Wilson Food & Wine

For the love of food

Tips for Better Wine Storage

When buying wine, do you just put it in the pantry or refrigerator without thinking twice? Proper wine storage may be vital for any wine you plan on keeping for more than a week. Many people don’t know how or where to properly store your wine, or even think they’re supposed to do so.

Bottled wine needed to be treated with care and consideration, because they are not very robust. If you plan to wait several years after the purchase date to enjoy the wine, you must be especially careful.

In general, any supermarket-sold wine that you plan to drink in the near future does not need careful storage. However, proper care never hurts. The longer you want to keep the wine, the more care you need to provide due to environmental effects over time.

The ideal place to keep wine is in the cellar, in fact, the process of storing wine is sometimes referred to as “cellaring”. The cellar has the right combination of quiet, darkness and space, needed by wine bottles. However, many people simply don’t have access to a cellar space.

There are a few other practical options you can implement in your home. For special wines, you might consider a cellaring service. This local business will store your wine in perfect environmental conditions for a fee.


Get the Right Temperature

Wine is sensitive to many different environmental factors. The most damaging are extreme temperatures. Both cold and heat can break down a wine’s compounds and make it taste awful.

Sudden changes in temperature can have an immediate impact. Make sure your wine is stored at a constant temperature of between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. You can check with your wine seller about the specific temperature needs or certain wines.

If the temperature you store your wine at goes beyond this range for even a few days, it can de-flavour the wine. It’s important to remember that this changes will happen seasonally or annually, depending on your location.


Get the Right Humidity

Wine should be stored at 70 percent humidity, which is relatively high. Dry conditions can lead to a cracked or shrunken cork. This will allow oxygen into the bottle which will spoil the wine. However, you also don’t want too much humidity.

High humidity can cause mould to grow on the cork. In addition, it can cause the storage space to become musty. This smell can penetrate the cork which will spoil the flavour of the wine. Here are some more tips.


Avoid Light

Sunlight and some artificial light, can be harmful if the exposure lasts too long. Light breaks down wine’s organic compounds which cause unpleasant flavours. That’s why wine is generally kept in dark places. You can store your wine in a sealed container or inside a cupboard.


Use a Wine Rack

A wine rack is designed to make wine storage better and easier. Win racks store wine horizontally, which is essential because it keeps the wine in contact with the cork. This will help prevent the cork from drying out, which allows oxygen into the wine.

Wine racks also protect bottles from vibrations and shocks. This can affect the aging and setting process. A wine fridge is an expensive option, which provides similar benefits, with the added benefits of regulated humidity and temperature.


Check How Long You Can Store the Wine

Many of the wines you find in retail stores are meant to be drunk not long after they’re purchased. They don’t store well over long periods of time. A wine that’s meant for storage will indicate on the label how long the wine can sit comfortably and mature.

If you buy a wine for storage, keep to the dates listed. Keeping a wine for too long, especially if the optimal conditions are not maintained can result in a ruined bottle of wine.

Lose Weight by Eating Banana Bread


I am a recent but completely devoted fan of banana bread. How come? I’ve been avoiding sweets and desserts my whole life because of the body weight, of course. I allow myself sinning only from time to time and with light sweets only. Nothing that includes too much sugar, chocolate or creams. That was the case a few months ago when I went to my friend Amy’s house for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. She had just prepared a fresh banana bread that smelled so great I just had to grab a bite. Oh that combination of banana bread with coffee will haunt me my whole life.

Healthy Banana Bread


The best thing was that the loaf was moist, soft, light and sweet enough even without any sugar added. Amy told me she had stopped adding sugar in her banana bread because the banana acts as natural sweetener. Wait, what? Can banana bread actually be good for you? When I got home I started searching for healthy variations of banana bread and I realized I had been living in the dark all these years. I landed on an amazing banana bread collection on MyGreatRecipes that offers tons of low-fat and good-for-you-recipes.

The classic banana bread recipe is made with white flour, butter, egg, sour milk and refined sugar, but changing a few ingredients you can transform this sweet treat into a wholesome goodie.

Banana Bread Foundation


1.Flour. Replace the regular white flour, which has almost no vitamins and minerals, with whole wheat flour, oat flour, almond flour or any of them mixed with some flaxseed that brings protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

2.Sugar. As I mentioned before, the banana is sweet enough and you don’t really need sugar. However, if you insist on a sweeter treat use honey, stevia, agave, maple syrup or molasses to cut fat and calories.

2.Butter. You can substitute regular butter with nonfat butter, coconut oil or olive oil. You can also choose applesauce instead of butter.

  1. Sour cream. Some banana bread recipes call for sour cream which contributes fluffiness and moisture. Replace it with some nonfat plain Greek yoghurt which will produce the same effect but with less calories.

4.For those who want an extremely healthy treat, there are substitutes for eggs too. Try the chia eggs, for instance.

Safe Banana Bread Add-ins


1.Chocolate. If you are making a chocolate banana bread, make sure the cocoa powder you’re using is unsweetened (and if possible unprocessed) or use dark chocolate chips.

2.Nuts. All kinds of nuts work perfectly well in banana bread. Feel free to use them, they are full of proteins and perfectly healthy.

3.Try using chia seeds in your banana loaf. They are called superfood for a reason: they are low in calories and rich in antioxidants. Plus, they will add extra crunchiness to your bread.

4.Any fruits work great in banana bread. Try pumpkin, carrot, avocado, peaches, coconut, basically any fruit that comes to mind.



Here is a list of possible extras that you can add to the loaf completely guilt-free:

vanilla extract

vanilla beans

dark chocolate chips

peanut butter chips

fresh fruits

dried berries


chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans)

coconut flakes

cocoa nibs

Try pairing your new favorite healthy banana bread recipe with a cup of tea that boosts your metabolism and helps burn fat, like green tea, oolong tea or mint tea.

Berry Irresistible Pancakes


Anything that has the suffix “berry” must be good. Just think of Halle Berry. Ha, ha… No, seriously. I love these fruits, because they look great, taste great and are packed with nutrients. And when you put them in pancakes (and on top of them), oh boy, what a treat. They are most definitely beauties with character. I did some serious research that took me to a great website MyGreatRecipes full of simple pancake recipes of all kinds. Here is my personal list of favorite bumbleberry pancakes.

Strawberry Pancakes


Nutrition: source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary minerals and essential unsaturated fatty acids.

Love level: 10/10

Even though strawberries are healthy, I like spoiling their healthiness with Nutella cream because I SIMPLY CAN’T RESIST THIS COMBINATION. Ok, calm down. You have the alternative to fold strawberries inside the batter or place them on top of a thick layer of Nutella. No matter how you use them, the pancakes will be divine.

Blueberry Pancakes


Nutrients: rich in carbohydrates and protein, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Love level: 9/10

Almond Blueberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache. What more can I say? Just look at the ingredients and start drooling. Before you judge me for favoring unhealthy, high-calorie pancakes, just know: these pancakes are absolutely good for you: whole wheat and almond flour, coconut sugar or honey and dark chocolate. See, decadent and healthy can go hand in hand.

Raspberry Pancakes


Nutrients: among the highest level of dietary fiber of all foods, vitamin C, manganese, plus low sugar content.

Love level: 8/10

I have tried many recipes with raspberries inside the batter, but my absolute favorite is the Pink Raspberry Pancakes. I just love the pink color and when I am in the mood for absolutely beautiful pancakes I divide the batter into three batches and create lighter and darker shades of pink. You should see what they look like when stacked. This recipe is very easy because all the ingredients are mixed in a blender. Serve with whipped cream or keep them healthy with raspberry and maple syrup mix on top. To die for!

Blackberry Pancakes


Nutrients: dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K.

Love level: 7/10

This recipe is made with buttermilk, which gives the pancakes their softness and fluffiness. Prepare some blackberry syrup to complement the amazing berry-infused taste.

Mulberry Pancakes


Nutrients: rich in vitamin C and iron

Love level: 6/10

Mulberries are sweet, but they bring certain tartness to the pancake batter that is just perfect for waking up in the morning. Even better than coffee, I dare say.  Add juiciness by suspending them over the pancake batter while cooking and use some more on top together with melted butter.

Don’t forget to try cherry pancakes, even though cherries don’t contain the “berry” suffix (probably because of the fact that they are not berries, duh!). J They are very similar to the other berries in taste, at least for me, and that is why I mention them here. My next venture will be with elderberries, just to see how they’ll turn out. I’ll keep you posted.



How to Freeze Strawberries

If you wondering about how you can effectively preserve your strawberries and keep them fresh long after the season for strawberries is over, then this guide is for you, in this guide you will learn how you can effectively store your strawberry fruit and use them for making recipes such as smoothies even after summer.

I am sure every one will find it great to always have some strawberries and bananas available for making smoothies. I have mentioned these two because they are the staples for most of the smoothie recipes I have. Freezing strawberries is quite a lot easier than you think it is. Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced, or crushed. For making my smoothies, I like to freeze my strawberries whole.

By having some frozen fruits such as bananas and strawberries handy, you are always guaranteed that the basic smoothie ingredients are within reach for any surprise guest or for a late night snack.

The best period to source your strawberries is during summer, i like to buy mine from the local farmers market. Select strawberries that are dark red, firm, and fully ripened. Do not not select strawberries that are moldy, damaged, or discolored.

Dip the selected strawberry fruits in lemon juice. The lemon juice helps the strawberry fruit retain some of its original coloration. Of course there are many great ways you can use your frozen strawberries for besides smoothies, like sauces for fruit salad, pancakes, frozen margarita, jams.

Now pack the strawberries in zip-lock bags and place them in your refrigerator, you should put them in a refrigerator where the will freeze completely.  Freezing strawberries does not sterilize them, but the cold prevents microorganism growth which is the cause for food spoilage. Properly frozen strawberries will contain most of their taste and nutritional value.

Spiked Cherry Sweet Tea

Ingredients You will need to make this very simple sweet tea syrup

1 cup of water
10 teaspoonful of sugar
½ cup fresh, pitted cherries

Ingredients You will need to make this very simple sweet tea syrup

3 bags black tea
8 cups water

Cherry simple syrup

Ingredients for Cherry simple syrup

Cherries, for garnish
Lemon wedges
One and half ounces of rum (optional)

To prepare this simple syrup, gather all the ingredients, put them in a small saucepan and heat until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes; cool and strain.For the tea, combine the water and tea bags in a large, seal-able jar. Set by place with a bit of exposure to the sun and allow to steep for several hours. To serve, pour tea into ice-filled glasses, then stir in cherry simple syrup to desired sweetness. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into each glass and add rum, if desire. Stir and garnish with cherries.

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