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!

December 30 to January 06: How Sweet Are My Bubbles?

Champagnes and sparkling wines come in lots of different styles. Not only can they contain different grape varietals which will impact the flavors but sugar levels, and thus overall sweetness, can vary greatly.

To prepare for the big New Year’s celebration, let’s review the various things you will see on a label of bubbly to let you know the sweetness level. Learn these or the labels can fool you!

The two most common sweetness levels you will see are Brut and Extra Dry. Brut is about 30% less sweet than Extra Dry. There are two other classifications with even less sugar than Brut – Extra Brut with about half the sugar of Brut and Brut Nature with the least amount of sugar of any sparkling wine.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

As we go to the sweet side, you can find Dry with about twice the sugar as Extra Dry and Demi Sec which is the sweetest sparkling wine with about four times the amount of sugar than Brut. The spectrum is wide with Demi Sec having about 17 times more sugar than Brut Nature. So read the labels to ensure you are getting what you want!


December 23 to December 30: Last Minute Stocking Stuffer – The Perfect Opener

If you are looking for that little stocking stuffer for your favorite wine lover, choose the perfect wine opener.

Our choice is the dual action corkscrew sometimes called the Sommelier double lever corkscrew. A dual action cork screw puts less stress on the cork and requires less effort. You may need to open a few bottles to master the technique.

Look for one with a serrated curved foil cutter that will open any foil easily. Lastly, only put the screw ¾ of the way into the cork a little off center. Turn the cork screw about seven times, engage the first lever and pull the cork halfway out, then reposition the second level lever to finish removing the cork. Practice makes perfect.
  Wine Tip Wednesday


December 16 to December 23: When In Doubt, Punt

Gotcha! This title has nothing to do with passing the buck or football. An often asked question is if the indent on the bottom of the wine bottle (i.e. the punt) equate to the wine’s quality.

There is no correlation between the punt and wine quality. Some have said the punt provided stability to the bottle structure when bottles were hand-blown. It appears to add strength and bottles with punts don’t break as easily. A sommelier uses the punt to pour wine into a glass without hiding the label as the wine is poured.

However, we have found that some deep punts add to overall bottle weight and that is a concern at LDV Winery. Heavier bottles add to shipping and recycling costs as well as the day-to-day impact of the added bottle weight on our staff handling cases of wine. Every aspect of production, including bottle weight, is taken into consideration when determining the wine price. There you have it, it is up to you – to punt or not to punt.
  Wine Tip Wednesday


December 02 to December 09: The Wine Glass Matters

The wine glass plays a very important role in the enjoyment of wine. You need a good balloon glass to be able to swirl the wine without it splashing out in order to enjoy the wine’s aromas.

If you only want to purchase one type of wine glass that is versatile to enjoy all types of wine, choose a Bordeaux glass. This glass has a broad bowl that narrows at the lip to direct wine to the mouth. It is perfect for enjoying red wines.

Another good versatile choice is a Burgundy glass. It is a bit broader than the Bordeaux, with a bigger bowl that accumulates aromas of finer wines like a Pinot Noir or Grenache.
  Wine Tip Wednesday


November 25 to December 02: Respect for Leftovers

Some people love the Thanksgiving feast leftovers and other dread them. In either case, it took you (or someone) all day to cook the meal so respect it in the morning!

If you served sparkling, white, or lighter bodied red wines with the big dinner, try some different wines with the leftovers. Many of the dishes will actually concentrate in flavors overnight so try some more full-bodied reds like Syrah, Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Petite Sirah.

You might even find a new favorite Thanksgiving wine to serve with the big event next year! Here is a recipe that uses that leftover stuffing in an unusual way that pairs beautifully with wines.
  Wine Tip Wednesday


November 18 to November 25: Thanksgiving Wines

Pairing wine with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is difficult because of the wide range of flavors to take into consideration.

The most important tip is that there are no hard and fast rules except in our opinion, to stay away from wines that are too sweet.

We love sparkling wines or brut rose champagne with dinner or as an aperitif. And don’t be afraid of serving a red wine with that turkey leg.

In fact, this year the LDV Winery 2012 Syrah, 2012 Grenache and 2013 Sky Island Viognier will be appearing at our feast.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

Lastly, choose one or two different wines and have plenty for everyone to enjoy a couple of glasses each;
one bottle = approximately five, five ounce glasses of wine. Here are other suggested Thanksgiving wines:


November 11 to November 18: Aging Wine

How do I know what wine will age well? That is a common question we hear in our tasting room at LDV Winery. For Curt’s birthday today we opened a bottle of our 2010 Petite Sirah and to say it was aging nicely is an understatement. Though it is a guessing game, here are a few tips.

Wine with structure or balance between tannins, acidity and texture or mouth feel could provide a hint to how well a wine might age. The LDV 2010 Petite Sirah when first released in 2013 had bold black fruit flavors, good acidity, tannins, and high alcohol. This wine was rated 88 in Wine Spectator.

The wine continues to smooth out and can continue to cellar age. So purchase a case of a variety of our Petite Sirahs to drink some now and age the others to taste over time to see how they evolve. Last tip – aging does not improve a bad tasting or poorly made wine. Aging does not repair the flaws. Here is a Wines and Vines article about the topic.
  Wine Tip Wednesday


November 04 to November 11: Ordering Wine at Restaurants

The restaurant's wine list is extensive. Now it is time to choose. When pairing wine with dinner, first determine fellow diners’ food selections so you can choose an appropriate wine pairing. Then narrow the wine by style (white, rose, red) and price.

Ask for suggestions from the Sommelier or wait staff. It is their job to suggest the perfect pairings. Select a wine. If there are more than four, make sure the restaurant has at least two bottles of the selection before ordering. You will be amazed at how many times they don’t!

If the meals at the table vary in flavors you may need different types of wine. Now that the order is placed, what do you do when the wine is delivered? When wine is presented, check to see if it is the correct bottle. We have been served a different vintage (year on the bottle; date harvested) than what we ordered many times. They should not try to slip this by you because every vintage is different.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

When the cork is presented to you, look and smell. The cork should not be moldy or damaged. If it smells bad (e.g. moldy or wet cardboard), ask the server to smell. This tip may not apply if you are ordering a 50-year old Bordeaux and if that is the case, you don’t need our wine tips!

Lastly, the server will pour a 1 oz. pour of wine in your glass to taste. Use our other tip to swirl, smell, and taste. You are tasting the wine for spoilage, not if you like it or not. You’ve already bought the wine. You only send wine back if the wine is tainted, not because you don’t care for it.

In over 25 years of ordering wine in restaurants, we have only sent back a handful of wines. It is fairly unusual to get a bad bottle. However, this depends on how the restaurant stores and maintains its wine and not just about how the wine was produced. So order and enjoy wine at restaurants with confidence. For more tips:



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