Fine Wine and Dr. King

Three men from different backgrounds and strongly differing beliefs met totally by chance on a rainy evening in Atlanta. While sipping fine wine the wide divide in their beliefs did not disappear, but for a time, Jim Sander’s hospitality and a mutual enjoyment of the wine bound them together in pleasant conversation, and a little known but historic meeting passed into history.

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Greek Wine Choices

Alma-Tadema_Greek-Wine

There are over 300 indigenous grapes grown in Greece with the major ones rocking names like Agiorghitiko, Roditis, and Limnio. Fret not, you really don’t need to pronounce these grapes to enjoy them. Greek wine spans the spectrum from light and crisp to heavy and sweet white wines and light, delicate to heavy and bold reds. This is a part of the wine world really worth exploring.

Ask the Expert: Wine Choice Pairings for Mexican Food

Ever been stumped on how to pair your Mexican food with wine beyond the basics of white goes with chicken and red goes with meat?  Well, with Mexican food there are various spices to take into account that makes the pairing need a little more thought.

MCCN Contributor/Dave’s Mexico Blogger Dave Miller catches up with Wine Expert Ed Draves.

 

Ice Wines: Canada and Germany Main Producers

ice wine grapes

Wikipedia-Ice wine (or icewine; German Eiswein) is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.

With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes, Tokaji, or Trockenbeerenauslese, ice wine grapes should not be affected by Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free of Botrytis, they are said to come in “clean”.

Due to the labour-intense and risky production process resulting in relatively small amounts of wine, ice wines are generally quite expensive.

Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario.

Restauranter Michael Rubino Talks about Canadian Wines and Ice Wine Production

Grilled Food and Wine/Drink Pairing

Photo Credit: warginwines.com

As we head into the heart of summer, it’s time to get the barbecue cleaned up and prepared for a good stretch of home grilling. Unfortunately, if you are like most people, including me, when it comes to matching those outdoor delights with a good wine or beer, your lost.

Fear no more!  The MultiCulturalCookingNetwork reached out to our friend Ed Draves, the wine know it all for the Premier Group in Buffalo, New York for a quick primer in making your summer feast a success, at least when it comes to drinks.

 

MCCN: Ed, thanks for taking a few moments to help us out on this.  So, we want to have some folks over for a little summer entertaining and we need some help making sure we’ve got the right wine on the table.  If I’m putting together the classic backyard BBQ, you know, burgers, hot dogs and potato salad, what should I pair with that?

 

Ed Draves: Dave, with the classic burger cookout, a nice Rhone wine from France, think Syrah/Grenache, is perfect.  You can usually find really nice ones in the $10 range.  If you are thinking beer, look for a pale ale and if you can find it, the Live Pale Ale from Southern Tier Brewing Company would be a winner.

MCCN: Okay, but what about some of the other options.  What if I want to grill some chicken, do a little cedar plank salmonor even a light summer fruit or pasta salad?

 

Ed: All these scream for Riesling, sweet or dry depending on taste but always cooler climate with ample acidity.  There are lots of great local examples for people living in Idaho, Michigan, NY, Ohio, and Washington.   The German examples (Kabinett level) are also fantastic.  The lemon you’d put with the Salmon has me really exited to match with a Riesling, something from the slate soil of the Moselle region.

 

Also, for the salmon or the salads, you could try an unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.  If you really want a red wine, try a Pinot Noir, it goes great with both salmon and chicken and is a nice light style wine.

 

MCCN: Okay Ed, that’s the light stuff, but sometimes you need to turn up the heat and throw a couple of T-Bones on the grill.  What works with that or a big juicy Porterhouse?

 

Ed: That’s when you reach for a nice rich Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Deep red and full-bodied.

 

MCCN: Thanks Ed for your help on this.  Any further thoughts?

 

Ed: Dave, just that if you are doing summer and drinks, why not try something on the cutting edge?  Leave the vodka and rum in the cabinet and go for some premium Wahaka Mezcal [Joven Espadin] straight out of the freezer, ice cold and undiluted.  It’s a great alternative if you are looking for something different in the spirits category.

 

So there you have it, our summer guide to putting your best foot forward  when it comes to the backyard barbecue and drinks.

 

Again, our thanks go out to both Ed Drave and Premier Group VP Jon Notarius for their help and input.

© Copyright Dave Miller, MultiCulturalCookingNetwork, 2013 – 2016. All rights reserved. 

A Little Red Wine Good for the Stomach

Many of us may have heard the Scriptural saying ” Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”  Research shows that red wine can combat potentially-fatal food poisoning bugs.

E coli, Salmonella and Listeria are all susceptible to the effects of red wine, and Helicobacter pylori, a stomach ulcer-causing bug which is spread through food and drink, is particularly vulnerable.

The study, carried out at the University of Missouri in the US, showed that Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot are particularly effective in fighting food-borne bugs.

How to Choose Red Wines for Summer

One thing I recognize more immediately during the summer months is just how much red wine raises your temperature.  First of all it is typically served at room temp, not refrigerated or chilled in any way.  While at a party recently, the conversation went into a full blown red wine discussion.  Sometimes people have a hard time moving past the basic wine lesson of pairing red with meats and white with poultry. I applaud most for knowing the basics.     However, after the 101 course of wine knowledge there is a 102.  We’ve covered that before here on Multi Cultural Cooking Network (Click Here).

On this 100 degree day the host of party mentioned how more guests were opting for white wine. He seemed a bit surprised.  I said “Red wine raises your temperature. ”  He replied “…but red wine goes with meats.”   Then I added how despite all the wine snobs out there White Zinfandel and Rose are another way to go for summer picks.  Thus, after our conversation I knew I needed to dig deeper because people will continue feel the need for appearance sake to hold a glass of red wine or provide red wine because it looks more classy.  My suggestion for future hosts of parties, cookouts and other events comes with a little help from the  highly respected Gayot Guide.  They have some tips on Red wines which can be chilled.  When your guest looked shocked you can tell them with confidence what you know about the red wines defying the standard rules.  Moreover, you will look so smart in the process.  (Click Here For Chilled Red Wine Tips)

Written by Crystal A. Johnson, Multiculturalcookingnetwork.com Editor

Sparkling Wines of the World

Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the méthode champenoise, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved (as in theCharmat process), or as a result of carbon dioxide injection.

Sparkling wine is usually white or rosé but there are many examples of red sparkling wines such as Italian Brachetto and Australian sparkling Shiraz. The sweetness of sparkling wine can range from very dry “brut” styles to sweeter “doux” varieties.

The classic example of a sparkling wine is Champagne, but many other examples are produced in other countries and regions, such as Espumante in Portugal, Cava in Spain,FranciacortaTrento and Asti in Italy (the generic Italian term for sparkling wine being Spumante) and Cap Classique in South Africa. In some parts of the world, the words “champagne” or “spumante” are used as a synonym for sparkling wine, although laws in Europe and other countries reserve the word Champagne for a specific type from the Champagne region of France. The French terms “Mousseux” or “Crémant” are used to refer to sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region. German and Austrian sparkling wines are called Sekt. The United States is a significant producer of sparkling wine: California in particular has seen French Champagne houses open wineries in the state to make American sparkling wine according to the Champagne method. Recently the United Kingdom, which produced some of the earliest examples of sparkling wine, has started producing Champagne-style wines again.

Chef Jay Bonilla’s Sangria Recipe

The world traveled Honduran Chef Jay Bonilla knows a thing or two about Sangria.  This is one ofhis classic Spanish sangria recipes. Jay says the bottle of wine does not need to be expensive.  In this recipe he uses the famous inexpensive wine from Trader Joe’s affectionately called “Two Buck Chuck.”  (SEE RECIPE)