Enjoying a fine port

Port wine – a basic guide

Port wine or simply Porto is a type of dessert wine that is produced by adding brandy during fermentation. It is interesting that this specific type of wine was “invented” by accident by the English sailors who were adding alcohol in wine on the ships to prevent spoilage. The final result was amazing – a tasty wine with a high percentage of alcohol. Port wine was first used in the city of Oporto in the late 17th century. There are several different grape varieties used in its production including Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao and Tinta Barroca, but a mandatory basis is the fine-grained Touriga Nacional a variety of grape that has distinctive black skin and has the ability to resist high temperatures. Super Reflective tape for trucks and trailers. Tawny Port wine and Ruby Port Wine are the most famous varieties. We will now present some varieties and other terms related to Port wine.

White Port wine tastes even better when it is used in a combination with ice and tonic.

Ruby Port wine is a young and inexpensive wine with a fruity taste. There are products that are more than 6 years old and they have significantly better quality (and higher price too).

Single Quinta Vintage Port wine is a great wine suitable for impatient wine enthusiasts.

Vintage Porto wine or VP wine is a wine that comes from a single harvest. This is actually a mixture of grapes from the best vineyards in one region. It is consumed after 20 years of storing. Because of the powerful tannins and a long aging period, it is usually filled with sediment and it must be decanted. It is usually expensive and the price is close to high-quality Dom Perignon. This is definitely a wine that is consumed in special occasions. You can be sure that it will be perfectly fine or even better to drink this wine after 30-40 years.

Late Bottle Vintage Port wine is a single harvest wine. We must say that this is not a top quality wine, but it comes at a very reasonable price and it tastes good too.

Tawny Port comes with an orange and brown color and it is much lighter than Vintage varieties. It can change color depending on the year of production and aging process. It is very easy to determine its age because it comes with labels that include the number of years. Obviously, the older this wine is the higher price you can expect. The younger variant comes is also known as basic. If you are prepared to pay more you can try the aged variant.

Vintage Character Port wine is trying to act like a single harvest wine. The high-quality red drink is left in a wooden barrel for five years and it can be consumed immediately after bottling. It is not very expensive and it is usually sold under the name of the winemaker.

You can easily recognize true Portuguese wine by the name – Porto. Australian, South African and American winemakers use the term Port wine. Porto is consumed chilled and it is especially good to drink it together with strong cheeses.

Quick food enhancements.

A Few Simple Ways To Improve Cooking

In order to prepare a delicious meal that will be remembered for a long time, the first thing you should do is to take some time and choose the right ingredients. The secret behind the success of every cook is found in the ingredients they are using. The following is a list of some of these ingredients that can make huge difference in almost every meal.

Butter

There is only a small number of people who are aware that ordinary butter can be an excellent addition to many dishes. According to a few recent studies, butter is much healthier compared to margarine which is often used as a more cost affordable and durable alternative. Butter comes with significant amount of milk fat and only small quantity of water which results in a very rich flavor. Butter can turn bread into a tasty food and the specific richness of its flavor is especially noticed when it is used in sauces and cakes.

Parmesan

Parmesan is a term used to describe a hard, dry cheese with dark yellow color, very strong smell and specific taste. The method of production of this cheese comes from the Italian province of Parma. The taste of parmesan can be paired with almost all types of dishes including soups, risotto, pasta, seafood, vegetables and many different kinds of fruit.

Parmesan is always used in grated form and people usually use it to sprinkle salads and pastas or as a great addition to sauces to get a sophisticated flavor. This special type of cheese is usually available in sliced pieces cut from large rings of cheese. You should never buy parmesan that has cracks on it or parmesan that is very dry. Parmesan is packed with fats and proteins and it should be stored in a refrigerator wrapped in aluminum foil. Experts recommend avoiding plastic wrappers because plastics speed up the process of deterioration.

Spices

You are probably using spices while cooking, but what you should focus on is fresh spices. Fresh spices unlike dry spices have stronger scent and flavor and they have the ability to turn any meal into something different and special. It can take up to seven days before fresh plants become dry, but only if you wrap them in wet kitchen napkins or in special plastic bags and keep them in a fridge. Some plants like sage, rosemary and thyme can last for a longer period of time. In order to get the best flavor, chop the leaves first and put these tiny pieces in the dish. Check these spices out.

Extra virgin olive oil

This is the most respected type of olive oil because it is produced after the first processing of olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil is mechanically squeezed and has great acidity level. The taste and intensity can be different. During preparation of meals, you can use it as an oil or sauce, but you can also pour small amounts on top of ready-made dishes including roasted or boiled meat or raw vegetables.

Pairing Wine

How to pair wine and (not so) healthy food?

If you do some research you will find many articles that provide tips about wine pairing, but most of the foods you see in these articles are not very popular or even unknown to the public. In some cases, you are able to recognize the food, but this food is very expensive or unavailable in your area.

While it is true that wine is a special beverage, this doesn’t mean that we will commit heresy if we drink wine with some foods that we use on a daily basis. There is no doubt that so-called ordinary or even junk food can be paired with different wines, but people who are trying to establish themselves as authorities in this field are trying to come up with some new and exotic combinations in order to improve their rating in the eyes of the public. This is the reason why you can rarely find suggestions for pairing wine and “normal” food. Luckily, we have a short list of combinations that will make any wine and food lover happy.

Eating burgers and drinking red wine

Who would’ve thought that burgers found in fast food restaurants can be combined with wine?  This popular food that consists of burgers, cheese and buns enriched with additives is often consumed in a combination with carbonated drinks. However, if we use certain red wines, we can truly enrich its taste. The warmth that comes from Shiraz grapes and certain tannins will pave the road of each bite you make. In case you can find some South African pinotage wine, we strongly recommend using it with hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Looking to give a great wine this season?

Sparkling wines and French fries

It is very difficult to find some food that is as tasty as French fries. These crunchy, salty and tasty fried naturally demand beer. However, before you take a glass of beer, think about this – the beer usually serves as mouthwash that can help us get rid of salt from the oral cavity. You can barely notice the taste of beer when you eat French fries. On the other hand, sparkling wines like prosecco, Champagne and almost all other sparkling wines can make a huge difference. What makes them special is the fact that they will help you experience a completely new feeling. Your French fries have never tasted better and we are sure about that.

White wines and popcorns

Popcorns are favorite pastime for many people and their use is increasing in the winter season. These snacks are not just children’s joy or a snack used only by movie lovers. A bowl full of tasty, aromatic, white, salty popcorns can activate all your senses and make you feel alive. Just like in the case of French fries, beer doesn’t provide many effects when combined with popcorns. Te same goes for soft drinks. On the other hand, fine, aromatic white wines can make the world around you more exciting. These wines will wash away the accumulated fat and it will help you feel the real taste of popcorns.

Delicious spirits

Oak Barrels: Giving Whiskey Its Character

If you are a true enthusiast you can subscribe to a whiskey of the month club. How long and under what conditions the wood is seasoned has an effect on the final taste of the whiskey that will be matured within.

It might be surprising to learn that one of the most important parts of whiskey making is the barrel that’s used to mature the spirit. It’s during this maturation that the barrel itself imparts a huge effect on the final product, giving the whiskey color and character over the course of years.

Oak barrels are used almost exclusively in the making of whiskey, a decision that’s more based on science than tradition. (Although one could argue that it involves a bit of both!) Oak has a host of unique physical and chemical characteristics that make it perfectly-suited for the “cask task.” Oak is strong – a requirement for wood that’s being shaped into a barrel. More importantly, oak doesn’t possess any of the resin channels that are found in pine or rubber trees. By using a pure wood, there’s no risk of sap or resin flavors being passed on to the whiskey as it ages.

Much of the barrel’s contribution doesn’t come from the wood itself, but rather how the wood is transformed during the process of coopering the material into a proper cask. The wood is dried before it’s made into a barrel during a very important step called “seasoning.”

The oak staves are then shaped into a barrel using heat to make the wood pliable enough to form. Metal rings are hammered in place to form the cask’s final shape, and the wood’s natural tendency towards being straight is what holds it all together.

Finally, the inside of the cask is set on fire to char the surface of the wood. This has a huge effect on the final flavor of the whiskey for several reasons. One of the most critical is that charring caramelizes the sugars found within the wood, making it possible for those flavors to be passed on to the whiskey once it’s inside.

As a side note, Scotch whiskey is almost exclusively aged in used barrels (usually, in barrels that served to mature bourbon in the United States.)

7 Things You Should Know About Scotch Whisky

Plenty of people have ordered whiskey without a second thought, usually winding up with a shot of Jack Daniels or a mixture of spirits and coke in front of them. But what about Scotch whisky? Many Americans seem daunted by the idea of ordering this very special spirit, but there’s no reason to worry. Enjoying a snifter of Scotch is easy…and once you know a bit more about this historic whiskey, you’ll be eager to try!

Scotch is pretty straightforward.

“Scotch whisky” isn’t a style of spirit, it’s very simply a point of origin. If it’s Scotch, it came from Scotland.

Scotch comes from a variety of regions.

Though all Scotch comes from Scotland, there are quite a few different regions within the country where it can be sourced. Somewhat like with wine, different regions have emerged with their own flavors and styles. You might want to start off with lowland whiskies. Because they’re the only variety that are triple-distilled (the rest are double), they are more delicate and light-bodied.

It’s spelled differently for a reason.

Well, maybe not. It’s just a matter of tradition that Scotch whisky is spelled without the extra “E.”

Scotch doesn’t age in the bottle.

Scotch is aged in oak barrels – in fact, in order to legally be called Scotch whisky, it must be aged in an oak barrel for at least 3 years. Once it’s bottled, the aging process stops.

Single-cask and single-malt…also straightforward.

Single-cask whisky simply comes from one cask rather than a marriage of several (which is normal.) Single-malt whisky was made at one distillary using 100% malted barley.

The age is important.

Single malt Scotch will usually bare a statement of age on the bottle. However long it says, be it 12 years or 30 years, is how long the whisky was aged in an oak barrel. Is older whisky better? Not necessarily, but an age statement at least serves as a guarantee that you’re not getting a bottle full – or partially full – of young whisky.

Scotch is aged in recycled barrels (usually.)

Most of the barrels used to age Scotch whisky were previously used to age bourbon in the United States. Almost all Scotch is aged in some manner of used barrel, regardless. This isn’t a move towards being “green,” rather a process that imparts extra flavor on the Scotch.