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Wine And Food Pairing


The basic golden rule is balance...neither your wine nor your food should be stronger than the other. Choose them to be complimentary to each other. A lightly flavoured dish should have a nice light wine, while food with depth and body can handle some of the heavier, more robust wine varieties. Simply think of your wine as a flavour enhancer, just as you would a spice, and strive not to overpower the tastes of either one. This is the one theme that underlies all the other nuances of food and wine pairings, of which there are many... If you achieve good balance, you have covered all the rest perfectly.

Here is a small list of how to pair wines with Starters and Deserts. My Free Ebook is available to download which will teach you how to pair your wine with all manner of foods and dishes. From Cheeses to Starters and from Meats to Deserts.

Starters etc

Green Vegetables - Chablis or Chardonnay
Caviar - Dry Champagne
Quiche - Pinot Gris, Dry White Burgundy, Pouilly Fume
Soups - Clear broth soups do not pair well with wine. Creamy or rich soups pair well with a Dry White Burgundy. Thick earthy soups pair well with a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais
Fruits other than Citrus
Pair with a Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Port, or Sauternes

Cheeses

Camembert, Brie, and other soft cheese that is not over ripe pair well with just about any red wine such as Red Burgundy, Zinfandel, and Cabernet

Dutch Cheeses such as Gouda pair well with the above mentioned wines as well.

Milder Cheeses fair better with a fruiter red wine such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, or Beaujolais

Most Blue Cheeses have such intense flavours that a sweet wine is needed just to balance the flavours. A Late Harvest or Ice Gewurztraminer, Sauternes, or Johannesburg Riesling should do the trick. Milder blue cheese such as Gorgonzola pair well with a fruity red wine.

Goat Cheeses in general pair well with a dry white wine. Stronger goat cheese is paired better with a sweeter white wine, similar to the wines paired with blue cheese.

As a rule, red wines go well with mild to sharp cheese. Pungent and intensely flavoured cheese do well with a sweeter wine. A little history note: In European Countries it is customary to serve the best wine of the meal with cheese or a cheese course.


About the Author:

Written by Emma Brown - Author of WineandBeerMakingSecrets Ebook. My full free Wine and Food Pairing Ebook is available for download at http://www.wineandbeermakingsecrets.com





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Wine And Food Pairing


The basic golden rule is balance...neither your wine nor your food should be stronger than the other. Choose them to be complimentary to each other. A...


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Wine About It - Learn about wine the cool, fun, easy way

Wine About It is a free monthly newsletter that helps people around the world learn to enjoy wine the cool, fun, easy way. Each month contains an in-depth how-to article on maneuvering the world of wine, wine reviews and recommendations, reader choices, and "random wine-ing". We also publish a free weekly wine tip called Fridays at Five with Lynne.


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I Love Italian Wine and Food - The Calabria Region


Calabria is the toe of the Italian boot. It is located in the southwest corner of Italy, with 500 miles of coastline on the Ionian, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian Seas. Its total population is about 2 million. The countryside is mountainous, and prone to earthquakes. For centuries peasants worked very hard to eke out a living from its poor soil. During the last century over a million people left Calabria to seek a better life in Northern or Central Italy or overseas.

Historically, the region?s first name was Italia, probably from the Italic tribes that inhabited the area. Over time, Calabria has belonged to the Greeks, the Romans, and the Byzantines. Others who lived in the area include Armenians, Bulgarians, Catalans, Goths, Spaniards, Normans, and Bourbons. Talk about multiculturalism.

While Calabria has been poor, its agricultural production is important. For example, it is the source of about 25% of Italian olive oil. Other agricultural products include vegetables, especially eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, and mushrooms. Its citrus fruits and figs are special. There is plenty of wheat for pasta, country-style bread, focaccia, and pizza. The main meat is pork, and some Calabrian salami is famous. Other meats include lamb and goat. The seas yield anchovies, cod, sardines, swordfish, and tuna. Cheeses include Caciocavallo Silano and Crotonese, reviewed below. Christmas and Easter are accompanied by traditional desserts. You won?t go hungry in Calabria.

Perhaps you haven?t heard of Calabria?s cities including Cosenza, Reggio di Calabria, and the regional capital, Catanzaro. The largest of the three, Reggio di Calabria, has fewer than 200 thousand people. But big cities are hardly a requirement for good wine. Few would ever claim that Italy?s best wines come from Rome, or the surrounding area. Hills and mountains, sunny days and cool nights, maritime breezes, low rainfall, and poor soil are all factors that can lead to excellent wines. Calabria definitely has winemaking potential.

Calabria devotes about sixty thousand acres to grapevines, it ranks 13th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is slightly less than twenty million gallons, giving it a 15th place. About 91% of the wine production is red or ros? (a bit of ros?), leaving 9% for white. The region produces 12 DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine. Only 2.4% of Calabria wine carries the DOC designation. The region is home to almost three dozen major and secondary grape varieties, half white and half red.

Widely grown international white grape varieties include Chardonnay, Trebbiano, and Malvasia. The best known, strictly Italian white variety is Greco Bianco, which makes an excellent sweet wine that is very hard to find outside of the region. In general, Calabrian white wines are difficult to find in North America.

Widely grown international red grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The best known strictly Italian white variety is Gaglioppo, whose flagship wine, Cir? we review below. Keep your eyes open for wines made from the indigenous Magliocco red grape.

Before reviewing the Calabria wine and cheese that we were lucky enough to purchase at a local wine store and a local Italian food store, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring this beautiful region.
Start with Pitta Chicculiata, Pizza with Tuna, Tomato, Anchovies, Black Olives, and Capers.
Then try La Carne ?Ncantarata dei Fratelli Alia, Pork Loin in Honey-Chili Glaze. For dessert, indulge yourself with Fichi al Cioccolato, Chocolate-Covered Roasted Figs.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY While we have communicated with well over a thousand Italian wine producers and merchants to help prepare these articles, our policy is clear. All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Librandi ?Duce San Felice? Cir? Reserva 2001 13.5% alcohol about $15

Some claim that Cir? is the oldest existing wine. It is said to come from a wine consumed by victorious Calabrian athletes on their return from the Olympics well over 2500 years ago. This DOC wine grows in the low hills near the Ionian Sea in eastern Calabria not far from the Sila Massif plateau. If you ask me, the geographical characteristics worked out quite well for this wine.

Cir? is made from the indigenous Gaglioppo red grape, which has a light-colored pulp and very thick skin. In spite of the grape skins, this wine contains light tannins. Personally I found the tannins excellent, they melted into the food and I say this as someone who is not overly fond of tannins. I tried this Cir? with barbecued boneless beef ribs marinated in a somewhat spicy tomato sauce and loved the way the fruit flavors accompanied the food. Sometime after the meal I reread the wine store?s review and agreed with their quote ??This Librandi has tangy texture with complex, juicy red fruit, and overall it?s very attractive. It?s just great for barbecued meats??

Crotonese is a pure sheep?s milk cheese found in Calabria. It is made in 4 pound wheels with a very light rind. Its color ranges from pale yellow to creamy yellow. Crotonese is an excellent grating cheese. Another recommendation is to slice it thinly and drizzle olive oil, especially Calabrian Crotonese olive oil, over it. Its flavor is both salty and sweet, and is mildly sharp. I tried it for lunch with a mixture of humus (ground chickpeas) and processed vegetables, toast, and the Cir? Reserva. The wine and cheese flavors blended well. Another recommended wine for Crotonese cheese is the classic Tuscan Brunello di Montalcino at about three times the cost of this Cir?.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine website is www.theworldwidewine.com. You can reach him at ital@mail.theworldwidewine.com.



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I Love Italian Wine and Food - The Calabria Region


Calabria is the toe of the Italian boot. It is located in the southwest corner of Italy, with 500 miles of coastline on the Ionian, Mediterranean, and...


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A Featured Wine Writer Article

Making White Wine: A Labor Of Love


Wine is made in winery and wineries exist all over the world and come in a variety of sizes. The grapes are grown at the wineries and then turned into wine and there are many varieties of grapes; each one either used either alone or combined to make different wines. But how exactly is white wine made?

To make a white wine, once grapes are brought to the winery they are de-stemmed and crushed before anything else is done. A machine is used to split the grapes to remove stems and stalks from each bunch because they contain astringent tannins, which might be acceptable for red wines, but are rare in whites. To stop the fermentation process from starting and turning the grapes brown and oxidizing (causing a vinegar type taste) a chemical called Sulphur Dioxide is added to the grapes. For those with allergies to Sulphur Dioxide, ?sulphur-free? wine is produced as well, however the lifespan on this wine is much shorter and needs to be consumed quickly.

After the grapes are split and the stems have been removed, they are sent to be pressed. Pressing the grapes releases their juices. The press is a large machine that has a canvas like material that separates the juice from the skins and seeds by allowing the juice to escape. The separated juice is then pumped gently to another steel tank where the sediment is allowed to settle to the bottom before being transferred again. The now sediment free juice is either pumped into another steel tank (unwooded wines) or to wooden barrels (wooded wines) where the preferred yeast type is added and fermentation can begin. Fermentation of white wine can take 3 days or 30 days depending on the type of wine being produced.

For unwooded whites, once the fermentation process is over, the wine is removed from the steel tanks and separated from the dead yeast cells. Whites such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are typically unwooded wines, however there are small exceptions. Rieslings in Europe can be made in wooden barrels, though the barrels usually have a crust of tartaric crystals (found in grapes and solidifies in their juices), which acts as a barrier preventing the oak flavor from being infused in the wine. Examples of oaked Sauvignon Blanc can be found in France, however the aging of unwooded Sauvignon Blanc in bottles produces a nutty toasted flavour as if it was stored in wood therefore it really is not necessary.

Why would someone want to produce an unwooded wine? The answer is simple, money. It is much cheaper to produce wine in large steel tanks, and the work required after fermentation is minimal allowing bottling and release to be quicker. This does not, however, mean unwooded wine is in any way inferior to wooded wine. It is simply a different process.

Wooded wines can often begin their fermentation in steel tanks before being transferred to oak barrels to finish fermenting, or they can have a second fermentation known as malolactic fermentation. A third option, barrel fermentation, is to simply ferment the wine once from start to finish in an oak barrel. Malolactic fermentation is the process in wine where malic acid begins to turn into lactic acid. This happens with the addition of bacteria, which in turn gives the wine buttery creamy characteristics. Wooded white wines are in barrels from six to twelve months before being filtered.

The next step in making white wine is filtration. The most common way commercial wineries filter their wine is with a membrane filter, which catches all the particles floating in the liquid. Some winemakers prefer not to filter at all thinking it will remove characters from the wine that were created in the winemaking process. After the wine has been filtered it is bottled and sealed and ready for marketing.

It all seems too easy, but it takes great skill. Climates need to be controlled, ingredients need to be accurately measured and timing needs to be perfect. Sometimes it is easy to forget that a bottle of wine can take so long to make and that patience is key. However, it is this patience and attention to detail that brings out the best in a bottle of wine.


About the Author:

Ken Finnigan is the CEO of Finest Wine Racks a website specializing in quality decorative wine racks and durable wine storage systems.





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Making White Wine: A Labor Of Love


Wine is made in winery and wineries exist all over the world and come in a variety of sizes. The grapes are grown at the wineries and then turned into...


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