Staying at home has led to a host of new hobbies, and we’ve gotten to know a few more board games! We’re trying to keep our minds sharp with word games like Quiddler, Upwords, and Bananagrams. Since we’ve especially enjoyed having some time to dabble in Scrabble, we thought it might be nice to put together a list of words that might help you win your next word game match-up.
appellation — a specific wine-producing region. The appellation of the wine specifies that the wine came from a specific vineyard or area. In the wine world, appellations are legally defined, though the exact regulations vary from country to country. The world’s smallest appellation is in France, covering just over 2 acres.
barrique — a 225-litre oak barrel, originating in Bordeaux, used originally for transporting, storing, and aging wines. Barriques are generally used to age distinguished reds, but may also be used for whites.
bouquet — similar to “nose” or “aroma” this term applies specifically to the complex interplay of aromas unique to aged wines. This word is a great use for that “q” that’s been sitting around!
brettanomyce — casually referred to as “brett,” this bacteria is a yeast that produces barnyard, mousy, or metallic scents in wine. It is not uncommon for some red wines to have an intentional touch of brettanomyce at very low concentrations as it can lend a spicy, leathery note.
cuvaison — the process by which wine gains color, flavor, and tannins by leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins and pips during fermentation. This is a French term, so you’ll have to ask your Scrabble mates to let it slide. The English equivalent is “maceration.”
forward — this is a term used in wine tasting to pick a wine out from its peers. A forward wine has matured early, and is in peak condition, and has prominent fruit notes. Referring to a wine as “closed” means it is not forward.
magnum — a word you might hear often around Rubino Estates Winery. A magnum is a large bottle of wine which holds 1.5 liters, the equivalent of two normal 750ml bottles. We affectionately call them “mags” and admire the unique properties of wine aged in them. We even offer a special membership for magnum enthusiasts!
malolactic — this scientific term describes a type of secondary fermentation used in some winemaking processes. In malolactic fermentation, the tartness of malic acid in wine is changed into a smoother sensation. Some wine aficionados will identify that “buttery” or “creamy” wines have gone through “malo.”
oenology — this is the technical term for the science of wine and winemaking, but if it doesn’t fit in with the Scrabble board, you can try the alternate spelling “enology.”
tartaric — tartaric acid is a compound that occurs naturally in many fruits, but is the principal acid in grapes. In winemaking, tartaric acid promotes flavor and aging, as well as playing a key role in maintaining the stability of the wine’s composition and color.
plonk — a casual word popular in Great Britain to refer to cheap or inferior wine, often produced in bulk. We’re particular not fans of plonk wine, but we do think it’s a great word, especially if you get that “k” onto a triple letter spot.
punt — the dimple on the bottom of a wine bottle. There is conflict regarding the origins of the punt. Some say it strengthened bottles of carbonated wine, caught sediment and precipitates, allowed easier stacking of the bottles, or is leftover from when wine bottles were made using blowpipe and pontil.
quaffing — a descriptive word for a simple everyday drinking wine. Quaffing wines are not overly sophisticated, but pleasant and drinkable. If your game tiles don’t have all the letters for this word, try the shorter verb “quaff” which means to drink heartily.
typicity — a term that indicates how representative a wine is of its particular varietal. Different grape varietals have characteristic aromas and flavors, so this term could tell you, for example, how much a Sangiovese “tastes like a Sangiovese.”
ullage — empty space left in bottles and barrels as a wine evaporates. Historic wines which have more ullage due to imperfections in the cork’s seal are valued at a lower price.
vinification — From start to finish, the process of making wine. This term covers everything from planting to bottling and cellaring. Vinification is simply another word for winemaking.
xylem — the woody tissue of a vine, inside a layer known as the “vascular cambium” layer. This tissue is responsible for carrying nutrients and water from the roots up to the leaves of the vine. We like the Scrabble point value on this one!
If you’re looking for something to celebrate your inevitable wins of Scrabble battles, take advantage of our Sparkling sale! For a limited time, our Brut is discounted for you. Additional membership and case discounts apply.
January 16th is International Hot and Spicy Food Day, so we're excited to turn up the heat! You can find spicy meals in nearly every cuisine around to world, and we think that's worth celebrating. Since soup is the perfect dinner for chilly days, we're eyeing this recipe for Spicy Grain Soup. Packed with flavor, vegetables, and a bit of heat, this healthy comfort food is a wintertime winner. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking; this recipe is delicious when mellow and with kick.
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 3 ancho or dried mulato chiles
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 6 sprigs and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
- Prep your ingredients. Drain and rinse the black beans thoroughly. Stem and seed the chiles and break into 2-inch pieces. Thinly slice the onion and shiitake caps. Finely dice the carrot, zucchini, and parsnip.
- In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover.
- In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.
- In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
- In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
- Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.
Recipe photo credit: Frances Janisch
Recipe originally from Food and Wine
We hope we've inspired you to savor the burn of your favorite hot and spicy meals. If you make this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Tag us on social media @rubinoestates with your results. Salute!
If you're looking to balance out your spicy soup with something creamy and lightly sweet, we recommend our Landmark Chardonnay, which just scored 92 points with Wine Enthusiast.
Be realistic. The best way to beat the odds when it comes to keeping your New Year’s resolution is by starting with the right kind of goal. A goal that is too lofty leads to frustration and, in our experience, a rather uninspired February. Instead of resolving to, for example, never have sugar again, try to use your current habits as a starting point. Instead of a personal prohibition, aim for only a certain number of sweet snacks each week as a limit. Beginning with a single step may seem paltry, but it is actually the most effective way to keep your long-term goals in mind.
Be prepared for challenges. Making a good resolution may be a bit of a challenge, but keeping that resolution is much more so! It may help to make a list of the pros and cons you may encounter in keeping with your resolution. If you anticipate the most difficult moments, you are more prepared for them when they come.
Be consistent. When you set goals for the future, do not neglect the past. Though it is true that the last year has been especially trying for many, it has also been a good time to learn more about ourselves. Make sure you do some reflection on the lessons and little successes. We can even learn from the moments that felt like failures. By thinking about these experiences, we understand the things we really love to do and what fills the tank. This also gives you a moment to celebrate the past goals you have already met, which do wonders for feeling encouraged.
Be specific. In 1961, President JFK declared a short, specific goal: before the end of the decade, the US should send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth. Those who have analyzed this goal have found that the most vital elements were the clarity and the time-bound nature. Resolutions that follow the same model are the most likely to be fulfilled. For example, resolving to try 10 new dinner recipes in the next three months is much more effective than saying you want to cook more. True to the resolution, the Apollo 11 mission to the moon brought and returned 3 men in July of 1969.
Be aware of your motivation. Feeling burnt out and unmotivated is the enemy of resolutions. In order to run a marathon, both metaphorically and literally, you need to run on the right fuel. If your motivation for a certain goal is in spite or self-hate, the resolution will cause a deep lack of inspiration. When motivation comes from a deeper well of personal meaning, the fuel burns longer. Make sure your goals and values are in harmony, and let your values drive your progress!
Be forgiving. If you find yourself breaking your resolution consistently, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. We recommend revising instead of relenting. If your resolution proves to be unrealistic, give yourself time to figure out what the best new version may be. When you find yourself keeping to your promise, take a moment to reward yourself with something that doesn’t contradict your resolution.
Be open about your goal. We need the support of friends more than ever when we are making positive change. Talking about your goal and what you are doing to achieve it will serve you well. Even if you have to talk over a Zoom call, try to connect with your friends. Ask them if they have any goals that you can help them achieve. Your goals may differ greatly, but you can still collaborate with and support one another.
If you have resolutions this year, we want to know! Tag us on social media @Rubinoestates
As you go through this year, no matter how big or small your goal is, we hope you are encouraged to enjoy 2021. Don’t look past your successes--celebrate them! Perhaps put away some of your favorite Rubino Estates wines to celebrate your achievements at the end of this year. Don’t hesitate to let the celebration begin now! It’s the perfect time to set up your cellar for the year.