Author Archives: Robert

The Diverse World of Italian Wine

Italy is one of the largest wine producing countries. With hundreds of grapes, varying regions and styles, there is certainly something for everyone!

Pinot Grigio and Chianti are the familiar power house names, that are classic and when well made with great fruit and acidity pair wonderfully with all sorts of fare. I love pairing red wines with lighter fare, especially as spring approaches and the thing that I really like about the chief Chianti grape, Sangiovese, is that it can have lush fruit and great acidity which makes it a great pairing with fish in a citrusy herbal olive oil sauce. Think olives, basil, EVOO and halibut…so good! Pinto Grigio, is one of those wines you can just have open in the fridge to pair a glass on a weeknight with grilled chicken, a shrimp ceviche or a smattering of grilled veggies.

There are of course, other fun everyday wines. Rosso di Montalcino (baby Brunello) is a great alternative to Chianti tending to be a little heartier, so swap out the halibut for salmon. There is Prosecco, which I am pretty sure everyone knows at this point. But, while many folks drink prosecco as a starter or as a brunch drink, have you ever tried it with your meal? Try it with some trout almandine and put it over ice with a lemon twist!

Many of the classic wines we know are denoted with DOC and DOCG indicators. This has historically been a sign of quality born out of strict guidelines. Today we have winemakers experimenting with all sorts of techniques like IGT wines, which indicate a typical style of that region. AND, there are also folks who are just going for it trying new techniques and styles. We are loving this passimento style Barbera from Natle Verga, a style reserved for Ripasso and Amarone, where the juice is passed thru a “raisin’ed must” giving it a richness of flavor without the heaviness. There are also rosé wines that are beginning to find their way to the shelves. So really, gone are the days where you should only look for the governmental quality indicators.

If you are looking for value and history, there is a tremendous amount to be found in Southern Italy. Historical Vesuvian varietals kissed by sunshine give us wines that over-deliver. I personally love the Vigna Lippio Sorrentino with bright fruit, great structure and southern terrior! Or you may want to go fruity! In that case, well made Lambrusco, with lively fruit, great acidity and just the right amount of sparkle can be really gorgeous.

We really have just scratched the surface, so I encourage you to come into Twin Liquors and take a class to dive in a little deeper and try something classic against something new! We have so much to offer and are exciting about sharing it with YOU! Let’s face it, it’s easy to eat your way thru Italy but the wine can be a bit harder to navigate. Let Twin help!

Top L>R:

Antale, Pinot Grigio $; Cleto Chiarli, Lambrusco $$; Natale Verga, Prosecco $; Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino $$$; I Vernoni, Chianti $$

Lower L>R:

Moris Farms, Rosé $; Vigna Lippio, Sorrentino $$; Kris, Pinot Grigio $; Natale Verga, Passimento Barbera $; Oddero, Barolo $$$;

 

 

Easy, Tasty Holiday with Twin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tis the season for spending time with family and friends. We break bread. We toast! We enjoy each other’s company. But, it can be hectic trying to get ready for the holidays, so we at Twin, like to keep it really simple. So, gather a few recipes, set some dates and start enjoying.

The first thing we like to do is to settle on a signature cocktail, not just for one party, but for the season. This way if you are hosting a few gatherings, you don’t have to worry about a new set up every time. Once you decide on your signature cocktail, make sure you have the fixings on hand to make that drink no matter who drops by. You can even have some fun with it and create a set up on a bar cart complete with festive décor! So, what’s your drink of choice?! We are in love with the Swedish Paloma, Aperol Spritz (great for NYE) and the Cinnamon Toast Parfait! Check out all the signature cocktail recipes for 2018 here!

Secondly, make sure you have 1-2 bottles of Sparkling chilled and 2 bottles of red wine. This way if you are off to a party, you can grab the wine to take as a hostess gift or if those neighbors drop by again, you can pop some bubbly.

Now for those of you that are cooking, we have some fun recipes collected from our Twin staff and friends here. Surprise! They all feature wine & spirits!

And, for those of you who just can’t plan that’s ok! We’ve got you covered with Twin Liquors on-demand delivery! Order now and have it delivered to your home, work or your best friend’s house!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Cooking with Spirit!

At Twin we like to cook with wine & spirits! Check out our tips for #CookingWithSpirit plus some cherished recipes from friends and family!

COOKING WITH SPIRIT TIPS

Finishing

Add a touch of brightness and acidity. When making creamy soups or gravies, add a tablespoon of Oloroso Sherry to finish! Simply adding more salt cannot equal this super simple flavor boost.

Deglazing

When roasting veggies or meat, deglaze those brown bits in the pan while it’s still hot with w

ine or Cognac, then reduce by half. Pour this sauce over the finished dish and it will pack a flavor punch!

What brands to choose?

ALWAYS cook with what you would want drink. Remember that even though in most cases you may cook off the alcohol, you will keep the flavors of the spirit or wine.

Reductions

Use wine to give your sauces more depth of flavor. Before you add other liquids to your sauce, add a cup of wine and reduce by half. Then add your other liquids and simmer until done.

FEATURED RECIPE

BACON BOURBON CARROTS

  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 3 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Old Forester Bourbon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Blanch carrots until al dente. Slice bacon into short strips and cook until crispy. Add garlic, carrots, brown sugar into same skillet as the bacon. Add salt & pepper to taste. Sauté for 10-30 minutes depending on how well-done you like your carrots.

Do you cook with spirit? If so, share with us on social. @twinliquors #CookingWithSpirit

For more recipes go to our recipes section “Cooking with Spirit

 

2017 Entertaining Guide

Click here to view the 2017 Entertaining and Gift Guide

It is time to Summer Like a Spaniard!

My name is Sarah Howard and I work for the DOs of Ribera del Duero and Rueda.  Twin Liquors has asked me to guest blog to write about these two fantastic Spanish wine regions. I was recently in Austin hosting a couple of Spain 201 classes at the Round Rock and Hancock Center Twin Liquors.  I had so much fun educating everyone on the two regions and seeing everyone enjoy the wines from Ribera del Duero and Rueda.

First things first, where are Rueda and Ribera del Duero and what kind of wines do they produce?  Located in Northern Spain, about two hours north of Madrid, Rueda and Ribera del Duero are hidden in the high plains of Castilla y Leon.  The landscape looks alternately like the beach, the desert or the moon.  The climate here is extreme with harsh winters and temperatures soaring past 100 degrees during the summer days and down to 50 degrees at night.  The harsh, almost inhospitable climate is perfect for growing Verdejo in Rueda and Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero.

Verdejo is the perfect match for toasty Texas temperatures.  White wines from Rueda are refreshing with aromas and flavors of lemon, lime and peaches.  It is no wonder that the crisp, aromatic, citrusy Rueda Verdejo is Spain’s #1 white wine.   I like to say drinking a glass of Verdejo is like drinking a glass of sunshine – bright, crisp, refreshing and oh so enjoyable.

In Segovia, in the heart of the Rueda region, Rueda Verdejo is paired with Cochinillo Asado or roast suckling pig.  The fresh flavors of Rueda are a perfect match to the tender pork.  If suckling pig isn’t on the menu, pair Verdejo with seafood, fresh summer salads, cheeses or spicy cuisine.

Tempranillo, known locally in Ribera as Tinto Fino, survive scorching summers and frigid winters to produce bold red wines of incredible depth and structure.  The flavors of Tempranillo are blackberries, currants, raspberry, spice and a touch of vanilla.

Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero is bold enough to stand up to Texas BBQ, or anything grilled.  In my opinion, the perfect pairing with Tempranillo is lamb.  Lamb, or Lechazo, is a signature dish of the region and the wine balances the flavors perfectly.  Between the suckling pig in Rueda and the Lechazo in Ribera del Duero the two regions are a meat-lovers paradise!

So, to Summer Like a Spaniard all you need is a glass (or two) of your favorite Rueda or Ribera del Duero!  Kick back, enjoy the sunshine and turn on the grill.  These wines are ready for your next BBQ.

Find your favorite Rueda or Ribera at tastings at select Twin Liquors locations Fridays and Saturdays in July.  For more information visit the Twin Liquors events page.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the Spanish Wine Sale through the end of the month – enjoy 20% off six bottles or more.

For more information on the regions please visit www.riberaruedawine.com.