Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This went really well with zucchini cakes.
Word: The Viura grape is known as Macabao in France where it is popular in the Languedoc/Roussillon Region. It is northern Spain's most planted white variety, and is often used to blend into potent (which are common in these warm growing regions) red wines, or rosé. Although the grape travelled to France via Spain, it is thought to be indigenous to the Middle East.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Now this whole affair is meant to take place under a napkin, or a tea towel so that the wire cage doesn't fly off and ding you, or worse, one of your guests in the cornea, and to also catch any spills or drips that may ensue. We didn't use a towel because:
1. filming Nita fumbling around under a tea towel would just be silly
2. we like to live dangerously
3. we never cry over spilled bubbly in our house, we just lick it off the counter
Monday, February 15, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
My friend Nita helped me work my way through a tasting these four bottles of bubbly (and polish them off later; what else to do with opened bubbly?). Here's what we found, in order of our preference:
In the glass: yeast, mushroom & mineral with green apple & lime
Take the round of cheese out of that nice, wooden box and remove all the paper wrapping before popping it back into the box. Set the box on top of a substantial piece of foil paper and, with a fork, poke holes in the cheese. Sprinkle a little white, or sparkling wine over the cheese allowing the liquid to sink into the holes you've just made. Toss the fresh thyme on top; put the lid back on the cheese; wrap the whole package up in the foil. Warm this in the oven at about 300 fahrenheit for ten minutes. When it comes out of the oven spread the soft, rich cheese on baguette rounds.
Word: Only sparkling wine from the region of Champagne in France is allowed to be called Champagne. Sparkling wine from other regions of France are called Crémant and Mousseaux. The Spanish call their sparkling wine Cava. The Germans call theirs Sekt, and the Italians call theirs Prosecco (which is also the name of the grape with which it is made).
Thursday, February 4, 2010
It's cold, the days are short, and for the most part we are stuck inside, central heat sucking the moisture out of our bodies. It's winter. That's the bad news. The good news is that spring is coming, and winter does have its good moments: the quiet that comes with the snow; ice skating; cross-country skiing; hot tubs and saunas; fireplaces, and full bodied, warming red wine. So open this bottle of sunshine from the south of France and enjoy the warmth it has to offer.
This Merlot ($8.60) is from the Languedoc region of France, which is a crescent shaped piece of terrain that hugs the Mediterranean. It was settled by the Greeks and Romans who brought grapes with them, and the oldest vines in France are to be found here. It is also the largest wine producing region in the world! In the past this area's reputation was that of a bulk wine producing region, but that has been changing and it is now a great region of France to find bargain, quality wine.
In the glass: this is a wine with a bit of body. More sunshine = more sugar in the fruit = more alcohol. It's all about the dark fruit: black currant, black berry and cherry with some vanilla and sweet spice to compliment. The mild acidity combined with the alcohol is just enough to balance out the fruit, and makes this wine an easy sipper. I'm thinking it would go nicely with duck and a red berry sauce (or even better, duck confit), or how about camembert wrapped in puff pastry with a sweet cranberry sauce.
Word: Languedoc is named after the Occitan (a medieval, romance language more closely related to Catalan than French) term 'lenga d'oc', the 'oc' meaning yes to differentiate the Occitan speakers in this part of France from the 'langue d'oui' speakers in the north. The use of Occitan declined in France after the Revolution. Crémant de Limoux comes from this area; a great, inexpensive sparkling wine.