Barbeque Grilling has Reached a Whole New Dimension

i>Grilling on the barbecue has never been more exciting. Not only do barbecues come in a myriad of designs and options, but also with the advent of popular cooking shows, cooking books and magazines’, grilling has reached a whole new dimension. Grilling is no longer just about steaks and burgers, barbecue grilling is full of adventurous and elegant recipes and menu plans. Some of the tantalizing grilling ‘recipes have names like grilled mango blossom, grilled portobello’s with avocado ...
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Posted on June 30th, 2015

What wine really is (just in case you thought you knew)

Although millions of people across the globe enjoy wine, very few of them know exactly what it is about a particular wine that they enjoy. By understanding each of the different components of wine, you can quickly establish the parts you prefer, and therefore choose your next bottle with more confidence. Sugar Sweeter wines have more sugar than dry wines. During the fermentation process a lot of the natural fruit sugar is fermented. However, in some wines, residual (remaining) sugar may be ...
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Posted on June 29th, 2015

Olive Varieties

Olives no longer come only in a can or jar waiting to be slid onto a child’s fingers or dropped into an awaiting martini. Gourmet olive varieties are widely available and come in an array of flavors. Here are ten of the more common varieties of olives and a brief description of each. Green olives with herbs de Provence: This vibrant citrus flavored olive is a good match with fish and in recipes calling for sweet spices. Herbs de Provence is a delightful blend of spices that can be used in ...
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Posted on June 28th, 2015

Olive oil, Extra Virgin or Pure

Olives and olive oil have a long history. It has been suggested that olives and olive oil have been around as long a 6000 years. The Bible even references olive branches in the story of Noah’s Ark. It is unknown as to when people started to eat olives and their oil but its origins of use suggest that initially it was used in lamps as fuel as well as for cooking. There are two main types of olive oils, extra virgin olive oil and olive oil. The term extra virgin denotes oil that contains less ...
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Posted on June 27th, 2015

Why red wine is red and other isn't

You remember your child asking, "Mommy, does chocolate milk come from brown cows?" Unless you had a particularly perverse sense of humor ("Now, Jesse, that is udder nonsense!") you gently set your child straight and provided him or her with one more piece of life information. So when people ask me whether white wine comes from white grapes and red wine from red ones, I have to smile my brown cow smile . Here is the straight information, from winemaker to you. The word "sometimes" is used ...
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Posted on June 26th, 2015

The Best of the Boutiques

Here at the gateway to the California wine country, choices abound in wine. Many of the best never make it out of the Golden state (unless we ship them there.) And, many of the finest are small-scale, low-production wineries – often called boutique or •garagistes”, referring to vintners who make their wines in small quarters such as garages, rather than lavish ch•teaus. Norman Kiken, winemaker at Reverie, high atop Napa’s Diamond Mountain, puts it this way, •It’s ...
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Posted on June 25th, 2015

Water into Wine

Winemakers are known for their craft of making grapes into wine but they are also very crafty people, cleverly using what is at hand to create whatever is necessary to complete their task. "Resourceful" would be another word you could use, but it wouldn't make that sentence as much fun as it is. We hold wine-related dinners in my winery as promotional events after work parties and, as you might imagine, copious amounts of wine are consumed. Many participants are attorneys, and it became ...
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Posted on June 24th, 2015

Wine is in the moment

As a winemaker I spend more time than most people sniffing and peering at wine, holding it to the light, making notes. Eventually I take some in my mouth and roll it around over my tongue with great slurping noises as I mix it with air to test every edge of the wine for the flavors I find there. Then I spend even more time talking about what I have discovered with other wine tasters, some experienced, some not. I have realized, in the years since I started making wine in 1975, that this ...
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Posted on June 23rd, 2015

Left Over Wine

I am assuming your house is normal and you have had this experience: after opening a couple of bottles of wine, or more, for a party or dinner for several friends, at evenings end you have a collection of bottles, some completely empty and some still containing some wine. I have several thoughts for you. First, take note of which bottles have no wine left in them. Among winemakers, that is the test of a wine that will sell well. Forget your numbers, reviews and ratings, the bottles that are ...
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Posted on June 22nd, 2015

Have you bought your first case of wine yet?

Instead of buying bottles of wine one at a time, when you think about it, there are lots of good reasons to spring for a whole case (that's usually 12 bottles, for the uninitiated but before you go all superior haughty on me, let me add that certain Boujolais bottles are packaged 18 to the case). First of all, you WILL use more wine if you have a case squirreled away in your "cellar", a cool dark place where you can successfully store your hoard. Let's make the assumption that you have ...
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Posted on June 21st, 2015