperTree Steaks N' Wines
Your Neighborhood Market
8101 A Vaughn Rd.
Montgomery, AL. 36116
ph (334) 271-6328
fax (334) 271-6390

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Port & Sherry Wine 101

In lue, of PepperTree Steaks N' Wines Port, Sherry, and Champagne wine tasting, I decided to give some info on Port and Sherry wines. Many of us are not familiar with these wines so here are some things to know and expect when tasting them.

Port Wine

Port is made by taking a still wine and adding brandy to it. The name “Port” is derived from the coastal city of Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, and the key city found on the mouth of the Douro river. Port is now being made in several countries, but to experience what authentic Port delivers, you might want to opt for the true blue Portugal Port, designated as “Porto” on the bottle’s label.

Types of Port

Port can be split into two distinct categories: Wood Aged or Bottle Aged. The only true bottle aged port is a Vintage Port, while the other Ports are all Wood Aged to some extent. In general, Port starts life as a red wine (unless of course it is a “white Port”) and then it's typically aged in wood casks or in the bottle (if it’s a Vintage Port

Ruby Ports, so named for their distinct ruby color, are the economical, entry-level Ports, made from a mix of both grapes and vintages and “aged” for a total of 3 years.Ruby Ports are designed to be consumed young. Bluecheees, milk chocolate, and berry-based desserts pair well.

Tawny Port is lighter in both color and body when compared to a Ruby Port and typically lies on the slightly sweeter side of the spectrum. Tawny Ports come in three different styles: Colheita, Crusted or Indicated Age. Tawny Ports pair well with Aged cheddar cheese, caramel apples or apple pie, pumpkin or pecan pie or cheesecake. This is a great wine to have for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.

Vintage Port is a Port that is made of blended grapes, usually from various vineyards, which are all from the same vintage year, hence the name.Vintage Port typically spends about 6 months in oak and then goes unfiltered and unoxidized into a bottle for further aging. This further aging is typically to the tune of another 2 years!If Ruby Ports are the entry-level Port, then Vintage Ports represent the upper echelon both in style and cost. Vintage pairs well with almonds, walnuts, chocolate-based desserts and puffed-pastries.

White Port, as the name implies, is derived from white grape varietals and can be made in both the very dry to semi- sweet styles. White Port is typically fruitier on the palate and a bit fuller-bodied than other fortified white wines.This particular Port has found favor as a “gin” replacement when served as a “Port and Tonic” on the rocks.

Sherry Wine

Sherry is a fortified wine, produced in southwest Spain's "Sherry Triangle." This triangle consists of the three sunny towns of Puerto de Santa María, Jerez and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The Palomino and Pedro Ximénez grapes are the primary grapes used to make Sherry
Two Main Types of Sherry

The two predominant types of Sherry are Fino (very dry with a lighter-body) and Oloroso (still dry, but much richer in both flavor and body). If the winemaker is going for Fino, alcohol is added (fortification) until it reaches just over 15%; however, if Oloroso is the goal then alcohol is added to reach an 18% alcohol content

Types of Sherry

Fino is a very dry, light-bodied Sherry that is straw-like in color. Typically, Finos comes in at about 15-17% alcohol by volume. Amazing with almonds, olives, ham, and chips and dips.

Manzanilla is also dry, and pale in color. A "fino" style of Sherry made in Sanlucar and best with seafood and tapas.

Amontillado is in between Fino and Oloroso in terms of color and body. The characteristic aromas associated with Amontillados are hazelnuts. This Sherry is great with oily fish and chicken dishes.

Oloroso is dark in color, rich in flavor. Olorosos typically have a remarkable walnut aroma and a swirled caramel flavor making them a top pick for rich meats and flavorful cheeses.

Palo Cortado is a very rare Sherry that begins life as a Fino (where the yeast develops) and progresses to an Amontillado (where the flor dies off) but ends up with the richer style of an Oloroso. This Sherry has a dry palate.

Sweet Sherry is a Sherry that has been sweetened with Pedro Ximénez (PX) grape juice. Pedro Ximénez grapes have a high residual sugar content as they are sun-dried to concentrate the sugars before being pressed. Flavors that one can expect from PX are the thick, sweet flavors of fig and molasses.

Cream Sherry is rich mahogony in color and velvety smooth in texture, a sweet Sherry made from Amontillado or Oloroso and sweetened with PX. It's great with cheesecake.

Pedro Ximénez is an ultra sweet almost syrup-like dessert Sherry, made from sweet, sundried grapes of the same name. It's alcohol content is on the lower end of the spectrum and its flavor profiles lean towards the toffee, fig, date and molasses side of the vine.

I'm looking for to tasting these wines this evening. Hope to see you at La Jolla as well!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wine Tastings hosted by PepperTree Steaks N' Wines

Join Peppertree Steaks N’ Wines at La Jolla Tuesday December 7th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm for an evening of desserts and wine.

(free of charge)

We will be featuring several tables with Ports, Sherry, and Champagne paired with a selection of sweets provided by Chef Batey.

Check out Peppertree Steaks N' Wines in our Sip on These Section!

Also, for more information on La Jolla click here:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Wines

The time is here for family and friends to get together for the holidays. To make new memories, laugh and of course, the food. We all look forward to Thanksgiving dinner every year. The turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and several desserts are usually topped off with sweet tea or your favorite soda pop. But if you’re looking for a way to make your Thanksgiving dinner festive, try adding a bottle of wine. Choosing a wine to go with a meal that has so many different taste, textures, and flavors can be a bit of a task. Most play it safe with white wine, but red wine can pair just as well. To help you choose a wine to enjoy with your holiday meal here are a few suggestions:

Champagne or Other Sparkling Wines
Sparkling wine always adds an element of celebration to any occasion and is also a very versatile wine to pair with food. Both white and rose’ versions pair well with turkey dinners.

Riesling is a great wine to match with a range of dishes. Its high acidity makes it very food friendly, especially with sweet, salty, and rich dishes.

Chardonnay's buttery texture and flavors also pair beautifully with squash and sweet potato.

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is another great choice if you are looking for a red wine to serve with turkey and can act as a substitution to cranberry sauce.

These wines pair well with Thanksgiving dinner and are sure to be a hit with guests. So this Thanksgiving add a bottle wine and give thanks with a toast with wine.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women. Breast cancer occurs in men also, but the number of cases is small. Though these facts are alarming we all know that there are ways to prevent cancer by having a healthy diet.

Could the occasional glass of wine prevent cancer? Some experts say yes, especially red wines. Red wines are rich in phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants, thus possibly preventing cancer.

Red vs White Wine

Red wine is thought have more more anti-cancer properties because the skin of the grape is maintained during the wine making process. When white wine is being made, the skin is removed before the grapes are crushed. The skin of grapes contains antioxidant rich phytochemicals, the part of the grape thought to reduce your cancer risk.

Experts recommend 2 servings a day for men and one serving a day for women of red wine for health benefits. Each serving is 4 ounces.

If you do not currently drink alcohol or are on medication, please talk to your doctor about the benefits of red wine in your diet. You should never begin drinking alcohol for medicinal purposed without talking to your doctor first.

To get more information about breast cancer awareness go to

And to help women who don't have health insurance and can't afford to have mammograms go to Everytime you CLICK sponsors of the site pay for mammograms. Please feel free to share this site!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drink This, Eat That

If you're a beginning wine drinker, I'm sure you've wondered "Which wine goes best with what food?" Well there's no real answer. That decision is simply based on an individual's preferred taste. Think about it, something that may taste great to you, may not taste so great to the next person and vice versa. That goes for wine as well. However, if you really want to pair food and wine during a meal simply drink from white wine to dark. But there are some foods that are commonly known to be present while drinking wine or attending wine tastings, cheese and desserts

Cheese tends to be the main snack at wine tastings. Why is that? Well because there are so many varieties of cheese that there is one that goes well with a particular wine. In most cases hard cheese goes well with dark wine and softer cheese with white wine. However, the preference still depends an individual's personal taste.

Then we have chocolate. Who doesn't love chocolate? And what better beverage to pair it with than wine. Wines to pair chocolate with are moscato, white reisleing,champagne and port. Of course there are many others to choose from as well.

So the next time you're wondering what's the best wine to pair with a delicious meal, don't fret most likely if it's a wine you enjoy drinking alone, it will taste just as delicious while eating your favorite dish. Part of the fun is experimenting with different combinations, to see which ones you like the best. Then, share those with others to see which tastes they also appreciate, and which are uniquely yours.

To find out more about which foods to pair with wine check out the Food and Wine Matcher to the right of the blog. It gives great selections of wine to pair with your favorite foods.

Happy Wine Drinking!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Basic Wine Information

Everyone needs to know the basics of wine drinking regardless of how long they've been drinking it. Here are tips on selecting wine, the health aspects of wine, and storage of wine.

Wine tasting does not always mean tasting a varity wines with a group of people. It is to take the time to notice the aspects of the wine being tasted. There are four key aspects of a glass of wine:

  1. Appearance-The color of the wine when swirled in the glass

  2. Smell-usually fruit, floral or grass, wood or leather

  3. Taste-fruity, acidic, earthy

  4. Finish-the flavor of wine left after it leaves your mouth

Health Aspects

There are healthy aspects to wine drinking. The skins in red grapes contain resveratrol which helps reduce bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol in the body. There is also research which shows that antioxidants, such as those found in wine, may have a positive effect in cancer prevention.


While it may look great to store your wine in a stylish rack on top of the fridge or in a fancy piece of furniture somewhere in your home, it does not provide the environment that a bottle of wine needs to maintain good quality.

Unless you plan to drink your wine immediately after returning frome the store, you will need to store your wine. You don't need a wine cellar for great wine storage. You need coolness (around 55 degrees), darkness and stillness.

Whether you pay $10 or $100 for a bottle, you get the best value out of the wine if you have gathered a little basic wine information. The longer you drink wine, the more information you should gather.

To read more of this article go to

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Heard it Through the Grapevine...

Vineyard at Ozan Winery Calera, AL

Welcome to I Heard It Through The Grapevine! I'm Chelsa and I hope that you become more educated and informed about the joys of wine from this blog. I myself am learning more about wine as I add to this blog as well. I decided to start this blog because, of course, I am a wine drinker, but my interest was peaked more about wine after visiting Ozan Winery in Calera, AL for my birthday. I heard it through the grapevine from, my father, that there are wineries in Alabama and that made me want to visit them. I'd always wanted to attend a wine tasting, but not only did I experience a wine tasting,and the beautiful scenery of the vineyard but I found out how much fun the experience was with wine being the center of it all. That experience lead me to want to know more about wine and to share it with other wine drinkers in the River Region and surrounding areas. Thanks for visiting and please continue to stop by for tips on getting the full experience of wine!!