Archive for the ‘Pairing’ Category

Red wine and fish – The mismatch explained

June 8, 2010

“Red wine with red meat, white wine with fish” is one of the standard and well known wine pairing rules and Japanese scientists has found ‘evidence’ to back this rule.

Scientists in Japan have claimed that the unpleasant, fishy aftertaste noticeable when consuming red wine with fish results from naturally occurring iron in red wine.

Takayuki Tamura and colleagues note that wine connoisseurs established the rule of thumb because of the flavour clash between red wine and fish. They point out, however, that there are exceptions to the rule, with some red wines actually going well with seafood. Until now, nobody could consistently predict which wines might trigger a fishy aftertaste because of the lack of knowledge about its cause.

The scientists asked wine tasters to sample 38 red wines and 26 white wines while dining on scallops. Some of the wines contained small amounts of iron, which varied by country of origin, variety, and vintage.

They found that wines with high amounts of iron had a more intensely fishy aftertaste. This fishy taste diminished, on the other hand, when the researchers added a substance that binds up iron.

The findings indicate that iron is the key factor in the fishy aftertaste of wine-seafood pairings, the researchers say, suggesting that low-iron red wines might be a good match with seafood.

Read more on zeenews.com

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The concept of balance in wine

May 27, 2010

This is a concept that on the surface seems very simple, but that turns out to be quite challenging. It is important to have some familiarity with what balance entails if you are to become a good wine taster.

Balance in wine refers to the interaction and harmony between two or more of the wine’s constituents. By far the most straightforward balance is that between sugar and acidity. Not all wines, of course, have residual sugar, though all have some acidity. Sugar-acid balance is thus limited to wines which have an interplay between these two elements.

There is no accurate formula for calculating the perfect acid-sugar balance in a wine, despite the fact that there are some people who advance that very notion. In its simplest sense, a wine which has a good acid-sugar balance tastes neither too sweet nor too acidic: the sugar exists in the right quantity for the acid, and vice versa.

Read more on www.nysaes.cornell.edu

Enjoy your wine and food- regardless of the paring rules

May 26, 2010

Some food and wine connoisseurs have made food and wine pairing so rigid that they are missing the point completely. Traditionally, certain wines are recommended to be served with certain dishes. The “rules” state that red wine will complement red meat, while white wine is recommended with fish or fowl.

Some people who are not huge fans of white wine, instead, prefer a Pinot Noir – which is a light-bodied red wine – with salmon or fish. If someone does not particularly enjoy red wine, you simply can’t force them to pair a Cabernet with steak.

New food and wine pairings are all about bending the rules to suit your palate. For example, uniquely South African Pinotage with medium body is also delicious served with seafood such as salmon.

The only “rule” to remember is to match the wine intensity or body with the flavour of the food so that the wine does not overpower the food, or vice versa. Even a so-called untrained palate seeks what it likes – trust your tastebuds and mix and match until you find something that you enjoy.

Rules? You know what to do them! Wine is simply something that must be enjoyed – regardless of perfect pairings.

Source: pioneerlocal.com

Balance- The key to wine and food pairing

May 10, 2010

The main rule to remember about pairing wine with food is that there are no rules: you should drink the wines you like with the foods you like. That being said, there are some basic guidelines that can help you maximize your enjoyment of wine-food pairing.

Match the weight & texture of the food to the weight & texture of the wine
Example: A light-bodied fish like sole works best with a light-bodied white wine like pinot grigio, while a heavier-bodied fish like salmon calls for a richer, fuller-bodied white like chardonnay.

Balance the intensity of flavours in the food and wine
Example: A mildly flavoured food like roast turkey pairs well with light-bodied white and red wines like sauvignon blanc and Beaujolais, but in the context of a Thanksgiving dinner featuring stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other strongly flavoured side dishes, an intensely flavoured white like gewürztraminer or a rich, fruity red like syrah or zinfandel would be preferable.

Balance tastes
The five basic tastes are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami (the recently discovered fifth taste found in savory foods like mushrooms, tomatoes, soy sauce, and aged cheeses and meats). Salty and sour tastes in food make wines taste milder (fruitier and less acidic), while sweet and savory (umami) tastes make wines taste stronger (drier and more astringent).

Match flavours
Flavours are combinations of tastes and aromas, and there are an infinite number of them. You can fine-tune food and wine pairings by matching flavours in the food and the wine.

Counterpoint flavours
Sometimes, the best choice is to counterpoint flavours rather than matching them.

Read more on drinkwine.com

How to Balance Flavours -Sweet, Spicy, Sour, Salty

May 4, 2010

Traditional Oriental medicine believes balancing flavours in your food promotes physical and mental well-being. Certainly a main dish that includes sweet, spicy, sour and salty flavours is more enjoyable than one that concentrates only one or two flavours.

Bring more pleasure to your meals by following these steps.

Instructions

Step1: Assess how salty the ingredients of your dish are without adding any salt. Buy unsalted foods when you can so you can balance flavours more easily.

Step 2: Consider using other salty ingredients besides table salt to add more flavour to your dish. Soy sauce isn’t just for Asian cuisine. Garlic Salt or bouillon adds something extra to your plain white and brown rice. A little Parmesan or cheddar cheese goes a long way in a salad.

Step 3: Stock your pantry with different types of vinegar. Pickled vegetables can add a sour zing to your salads. Lemons and limes have vitamin C in addition to their pleasant sour taste.

Step 4: Balance the sourness in your dish with something sweet. Experiment with different sweeteners. Honey is better than sugar in salad dressings. Use brown sugar in a teriyaki sauce. Even the acidity of tomatoes in Italian dishes is enhanced by adding sugar.

Step 5: Be careful when adding spicy ingredients to your dish. Know what your guests can tolerate. Consider adding a slight amount to perk up the dish and leaving powdered spices in plain site for those who like to set their tongue on fire.

Step 6: Use freshly ground rather than pre-ground black pepper. You’ll notice the difference right away when you swirl the pepper mill and catch a whiff of quality pepper.

Step 7: Add dry spicy ingredients at the beginning of the cooking to balance the flavours better. Consider substituting your basic black pepper with curry, chili powder, hot paprika and mustard.

Read more on ehow.com

Don’t miss the biggest and most sought after gourmet event of the year

April 23, 2010

The 2010 SA Cheese Festival will once again provide all the aspects for a fun-filled day out in the country with family and friends.

There will be live music and ample seating under the big old oak trees, umbrellas and tents to relax and enjoy your day; different breeds of dairy animals in the Milk Factory; cheese, wine and related food products in the Checkers Cheese Emporium, Cheese Market, the Mall, the Gourmet Lane and the Diary Square; demos, fun and recipes of new ways to enjoy cheese in the Cooking Pot with celebrities like Nataniël.

Useful Information:

The cheese festival will be open Saturday to Monday from 10h00 to 18h00, and Tuesday from 10h00 to 17h00. No tickets will be sold at the gates! All tickets are sold through Computicket and Checkers stores before the event. There are only a number of tickets available, so please get yours as soon as possible.

Come and try our new Balance Light Rosé. This wine is a masterfully blended light wine (50% Shiraz /50% Pinotage).

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Join us for a glass of wine at the SA Cheese Festival

April 21, 2010

The countdown to the country’s most loved foodie festival has begun!

This weekend is the amazing SA Cheese Festival at Bien Donne near Franschhoek.

For loads of fun, fabulous food and wine and the most exhilarating cheese adventure, put the SA Cheese Festival at the top of your to-do-list for the long weekend of 24-27 April.

Balance Wines will be there so please join us for a glass or two of wine at this lovely festival.

For more info visit www.cheesefestival.co.za

The marriage of food and wine – a delicate balance

April 13, 2010

Dinner with wine used to be simple. The rule was white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat. But most of us don’t just eat meat and potatoes or drink only one  style of wine these days.

With modern fusion cuisine and wines from new regions around the world, the choices – and confusion – are great. One new school of thought is that any wine goes with any dish. However, most of us don’t put ketchup on our ice cream for the same reason as we don’t drink a delicate white wine with a hearty meat dish or a powerful red wine with sole – they are mismatched flavours and textures.

When the marriage of food and wine works well, each enhances the other, making the meal greater than if you had consumed them separately. That’s why the following classic matches have survived the changes in food fashion: stilton with port, foie gras with sauternes, boeuf bourguignon with Burgundian pinot noir and goat cheese with sauvignon blanc.

It helps to start with the basic principles of food and wine pairing as they still provide a basis for experimenting with new world cuisine. One of the most important elements to harmonize between wine and food is flavour. For example, a tangy tomato-based pasta sauce requires a wine with comparable acidity. Without this balance between the acidity of the dish and the wine, the partner with lower acidity tastes flabby and dull, while the other, too tart.

To find an acidic wine, you can chose one that is made in the same area as the food. Years of matching the regional cuisine and wine as well as similar soil and climatic conditions make this a safe bet. Remember, acidic wines also work well with salty dishes.

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Wine, chocolate sharpen brain performance

April 6, 2010

Good news for chocolate, wine and tea lovers as consuming the three delights daily actually helps improve your cognitive performance.

Researchers in Norway and the Oxford University studied the relation between cognitive performance and the intake of three common foodstuffs that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine and tea) on 2,031 older people aged between 70 and 74.

Participants filled in information about their habitual food intake and underwent a battery of cognitive tests.

Those who consumed chocolate, wine, or tea had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not. The team reported their findings in the Journal of Nutrition.

The latest findings seem to support the theory, although the researchers caution that more research would be needed to prove that it was flavonoids, rather than some other aspect of the foods studied, that made the difference. The effect was most pronounced for wine.

Read more in hindu.com

How to Choose a Wine and Look Like You Know What You’re Doing-

April 1, 2010

Ordering wine can sometimes be very difficult especially if you must order for all the guests at your table.

Here’s an easy to remember guide for choosing a wine if you’re forced to order for the whole table.

Set Your Frame

Statistically speaking, the girl you picked up at the bus stop and/or your firm’s managing partner, whoever is sitting across the table from you tonight, probably lacks the refined palette for distinguishing varietals that might otherwise render your decision intimidating. More likely, they think a buttery finish belongs on their breakfast toast and not in their Chardonnay. You are already as competent at navigating a wine menu as most of your fellow diners.

Ask for Favorites

Assuming you’re splitting a bottle, ask the opinions of the others at the table. Some might carry strong preferences between reds or whites that will narrow or even define your decision.

Initially and generally, keep color in mind. The color of your meat and sauce will often (though not necessarily) indicate the color wine you will choose.

Balance

Aim for a wine that balances with your meal. Heavy meats, like beef, call for a full red wine such as a Cabernet or a Syrah. If your entrée has a lighter meat such as lamb or pork, or is a tomato-based pasta, then turn to a medium-bodied red, such as a Pinot Noir or a Merlot. White wines, such as Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs, match well with poultry, fish, and cream-based pastas. Chardonnays and Zinfandels will safely fill the gaps for most other vegetarian dishes that could land on your table.

If you’re still uncomfortable making the call, go ahead and ask your waiter for a recommendation. Ask if there is something “the house recommends.”

Once you’ve tasted your decision, don’t be afraid to have an opinion on whether or not you like it. Taste is by definition subjective and the true point of this is to find something that you and your company will enjoy.

Read more on www.primermagazine.com