Food and Wine Pairings you need to know

Traveling can be a great experience and often exposes us to great cuisine from all over the world. It is not uncommon to visit distant lands with great food and diners but everything is in a foreign language.

There is no way around the language and you need to order food and beverage, maybe even wine. You would however not need to worry if you know food and wine pairings. In which case, all you need is to inquire on the type of meat and spices when placing your order.

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Tips for making wine with fruits other than grapes

While grapes are the favourite and most popular ingredient for wine making though you could use or experiment with other fruit. The composition of these fruits is different and with the right tips you could easily make wine with other fruits.

The procedure is not that different and you can expect to enjoy very tasty wine even when grapes are in short supply.

Here are some tips to wine making using fruits other than grapes:

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What you need to know for making wine at home

Making wine from home can sometimes be a costly process to start and it may take quite a bit of your time and effort to make a decent batch. Understanding the proper procedure and what to expect along the way can help you start the process off correctly and save you a lot of trial and error. The Wine Corner is a great wine making blog for beginners to get you started. But for now, here is some summery info below:

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What are the differences between red and white wines?

Aside from the obvious colour differences, red and white wines can vary in numerous ways. The differences in their composition can affect their taste, the foods they should be paired with, and their ability to age. Different types of grapes may be used for each type of wine, but in some instances the same grape varietal can produce both a red and white type with contrasting flavours and bouquets.

Fermentation Process

The first difference to be mentioned regarding red wine and white wine is the way they’re made. Red wine will generally be made form black grapes while whites can be made from black or green or a combination of both.

When making red wine, the manufacturer leaves the skins, seeds, and stems in the fermenting vat with the juices to allow the extra tannins to leech into the liquid. For white wine the juice would first be extracted from the skins, seeds, and stems then fermented on its own. Blush wine is produced by removing the skins part way through the fermentation process.

Taste and Tannins

The tannins in wine that give it a more bitter flavour come mostly from the skins. Because red wines are fermented in a vat with the skin, they a have higher tannin content and generally have a more dry and bitter flavour. Whites usually taste fresher and crisper as their tannin content is lower.

Aging

The tannins in wine help to preserve it, so for the most part, red wines can be aged longer and will taste better with age as the tannins mellow. Some of the tannins can be removed to make the wine ready for immediate consumption, which is why white wines are usually ready to drink much more quickly as they naturally have a lower tannin content.

Flavours

Generally speaking, red wines will have a more bitter, mouth puckering taste while whites will be much smoother and sweeter. Reds may taste heavier and full-bodied and lights may be fresher and fruitier, but in some cases those characteristics could be reversed. Tasting as many wines as possible will give you the best idea of what to expect with each type and can give you a better appreciation of the differences between white and red wine.

Understanding the basic types of wine

Wine can be categorized in many different ways, such as level of dryness, the colour, the region the grapes were grown, or which meal you would have it with. Some reds may be sweet and some whites may be dry so one type of wine of a certain type may not taste the same as the rest, but they can usually fall into general categories.

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Tips for ordering wine at a restaurant

When looking to get out of the house and enjoy a nice dinner, it’s always a good idea to go to our favourite restaurant or to even try a new one out. Now, if you’re someone that likes a glass of wine here and there, here are some tips you may want to take into consideration when ordering wine at a restaurant:

Taste test

Though not all restaurants allow you to taste test some wine, some are willing, so it never hurts to ask.

Type

You may also want to consider the type of wine, as some taste better than others. From red to white to even old or fresh wine, the taste can range greatly.

Alcohol content

If you don’t like your wine to be too strong, ask what the alcohol content is.

Recommendation

If you’re up to trying anything, just ask you server which wines are the most popular ones.

For more expert info, see Alan Richman’s 15 top tips for ordering wine in a restaurant.

Though getting a glass of wine at a restaurant may seem like no big deal, it’s important that we find one we like because each glass tends to be pretty expensive. So, from asking for a small taste test to taking into consideration how strong it is, you can help come across one you may enjoy more.

Below is a video made by Guardian Food, featuring top tips on ordering wine at a restaurant from a sommelier. Samantha Payne guides us through some basic tips on ordering wine when eating out.

How to host a wine tasting party at home

Hosting a wine tasting at home is the perfect way to get together with your friends and family and spend a few quality hours enjoying each other and good wine. For those that are unfamiliar with wine, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the culture. For those that love wine, this is the perfect opportunity for them to share their knowledge with others and maybe even learn something themselves.

One of the best tips for hosting a wine party at home is to ask each guest to bring their favourite bottle of wine for tasting. To make sure you don’t end up with 16 bottles of the same pinot noir, assign each friend a category, such as asking one to bring her favourite pinot noir and another to bring her favourite cabernet sauvignon.

Provide plenty of wine glasses for your guests. Party supply stores have large quantities of inexpensive disposable wine glasses that are perfect for this. Also include a number of different foods such as cheeses and grapes that can be paired with wines. Basic white bread should be used to cleanse each person’s palate between tasting each different type of wine offered at your tasting.

What is chocolate wine and how is it made?

Chocolate wine combines the best of both worlds: chocolate and wine. This easy to make-at-home treat is perfect for an after dinner desert or a late afternoon delight.

Chocolate wine is made by blending a full-bodied red wine and melted dark chocolate. The wine is poured into a saucepan and warmed over low heat. After letting it simmer for about 15 minutes, the wine should be removed from the heat source and whisked together with the melted chocolate. The chocolate and wine should be mixed together until the drink becomes frothy, and should then be immediately served.

How to make chocolate wine?

Making chocolate wine is an inexact science. Different amount of wine and chocolate can be used to experiment, and different wines or chocolate may prove to be more delicious than others. Fruit-flavored wines, such as raspberry, apple or blueberry wine may also add a little hint of flavor to the chocolate wine. For this specialty drink, experimentation is the key!

Although often hard to find, chocolate wine can also be purchased in bottle form. Many types are available, including port wines and merlots, and many also include hints of orange or berries. Bottled chocolate wine is a great gift for customers, coworkers, family and friends.