Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oklahoma Pride

Above is a photo of Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication [SOP]
 Oklahoma is home to the University of Oklahoma, the Sooners and Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications.  Oklahoma is also home to grapes.  The wide variety of grapes grown in the state leads a path to a diverse selection of wines.
"Oklahomans are new wine drinkers," Gary Strebel, owner of Strebel Creek Vineyard, said.  "People start with a white wine, and go to a drier white wine. Then, many people go on to [drink] a light red wine and ultimately go to a heavier red wine."
Below is a listing of some of the grape varieties grown in the state's vineyards, according to the Oklahoma State University Viticulture and Enology web site.

Alicante Bouschet
Cabernet Sauvignon [Red]
Cabernet Franc
Chenin Blanc
Merlot [Red]

 Muscat Canelli
Norton / Cynthiana
Pinot Gris / Grigio[White]
Pinot Noir[Red]
Riesling (White)
Sauvignon Blanc[White]
Seyval Blanc
Syrah / Shiraz [Red]
Vidal Blanc

Villard Blanc
Petit Verdot
Ruby Cabernet[Red]
Sangiovese [Red]

The only way to find the special wine, or wines, you like, is to try them. Many Oklahoma vineyards and wineries offer free wine tastings.  
The Oklahoma Agritourism Program is sponsoring a chance to visit a few of Oklahoma's 53 vineyards and wineries, take some photos and enter monthly drawings for great giveaways during 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oklahoma Wine

According to the Wines and Vines January 2010 issue, a national wine industry magazine, Oklahoma now has over 50 vineyards and wineries making an impact on the state economy.

In support of the Oklahoma wine business, the Oklahoma House of Representatives heard legislation to establish a group to encourage the further development of the industry within the state. The measure was introduced by Rep. Wallace Collins, D-Norman in February 2010, according to Oklahoma's Official Website. The full text of House Bill 2709 is available at the Oklahoma legislative website.

An example of the different varieties made in Oklahoma is the Zinfandel. Zinfandel wine can be a strong red, a semi-sweet rosé or white Zinfandel. The photos show a light and slightly sweet White Zinfandel and it is best served chilled. Zinfandel can also be combined with fruity flavors, as in the Strawberry Zinfandel, which conjures thoughts of strawberries and springtime.

The Zinfandel wine has its own following, from those passionate about its taste to those who grow the grape on the vine. ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, share news about their love through their website, wine tastings, and festivals.

An aroma wheel, available on the ZAP website, identifies foods that can be served with Zinfandel wines based on the aroma of the wine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The World of Wine and Chocolate

Wine and cheese is a traditional food and drink combination, yet there is another couple that is a winning pair. Enter the delectable duo of wine and chocolate.

Across the country wine and chocolate tastings abound, from the Biltmore Estate Winery in North Carolina and the Sonoma wine country events, to the Wine and Chocolate event in January at Oklahoma City’s Metro Wine Bar & Bistro.

Yet, you do not need to wait for an event in your area. You can experiment pairing wines and chocolates together, coupled with suggestions from experts in the field and your own tastes.

“Wine and chocolates are a natural,” Gene Clifton, of the Canadian River Vineyards and Winery near Norman, said.

Chocolate is the food of love and is the best selling candy on Valentine’s Day according to the National Confectioners Association. It produces a high from the chemical phenylethylamine, according to a study at Cornell University, the same chemical associated with people in love. Wine, as an alcoholic beverage, is known to ease inhibitions and allow relaxation.

Dark chocolate and red wines are actually good for you. According to the American Heart Association, they contain flavonoids and may prevent heart disease. Some wines have a hint of chocolate taste, as in the Chocolate Merlot by Canadian River Vineyards and Winery, at just over ten dollars a bottle.

Clifton's other wine recommendations to enjoy with chocolate include some Merlots, a blush or a Chardonnay. Another possibility could include their white Zinfandel, currently under five dollars a bottle.

Other wine choices recommended by Kathe Green of Norman’s Corkscrew Wine and Spirits, include the inexpensive M and R Asti,the sparkling wines and the higher end Jordan Cabernet. Champagnes are classified as a sparkling wine.

Additional suggestions for wine and chocolate pairings are available at The Nibble, a gourmet food magazine, website. An easy tasting methodology process is available at the Wine Spectator School website.

Future blog posts will explore the Oklahoma vineyards and future events in the world of wine!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is this your life?

Pizza and beer is a favorite meal for many residents across the city of Norman, Okla. every weekend.

Pizza is a convenient and cheap meal that satisfies the hunger pangs. Beer tastes great with many items on the menu. Norman offers many types of pizza and beer for even the most distinguished gourmets in the city.

Yet, there is more to life. Are you tired of the same tastes on your palate? Are you ready to add a new and different dimension to your taste buds?

There are vineyards across Oklahoma to explore and wines to taste. This blog adds another taste of life and takes you on a journey to discover the world of wine!