Author: martaburgues

Chocolate and wine delay ageing

Two of the most precious pleasures of this life, chocolate and wine, can preserve us from ageing. A research published in the journal BMC Cell Biology shows that human cells can be rejuvenated, if we eat and drink both (always in moderation). Let’s discover why.

Resveratrol, an antioxidant against ageing

Although studies have already emerged pointing to this claim, this recent research shows that chemicals similar to resveratrol, which is an antioxidant found in several plants and some foods, such as cocoa or grapes, bring youth to the skin.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton (UK), and led by professors of molecular genetics, found that by adding resveratrol-like substances to the ageing of human cells, it not only made older cells look younger, but they also began to divide again, as young cells would.

chocolate ageing

The researchers explained that they repeated the experiments several times and, in each case, the cells were rejuvenated. So the research reaffirms that both cocoa and wine, are powerful antioxidants that regenerate our cells and slow down the ageing of skin.

Benefits of chocolate

As we see, then, thanks to antioxidants, chocolate transforms the skin and leaves it younger and smoother. It is therefore known that aesthetic treatments of “chocotherapy” for the body allow to leave the epidermis in much better shape.

But, in addition, chocolate is good for the heart, since the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Sciences, SEDCA, tells us that dark chocolate is what gives us the most nutrients and lowers blood pressure.

At a psychological level, doctors establish that a normal portion of chocolate has a high psychopharmacological activity. Therefore it is recommended to combat depression or sadness because it activates the “hormone of happiness”, while giving us energy and well-being. As we say, dark cocoa is the best for health, although we can not abuse it either.

Properties of wine

Especially red wine has a lot of properties. On the one hand, as grapes contain antioxidant polyphenols, they bring youth to our skin. But it also helps fighting against free radicals, increases good cholesterol, protects the heart, and relaxes us. Like chocolate, it even provides energy by releasing endorphins.

wine ageing

Wine should be consumed in moderation, although the Mediterranean diet includes it and it is advisable to have a glass of wine per day.

 TAGS:Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017 is the product of the fertile vineyards from Alenquero and Cadaval, in the mountains in the North of Lisbon. This region strongly benefits from the wind of the ocean and the land’s fertility.

 TAGS:Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

Flor de Lis Reserva 2016 is a wine made to please. Born from the blend of 3 grape varieties: the Aragonez variety brings the spicy side, the Touriga Nacional the red fruits and the Syrah the sweet and velvety tannins.

Trends in cocktails for 2019

Trends in cocktails 2019

The world of cocktails is one of the most evolved in the last five years. As happens in gastronomy, it uses new techniques to find much more special and tasty flavours. Km0, creation and design, and quite strange combination, at first glance, are among the trends in cocktails for 2019.

Km0 and proximity

In the same way as in gastronomy, the mixology that already enters fully into this sector, requires professionals who are inspired by nature. In this way, it will be a trend for this 2019 that bartenders have their own gardens or their proximity producers to respond to more natural demands. Fresh, seasonal and quality product is also a trend in the cocktail world.

Signature cocktails

Like restaurant chefs, bartenders are emerging and there are already recognized names in this world. This is because they know how to improvise, create and provide new textures and flavours, so that signature cocktails and even personalized cocktails for each king of consumer is another trend that consumers demand.

Classics don’t die

Despite the fact that new, extra-natural flavours are being sought, classic cocktails are always served. We are talking about the daiquiri, Martini, San Francisco and, of course, the gin and tonic. So, gin goes on while vodka and tequila go up to make various mixes.

100% natural drinks

As we see, natural is a must. The Technomic Beverage Report 2018 mentions that 67% of consumers say they are more likely to buy beverages that are 100% natural or artisan instead of other high-calorie products.

Trends in cocktails 2019

Culinary cocktails

Another trend in mixology are the culinary cocktails. The best bars in the world already opt for gastro-products, such as foie gras or sweets, in special combinations with beverages that match perfectly with them.

More cocktail bars

Restaurants with cocktails and vice-versa are an upward trend. We see it in Spain, with Barcelona at the top, and evidently in many other countries. Cocktails are consumed with meals, with dinners and -relaxedly- at more nocturnal hours. While ‘speak-easy’ establishments or clandestine bars are fashionable again. Consumers want experiences, surprises and corners where they feel special.

 TAGS:Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka is the third best-selling white drink in the world and its bottle is currently considered has design icon and a masterpiece of glass design.

 TAGS:Beefeater Pink

Beefeater Pink

Beefeater Pink adds a new and bold pink face to the brand’s product range and appears as a homage of London’s underground club culture.

The most successful wines in 2018

From abroad, Spanish, classic denominations of origin and innovative wines. Know which are, for one reason or another, the most successful wines in 2018.

Rías Baixas

During this 2018, the wines of the DO Rías Baixas have strongly triumphed. They are among the most awarded whites this year, globally. They have obtained 266 awards and 25 accolades after participating in 30 official competitions. The Bacchus 2018, where 8 gold and 16 silver bacchus were achieved, are among the most important awards, according to the regulatory council itself. Its little brother, the Bacchus 2017, which is a biennial contest, awarded 3 great gold baccus, 15 gold baccus and 8 silver to Rías Baixas.

rias baixas

In the international arena, the governing body of the appellation of origin highlights the three great gold, four golds, 22 silvers, 51 bronzes and 4 accolades in the Decanter awards and, also, 1 great gold, 1 gold, 17 silvers, 24 bronzes and 19 accolades, from the International Wine Challenge. While other international competitions in which the wines of the Rías Baixas appellation of origin received numerous awards are the Challenge International du Vin, with 24 prizes (8 golds and 16 silvers), the Mundus Vini 2018, with 18 awards (6 golds and 12 silvers) and the Concours International du Vin (1 great gold, 7 gold, and 9 silvers).

Italian wines

Wine Spectator experts have established two Italian wines, among many others, as some of the best wines in the world in 2018. One of them is Bolgheri-Sassicaia Sassicaia 2015 from Tenuta San Guido, made with Cabernet Sauvignon (86%) and Cabernet Franc (15%), fermented in stainless steel tanks and later aged in French oak barrels (one third new barrels) for a period of 24 months. And also the Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 from Castello di Volpaia, in the region of Tuscany, made with ecological grapes of the Sangiovese variety, from eight different plots.

Castilla y León

Within Spain, the various regions are bringing novelties to the world of wine. Specifically, the wines of Castilla y León reached 26% of the market share in Spain while they triumphed abroad with exports that exceeded 215 million euros in 2017. And this 2018 they have been even more successful. For example, this wines achieved five of the eleven Golden Zarcillo this year, within the 2018 Zarcillo International Wine Competition.

most successful wines in 2018

An example of wine is Clunia Tempranillo 2014, which received 91 points from the prestigious American magazine Wine Enthusiast. This 100% Tempranillo is a smooth, harmonious, elegant wine, but with enough character to show that it comes from an extraordinary place. In addition, it has received the admiration of awards and criticism of his wines, not only from the Peñín Guide, but also from the key publications, experts and competitions on the international scene, such as Wine Spectator, Decanter World Wine Awards, Tempranillos al Mundo, or the CIVAS contest (International Wine Competition AkataVino Sommeliers of Spain).

Sale record for a French wine

French wines have continued to emerge this year. And during the month of October, a bottle of Romanee-Conti wine from 1945 was auctioned for a record price of $ 558,000 by the Sotheby’s house in New York. The final price was 17 times higher than the initial estimate of $ 32,000 from the auction house for this French wine. Romanee-Conti is the best Burgundy wine, and in the Cote de Nuits region, it covers less than two hectares, producing between 5,000 and 6,000 bottles per year.

Wine of Toro

It is another DO of high category and excellent quality. It has beaten in 2018 the sales record of its history, by reaching 13.7 million bottles marketed with the seal of this DO, which includes vineyards around the Douro River in the east of the province of Zamora and west of Valladolid.

The volume of business has increased by 3.5% compared to 2017, with 13,722,500 bottles with the back label that certifies the membership of this wine appellation of origin, as reported by the Wine regulatory council of Toro.

 TAGS:Sassicaia 2015

Sassicaia 2015

Generousness, freshness and elegance come together in this excellent Sassicaia 2015, the best wine in the world celebrated by the most known critics.

 TAGS:Quinta Hinojal Tempranillo 2014

Quinta Hinojal Tempranillo 2014

4 of 5 points is the average score of this red according to Uvinum users.

Healthier habits around drinking among young people in the UK

According to a study published in the British journal BMC Public Health, focused on youth habits, a decline in alcohol consumption among young adults (aged 16-24) has been observed for some years. Of the nearly 100,000 young people surveyed, 29% regard themselves as non-drinkers, when in 2005 the figure reached just 18%.

Alcohol consumption habits

In 2005, in fact, 43% of young people admitted drinking above the recommended limits, a figure that drops to 28% ten years later. Compulsive consumption has fallen from 27 to 18% in the same period, and levels of abstention have risen from 9 to 17%.

Generalized decline

As the authors of the research said in a post published by the portal The Drinks Business, the growth of non-drinkers among the young population is spread over a wide range of groups, including the inhabitants of the northern and southern regions of England, the white population, full-time students, employees and all kinds of social classes. This growth indicates that abstinence from alcohol is becoming a trend that could find its origin in cultural factors.

Alcohol consumption habits

This behaviour is becoming more socially acceptable, while the risky behaviours associated with compulsive use are being placed outside of normalcy. This confirms the data offered by the World Health Organisation, which show a dramatic decrease in alcohol consumption among English teenagers, compared with other European countries.

The fact is that between 2002 and 2014 there has been a significant reduction in consumption among adolescents, but with very variable figures among countries, giving England the most drastic reduction: while in 2002 50.3% declared drinking weekly, in 2002 the figure was down to 10%.

Christmas dinners in Europe

Soup, seafood, nougat and cava will be present in many Spanish tables this Christmas, but what usually eat and drink during the Christmas dinners in the rest of Europe? Let’s do a review of some of them. Take note if you want to incorporate some dishes into your menus!

Christmas dinners in England

As you already know, in Anglo-Saxon countries there are plenty of sweets and desserts, therefore, at Christmas puddings of different flavours with seasonal fruits are common, in addition to ginger cookies that can be decorated with Christmas designs and cakes as the Yule log. But before, the English eat roast turkey accompanied by side dishes such as potatoes. To drink, as is often quite cold, Mulled Wine is a tradition, being a hot wine with sugar and other spices.

Christmas dinners in Belgium

Turkey is repeated to eat at Christmas dinner, and sweets run through the holidays. During the dinner is usually eaten a dessert made with cream, in addition to the special and differently flavoured Belgian chocolates. Champagne and wine from France or Italy are the preferred drinks for Belgians.

Christmas dinners in Italy

Christmas dinner in Italy mix capon and turkey with different types of fish. The dessert is known worldwide: panettone and pandoro. Besides Italian D.O. wines to drink, it is also frequent the mulled wine and fruits.

Christmas dinners in Sweden

In the countries of northern Europe drinks also must be hot, so the Swedes drink julmust, with malt and hops, in addition to delicious fish, ham, chocolate candy and gingerbread cookies.

Christmas dinners in Germany

The combination of dishes is rich, so we can find lamb, duck and fish. As in other countries, it’s usually a family dinner, in which each member receives dishes with fruits and varied sweets. And mulled wine, which in this case is a mixture of red wine, lemon, cinnamon, cloves or other spices, and sugar. Besides champagne, also not lacking in the German Christmas tables.

Christmas dinners in Spainn

Seafood, fish, soups, Iberic ham have always a highlighted place in Christmas dinners, and so have sweets. The so-called “turrones”, also known as Nougat (a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts, whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit) are equally important in Christmas dinners, as much as wine and sparkling wines.

 TAGS:Moët & Chandon Brut ImpérialMoët & Chandon Brut Impérial

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial:  a sparkling wine from Champagne DO of the best of pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes and 12,5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Pol Roger Brut RéservePol Roger Brut Réserve

Pol Roger Brut Réserve: a wine sparkling with DO Champagne a based on pinot noir and pinot meunier and 12.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

This is what you need to know in terms of restaurant trends

We do not have a magic wand to determine what is to come in gastronomy, but according to the trends and what we pick up in restaurants, we can get an idea of ​​what will come in terms of restaurant trends. Do you want to discover it?

Restaurant trends

Bet on the local. It is a current trend, and therefore we will see it in the coming years. The taste for everything ecological moves to what is closest. That is, consuming products from the land, the region, the field next door, much better if it is from a well-known farmer. We will eat healthier, and also encourage the economy of the area.

Flexitarianism. It is a trend established by the people in charge of the International Hotel, Catering and Food Trade Exhibition, SIRHA, to be held in Lyon from January 26 to 30, which has identified other influences based on four different concepts: Consciousness, Welfare, Territorialities and Augmented experience. Thus, flexitarianism gains popularity because of this healthy trend, but without reaching extremes. That is, you can eat vegetables, but also fresh fish. It seems that this phenomenon will go further.

restaurant trends

Healthy. It is linked to the above, and perhaps also to the first point. Now there are many venues where they offer vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and in the rest of the restaurants there are dishes for vegans so that when we go there as a group or as a couple to have dinner, everyone can find diversity, especially regarding health.

Responsibility. As we see, this is another trend established by the owners of SIRHA. When we talk about restaurants, this concept takes shape because it is based on how food is produced, preserved, transported and consumed, always without damaging the environment. Restaurant professionals advocate increasingly for ecological and sustainable solutions.

Experiences. For some time now, consumers do not want to go to lunch or dinner and just that. They want for everything offered (the product, the menu, the environment…) to be part of a ritual of emotions that generate an experience. And this keeps coming strong. Restaurant owners need to devise how their businesses become places of emotion.

restaurant trends

Practicality. This trend explains the digital era in which we live. Online reservations and home-ordering are already everyday things and restaurants must enter necessarily in this circuit to increase their turnover. So it is mandatory to have a convenient website and that reservations can be made instantly, in a single click and from the mobile phone.

How does drinking affect your skin?

Surely when we talk about wine and skin care, grape’s polyphenols come to mind: they are really antioxidants and take care of our skin in general, rejuvenating it. However, beverages, especially the alcoholic ones, can have somewhat negative effects, starting with the dehydration that affects the body and also the skin.

Effects of drinking on the skin

According to Wine Spectator, some beverages, such as wine, dehydrate the body and skin. So, if we drink them excessively, the skin looks more wrinkled and dry. Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that your blood vessels widen when you drink. This, combined with water retention due to dehydration, can cause swelling in certain areas of the body.

Effects of wine on skin

In any case, it was established that if you drink in moderation, it is not often that you see many side effects on the skin, especially for healthy people, meaning people who drink enough water every day, eat properly, exercise…

Spirits

The majority of spirits such as rum, tequila or vodka usually reduce the levels of oxygen in the blood and this can unbalance the production of collagen in the skin. As a result, the epidermis becomes somewhat dull.

In turn, the consumption of alcohol increases the number of blackheads and pimples on the skin, and causes dryness because it reduces the amount of oxygenated blood from the veins. In addition, there is the swelling caused by drinking excessively, because spirits are high in sugar and cause fluid retention.

Beer and skin

Everything that is drunk in excess has negative effects on the organism. Beer contains salt and may not be as beneficial as it was believed for the body. On the other hand, if it is drunk in moderation it offers softness and hydration in face, body and hair, strengthening them. In fact, there are facial beer masks and spa with treatments with this drink having important success.

The polyphenols of red wine

As we announced at the beginning of the article, red wine has anti-ageing properties, thanks mostly to resveratrol, the polyphenol found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol stands out for its ability to fight free radicals, the unstable molecules that come from things like pollution and sun damage.

Resveratrol can fight oxidative stress and mitigate the damage it causes in the body. While a glass of wine a day will not counteract the natural ageing process of your body on its own, it can help when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

The most original wine and pasta pairings

White wine is not always the best for pairing pasta. It depends on the sauces added and, in the case it is stuffed pasta, the ingredients that are inside. We’ll show you some tricks to learn how to pair wine and pasta.

Wines for light sauces

There are a lot of sauces to complement pasta. From oil with oregano to béchamel, or even made from softer tomato. For these sauces, we will pair with white or rosé wines. If the sauce is carbonara, in addition to the white wine, it goes well with a good cava. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the varieties that pair better thanks to its touch of freshness, which breaks with the eventual acidity of the dish.

Wines for meat sauces

In this case, the sauces are more powerful and offer strongest flavours to the dish. It is clear that, with meat sauces, it is better to choose a red wine. But this can be either young or aged. Here we can choose from the most powerful Rioja to the Merlot and other softer varieties that help soften a strong dish.

wine and pasta pairing

Wines with pesto sauce

Pesto is a particular sauce. For many it can be too strong and for others, rather light, it depends on the taste of each one. In this sense, the wine that best suits pasta with pesto sauce is a white Sauvignon Blanc, because it provides the freshness needed to counteract the strong flavour of the dish.

Wines with pasta stuffed with mushrooms

We have already specified that we should be attentive to the filling of the fresh pasta, beyond the sauces. For this type of pasta we can choose either red, Merlot type wines, or whites that have a lot of body, such as Chardonnay.

Pasta with seafood and fish

Pasta is a very versatile dish that can be accompanied with vegetables, meats and fish. In this case, we will pair wine and pasta with a young white.

Wine and pasta pairing

Pasta with vegetables

If it includes vegetables, then the pairing will be made with Sauvignon Blanc varieties and also light rosé wines.

Wines according to the cheese

Cheese must also be taken into account, because it usually accompanies pasta and marks unmistakable flavours. We usually use not too strong cheeses or the classic parmigiano. This cheese goes perfect with red Italian wines although a white Spanish wine can also do a good job.

Why is grape harvested at night?

At the end of August, depending on the year, the process of grape harvesting usually begins, lasting in some cases can until October. The night harvest is a common practice in some areas and winemakers in Spain, but not all of them, although it is something that is carried out more and more. The reason is because it offers a number of advantages, even if many do not just see it that way. Let’s see what they are.

The reasons for the night harvest

To lower temperatures. One of the most obvious reasons to make a harvest at night is because when the harvest season starts it is still summer and it is hot. It is during the night when temperatures drop and workers can make their harvest better and without risks.

Riper grapes. Some winemakers, such as those belonging to the Designation of Origin of Rueda, where this practice is quite common, point out that the night temperature helps when collecting and handling bunches because the grapes are harder, avoiding thus the fermentative lack of control.

Photo: Raimat

Heat harms the grape. Not only high temperatures decrease the performance of grape harvesters but the grape also suffers. During the day, the grape tends to open up and arrives in bad condition at the winery. This entails a greater oxidation. At night all this does not happen, being the best time to pick them up and make sure they arrive correctly at the winery.

Cellars save energy. When temperatures drop, the cellar can save energy because all the collected grapes come at a lower temperature. With the heat, it takes a higher energy expenditure to cool down the chambers in which the fruit will be deposited.

Can all grapes be harvested at night? Although each winemaker has a different opinion, all types of grapes can be harvested at night, even if experts in the subject state that white grapes are the most indicated, since they are more sensitive to light because of their colour and skin type, and the red feature a more resistant surface.

Grape harvest

Mixed harvesting system. As we can see, the night harvest has clear advantages but it does not extend throughout the territory. We would say then that there is a mixed harvesting, from the early hours of the morning to the night, which are in both cases when it is less hot.

More fruity wines. In this case, there are also experts who think otherwise, but some winemakers point out that the enzymatic activity of the grapes at night is very low, which is why it provides more fruity wines.

 TAGS:Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja is the result of the first harvest and shows as a gorgeous young Tempranillo red wine with a short period in French oak for only a part of the assemblage.

 

 TAGS:Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

The Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015: a red wine from Maremma Toscana produced by Tenuta Fertuna that is based on 2015 merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese and shows an alcoholic strength of 13%

Cocktails for the fall

Enjoying a good cocktail is something pleasant not only in summer. When the cold weather comes, cocktails for the fall are recommended, less refreshing, lighter and without citric flavours, giving way to drinks that make us warm. For appetizers, after dinner, at the end of the night… we highlight some of the best cocktails for this season.

What cocktails to drink during autumn

New York Sour

This mix usually comes with rather strong spirits, which are the ones that are styled during this time of year. The New York Sour combines whiskey sour with red wine, so it adds complexity to a mixture that is usually surprising due to its strong flavor.

Negroni

It is a classic of all times, so it goes well in these transition months, since it can be hot day but cooler at the evening. It is made with gin, lemon, campari and sweet vermouth in equal parts, so it isn’t too dry or sweet. We can decorate it with a slice of orange on the glass. Perfect for appetizers or even to end the night.

Old fashioned

It is another classic, which as such, does not go out of style. It is made with whisky or bourbon, Angostura Bitters and orange juice. It is usually served in a wide glass. We can decorate it with an orange peel.

Cocktails for the fall

Dry Martini

Yes, we drink it during any season, but maybe we have abandoned it for the gin and tonic, the mojito and the refreshing summer beer. If you still do not know how it is made, we must emphasize that it is usually made with lemon, dry gin, dry white martini and a slice of lemon.

Daiquiri Mulata

The plain daiquiri is rather for hot seasons, but we can add lemon juice, coffee liqueur and rum, or, failing that, cocoa liquor or kahlua. It goes well after having dinner, since it is a great digestive.

Cocktails for the fall

Frangelico

Made in Italy, it tastes like autumn, with a base of toasted hazelnuts, released in alcohol with berries and spices. Its origin is related to the Italian Christian monks, since that is where its name comes from: Angelic Friar. Many people drink it as a digestive after heavy dinners.

Amarula

We are talking about another fall cocktail that has a somewhat stronger flavor. Amarula is made with a liqueur cream made in South Africa, and it has sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree. It has a characteristic caramel flavour and there are those who confuse it with Baileys, but they are different.

 TAGS:Martini Bianco 1L

Martini Bianco 1L

The Martini Bianco 1L by Martini & Rossi: a vermouth with roots in Italy with 15% of alcohol.

 

 TAGS:Red Leg Spiced Rum

Red Leg Spiced Rum

The Red Leg Spiced Rum is a rum produced by Red Leg Rum Company Ltd with origins in Jamaica with an alcohol content of 37%.