Skin Contact Wine, Demystified

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

Right now, in June of 2020, the words skin contact might totally freak you out. Social distancing is a thing, staying extra safe is on all of our minds, and the thought of touching another human being is suddenly a frought thought indeed. 

But we're not here to talk about that! On THIS blog, we're talking skin contact as it applies to WINE. Wine! What a happy topic. 

So, what is skin contact wine, anyway?

It's super simple. Skin contact wines are white wines that are made more like red wines.

The big difference between making a white wine and a red wine lies in the fermentation process. With a white wine, the winemaker presses the grapes and then removes the pomace (all of the residual solids, like seeds, grape skins, etc.)  before fermenting the juice in a tank or other vessel. When making red wine, the winemaker will allow that pomace to hang out in the fermentation vessel with the juice, giving them more time to macerate. All of those lovely seeds and skins impart several things to...

[RECAP] What We Learned At A Virtual Wine + Cheese Party

Photo: Leslee Miller

One joy in the time of Corona Virus? Virtual wine classes!

Sip Better's sommelier, Leslee Miller, has been putting her wine education chops to work from the comfort of her own home. Through her consulting business, Amusée, Leslee has begun hosting live themed wine classes via Zoom, and the latest one turned into one big wine and cheese pairing party! Wine lovers from around the country tuned in on Saturday April 18th to discuss how to create a killer cheese and meat spread (see that beauty up above?), which wines to pair with which snacks, and more. I was there too! And here are three of my takeaways:

VARIETY IS KEY
Make sure your cheese(and meat) board reflects the spice of life: variety! Choose at least one cow's milk cheese (like Gruyère), one goat's milk (such as fresh chèvre), and one sheep's milk cheese (like Manchego). Not only do these different milks offer many pairing combinations and flavor profiles to explore, they also ensure that most of your dining mates will find...

For The Love Of Canned Wine

Photo: Nick Scheerbart via Unsplash

Hello from my house!

Isn't that where we all are during this COVID-19 pandemic? Inside of our houses?

One of the only true pleasures of these long days of self-isolation is that nature walks and moments outside are PLENTIFUL. Some of us can even see our friends and family by carefully meeting up with them in socially distant-safe spaces. Like the woods! Or a sprawling state park. A couple of lawn chairs in a big green space is the only way to party these days. 

And guess what! There's a canned wine for that situation. The intrepid and ever-inspiring Broc Cellars has made their Love Wines walkable.

Broc Cellars Love Wine boxes
[above photos by Vinnie Biskupic]

Winemaker Chris Brockway champions minimal intervention winemaking techniques and ethical farming practices, and his Love Wines are crafted to express this mission while also being super affordable. Gotta love a wine that makes your heart AND your wallet feel good, right? And now that Brockway's Love Red and Love White blends are available in cans, the...

The Pleasures of Low Alcohol Wine

Photo: Kelsey Curtis via Unsplash

When it comes to healthy living, wine--and alcohol in general--often doesn't fit into the picture. Whether you're counting calories or just trying to keep your alcohol consumption light, an abstract wine label can leave you wondering what the heck you're actually consuming and what it might mean for your health. Luckily, you really only need to know one thing: Alcohol content matters! When you see that little percentage on a wine label, pay attention. 

Alcohol content signals a few things. First of all, it's the primary way to decide whether or not a wine is high in calories. Because alcohol is produced with sugars (in wine's case, natural grape sugars), we know that wines with a larger alcohol content (15% +) may contain left over sugar (called residual sugar) because the yeast used in the fermentation process has been exhausted. Remember, yeast eats sugar--kind of like Ms. Pac-man--during the fermentation process, and the bioproduct is alcohol. Wines that contain this left over...

4 Unexpected Valentine's Day Dates

Photo: Leonardo Sanches via Unsplash

Every year it's a challenge: The perfect, non-cliche, not-too-sappy yet totally memorable Valentine's Day date. Phew! We got your back. Here's a quick list of unique date ideas led by some fantastic wines. Cheers to you and your sweetie!


PUZZLE IT OUT

Get analog! Because so many of us are glued to screens these days, something as simple as doing a puzzle seems suddenly kooky and new. So, do a puzzle with your boo this February 14th! There are some genuinely gorgeous puzzles out there (check out Galison for some options!) to spice things up, and puzzling offers a natural environment for alllllmost grazing the hand of your hot date as you reach for another piece. [eye flutter]
PAIR WITH: François Montand, Brut Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs | A sneaky and sophisticated sparkling wine for thoughtful types


KICK IT AT KARAOKE 

Dress up in your favorite 80s metal gear and go crush it karaoke with a bangin' duet! Karaoke is like aerobics for the soul––guaranteed to make you sweat and...

The Sip Better wine club is all about

  • Truly awesome wines.
    No re-packaged bulk juice here!
  • Introducing you to new wines,
    hand-picked by me, just for YOU
  • Supporting boutique,
    family-owned wineries
  • Fun & Education! You'll become an
    expert with our videos and tips