Making Floral, Fruity & Fragrant Sangria


Photo Credit: nattywoohoo

Sangria: Party lovers either love or hate this fresh fruit wine cocktail that has both a Spanish and Portuguese origin.

The squeeze of fresh citrus makes it a delicious and inexpensive drink that budget-conscious party hosts should have no second thoughts serving.

But, if it is a poorly made one, which will give your party guests a splitting headache the next morning, then forget it.

Sangria still makes a delicious and inexpensive party cocktail, if you know how to make a good one. And why not, when it is so easy to make!

With pitchers of it stocked in the fridge, the good time rolls as soon as the guests come trooping in and as this chilled and fancy cocktail is poured into glasses. With some creative additions and garnish, you can make the cocktail mix all your own, minus the headache, which your party guests will love. [Read more…]

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Looking for the Best Fruity Red Wine

red wineFinding a good, fruity red wine can sometimes be quite a challenge because reds run the gamut of very dry to very sweet on the taste scale. As a rule, wines from warmer climates tend to be fruitier and less dry than those that come from vineyards in cold areas. Dry wine is generally considered the more sophisticated choice’ but it is an acquired taste. At the same time, even if a diner prefers fruitier wine, there is a big difference between fruity and soda pop sweet. Furthermore, even when people look for fruity wine, they want something that will work well with food.

Worth a Try for Fruity

In Red Wine Information and Basics, Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast gives a good overview of the fruity undertones one can expect from different red wines. He describes wines made from Gamay, notably Beaujolais, “The grape of Beaujolais, Gamay is often made to be drunk quite young, and shows bright, tangy, fruit-driven flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and sweet cherries. When made by the method known as carbonic maceration, young Gamay has a slight effervescence and a distinct smell of bananas…” [Read more…]

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Australia’s Sparkling Wines

Sparkling WineSparkling wines come from all over the world, but not all of them can be called champagne. That name has been protected since 1891 and can be used only by wines produced in the Champagne region of France in compliance with the process prescribed by the Comité Interprofessional du vin de Champagne. Even if other wines are made from the same grape variety and use the same process as champagne, they can only be referred to as sparkling wines. Fortunately, as the saying goes, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

A New World “Sparkler”

Along with the United States, Chile, and South Africa, Australian champagne is sometimes referred to as a New World sparkler. However, Australian wine historians will insist that the country has produced sparkling wine since the 1890s. The only thing is the Australian’s bubbly was not made with grapes classified as classic Champagne varieties. It was only n 1960 that the Hawke Bay’s Mission Vineyard produced sparkling wine – wine using Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, and Folle Blanche, and produced according to the “classic” champagne method. Today, there are more than two dozen Australian producers of good sparkling wines. [Read more…]

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Wines that Go Well with Spice and Heat

WinesThere is a general perception that spicy foods are difficult to pair with wines, but this is not completely true. While it may require more effort to find the right wine for foods that have more than their share of heat and flavor, there are wines that will wash the palate pleasantly and provide just the right refreshing contrast.

Why Wines Can Work with Spice

Few people bother to look for the right wine when they serve spicy foods, and most hosts will bring out the beer for their guests. Actually, there are several reasons why wine can be paired very appropriately with foods that pack a lot of heat.

Wine, particularly those that are fruity and sweet, can neutralize the heat in spicy foods. This allows the other flavors in a dish to become more distinguishable. The acidity of wine can also allow the different flavors of a dish to mellow and harmonize. [Read more…]

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The Intricacies of a Chinese Lauriat

Chinese LauriatThe Fookien word for lauriat is “lao diat”, which literally translates to “special occasion”. Basically, the Chinese lauriat is a sit-down banquet prepared for special occasions, and for the most traditional circles, certain things need to be complied with for a proper lauriat.

Food for the Lauriat

A Chinese banquet cannot be called a lauriat unless it features eight to ten dishes – at the very least, that is. Several appetizers are served at the beginning of the meal; although these are counted as one menu item, this opening salvo can include more than a few delicacies. In Redcook’s Anatomy of a Chinese Banquet Menu, Kian Lam Kho shares his family table’s appetizers for a New Year lauriat: smoked ham hock, jellyfish salad, drunken chicken, shrimp salad in mustard mayonnaise, and century eggs. [Read more…]

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The Robust Asado and the Full-bodied Wines of Argentina

Argentinian barbecue AsadoOnce you have tasted Argentine barbecue, you will think that the word “barbecue” does not do it justice. Argentine barbecue is distinctive because of the way Argentines prepare and grill the meat, and it is vastly different from the usual skewered chunks or rib sections that sizzle on gas or coal grills.

Barbecue the Gaucho Way

Argentines are very particular about the kind of meat they use for asado. Only the best meat will do, and the country’s excellent meat supply caters to this discriminating taste.

Traditional meat cuts for asado include tenderloin, rack of rib, flank, prime rib steaks, T-bone, sirloin, rump, brisket, and tri-tip. A complete asado menu would also include chinchulin (the initial portion of the small intestine), sweetbreads, kidneys, and udder. There are two important details to remember about asado:  A bull calf is the traditionally preferred offering for this feast, and the meat is not cut into small pieces. Instead, the meat is grilled in large portions to keep the interior juicy. [Read more…]

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