Homemade Barolo Chinato

Barolo Chinato is a spiced wine from the Italian region of Piemonte that was invented as a medicine in the late 19th century by pharmacist Giuseppe Cappellano in Turin. Commercial versions of Barolo Chinato are matured for over a year in oak barrels, but it is possible to make a very acceptable version at home. That is great, because Barolo Chinato is very good with chocolate and chocolate-based desserts, and it is quite hard to find outside of Italy. After maturation in the bottle only it is not the same as the commercial product, but a very acceptable substitute. It is very easy to make and only requires some patience (about a month). Continue reading “Homemade Barolo Chinato”

Burgundy is all about Terroir

Burgundy (Bourgogne) is a region in France that is famous for its wine and its food. Three years ago we went there for a few days to discover the wine region and purchased some nice wines. Most Burgundian wines are at their best between 5 and 10 years from the harvest, and since the wines we purchased were mostly from the vintages 2007 and 2008 it is time to start drinking them. And that’s all the excuse I needed to organize some Burgundian evenings to share the wines with our friends and enjoy them with some good Burgundian food. Continue reading “Burgundy is all about Terroir”

Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Four weeks ago I had organized the first cheese & wine tasting event for friends at my house. Last night was the second evening with mostly the same wines and cheese, but some differences and better pictures. For the full story, please check out my post about the first evening. Soft cheese with light white wine With a caprese salad this time we had an Arneis instead of a Gavi. Both are good matches, but if memory serves me right this was slightly better because this specific Arneis was a bit ’rounder’ and therefore a slightly better match for the … Continue reading Pairing wine and cheese, revisited

Pairing Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese are a great match. But not just any wine with any cheese. Restaurants still offer a mix of very different cheeses with a glass of port. However in cases that different styles of cheeses are served together, they should be paired with different styles of wine as well. Last night we tasted 12 different wines with 12 different cheeses with a group of friends. We combined 7 types of cheese with 7 types of wine and tasted which combinations worked best. We had the cheese and wine for dinner, augmented with home-baked Italian bread and vegetable antipasti (sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers, … Continue reading Pairing Wine and Cheese

Good Lambrusco exists

Lambrusco is a light bubbly red wine from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia in Italy that does not have a good reputation at all. It is usually cheap plonk that is frowned upon by many connoisseurs. However just like almost any other wine, it is possible to make good quality Lambrusco. Over the last few years, Italy’s famous wine guide Gambero Rosso has awarded it’s tre bicchieri (3 glasses) award to dry Lambrusco. When I ordered some wine and saw the same webshop also sold this Lambrusco for less than 8 euros per bottle, I decided to try a bottle. The 2010 Lambrusco … Continue reading Good Lambrusco exists

Hyperdecanting wine à la “Modernist Cuisine”

There are two reasons for decanting wine: separating the sediment from the wine (only needed for all wines that have sediment in the bottle, usually older wines) and letting the wine ‘breathe’ (oxygenation and outgassing; this may improve most wines but especially young red wines of which the tannins haven’t yet softened). Dutch wine connoisseurs use two different words to differentiate between these two purposes: decanting (decanteren) for separating the sediment and ‘carafing’ (karafferen) for letting the wine breathe. The amazing book (well, actually set of books) “Modernist Cuisine” by Nathan Myhrvold et al. claims that using a blender to … Continue reading Hyperdecanting wine à la “Modernist Cuisine”