Archive for the ‘Wine and dine’ 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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Braai- Part and parcel of the South African household

June 3, 2010

 

South Africans are proud about our traditions and way of life. We have great weather which makes us more outdoor people and we love to braai.

 Braai is much more than just a South African barbeque. Preparing food on an open fire is not unique to South Africa but the whole braai experience is part and parcel of the South African household. 

Andre Morgenthal  from WOSA said: “We don’t only braai on weekends or “special occasions”.  I know people who braai over lunch time, with an umbrella when the weather is bad and even early in the morning.  Because we can, the fire is welcoming and we like it.  This is intrinsically part of a South African experience and should be mandatory on visitors’ itineraries”

Will you entertain foreign guests in the next Football crazy month? If so, what are you going to braai?

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

Moderate wine drinkers have healthier lifestyles

May 20, 2010

Moderate wine drinkers have a healthier lifestyle than teetotallers, according to a surprising new study.

This is because those who enjoyed a few glasses of wine a day tended to take more exercise, have a higher social status and suffer from less stress, according to researchers

Researchers from the Public Assistance Hospitals in Paris looked at nearly 150,000 people and concluded those who enjoyed low or moderate intake of alcohol tended to exercise more, have higher social status and suffer from less stress compared to people who never touched a drop or drank to excess.

The volunteers included more than 97,000 men and 52,000 women. Researchers split them up into five groups that consisted of no alcohol consumption, low alcohol consumption, moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers and former drinkers.

The results showed those who drank moderately were more likely to have lower cardiovascular disease risk, heart rate, stress, depression and body mass index (BMI).

“Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status, and this could be a key reason for improved health  in these subjects,” study author, Dr. Boris Hansel said.

Moderate drinkers also scored higher on health measures such as respiratory function and physical activity.

Read more on www.dailymail.co.uk

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

Why wines ‘go bad’ after a few days?

April 26, 2010

All opened wines will oxidise and this is the process which turns wine to vinegar. This process is influenced by a few factors and here is a few tips to take into account with regards to wine “going bad”.

After opening a bottle of wine it just takes a few days for the wines to “go bad”. The time which it will “stay good” depends on a few factors.

Both red and white wines will oxidise once exposed to the elements and will eventually convert into vinegar. Essentially, the only wines that keep for any length of time after removing the closure are fortified ones (ports and sherries).

Typically, white wines will turn sour faster than reds and the process is accelerated by higher temperatures; by replacing the cork or screwcap and keeping the wine in the fridge, oxidation is inhibited but not avoided.

A rule-of-thumb says that letting an open bottle of wine stand on the counter accelerates the ageing process by one year for each day opened.

If this is the case, a red wine intended to age for a few years may be propelled to age in this rather crude fashion. The counter is that in opening a bottle of wine and not finishing it in one sitting, there is the opportunity to drink it up to several days later.

A white wine does not usually last longer than two days after opening and being stored in the fridge.

Source: tonight.co.za

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).

Read more…

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