Archive for March, 2009

Pairing Wine with Food

March 29, 2009

 

Pairing wine with food can heighten enjoyment of both the wine and the meal individually as well as enhance the overall experience.  While not an exact science, there is a method to pairing wine with food that extends beyond red wine with red meat and white wine with chicken and fish.

 

The primary goal in matching wine and food is ensuring that one does not overpower the other, and that, instead, they complement each other. For example, it’s smart to balance the intensity of flavors by pairing lighter wines with lighter food and fuller-bodied wines with rich, bold-flavored dishes.  Not taking flavor intensity into account often leads to the food overwhelming the wine or vice versa.

 

Acid is one important flavor note to consider when pairing wine with food.  Generally, tangy dishes pair well with an acidic wine.  For example, a tomato-based sauce goes well with Chianti, while a lemony white sauce pairs well with Pinot Grigio.

 

Another important consideration is tannin—the element in wine that gives you a dry, puckery feeling of the mouth.  High tannin wines pair well with fatty foods like beef, as the dry astringency of the tannins cuts through the fattiness of the meat.

 

Spicy Asian dishes were long considered unfriendly partners to wine, but there are some general guidelines to consider when pairing wine with Asian food.  Oaky Chardonnays don’t typically pair well with Asian dishes, nor do highly tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignons, as each will fight with the strong Asian flavors, leaving both the food and the wine tasting off flavor.  Instead, try acidic white wines like Sauvignon Blancs or fruity reds like Zinfandels or Syrahs.

 

These are general guidelines for pairing wine with food, but regardless of any rules or suggestions, the best pairing is made up of good food, good wine and good company.  So eat, drink and experiment with your pairings to learn what you personally like best.

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Woman arrested 3 times in 3 days for…

March 27, 2009

As if the “theory” that women are bad drivers needed some additional fodder, a woman vacationing in Wisconsin was arrested for drunk driving.  However, this wasn’t just any normal arrest: the same woman was arrested THREE times in THREE DAYS for drunk driving.

According to the Associated Press, the 60-year-old woman was first arrested on March 11th after being found driving with one shoe and trying to get out of a ditch.  24 hours later, the same woman was found stuck in the snow of a closed park, at which point she claimed she was “still finishing up the box of wine in my car from yesterday.”  After spending 12 hours in jail, the woman was released only to be arrested a short time later after driving erratically and being found in possession of what was left of a bottle of wine. The woman has been fined $3,000 and sentenced to a month in jail.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind our readers that drinking and driving is a terrible idea and can not only hurt or kill you and those around you, but also, a $3,000 fine is going to cut considerably into anyone’s drinking budget.

While the Economy Suffers, Microbrews Grow

March 25, 2009

Despite, or perhaps because of, the weakened economy, many people are beginning to open microbreweries or brewpubs according to The Wall Street Journal.

Even as recession gripped the country, 114 microbreweries and brewpubs — restaurants that make their own beer — opened in the U.S. last year, according to the Brewers Association.

If you have never enjoyed the atmosphere and unique experience that a brewpub offers, take a quick look online and find one nearby; they frequently will explain each beer in laymen’s terms and will likely have a beer that appeals to even the most finicky palate.   Another great experience is brewing your own beer.  Numerous kits are available online and there are even breweries that allow you to brew your own beer on-site, selecting from a menu  and using ingredients they provide.

As this article indicates, the recession may dim hopes for the future, delay retirement and result in countless layoffs. But what this recession cannot do, however, is abate the thirst of Americans for good beer.

Finally, a Worthy Gift for Mom: Her Own Beer

March 24, 2009

Rogue, one of our favorite beer producers and makers of the delicious Dead Guy Ale has announced a new hefeweizen for moms: Rogue Mom Ale.  Available May 10 for Mother’s Day, this Belgian-style blonde ale  is an unfiltered fusion of wheat and barley malts, spiced with coriander and ginger.

From Rogue’s press release — 

“Mom Hefeweizen has received 13 national and international awards for taste and quality including a Gold medal at the World Beer  Championships, 2 Bronze medals at the Australian International Beer Awards and the title of Pacific Northwest Champion 2 years in a row from the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships.”

This gift is certainly something that moms the world over can enjoy, so show your mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day, and buy her a beer.

U.K Beer Consumption Falls

March 23, 2009

Here’s some startling news.  The British Beer and Pub Asscociation reports that higher beer taxes and the slowing economy has decreased booze consumption for the fourth time in five years.  Pure alcohol consumption dropped 3.2 percent to 2.3 gallons per person.

According to the Government’s own calculation of alcohol harm, this decrease in drinking has resulted in a savings of $1.1 billion for the nation.  But at what cost to its thirsty citizens?  The higher beer taxes forced 1,973 pubs to shut down operations last year, a pretty staggering figure, and surely not a boon to the  faltering economy.

Source: Bloomberg