Jonathan Edwards Winery: Wine is a Work of Art

Photo courtesy of

Visit Jonathan Edwards Winery, 74 Chester Main Rd, N. Stonington, CT, for Barrels and Brushes, on Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 6:30 – 9pm for a night to remember. Bring your friends, and enjoy Jonathan Edwards wine, as you receive painting lessons from local art center, The Drunken Palette.

Jonathan Edwards is known for their delicious wines and unique events. Open year long, Jonathan Edwards hosts a variety of events. In addition to Barrels and Brushes, Jonathan Edwards hosts “Music Uncorked” sessions, a 5k obstacle race through the vineyard, an annual lobster bake, and their most popular event, the biannual Harvest Fest.

The cost for the event is $50 and includes a glass of wine of your choice, a painting lesson from local art center, The Drunken Palette, and all the materials you need

to create your own painting to take home.

“The last Barrels and Brushes event we had was a huge success,” says Danielle Brandts, Jonathan Edwards tasting room manager.

While some Jonathan Edwards events are all ages, this event is 21+. Tickets are available for purchase online at or by calling Jonathan Edwards Winery at 860-535-0202.

While you do not know exactly what you will be painting until you arrive, you can expect your masterpiece to keep with the theme of wine.

“All the paintings are typically wine related” says Brandts, “which makes the event really fun. Even if you are a novice artist, painting wine while drinking wine, is a guaranteed good time.”

6 Simple Steps to Becoming a Fake Wine Expert

Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you had to pretend you could tell the difference between wines? Maybe your friends like to frequent vineyards together, but you feel left out because you do not know the first thing about wine tasting. Or, have you been to a fancy restaurant and felt like the only thing you could order that was classy enough was a glass of wine, but you had no idea how to drink it “properly”? Well, here are 6 simple steps that you can use to trick those around you into thinking you know everything about this beloved beverage which has been around for thousands of years.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Wine for You.

Red or white? The Sophie’s choice for everyone that has had to make this dreaded decision. If you are not much of a wine drinker, the decision about what wine to order may make your palms start sweating and

your heart start beating fast, but don’t panic. The following are two wines that are the safety net for wine newbies everywhere. Just about every restaurant that serves wine will carry them, and they could not be any easier to remember.

  1. Pinot Grigio (white wine) – Is it warm out? Are you eating fish, chicken, or a white pasta dish? If you answered yes to either of these questions, Pinot Grigio is right for you.
  2. Pinot Noir (red wine) – Is it cold out? Are you eating red meat or a red pasta dish? If so, Pinot Noir is the right call.


Both of these wines are easy to find, and more importantly, they are easy to drink; so you can actually take a sip without making a funny face every time you swallow.


Choosing the wine for you

Choosing the wine for you


Step 2 – Swirling the Wine

Once you have made the painstaking decision of choosing your wine, it is time to impress your friends and family by swirling the wine in your glass. Admit it, you have seen it done in the movies, and you think it looks pretty cool. You, too, can look cool swirling your wine. There are two ways you can swirl your wine…

  1. If you are standing, you will want to swirl your wine with your glass in the air. You will want to make gentle, slow, small loops with your hand. If you are new to wine swirling, it is imperative that you keep your eye on the wine. You do not want to be the guy or girl that swirls their wine and spills it all over yourself, or worse, your date.
  2. If you are sitting, you will want to make small, slow circles with your glass.                                                                                                                   * Watch the videos below to see how to swirl your wine and look like a wine expert. Do not attempt this if your wine glass is more than half full.

Standing Swirl

Sitting Swirl

Extra Credit Tip – We swirl our wine to get more oxygen into our wine. The more “legs” (the lines on the side of the glass after you stop swirling) the more potential for higher  alcohol content. Bonus points if you make a great joke about “the nice legs on this one”.


Step 3 – Sniffing the Wine

Even if you have no idea what you should be sniffing for, sniff your wine after you swirl it and before taking that first sip. There is no need to stick your entire nose in the glass, just take a full, deep sniff or two. After swirling your wine and sniffing your wine, your friends or date will be quite impressed with your wine skills.

So why are you sniffing your wine, anyway?

You want to try to detect the wine’s “bouquet”. Make it up if you need to. Then simply make some blanket statement, such as “Ohh, I’m getting a note of grapefruit.” (Pinot Grigio) or “Mmm, I detect a hint of cherry.” (Pinot Noir). Even if there is not a drop of grapefruit or cherry aroma in your wine, you will still sound like professional.

* The very best thing you can do is take a look at the description of the wine and whatever word jumps out at you, say you detect it after your sniff. It is likely nobody else will even notice that you cheated.

Sniffing wine

Image courtesy of


Step 4 – Tasting the Wine

Congratulations. It is finally time to take your first sip.

Now, remember, if you are a beer drinker at heart, wine is not something that should be chugged or gulped. Take a small sip and swirl the wine around in your mouth, letting it touch all the parts of your tongue. You may even want to try to inhale a bit of air while the wine is in your mouth, to enhance the flavor of the wine. Just to make sure that people think you know what you are doing, the expression on your face should be one of complete focus and concentration, as if you are going through the file cabinet in your mind of all of your wine knowledge.


Wine tasting

photo courtesy of


Step 5 – Describing the Wine

Rather than simply saying “Ohh, that is good.”, or “Wow, I like this one.”, here are a few simple phrases that you can say which will actually make you sound like you know what you are talking about.

* “I love the balance of this wine.”

* “Wow, this has a very dry finish.”

* “This has loads of citrus fruit flavor.” (Pinot Grigio)

* “I am getting an earthy note.” (Pinot Noir)


Just be sure that whatever you say, you say it with confidence. If someone contradicts what you said, simply tell them that you have a very trained palette, and they need more practice in the art of wine tasting.

wine cartoon

Courtesy of

Step 6 – Staying Classy with Your Wine

Remember, wine is something that is meant to be enjoyed slowly. No matter how delicious your wine is, you should never chug it. Also, if your tongue and lips are susceptible to turning purple when drinking red wine, perhaps you should stick to the whites and avoid the stares from people that think you have a contagious disease.

But, how do I know if I should order more wine? Can you say “Pinot Grigio” 5 times fast without messing up and laughing hysterically about it?

Yes, I had no problem saying it 5 times – Get another glass.

more wine please

Image courtesy of


No, that was way too difficult, and I can not stop laughing – Go home. You have had enough. 

go home youre drunk

Image courtesy of


Congratulations. You are now a fake wine expert. Now get out there and impress your friends and family with your wine expertise.  


Do you have any other tips for people that want to impress their friends with their fake wine knowledge? Leave a tip in the comment section.


Welcome to Ryan’s Countdowns!!!

Welcome to Ryan’s Countdowns! The purpose of this website is for you to be able to access current, honest, humorous countdowns about the latest and greatest from television, music, hot travel spots, the best bars/restaurants around, and much more.


Ryan’s Countdowns is a place you can come to read all about the best new music. Have you been stuck listening to your child’s “Frozen” soundtrack for the past 8 months, and not been able to listen to music that you, and other adults your age enjoy? Ryan’s Countdowns will tell you the must listen to music from the past year, and the music you need to be listening to right now.


Are you the only person in your office that watches Hell’s Kitchen and you have nobody to talk to about the latest chef that has been sent packing? Do you think there is NO WAY that Darryl will die on The Walking Dead, and you need confirmation that other people feel the same way? Come to Ryan’s Countdowns and read the power rankings from this week’s Hell’s Kitchen and see who Ryan thinks will be sent packing next. And read his The Walking Dead countdown about who he thinks is making it through the zombie apocalypse, and who is quite literally, a dead man walking.


Want to know the top hot spots from a getaway location that you are planning on visiting? Ryan’s Countdowns will offer you the best places that need to be visited, and inform you of the spots that you will want to avoid at all costs. Ryan will scour the nation and the globe offering up the best of the best in the places you want to travel to before you die.


Ryan’s Countdowns will share with you the best bars/restaurants in various cities all over the country, and the world. Want to know how many of the 80 beers on tap are worth trying at that popular watering hole in San Francisco? Ryan’s Countdowns has the answer. Want to visit a vineyard on the Connecticut Wine Trail but are not sure which one to choose? Ryan’s Countdowns will point you in the right direction. Ryan will spend days upon days tasting every wine in the region, again and again, just so you don’t have to. What a guy.

Are you planning on going to a location that Ryan will be heading to? Shoot him an email, or leave him a comment and he will do his best to check out the bar/winery/brewery that you are considering visiting and let you know if it is worth your while.