Tag: wine

Great tips to pair your desserts like a pro

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Combining your desserts with wine is one of the best options to highlight flavours and live the best sensual experience possible. Take note of these tips and spoil your guests with the most delicious combinations of dessert and wine to your guests at home or get the best out of your next restaurant visit.

  • Cakes: Sweet wines like Sauternes (Bordeaux) make for a great companion for desserts based on fruits and nuts. In other cases, like cakes and such made of creams you’d rather prefer a semi-dry rosé or sparkling.
  • Chocolate desserts: Cakes and other desserts made of chocolate can be accompanied by sweet white, fortified, and natural sweet wines. Also, many choose to go for the risk-free option to avoid any mistake: the Port.
  • Spirits and liqueurs to make desserts: spirits are used for the manufacture of Biscuits or to make reductions. On other occasions, we use those drinks to make ice cream. Examples include brandy like the Poire Williams for pears, Maraschino for cherries and the Grand Marnier for oranges. For chocolate-based desserts, cognacs and brandies are your best choice. In these cases, we recommend pairing the dessert with the same liquor which the dessert has been prepared with.

Candied or dried fruits such as figs, raisins, dates and apricots go very well with Pedro Ximenez wines and aged Muscat.

Nuts such as chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and peanuts could be combined with fortified wines with a strong and persistent flavour.

Red and black fruits such as cherries, raspberries and strawberries get along very well with young red wines showing more vivid and violet colours.

Citrus fruits may be accompanied by sweet wines with high citrus notes, as aged Muscat.

And remember: For the right pairing, it’s important to consider the balance between fruit flavours and aromas of wines, as well as the fruit’s colour and the wine’s colour which should be similar.

 TAGS:Pedro Ximenez Reserva de Familia 50clPedro Ximenez Reserva de Familia 50cl

Pedro Ximenez Reserva de Familia 50cl: a sweet wine with Málaga DO of the best of Pedro Ximénez-grapes and 17.00º of alcohol. Pedro Ximenez Reserva de Familia 50cl can be matched with desserts.

 

 TAGS:Moscatel Naranja 50clMoscatel Naranja 50cl

Moscatel Naranja 50cl: a fortified wine from Málaga DO vinified with  Muscat of Alexandria and Moscatel and has an alcohol content of 15º.

 

 

Wines from Binissalem-Mallorca: how are they?

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All wines with Designation of Origin Binissalem-Mallorca are distinguished by characteristics given by native varieties in the area and mixing with foreign varieties.

The most cultivated varieties are:

  • Inks: black Manto (main variety grown), Callet, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
  • White: Moll or Prensal (main variety grown), Giró ros, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Moscatel.

All certified wines must be made from grape varieties produced in the wine region of the Designation of Origin Binissalem-Mallorca and comply with the rules established in the Regulations of the Designation of Origin.

General characteristics of the wines:

  • Young wines are white wines, rosé, red or sparkling whose period of aging in oak barrels do not reach the minimum time required for reserva and gran reserva categories.
  • The red wines are classified in young or crianza, reserva and gran reserva. For its preparation 30% of the variety should be Black Mantle and a maximum of 30% of the variety Gorgollassa must be used.
  • White wines: can be dry or sweet. For its elaboration, 50% of the native Moll or Prensal Blanc or 50% of Muscatel must be used.
  • Rosé wines: for its elaboration, any authorized variety by the Regulation and a maximum of 30% of the Gorgollassa variety  need to be used.
  • The white sparkling wines: Must be at least 50% of the native white variety Moll.
  • Pink sparkling wines: can be made from any variety authorized with a maximum of 30% of the variety Gorgollassa.

The time periods of aging red wines are:

  • Crianza: They must have a minimum period of aging of 24 months, of which 6 must have passed in oak barrels.
  • Reserva: They must have a minimum period of aging of 36 months, of which 12 must be spent in oak barrels and bottles the rest of the time.
  • Gran Reserva: They must have minimum aging period of 60 months, which should be spent, at least, 18 in oak barrels, and the rest in bottles.

 TAGS:Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012

Veritas Vinyes Velles 2012: a red wine with Binissalem-Mallorca DO made with 2012 grapes and with an alcoholic strength of 15º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Macià Batle Rosado 2015Macià Batle Rosado 2015

Macià Batle Rosado 2015: a rosé wine with Binissalem-Mallorca DO harvested in 2015 and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

 

The 8 worst pairings in the world

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There are pairings between wine and food you should avoid at all costs as they are carried as bad as cats and dogs. It is way better to learn how you should accompany your meals and get the best of your eating experience. In some cases a bad pairing can cause heartburnor and hangover, and in other cases it could completely spoil the taste of your dishes.

1. You should never pair with champagne

One of the worst combinations for dry champagne is the sweet cakes served at weddings, as they make out of your palate battlefield of tastes. Another combination to avoid is the vintage champagne and curry.

2. Cabernet Sauvignon is your friend

In the case of a Cabernet that stands by its tannic character is best to avoid combining with ice cream: you will find the wine too bitter and ice cream too sweet. Another is the unpleasant combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and oysters, because the texture of oysters you will find a sandy and metallic taste. One last very poor combination is the sole and Cabernet, as its delicate flavor will be lost in the wine.

3. Don’t combine acid with Pinot Noir

If you want to enjoy a chicken with tarragon vinegar sauce, avoid combining it with a Pinot Noir, you will lose the bottle. Herbal vinegar and any acid plate dampens the fruitiness of this wine.

4. If you like Sauvignon Blanc…

Caviar is one of the foods you should stay away from when drinking Sauvignon Blanc, because you will lose all of its features. Another food is the blue cheese, which by its strong flavor will compete with wine on your palate.

5. The Chardonnay hates sweetness

You may find interesting combination of ice cream and Chardonnay, but it is a surefire way to (get) a hangover recipe. It is also advisable to stay away from mackerel, which by its oily taste completely change the taste of wine on your palate, as well as the raw oysters because they lose their delicate flavor. Finally, the Chardonnay will flatter when combined with spicy foods such as chorizo.

6. Chianti dislikes tuna

The chianti is not the best wine to accompany tuna salad or similar dishes, because the latter will make the wine acquires a metallic taste on the palate.

7. Do not spoil a wine of Merlot

If you love artichokes, brussels sprouts, green beans and collards, avoid combining them with red wine based on Merlot. In general, the harmonies for these dishes are best with white wines.

8. Do not throw away a bottle of Burgundy

The Burgundy and the lasagna is one of those combinations that can cause you heartburn. Cheese, tomato sauce and wine are such a strong combination for your stomach.

 TAGS:Château Citran 2009Château Citran 2009

Château Citran 2009: a red wine with the best bunches of 2009 cabernet sauvignon and 13.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

 TAGS:Château la Garricq 2009Château la Garricq 2009

Château la Garricq 2009:  a red wine from the Moulis DO made with petit verdot and merlot of 2009 and with an alcohol content of 14º.

If you drink beer or wine, you’ll eat better

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According to a study by Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche, students who drink beer or wine in moderation tend to consume large amounts of fish, fruit and vegetables, ingredients that make up the Mediterranean diet and are the basis for a healthy diet.

In contrast, respondents young abstainers (over 1,000 between 17 and 35 years old) admitted they consume less fish instead, they eat larger amounts of meat. Meanwhile, drinkers of all forms of alcohol had a lower intake of fruits and vegetables and twice the amount of meat compared to those who drink beer or wine moderately.

According to these results, 18.9% of participants drank only wine or beer moderately, 19.5% did not drink alcohol and 61.6% consumed all kinds of alcoholic beverages, including high ranking.

The average alcohol intake was 4.3 grams per day, an amount that can be considered low to moderate, as it is less than 11.8 grams per day calculated by the National Health Survey for young adults of the same age, made between 2011 and 2012.

However, they acknowledge the controversy that exists within the international scientific community regarding recommend or not alcohol, albeit moderately, due to the negative effects that excessive consumption can have.

The results of the work done by the UMH demonstrates the importance of jointly study the diet and alcohol consumption when measuring the effects of the latter in the body. The reasearchers also pointed out that the Mediterranean diet inlcudes moderate consumption of wine in the meals thanks to its health benefits.

 TAGS:Pruno 2014Pruno 2014

Pruno 2014: a red wine from the Ribera del Duero DO made with cabernet sauvignon and tinta fina of 2014 and 13.5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Tarima 2014Tarima 2014

Tarima 2014: a red wine from Alicante DO of Bodegas Volver cellar with a blend based on monastrell of 2014 and with an alcoholic strength of 14.5º.

 

The best pairings for smoked salmon

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When we think of food pairing possibilities for salmon our first option’s usually white wine or champagne. However, there are many other possible pairings for this tasty and soft fish. Whether wine, beer or spirits, there is a wide range of drinks: it is just a matter of putting aside traditions and try something new and different.

Wines

  • Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and other Sauvignon from the Loire: these wines are known for their dry minerals, with delicate flavours of gooseberry that are perfect for smoked salmon. Other Sauvignons can also work as long as they are not too “herbal”.
  • Chablis: young Chablis’ work better since they have a clean freshness and just the right amount of acidity to counteract the salmon’s greasiness. Chardonnays also go well with hot smoked salmon.
  • Riesling: young German Riesling wines like Kabinett with their intense flavours of green apple combine especially well. Young Alsace wines and Australian Rieslings are also a good choice for this dish.
  • Gewürztraminer: Gewürztraminer and smoked salmon make an excellent couple. Just give this two a shot.
  • Dry sherry. If you like dry sherry, this might be your best choice. The sherry’s salty and spicy taste is perfect as long as it is served cold and directly after the bottle was opened.

 TAGS:Grand Regnard Chablis 2013Grand Regnard Chablis 2013

Grand Regnard Chablis 2013: a white wine with Chablis DO with the best bunches of chardonnay from the 2013 vintage and with an alcohol content of 12º.

 

Beers and spirits

  • Czech or German pilsner beer: the freshness and slight bitterness of pilsner is just the thing to serve with your dish of smoked salmon.
  • Weissbier, Witbier or wheat beer: the ‘white’ beers go with most types of seafood in addition to smoked fish. An excellent option that will go great with your meals.
  • Malt Whisky: it may not be the first thing on your mind thinking of smoked salmon but it makes for an excellent choice. Choose a light malt whisky if the taste of salmon is soft or an Islay whisky if it’s stronger.
  • Aquavit: this is an aromatic spirit from the Nordic countries and a very original option to enjoy with salmon. Its dill and cilantro aromas make it a perfect partner for the fish’s taste.
  • Vodka: good cold Polish vodka can work just fine. With this combination, you get to give an unexpected twist to your evening dining.

 TAGS:Absolut Electrik SilverAbsolut Electrik Silver

Absolut Electrik Silver: a vodka from distillery The Absolut Company from Sweden. 

2 easy and delicious recipes for the spring

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With the arrival of spring comes the opportunity to enjoy seasonal products and all the benefits they bring to our body thanks to its quality and freshness. In the spring season, it is better to eat fresh foods such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruits.

Boiled eggs stuffed with spinach

This is an excellent entry into the spring season, is a recipe of French origin that takes half hour, and is for 4 people.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 80 grams of spinach puree
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation: 

  1. Let the raisins soak for 30 minutes in a bowl with very hot water. Drain, dry and cut into pieces. Chopped pine nuts.
  2. Cook eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool before peeling. Cut a piece of egg on the widest part so that it can keep up. Cut the other end to a cap. Remove the yolks.
  3. Crush the yolks in a bowl, mix with spinach puree and olive oil until smooth paste. Add salt and pepper, pine nuts and raisins. Mix well.
  4. Fill the eggs with withthe mix and serve them on lettuce leaves.

Lasagna chicken with vegetables

This is a main course you can prepare in about 45 minutes, cooked in the oven, and serves 2 guests.

Ingredients:

  • 125 grams of lasagna sheets
  • 150 grams of chicken
  • 50 grams of carrots
  • 50 grams of squash
  • 10 ml fresh whole milk
  • 5 ml dry white wine
  • 10 grams of flour
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat 2 liters of salted water in a large saucepan. Then proceed to dice the squash, the carrots and the chicken breast.
  2. Saute the carrots in oil. Add white wine and let evaporate.
  3. Add chicken, cook for 8 minutes, add the diced squash. Continue cooking for about 6 minutes. Add salt and turn off the heat.
  4. Mix flour and oil, pour the milk gradually. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add salt.
  5. When the water starts to boil add a drizzle of olive oil and lasagna sheets. Cook for the time indicated on the package, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the lasagna sheets are cooked, drain and place on a hot tray.
  7. Add the chicken and bechamel sauce to the lasagna and serve.

And you can also accompany these delicious recipes, by serving the following recommended wines:

 TAGS:Gessamí 2015Gessamí 2015

Gessamí 2015: a white wine from Penedes DO of Caves Gramona cellar produced with moscatell and muscat de frontignan from the 2015 vintage and 11.5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2015Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2015

Jean Leon 3055 Chardonnay 2015: a white wine Penedes vinified with chardonnay from 2015 and with an alcoholic strength of 13º. 

 

Drinking alcohol in moderation may prevent memory loss

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According to a recent study by researcher Michael A. Collins, of the department of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, drinking in moderation can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and memory problems in general.

However, researchers emphasize the “moderate consumption” of alcohol, the equivalent of a daily glass of wine, or 1 to 2 glasses of beer or 1 small shot of liquor for women; and to double these measures for men.

In this study, moderate drinkers were 23% less likely to develop symptoms of memory problems or Alzheimer’s disease. These benefits were seen in 14 of the 19 countries surveyed, including the US

It is not known exactly how that moderate alcohol consumption does reduce the risk of memory problems, but alcohol may have anti-inflammatory effects. And, precisely, it is the inflammation of the brain one of the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia in the population. Inflammation is also one of the symptoms in heart disease, vascular lesions in the brain, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers.

“This study is not the last word, but it offers the most completed picture,” says study researcher Michael A. Collins, who adds that “low levels of alcohol may have anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system, on the heart and on the brain.”

On the other hand, the wine turned out to be more protective than beer or spirits, according to this new report. But most studies do not differentiate between types of alcohol. 

 

 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005  is a Rioja from the La Rioja Alta cellar based on tempranillo and garnacha of 2005 and 13.5º of alcohol strength.

 

 

 TAGS:Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2010Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2010

Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2010 is a red wine from this DO: Rioja based on carignan and cannonau of 2010 and presents an alcohol content of 14º. 

 

 

The value of education on responsible use of alcohol

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Alcohol consumption among the younger population grows with each passing year. The figures speak for themselves when it states that, according to the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, more than half of 17-year-olds acknowledge that they have been drunk at least once during the last month. Therefore, we need to raise social awareness and promote education from the family and teachers to reduce alcohol consumption among the younger population.

  • Encourage good habits. Better health and good food habits can slow excessive consumption of alcohol. Also, young people drink mainly for fun, so we have to look for alternative entertainment to escape this problem.
  • Increase exercise. One of leisure activities that promote a more active life is the practice of sport. Not only during the week but also on weekends, doing group activities, adventure activities. And also extreme sports which can replace the adrenaline rush some feel from alcohol.
  • Family education. In recent years, studies demonstrate that one starts to drink at a younger age, and are more likely to have problems with alcohol if you are raised in a family that has a looser level of permissiveness. Perhaps it is good to talk to parents and children, encourage moderation in alcohol consumption at home, knowing effects, what to drink and what not.
  • Better educational campaigns in school. When it comes to education on alcohol in schools, it seems that their campaigns against alcohol are not working well enough. New values, new models of society, and therefore new realizations are needed to solve this problem.

In short, to prohibit consumption does not work, one need to offer leisure alternatives equally interesting for the young ones. This is would be the best way to educate and promote moderation in drinking, thus promote a taste for calm and pleasant consumption, and also get the advantage of the health benefits of drinks such as wine.

 TAGS:Erdinger alcohol-freeErdinger alcohol-free

Erdinger alcohol-free

 

 

 TAGS:Karamalz Bottles alcohol-freeKaramalz Bottles alcohol-free

Karamalz Bottles alcohol-free

 

Wine is to drink it… and to paint!

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Plastic artist Jorge Martorell has come up with an idea to use wine in a new and very original way: he uses it as the protagonist in his artistic work. How? Painting his canvas with Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet and Chardonnay wines, among others.

In his pictures, Martorell replaces the traditional acrylic paintings for wine, a technique he discovered by accident when he was working and spilled a glass of wine over the canvas and stained it. It was that moment when Martorell decided to leave the wine stain as a part of his artwork. He was so amazed by the result that he continued to use wine in his other paintings.

That’s how Martorell’s paintings became well known for using stains of red wine all over his pictures. His work materials changed and are now the wine, adulterated wine, and natural inks. Jorge Martorell uses all kinds of wines and strains: from high-end wines to minor ones.

Wine has a lot of properties and qualities very similar to watercolors and its range of colors after its oxidation is great for the paintings: red, purple, crimson, rusty red, gray, moss green, plum, blue navy, teal, lavender are some of them, while white sparkling wines leave yellows and oranges tones.

“The process to paint with wine is based on trial-and-error” confirms Martorell. During the process of his artwork, he uses the wine’s oxidation to obtain the desired results and colors. On the other hand, if he wishes to stop the oxidation, he uses acrylics, natural inks or iron oxide. Martorell keeps it very professional and he works along with an oenologist who teaches him more about wine to get better colors, paints, and textures.

Music is also part of the concept of his art, which is often inspired by tangos, phrases, and emblematic names: Uno, Tinta Roja, La última curda, Las vueltas de la vida, Déjame que llore, Me quedé mirándola, Rodando por Callao are some of them.

The list of materials is still growing. For example, in his painting “Last Tango in Paris” (inspired on Argentinian Gato Barbieri‘s composition for the movie from Bertolucci) he incorporated a drop of blood to finish the work.

And if you are wondering, no, he does not drink while he works, he barely gets his lips wet.

 TAGS:Château Malartic-Lagravière 2008Château Malartic-Lagravière 2008

Château Malartic-Lagravière 2008  is a Pessac-Léognan from the Château Malartic Lagravière cellar is made with petit verdot and merlot of 2008 and 13º of alcohol strength. 

 

 

 TAGS:Château Quinault L'Enclos 2006Château Quinault L’Enclos 2006

Château Quinault L’Enclos 2006 is a wine red with DO Saint-Émilion Grand Cru from the 2006 harvest. 

 

 

How has wine consumption changed over the last years?

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The food market grows at a very fast pace and today, consumers have become a lot more demanding towards this market including the world of wine. Let’s take a look at how trends have changed over the past years!

Customers want what’s best: Because of the huge amount of information that has been put out there online over the last years, consumers become more demanding each day. They know exactly what they need and want, especially in terms of quality.

The new generation: With the rising of social networks and blogs, a lot of new consumers are influenced by content, comments and feedback they get from these social networks. They don’t have a deep understanding of the wine industry, but they are fast learners and become very demanding clients. They’re usually young people that look for specific products and new vintages.

Marketplace: According to studies conducted by SymphonyIRI, consumers don’t go to wineries anymore to purchase a product. Instead, they have become more practical and prefer to buy wine in supermarkets, specialized grocery stores, food boutiques, and other convenient stores. Also, online purchasing is a rather new trend that has been growing fast over the years.

Consumption place: Additionally, the place where people drink has changed radically. From the restaurant, consumers have moved to local bars, neighborhood parties, casual meetings and cultural events where they usually get to compare different tastes of wine.

Brand drinkers: Since a lot new consumers don’t really understand the “science” behind the consumption of wine, they have been considered “brand drinkers”. These consumers use to always ask and drink a certain type of wine because it belongs to a recognized region or just because it is advertised everywhere.

 TAGS:Tarima 2014Tarima 2014

Tarima 2014: a red wine from Alicante DO of Bodegas Volver cellar with a blend based on Monastrell of 2014 and with an alcoholic strength of 14.5º. 

 

 

 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005: a red wine with DO Rioja produced with tempranillo and Garnacha from the 2005 vintage and 13.5º of alcohol content.