What Is The Optimal Level Of Humidity For Storing Wine

Whether you are a long-time aficionado or a newcomer to the fascinating and tasty world of wines, you may be asking yourself one all-important question: How should I store the bottle or bottles I now have in my possession? While the temperature might be the first concern that comes to mind, there are others to consider as well.

Cool is Good

Of all environmental factors, heat is the most harmful to wine. Ideally, you should keep your cabernet sauvignon or merlot at between 45° F and 65° F. It should not surpass 70° F; if it does, you risk flat flavors and aromas.

Avoid Ultra-Cool

That being said, don’t over-do it when it comes to the refrigeration of your vino. Avoid storing it for any length of time in your kitchen fridge as temperatures there usually dip down below 40°F to keep your meats, produce and other perishables safe. The environment can also eventually dry out corks, allowing air to enter the bottle and damage the wine. In addition, never place your wine in places where it could freeze, including your garage in winter.

Strive for Steady Temperatures

Even more than maintaining a constant 55°F is taking steps to ensure that your wine is not subjected to sharp changes in temperature. This situation can cause the liquid to expand and contract with the potential of seepage or even of the cork popping out altogether. That being said, don’t get too upset if your collection gets exposed to thermal variations now and then. Even if you see some wine bubbling out over the cork, don’t automatically assume it is ruined. The only way to tell is to fully open the bottle and try a sip.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Ultraviolet rays from the sun and wine don’t mix; they can cause your pinot noir to age prematurely and lose its flavor. Therefore, do your best to keep your bottles out of the rays. Incandescent bulbs are probably the least damaging to your collection over time. Give Humidity a Passing Nod If you have a wine collection that costs as much as your house, you will probably choose to have it stored professionally in an environment where humidity is rigidly controlled at 70 percent, which is thought to be the optimal moisture level. Conventional wisdom says that this keeps corks from drying out and damaging the wine’s aroma and flavor. As long as you store your collection in a place where the humidity is between 50 and 80 percent, you should be fine. A pan of water or a humidifier can be very helpful if conditions are too dry or moist


Keep it Horizontal

In general, the best way to store your bottles is lying down so that the liquid within stays in contact with the cork and keeps it moisturized. This is also a great space-saving storage model.

In the end, wine storage is not as overwhelming as it may first seem to the casual or novice collector. Choose a cool, dark place such as a basement; in lieu of that, pick a spot that is removed from sunlight and temperature extremes. If you like, you can invest in a moderately priced wine refrigerator, which can go a long way toward keeping your reds and whites in their optimal surroundings. Perhaps most important of all, don’t let your concerns about storage diminish your love of collecting, drinking and sharing your favorite wines with family and friends. Isn’t that why you started this hobby in the first place?
Read the rest

This entry was posted in Blog.

Passover Dinner Recipes To Spice Up Your Traditional Spread

Passover is a special time in the Jewish calendar, and it requires a specific type of cooking in order to be Kosher for Passover. When you understand more about these requirements, you can more fully appreciate every aspect of these important few days.

Keeping Kosher for Passover requires you to abstain from hametz, the fermented products of five grains that include wheat, oats, rye, spelt and barley. The unleavened matzah that is eaten during Passover is baked under very strict conditions to ensure that its grains do not ferment. In addition to these restrictions, many Ashkenazi Jews also choose not to eat lentils, beans, corn and rice. A small minority of Jews also avoid unleavened matzah items that are wet, including matzah balls and meal.

For many observant Jews, it is also customary to avoid foods that may have been processed in an environment where fermented grains were also processed. Traditionally, Jews clean their homes of all hametz products. In addition, the entire kitchen as well as all pots, pans and other cooking utensils must be made Kosher for Passover. Because this can be a difficult and time-consuming job, some practitioners keep an entire separate set of cookware reserved for Passover. In recent years, others have begun going on Kosher Passover cruises and vacations to resorts.

Passover is a time to connect with your heritage in community with friends and family. Whether you are an observant Jew or you simply want to celebrate in the spirit of the Passover season, there are numerous Kosher recipes that can make your Passover meals both memorable and delicious. Believe it or not, many can be prepared quickly and easily without sacrificing any of the traditional flavors.
Read the rest

This entry was posted in Blog.

What Dessert Can I Make With The Ingredients I Have On Hand

Getting everyone in your family to buy into the same dessert choices can be a challenge, especially if you have small children. As long as you’re willing to put your grown-up rigidity aside, there is nothing stopping you from entering full-tilt into the wonderful, wacky world of family-friendly sweet treats.


If it’s one of those rainy days that stretches into infinity, you might desperately need to find a project to engage your kids’ attention. Why not combine that with the task of creating tonight’s dessert? With just a few ingredients that consist of chocolate chips, M&M’s, oats and peanut butter, your little ones can manufacture a whole mess of cookies that don’t need to get anywhere near your oven. Just make sure everyone’s hands are clean, and do your best to keep your tiny chefs from eating the product.


What child doesn’t love magic – or pretzels, for that matter? Combine their twin passions by making these multi-colored conjuring sticks. All they need to do is to dip pretzel sticks in melted candy coating in the colors of their choice. With some additional sparkly sprinkles to adorn them, these creations will look like they came straight from the wizarding world.


If you have two or three little gardeners in your clan, there is no better way to stoke their passion and feed their sweet tooth than to make mud pudding. All it takes is a box of vanilla pudding from the supermarket, some Oreo cookies for crumbling into “dirt” and a bag of gummy worms for burying. The best part of all is that the end result is quite tasty in spite of its off-putting appearance.


The benefits of smoothies are manifold: they’re cold, creamy and sweet; they usually contain healthy ingredients such as fruits and even vegetables and, perhaps best of all, kids can participate in the process of making them. Even your smallest chef can contribute by adding berries to the mix before you blend. The older kiddos can use their internet skills to come up with the perfect combination. If you’re lucky, they all might even help you clean up.


The name alone makes you smile, and once you try it, you won’t be able to wipe the grin off your face. That’s because of the sticky, sugary, cinnamon goodness of this pastry treat. If you don’t already have a monkey bread recipe that is a family favorite, there are numerous variations of this sinful treat. Just be warned: It is dangerously addictive, and your kids – and you – might be craving it sooner rather than later.

Helping to make desserts is one of the best ways to get your kids involved in kitchen tasks. Gaining their participation also keeps them out of trouble and fosters a sense of pride in making something for the sake of the entire family. Even if the weather isn’t horrible, why not try one of these delicious dessert ideas today?
Read the rest

This entry was posted in Blog.

As-Seen-On-TV Products That Actually DO Work

“Buy Now!”, “For a limited time!”, “While Supplies Last!”. Chances are if you’ve ever been up late at night watching an infomercial you’ve heard these phrases over and over again on repeat as an overly enthusiastic host tries to peddle their wares and convince you that their product is so revolutionary that it just might actually change your life. While the majority of these products are very gimmicky and come with the negative stereotype of being cheaply made (and therefore will easily break), there are a few As Seen On TV Products that surpass the rest and actually work. They may not be as life-changing as the hosts will lead you to believe, but they do deliver a useful service, especially to many homemakers.   

Forearm Forklifts

A seemingly simple device with a good about of technology and science behind its construction. This “forklift” makes it much easier for families to move furniture and other heavy items around their house without the need for movers. By placing the straps around your shoulders or forearms, the leverage created between the straps and your body weight allows even petite people to carry 700lb pieces of furniture with ease. Even Consumer Reports gave their approval of this product!

The Magic Bullet

One of the most well know products to transcend the As Seen On TV graveyard of cheep and cheesy products. The Magic Bullet is known for its claim to be able to blend  anything in less than 10 seconds. There are several amusing YouTube videos where consumers put this to the test with a wide variety of items that are not meant to go into a blender and The Magic Bullet does surprisingly well! When it comes to products that it’s designed to blend, it does even better, making this a great and very useful addition to any kitchen.

Copper Cookware

The ultimate in copper nonstick cookware! The copper pan As Seen on TV claims to be even better than the best Teflon pan out there, but does it deliver? And the answer is, Yes! One of the leading products in non-stick copper pans is Copper Chef. A quick search for product reviews will reveal hundreds of food bloggers who have given this pan a try and overall, are very happy with the results. There are a few other As Seen on TV copper pan products such as the Red Copper Pan that also has great reviews. Whichever product you decide to go with, you’re sure to get a great new non-stick way of cooking your favorite meals.

Veggie Pro Table-Top Spiralizer

If you haven’t heard of the spiralizer trend yet, where have you been?! In a culture that fears carbs, labeling them as a negative weight-gaining food and something that is to be excluded from most diets, the spiralizer has stepped in offering an alternative way to make your favorite “pasta” dishes. The spiralizer takes zucchini (most commonly) or other vegetables and turns then into spiral-shaped strands that somewhat resemble spaghetti. These “veggie noodles” kitchen tool utensil help dieters to get their pasta fix without the added carbs. What makes the Veggie Pro spiralizer the favorite of these As Seen on TV products is that it comes with several different blade sizes and also a non-slip suction cup that keeps it stuck onto the counter top, allowing for easier and faster use of the spiralizer tool.


One of the most recognizable As Seen on TV Products – mostly because of the spotlight its spokesperson received after being involved in a sex scandal which landed him in jail, but also Read the rest

This entry was posted in Blog.