Love It and Drink It Blog

  1. Chardonnay Wines | Tasting Notes, Food Pairings and More

    Chardonnay Wine

    Chardonnay is a wildly popular wine in the United States and has been the nation’s leading varietal wine for the last decade

    While originally produced in France, it didn’t take long for the rest of the world to discover this gem, and chardonnay quickly became one of the most popular wines in the world.

    Whether you’re a beginner or a wine connoisseur, the complexity and compelling characteristics of chardonnay wine will likely win you over. Here’s a little background on this famous wine and how to choose the best one for your palate.

    Why is Chardonnay So Popular?

    Chardonnay is perhaps the most popular wine in the world for a variety of reasons. First, the chardonnay grape is relatively easy to grow in many climates, so it is abundantly available worldwide.

    Its wide range of flavors, from buttery to fruity, makes it easy for everyone to find a flavor they love. 

    Chardonnay Tasting Notes

    Chardonnay is a medium-bodied wine that is typically on the dry side with a moderate level of alcohol. The tasting notes generally include a selection of pear, apple, pineapple, and fig, though it depends greatly on the winemaking process.

    For example, a chardonnay aged with oak barrels will have a more toasted and buttery flavor. While some people enjoy this taste, others still prefer the unoaked versions that retain a lighter, fruitier flavor. Therefore, if you prefer a crisper flavor, you might want to try an unoaked chardonnay.

    Is Chardonnay Good For Beginners?

    As chardonnay is the most common white wine in the world, most beginner wine drinkers will experience a chardonnay within their first wine tasting session. If you enjoy drier wines with a fruity taste more than sweet wines (such as a port wine), a chardonnay is an excellent choice. It also pairs well with a varie

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  2. Best Low-Calorie Cocktails: Indulge Guilt-Free

    Best Low-Calorie Cocktails: Indulge Guilt-Free

    Typically, starting a diet is associated with cutting calories and, therefore, most of our favorite drinks.

    However, starting a diet doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything. Instead, think of it as simply altering the recipes of your favorite cocktails.

    To help you out, we created a list of the best low-calorie cocktails you can enjoy on a diet and as part of a healthy lifestyle.

    Calculating Calories in Cocktails

    Calorie counting is one of the most common requirements of most diets, but most cocktails are homemade and don’t come with a label.

    If that’s the case, you can always use this calculator to estimate how many calories you are consuming. 

    Unfortunately, you’ll probably be disappointed by the number of calories in each cocktail. Therefore, here are some ideas to make your cocktails diet-friendly and indulge guilt-free.

    Best Low-Calorie Cocktails

    Making just a few amendments to your cocktails can transform them into guilt-free diet cocktails. Here are a few of our top recommendations.

    Choose Sparkling Water

    One of the easiest ways to reduce calories is by using carbonated water instead of a soda or another high-calorie drink. This can easily shave a few hundred calories.

    Replace your Sweetener

    To sweeten your cocktail, swap out the syrup that’s filled with sugar and calories for natural honey. You can also exchange straight sugar for fresh fruits.

    Use Light-Colored Spirits

    Typically, lighter-colored spirits tend to have fewer calories. For example, vodka is one of the lowest-calorie spirits while tequila and gin are close seconds.

    Reduce Alcohol Concentration

    One of the best ways to reduce the calories in a cocktail is to select a spirit with a lower alcohol concentration. You’ll also experience a reduced hangover and headache.

    How Many Calories in Popular Cocktails

    The type of cocktail you choose to create also has a major impact on how many calories you will consume. In addition, if you’re at a party and there is a selection of cocktails, knowing a rough estimate of the number of calories in each type of cocktail can help you select the healthier option.

    Therefore, here are some of the best cocktails to enjoy on a diet.

    Mojito

    Most mojitos contain about 250 calories and 25 grams of sugar per eight ounces. To make your mojito healthier, consider these recipes:

    Keto Low-Carb Suga

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  3. The Best Salmon and Wine Pairings

    Salmon and wine

    For being such a versatile fish, you’d think coming up with the perfect wine to pair with salmon would be easy, but it’s actually this versatility that can make it a challenge. What wines pair best with grilled salmon? What wine should be served with lemon-crusted salmon? Are you having dinner with salmon and a crisp green vegetable like asparagus, or pairing wine with smoked salmon and cream cheese for a weekend brunch?

    With a nearly limitless array of cooking methods and flavor profiles, it’s often not as simple as choosing between a red or a white. 

    Focusing on a few tried and true preparations, we're taking the guesswork out of it to help find your perfect wine for pairing with salmon.

    Smoked Salmon Pairings

    If you’re planning to indulge in a classic dish like Lox (commonly served on a bagel with tangy cream cheese, salty capers, onions, and tomatoes), your salmon wine pairing might look a lot different than that of someone twirling noodles on a plate of creamy smoked salmon carbonara. Considering every element of flavor you’re presenting is the first step in determining how to find an exceptional pairing.

    For Lox, brut Champagne is an easy answer here. With its palate-refreshing acidity, complimentary minerality, and bakery aromas it has long reigned as the champion of puzzling food and wine dilemmas--just ask fried chicken. While we’re partial to the real stuff, like this Billecart-Salmon, the good news is you can find traditional method sparkling wine in nearly any price range. You’d have a hard time doing better than the Gruet Blanc de Blanc, made right here in the United States.

    If you’re stuck on what to do with your eggy pasta dish, you’ll want something with enough body to hold its own against the pasta and acidity to cut through the fat. Italian whites make a great choice, with Gavi being a standout. Think

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  4. Lowest Calorie Alcohol | Spirits With the Least Calories

    Lowest Calorie Alcohol | Spirits With the Least Calories

    As summer approaches, weight loss and diets are top of mind, and you might be worried about the extra calories in your favorite spirits.

    While spirits and alcohol will increase your calorie count, giving them up altogether isn’t necessarily the only option. If you do try to cut your favorite treats out of your life entirely, you’ll probably cheat at some point, and it will lead to a cycle of guilt and unhealthy indulgences.

    Therefore, rather than trying to give up your favorite indulgences entirely, consider making your selection healthier and consume smaller amounts of each spirit.

    Here are some recommendations on how you can make your next indulgence healthier.

    Spirits Calorie Count

    Whether you’re considering a shot or making a cocktail, here is a breakdown of the calorie count for some of the most popular spirits.

    • Vodka: 64 calories and zero carbs per ounce
    • Tequila: 69 calories and zero carbs per ounce
    • Gin: 74 calories and zero carbs per ounce
    • Scotch: 80 calories and zero carbs per ounce
    • Rum: 97 calories and zero carbs per ounce

    As you can see, vodka is the lowest calorie spirit, and tequila is a close second. However, alcohol isn’t the only contributor to weight gain. What you mix with your drink also impacts the calories you consume. Therefore, here are some tips for shaving calories from your next cocktail.

    Making Low-Calorie Cocktails

    When creating a diet-friendly cocktail, it’s important to consider the calories and the carbohydrates. Carbs contribute to weight gain as they are stored as fat if not used. While most spirits contain zero carbs, mixing them with other high-carb drinks (more than 15 grams per 200 milliliters) may lead to weight gain.

    That said, here are some tricks to ensure your cocktails are both low carb and low calorie.

    Frozen Fruit/Seasonal Fruit

    Rather than using sugar or syrup to sweeten your cocktail, consider using frozen fruit or seasonal fruit. Fresh fruit is ideal as some frozen fruits are loaded with sugar, so be sure to read the nutrition

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  5. The Best Affordable Organic Wine

    The Best Affordable Organic Wine

    Because organic food is not laden with pesticides or preservatives, it’s a far superior choice to nonorganic. Just like organic food, organic wine delivers health benefits that you won’t find in other wines. And here’s a bonus … unlike organic produce, organic wine isn’t outrageously expensive.

    How is organic wine made?

    The organic wine process begins at the vineyard with organically grown grapes. Quite simply, the winemaker grows the grapes naturally, without the application of any synthetic chemicals, herbicides, or pesticides.

    The result is a healthier grape with a more robust skin and a higher concentration of elements that are good for you. These include antioxidants that combat free radicals and resveratrol which promotes heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, and increases good cholesterol.

    What’s more, when you pour yourself a lovely glass of

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  6. Mix Things Up—4 Drinks to Make with Baileys Irish Cream

    Irish Baileys Bar scene

    Professional mixologists have long created cocktails using Baileys because the smooth, creamy liqueur pairs perfectly with an array of other spirits. In fact, with eleven flavor varieties available, there are dozens of delicious recipes you can use to make Baileys cocktails.

    Are Baileys and Kahlua Interchangeable?

    Baileys and Kahlua both complement a freshly brewed cup of coffee, but there are distinct differences between the two liqueurs.

    Baileys is creamy and derives its taste from cream, cocoa, and Irish Whiskey. Kahlua is dark without the creaminess of Baileys and is made with 100 percent arabica coffee, rum, and sugar.

    While acceptable, swapping out Baileys for Kahlua in a cocktail recipe will produce quite different taste results. 

    Rich and Delightful Baileys Cocktails

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  7. The Best Wines That Pair With Turkey

    White wine with turkey

    Choosing a wine can be an overwhelming task with so many delicious flavors, and pairing them with a meal is another challenge.

    In addition, you may need to consider the side dishes you serve with the wine and the guests that will be joining you. Therefore, if you’re in a pinch to choose the perfect turkey and wine pairing, we’ve got you covered.

    Whether you enjoy a full-bodied red wine or a soft white wine, this list will please even the pickiest of palates and blend harmoniously with your turkey dinner. Try a few different ones, as we’re sure you’ll find your new favorite below!

    Best Wine and Turkey Pairings

    Meiomi 19 Pinot Noir

    The Meiomi 19 Pinot Noir is a dark plum color and hails from Acampo, California. You’ll experience a hint of nutmeg and allspice in this Pinot Noir, and the taste becomes increasingly sweeter with every sip. When poured freshly,

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  8. How to Choose The Healthiest Wine

    Healthy wines

    Enjoying a glass of wine and living a healthy lifestyle don't have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, while wine may have a slightly negative reputation in the health world, there are also plenty of health benefits to drinking wine.

    The key to achieving a balance of health and happiness is all in the type of wine you choose.

    Therefore, if you want to improve your diet for the new year, here are a few things to consider when selecting your next wine.

    The Health Benefits of Drinking Wine

    Wine has a surprising number of health benefits when consumed in moderation.

    While drinking wine is not a recommended form of medication or encouraged for nondrinkers or those at risk of addiction, it is a bonus for those who already enjoy wine in moderation. First, it can reduce your risk of heart disease as it contains resveratrol, which can improve your blood flow. 

    In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, it can also reduce your risk

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  9. Which Wine Has The Least Calories

    wine grapes

    If you're aiming to drop a few extra pounds and lead a healthier lifestyle this year, you've probably contemplated cutting wine from your diet.

    However, the good news is that not all wines are detrimental to weight loss. In fact, a study done by Washington State University found that some red wines (when consumed in moderation) can actually aid weight loss due to an element called resveratrol.

     In fact, Professor Min Du, who authored the Washington study, says, "Resveratrol can enhance the conversion of white fat to beige fat." As beige fat is much easier to burn than white fat, drinking red wine in moderation can actually help with weight loss.

    However, that doesn't mean that your wine's calories don't contribute to weight gain. Therefore, this guide will show you some of the best low-calorie wine options available to ensure you minimize weight gain while enjoying a glass of wine.

    Lowest Calorie Wines: By Type

    While the wines below offer some selection, you can also use these general formulas when choosing a wine:

    Red Wine = 25 x (number of ounces)

    Dry White Wine = 24 x (number of ounces)

    Sweet White Wine = 28 x (number of ounces)

    Rose Wine = 20 x (number of ounces)

    Champagne = 19 x (number of ounces)

    Port Wines = 46 x (number of ounces)

    While they may not be 100 percent accurate, they can give you a ballpark of roughly how many calories you are consuming.

    However, if you’re at a party or restaurant and need to choose between several different wines, here are the best low-calorie wine options.

    Riesling (White)

    A white riesling is usually a good choice for weight watchers as every five ounces contains about 120 calories and about five carbs. If you have an option, choose a dry riesling as these tend to have less sugar and therefore fewer calories.

    Pinot Grigio (White)

    Pinot Grigios have about 123 calories and five carbs per five-ounce serving. As one of the healthier white wines, it's no surprise that Pinot Grigio is generally dry and highly acidic.

    Chardonnay (White)

    If you want a low-calorie wine, a chardonnay is generally a good choice with about 123 calories and three carbs in a five-ounce serving. If possible, select one that has been cold fermented in stainless steel tanks as this produces a low-calorie version of this grape.

    Pinot Noir (Red)

    Pinot Noir is perhaps the best low-calorie red wine as it c

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  10. Steak and Wine Pairing: What Wine Goes With Steak?

    wine-pairing

    A luxury steak dinner simply isn't complete without a quality wine.

    However, selecting the perfect steak and wine pairing can be overwhelming with so many different options. For example, you have to account for your own taste preferences, the type of steak you choose, and how you plan to cook it.

    This guide will give you all the answers you need to select the best steak and wine pairing.

    General Rules of Steak and Wine Pairing

    Before we dive into each wine, there are a few basic rules to help guide your decision.

    First, red wines tend to pair better with steaks than white wines. This is mainly because red wines tend to have higher tannins than white wines, which helps release the steak's flavor by dissolving the fat. However, there are some exceptions. For example, chardonnays also have relatively high tannins.

    In addition to choosing a wine with high tannins, choosing one with a slightly higher alcohol concentration will also add to the bold flavor. For example, zinfandel red wines are known for being bold and have a slightly higher alcohol concentration level of about 14 to 17 percent ABV.

    However, if you have a lighter steak, like a filet, you can generally go with a more fruity wine with a slightly lighter body.

    Best Wines For Steak 

    Now that you know some of the basic rules, here are a few recommendations to help you select a great wine and steak pairing. 

    Zinfandel

    Zinfandels pair well with steak as they contain a relatively high alcohol concentration (between 14 and 17 percent) and moderate tannins. This gives them a bold taste to match any fatty steak such as a T-bone or ribeye. Nonetheless, they are also relatively sweet, making them a great match for steaks cooked in spicy seasoning. 

    Malbec

    Malbec is another famous steak and red wine pairing. It has a rich, fruity flavor, moderate tannins,

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