Wednesday, September 03, 2014

How to pair wine with food

Wine Tasting
Each dish has its own ideal wine to accompany that should be served at the correct temperature. It's necessary to consider the various types of wine, red and white, sparkling wine, liqueur, sweet, lively white, red frame, pink, soft white, aromatic, full-bodied red, each with its own degree of aging and importance, in order to offer good food and wine pairing in a menu.

The pairings between wine and food are numerous and varied. The agreements must be established between the smells and flavors of the wine and the dish tasted. Today more then ever the importance of food is higher on the world stage. Any excuse is good to talk about food and wine, if you consider all types of cuisines and fashions that are born every day: nouvelle cuisine, traditional cuisine, cuisine reinvented, fusion cuisine, cooking finger food, ethnic cuisine and ... so forth.

Because of the importance given today to the cuisine is inevitable to be able to bring the right wine to the food served on the table. Beyond the taste, which is always strictly personal, there are some basic considerations to evaluate when choosing a wine to pair with food. See Table of combinations.

How to pair wine with food 

1) Identify the components of the flavor of a food 
It is important to decipher the flavor components of a food to see what value and what to compensate with wine. Sweet, bitter, salty, sour, spicy, spicy, are just some of the flavors that result from a plate.

2) Identify the components of the flavor and structure of a wine 
Even with the wine must decipher the components and main characteristics. It is important, both for food and for wine, that once established the dominant flavors you choose whether to use a food matching that enhances or attenuates these aspects predominate.

3) Advice 
It is suggested to always look for a balance in the matching.

A delicate dish requires a light wine, while the strong flavors you respond in kind with an important wine.

Importance of the right wine 
After each mouthful of the same food, the taste buds send signals to the brain less and less strong, then you can appreciate that food less and less. Precisely for this reason it is important to match the right wine, you say "perfectly clean" the mouth combine harmoniously with the food so that every bite is as good as the first.

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Why a wine tour in Tuscany is a must?

The recent trend in the world of travel and tourism is to opt for wine tours. These tours are quite different any other kind of tour. Ne gets the opportunity to visit a vineyard and check out the entire process of wine making on their own. Sounds interesting? Well it is and if you want to opt for a wine tour then there is no better place than Italy. 

This destination boasts of so many different attractions like the Chianti wine tour , Barolo wine tour, Brunello wine tour.

But in order to enjoy this tour and in order to make the most of the opportunity one must take into account the following points
  • Once you decide on the date of your travel contact your local travel agent as well as an agent in Chianti. Tell them when you would like to visit. Once the agent in Chianti confirms the dates for the wine tour, you can go ahead and give confirmation to your travel agent so that he can book the flight tickets and hotel accommodations. It is an added bonus, if your travel agent can himself book your wine tour, then you won't have to take the extra headache of contacting the local agent out there.
  • What about the documents that you need to visit the vineyards? Is there any special kind of permit that you need? Collect information regarding this, or ask your agent.
  • Always opt for a guided Brunello wine tour so that the guide can assist you and tell you about the specialty of the vineyard and the kind of wine it manufactures. Also find out whether you need to tip the guide once the tour is over.
  • Don't forget to convert your currency. Don't expect to reach the venue and then do it. Ask your agent to do it on your behalf and collect the currency before you travel.
  • Now that your tour is booked, what about the temperature of the place. Gather as much information as possible so that you can pack your bag accordingly. Otherwise you will end up carrying unnecessary clothes.
  • Don't forget to carry your camera; after all you need to click photos, right?
  • Enquire if there is any accommodation inside the vineyard where you can stay and spend the day. It is the best way to soak in the natural beauty and enjoy the vineyard.
  • And finally ask the cost involved for the entire tour. As you are opting for a wine tour the cost will be a bit high end but trust me it is worth every single penny invested.
Once you consider all these aspects you will be at a better position to take your decision. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and enjoy your holiday. Certain holidays are such that you remember them for the rest of your life. I can bet that this is one such holiday.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Montalcino and its Brunello

Like an island in the heart of Tuscany, the hill of Montalcino offers to those who ascend from the valleys surrounding it the feeling of a gradual conquest, the sense of arriving in a snug harbour.
Perhaps, because of its geographical position, far from the crowded highways or perhaps because of the purity of the air of an environment that is still intact and wild, Montalcino provides a host of stimuli for the imaginations of those who visit it, involving them in that magical relation between man and nature that, here, has the rare quality of being absolutely spontaneous. The people of this town have always been devoted to the labours of wood and field. But they have also enjoyed moments of proud glory as during the struggle for communal liberty in the 16th century, when they long resisted the besieging armies of Spain and France.
Anyway the best image of Montalcino is revealed primarily by wine, the most precious gift of a land that is at the same time hard and generous.
Already widely appreciated in past centuries, the oenological production had, even here, remained faithful to the canons of proven reliability of Tuscan tradition. It was only toward the end of last century that the first experiments were begun in order to improve and exalt the characteristics of a raw material and an environment no doubt quite special. Thus was born Brunello, as it is still created today, the fruit of a tenacious dedication, of loving watchfulness during the years of ageing in the winery before it is presented to a world that has learned to love it. It is the end and beginning of a legend that each bottle renews.

Territory of Montalcino: climate, soil and position of the vineyards

The production area coincides with the communal territory of Montalcino. Distributed over that territory, according to the best viticultural tradition of the environment and marvellously inserted into the landscape, the Brunello estates offer numerous opportunities to visitors interested in wine as well as natural beauty. Passing through characteristic villages and thick woods, the traveler will dicover well-tended vineyards, perfectly equipped and organized wineries, which are the secret and the pride of each estate from the smallest to the largest.
Brunello di Montalcino Biondi Santi
The commune of Montalcino is located 40 kilometers to the south of Siena. Its Territory, delimited by the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone valleys, has a nearly circular shape with a diameter of 16 km. and a surface area of 24,000 hectares.
The local economy is prevalently agricultural and, in that context, the vine occupies only a small share of the total surface: 50% is covered by wood and uncultivated land; 10% is planted in olive-grove, 8% is cultivated by vines of which more than a half are recorded in the list of the wine Brunello di Montalcino, the remainder is sown in grain, pastures and other cultivation. The hill of Montalcino having been formed in different geological eras, presents extremely variable soil characteristics, whether in constitution or structure.
For that reason, it is difficult to make generalizations that can be widely applied.
The lowest areas consist of terrains created by the deposit of alluvial material with an active stratum that is deep and quite loose, dating from the Quaternary period.
Farther uphill, the terrain, enriched by fossil material, has a reduced active stratum of soils formed by the decomposition of origin rocks, especially marl and limestone.
The terrains are moderately sandy, rich in lime, mingled with wide areas of volcanic soil, but tending to be thin. There are also other terrains derived from stratifications typical of the Siena area that are useful only for cultivation of cereals.
The climate is typically Mediterranean with precipitation concentrated in the months of May, October, and November (average 700 millimeters).
In winter, snow is not rare above an altitude of 400 meters. Monte Amiata (1,700 meters height), not far to the southeast, represents a natural barrier that protects Montalcino from most climatic adversities such as sudden downpours and hail-storms. The strip of hill of moderate altitude, where the greater part of the winemaking estates are situated, is not affected by fog, ice or late frost as are the surrounding valleys, while the normal, persistent winds ensure the best conditions for the health of the plants.
The fundamentally mild climate and the large number of days of serene weather during the entire vegetative cycle assure the gradual and complete ripening of the grape clusters.
The existence in the territory of slopes with different orientations, the pronounced modulations of the hills and the altimetric disparity between the lowl
ying areas and the higher district (Poggio Civitella), produce climatic microenvironments that are divers despite the relative compactness of the area.
The most widely used form of training of the vines at Montalcino is the cordone speronato, which involves short pruning (to two buds) of the variable number at the crown of the rootstock. The other form in use for Brunello di Montalcino is that of the archetto (the modified Guyot system), this involves a single vine shoot, pruned to 6 to 10 buds, which alone is responsible for the vine's vegetation.