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Archive for April, 2011

So, you’re having a dinner party and you don’t know what kind of wine to serve with your main course. Well the truth is, nowadays, you can serve whatever type of wine you like with whatever your course may be.

The old adage of Red Wine with Red Meats, White Wine with White Meats is a bit passé in today’s society. Still, clichés exist for a reason, and the reason (in very basic terms), is this:

Red Wine: Because of the richer tannins and rolling flavors found in red wine, the flavor and feel of le vin rouge tends to be more overpowering. When eaten with other rich flavors such as a creamy cheddar cheese or a juicy steak, the tannins in the wine actually bind to the proteins in your food, thereby leaving your tongue less susceptible to the astringent, drying sensation that red wine often provides. Additionally, the rich flavors complement nicely with the strong, rich tastes found in your steak or cheese and the two work in harmony together.

White Wine: White wine tends to be crisper, lighter, higher in acidity but much lower in tannins (if any). Because of this, white wine tends to go nicely with milder dishes such as poached seafood or raw oysters. The crisp, light flavors do not overpower the subtle flavors of the food and provide a pleasant, refreshing accompaniment with them.

So which to choose? Really, any you like. While the above paragraphs demonstrate the reason behind the adage, there is no reason why you can’t try a rich, red wine with raw oysters or a crisp Chardonnay with you veal parmesan. In fact, I enjoy matching apparent opposites such as this. The flavors and contrasts are fun to experiment with.

Plus, if you’re like me, sometimes you just prefer a red over a white (or vice versa), no matter what you’re eating.

Bottom line? Red or White is really up to you and it is an acceptable practice in our modern age to drink whichever with whatever foods. In my experience, the folks that speak condescendingly about “You’re supposed to drink red wine with that….” usually don’t know much about wine in the first place and are just spouting out what they’ve heard from everyone else.

Source: antiwinesnob.com

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Sometimes your ideas for a meal dry up and then it is time to go back to the basics.

Old trusted chicken recipes are sometimes overlooked. This simple and easy to prepare chicken and sweet potato recipe is an excellent meal for friends or family. This easy dish will enable you to join guests in the pre-meal conversations as the preparations are not too time consuming.

Recipe:

Serves 4

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 500g), peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1.5 – 1.8 kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces

Directions

Heat oven to 200º C. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes, onion, thyme, oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and nestle it, skin-side up, among the potatoes and onions.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

Source: realsimple.com

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Chardonnay is America’s fastest growing varietal. Considered to be a  low maintenance grape, is grown in a multitude of climates and produces high yields. But what should we know about this renowned white wine?

Chardonnay is probably one of the most renowned white wines, followed by its cousins, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer , Pinot Grigio, Semillon Viognier and Chenin Blanc. Serve these wines in glasses that have a smaller bowl that tapers in at the top. This will help concentrate their more subtle aromas.

Served at a cool 9-10 °C, Chardonnay features quite a separate range of impressive flavours, from its expected buttered, oak overtones to fresh, fruity flavours of apple, pear, citrus and melon. Chardonnay that has undergone malolactic fermentation will yield diacetyl, giving it a big buttery taste. The Chardonnay is then transferred to oak barrels where it will develop that signature oak flavour. These wines will pair excellently with pork, seafood, and chicken dishes that also have heavy cream or buttery bases. Lovers of Italian food will be glad to note that Chardonnay goes very well with Pasta carbonara, alla vongole, lobster, crab or scallops.

The more citrus, unoaked Chardonnay is stored in steel containers which impart the more citrus, fruity flavours. This version of Chardonnay goes better with lighter meals, smaller dinners or appetizers. Think Caesar salad, omeletes and quiches, ham and bacon.

Unoaked Chardonnay goes especially well with grilled or roasted salmon. These are merely suggestions for pairing some foods with Chardonnay. Although the often quoted rule of thumb is “red wine with red meat, white wine with fish or fowl,” a better rule is “A good paring is when the food and wine do not overshadow each other”.

Source: examiner.com

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