Foods for the Summer Months

July 29, 2012 6:42 pm | Posted by Graham D

FOOD and WINE PAIRING—FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS
(continuation from blog  “ Food and Wine pairing”  dated 7 July 2012)

INTRODUCTION:—--this blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the ultimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.

FOOD BEING FEATURED:—–FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS - that can be enjoyed either hot, warm or cold.
A few examples of alfresco dishes would be : Quiche Lorraine, Onion and Tomato Flan, Stuffed Big Beef  Tomatoes, Chicken and Savoury Pies , Mushroom and Ham Tarts, Meat Loaves, Tapas style dishes and Picnic food.
(See a previous Blog for Pairing Summer Barbeque foods with Wine)

CHALLENGES:—–Another interesting and challenging bridge to cross, but if we group the foods into categories that represent similarity in strength of taste and textures, we then strike a good chance of pleasing most people :

- foods with an egg influence and creamy textures such as quiches and savoury tarts
- vegetable based dishes including green salads
- cold meat dishes with pickles and chutney
- cold seafood dishes including smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, soused herring and prawn/lobster cocktail

RECOMMENDATIONS:—–

- COLD SEAFOOD DISHES - a sparkling wine such as Saumur Brut Ackerman served as cold as possible would be a perfect match. For white wine lovers, another recommendation that would be most appealing is a crisp and dry Sauvignon Blanc from a vineyard of high standing in both hemispheres of the world.

- VEGETABLES AND SALADS - here a Pinot Grigio would work well or even a Frascati from the Lazio region of Italy. The Italians eat huge amounts of vegetables in the summer months, hence two Italian wines

- EGG BASED DISHES - try a creamy style Chardonnay from Simon Hackett Wines in McLaren Valley, Australia which matches well with this array of foods. If you prefer a wine with a little texture and body then check out a fine Viognier from Babich Vineyard in New Zealand.

- COLD MEAT DISHES - lots of scope although my preference would be light bodied reds such as Fleurie from Domaine du Penlois  or  Pinot Noir from  Hunter’s Vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand . Either wine will stand alone for its own enjoyment and will not in any way diminish the taste and flavours of the dishes in question.

MAIN DIRECTORY:—--click on THE MARRIAGE OF FOOD AND WINE to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeuvres, starters, soups, main courses and desserts. Also view GREAT FRIENDS – CHEESE AND WINE for cheese and wine pairing.

NEXT ARTICLE:—–SUMMER DESSERTS

HAPPY FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS PAIRING DAYS

Graham D

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Hayman’s London Dry Gin

July 8, 2012 2:50 pm | Posted by Del

HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN

haymans-london-dry-ginThe original company of Haymans Distillers was founded in the 1800s by James Burrough, the great grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.

BOTANICALS that make this fine gin – Christopher Hayman believes it is the careful and consistent balance of Juniper, Coriander, Orange and Lemon Peel which is vital in crafting a classic style of London Dry Gin. The Hayman’s Gin recipe consists of ten natural botanicals handpicked from around the world which creates a fresh crisp and fragrant flavour.

* The best Juniper provides the predominate flavour of Gin and is therefore the most essential ingredient.
* The finest Angelica Roots are harvested in France and give Gin its dry character.
* CorianderSeeds are imported from France which together with Liquorice gives Gin its complexity.
* Orris Root, sourced from Italy, has a scented flavour and is an essential part of the blend as it holds the other flavours together.
* Orange and Lemon Peel is sourced from Spain where the fruit is usually hand-peeled and left to dry in the Spanish sunshine to capture the oils and give Haymans London Dry Gin its crisp,balanced and unique flavour.

The important process of STEEPING and DISTILLATION

- Prior to the distillation process, the botanicals are steeped in the pot still for 24 hours which is the first part of the infusion process. After steeping, the gin undergoes the distillation process. During the distillation process, the still is heated at a gentle temperature so each botanical releases its flavour at a different stage of the process. The result is a premium London Dry Gin of consistently exceptional quality. Christopher believes Premium Gin should be created in a traditional Pot still to enable the flavours of the carefully selected botanicals to develop to their full potential and allow the Master Distiller to handcraft a uniquely flavoured premium gin with care and attention.

GIMLET- a highly recommended cocktail

* 2 shots of Hayman’s London Dry Gin
* 2 shots Roses Lime Cordial
* 1/2 shot water
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass.

HAPPY HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN DAYS

Graham D


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Sloe Gin

May 20, 2012 4:32 pm | Posted by Del

Sloe Gin is a fine gin spirit or liqueur flavoured with sloe (blackthorn) berries, which are a small fruit relative of the plum. Sloe gin has an alcohol content between 15 and 30 percent by volume and is produced by many small boutique wineries and distillers. The traditional way of making sloe gin is to infuse gin with the berries, sugar is required to ensure the sloe juices are extracted from the fruit. Almond or cinnamon flavouring is sometimes also added. Many commercial sloe gins today are made by flavouring less expensive neutral grain spirits, and produce a fruit cordial effect, although a number of long-established, reputable manufacturers still use the traditional method.

To make Sloe Gin, the sloe berries must be ripe. In the Northern Hemisphere, they were traditionally picked in late October or early November after the first frost of the winter. Each berry is pricked and a vat or barrel is part filled with the pricked berries, then the vat or barrel is filled with gin and sugar, adding a few cloves and a small stick of cinnamon. The vat or barrel is sealed and mixed several times by turning, then stored in a cool, dark place. It is usually mixed by turning every day for the first two weeks, then each week, until at least three months have passed. The gin will now be a deep ruby red. The liqueur is poured off and the berries and spices discarded.

Some great examples of Sloe Gins and Liqueurs

sloegin-foxSloe Gin Liqueur, Foxdenton Estate, Buckinghamshiresloe-gin-bg

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Bramble & Gage, Gloucestershire

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Sloemotion, North Yorkshiresloegin

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Moniack Castle, Highland Wineries

sloeginslcSloe Gin Liqueur, Scottish Liqueur Centre

Sloe Gin Reserve Liqueur, Lyme Bay Winery, Devon sloe-reserve2

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Gordons, London

sipsmith-sloeSloe Gin Liqueur, Sipsmith, London

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Plymouth, Devon

 Sloe Gin Liqueur, Condessa, Isle of Anglesey

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Bodegas Williams & Humbert Sherries

March 14, 2012 1:09 pm | Posted by Del

Bodegas Williams & Humbert

The history of Bodegas Williams & Humbert goes back nearly 130 years. They participated in the creation of the Jerez-Xeres-Brandy Quality Demarcation and are now considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious wine producers.

The winery was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. Since then they have preserved part of the original wines and brandies (soleras) in high quality oak casks. These soleras are the base of the development and ageing of every sherry and brandy produced at Bodegas Williams & Humbert.

The following are summaries and tasting notes of many of the Sherries that Williams & Humbert are world famous for :

DRY SAC FINO SHERRY

img_7439This is a very dry Fino Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still fermentation at 22C. Then they go through early filtering and classification by quality. The best wine distillations are fortified at 15c to be racked in clean casks. They are then put into the traditional system of dynamic ageing employed in Jerez – Criaderas y Soleras- in the 6th criadera cask, where the biological ageing under a layer of yeast takes place in the traditional oak casks, preferably of American oak. The ageing is minimum five years while the wine passes from one criadera to another until it reaches the solera, from which it is drawn out for consumption.

Tasting Notes : A wine of brilliant, pale gold colours. Intense, complex aromas reminiscent of the yeast layer with a hint of almond. Delicate yet full-bodied, with character and elegance. A long aftertaste and nose.

Suggestions with Food : Ideal for aperitifs accompanied by a high quality cheese, ham and seafood dishes. Also excellent with almonds.

DRY SAC MEDIUM SHERRY

img_7437This a blended Oloroso or Medium Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine up to 19.5 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked into clean casks while waiting to enter the Criaderas y Soleras system. Physical-chemical ageing through oxidation for at least six years, obtaining a slightly sweetened oloroso or medium sherry.

Tasting Notes: An amber-coloured wine of intense aromas suggesting dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with little acid and slightly sweet .

Suggestions with Food: It can be drunk neat or with ice. It is recommended as an aperitif or to accompany pasta and rice dishes.

CANASTA SHERRY

canasta-cream_edited-1A sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. An elegant blend of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A unique sweet Oloroso or “Cream” Sherry.

Tasting Notes: Sweet Oloroso. Mahogany colour and aromas of dried nuts with a hint of raisins and brown sugar. Smooth, velvety palate with warm alcohol flavours and a persistent aftertaste.

Suggestions for Food : It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing early evening drink.

WALNUT BROWN SHERRY

img_7441This is a very Sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel are blended and racked into clean casks before entering the Criaderas y Solera system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least four years.

Tasting Notes: Very sweet oloroso.Dark mahogany, almost ebony. On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.

Suggestions for Food: It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing long drink.

WINTER’S TALE SHERRY

img_7443This a slightly sweetened Amontillado or “Medium Sweet” Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud must undergoes controlled fermentation and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine at 28 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A slightly sweetened oloroso, or “medium sweet” sherry.

Tasting Notes: Brillant amber. Intense aroma of dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with low acidity. Sweet and persistent.

Suggestions for Food: To be drunk neat or on ice. Ideal as an aperitif or with pasta and rice dishes.

JALIFA AMONTILLADO 30 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-30yrs_edited-2This a dry Amontillado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtering, classification by quality and fortified at 15 degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the classical Jerez Criaderas y Soleras system of dynamic ageing at the 15th criadera, where the biological ageing takes place under a layer of yeast. Aged in traditional oak casks , preferably American for at least 8 years, after which it is transferred to the 6th criadera for an additional 22 years of natural ageing by oxidation until it reaches the solera. It is then removed for consumption.

Tasting Notes: Bright hues of very old gold and amber. Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of  fino sherry and a hint of dried nuts and filbert. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full bodied and elegant palate. A delightfully expressive and unforgettable finish.

Suggestions with Food: An excellent aperitif served with a fine cheese, ham or seafood dishes.

DOS CORTADOS 20 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-20yrs_edited-1A fortified wine, this rare and peculiar dry Pale Cortado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes is halfway between an Amontillado and an Oloroso. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtration, classification by quality and then the must is fortified at 15degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the Criaderas y Soleras system in fino sherry casks for biological ageing. Sporadically, circumstances cause the contents of some casks to behave differently than it is expected – they will not become fino sherry. These casks are “cut” (hence the term “cortado”) with one or two jugs of alcohol to form the base of the palo cortado solera system. The wine is then aged for 20 years until it reaches the solera.

Tasting Notes : Bright hues of very old gold and amber . Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of filberts and dried fruits. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full-bodied and elegant palate. An incredibly expressive and unforgettable finish. Sherry with an amontillado nose and an oloroso palate.

Suggestions with Food: Excellent as an aperitif for those long evenings or in short drinks with tapas.

DRY OLOROSO 12 YEARS

dry-oloroso12yrs_edited-1This is a dry Oloroso produced from Palomino grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c, then fortified with distilled wine alcohol at up to 19.5degrees. The Palomino enters the racks before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. It is aged for at least 12 years. This is a unique dry Oloroso.

Tasting Notes: Bright amber. Intense aromas characteristic of this type of wine and a hint of dried nuts and fruits. Dry, rich, with smooth tannins, it is luscious and balanced with a long finish.

Suggestions for Food: As an aperitif with mature cheese, at meals with red meats and even as an after-dinner drink.

HAPPY WILLIAMS & HUMBERT SHERRY DAYS

DEL

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Food and Wine Pairing—Pork

November 10, 2009 4:52 pm | Posted by Graham D

(continuation from blog “Food and Wine pairing” dated 13th August 2009)

INTRODUCTION:—–this blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the ultimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.

FOOD BEING FEATURED:—–PORK DISHES, including  ROAST PORK, GRILLED PORK CHOPS, SUCKLING PIG, PORK MEDALLIONS and PORK FILLET.  ( Veal or rabbit dishes would also be a good alternative )

 CHALLENGES:—–simply cooked pork is not too difficult to find friends and partners. Similar to chicken you can match most of your personal preferences with the above dishes except sweet or medium sweet wine. Pork also goes well with sparkling wine, especially red made from Shiraz/Syrah or Malbec.

RECOMMENDATIONS:—–Pork has an endearment towards big rich white wines such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Cotes du Rhone Villages. The strength, richness, depth of flavour and aromas of these desirable wines  provide a classic match for most pork dishes. If you are a committed red wine fan then try a Californian Syrah with its spicy black cherry fruit, this distinctive grape variety is also a perfect match for pork, hot or cold. An alternative red would be an Australian Merlot from Wakefield with its subtle flavours and softness to match both the white meat of pork and also the rich crispy crackling of oven roast pork.

MAIN DIRECTORY:—–click on The Marriage of Food and Wine to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeuvres, starters, soups, main courses and deserts. Also Great Friends-Cheese and Wine for cheese and wine pairing.

 

NEXT ARTICLE:—–Beef dishes, including roast beef, grilled sirloin steak, grilled T bone steak, grilled rump steak, grilled fillet steak, grilled rib eye steak, beef en crout and big beefy stews.

 

HAPPY  PORK  AND WINE PAIRING DAYS

Graham D

 

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Follow up from previous cheese and wine blog, dated 11 May 2009

June 16, 2009 12:54 pm | Posted by Graham D

Following my previous article  please find some more  interesting  information to help our many customers and followers enjoy the matching of  quality cheese and wine. The main purpose of this article is to highlight generic groups of wines and to match them to their most suited cheese types.

It should be noted that the balance of flavours is paramount and the following table is only intended as helpful suggestions, but please do experiment and I am sure you, your family and friends will not only succeed in matching good cheese and wines to suit yourselves, but you will certainly enjoy the process of seeking natural partners.

RED RHONE———HARD and BLUE types such as traditional Single and Double Gloucester or Dorset Blue Viney.

RED PIEDMONT———SEMI  HARD types like Farmhouse Mature Cheddar or Cheshire

RED TUSCANY———HARD and SEMI HARD types such as Parmagiano Reggiano or Lanchashire

RED BORDEAUX———SOFT and BLUE types such as Bresse Blue or Munster

RED BEAUJOLAIS———SOFT CREAMY types such as Reblochon or Wensleydale

RED BURGUNDY———HARD or BLUE types such as Jarlsberg or Blue Stilton

RED NEW WORLD———HARD and SEMI HARD types such as Cheddar, Gruyere and Jarlsberg

RED RIOJA & RIBERA———HARD types such as Manchego or Orkney Smoked Cheddar

WHITE BORDEAUX (DRY)———GOAT and SOFT types such as Ireland’s Mine-Gabhar Goat’s Cheese and Valencay

WHITE BURGUNDY———HARD types such as Cheddar and Red Liecester

NEW WORLD SAUVIGNON BLANC———GOAT and HARD types such as Cheshire and Lairobell

NEW WORLD CHARDONNAY———HARD and SOFT types such as Reblochon or Mozzarella di Buffalo Campara

DRY ALSACE AND RIESLING——— SOFT and HARD types such as Emmenthal or Rind Wrapped Farmhouse Cheddar

ROSE———SOFT and INTENSE types such as Blue Cheshire and Gournay Affine

CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING——— SOFT and FIRM types such as Brie, Camembert and Saint Paulin

DESSERT & LATE HARVEST WINES———SOFT, BLUE and INTENSE types such as Roquefort or Pont L’Eveque

RICH & SWEET SHERRY ———BLUE or INTENSE types such as St Agur, Gorganzola and Wensleydale Blue

DRY SHERRY———HARD and INTENSE types such as Goats Cheese, Cheddar matured for at least six months and Manchego

PORT——— BLUE or INTENSE types as St Agur, Stilton and Cashel Blue

MADEIRA———HARD and SEMI HARD types such as Gruyere and Derby

MARSALA———BLUE and INTENSE types such as Oak Smoked Cheddar and Roquefort

 

Go to http://ahadleigh-wine.com/cheese/ and review the many other cheeses with their matching wines.

 

 

 Watch out soon for our 3rd article on cheese and wine pairing.

 

HAPPY CHEESE AND WINE DAYS

GRAHAM D

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Great Friends Cheese and Wine…an introduction to the pairing of cheese and wine

May 11, 2009 9:08 am | Posted by Graham D

The French and Italians may eat much more cheese than we the British do, but as individuals we eat and enjoy a far greater variety. The average French or Italian person tend to stay loyal to the many superb farmhouse cheeses of their locallity or region and may only eat on a regular basis three or four different cheese types throughout their lifetime.

Like our wine habits the British have no such loyalties or inhibitions – one week we could be eating soft or goats cheese from a variety of different European countries, another week we will be sampling blue or hard cheeses from as far away as Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

But, are we the Britsh eating the best?  For there is cheese and there is artisanal and handcrafted cheeses. Is the answer in the word choice?

Artisanal and handcrafted cheeses offer inspiring flavours, textures and noble subtleties that many supermarket cheeses don’t begin to approach. Despite the huge dominance of factory produced cheses, there are now (thank God) many more specialist independants than there were say ten or fifteen years ago promoting high quality individual cheeses from UK, Ireland and Continental farmhouses, often supplying splendid and unique wines to match. I would say today unlike any time in the past the combined choice of fine cheeses and wine is now simply enormous.

The more we support the INDEPENDANTS, the greater the variety and availability of these natural and very flavoursome cheeses will become, as well as sound advice and of course personal service. The more choice we have the better for everyone.

Cheese is a fascinating subject and shares a long list of similarities with wine. Cheese like wine, is fermented to create a product very different and infinitely more intricate than the original basic material it’s produced from. Like wine, cheeses age until they reach their level of maturity and perfection, then of course they can travel downhill.

Similar to red wine and port, to maximize flavours cheese must be brought to room temperature before it is served. Cheeses come in many different styles, each with their own unique set of characteristics and some specialist cheeses can take years to mature. Again good wines have their own unique styles, characteristics and also take many years to mature.

France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland have controls and appellations of origin for cheese, just as they do for wine. Farmstead cheese made from the milk of the cheese makers own animals is comparable to chateau or estate bottled wine made from the winegrower’s own grapes.

Despite the above similarities highlighted and despite the widespread belief that cheese and wine are great friends and natural partners, matching them is not at all simple. The perception that cheese has to go with red wine or port is not correct. In fact, the the wine that often works best is white, not red, and often sweet, not a dry white wine.  But, selecting the right cheese for a good red wine can lead you to heaven, or to some other wonderful place.

Matching wine with cheese can also be very personal as people do have different taste requirements and perceptions. For example one may like dry soft goats cheese, but dislike a salty blue cheese. A very sound rule to note, is that a good cheese will make an average wine seem even greater, while an average cheese will most definitely spoil a great wine

Go to  www.ahadleigh-wine.com/cheese/ and visit our section specialising in matching  over one hundred cheese types with wine. You can search by imputing your own cheese preference, or select via a milk type option, or scroll down our huge selection from around the World.  I am sure you will find this application most helpful.

Further enjoy the process of seeking natural partners by reading soon my next article which helps take the complexity out of the selection process. The article will give examples of matching five generic groups of cheeses with generic groups of wine partners

TO BE CONTINUED SOON

 

Happy Cheese Days

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