Arizona Wines At Their Best
Wine Tip Wednesday
LDV Winery’s award-winning wines are a direct reflection of the unique high altitude terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in southeastern Arizona. Our monthly blog From Vineyard to Table shares how we celebrate the spirit of place through LDV’s sustainable practices, entertaining approach, food & wine pairings (including original recipes), and winemaking techniques. Wine Tip Wednesday provides you with easy to apply tips to expand your wine and food enjoyment that we have been employing for years. Share your wine tips with us!

April 27 to May 04: Interpreting a Wine Label (Part 1)

Did you realize that most of what is on the label requires federal approval? The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Treasury regulates and approves wine labels. Here is a guide to interpreting the LDV front label.

Brand Name (LDV Winery) – name used to identify and market the wine and cannot mislead the consumer about the age, identity, origin, or other characteristics.

Alcohol Content per Volume (14.7% ALC/VOL) is the amount of alcohol plus/minus .5%.

Appellation of Origin (Cochise County) is the place where the dominant grapes were grown.

Vintage Date (2013) is the year in which the grapes were harvested.

Varietal (Syrah) is the name of the dominant grapes used in the wine. If the varietal name is used on the label, at least 75% of that grape varietal must be in the wine.

  LDV Winery
Hopefully someday, you will read Chiricahua Foothills AVA (a defined growing region) when our area successfully gets designated. An AVA designation tells you that 85% or more of the wine was produced from grapes grown in the named area.


April 20 to April 27: Leftovers

Saturday morning is all about cleaning out the refrigerator. Here are some ideas for using those leftovers.

Thyme Oil for salad dressing or marinade (or use any other leftover herbs). Add fresh herbs to 2 cups of olive oil in saucepan and heat slowly over low heat until aromas emerge (do not burn herbs). Remove from heat and steep. Cool and discard the herbs.

Ginger Simple Sugar for iced tea or your favorite cocktail. Add peeled fresh ginger to 1 cup of sugar that has been dissolved in 1 cup water boiling at medium-high in a saucepan. Bring to simmer, remove from heat, and steep 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into a container and refrigerate for up to one month.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

Garlic Croutons are a perfect way to use leftover bread. Sauté rough chopped garlic in olive oil add chopped bread and salt/pepper to taste. Toss bread and cook over medium heat until oil absorbed. Transfer to cookie sheet and toast in 300 degree oven. Use croutons for salads, crush for bread crumbs, or make a breakfast strata with other fresh vegetable leftovers. Lastly, if you have leftover wine, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Wine Cubes can be added to sauces, deglaze a pan, or add to a drink.


April 13 to April 20: Difference between Red & White Wine

Besides the color, how do red wines differ from white?

The biggest difference is the tannins – few white wines are tannic. Tannins are a result of the red grape skins and certain varietals have more tannins than others.

The second major difference is in the flavor. Red and white wines may share some of the same characteristics such as spice, butter, earth, floral, or toast. However, the fruit flavors of white wine – pear, apple or citrus – do not show up in red wines.

However, the opposite is also true with the fruit flavors such as currant, cherry, plum, and blueberry which do not show up in white wines.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

Try doing a blind wine tasting of white and red wines. When you don’t know the varietal and wine’s color you may mistake a white for a red wine because the differences can be very subtle.


April 06 to April 13: Tannins & Fat, Why Should You Care?

Tannins are wonderful. They give a wine its backbone and finish and enhance the dining experience. But what do they have to do with fat?

Tannins have the ability to clean the fat off of your palate allowing the flavors of your food and wine to be enhanced. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah are typically tannin structured wines that would naturally go well with a rich dish like braised short ribs.

But what about that ocean-fresh seared Ahi tuna or perfectly cooked roast pork loin? These super lean proteins could be overcome by tannins. Consider a thinner skinned, less tannic grape like Grenache of Pinot Noir. You will be rewarded!
  Wine Tip Wednesday

What about steak? Our typical knee jerk reaction is to just "grab the Cab," but not so fast! A rib eye steak with lots of marbling warrants pulling the Petite every time but a leaner beef cut like sirloin or flatiron might do better with the Grenache. So think about fat content next time you are wine pairing your proteins!


March 30 to April 06: Wine Competitions

Recently a wine survey published results which indicated a person is more likely to choose a wine because it had won an award than one that had not.

Did you know that many wine competitions are fundraisers for charity or very profitable for the organizer? Wineries submit their wines often with hefty entrance fees and agree to donate cases of wines should they be awarded.

A recent highly-acclaimed competition received 3,200 entries from around the world and 2,133 (over 66%) of the wines won medals. We have seen that percentage as high as 90%.

So like anything, buyer beware. Just because a wine has received an award does not necessarily mean it stands out from the pack. And the statistics back that up.
    Wine Tip Wednesday


March 23 to March 30: It's My Birthday!

It’s my birthday and I will wine if I want to! But really no whining here. I love birthdays. Actually, I love any reason to celebrate. So here are a few of my favorites things that help me celebrate my birthday.

Of course, since I wrote about it last week Champagne is a must. It is not a birthday without it. Veuve Clicquot is one of my favorites because we toured the caves at Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France with Isabella.

Of course, I cannot have a birthday without chocolate. I love a rich chocolate birthday cake with chocolate ganache frosting. It is decadent. And nothing goes better with dark chocolate than LDV Winery’s The Signature Petite Sirah.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

This year I am hoping for a vertical tasting of our 2010, 2011, and 2012 to go with my chocolate birthday cake. Here is one of my favorite recipes – Flourless Chocolate Torte with Ganache Glaze. It is decadent – everything a birthday cake should be.


March 16 to March 23: Loving Bubbles

We love champagne! We even named our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Epernay (Eppy) in honor of our love.

Epernay, France is the home of Moet & Chandon, among other fabulous champagne houses. French Champagne can only be made using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier varietals. Only wines made in the Champagne district of France can be called champagne (though some areas of the world have infringed on this rule).

Additionally, champagne is made using traditional Method Champenoise which is a secondary fermentation process that occurs in each bottle. This process creates champagne’s beautiful bubbles. In the U.S., sparkling wines can be made from any grape varietal and any method.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

A lot of U.S. sparkling wines are made from allowing secondary fermentation to occur in tanks or by injecting the wine with carbon dioxide. However, there are wonderful sparkling wines produced using the traditional French method such as New Mexico’s Gruet. We are traditionalists but try wines made using the different methods side-by-side to determine what you prefer.


March 09 to March 16: Roll Out the Barrel

Did you know that the oakiness of your favorite wine might not be coming from a barrel? In fact, it might be because the winemaker added wood chips or pellets to impart the oaky flavor. It is certainly cheaper than purchasing a new American oak barrel ($600 to $800) that we put LDV Petite Sirah in or a new French oak barrel ($1400) we use for our Grenache program. We consider these barrels “new” for only one vintage as they lose most of their impact on the wines during the first usage.

Why would we spend money on barrels instead of tossing comparatively cheap wood chips or pellets into our wine? To us, it matters. The barrels we select play an important role in our “Old World” winemaking process. We do not believe in adding any flavor enhancers to LDV wines. To us, wood chips or pellets add a harsh and not well integrated flavor. However, a lot of fine winemakers disagree. The customer should decide what they like. Ask questions to understand what you are tasting and how your favorite wines are made.
  LDV Winery


March 02 to March 09: Hospitality – Try Some Today!

Some people fear entertaining like others fear public speaking. We do both on a regular basis and use a lot of the same techniques.

The first rule is to remember that in both instances it is not about you and all about your guests or audience. When your focus shifts to creating an atmosphere for your guests to feel welcome and have fun or your audience to learn something of value, the attention is away from you. But like anything, it takes a little pre-planning.

Good hospitality has nothing to do with how much money you spend. It has everything to do with making people feel special. Another thing we have learned along the way is that any day is a day for celebration; a meal together with friends or family should be a unique experience and should be done often. When celebrating, do something special for your guests – a great bottle of wine, table setting, or fresh flowers in some mason jars. Create memories for you and those you cherish.
  LDV Winery



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