Wine 101: Guide for Wine Drinking this Spring

From red to white, from dry to sweet, from bold to subtle, with so many varieties of wine, there is something for everyone to love. If you want to get the most out of your wine drinking experience, there are a few simple tips to help you better understand the beauty of your wine. Enjoy the vinos in our Hickory Farms gift baskets by using these tips for drinking and sampling wine.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Refine your Palette

Wine is a lot more fun to drink when you pick out the deep complexities of flavor that come in each glass. When tasting a wine, there are four basic steps.

First, you want to look at the color of your wine. Notice how the Cabernet Sauvignon in our Hickory Farms Reserve Dry Salami and Wine Pairing is a beautiful deep ruby red, while the Chardonnay in our Toast the Traditions basket is a buttery yellow.

The next step is to smell your wine. Try to find at least two familiar scents and identify the primary and secondary notes.

Now, it is time to taste your wine. Pay attention to both the flavor and structure. Structure refers to the feel of the wine, whether it is sweet, light, or acidic.

Finally, take a moment to think about the overall experience of the wine.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Serve like an Expert

Now that you know how to best enjoy the flavor of the wine, perfect your presentation with some serving tips.

To allow your wine to breathe properly, make sure you start with the best glassware for the variety you will be serving. When serving a red wine, pour it in a decanter about a half hour before your guests arrive. You can bring out more flavor when your wine is at the proper temperature. White wines should be served cold, while red wines should be slightly cool.

In our Hickory Farms wine gift baskets, you will find a great assortment of wine combined with fantastic pairings, including cheeses and chocolates. Bring home your wine gift basket today and try out these tasting tips to host a truly elegant soiree.

Succulent Maryland Style Crab Cakes & Zesty Dipping Sauces

With the natural sweetness of crabmeat and a little zesty seasoning, a good crab cake makes any meal feel like a special occasion. Enjoy the amazing flavor of lump crab for brunch or dinner by pairing our Hickory Farms Maryland Style Crab Cakes and dipping sauces.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

The Crab Cakes

Made from 65% lump crabmeat and Chesapeake-style seasonings, our Pfaelzer Brothers crab cakes give you all of the natural crab flavor you crave. Whether you prefer to bake, broil, or fry your cakes, you can whip up a luxurious meal right from your freezer.

A Classic Combination

When thinking of flavors that pair well with seafood, lemon and dill are two of the first to come to mind. Bring these traditional flavor profiles together in one delicious sauce for a perfect accompaniment to our crab cakes.

First, create a creamy base for your sauce by mixing together mayonnaise and buttermilk. Then, add some chopped dill, fresh parsley, and minced garlic. For a bright note, stir in a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest. Once everything is mixed together, leave it in the refrigerator for a bit to thicken.

Source: FoodNetwork

Source: FoodNetwork

Bring the Heat

To jazz up your crab cakes, try adding a little heat with a spicy mayo sauce. For this super simple dipping sauce, just mix together a dab of mayo with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper, and as much chili sauce as you can handle.

A Spicy Take on Tartar

What happens when you take the basic ingredients of tartar sauce and add in some spice? You get a bold sauce with just enough crunch. To make this kicked up version of the classic seafood pairing, mix mayonnaise together with horseradish, chili sauce, chopped capers, shallots, and apple cider vinegar. Finish the sauce with lemon juice and our Sweet Hot Mustard.

With these easy-to-make sauces and our decadent Maryland Style Crab Cakes, you are never far away from a delicious meal. Bring home our Hickory Farms crab cakes today to treat your family to a special meal that can be on the table in moments.

Hickory Farms Snacks that Wow Your Pool Party Guests

With the weather heating up, it is time to start planning your first pool party of the season. While you will need the basics, including pool toys, lively music, and good friends, one of the most important components of a great pool party is the food. Make a spread of treats that are nice and refreshing by trying out these dishes using kiwis from one of our fabulous Hickory Farms fruit baskets, Bountiful Tastings.

Kiwi Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Source: MyFood

Source: MyFood

Cinnamon and kiwis are just two of the unexpected flavors that you will find in this delicious twist on chips and salsa. Start by peeling and dicing your kiwis, along with the Fuji apples from the basket, a good handful of raspberries, and chopped strawberries. Combine the fruit in a small bowl and top with brown sugar and a scoop of strawberry jam.

Next make your chips. Cut tortillas into wedges and coat them with vegetable spray. For extra sweetness, toss the tortillas in cinnamon and sugar before baking.

Kiwi Coleslaw

Source: Food.com

Source: Food.com

Dressing up your coleslaw can transform this picnic staple into something a little more playful. For this version, start by mixing shredded cabbage with grated carrots and slices of celery. Then, toss the veggies with chopped kiwi fruit and a few tablespoons of your favorite French dressing. For the finishing touches, top with coarsely chopped Mixed Nuts from the basket.

Ambrosia

It wouldn’t truly be an outdoor party without a good ambrosia salad. This version adds in a little extra fruit for a tropical twist that is perfect for lounging by the pool. First, mix together the fruit, including your chopped kiwis, the Navel Oranges from the basket, a couple bananas, a mango, and a handful of raisins. Then, simply combine the whole thing together with some whipped cream and a bit of shredded coconut.

With these three delicious dishes, our kiwis will be the real star of your next pool party. Order one of our Hickory Farms Bountiful Tastings baskets today, and treat your family to fresh fruits, crunchy snacks, creamy cheeses, and plenty of other delicious surprises.