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.

Deliciously Cold Spiked Apple Cider with Granny Smith Apples

Although apple cider is traditionally associated with a chilly autumn evening, with the right recipe, it can also make a fantastic summer treat. Grab some of our delicious Granny Smith apples from the Hickory Farms Very Special Variety Fruit Gift Box, and whip up this refreshing summer cider cocktail.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

The Gift Box

With so many delicious varieties of fruit, including Navel Oranges, Bartlett Green Pears, Kiwi Fruit, Mango, and more, every fruit lover will savor this gift box. While the crisp and juicy fruit tastes great on its own, the vibrant flavors will also add something special to any recipe. Chop up the fruit and serve it with Greek yogurt, toss it with mint for a sweet salad, or invent your very own unique recipes by using these amazing ingredients as inspiration.

The Drink

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Now that you have found the perfect apples, it is time to whip up your refreshing cider cocktail. If possible, try to find a spiced cider from a local farm or orchard. Then, pour the cider into a pitcher with ice and stir the cider well so that it gets nice and cold. For a little kick, pour in some dark rum. If you like it a little spicy, you can also mix in a bit of cinnamon schnapps.

Now that you have the cocktail assembled, put it in the refrigerator to chill further while you prepare the garnish. Simply chop your Granny Smith apple into bite sized pieces and toss them with lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. Using a decorative skewer, place about four pieces of apple on each skewer. Now all you have to do is pour your cocktail into a highball glass, garnish with the apple skewer, and let the fun begin.

With this cold and refreshing cocktail paired with our fresh Granny Smith apples, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of apple cider all year long. Fill your home with a fantastic assortment of fresh fruits with the Hickory Farms Very Special Fruit Gift Box.

Hickory Farms Favorite Recipes from Our Associates

Here at Hickory Farms, we love coming up with new recipes using our fantastic ingredients. Now, we would like to share some of the best meals we have developed with you. Try out our delicious dishes at your home with these Hickory Farms favorite recipes.

Ham and Smoked Cheddar Panini

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

Our Social Media Specialist, Alana, came up with this sweet and savory sandwich that combines classic flavors in a whole new way. Starting with two slices of crusty French bread, add a nice coat of our tangy Sweet Hot Mustard. Then, top the bread with our HoneyGold Ham, arugula, and our Smoked Cheddar Blend. Finish by placing the sandwich in a press until the cheese melts.

Grandma’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

There’s no dish quite as comforting as good macaroni and cheese. This creamy and decadent version comes from our Brand Marketing Manager, Maria.

Start by cooking the macaroni until it is al dente. In a separate pot, combine evaporated milk with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then, add in two eggs and a couple sticks of butter. Finish the sauce with our shredded Farmhouse Cheddar and Mission Jack Blend, along with Velveeta and hot pepper cheese spread. Layer the macaroni and noodles into a casserole dish, top with more cheese and evaporated milk, and bake.

Steak with Sweet Hot Mustard Wine Sauce

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

This rich sauce from Jeremy, our Director of Technical Operations, is so decadent, you won’t believe how easy it is to make.

Generously salt and pepper our Pfaelzer Brothers New York Strip Steaks before searing them in a hot pan. Once the steaks have a nice color, add a pat of butter and place them in the oven.

For the sauce, brown chopped shallots and mushrooms in butter before deglazing the pan with a red wine from our gift baskets. Allow the wine to reduce, then add our Sweet Hot Mustard and a bit of butter.

Our associates have developed some great recipes for you to sample. Whether you use their recipes or create your own, Hickory Farms’ high-quality ingredients offer tons of possibilities.