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‘Tis the season to be bubbly!

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This week fizzes with facts about the wine, otherwise known as champagne.

1. What did 17th century Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, say he tasted when he first sipped his creation?
2. What’s this process called?
3. What are the two distinctions that make it champagne and not just sparkling wine?
4. Which is more gaseous, beer or champagne?
5. Which is dryer, ‘Extra Dry’ or ‘Brut’?
6. Does champagne make you get drunk faster?
7. Do the approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne that tickle your nose actually have a biochemical function?
8. To drink or not to drink? Does champagne need time to aerate?
9. True or false? America saved the French champagne industry.

As the corks fly this season, remember the saying, “The ear’s gain is the palate’s loss.” Open the bottle carefully, as not to loose bubbles.

Excited? I’ve been thinking how to best post my trivia and answers that I’ll reveal on Thursday (hopefully just in time for you to appear smarter when you have a drink with friends over the weekend). I’m thinking that I’ll post the questions like a regular post, and then the answers on the “Winey Wednesday” page – so you have a one-stop shop for all the random factoids you ever wanted to know about wine! Let me know if you have any ideas…

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Now, down to business.

1. How many grapes on average go into making one bottle of wine?

2. You’ve guessed the grape count, now when was the cork developed?

3. So, you need to uncork that bottle. When was the corkscrew invented?

4. Uncorking a bottle and letting it stand for an hour or so before drinking allows the wine to breathe. True or false?

5. Put these wines in proper tasting order. Red/Sparkling/White.

organic update

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Either yesterday or the day before I wrote about an article on organic wine. I was interested to read a UN newsfeed today on the status of organic farming in general. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) responded to an earlier claim that they endorsed organic farming as a solution to world hunger problems.

“We should use organic agriculture and promote it,” said Jacques Diouf, FAO’s Director-General. “But you cannot feed six billion people today and nine billion in 2050 without judicious use of chemical fertilizers.”

Interesting. I think the challenge is on.

I found an interesting blog along the way…check it out.

the pouring ranis.

As part of my research, I’ve been looking at the growing third world markets in terms of wine producers and buyers. India is one of these places. As a developing nation whose population is steadily increasing, the Indian elite are also growing. This means that luxury products are also on the rise. Wine connoisseurs as well.

I saw a BBC article today detailing the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned a law banning women from serving alcohol. The reason for the ban? It was thought that women are put in peril if behind the bar by the inability of some men to hold their liquor. It will be interesting to see if this ruling promotes the momentum of this modernizing nation.

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Coq au Vin…

Jaime´s Coq au vin

One of my favorite recipes.  I will be filming my own segments within the next few weeks!

UB40 Red Red Wine 1983

A blast from the past! Perhaps my first sip of wine consumption as a child.

organic delight?

Perhaps you had a friend like mine. You know the one whose family shopped in the natural market and everything was organic from toothpaste to ice cream? She introduced me to my first taste of seaweed. I loved those salty sheets of algae – still do.

I want to clarify that I wasn’t raised in a house filled with overly processed food. We ate muesli for breakfast since sugar would rot our teeth as my dad often reiterated.

Despite my upbringing, I sensed that organic food had its niche. Left over flower children were raising their children accordingly, and the rest of us brushed that world aside. I remember begging my mom for those fruit leather snacks – I still don’t know why I never succeeded in convincing her to buy them. Instead, I saved my money. If I was lucky I was with my friend on shopping day and we’d head off to the aisles of chemical-free products where I would stock up on ripened raspberry or abundant apricot delight.

I don’t know when the change happened, but all of a sudden organic products are ubiquitous. I mean, even WalMart went organic last year. Perhaps it’s the notion that organic=good. Good for you. Good tasting, as the food’s less processed, treated and fresher. Good for the environment. But organic is not always the best.

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I just finished reading a Salon article that speaks about organic wine. I’ve seen bottles labeled organic, and I’ve tasted a few. Eh, they were alright. I never really thought about what goes into (or rather doesn’t go into) organic wine. Read up.

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