“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.” ~ Andre Simon

While InStyle magazine is typically thought of as being all about the season’s hottest fashions (for your body) every once in a while they throw out something more. After all, being stylish is about the whole package, not just who you’re wearing. In the September 2008 issue they ran an article about actor Kyle MacLachlan and his new wine label, Pursued by Bear. It was a collaboration with Dunham Cellars. Pursued by Bear is a cabernet sauvignon produced in Washington State. The name is a tribute to a man of definite literary style, Shakespeare. Apparently “Pursued by Bear” was a stage direction in A Winter’s Tale, which I actually had to “rewrite” in a college English class so it holds a special place in my heart. This article basically highlights the party MacLachlan threw for his friends to introduce his new wine and though it looks like a fabulous party, there are a lot of photos of guests drinking white wine. Even the opening shot of Kyle walking in his garden shows him with a champagne flute in hand… Maybe it was a very small harvest and there wasn’t much to go around.

At the end of the article there were some tips on wine as well as alfresco (outdoor) dining that I found interesting and decided to share with my fellow Uncorkers. Enjoy!

5 Essential Wine Tips
GUEST:  If you would like to bring a bottle for the host but are unsure of the dinner menu a pinot noir is always a versatile choice (it plays well with others).
HOST:  If you aren’t quite sure how much wine to buy for a dinner party this helps you out with the math. A bottle typically fills about five glasses and with dinner guests usually have two glasses each. Perhaps my guests are just a little less bashful but I can usually count on mine to have more than two so I suggest overestimating rather than underestimating. Always better to have too much than too little I always say.
GLASS:  This was something I found helpful. It gave a suggestion for a great looking glass that would work for white or red wine. I like the look of uniform glasses so I liked this idea. The glass they suggested was the Spiegelau Burgundy glass which they say is $10. Stock up! (PS if you click HERE you can find out more about Pursued by Bear. I stumbled upon that looking for the glass coincidentally…)
DECANT:  Their advice is to decant young red wines to “knock off some of the hard edges” for thirty minutes before drinking. Also decant if the wine is old and you are worried about sediment.
STORE:  The ideal temperature for wine storage is 55° (I have yet to invest in a wine fridge) but it says that if you don’t have a wine cooler you should keep it in a cool interior space such as a closet or basement. If you’re in Texas you know the basement is obviously not an option… If a bottle needs to be chilled quickly place it in the freezer for 20 minutes but NEVER serve it with ice.