Posts Tagged ‘ Blog Writing ’

More Wine(ing) To Come

Corky is on the job as we speak!

Partners In Wine Club Press will be bringing you new and updated information on the marriage of food, wine, technology, and social media…

Both Chef Elizabeth Stelling and Adrienne Turner are attending classes, meeting with wine producers, and getting ready for Wine Art Music Poetry Project, and will begin regular posting soon…

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It’s Raging Bitch Weather, right?

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Is is freakin’ hot or what folks? Sometimes a glass of wine just does not cut it, because melting outside turns us into ‘Raging’ Bitches’ and calls for cooling down with a cold glass in the freezer full of a good brew!

I have a great review from the newly married ‘Chef Fresco’ team for you today…

Raging bitch Belgium IPA

Who turned up the heat?

Man! Turn on the content filter because we got a filthy little name but NOT a filthy tasting beer. In celebration of Flying Dog Brewery’s 20th Anniversary they released a new Belgian-Style IPA. Titled Raging Bitch because of its sassy-bitterness the beer goes down surprisingly smooth. Made from a special American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast the beer is pretty hoppy but not as hoppy as some of your more traditional IPA’s. Unlike most brews over 8%, this one is really drinkable. We would definitely drink a whole bunch of this stuff anytime of year. Even cooler than the beer is this awesome glass that one of our great friends, the Stephenson’s, gave us for an engagement present. What a cewwl gift right? So creative! I mean it says Chef Fresco’s beer review right on the pilsner. So a big thanks to Bret and Peggy we really love them so much and we’re sure all our Fresco fans out there will too!

Team Chef Fresco

Taste Of The Nation- Tuesday

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If you want to attend an event where fine dining and wine tasting is more than just a chance for Chef’s in the Princeton, New Jersey at The Westin, Forrestal Village area to shine- then you missed it last night. Share Our Strength, and Taste Of The Nation have been going strong for twenty years plus raising money for local charities that give 100 % back to make sure kids do not go hungry.They are synonymous for bringing together area restaurants to feed the local food enthusiasts something special, or not. This event shows the strength and dedication of both the charity organizations, and the culinary back up!

Share Our Strength has raised over $73 Million dollars to help keep feed local kids in neighborhood programs, and organizations around the country.

Lots of food was flowing around the large banquet room on the hotel’s downstairs side entrance. Along with a fun bottle toss. Yes, you got the chance to throw a white ring over a bottle of wine and walk out the door. Wine was donated by local wine retailers as well as New Jersey Wineries.

A few wines tasted:

Bonterra Merlot, CA
Ferrari-Carono, CA Chardonnay
Geyser Peak Cabernet, and a few good Rioja Spanish wines

We would buy them for our own cellar-

New Jersey wines were served as well, but I am partial to Amalthea Winery in south Jersey, but Louis was not there.

Just to name a few restaurants:

Elements, Princeton
The Blue Rooster, Cranbury
Eno Terra, Kingston
Rocky Hill Inn Eatery & Tavern, Rocky Hill
McCaffery’s Market, Princeton
Tre Piani
The Brother Moon
Alchemist & Barrister
Bon Appetit
Princeton School Garden Cooperative
Triumph Brewing Company
Nassau Inn Yankee Doodle Tap Room

If you want to know more come over to Food ~ Wine ~ Fun! and see a few more dishes, but otherwise next year- Buy A Ticket!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, Chef/Owner- CookAppeal LLC

Tasting Tuesday- Wine Lingo

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It’s helpful to become familiar with wine lingo
By Heather Stober Fleming

Grape Expectations
April 08, 2010 12:00 AM

I recently found myself in a conversation with someone who very confidently stated that —¦ all wine tastes the same and descriptions are simply a bunch of nonsense.”

When I am questioned (or in this case, told) about the language of wine, I like to put it into perspective by using a car industry metaphor. If you are shopping for a car, how does a salesperson explain the difference between a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a VW Bug or the difference between a VW Jetta and a VW Passat?

Imagine how difficult it would be if you did not know the meaning of common car lingo. Domestic or foreign? Two or four door? Standard or automatic? SUV or sedan? The options are endless. The goal is to understand what each car has to offer, and select one that meets your needs. This can only be done if one understands the basic car language.

There are words and descriptors used in all industries to help the consumer understand the difference between products within the same category, and wine is no different. The language is not used to sound sophisticated or snobby, but to describe the differences between varietals, styles, regions, and flavor profiles in order to help the consumer make the right selection for any particular occasion. The following are terms and their definitions that are commonly used to describe wine.

Tannin

Tannin is a term that is often used to describe red wine. It is a substance that is found in the skins, stems and pits of grapes. Red wine has higher level of tannin due to the winemaking process. When making a red wine, the grapes are usually left in contact with the skins during fermentation so the juice can pull the color out of the skins. When making white wine, the color from the skin is not needed, so the grapes are pressed and the skins are discarded, leaving only the juice.

The best way to explain tannins is to think of the flavor of tea if you leave the bag in too long. The tea becomes bitter and astringent because the tannins have been pulled out of the leaves. Technically, tannins aren’t a taste, but more of a sensation on the palate. The higher the tannin level, the drier your mouth will feel. If a wine is very smooth or silky on the palate, it probably has a very low tannin level.

Dry

Dry is a term that is used often in the wine world to describe wines that are not sweet. When something is sweet, the sugar coats your palate and causes salivation, which makes your mouth feel wet. If there is no sweetness in a wine, your mouth will not water and your palate remains dry. There are some wines that will use the term semi-dry, which in everyday language means semi-sweet.

Fruity

Many people confuse fruity and sweet because we think of fruit as being sweet. To differentiate the two, think of cranberries, lemons, limes, Granny Smith apples, and grapefruit. All of these are fruity, but not necessarily sweet. The same philosophy applies to wine. A wine can be very fruity, but still be dry.

Body

I often use the texture of milk to explain the body of wine. Think of how different whole milk, two percent, and skim milk feels in your mouth. Skim milk would be described as light in body, two percent would be medium bodied, and whole milk would be full bodied. Luscious, fat, and rich are some other terms that can be used to describe a wine that is medium to full body.

Nose

The nose of the wine is simply the smell. This is a very important aspect of tasting wine that sometimes gets skipped. We can only perceive four tastes — sweet, sour, bitter and salt — but we can identify more than 2,000 different scents, 200 of which can be found in wine. We have all had a cold at some point where our nose was stuffed up and we couldn’t taste a thing. Or as children if we were forced to eat something we did not like, we would pinch our nose and then eat the food. This would mask most of the flavor. I know many of us have seen a wine drinker swirling and sniffing a glass of wine in a manner that seemed a bit animated or over the top, but it really is the most important part of tasting wine.

Finish

The finish is the aftertaste. If the aftertaste of the wine lasts for a minute or longer, this would be considered a long finish. If the aftertaste disappears almost immediately after your last sip, this would be considered a short or nonexistent finish.

Acidic

This word is often used to describe un-oaked, dry, white wines. I like to compare Granny Smith apples and grapefruit when discussing the acidic profile of white wine. I love Granny Smith apples, but I strongly dislike grapefruit. They are both acidic, but most would agree that grapefruit is far more acidic than Granny Smith apples. If I am asked to suggest a Sauvignon Blanc, that is always my first question, “Do you prefer the acidic flavor of Granny Smith Apple or Grapefruit?” Other words that will often be used to describe acid in a wine are tart, crisp, citrusy, refreshing, zippy, and mouth puckering.

Buttery

Chardonnay aged in oak is often described as buttery. If you think of a stick of butter, the flavors are subtle and there isn’t much of an aroma. However, if you think of melted butter, whether it is on movie theater popcorn or being used to dip lobster, it brings a whole different flavor profile to mind and it is much easier to identify in a wine. Other words used to describe this style of wine are oaky and creamy.

Heather Stober Fleming is a wine professional who lives in Fairhaven. Contact her at hfleming79@comcast.net.
Originally published on ‘South Coast Today.com’, (permission granted via email Ms. Stober)

Tasting Tuesday- Team Chef Fresco’s Beer Views

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So this is our inaugural post on Chef E’s Partner’s In Wine Club and we’re super-excited to do so!

Today we’re writing about a good beer that is brewed essentially down the street from us in Moorseville, NC (we’re in Charlotte).

Brewed by the Carolina Beer Company, Endo is a hoppy I.P.A. with a slightly more bitter then usual aftertaste. This unfortunately was not my favorite I.P.A. due to the aftertaste and flatter-then-normal-flavor, but a good brew none the less. I would give it a 6.5 out of 10 as far as taste goes but 10 out of 10 for the name.

‘Endo’, a mountain biking term, refers to when a rider goes over the handle bars. Notice the stylish helmet atop the Cottonwood King’s head on the label. I am not sure why- they named it ‘Endo’, but I guess it is supposed to have “over the top” hoppiness— We on the other hand, did not think so!

That’s all for Endo will try to come back to ‘Partners in Wine Club’ with a better brew next time but thats the way experimental beer drinking goes—some great, some good, some not so good.

Cheers!

Team Chef Fresco
Jessi and Michael are two 20-somethings who are about to be hitched. They both are native North Carolinians and currently live in Charlotte. They stay very busy with work – Jessi does a fair amount of traveling and Michael spends a lot of time on his own freelance work. They are also new homeowners and love to spend time fixing up the new house.

Market Monday- Wine Preservation

We all at one time or another, more often weekly found ourselves wanting to relax and open a bottle of wine. After one, or possibly two glasses and time for bed, or errands, we have a need to re-cork the bottle? So often and after years of seeing our parents doing the same thing, we just push the cork back in as deep as it will go leave it on the counter for the next evening. NO NO NO!

There are two problems with this- after years of learning that leaving air inside the bottle to continue oxidation, and not properly chilling the contents we are creating vinegar. An off tasting glass of wine in the next few days will be a  put off to most taste buds (imagine offering this to your friends, possibly an enemy!). Returning to the joys of enjoying earths great juice, the gift of Bacchus, should be a good experience.

Every well stocked bar needs a supply of bottle stoppers and pourers to extend the flavor of life of a good or not so great bottle of wine. There are many options of preserving wine, but our feelings are that if one has only a few ounces left- then why not spread the joy and split the last few ounces. That is unless you have over indulged, and exceeded the legal limits allowed to drive home. Half of a bottle left, or even two thirds then you should do what you can to preserve the luscious juice of the vine for the next day.

Preserving wine was only intended for a day or so, but we have actually experienced a bottle of Repasso from a recent wine tasting that was still singing to your taste buds seven days later, that of course is rare. Finding the right solution to the problem of preserving wine if you are only wanting to indulge or share in a glass of wine does not have to be as daunting as one might think. Below we list a variety of preservation methods, and in the next few weeks will be sharing information on the history of wine preservation and way into the development of products/gadgets that help make our lives so much easier.

We have contacted various industry pros and their companies, and will be bringing you wine industry news first hand!

Options in Wine Preservation:

  • Re-corking the bottle- not a good choice for champagne/sparkling wine due to expansion of the cork from pressure, and sealing in air to continue oxidation
  • Decorative Bottle Stoppers– sold in most wine and regular markets- temporary and only bottle bling
  • Glass top decanter cork stoppers- temporary and designed in the packaging of spirits to keep air particles, moister and debris from spoiling contents; decanters are designed to temporarily hold aged reds for breathing purposes; until the wine is immediately consumed
  • Vacu Vin Wine Saver & Stoppers- removes the air the damages the wine by continuing  the oxidization, thus destroying any remaining wine. Sterile marbles were discovered, by adding them to a half bottle until it reaches the bottle neck, and then using the Vacu Vin to remove any remaining air, and placing in cool storage.
  • Half Bottle Method– This is the lowest tech, maybe even a traditional method. Pour wine into a half bottle, fill near the top, and cork it. (Pouring itself aerates and helps change the wine. Remember always to refrigerate. Cold preserves).
  • Gas- There are a variety of solutions in which gases, such as nitrogen are pumped into the wine to replace harmful oxygen. These work about as well as the methods above, more or less, but cost money and require replenishment of supplies. The consumer models don’t work as well as the big restaurant models.

Next weeks ‘Market Monday- Wine Preservation’ will discuss ‘History of Wine, and the Development of Wine Preservation’, with additions of our own incites on the subject…

Quick Facts About Cork

. natural product
. unique characteristics
. unparalleled properties
. environmentally friendly
. renewable resource
. steady supply

. managed healthy forests …we will be sharing a big concern- ‘Is There A Cork Shortage’?

How Much Is Too Much Win(e)ing? A Docs Viewpoint

The History of Man (and Woman) is inextricably tied to that of alcohol. The exact date Bacchus delivered is gift is unknown and likely tied temporally to the experience of the first hangover. Nonetheless, Neolithic beer jugs date back to around 10,000 BC which provides evidence for the use of alcohol in its many forms from pre-history into the present. Intentional wine making was clearly established by the Egyptians as far back as around 4,000 BC and it is probably even further back than that date. Since that time wine (and alcohol) has served important nutritional, antiseptic, analgesic and medicinal roles. The uses have run the gamut from personal to social and gustatory to religious.

Throughout this long love affair between us and vino, the benefits of wine consumption have been touted. Today, the discussion is no different and continues to engender debate. Moderate alcohol consumption has been studied and seems to convey some potential health benefits. There is clear cardiovascular benefit (less heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease and hypertension), perhaps some benefit in terms of a reduction in stroke and a decrease in the incidence of Alzheimer’s dementia. There also seems to be some potential benefit against developing gallstones, arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, certain forms of cancer and type 2- diabetes.

In population based studies, those who consume moderate amounts of alcohol live longer and are healthier than either teetotalers or boozehounds. It appears either extreme is detrimental and the people at either extreme are not really the kind you want to hang around while you’re having a cocktail anyway. But what exactly is “moderate drinking”? In most studies, a “glass” of wine is about 5 ounces. You cannot use the glass that holds 750ml and claim just 1 glass of wine a day. Neither can you “save” your daily drinks and binge on Friday and Saturday. Slow and steady wins the race here. The definitions vary from study to study, but the range of the healthy benefits (and lack of consequences due to overindulgence) seem to be associated with about 1-3 drinks per day. Since there is a mass (as well as a genetic) component to alcohol metabolism, men were able to consume slightly more wine and retain the benefits of consumption without the complications of excess.

According to William Blake, Excess may lead you to the Palace of Wisdom but if she’s pouring your drinks she can lead you right to the transplant list. Excess alcohol consumption can cause irreparable heart and liver damage, affect your ability to clot and contribute to other blood disorders, cause pancreatic damage, gastrointestinal damage and types of encephalopathy. While wine consumption can reduce the incidence of depression and have a beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction, coyote ugly remains another significant hazard.

Despite these and other dangers, alcohol in the form of wine has been with us since it seems Homo erectus stumbled up upon two legs (no doubt to pee in the corner of the cave thinking he was outside). Since the whole experiment with the 18th amendment didn’t work out so well, and we really need the tax revenue nowadays, it seems it will be with us for the foreseeable future. Like any gustatory pleasure; foie or fries, salt or salted pork, enjoyment with wine is in not wine-ing too much.

Michael S. Fenster, MD, F.A.C.C., FSCA&I, PEMBA
Whats Cooking With Doc Blog