Archive for the ‘ 5584 ’ Category

Sexy Wines & Food as a Centerpiece

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Black Truffle 'Deviled' Eggs

Pairing a wine with any ingredient is greatly dependent on personal taste, and the particular type of dish prepared. If truffles are the centerpiece, go for a hearty, rustic red, and you can’t go wrong with vintages from truffle-producing regions.

Earthy, full bodies red wines are an excellent match to truffles and truffle dishes. Try some from the region of Rhône, France. Italy’s Piedmontese wines are another excellent choice, as they are subtly automatized with truffles.

Black truffles and old Burgundy or white truffles and old Barolo- Truffles have a wild, musky, earthy depth that goes very well with the aromas and flavors—gaminess, spice notes, earth, dried fruits and, well, truffles—that these wines acquire over time. They engulfed me; It was intoxicating earthy and sublime. Sexy wines and foods should be respected!

There are some 70 species of truffle, but only two are highly prized for their culinary value: the black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, found in various parts of France, especially in the Périgord and Provence, and the white truffle, Tuber magnatum, found principally in Italy’s Piedmont region.

Any simple meal can become elegant with a little thought, like deviled eggs with a dash of horseradish cream, EVO, by adding quality ingredients like La Boutique de la Truffe-Gourmet Attitude truffle products, or Black Truffle Carpaccio. I have been given samples to try at no cost in the past, but to be honest with you, I purchase them on a regular basis for clients and my own kitchen. Why? Because I love them, and they are by far the best quality in flavor, shelf life, and appearance when plating!

Did you know that truffles grow in New Zealand and also right here in the United States? Oregon as a matter of fact. Some may say that they are not quite like its European cousin, but I plan to find out, and report back…

CookAppeal has tried many other products out there on the market, and many of the truffle oils are, well, just not up to our standards.

Many oils sold on the market today are simply infused concoctions that have no real truffle essence present- truffle oil is actually a chemical concoction made by mixing olive oil with various chemical compounds, such as 2,4-dithiapentane, that has been created in a laboratory which simulates the aroma and taste of white truffles. So why not buy products such as ‘Truffle Carpaccio’ that sits in oil and can be infused in your own dishes, such as these truffle eggs.

Truffle oil may have been created when truffles are soaked in olive oil before commercial truffle oils were introduced in the 1980’s. Chefs in Italy and France traditionally made their own by steeping bits of fresh truffles in high quality EVO. If you are going to purchase truffle products and shell out the money, then buy truffles themselves and infuse the real thing into your dish!

Remember when pairing a wine with food, the first rule of thumb is to pair ingredients grown in the soil with the wines of similar soil for best flavor profiling- Our suggestion for ‘Black Truffle Deviled Eggs’:

Country: FRANCE
Appellation: VOLNAY
Grape Varietal: PINOT NOIR

Price Range: $35 – 50 per bottle, but suggest a New World- Burgundian Pinot Noir as alternative

Tasting Notes- Medium to heavy body, carried the truffle and eggy’ness well with its chewy body, fruit forward nose, earth and a slight funk; tart cherry and gamey flavors, some of my favorite Pinot Noir characteristics.

If the Oregon truffles are as good as their Pinot Noir wines, PIWC will be visiting more often!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, CookAppeal, LLC- Shares her love for experimenting with flavors @ Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

Food Trends for Summer- ‘Spicing Up The Backyard Barbecue’

Tasting Tuesday- Masters Scotch Tasting

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If one is to begin a journey into the world of becoming a connoisseur, collector, impresario and professor of the Scotch single malt whiskey- one should begin with the basics. Tasting a variety, and high-end single malts. Learn all you can about what makes scotch and whiskey’s different, as far as blends go.

Single malt scotch whiskey is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. It is a complex and versatile spirit that you can enjoy as an aperitif, alongside a meal, after dinner or as a nightcap- (remember: it can ONLY be called scotch if it is distilled in Scotland – all others are single malt whiskey if not blended with the product of another distillery).

There are many theories on tasting

  • Nose the Whiskey first, getting the flavor-
  • Place your nose a few inches away from the glass. What do you smell? Now get a little closer. How is that? Now get as close as you can without letting the alcohol burn interfere. What other aromas are there? Keeping your mouth slightly open as you nose the whiskey will help you to better discern and ‘taste’ the different aromas.

  • Taste- Sometimes it takes a while to down strong alcohol as this, but it helps in your journey of finding a scotch you like
  • Add Water- Most Master Scotch Tasters teach that you should not dilute with regular tap water because the chlorine and mineral dilutes and changes the chemical makeup of the scotch. Unfortunately when attending classes you do not have access to the water used in making the original scotch as you would use in Scotland, so using distilled water will work just fine. A few drops to adding frozen cubes of this water helps to bring down the heat, or mouth feel as you begin to taste. For beginners I suggest the frozen distilled cube method. Some consider this cheating, but I prefer to entice a newbie to enjoy it as I have learned over the years.
  • Nose the Whiskey– See if the smell has changed, and you should sense a difference
  • Now Sip and Taste Again- Taste the flavor, by holding it in your mouth for a few more seconds before swallowing. There should be a great difference in the flavors as it opens up and you begin to grow accustomed to its strength.

  • Does the glass make the scotch? Yes, using a brandy sifter, or purchasing glasses intended for scotch helps, but if you prefer a high ball glass then it works as well. We purchased a set of glasses while living in Dallas, Texas- designed for scotch tasting from Scotch Doc, and quite the entertaining guy to introduce you to tasting as well!

I took private classes from the Scotch Doc in his private Scotch cellar, and lets just say he blew off some dust off those bottles, as did a small bar when I was in Ireland once the gentleman found out I had a taste for these jewels!

My Scotch tasting journey began with Chivas Regal, and on the rocks, I mean really really watered down. After a few years, and a trip to Ireland I began drinking it neat with a few cubes, and soon learn to appreciate the finer single malts. I however enjoy Johnny Walker, and keep it in my bar for guest.

Johnny Walker- Equally recognized as the ‘Square’ bottle that fits into spaces adequately, is most recognized due to its label and the fact it offers five versions- Red, Black, Gold, Green, and Blue. JW’s Swing Label is reminiscent of the original bottles packaged and sold in the original grocery store (many wine bottles were also shaped in this manner, can you imagine turning this odd shape on its side in the cellar?)

Johnnie Walker is a brand of Scotch Whiskey owned by Diageo and produced in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

It is the most widely distributed brand of blended Scotch whiskey in the world, sold in almost every country with yearly sales of over 130 million bottles, and next post I will go into each bottle and discuss tasting notes with explanation of recipes…

Wine Enthusiast Hot Scotch Choices, 2010 Issue-

Hot Scotches: SW=Scotch Wiskey , SM= Single Malt

  • Ballentines Very Old 17 y/o Blended Scotch Wiskey
  • Black Bull Deluxe 12 y/o Blended S.W. Dewar’s Founders Reserve 18 y/o Blended S.W.
  • Douglas XO Premium Blended Scotch Whiskey
  • Pinch “the Dimple” 15 y/o Blended S.W.
  • Robert Burns Blended S.W.
  • Wemyss Vintage Malts “The Peat Chimney” Blended Malt
  • Arran Malt Pomerol Bordeaux Wine Casks Single Malt
  • Auche toshan 21 y/o SM
  • BenRiach 16 y/o Sauternes Wood Finish SM
  • Bruichladdich 2001 Resurrection Dram SM
  • Deanston 12 y/o SM
  • Douglas of Drumlanrig Port Ellen 25 y/o

Here is a great dish to pair with any Scotch- Risotto Balls with a Stilton Blue Cheese Center; the butter fat and richness of the risotto, and the cheese give this a great edge for the sophisticated flavor of Johnny Walker Blue!

Sunday Calendar-


Weekly Calendar– PIWC will be posting weekly must haves, tasting notes, events, and happenings at the beginning of each week. Here you will find the hot new wine, food, beer, and spirit news PIWC can bring to our readers. ‘Corky’ is out on the streets doing his best investigative reporting on all subjects!

Market Monday-

What gadget should every vinophile, or spirit lover should own?

Tasting Tuesday-

Each week PIWC will feature Guest Writers, and Restaurant Reviews- either industry professionals or fantastic blogs we feel you need to discover!

Wine Down Wednesday-

Chef E shares weekly food and wine pairings-

Thirsty Thursday-

Wine Enthusiast and writer Adrienne Turner will share bottle notes from her cellar down under…

Frugal Friday-

‘Corky’ will bring you a list of must have bargain wines…

Simply Saturday-

PIWC will present local food, wine, art, and other must attend related events for the upcoming week…

If readers have any questions or information they are seeking about related subject matter, please let us know. We will try to find out, and answer your questions from our own experience, or seek out other professionals we can refer you to!

Saturday Thumb’s Up Review- Single Wine Varietals

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PIWC had the opportunity to attend a wine class at Rutger’s College in New Brunswick, New Jersey on the Cook’s Campus, part of their Oenology Course. We tasted 10 wines of single varietals from around the world, well only old world wines. Of all the wine courses/classes I have attended this was a first!

Opportunities like this do not come often, so if anyone is interested- let us know if you are living in the area and would like to attend this class next semester, and we will try to get you on the list. Many of these grapes are found in blends, but are bottled singularly and sold here in the United States.

Single Grape Varietals Tasted:

Petit Courvu
Gross Manseng

More on the class and pairings at a later date… Until then PIWC feelings-

If you find a bottle, one of these single varietals, you might want to pair them with food!

Cheers and Tweets!

Chef E Stelling,, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!