Friday, January 30, 2015

Three Tips for Getting to Know and Love Wine

Although a huge portion of the world's population drinks wine, many of us have no idea what's actually inside the bottle in front of us. But the fact is that there are over ten thousand different grape varieties that can be made into wine, and dozens of countries producing wines of every shape and size.

... and color.

Wines, you see, don't just come in red and white. They also come in sorted shades of pink and even orange and brown (but we're getting way ahead of ourselves here).

The fact is that the world of wine is unknown and misunderstood by the typical wine consumer.

So what's an aspiring wine lover to do when faced with mountains of drinking options in the wine shop?

Here's a suggestion: don't stay in your comfort zone. Move beyond the 1980s, and stop ordering a glass of generic Chardonnay or Cabernet. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those grape varieties. But if you'd like to find a happy medium between the blissfully ignorant wine consumer, and the know-it-all wine snob, then here's what you need to do:

Know some basic rules

It's commonly understood that white wines go with fish and white meat, and that red wines go with red meat. But that's only the beginning of the story. Wines which are made to go alongside food have a tremendous range of capabilities. In fact, it's possible to find terrific pairings that totally go against the conventional wisdom and old school rules. So instead of pairing based on color, try thinking about dominant flavors in dishes or the weight and texture of a particular dish... and then find wines that work well in tandem with those traits.

What does that mean? Well how about pairing an earthy, soulful salmon and mushroom dish with and earthy, soulful Pinot Noir? Blasphemy? Not in today's wine world.

Know it's okay not to know

Too many of us feel like we need to posture about our wine knowledge and wine experience. You see that sommelier heading toward the table and you start grasping for wine words you read in a magazine or attempt to impersonate a scene you saw in some movie.

Look, not everyone is expected to know about wine. And the sommelier isn't there to quiz you on your knowledge. They are there to help you make good decisions that fit your taste and budget. So do yourself a favor and humble up and ask a few questions if you need to.

Enjoy the experience

Wine doesn't need to be approached academically by most of us. So don't worry about studying up, and focus on enjoying the wine experience.

Take note of the characteristics you like and what things you don't like... and use that new knowledge to increase your future enjoyment by exploring more and more new wines that fit your preferences.

Now that you know... Look, wine doesn't have to be stuffy or complicated. If you want to expand your knowledge even further, grab yourself a copy of David Baer's Pairing Cheat Sheet so you can enjoy wine without having to become an expert. Brought to by David Baer - Wine Educator & Marketer
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Live Entertainment at Mankas Steakhouse - Syria T. Berry This Thursday!

Mankas Steakhouse Live Entertainment on Thursdays

January 28th - Syria T. Berry

2522 Mankas Corner Road, Fairfield, CA 94535

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bring on the Feast - The Best Banquet Halls

Many people choose to stage elaborate parties for special occasions in banquet halls. Doing so lends an air of glamor, luxury, and opulence. When you consider the occasions where such a hall would be appropriate - wedding banquets, receptions, anniversary parties, et cetera, then you can see where such an atmosphere would come in handy.

Many places allow for a banquet hall rental. Typically, good and even moderate hotels will have a hall to rent. Generally restaurants do as well, and even some social and dance clubs have halls available for rent. All you really have to do is look in the phone book to find one. However, if you are choosing a popular place then you want to make sure that you make your reservations well ahead of time. Otherwise you might be out of luck.

As briefly mentioned, wedding banquets frequently take place in elaborate halls. This way you know there will be enough room for all the guests. As well, a large hall will provide enough room for a band and dancing, activities which typically take place during the reception following the ceremony itself. The caterers also have the added benefit of being able to set up everything to provide the guests with delicious food and drink.

For such occasions, a banquet hall rental is always recommended. Weddings are definitely not the only occasions which take place in such halls. Any party which is expected to contain a lot of people will do well to be held in a hall. The alternatives, such as holding the party in your own home, come with many risks. Not having enough room may be the least of your problems. If you have ever seen a movie in which the protagonists have a big party in their home, you know the risks involved. Things break, furniture is ruined, invariably a couple sneaks up to your bedroom and gets a little inappropriate ... things like that are far less likely if you throw your party in a banquet hall.

You always need to consider the potential size of the party when preparing to go ahead with a banquet hall rental. Even before you start calling possible locations, you should have at least a rough guest list. The invitations for the party, no matter what it is celebrating, should certainly be RSVP. That way you can eventually get a more exact estimate of how many people to expect. This way, you will be able to choose the right size hall. You would hardly want to rent a hall that can accommodate only a hundred people, and then wind up with two hundred guests or more.

Banquet halls also have the added benefit of generally offering the services of a bartender. Most people want one at their parties. Furthermore, such places are almost guaranteed to have their liquor license, so you will not face any legal trouble in that area. The same goes for guest accommodation and even parking. If you have a large party in a residential area, such as your home, you run the risk of not only committing parking violations, but also grievously upsetting your neighbors with the inherent hubbub.

Bernice Eker is an expert on banquet halls and wants to help people by sharing her expertise. For more information on banquet hall rental [] visit: []
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Live Entertainment at Mankas Steakhouse - Alvon Johnson Tomorrow Night!

Mankas Steakhouse Live Entertainment on Thursdays

January 22nd - Alvon Johnson

2522 Mankas Corner Road, Fairfield, CA 94535

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Try One of Mankas Steakhouse's Delicious Salads for Lunch!

Are you craving a tasty salad for lunch? Drop in to Mankas Steakhouse and try one of the following salads from our new menu! You can also add steak, chicken, or shrimp to any salad for a small additional fee!
Mankas House Salad
Mixed Greens, Candied Walnuts, Diced Apples, Crumbled Point Reyes Blue Cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Wedge Salad
Baby Iceberg Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Neuskie Apple Wood Bacon & Avocado Dressing
Roasted Beet Salad
Roasted Beet Salad with Frisse, Orange Segments, Crumbled Goat Cheese & Beet Vinaigrette
Little Gem Traditional Caesar
with Sour Dough Croutons, Parmesan Reggiano & House Made Caesar Dressing
MANKAS Steakhouse
2522 Mankas Corner Road
Fairfield, CA 94534

Monday thru Thursday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm | Friday & Saturday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
 Sunday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm | Ladies Night Every Tuesday

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Live Entertainment at Mankas Steakhouse - Scott Pullman TONIGHT!

Mankas Steakhouse Live Entertainment on Thursdays

January 15th - Scott Pullman

2522 Mankas Corner Road, Fairfield, CA 94535

Monday, January 12, 2015

Why Banquet Halls Are Perfect for Surprise Parties

If you're in the process of planning a surprise party, banquet halls may not come to mind when thinking about possible venues. However, they're actually ideal for this type of occasion. Whether you're planning a small get-together or a big blowout, there are several reasons why you should consider them for your event.

Keeping it Quiet

It can be almost impossible to keep plans for a surprise party secret if it's being held at someone's house. The chances of the guest of honor finding out are just too high. Also, restaurants and bars can be difficult because you can't really predict what kind of crowd will be there. Even if you rent out a certain section, it may be so noisy that no one will be able to hear themselves speak. Banquet halls provide a great way for people to socialize and be entertained without having to be around a bunch of strangers.

No Need to Clean Up

If you have the party at your own house, there will inevitably be a lot of cleanup involved. Friends and family members will offer to pitch in, but you'll still need to do a lot of work that could take well into the next day. Banquet halls, however, take that worry out of the equation. All you'll need to do is show up and have a great time - the staff will take care of the rest.

Freedom to Prepare

Trying to have this type of event in your home can be extremely difficult - especially if the guest of honor lives under the same roof. A meeting hall, however, gives you the advantage of not having to look over your shoulder to make sure everything remains a secret.

You Won't Disturb the Neighbors

If you and your group plan to get loud, you won't have to worry about making enemies throughout the neighborhood or risking a visit from the local police. Banquet halls are designed to hold a lot of people, so feel free to cut loose.

Closing Time

Having this type of event in your home will also mean having to be the "bad guy" and kicking people out who may not quite be ready for the party to end. By holding the party at a special venue, on the other hand, you can set a definite cut-off time and you won't have to chase anyone out. This will go a long way toward reducing your stress while the fun is going on.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should seriously consider holding your special event at some place other than your home or a local watering hole. You'll have a great deal less to worry about, and as a result you'll be able to focus on having the best time possible.

Looking for beautiful banquet halls? Syracuse, NY residents planning their next event should visit
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Friday, January 9, 2015

What the Color of Your Wine Means

What qualities of wine can you discern simply by looking at its color? Menuism wine expert Etty Lewensztain discusses age, barreling, taste profiles, and regions that you can glean from a wine's color.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Napa Valley Makes History: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Learn about wine and find out how two bottles of Napa Valley wine made history this year and why Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was listed in "101 Objects That Made America.