Father’s Day Gift Guide for Wine Lovers

Father’s day is quickly approaching and you want to show your Dad just how much he means to you. Besides the standard card and hug, you may be pondering on the perfect present to buy him.

If, like many others, your dad is a bit of a wine enthusiast, there are plenty of unique gift choices available that could keep him happy – from electric bottle openers, to custom-made wine racks and more.

We’ve put together a wine-related gift guide which may help you decide what to purchase for your wine-loving Dad this father’s day.

Wine Gifts for Father’s Day

Wine glasses

Wines glasses should be handled with care, but whenever there’s a special occasion taking place, accidents seem inevitable. If your household is low on glassware, then perhaps the perfect gift is a selection of high-quality glasses. Nothing irks a wine connoisseur more than drinking wine from a wrong glass, but thankfully, there are countless options available to suit any type of grape variety, which means you’ll almost certainly be able to find the ideal set to match your Dad’s tipple of choice!

Electric bottle openers

Technology has evolved over the years, so why not ‘wow’ your dad with an electronic wine bottle opener. Electric wine openers are powered by batteries and very easy to use – with a push of a button, the corkscrew is inserted into the cork, and the cork is removed in a matter of seconds.

As your old man ages, his arm mobility may be limited, which makes electric wine openers ideal as they don’t require any physical strength. This contraption will suit techie Dads in particular – just watch him bring it out at the next family gathering to impress the guests!

Wine tasting experience

 If your father is a person who prefers life experiences over material things, then a wine tasting experience might be a better suited gift. Plenty of UK wine bars, venues and wineries offer tasting sessions, allowing him to try some wines he may never have had before. Alternatively, head out to the countryside on a vineyard tour and learn about the art of wine-making from the pros.

No matter what experience you choose, you’ll get to spend some quality time together, which is by far the most important thing.

Wine racks

As time goes on, you may have noticed your Dad’s wine collection slowly getting bigger and bigger. Rather than having a growing collection of wine stacked on the kitchen counter, a wine rack can be an excellent solution to all his wine storage needs.

Wine must be treated with care, not to mention the many bottles that taste better with age, which is why most experts will tell you that proper storage is essential.

Wine racks come in a variety of different sizes and materials, making them suitable for any sort of room or interior style. Wooden racks generally give off a traditional, rustic feel, whereas metal wine racks offer a modernised look.

Smaller wine racks don’t take up too much space in the house and are ideal for a modest, personal collection of favourite bottles. On the other hand, large wine racks are excellent for avid collectors, or someone who is simply looking to expand their collection.

Alternatively, you can match your dad’s house interior with bespoke wine racks, which can be made-to-order and fitted in specific measurements to comfortably store several different bottle sizes.

Wine and food

Any real wine aficionado will understand the beauty of wine and food pairings. Either purchase your dad a wine and cheese or wine and chocolate hamper, or, alternatively, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, impress your dad by cooking his favourite meal and serving it with a bottle of complimentary wine.

For some guidance, here are several exquisite wine and food pairings you can easily try making at home this Father’s Day.

Burgers

To stay on the safe side, most toppings that you put in your burger, except for spicy notes, would work well with Chardonnay. The acidity of this wine helps to cut any fattiness from the meat or any rich, creamy, and cheesy toppings. Also, the bubbles from the Chardonnay are excellent for lightening up salty toppings and are a great palate cleanser.

However, if you intend to create a burger packed full of sweeter toppings such as ketchup, caramelized onions and sweet relish, you’ll need a wine that’s tannin-rich. Wines like Malbec have high tannin levels, which works well to balance out the sweetness.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a perfect fit with light and zesty white wines. So look for wines like Grenache Blanc or Chardonnay, which helps to eliminate the fats. These wines are usually light-bodied and have notes of lemon, apple and white peach.

White Fish

Lean and flaky fish, like cod, seabass and haddock make an indulgent compliment with refreshing, fruity and zesty whites. White wines like Sauvignon Blanc harmonise well with many types of white fish, as well as bringing out the delicate fish flavour.

The general rule of thumb is that white wines are paired best with fish, rather than reds. Red wines consist of higher levels of tannins, which interact with fish oils and leave an unwanted taste in your mouth – in most cases, you’ll experience a metallic aftertaste. If your dad is more of a red wine drinker, opt for a red wine with low tannin levels, like Grenache.

 

Wine & Cheese Pairing – A Beginner’s Guide

The combination of wine and cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but finding the perfect match may not be an easy task for beginners. With most food and wine pairings, the sweetness, acidity, body and tannins must be taken into consideration to avoid conflicting flavours. In order to prevent any unpleasant and unwanted taste experiences, this guide can help you understand the art of wine and cheese pairing.

Wine and cheese pairing guide

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wine and cheese pairing, so here are a few exquisite pairings you can experiment with.

Bloomy cheese

Bloomy cheese is generally soft, rich and creamy. Brie, a type of bloomy cheese, matches well with dry, light-bodied white wines, like Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Riesling. These white wines have citrus and grassy notes, which partners well with the buttery and creamy brie. Also, brie makes an indulgent compliment to dry, sparkling wine – the perfect excuse to pop a bottle of Champagne! What’s great about white wine or sparkling wines is that they’re high in acidity and carbonation, which allows the wine to act as a great palate cleanser after taking a creamy bite of cheese.

Semi-Soft cheese

Semi-soft cheese ranges from mild and buttery, to very pungent in flavour. They don’t crumble like hard cheeses, but aren’t soft enough to be spreadable. Some cheeses like Gouda are semi-soft when young, but their texture turns hard as they age. As Gouda is very nutty and intense in flavour, it requires a bold partner. A full-bodied wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, is tannin-rich, which can help to draw out its intense flavours. The tannins can bind with the fats in the cheese to unlock the herbs and dark fruits found in this wine.

Hard cheese

Hard cheeses are often firm but crumbly when they break, and described as nutty, pungent and salty. Hard cheeses like Vermont sharp cheddar has bold and strong flavours, so it holds well against a full-bodied wine, such as Pinot Noir. Vermont sharp cheddar helps compliment Pinot Noir’s drier tones and significantly enhances its interesting, red fruity elements.

Blue cheese

Either love it or hate it, blue cheese is packed with salty and unique flavours. Blue cheese, which contains veins of blue mould, can be soft and creamy, or semi-soft and crumbly. Due to its sharp character, Stilton should be paired with a low-tannin wine, such as a Chardonnay. Chardonnay has buttery, oaky flavours, which can balance out and bring out the intense notes of blue cheese.

Sweeter wines, including Port, Muscat and Late Harvest dessert wines, match wonderfully with stinky, blue-veined cheeses. Sweeter wines can balance the unique “funk” in the cheese and make it taste a lot creamier. Also, the “funk” in the cheese harmonises well and helps counteract the sweetness of the wine.

Goats’ cheese

Goats cheese is creamy and distinct in flavour. There’s a wide variety of goats cheese, which ranges from soft and spreadable fresh cheese, to salty, crumbly, aged cheese. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are fruity and zesty white wines, which can be served with aged goats cheeses, like Tomme. These white wines have features that help equalise the richness of the cheese and enhance the wine’s fruity flavours.

General pairing tips

As every one of us has our own individual palette, don’t be afraid to be adventurous and experiment with various wine and cheese pairings! Creating your own pairing can be daunting at first, but it can make you feel very content once you have found a magical combination that you love.
To successfully find the perfect wine and cheese match, you need to consider some general rules:

  • Both wines and cheese should have equal intensity, which means you should pair a strong wine with strong cheese, and a lighter wine with mild cheese. If you find that one of the flavours dominates the other, the taste experience will not be pleasant.
  • Soft, creamy cheeses are incredible with a sparkling wine or white wine that has a light hint of oak. White wines usually have low levels of tannins, so they complement gentler flavours without overpowering them.
  • Aged cheeses that are over six months are best served with a full-bodied wine, to compliment the bold flavours. The water content reduces, whilst the fat content increases over time as the cheese ages, which makes it richer in taste – the fat content in the cheese can counteract the high-tannins in the wine.
  • When in doubt, choosing a firm, nutty cheese is your safest bet, as they’re most suited to all types of wine. The cheese will have enough fat to balance out the tannin in red wine, as well as delicate enough to compliment white wines.

If you would like to discuss wine storage options, including bespoke wine racks, contact us today.

Beginner’s Guide to Pairing Wine with Chocolate

Chocolate is a treat that almost everyone can admit they enjoy, and believe it or not, it often matches very well with our beloved wine! However, as with most food and wine pairings, it is easy to get that match wrong, especially since different types of chocolate have a rather distinct tastes, and vice versa.

For instance, choosing a slab of dark chocolate to go with your dry red will leave you with a bitter and unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is because both have rather high levels of tannins and therefore create an imbalance and clash of flavours on the tongue.

To avoid a nasty surprise, read on to understand the basics of pairing wine with chocolate.

Dark chocolate

With its deep, rich flavour, dark chocolate should be paired with a full-bodied wine that is able to match its stronger character. A wine with hints of darker fruits, like blackberry, cranberry and blueberry, can work wonders with a nice bar of dark chocolate.

For semi-sweet dark chocolate, Muscats and Syrahs work well and help in bringing out the flavours within the chocolate to provide a fantastic taste in the mouth. Ports are also a strong choice, especially the traditional Portuguese Port that has spicy cinnamon undertones and pairs excellently with high-cacao chocolate.

With regards to bittersweet chocolate, powerful wines like Merlots and Barbera help compliment the drier tones. Italian dessert wines make for a particularly strong combination with dark chocolate, especially a quality Vin Santo del Chianti, which brings out the sweet taste of cinnamon, cherries and nuts. These help in balancing the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the tannins.

Milk chocolate

Due to its creamier texture and sweet taste, milk chocolate can be paired with many different types of wine. In particular, dessert wines, such as Muscat, Riesling and PX Sherry pair well with milk chocolate. As a rule of thumb, the wine you are drinking should be sweeter than the chocolate, in order to avoid a bitter taste in the mouth.

Late-harvest red wines, like Syrah, Petite Syrah and Pinot Noir, often bring out nice, interesting flavours. Likewise, Ruby Port from Portugal brings out some berry flavours when consuming milk chocolate. If peach and strawberry appeal to you, then pairing your milk chocolate with Brachetto d’Acqui or a sparkling Lambrusco di Sorbara is recommended.

While the Racioto della Valpolicella is a somewhat rare Italian wine, produced in the same region as Amarones, no list of milk chocolate pairings would be complete without it. This sweet red is produced using dried grapes, which concentrate the sugar levels and make this wine type a gorgeous pairing for smooth, milk chocolate truffles.

White chocolate

White chocolate doesn’t technically contain cocoa, instead being made with cocoa fat, which gives it its buttery texture. One wine which pairs excellently with white chocolate is a good pinot noir, since the sweetness of the chocolate brings out the wine’s cherry, strawberry and raspberry elements, lifting the bitter taste and tannins.

Sweet wines like Moscato d’Asti, sherry and ice wines also bring out interesting fruity or sweet flavours.

General observations

The specific wines and tips given above are a great place for novices to start their chocolate and wine journey, but, as each person has their own unique palette, experimenting with our own choices is not always a bad thing.

Bear in mind though, that there are several general rules to follow if you would like to experiment with your own matches:

  • Lighter wines go with lighter foods, which means the richer the chocolate is, the more full-bodied your wine selection should be.
  • Cold desserts are best with wine. Although many of us will be able to enjoy a glass of wine with a warm chocolate-based dessert, the flavours will not come out as well, making them difficult to detect.
  • Think beyond the chocolate. For instance, if you are dipping some strawberries in melted chocolate, or have a fruity flavoured sauce, try to find the right wines to suit the different elements on your plate.

To discuss wine storage options, including oak wine racking and custom wine cellars, contact us today.

Why Oak is the Best Material for a Wine Rack

The most popular wine racks are generally made of wood, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Every wine enthusiast should remember to wisely choose a wine rack to store their bottles properly. A wine lover will need to invest in the perfect wine rack in order to grow their collection.

As finding the right wine rack for yourself can become a little tricky, this blog can be used as a guidance as to why oak might be the most suitable material for you.

Benefits of Oak Wine Racks

Aesthetics

For those who appreciate the more traditional look and rustic theme, the oak wine rack will be the material you will sway towards, as opposed to a metal wine rack. Metal wine racks, generally, are either black or silver and tend to give a more modernised feel. Depending on your preference, you are able to customize your ideal wine rack, ranging from light to dark oak colour. With a variety of oak colours to choose from, it is easy to compliment any room design by matching the décor and colours.

Most people keep the oak wood unfinished and prefer the natural look of the material, which is completely fine as it does not affect the wine. Oak wood that is not stained or finished tends to darken and gain richness as the years progress. However, you may like to opt for staining the oak to match the furniture in your home, which is also acceptable. It is recommended that the stain you use is water-based, as the smell from the oil-based finishes can escape into the cork of the wine, affecting the wine’s overall taste.

Space & Cost efficient

Oak can also be designed to provide the maximum storage to fit your home or commercial space. Picking an oak material is the most flexible way to meet your space requirements, particularly if you are someone who has limited space or are on a budget.

As the festive Christmas season is arriving, it is the time for family celebrations and consuming alcoholic drinks. A small oak wine rack can be placed over a counter, or, alternatively, installing a bigger rack in the dining room is a great investment to keep the spirit high and the party going!

Maintenance

Oak is extremely durable, provides a lot of strength, and is mostly straight- grained hardwood that has high shock resistance. There is very low maintenance required when it comes to cleaning your wine storage, with the need for rare dusting and ensuring the rack is secure, safe and tightly intact. An oak wine rack is a solution for those who would rather sit back and admire their wine collection, without feeling frustrated that the wine storage requires a good scrub.

Mobility

In comparison to cabinets or wine cellars, you are able to move oak wine racks into a different room, around the house or to a new area without much fuss.

Reminds you of an old wine cellar

The reason why other wine experts tend to favour an oak wine rack is that they are produced from reclaimed oak barrels. The fact that oak wine racks remind them of an old wine cellar is an attractive characteristic and why people think this material is a great fit for their home wine collection.

How to keep your wine cellar at the correct temperature.

Although climate control is recommended, in many environments it is by all means not essential. There are many old basements in the UK that offer a passive environment (one where the temperature sits in the ideal wine range and that fluctuates very slowly), perfect for wine, predominantly in Victorian and Georgian houses. Many wine experts actually believe that a passive wine cellar environment helps the wine develop complexity that artificial environments just cannot match.

You would have to monitor the temperature and humidity of the cellar over a decent amount of time to decide whether it is fit for wine storage so if you wanted it as a cellar in the short term then you may need to install a wine cellar cooling unit. These units are not the same as air conditioning systems and are built to maintain the temperature of the wine cellar in a range of 10-14% generally and a humidity of 50-80%.

There are two main types of wine cellar units that you can choose from Monobloc systems and Split systems.

The Monobloc systems are predominantly the cheaper option but do need specific room conditions to be in place before you use them. They for instance have requirements on floor, ceiling and wall insulation as well as certain venting, wall placement needs etc.

Split systems may be slightly more expensive but have the advantage of normally being quieter and also they are less intrusive as they don’t have such high room requirements.

The two main suppliers are Koolspace and Fondis and both can be found on our website, so for any advice or if you have any queries please give us a call or email.

Constantine Bay Stores Wine Racking By A & W MOORE WINERACKS

A & W MOORE are proud to reveal the New Retail Wine Racking for the Constantine Bay Stores (Padstow, Cornwall. PL28 8JJ). Which displays over a hundred different varieties of wine.

The friendly and helpful staff would be pleased to see you to discuss your wine requirements or visit their website www.constantinebaystores.com to find out more.

If you are interested in having your shop fitted out with Wine Storage display racking  check out our  full details of A & W Moore’s Retail Wine Racking at  www.wineracks.co.uk/wine-racks-range/shop-restaurant-bar-racks/

or simply give us a Call  or Email and see how we can help you. Tel: 01159441434  Email: information@wineracks.co.uk

 

Best Wine Bars in the UK

Every wine connoisseur will enjoy an authentic wine tasting. Although trips to foreign vineyards aren’t a last minute option for a Saturday night treat, finding a wine tasting bar with highly knowledgeable owners, staff and exceptional crus could be the ideal solution.
Whether you’re with a group of close friends and family or need some time alone, a wine tasting is a perfect opportunity to enjoy some sumptuous wines and extend your repertoire.

In this blog, we look at some of the best wine bars and shops in the UK, all offering sumptuous wine-lists and unrivalled expertise.

Loki Wine Merchants

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Image from lokiwine.co.uk

Loki Wine merchants in Birmingham is a truly singular, authentic and wine-focused establishment, humble yet incredibly refined in its wine expertise. As the most awarded wine merchants in Birmingham, Loki offers their patrons a diverse range of fantastic fine wines and expert advice, whether you decide to stay for a drink using their self-service wine dispensers or choosing a bottle from the shop, or alternatively decide to drink that bottle elsewhere.

The Sampler Wine Shop

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Image from thesampler.co.uk

With a vast wine collection of over 80 different wines, the Sampler is an unpretentious, chilled wine shop in London, offering refined wine tasting experiences to experts and novices since it opened in 2006. The wine dispensers fit in intriguingly with wine racks openly displayed and standalone wine cases, surprisingly demystifying wine shops to ensure it is all about the wines and there taste.

Hotel du Vin Wine Bar

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Image from 2850.co.uk

Exposed brick walls, high stools and a bustling atmosphere, Vinoteca is an ideal hideaway for wine connoisseur enjoying a bohemian touch to European cuisine and carefully crafted selection of wines. The latest branch opening in Soho, Vinoteca offers table services, bar services and an on-site wine store.

2850 Wine Workshop & Kitchen

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Image from thesampler.co.uk

Spread across 2 floors and with an al-fresco dining option, 28-50 in London is a laid-back, wine bar and restaurant offering a varied and seasonal wine list for a drink or a meal. 28-50 also offers wine tastings and workshops throughout the year for the most passionate wine lovers. Its contrasting decors bring a unique industrial touch to the place, with exposed wine case racks populated the walls, and island bar encouraging a convivial atmosphere.

Gordon’s Wine Bar

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Image from gordonswinebar.com

Gordon’s Bar is spectacular for two reasons, the atmosphere and the wine. Straightaway, as you stepped in, it feels like you’ve walked back in time. Established in 1890, Gordon’s is probably one of London’s oldest wine bar that never fails to astonish. With a legacy of famous names among their wine loving clientele, be assured to find Gordon’s Bar a completely exemplary and unique experience that you will not forget. If you get the opportunity to go to a wine tasting at Gordon’s Bar, don’t miss it. If you are interested in bespoke wine racks for a bar, shop, restaurant or other commercial premises, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us

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Top 5 Wine Blogs to Follow

There are a good number of wine enthusiasts blogging about their love of wine but how can you separate the pro from the wino?

Here are our top wine bloggers and writers we recommend you follow for the best news and tips about wine.

A&W Moore’s Top 5 English Sparkling Wines

English sparkling wines have come a long way in recent years; once champagne was considered the only fizz worth its weight, but gradually we’ve started to discover the treasure trove of excellent vineyards that are here on our doorstep. With summer fast approaching, there’s no better time to put a bottle of bubbly on ice, so we’ve put our heads together to come up with our favourite selection of English sparkling wines, just in time for your garden party:

How to Choose the Perfect Wine Rack

Wine racks are a fantastic way to store wine, and great options are available on any budget. As well as looking good, they, along with good temperature control, will help to keep your wine in optimum condition, and they can be used to enhance or organise a cellar, or simply for easy access in living areas.