The term, “wine cellar” has more meaning for maintaining the beverage than simply because it’s an out of the way location to safely store bottles. The cellar was traditionally the ideal location to store wine for two very important reasons: protection from sunlight and steady cool temperatures. In today’s society, it’s possible to create ideal temperatures and climates almost anywhere. This promotes an optimum experience when you first uncork that vintage bottle. [Read more…]
One of the more heartening stories to come roaring down the information highway of late, at least about food, involves an unbeatable combination: dark chocolate desserts and red wines. Simply put, dark chocolate cake ingredients matched with a suitable selection of red wine not only tastes great, but is very good for you.
Why dark chocolate and red wine go so well together
Almost anybody knows that red wine and chocolate taste terrific — whether consumed separately or together. But there’s also a natural and scientifically verified connection between the two, which the palate and body naturally understand. [Read more…]
Sauternes is a wine type that is not very familiar to those who are not seriously into wines. It’s a shame though because Sauternes is one of the most enjoyable wines to indulge in. It’s a white wine that has a fruity bouquet and a strong natural sweetness. The sweetness it gets from the way the grapes – usually Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon varieties – are handled. The grapes develop noble rot, which results in them shriveling somewhat, something that is akin to a grape turning into a raisin. These partially raisined grapes are what is used in making Sauternes. These grapes have a higher than usual sugar content, which results in the wine acquiring that distinctively sweet taste. [Read more…]
Choosing the best wine to go with a meal is not always an easy task for there are many different varieties and styles to choose from. We all know the basics of red, white and rosé but there is far more to it than that. For example, Wikipedia’s exhaustive glossary of wine terms is full of terms and abbreviations which mean little to the average drinker, who would be stuck when it came to the differences between the Italian Frizzante (semi-sparkling) and Frizzantino (slightly sparkling) wines!
It is this variety which is partly the reason behind the popularity of wine and the size of the hobby community which has grown up around the industry. Each country’s wine producing regions bring their own style and approach to their vintages, and there are some unusual types which perhaps aren’t so common. [Read more…]
Left unopened, these jars will last around a year – when they’re open, store them in a fridge and use within two weeks, and they’ll be great still.
You can use these as presents, or as a treat every so often – served over a Jacket Potato, with a Salad or on Toast as a spread.
To make 3 Jars
1.5kg Vine Ripened Tomatoes
3 Medium Red Onions, peeled and chopped
2 Bramley Cooking Apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
3cm Root Ginger, peeled and grated
3 Large Red Chillies, finely chopped (remove the seeds for a milder flavour)
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
600ml Red Wine Vinegar
350g Light Soft Brown Sugar
1 1/2level tsp Mustard Powder
1. Make a small cut in the base of each Tomato, and place in a heat-proof bowl. Pour enough boiling water to cover them, and leave to stand for a minute. Drain off the Water and skin the Tomatoes. Chop Roughly, then place in a Large Saucepan.
2. Add the Onion, Apple, Ginger, Chillies, Garlic, Sultanas and a teaspoon of Salt to the Saucepan, then stir. Place on a medium heat, then add the Red Wine Vinegar, Soft Brown Sugar and Mustard Powder, then bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
3. Simmer without a lid on for two hours, or until the mixture is thick – the exact time will depend on the thickness of the pan, and the heat used. As it thickens up more, start to stir more to prevent anything sticking to the base of the pan.
4. Wash the Jars that you are going to use in hot soapy water. Rinse clean of any suds, and place in the Oven, open side down at 140C for twenty minutes.
5. Test the Chutney is ready. To do this, draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan, and if you can clearly see the base of the pan, it’s ready!
6. Spoon the chutney into the Jars, then leave to cool. Leave to mature for at least six weeks before eating, to give the flavours a chance to mature and the Vinegar taste to mellow slightly.
Photo Courtesy of: Elin B
A must-have Sauce for virtually all Pasta dishes, and a wide range of other dishes too. In fact, it’s in a wide range of dishes on this site – such as the Crespoline from earlier today!
You can serve this Sauce on top of a bowl of freshly cooked pasta, or mixed in instead – it’s very versatile, and very easy to make.
To Serve 4
1tbsp Olive Oil
75g Onion, peeled and diced
75g Carrots, peeled and diced
75g Celery, trimmed and diced
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
2 Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
2tbsp Tomato Puree
150ml Light Stock
125ml Red Wine
Salt and Pepper
50g Sun-Dried Tomatoes, finely chopped
1. Heat the Olive Oil in a large saucepan, then add the Diced Onions, Carrots and Celery, and the Crushed Garlic. Cook for around five minutes, stirring all the time until the Vegetables have begun to soften but not changed colour.
2. Stir in the Canned Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Stock, Wine and then season to taste. Simmer for around thirty minutes with a tight-fitting lid on, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, puree in a food blender, before stirring in the Sun Dried Tomatoes
3. Season to taste, before tossing into some hot pasta, and then top with Parmesan Cheese or Freshly Chopped Basil.
Photo Courtesy of: ashengrove
Fresh, full of flavour and colour, and very tasty, this dish should appeal to all tastes! It’s very easy to make, but still provides very impressive results.
When making the dressing, try to prepare it as close to preparation as possible, in order to have the freshest flavours.
To serve 4
175g Tomatoes, halved
2tbsp Black Olive Paste
4 Skinless Chicken Fillets
1 Shallot, peeled and finely chopped
3tbsp Olive Oil
1tbsp Walnut Oil
4tsp White Wine Vinegar
2tbsp Single Cream
1tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Mixed Salad to serve – Leaves, Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, Onions, Cucumber, Artichoke Hearts etc.
1. Grill the Halved Tomatoes skin-side up, until black and charred. Puree in a food processor, along with a little Olive Paste and the Olive Oil if required, in order to make a thinnesh Paste.
2. Place the Chicken on a foil lined tray, brush lightly with some Olive Oil, and grill for seven to eight minutes, and turn over, covering with the Tomato Paste. Cook for a further five minutes, or until cooked through, and the outside is browned. Cool, cover, and place in a fridge for at least an hour to allow the Chicken time to firm up.
3. Make the dressing – Mix the three tablespoons of Olive Oil with the Walnut Oil, Vinegar, Cream, Basil in a large bottle, and shake well. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste, and then set aside.
4. Toss the Mixed Salad in a large bowl with the Dressing, and then add the Chicken – sliced into centimetre thick strips, and serve fresh.
Photo Courtesy of: CandyTX
Traditionally this dish is made with Red Wine, but with this recipe, the flavours appeal more to a broader audience, and still has the French Tastes to it.
To change it to the more traditional dish, simply replace the White Wine with Red, and add one or two tablespoons of Brandy just after adding the Cornstarch to the meal.
To Serve 2
2 Chicken Leg Quarters
90g Lean Back Bacon, derinded
2tbsp Olive Oil
125g Button Onions, or 1 Large Onion
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
150ml Dry White Wine
300ml Chickn Stock
1 Bay Leaf
1tsp Dried Oregano
1tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
60g Small Button Mushrooms, trimmed
Salt and Pepper
1. Cut each Chicken Leg into two pieces, and season well. Cut the Bacon into strips about a centimetre across, and heat the Oil in a large Saucepan.
2. Fry the Chicken off until Golden Brown all over, and remove from the pan. Add the Bacon, Onions and Garlic to the pan, and fry until lightly browned. Drain all fat from the pan. Add the Wine, Chicken Stock, Bay Leaf and Oregano, season to taste, and then add the Chicken, bringing the mixture back to the boil.
3. Cover the Saucepan with a tight fitting lid, then simmer gently for about forty to fifty minutes – until the Chicken is very tender. Mix the Cornflour with a tablespoon of cold water, before adding to the pan with the Mushrooms. Bring the pan back to the boil, and simmer gently for five more minutes.
4. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, remove the Bay Leaf, and serve with Rice or Mashed Potatoes.
Photo Courtesy of: Drab Makyo
Italian Sophistication served up on a single plate. The contrast of colours, textures, tastes and simplicity of this dish make it a superb dinner party dish. It’s all about timing – if the fish is cooked for too long, or too high a heat, the textures and tastes may spoil, so you have to be really careful with it.
Try to get all the ingredients as fresh as possible – for the fish, try to avoid frozen if possible. If you can’t help it, make sure that it is thoroughly defrosted first, and closer to room temperature.
To Serve 8
2kg of Swordfish in 8 fillets, boneless and skinless
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, sliced
3 Orange or Yellow Peppers, cut into thin slices
2 Medium Tomatoes
2 or 3 cups of White Wine
1 tsp Oregano
½ Lemon, Juiced
1 tsp Demerara or White Sugar
½ Cup Light Raisins
½ Cup Pine Nuts
½ Cup Parsley, finely chopped
1. Make a cross on the bottom of the Tomatoes, and place them in a pan of boiling water for thirty seconds. Drain from the pan, and cool under a running tap, peeling the skins and removing the seeds. Cut the flesh into cubes.
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan up without any oil in, and add the Pine Nuts, stirring until they start to brown, at which time place them on a plate.
3. Wash and dry the pieces of Fish, and lightly flour them.
4. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large shallow pan, or large deep frying pan, and brown the fish off, half at a time. You may need to add some more oil half-way through.
5. Wipe the pan with some kitchen paper, and add two more tablespoons of oil before sautéing the Onions and Peppers on a low heat until they begin to soften – around ten minutes.
6. Add the tomatoes to the pan, and turn up the heat. Continue stirring for five more minutes.
7. To the pan, add the Wine, Oregano, Raisins, Sugar, Lemon Juice and Parsley, seasoning to taste. Allow to boil for around three or four minutes, and then return the Fish to the pan to heat with the rest of the sauce.
8. Add the Pine Nuts and serve!
Photo Courtesy of: Melvin Schlubman
As if a bottle of red didn’t taste good enough on a cool Autumn Evening, try it in this traditional German style. Warm, with such a wide infusion of flavours and smells, served in warmed mugs. A very simple, easy to make drink, which is an immediate favourite at many parties as something different.
Hugely popular at many German Christmas Markets, where you see huge kettles constantly being served from the ornately decorated Stalls.
Serves 6 people
Bottle of German Red Wine
Juice of 1 Lemon (or orange)
1 Cinnamon stick
1. Pour the water and wine into a large pan, and start to heat
2. Add the cloves, cinnamon and lemon slowly and to taste, making sure the pan doesn’t boil.
3. Remove the Cinnamon stick and cloves before serving.
4. Ladle into mugs and serve hot.
Photo Courtesy of Gluemoon