Archive for the ‘Wine and Dine’ Category

Pairing wine and food must always be about enjoying the meal (event) and not about obeying the so called rules.

Wine and food pairing has some semi-rigid guidelines and some aspects that is guided by individual preferences. It can be difficult to find a balance between the different pairing approaches but at the end of the day it must work for you.

The old rule of “White wine with white meat and red wine with red meat” can be such a  rigid way of pairing wine and food. The problem is that you only pair the wine with the meat and not with the sauce. The sauce must be taken into account when pairings are done because that is the main taste catalyst of the dish.

A steak with a garlic butter sauce can be complemented by a buttery Chardonnay. And spicy fish dishes can be complemented by peppery Shiraz wines.

On the other hand, food and wine connoisseurs sometimes goes a bit over the top when trying to pair wine with the slightest aspect of one of the ingredients. Like pairing wine with the sort of salt or a minor spice ingredient.

Another thing is;  Where does Rosé wines fit into the old “White with white and Red with red” rule?  Does this mean you only drink Rosé wine with well done steaks or with “pink” fish like salmon? No of course not. Rosé wines are fantastic food partners with lighter examples matching salads, chicken dishes and fish with denser, darker versions standing up to steak and game.

Do not over analyse and remember just enjoy whatever you end up eating and drinking – it’s not an ordeal, it’s an experience.

Source: food24.com


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Snacks and tipple are not deemed to be the healthiest food around but indulging in some of them may do you a whole lot of good. Snacks like are popcorn, chocolate red wine and a few more.

Some of these perceived “no-no’s” can actually be good for you , and even more so when you follow a balanced diet.

Here are some examples of the perceived unhealthy foods which have some health benefits.

It may be the best accompaniment for movies, but popcorn also helps curb the evening snack craving. A bowl of home-made popcorn is even better as it is low on calories and high on antioxidants.

Yes, it is indeed good news especially for people with a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is proven to be good for the heart and if it is paired with a whole wheat brownie and some nuts, it becomes rich in fibre as well.

Dark chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidants. It helps to lower the blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease as well, if you eat around 100 grams a day.

There are many kinds of whole wheat crackers available, which can be a good and healthy evening munch without the side-effects that other junk foods cause.

The latest in the snack category are baked snacks. They are better than fried chips as they contain no oil. Usually made of whole wheat with a dash of spice, it not only entertains the taste buds but is also healthy for your body.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is found in many meat, milk and cheese products. But a recent study which concentrated specifically on processed cheese found that CLA has anti-carcinogenic properties and it is also an effective antioxidant. The study says processed cheese contains more CLA than natural cheese, such as cheddar.

Experts say that one pint of this thick and creamy dark beer may be as effective as a low dose of aspirin to improve blood circulation, and hence lower the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. It’s proven to be better than aerated drinks and other types of beer.

Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, effectively decreases life-threatening inflammations. The antioxidants in red wine can help in preventing heart disease and cancer. For non-drinkers, grape juice or even red grapes can be as effective.

Source: timesofindia.com

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The dreaded red wine stain can be extremely frustrating so what exactly is the best way to remove a red wine stain?

The Wine advocate investigated this and here are the findings.

When push comes to shove, everyone seems to have a different remedy and no one seems to know whether their remedy actually works! Well, I have decided to give some of the popular “quick fixes” (and some unusual ones) a try, to see which works the best.

The testing procedure began by pouring some red wine  on white fabric and then applying each remedy immediately. I also tried each remedy after a few hours, once the stain had dried. Here are the results, in no particular order (see “after” pictures of the fresh stains below):

Water: This seemed to fade the “fresh” stain only slightly more than the “old” stain, with both leaving a very noticeable mark on the fabric. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 4/10

White wine: I found that the white wine didn’t work much better than the water, in fact the water did a better job with the “old” stain. So, instead of wasting your white wine, rather use water to treat a red wine stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 2/10

Salt: Salt didn’t make much of a difference to either of the two stains (fresh and old). In fact, it just made more of a mess than any of the other methods tested. Score: Fresh stain: 2/10; Old stain: 1/10

Milk: Being white and packed with goodness, I thought milk would do the trick, but yet again I was disappointed. The milk faded the fresh stain a fair amount, but hardly made any difference to the old stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 1/10

Cleen Green: This common cleaning agent worked wonders, removing the fresh stain COMPLETELY in no time. The old stain however turned to an ugly green/grey colour after being treated with the Cleen Green. Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 1/10

Hydrogen Peroxide: This might just be the answer to the world’s red wine stain problems… Mix equal parts of Hydrogen Peroxide (available from any chemist) and dish washing liquid. After a few seconds of rubbing.voila.fresh stain GONE! The old stain required a bit more elbow grease, but in the end it was reduced by approximately 80%. However, as this is a bleaching agent I would not recommend using it on coloured fabrics or carpets! Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 8/10

Source: SA Wine Advocate

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Sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity and this is the case with this amazing straight forward pasta salad. The fact that it is called a ‘corkscrew pasta salad’ makes it even more inviting to open a bottle of crisp Chenin or Sauvignon Blanc with this salad.



  • 2 cups fusilli or corkscrew pasta
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 120g fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
  • 60 g salami, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  •  salt and black pepper



 – Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and rinse under cold water. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, and salami.

-Whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Transport the pasta mixture and vinaigrette separately; drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette before serving.

Source: realsimple.com

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There are hundreds of different cheese in the world and (just as wine) they differ in  styles, textures and flavours. The French are famous for their cheeses and wines and Brie and Camembert are two of the most renowned cheeses in the world.

But what is the difference between the two cheeses?

Brie is a soft cows’ cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated. It is pale in colour with a slight greyish tinge under a rind of white mould; very soft and savoury with a hint of ammonia. The whitish mouldy rind is typically eaten, the flavor quality of which depends largely upon the ingredients used and its fabrication environment.

Camembert is a similar soft cheese, also made from cow milk. However, there are differences beyond the simple geographical fact that brie originates from the Ile de France and camembert from Normandy.

Brie is produced in large wheels and thus ripens differently: when sold it typically has been cut from a wheel, and therefore its side is not covered by the rind; camembert, meanwhile, is ripened as a small round cheese and sold as such, so it is fully covered by rind. This changes the ratio between the rind and the inner part of the cheese. Furthermore, brie contains more fat than camembert.


The Douglas Green Merlot will pair exceptionally well with both these cheese styles

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Congratulations to Jillian Hill, Lucinda Kartzen and Colleen Rens

They have won tickets to the Douglas Green Vintage Wine Experience and will join us tonight for this great event.

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Douglas Green and The Private Hotel School in Stellenbosch have joined forces to present an unique cuisine and wine event.

The event is a fundraising for the Vlottenburg Primary School and all proceed will be donated to the school in the form of equipment.

The event includes blending your own wine and a three course meal prepared by The Private Hotel School students.

Date: 8 October

Time: 18:00

Venue: 33 Dine Stellenbosch

For more info contact Carmen Uys on  079 4313 742 or e-mail cels@privatehotelschool.co.za

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