Aperitif in front of the screen #stayathome

Aperitif via Skype

Spring has already arrived and nothing is more desirable than enjoying an aperitif or brunch in the midday sun. Unfortunately, we should not leave our home during this difficult time, due to the coronavirus. Is that a problem? Not at all.

We can still have an aperitif or brunch with friends in front of our mobile or computer screen and exchange news. In our previous article, you will find tips for your video call to make your online meeting perfect.

An aperitif for the quarantine

Vermouth has become increasingly popular in Europe in recent years and this traditional drink has regained its place as an aperitif drink. Vermouth is a wine flavoured and fortified with spices and herbs with a prescribed alcohol content of between 14.5 and 21.9 per cent by volume. It is best served with an olive, you will love it.

You do not know which vermouth to buy? We have some ideas for you:

Lillet Blanc 75cl is perhaps the most widely drunk aperitif in France, where it has been produced in the beautiful Bordeaux wine region since the 19th century. This drink is made with a blend of selected wines and ingredients such as oranges from Turkey or Chinese barks. It goes very well with various appetizers.

The Campari should not be overlooked as an aperitif. This spirit, particularly appreciated among bartenders, offers great flexibility for making cocktails. You can drink it alone, on ice, with ice and tonic or try the delicious Negroni cocktail and fill your whole house with glamour on Sunday.

Another aperitif that is popular in the United Kingdom is the Italian Aperol, whose taste is similar to Campari’s, but lighter with only 11% alcohol. How about an Aperol Spritz Cocktail? We love it.

Spanish sangria is a must!

Although sangria is primarily a summer drink that you prefer to drink in summer or during your holiday in South Europe, you can also enjoy this superstar from Spain in quarantine. Call your friends and try this drink together with delicious appetizers.

Since it can be a mess to make a homemade sangria, perhaps the best option is to buy Sangria Lolea Nº1 75cl, produced with Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, online. The alternatives with white wine is Sangria Lolea Nº2 75cl and with rosé wine Sangria Lolea Nº5 Rosé 75cl. There is something for every taste!

So much for our tips on how to organise an aperitif among friends via video call. If you need more ideas to find the best drinks for aperitifs, visit our website created especially for these days.

And remember to drink in moderation and #stayathome

#StayatHome: Video call meals (with wine!)

Being quarantined because of Coronavirus does not mean giving up social events, even if they must necessarily occur by video call! And is there anything more social than having lunch or dinner with friends and family?

#StayatHome: Video call meals (with wine!)

That’s why we have prepared a short guide of great wines for your online dates, both for these weeks at home and for the future, when we can reunite again with our loved ones. Check back the tips we gave you in #stayathome and make the most of it, turn on your computer, get dressed properly, prepare your favourite dishes and enjoy your meal!

The best food and wine pairings

You can start your virtual dinner with some excellent cheese, pâtés and cold cuts. An excellent wine to start with is the Miraval Rosé 2018, a balanced and fresh French rosé.

As for the white wine, we have two suggestions: Sula Chenin Blanc 2019 and Bodegas Navajas Blanco Crianza 2015. Both have excellent value for money and match perfectly with any starter. They are also great for grilled fish and seafood.

If you prefer red wine, Ramón Bilbao Crianza 2016 is always a great choice, balanced, fruity and at a good price! Tenuta Guado al Tasso Antinori Il Bruciato 2018 moves in the same price range and will hardly disappoint you. These wines go well with meat, mushrooms and soups.

We are sure that if you follow our advice, your video meals will be a success. And now that you have realized that you can face confinement without losing sight of your friends and lead a normal social life, don’t you feel like toasting? Sparkling wine, prosecco, champagne… Which one do you prefer?

Juvé & Camps Reserva de la Familia is one of our favourite Spanish cava. Esteemed internationally, its fine, rich and creamy bubbles will leave a very pleasant taste in your mouth after a hearty meal. Another option is Gramona Impérial Brut Gran Reserva 2013, a great classic.

If you go for champagne, we think Mumm Cordon Rouge is the best choice. Its coupage is composed of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, and expresses great complexity, depth and elegance.

More ideas to organize your online meals

Our advice on how to organize a lunch or dinner by video call ends here. If you need any other ideas to find your favourite wines, come visit our site and discover what we have prepared for these days of quarantine.

And remember: drink in moderation and #StayatHome!

Party night via video call #stayathome

It is difficult for everyone to stay at home due to the COVID-19 quarantine. But for social people who are used to partying or meeting friends, it is probably even harder.

But don’t worry, we have the solution to this problem: Organize your own party night with friends via video chat and #stayathome.

party night via video call

Tips for a party night via video call

First things first: Prepare for the video call according to our suggestions. Then think about the music: One of you and your friends can take the role of DJ of the evening and broadcast music throughout the video call. Otherwise, you can all click on the “Play” button in the Spotify playlist we’ve created especially for you! This way the music is coordinated and you can dance and sing to the same song!

Finally, one last piece of advice. If you don’t want to bother your family/roommates, use wireless headphones. This will allow you to move around freely and mix your drinks!

Get this party started

Tastes are different. Some like to start with a beer to warm up and then move on to the famous gin tonic. You certainly haven’t tried your Gin&Tonic with Beefeater 24 Gin yet, which gives your drink a spectacular taste thanks to Japanese Sencha and green tea. The more traditional gin drinkers are more likely to choose a Martin Miller’s Gin or a Macaronesian White Gin.

More ideas for the creation of your Gintonics:

Rum is another essential alcoholic drink at parties. It goes well with soft drinks, and if it’s of the same high quality as Havana Club 7 Años, it won’t cause a hangover. This Havana Club contains rum aged between 7 and 14 years and a wide range of Cuban flavours such as fruit, vanilla or cocoa. Another aged rum, cheaper and of high quality, is the Havana Club Especial, which is 5 years old.

Since rum can also be drunk alone or with ice, we recommend to enjoy these products while dancing in your living room:

Whisky is the king of spirits. With an important tradition and a great variety, it has found its place in the hearts of the people in recent years. The most famous combination is whisky with Coca-Cola, which we should combine with a reasonably priced but high-quality whisky.

The triple distillation of Jameson guarantees you a perfect drink for your wallet and your taste buds. Ballantine’s is a classic whisky that should not be missing at a house party. If a Bourbon is more your thing, you can treat yourself to a Four Roses to make a good Old Fashioned Cocktail.

Every whisky fan prefers to drink it straight or with ice. Here are some recommendations for the best whiskies to be enjoyed straight:

A party night would not be the same without the indispensable vodka. The neutral taste is really perfect for cocktails. Many people have switched from gin and tonic to vodka tonic because it is softer and more refreshing.

Try Absolut, a Swedish vodka with continuous distillation, which gives a pure taste. Furthermore, the different versions of Absolut may surprise you and we recommend you try flavours such as Absolut Mandrin, Absolut Citron, Absolut Apeach or our favourite flavour Absolut Raspberri.

More vodkas for your party night via video conference:

Music for your party night #stayathome

What’s missing for a perfect party night? Good music, of course. In addition to your phone connected to your home speakers, you’ll find streaming music services like Youtube Music, SoundCloud, iVoox and Spotify.

We have allowed ourselves to create a list of music on Spotify that is available to you. We hope you like it!

We hope you like our tips and enjoy a nice evening with your friends. And remember to always enjoy the alcohol in moderation! #stayathome

#stayathome and make the most of it

COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, is a worldwide problem. The only way to slow down (and end) this pandemic is to stay in quarantine at home to stop the virus transmission from person to person.

Of course, no one likes to be quarantined, but staying inside the house away from our loved ones doesn’t mean we’re alone. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century and technology can help us stay in touch and, why not, have fun together… virtually!

We want to offer you some ideas to keep your social life intact. How about dinner with friends and some good wine? Or a gin and good music party? An evening with non-alcoholic cocktails for the little ones?

The possibilities are many, and today we give you some ideas to plan and organize your video parties during this quarantine. All you have to do is have fun!

What do you need for your group video calls?

videocall with friends
  • A computer, tablet or mobile phone with a camera. 
  • Internet connection, both with wi-fi and mobile data.
  • We recommend some kind of fixed holder for your tablet or mobile phone. Make sure that your device is in a fixed place so that you have your hands free for wine tasting, eating, preparing cocktails, etc.
  • Apps for making group video calls.

The purpose is to stay in touch with your loved ones and have fun while you #stayathome.

Party night

Who says you can’t throw a party even when friends are away? Physical distance is no excuse! Take your laptop or mobile phone, make a video call, prepare your Gin Tonic and synchronize the music with your “guests” to dance to the same tune! And when you get tired… just end the call!

Party via videocall in quarantine

Online-meals with the best wines

Eating is a social act. A lunch or dinner is the perfect opportunity to be with family, friends, to meet an old work colleague you haven’t seen for a long time, to celebrate occasions and successes, etc.. Being in quarantine does not necessarily mean eating alone: place your phone on the table in front of your plate, call your loved ones and enjoy an evening full of talk and laughter. The advantage? You won’t fight over the choice of the restaurant!

Brunch via Skype

You can also enjoy your Sunday brunch together with your friends in quarantine. Call your friends via video call and enjoy a champagne breakfast or a delicious brunch with drinks like Martini Rosso or Aperol Spritz. Sit on the balcony or terrace and call your friends for an aperitif.

Non-alcoholic cocktails for children

We also think about our children! They also need to be entertained and to maintain relations with their little friends. Here’s an idea: let them let their imagination run wild by creating cocktails (without alcohol, of course) with fruit juices, syrups and soft drinks. Call all their friends, prepare the ingredients and let them have fun creating the most imaginative drinks. Cheers!

quarantine with children

Cocktails for adults

Even adults can have fun making cocktails, maybe with some stronger ingredients! Organize mixology classes with your friends via video call and practice to become a perfect bartender. It’s the perfect opportunity to pull out that old shaker you bought and never used!

Wine tasting via video call

Why don’t you organize a wine tasting? The aim is to taste and share the different sensations that a red, white or rosé wine arouses in us. We are aware that, especially in this period, it is difficult for you and all your friends to find the same wine but… this is not the important thing

Everyone can choose to taste the wine they have at home and have their say. On the other hand, the important thing is to spend time together, and we are not all sommeliers!

Apps for making video calls

If you are wondering what is the best application to make your video calls during this quarantine period, we recommend that you first think about the number of people who will participate. 

Apps for videocalls

If you are a few close friends, the quickest and easiest way to get in touch is to use Whatsapp. The famous private messaging app allows video calls up to 4 participants and can be easily used from your mobile phone. HouseParty is the video call app of the moment: it’s fun, there are games to play together and it works from your mobile phone. 

If you prefer the larger screen of your computer, you can count on a lot of programs that allow you to communicate with many more people at the same time: Google Hangouts allows a video call up to 8 people; Skype has the better image quality and allows groups of up to 10 people; Zoom allows you to make video calls with even 100 friends (what a party!), but has a limit of 40 minutes in the free version. After this time, you will need to hang up and restart the call.

Here is a list of several apps and the maximum number of participants who can join the chat:


App

Maximum number of participants

Install any software?
WhatsApp4Yes
HouseParty8Yes
Hangouts10No
Skype10No
FaceTime32Yes
Discord50Yes
Zoom100No
JitsiUnlimitedNo

#stayathome

To control the Coronavirus emergency and win the battle, social distancing is essential. But, again, that doesn’t mean being away from loved ones.

Take advantage of social networks and technology to stay in touch with your family and friends. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas on how to pass this quarantine in a lighter, more fun way. =)

Alcohol-Free Beverages are Booming

beer, alcohol-free, trends, wine

The young generation of today loves sobriety. This information emerges from the latest report of the Espad project (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs).  The report summarises a study on alcohol consumption habits of young Europeans, and the numbers speak for themselves. In 2007, in Spain, around 80% of the students had consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime. But in 2019 this percentage dropped to 78%. Furthermore, only 65% confirmed that they consume alcoholic beverages. This is a significant improvement compared to recent years.

The makers of wines and spirits know that it is important to adapt your products to current trends. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to trends among young people who make up the new consumers. The younger generation is more aware of the risks associated with alcohol consumption than past generations have been.

Wines, Beers and Spirits Without Alcohol

Social events can be challenging if you don’t drink alcohol. However, now you no longer have to settle for the usual choice between fruit flavoured soft drinks or other carbonated beverages. Young people are craving flavours which are more refined and interesting. But the drink must also emanate a certain glamour. The list of products available to these curious consumers is growing rapidly. Alcohol-free wines, beers and even distillates have made their triumphant entry into the most fashionable bars and nightclubs.

beer, alcohol-free, trends, wine

Wine and beer without alcohol have been available in the supermarkets for many years now. However, it is important to note that the quality of these drinks has increased considerably. In the past, the wines had a closer resemblance to grape juice, or they were extremely sweet or fruity. Often the flavour tried to balance the absence of alcohol. However, today most alcohol-free wines or beers are produced with flavours that are very similar to that of a normal wine or beer. This is thanks to new winemaking and elaboration methods. The beverages don’t have the typical ”burning” in the throat that you get from alcoholic drinks. And another noteworthy benefit is the fact that hangovers are a thing of the past.

A Generation Without Alcohol

If you love cocktails you can now mix your drinks with herbaceous gins, smoked whiskeys and hard-to-classify distillates. And best of all they are equally as good as the varieties that do contain alcohol! It is now easier than ever to enjoy a well-tasting mocktail while also keeping your health in mind.

Our commitment during the health emergency

#stayathome

Dear Winelover,

We hope this e-mail finds you and your dear ones well!

In response to the exceptional situation that we are experiencing these days, we are working together with our partners to continue our service with the maximum possible security and normality. We have taken the following measures:

– Preserve the health of our team and their families through telework. We are an online company, so adapting our processes to teleworking has been fast and easy, allowing us to continue offering our service under the current measures.

– Increase communication with our partners. In cooperation with our partner stores, we are working to have maximum product stock and maintain delivery service. We have established additional communication mechanisms to detect and quickly resolve any possible incidents.

We would also like to inform you that during this period delivery times may be longer than usual, so we appreciate very much your patience and understanding. In any case, on the website, we will provide you with updated information on the estimated delivery time, and our customer service team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

During these days we will continue to inform you of any changes that may affect our service, as well as informing you about offers and accessible products that may be of interest to you.

Sharing a drink at home is one of the little things that can make this moment more bearable while waiting for better times to come.

A warm greeting from the entire Drinks&Co team and remember that, for any additional questions, we are at your disposal through our customer service at support@uvinum.com or by calling 02 035140552 during normal opening hours.

P.S. We would like to use this opportunity to thank all the health staff, institutions, services, shops and, in general, all those people whose enormous efforts are helping to reduce the effects of this situation. Thank you all for your courage.

Saint Patrick’s Day: 10 Things To Know

As every year, on March 17 we celebrate a date which is very special to the Irish and over the years, has made its way to one of the most celebrated days of the year all around the world. Saint Patrick’s Day is charged with traditions, feasts, lots of green coloured stuff and beer. Here are 10 things you should absolutely know about this day.  Enjoy this article while you enjoy your favorite beer at home in Corona quarantine.

Lots of beer. During this day, people augment the beer consumption. It even excels the famous German beer festival. According to established dates, people around the globe consume more than 13 Million litres of beer on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Green and more green. Irish people all around the world, and also lots of symathisers, dress in green. The colour is associated to the green island. If you want to celebrate this day authentically, we recommend you buy yourself a green t-shirt. Fun fact, the historic national colour of Ireland is actually blue.

Friends reunion in a pub. Irish people love pubs. One more reason to visit your next Irish pub and celebrate with natives. There is one in every bigger city, go find yours.

Who is Saint Patrick? Saint Patrick was born in the 15th century and was abducted by attackers of Ireland. During this time he had been studying to become a priest and established a religious doctrine based on the cloverleaf with four leaves. He died on the 17th of March in 1461.

What to eat? Typical Irish dishes are roast chicken, a Guinness stew.

Parades. Parades are typical although not every city has one. Have a look at your city’s agenda to see if a Saint Patrick’s Parade is organised and participate with your friends. Try to make Irish friends.

When was the first Saint Patrick’s Day? The annual celebration started in 1917.

Several days. In some places in Ireland, the festival lasts for several days although the actual feast is on the 17th of March.

Who’s the goblin? The goblin is a must-have on this day. People say that the lucky goblin and an elf appear each year on this date.

Celtic rhymes. You should dive into the rich culture of Ireland and read Celtic poetry, listen to native songs and learn more about the country’s artistic side. You will not get disappointed.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the great beer and whiskey, Ireland provides us with.

 TAGS:Tullamore Dew 1LTullamore Dew 1L

Tullamore Dew 1L: The Irish whiskey is known all over the world for its smooth and gentle complexity and its citrus and spicy notes. 

 TAGS:Jameson

Jameson

Jameson is an Irish Whisky produced in Ireland since 1780, processed and aged at the Jameson Distillery of Midleton.

Vesper Martini: How to Prepare a Real James Bond Cocktail

The Vesper Martini is famously known as the ”James Bond Cocktail”. The drink appeared for the first (and only) time in Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royale. It was published in 1953, and it marked the beginning of the first adventures of the famous spy with the codename 007. It is a powerful drink and should be enjoyed slowly, but not slow enough for it to get warm. The attractiveness and sobriety of this cocktail may be due to the translucent appearance and the curly lemon peel that adorns the cocktail glass. The cocktail differs from the classic Dry Martini. Not only does the lemon peel replace the olive, but it also contains both gin and vodka. On top of that, the vermouth has been replaced with Lillet Blanc.

cocktail, distillates, spirits, gin, lillet blanc, recipes, Vodka

How to Prepare a Vesper Martini

45 ml of gin

15 ml of vodka

15 ml of Lillet Blanc

A large thin slice of lemon peel

Ice

Preparation

  1. Fill a cocktail glass with ice to cool while preparing the cocktail
  2. Pour the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc in a shaker and fill with ice.
  3. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds
  4. Remove the ice from the cocktail glass
  5. Pour the filtered drink from the shaker (without the ice)
  6. Finally, garnish with the curly lemon peel

History

As mentioned, the Vesper Martini was born in the novel Casino Royale, but it only appears once in the entire series. James Bond named it Vesper in homage to the female main character of the novel, Vesper Lynd. In the following novels, James Bond used to order a Dry Martini (”shaken, not stirred”, of course). The cocktail was invented by a friend of the author, Ian Fleming. He incorporated it into the story because the cocktail was different and explosive.

The original cocktail is made with Kina Lillet which was a more bitter version of the Lillet Blanc sold today. The Kina Lillet no longer exists because Lillet’s formula changed in 1980 and this removed some of the original bitterness. If you want your Vesper Martini to resemble the original as much as possible there is a way to tweak the recipe. You can get close to the original flavour by adding a bit of Angostura bitter to the other ingredients in the shaker. However, this twist is not one that we would recommend.

It is important to use Lillet Blanc and not just any white vermouth. The flavours are vastly different. You might want to consider using Stolichnaya vodka that has a high alcohol content and resembles the drink from the 50s.

 

How to Prepare a Black Russian

Coca Cola, Cocktail, Coffee Liqueur, Vodka

The cocktail Black Russian was invented in Brussels, Belgium. The name of the cocktail is owed to its colour and its main ingredient, Russian vodka. However, other versions of the story indicate that the word Black may stem from the period during the Cold War. The cocktail was created in 1949 by Gustave Tops who managed the bar at Hotel Metropole in Brussels.

Tops created the first Black Russian cocktail in honour of the US ambassador to Luxembourg, Perle Mesta. Since its creation this cocktail has continued to gain new fans, and it is considered one of the most attractive vodka cocktails for both men and women. Perhaps the popularity can be ascribed to the absence of fruits. Instead the strength and personality of the coffee liqueur shines through in every sip.

Ingredients

4 cl Vodka

2 cl Coffee Liqueur

Cola to top up

Preparation

This cocktail is a no-nonsense kind of drink which does not need to be mixed. Simply fill your glass with ice, pour the vodka and liqueur into your glass, and stir gently. Use the cola to top up if you prefer a longer drink.

At the beginning this drink was served in an Old Fashioned glass but over time it has become popular to serve it in a Collins glass which is taller and narrower. Many people drink the cocktail as a digestif.

The DO Ribera del Duero Approves Production of White Wine

Albillo Mayor, Designation of Origin, Ribera del Duero, White Wine

A few months ago, the white wines with Ribera del Duero as their Designation of Origin were officially presented at the Gastronomika festival. This was a historic milestone for this 37-year-old DO. Getting to this point has involved several years of important study work.

The setting of the show called ”La Ribera Blanca” was presented by Pepe Ribagorda. It included speeches by the President of the DO, Enrique Pascal, general manager Miguel Sanz, and the technical director Augustín Alonso. But the absolute protagonist of the show was the Albillo Mayor grape.

The new white wines from Ribera del Duero must contain at least 75% of the Albillo Mayor variety. The Albillo Mayor is a complex grape and difficult to grow. But the hard work pays off due to its exceptional qualities that will develop into complex, elegant, and unique wines. The Albillo Mayor grape is native to the region and is the most distinctive feature of ”La Ribera Blanca”.

In the words of Augustín Alonso: ” It is not an easy variety; I dare say that it is the most complex of all the white varieties we know. It must be harvested at the right time, neither before nor after, necessitating obsessive surveillance. It is versatile, elegant, and born for longevity. It is risky to work with, it is pure sacrifice, but the result is worth it.”

”We want to preserve the Albillo Mayor, take care of it, take it into the future. We have been working on this modification of our regulations for a long time. The process has taken years and has required rigorous studies, reports and external audits that have finally allowed us to announce that in the next few weeks, the Ribera del Duero back labels can be delivered to those white wines made with Albillo Mayor that meet the requirements set forth in the regulation. It’s already very close”, said Enrique Pascual, President of the D.O. Ribera del Duero.

Albillo Mayor, Designation of Origin, Ribera del Duero, White Wine

Ribera del Duero white wine has been around for a long time. There are at least 30 wineries that work with this variety. However, since they could not carry the denomination, they were sold as Vino de la Tierra de Castilla. From now on all the wineries that want to market their wines with the DO must pass the relevant controls and, if they are successful, they will receive their back labels in the coming weeks.

The presentation at the festival also introduced a selection of white wines that will be the first to be included in the DO Ribera del Duero. Most of these are still in the production stages and are not yet for sale. It will be interesting to follow these in the future:

  • Lagar de Isilla Albillo 2018
  • Unanimous Tres Piedras 2018
  • López Cristóbal Albillo 2018
  • Caballero Zifar Blanco 2018
  • Dominio del Pidio Albillo 2018
  • Luthier Blanco 2018
  • Viadero Blanco de Albillo 2018
  • Valduero Albillo Reserva 2017
  • Valduero Albillo Gran Reserva 2015
  • Dominio del Águila 2014 and 2012
  • El Lebrero de Félix Callejo 2018

You can find more information on the official website of DO Ribera del Duero.

 TAGS:Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2017

Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble 2017

It is a great young Ribera wine that combines power, structure and an excellent acidity.