On the Florida Wine Trail Near St. Petersburg

We live in south Florida. It’s not exactly an area known for its local wine. We can pick all kinds of tropical fruits right out our front door, but vinifera grapes don’t grow this far south.

We’ve realized that doesn’t really matter, though. You can still get good local wine here.

We try to support local businesses when we can, and we love to go wine tasting. So recently we hit the road and set out on the Florida Wine Trail near St. Petersburg.

Okay, it’s not exactly an organized trail… But as you can see from this Florida Grape Growers Association map, Continue reading

Holiday Gifts for Home Winemakers – 2014 Edition

Wondering what to get the home winemaker on your gift list? Trying to drop hints about what you’d like to receive? Either way, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a guide of ideas for useful (and unusual) holiday gifts for home winemakers and wine lovers on your list.

Check out some of the items we found:

Rapid Ice Cooler SleeveRapid Ice Cooler Sleeve Wine - Holiday Gifts for Home Winemakers

Mrs. Noontime got me one of these a couple of years ago, and I use it all the time! It’s simple, just store the sleeve in the freezer and pull it out when you need it. It’s perfect for keeping a chilled white wine cool while you savor it. It also helps quick chill wine when you want to pop open a bottle but forgot to stash it in the fridge to chill first. This is the sleeve I have and there are several other options available at Amazon.com.
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6 Surprising Wine Facts

Wine may be a complex topic, but home winemakers are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to fermented grapes. And we always love to learn more. That’s why we wanted to share these 6 surprising wine facts with you. Enjoy!

1.  Most wines are not made for aging. The majority of wine is put on the shelves to be bought and enjoyed within a short period of time…probably best within 2 years of purchase. It’s estimated that only about 10% of red wines and 5% of white wines have the potential to improve when aged more than 5 years. Due to complex chemical reactions that occur over time, few wines will improve with age… and only when properly stored.
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Finger Lakes Wine Country Declared a Disaster Area

Tragic news for the US wine industry: Due to the cold weather and bud damage in the vineyards, the Finger Lakes Wine Country in New York has been declared a disaster area.

Here’s the full story: Finger Lakes wine country declared a disaster zone

Finger Lakes Wine Country

photo courtesy Wine-Searcher

Some wineries in the area are reporting up to 100% of their vines were damaged. It will be a while before they know how much damage the vines actually sustained, but they it’s going to be severe. This will undoubtedly mean lower yields in Finger Lakes wineries this year.
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Home Winemaking News this Week

There’s been a lot going on in the world of wine, beer, and spirits lately! Here’s what we’re reading in home winemaking news this week:Homemade Wine

Since you’re reading this blog, you probably already make homemade wine. This machine, which makes one bottle of wine at a time, isn’t aimed at us. But although it is a ridiculous idea, I’d love to try some wine made from it just out of curiosity. I think it would be a miracle if I enjoyed it. Make Wine at Home with the Miracle Machine
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Bottle Sizes for Homemade Wines

Your bottle sizes for homemade wines affects the type of custom label you put on your wines.

You see, I spend a lot of time thinking about labels, and how custom labels will look on wine bottles of different sizes.

A while back, I made a cheat sheet for bottle sizes. This makes it easy for me to answer customer questions about their wine bottles and the appropriate label size.

It’s been so helpful to me that I decided to make it look nice and share it with you. So here’s a handy chart with bottle sizes for homemade wines you can reference when you’re choosing labels.

This chart has standard bottle sizes, and how much flat space is available for the label on each one. *Please note, bottles may vary in actual size. This chart is a guideline of common sizes. Always measure your wine bottles to be sure.*Wine Bottle Sizes for Homemade Wines
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Storing Homemade Wine

What’s the best, most efficient and economical way for storing homemade wine? That’s been a big question in the Noontime household lately.

If you’re like us, you’ve found that home winemaking leads to having lots of wine to store. We recently stepped up our winemaking production so we could set aside some bottles to age. And we discovered our existing hodge-podge of homemade wine racks and boxes just couldn’t hold it all.

We needed more wine storage! So Mrs. Noontime and I looked at a number of options.
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Beer Inspired Halloween Treats

If you’re looking for decadent beer inspired Halloween treats, you’ll want to try this orange beer sorbet with a stout beer caramel sauce from Wayne Fullmer. It requires an ice cream maker and a little effort, but if you’re a beer lover or just love delicious deserts, it’s well worth it.

Orange Beer Sorbet Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped and peeled oranges
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
2 cups beer (a pale ale with citrus works well here, try Red Brick Pale Ale)

How to make it:
Put a saucepan over medium high-heat and add the oranges and the sugar. Then macerate the oranges and until combined with sugar. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then stir the mixture until all the oranges have broken down.
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