Edu

Top Wine Education at Fresno State

Sure, I know it’s a long way from Illinois to California’s Central Valley but for students interested in the wine industry, Fresno State University offers a one-of-a-kind education. Fresno State Winery produces a wide variety of award-winning wines from the most popular and well-known of varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to up-and-coming varieties like Syrah and Viognier, to lesser-known wines that are made in small batches. Here, students get a Top Wine Education at Fresno State.

Fresno State was the first American university that received a license to set up, operate, and exploit a winery within the school’s overall educational programs.

Fresno State University’s Agricultural Foundation if funding and running the winery. The foundation is a recognized auxiliary organization on the school’s campus and it operates and manages also other agricultural enterprises to support the hands-on learning and training experience for the school’s students.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Wine and Food Pairing

Trust your mouth. You know what you like; enjoy it

So says Jeffrey Saad, 25-year food industry veteran and restaurateur. I recently returned from a Wine Bloggers Conference where I had the great pleasure of seeing this dynamic personality give a presentation on food and wine pairing. The following video will teach you more about pairing wine and food. Listen to Gerald Morgan Jr, a well-known sommelier at a fine Dallas, Texas, wine shop explain more on the topic:

Now, back to Jeffrey. He asked us who in the audience would pair a Coke with pizza so that he could make a point about why the combination works together. A big laugh came from the crowd when not even one hand went up and he mused, “Wow, you guys really are a bunch of winos!”

Key pointers:

  • Pair acid with acid, such as salad with vinaigrette paired with Grüner Veltliner.
  • Pair fat in food with acid in wine, such as goat cheese in buttery phyllo cups with Argentine Torrontes.
  • Pair protein or animal fat with tannin such as Kobe beef with Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Pair sweet with sweet. Sweet food spanks the fruit right out of the wine if the wine isn’t as sweet.
  • Pair spice with sweetness. Spice does not like tannin; it accentuates it.
  • Make funky ingredients a part of a dish, not the main flavor.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Is there a Solution to Wine Bottle Closure?

The cork dilemma all began at the end of the 1990s when the production of wine in the world blossomed in the “New World” countries of the US, Chile, Argentina, and Australia among others.

The demand for natural cork was high and the supply couldn’t meet the demand, likewise, many of the new wineries needed more economical cork solutions to enter into the market at affordable prices, this led to an expanded use of micro-agglomerated corks (natural cork glued together) and technical corks (not 100% natural cork). If you want to learn more about Nomacorc, check out this video:

You all know what happened next, around 10% of all bottles of wine were “corked” or tainted with cork smells. Many solutions have appeared on the market as alternatives to natural cork: screw caps, synthetic corks, Vinolok and Nomacorc.

I had the privilege to meet the Nomacorc team in the annual Enomaq tradeshow in Zaragoza. They presented me with a Sommelier Challenge (kind of like the Pepsi Challenge), a tasting of the same white wine sealed with different models of Nomacorc with different amounts of “Nano-oxynization”.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Owning your own Wine Farm

Owning a winery is the dream of many a successful businessman. In South Africa, quite a few wineries are privately owned and operated. Not only is the beauty of the Cape Winelands enticing, but what could be more seductive than the thought of serving a wine complete with your own family name and crest? Take a look at this Napa Valley, California, video to get the picture.

But winemaking is a capital-intensive project, and slow on returns. When he went into it almost 30 years ago, Tim Hamilton Russell estimated that it would take 10 years to see a return on capital. The figure has not changed much since then especially now that imported equipment and wooden barrels have to be acquired with our weak rand. So it is rewarding to see South African money being invested in the Cape Winelands when it could so easily be exported for quicker and far better returns.

Relatively new to the industry is another IT man, Dave Lello. He brings a wealth of wine knowledge, having had a keen interest in the subject for most of his life. His enthusiasm for wine is matched by his love of Italy and Africa. And this shows in the name he has chosen for his wine venture, Stellakaya.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

How to Start a Club at Your High School

Whenever I’m talking to students about activities for college applications, we end up talking about clubs. (Usually, because I ask about them.) First off, what school doesn’t have at least one club? Unfortunately, I often hear that club members can be more of a formality than an actual activity.

It is easy to go to Club Day and join a bunch of clubs. But to stay interested and involved throughout the year – that is the actual challenge. Why? Lots of students join clubs just for the sake of joining; this is especially true if you are a GED student and your study is mostly done online. I like the idea of learning for the GED exam from home, but you will need to add extra effort to get involved in the club says Steve from bestgedclasses.org that offers online GED classes and practice tests. You need to stay motivated and actively pursue your education.

So I want to propose an idea. Why not start your club this year? You might be thinking, how do I start a club? Easy – all you need is a teacher to offer their room for lunch and a few friends to join. (Of course, you will need to talk to your school administration to fill out the proper forms and be sure you are ready for Club Day.) But once you get past those basics, you have the opportunity to create something you love!

What is your passion? Puppies? Why not create a club where you and your friends can discuss, explore, learn about, and support for all things animals? (Ok, silly example- but seriously, who doesn’t love puppies?)
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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Heritage Trail Vineyards

Location

Heritage Trail Vineyards is located on 38 rolling acres in the Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor, an area federally registered as one of America’ s most scenic destinations. In addition, the vineyard is close to many of Connecticut’s tourist attractions, including Mystic Seaport, the Mohegan Sun, and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Heritage Trail Vineyards invites you to join them for light food, great wine, and a wonderful setting. In winter, warm your hands at the fire; in summer, stroll the property or admire the view from a sunny deck. They are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Hours

May through December, Heritage Trail is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. and January through April, they are open by appointment. Please call the vineyard at (860) 376-0659 to arrange a tasting or to purchase wine.

How to get there

From New Haven, take I-95 North to I-395 North to exit 83A (Lisbon), then take a left onto Route 169. Heritage Trail Vineyards will be approximately three miles up the road on your left. From the Boston area, take I-395 South to Exit 87 to Route 12; go south on Route 12 to sign “Route 169” (about 4 miles); turn right on Butt’s Bridge Road and go to Route 169 (2 miles); take left onto Route 169. The winery is two miles down the road.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Some More Interesting American Wines

Let’s also take a look at a few more interesting American wines. California is around the world renown for its quality wines. Check out the following wines that are really standing out in a market that has the largest number of varieties of agricultural produce in the world: WINE!

2013 Petite Sirah “Lovett Vineyard”, Red Hills

Deeply saturated and inky in the glass – ruby purple with violet glints.  The aromas set the stage for this wine – quintessential Petite Sirah notes of blackberry jam, rhubarb pie, baking spices, and blueberries are buoyed by a set of savory aromatics of cigar box, wet gravel, espresso, and fine oak.  The palate mirrors the nose – rich, ripe berry and cherry notes with underpinnings of dark chocolate, and coffee and a hint of hoppy porter.

Generous fine-grained tannins provide a backbone to the long, lingering finish of cassis and bittersweet chocolate.   With this bottling, the richness and ripeness of fruit are perfectly matched by bright, youthful acidity, giving the wine freshness and balance in this early stage and promising the potential for longer-term cellaring over the next 5-7 years.  As the wine matures, the jammy notes will transform into plush, darker fruit while the tannins soften and become velvety on the palate, slowly transforming into a highly nuanced and elegant wine.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Walla Walla Wine Wine Time Time

Yes, I know, it’s a silly heading. Walla Walla actually uses that same tagline of repeating words to market their wine region. So I borrowed it.  We were fortunate enough to be able to experience the Walla Walla wine region not too long ago and, although we expected good things I don’t think we were quite prepared for what we got.

The wine being produced in Walla Walla is sensational. Even the juice that wasn’t great was still good. Walla Walla is located due South of Spokane, Washington in the Southeast corner of the state.  It’s about a 262-mile drive from Seattle and 158 miles from Spokane. This was our first time in Walla Walla and it was beautiful. We had great weather as the sun was out.

We were able to visit eleven wineries: Woodward Canyon Winery, L’Ecole No 41, Gifford Hirlinger, Beresan Winery, Balboa Winery, Basel Cellars, Trio Vintners, Kontos Cellars, Dunham Cellars, Cavu Cellars, and Waterbrook.

Our first stop was at Woodward Canyon where we were met by Kellie Berg, the tasting room manager, who was extremely friendly and nice to us. I tasted six of their wines with my favorites being their 2016 Burgundy styled Chardonnay, NV Columbia Red Wine (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 14% Syrah), Artist Series #15 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (which actually had a bit of Syrah and Merlot in it) and 2014 Estate Red.  The best value of the bunch was the NV Columbia Red Wine, which at $26 is a true bargain.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Valentino Vineyards – Organic and Tasteful

Most wine connoisseurs will know that vineyards are found in all U.S. states. Yes, even in Alaska there are wineries! So it wouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also find vineyards in the state of Illinois, despite the state’s frigid winters.

It is, however, somewhat more challenging to find a vineyard or a winery in the Chicago area, where practically all land is dedicated to suburban community sports parks or forest preserves. So it is a bit surprising to discover a great winery in Long Grove, Illinois, by the name of Valentino Vineyards.

To reach the 20-acre vineyard, you need to drive through typical suburban Chicago neighborhoods while using 2-lane streets that are full of parked cars. It couldn’t get any more suburbian, so it will definitely come as a surprise that all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself on a small country road that leads you to the relatively small vineyard.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu

Valentino Wine and Vineyards – Long Grove, Illinois

Valentino Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1995 and in 2001, the winery opened its doors to the public. It is one of Chicagoland’s Leading Estate Vineyards and Wineries. The winery invites you to stop by to visit their impressive vineyard and sample their interesting wines.

Valentino’s Tasting Room is open from May through December on Fridays from 5 to 7 pm, on Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Sundays from Noon to 4 pm. To enjoy a taste of their great wines, you can just walk in during opening hours. There are also Vineyard Tours and Wine Tasting and Appreciation Seminars, but these events are by reservation only.

For groups of 20 or more, Valentino Vineyards and Winery is also available on Mondays through Thursdays but making an appointment is (understandably) required. For reservations, or to purchase some of the estate’s great wines, please call (847) 634-2831.

Valentino Vineyards and Winery is located in Long Grove, Illinois, and run by Vintner and Viticulturist Rudolph (Rudy) DiTomasso and his spouse Vivienne. The address is 5175 Aptakisic Road, Long Grove, IL. 60047.

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Posted by Jessica Martin in Edu