Weekend Winos

Enthusiasts in search of quality libations to enhance weekends.

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Wine Aerator on Steroids – Really? Winos to the Test

This weekend the group wanted to lay low and just relax.  Thanks to our host we gathered in a beautiful home on the hills and decided to experiment.  Yes we put wine in the blender = Hyperdecanting.

Hyperdecanting in ActionWe are novices, and many of us tech geeks, so after recently reading about this from a twitter follower the first thing we did was a google search for hyperdecanting.  The result was 25 pages displaying 243 of the most relevant results going back to 2011 with write ups in the NY Times, Businessweek, Der Spiegel to name a few  ( I have to believe there are many more, but it still was impressive).  We all bought our Venturi aerators when they first came out,  I use it for red wine.  Our host had several: red wine, white wine and even a spirits aerator – do you need all that?  (Note to self –  subject for a future adventure).

Apparently there is science behind this,  and former Microsoft CTO and master chef Nathan Myhrvold writes about it in his book Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.

So we set off to do a blind taste!

Hyperdecanting Sample

Hyperdecanting Sample

We selected a few bottles from those we intended to drink first, all red, and with great doubt and trepidation we started blending.   One by one we uncorked the bottle, tasted, took notes ( we knew we would need them at the end of the evening) and then blended, tasted, took notes.  Some cringed as the blender swirled and the wine foamed.  The habitual wine swirling snobs (a term of endearment) felt a little odd when someone pointed out that the wine had just been blended and that it probably didn’t need any more air.  It was quite the experience,  I’m not sure I’ll ever look at my blender the same way, and for sure I will leave it impeccably clean after “normal” use for the next time I open a bottle of red.

The results?  Oh yes, in all cases the aroma and taste changed and most agreed that it was better, mainly smoother.  As the scribe, I brought everyones notes home only to find many red wine spots and the sad fact that most of the handwriting was illegible, next time we’ll do a recording.

See you all next weekend!


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Wine, Beer, Frozen Mimosas and Lots of Garlic at the 2013 Gilroy Garlic Festival

You Have To Go At Least Once!

This weekend we knew it was going to be hot so we tried to get there early to avoid the long lines. No such luck, but what a great surprise when we finally got there and parking was FREE with a bus waiting to take the group to the entrance.  No lines to buy tickets and you could definitely smell the garlic coming from Gourmet Food Alley.

Gilroy Garlic Festival Beer Tin

Gilroy Garlic Festival Beer Tin

We started to walk around and quickly decided we needed a strategy

1) food, drinks, walk around, music, shop and repeat, or

2) drinks, food, walk around, drinks, music, food, shop

we all agreed the shopping was last because it was too hot to carry anything.

So, we’re off… no wine tent in sight yet, so….first stop is the beer garden followed by garlic fried calamari and garlic fries.  We bought the beer tins as a practical souvenir and took a break to listen in at the Cook-off Theater.   Yes, the free garlic ice cream booth was right in front of us, but the line was about 60 people long.  We walked around and were tempted by many goodies but there was still the other half of the event to conquer.

We avoided the Children’s Area, yes we did, and came back to Gourmet Food Alley just in time for the Flame-ups by the Pyro Chefs, that was impressive.. huge flames of fire.  And we move on.

Garlic Goodies

Garlic Goodies

It is high noon and it is very hot.  The wine tent is now in sight but we haven’t tried the pesto pasta yet and we’re tempted by the henna tattoo booth (unfortunately the line was too long).  So with bellies full we walk around and find our way to the wine tent.  Five or six wineries to taste and what a surprise frozen mimosas (the perfect combination of tasty and refreshing).   We knew this would be our final stop before shopping at the everything garlic tent.

Last stop… everything garlic to buy under one tent.  Yes every one bought something, how could we resist.  The garlic infused oils, soaps, rubs, dips.  Yummmm!  Clothing, wine glasses, cook books.  A one stop shop and by the look on everyone’s face it was time to say goodbye and head back home.

See you all next weekend!