A Taste of Wine, Hip Hop and A Side of Ribs ‘Uncorked”

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Think wine, Hip Hop and ribs are an unlikely combination?  Think again.   And Netflix’s Uncorked gives a glimpse of American life in Tennessee through the eyes of young African American aspiring sommelier. His dilemma  is to continue in the tradition of the family owned Memphis BBQ joint serving the ribs, and soul food to the Memphis community.   His grandfather started the business, his father continued the business and primes him to take over the business.     Immediately the feature opens with hard hitting Hip Hop music while shot cuts back and forth between smoking meat, tasting wine and cutting ribs.   The movie centers around a highly unlikely aspiration.   Although Black sommeliers are very few, like many professions lack of exposure or insight stifles an interests in the field.  However, what’s not lacking are Black wine drinkers globally.

Along with the efforts of the movie Uncorked, Black sommelier, Andre Hueston Mack hope to gain more exposure to the Black wine drinking demographic.  According to Mack fc27439a-1945-47c4-80c0-fcfd806c8b54-Sash_Photography_Sablier_Watches-6in aUSA Today article, he expressed that Hip-hop and wine are the perfect pairing.

He is one of only a few black sommeliers and winemakers, and Mack is seeking to revolutionize the wine industry with his background in music, skate culture and modern design. A sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine.

He founded Mouton Noir, now Maison Noir, in 2007, starting it from scratch with no money and no investors.

His wine is now sold across the U.S. and in 11 other countries, with Mack splitting his time between 13 leased vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and his home in Brooklyn, New York.

Black Sommeliers are few but the field of Black owned wineries is expanding. Here are a few:

  • Brown Estate
  • Abbey Creek Vineyard. …
  • Indigené Cellars. …
  • Charles Wine Company. …
  • Theopolis Vineyards. …
  • Taste By Chef Rhonda. …
  • FLO Wine. …
  • Maison Noir Wines.

If you want to watch the road to becoming a sommelier in a film filled with twists and turns. Catch Uncorked on Netflix featuring Mamou Athie, Niecy Nash and Courtney Vance.

Tasting Natural Wines with Gabrielle Union

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Let’s take a tour of natural wines with celebrity Gabrielle Union.  Why listen to Union?  Besides being a wine lover,  in 2012 Gabrielle Union was inspired by her love of wine to create a Chardonnay that she describes  unlike anything else on the market with the release of ‘Vanilla Puddin.’

Now what exactly is Natural Wine?

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Union’s Husband and Basketball star Dwayne Wade stomping grapes.

Natural Wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum.

 

 

 

Netflix Wine Country Cast Samples Wines of the World, We Tell You What to Pair With It.

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Check out Wine Country on Netflix and/or check out these wine and tell us what you think when you have your gathering among friends.  Click Here for a Review of Wine Country by Two Guys in the Dark.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.   – It best pairs with:

  • Blue Cheese Burgers, Lamb Tagine, Moussaka, grape, pizza and gouda

French Champagne – Champagne is sparkling wine. Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine but in some countries, it is illegal to label any product Champagne unless it both comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the rules of the appellation. – It best pairs with:

  • Fried Spring Rolls, crabcakes, sushi, strawberries, blackberries

Reisling – Germany .  Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked

Malbec from Argentina– Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France.

Cabernet Shirazz Blend Australia   READ MORE

Plum Wine – Japan-  Plum Wine or Umeshu (梅酒) is a Japanese liqueur made by steeping fresh Japanese plum (ume) in shochu/white liquor and sugar. The sweet and sour flavors with fruity aroma is very appealing and you can make many kinds of drinks with it!   Foods which pair well with it are:

  • Korean ribs, glazed chicken, curried dishes and fried pork chops

 

 

Stella Rosa Moscato

Serving wine at the LA Street Food Festival

Serving wine at the LA Street Food Festival

MCCN staffers got a chance to try the  Stella Rosa #Moscato.  Two of us found that it was crisp and not too sweet. Although, we had one dissenter of three from MCCN who was not a fan and found the wine to be too sweet for her taste.   From MCCN editor, “Cheers with Stella Rosa Moscato. ”

Stella

MCCN Editor

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.

 

Gabrielle Union launches a new Chardonnay

It feels like we are doing a commercial for her but Gabrielle has done her dues and is all the rage with the hit series Being Mary Jane.  Now the actress  has wine out called Vanilla Pudding wine.    She announced her wine on instagram saying, ““So excited about my new wine @vanillapuddinwine … It’s a fun Chardonnay with hints of vanilla, super yummy and great for all occasions. Available for purchase at http://www.vanillapuddinwine.com Enjoy.”

Ice Wines: Canada and Germany Main Producers

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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

Christmas Wine Buying Guide

Ed Draves Manager at Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York

Ed Draves Manager at Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York

The big holiday meal.

And as anyone who has ever had the in-laws over for Christmas dinner can tell you, like gift giving, this meal, with all of the innumerable side dishes also comes with lots of expectations and tension.

In that spirit, hoping to lower your stress level a few notches, the Multi Cultural Cooking Network reached out to one of our good friends, Ed Draves, Wine Manager for Prestige Wine and Spirits in Buffalo, New York, where he has worked for over 20 years.

We asked Ed for a little advice on wine pairings and that Christmas meal.  Hopefully, with the suggested pairings below, you’ll be able to do a better job of getting the right wine for whatever you are planning on serving for the big meal.

Rather than ask for a specific wine or brand, we gave him a range of food items that might be served and asked him to think generally.  That way you can look for what is locally available to fit your meal.  With that, we think we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what Ed recommends to help you out.

The famous Rockwell Turkey Dinner… Look for champagne or a nice sparkling wine.  These will pair well with what typically tends to be a rather dry main course.

Pork loin… Look for a full bodied Pinot Noir or an Alsatian wine (pictured).  Remember, you are not trying to overpower your main course, but to complement it.  Both of these will fill that role.

Alsaltian Wine

Alsaltian Wine

Prime Rib… for many this is the boldest meal of the year so you want this done right.  For this main course look for a Bordeaux or a Meritage blend.  These darker wines will stand up well next to a nice cut of beef.

Christmas Ham… if you are going this route you need to be looking for a white Riesling or aGamay(pictured) if you are looking for a red.  Ed says both of these will do a great job alongside the more salty flavored ham.

shirazBut what if you are making the newest rage, the Turducken? In that case go for a full-bodied Shiraz.  There’s a lot of variety out there so get a young one that has some nice peppery hints.

And what should you do if you are avoiding meat products and maybe have that Tofurkey ready to go?  Ed says match your sides and remember, wine is a complementing beverage for your meal.

Finally, don’t forget about dessert.  If you want to top off a great meal right, get the classic, a Port wine.  Or, if you are lucky enough to live in the Northeast, try one of the local ice wines.  Both are perfect alongside the sweetness of your dessert.

So there you have it.  A quick how to guide on buying wine for whatever you may be serving come Christmas Day.

-Written by Dave Miller, World Traveling Missionary, Former Restaurant Manager and regular contributing writer for MCCN.