Thursday, February 28, 2013

Terry's Book Review - The Wines of Alsace

The 'Bible' of Alsace wines.

In the book "The Wines of Alsace", Tom Stevenson has profiled 300 producers and every style of Alsace wine, and has also analysed all 118 wine villages, 51 grands crus, 84 lieux-dits, 28 clos and 4 wine-producing chateaux.

Encyclopedia like accuracy of facts, yet engaging detail and atmosphere as in storytelling. A must have book for those serious about learning Alsace wines.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alsace Riesling

Riesling produces a dry white wine, racy and fruity. It offers a bouquet of great finesse with hints of citrus. This wine is one of the most popular in Alsace with Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris.

In general one can say that in Alsace the style of wine making is to the dry side. That goes for example with Muscat and also with Riesling. Having said that, one should add the fact that Riesling in Alsace comes in a great variety. So also sweeter and more full bodied Riesling wines can be found.

As always the terroir (the soil) is important.
A sandy, clay like soil produces "granny smith like" round Rieslings with a acidity but also some sugar.
Granite soil produces a more vertical clear wine. It can bring a very mineral taste, dry and instead of the acidity of the green apple, an acidity more like a green lemon.
Vulcanic soil produces yet another very distinctive taste.

Very interesting is to taste a Riesling Vendange Tardive (late harvest). There is acidity on the one hand with lots of sugar and sweetness to follow.
Try one if you can find it. Not every Riesling winemaker in Alsace produces a VDT.

Some Rieslings have a flowery smell and some have a more chemical bouquet which makes you think of gasoline or petrol.
Of course it is all a matter of taste and last but not least, if you drink the Riesling just like that or combine it with food.

Suggested wine pairings
Riesling brings gastronomic excellence. It is incomparable on fish, shellfish, white meats and of course, sauerkraut.

But also pizza Hawai or Pepperoni pizza is a good combination and what to think of a chocolate dessert?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Terry's Book Review - Healing Spices

Breakthrough scientific research is finding that spices are loaded with antioxidants and other unique health-enhancing compounds.

Studies of dietary patterns around the world confirm that spice-consuming populations have the lowest incidence of such life-threatening illnesses as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.

Bharat B. Aggarwal, the world's foremost expert on the therapeutic use of culinary spices, takes an in-depth look at 50 different spices and their curative qualities, and offers spice “prescriptions” categorized by health conditions to match the right spice to a specific ailment.

Healing Spices 
By Bharat B. Aggarwal, Ph. D.

Food contains the building blocks of the body. The quality of what you feed your body represents the quality you can expect to see and feel with your body. Consuming chemicals in processed foods result in mutations to the individual cells of the body. When these mutated cells divide to reproduce themselves, all they can do is reproduce the state they are in. 

You have beautiful genes, a perfect plan designed in your DNA. If the materials you supply to your cells to maintain their health and vitality are inferior, your cells breakdown and copy the mutations or mistakes. 

What happens with cancer and aging is cell mutation. The cell cannot rebuild according to the original DNA plan, because the cell has suffered a mutation, or damage that is copied to new cells. If good materials are not available to the cell to maintain health, it cannot reproduce its perfect form. Rather the cell will build inferior copies of the original cell by coping the damage done to the original cell into the new cells that came from the damaged cell. Thus the cell is degraded and not able to be at all it was meant to be. 

In addition to adding great flavor and variety to your food, spices are also natural medicines. Using a variety of spices in your food adds flavor to your palate, and more importantly materials that your body can use to rebuild each cell in your body the way it was meant to be.  

In the simplest terms if you build your body with faulty materials, no matter how brilliant the blueprint of your original DNA is, your body will not be able to maintain cell health and will eventually fail. In contrast, if you build your body with quality materials, it will repay you with showing the wonder of your best self that took generations to develop.

You have the blueprints in your DNA to be a strong and healthy you, cell by cell. You must use good materials to sustain your cells in optimum health.

Spare no expense in acquiring the best quality spices from the best sources in the world and store them properly for maximum freshness. Research your suppliers to guarantee yourself a high quality, fresh, pure product.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Terry's Book Review - Olive Oil

This wonderful book will walk you through the colors, flavors and production locations of olive oil.

Olive Oil 
by Jacques Chibois and Olivier Baussan

Illustrated with more than 150 color photographs, Olive Oil is to be enjoyed again and again, both for its superb images and its extraordinary recipes.

Olivier Baussan, one of the great olive oil connoisseurs, takes you on a wonderful journey through the olive groves, presses and mills of the Mediterranean region. This is an invitation not only to discover the finest oils, but also to savor the conviviality of Provence, Corsica, Italy, Spain, Greece and Galilee.

The celebrated chef Jacques Chibois presents fifty recipes ranging from traditional baked sea bream prepared with Sicilian olive oil, to astonishing madeleines made with olive oil from Haute-Provence and pumpkin fritters made with Catalan olive oil.

The Connoisseur's Guide, provides information on selecting, appreciating and buying fine olive oils. Like wine olive oils have grand cruFrench for great growth and best years.

Olive oil is a mono unsaturated fat, which rids the body of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.

  • Olive oil is rich in vitamins particularly E and K.
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is the most expensive and pure form.
  • Store olive oil in dark glass or stainless steel in air tight containers in a dark cupboard. 
  • Soak herbs in your olive oil to add flavor. 
  • One part butter to one part olive oil, mixed well and chilled for a low calorie spread.
  • Olive oil may be used in various cooking methods.
  • Dip your bread in it. 
  • Create your own salad dressings.

You can learn about the different types of olive oil and their flavors and use it daily in your own kitchen for the full benefits to your health and the full flavor to your pallet.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Alsace Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is an opulent Alsatian white wine, full bodied, rich, round and with a long finish. It has vegetable aroma, often slightly smoky.

Pinot Gris can be paired with most dishes but it is excellent with foie gras, game, white meats, roasts, liver, kidneys and last but not least: cheese dishes (cheese souffl├ęs).
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