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Learn what the wineries do when they are serving wine at a wine tasting. The atmosphere and what you serve with the wine are quite important.
Winemakers are known for their craft of making grapes into wine
but they are also very crafty people, cleverly using what is at
hand to create whatever is necessary to complete their task.
Resourceful would be another word you could use, but it
wouldn't make that sentence as much fun as it is.
We hold wine-related dinners in my winery as promotional events
after work parties and, as you might imagine, copious amounts of
wine are consumed. Many participants are attorneys, and it
became apparent there was some liability inherent in having
people consume wine at a social function in your winery and then
drive away. The same is true in your home, and so you should
share my concern not only for your friends' safety but for your
financial security should something go awry and a tree jump out
in front of your impaired pal's automobile.
Rule number # One is fairly well known, but bears repeating:
Always serve plenty of food with wine. A stomach with
something in it tempers the rate with which alcohol enters the
bloodstream and avoids the one-glass-staggering-about-the-room
syndrome. Cheese works very well for me.
But Rule # Two is less well known and, I think, much more
effective, particularly at dinner parties where several wines
and food is to be served. Have plenty of water (as in bottled or
sparkling water, all the rage here in California, but any clean
-tasting water will do) available and keep everyone's water
glass filled. Go fancy and place a thin slice of fresh lemon in
the glass. As people talk and eat and talk, you will find that
if water is available, they will drink it, in great gulps,
between taking, one hopes, smaller amounts of wine with food
bites and between contributing sound bites.
There are several benefits to this strategy.
People will consume water, which is considerably less expensive
than wine. (If, on examination, this does not appear to be true,
you might want to consider changing your brand of bottled water,
or your selection of wine, or both.) People will dilute the
alcohol level in their system with water and not become as
tipsy. Wine, especially red wine, acts as a diuretic, and causes
dehydration and thirst. By hydrating (with water instead of
wine), your guests will avoid the drugged feeling that comes
with dehydration and will also feel less of the effects drinking
wine causes some people the next morning. The only negative to
this strategy is that passionate and loquacious conversation
will be interrupted as people excuse themselves to use the
bathroom frequently. On second thought, maybe that isn't such a big negative.
Paul Kreider, who made his first wine in 1975, is the owner andwinemaker of the Ross Valley Winery in San Anselmo, California.Since 1987, with notable success, his small Marin County bonded winery has specialized in transforming modest lots of unique grapes into vineyard-designated wines, each with its own individual character and particular personality. Check our website at www.rossvalleywinery.com</a>.