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The Ultimate Wine and Food Pairing Guide

Did you know that Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers?

The survey conducted by Lastminute.com ranked France as the second-best country for wine, Spain as the third-best country for wine, and South Africa as the fourth.

If you want to impress your friends and family with your food and drink knowledge and host a dinner party, then keep reading to check out our wine and food pairing guide.

How to Pair Wine with Food

Sharpening your culinary skills doesn’t have to take too much time. Enriching your dishes can be done when you pair it with the right beverage. If you’re a beginner to food and wine pairings and no idea which wine goes well with which food, we’ve got you covered.

Tip 1: Master Wine Pairings with This Simple Rule

Firstly, it is very important that you match your wine with your food. Choose a lighter wine, such as white wines, for lighter meals. Choose a heavier wine, such as red wines, for heavier meals.

For example, if you’re making a fish dish such as Sole or cod, then make sure you pair it with a white such as a Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re making a red meat dish then pair it with a red such as Malbec. 

Tip 2: Do Your Own Experiments

Spend some time experimenting with your favorite foods and wines. Open a few different bottles and cook up some of your most-loved dishes. Taste the wine and then try your dishes. Focus on which dish goes best with which wine. 

You might want to invite some friends and family over to help you experiment with different tastes and textures. Everyone will have different preferred tastes, but it will be interesting to find out who likes which wine pairing most and why.

Tip 3: Visit a Winery

One of the best ways to learn more about your favorite wine is to visit wineries. At the winery, you’ll be able to ask the experts about the wines and find out more about the wine’s flavors and which food they best compliment. 

Alternatively, if you can’t make it to a winery, you might choose to go to a local restaurant that has a food and wine pairing menu. These menus are designed to educate you on different foods and wines that go well together.

Tip 4: Identify the Basic Taste of Your Dish

Another way to get your pairing right is by identifying the basic tastes in your dish. Is your dish salty? Is it acidy? Is it sweet? Is the dish bitter? Is it fatty? Or is your dish spicy?

Once you’ve identified the basic taste of your dish you can then match it with the right wine. Red wines tend to have more bitterness, White, rosé, and sparkling wines generally have more acidity. And of course, sweet-tasting wines have more sweetness.

Tip 5: Match the Wine to the Sauce

If your dish uses a sauce then make sure you match your wine to that, as opposed to the meat. If your dish uses a citrus sauce then match your meal with a sauvignon blanc. If your sauce is red and rich then pair it with a shiraz. If your sauce is creamy or mushroomy then pair it with chardonnay.

If your dish doesn’t have a sauce with it then just focus on matching your wine with the meat or fish.

Wine Pairing Guide: Dishes and Wines

Now you’ve learned a little more about the way to pair your wines and dishes, have a look at these commonly paired meals and wines. The most common wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah.

Chefs and cooking enthusiasts tend to pair Chardonnay with grilled chicken or grilled fish. Chardonnay also goes great with shellfish and salmon. If you’re wanting to pair Chardonnay with a particular sauce then make sure it is a creamy one. 

Pinot Noir is also known to pair well with chicken, salmon, and foods that have been grilled. 

If you’re planning a cheese and wine party, make sure you combine mild cheese with Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine also goes well with fruit and white or light fish.

Combine red meats that have been grilled or smoked with Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine also goes great with barbequed steak. 

Serve Merlot with pasta, red meat, or duck dishes. This great-tasting red can also be served with smoked or grilled foods.

Italian dishes in particular work well with Zinfandel. If you’re serving your guests with tomato pasta dishes, pizzas, or pesto dishes, then make sure you pair it with Zinfandel. You can also serve Zinfandel with red meats and chicken that has a heavy sauce.

Syrah works best with spicy pizzas, herbed sauces on red meat, and red meats. You might also want to serve Syrah at Thanksgiving as it pairs great with turkey.

Light spicy dishes, salads, pasta salads, or BBQ chicken and fish, try pairing these dishes with a Dry Rosé.

Learn more about wine by discovering the latest findings from the 2019 wine industry expo.

Impress Your Friends and Family with Your Knowledge from Our Wine and Food Pairing Guide

Follow our wine and food pairing guide to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party. Remember to try out the pairing before you serve it up and that there are no rules set in stone when pairing, so get creative and try out new combinations. 

If you enjoyed this guide, then make sure you check out some of our other articles all about food and drink and be sure to have a look at some of our latest recipes.

News

How to Cook Like a Chef – Enhance Your Skills

Kitchen, Work, Restaurant, Cook, Chef, Professional

If food is your love language, you might be wondering how to make the amazing dishes you crave from your favorite restaurants. Perhaps you’re hoping to learn the secrets to a perfect sauce or how to craft divine Parisian macarons. Maybe you wish you could make delicious cakes and cookies in your kitchen at home; or you’re hoping to create pasta from scratch. How can you cook like a chef at home? The recipes will only take you so far. If you truly want to cook like a five-star chef at home, you need to enhance your skills. Take your skills beyond home-cooking and become a chef!

Watch Popular Cooking Shows

Gordon Ramsay, Alton Brown, and Anne Burrell and many other celebrity chefs make a living teaching other people how to cook on television. Alton Brown explains in detail how and why certain things happen in the kitchen. He would certainly provide a basic understanding for someone interested in becoming a chef. Gordon Ramsay’s claim to fame, besides his trademark attitude, is that he can teach anyone to cook like a proper chef. Surely, a person could learn a thing or two from his fiery kitchen antics. Anne Burrell’s claim to fame is that she has saved many of America’s worst cooks and turned them into proficient chefs by enhancing their skills. It could be helpful to watch her teach others how to make a mouth-watering sauce or properly fry chicken, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, you could always take a class from a culinary school.

Join a Meal Box Subscription

Another option is to join a boxed subscription service that provides monthly recipes and ingredients. After all, practice makes perfect. Subscription services like Home Chef offer recipes, ingredients, tips, and techniques to help subscribers create chef-created meals from home. However, if you really want to learn how to cook like a chef, you’re probably going to want to learn more than a few tricks and tips. A subscription might be a good option if you only want to learn a few good recipes for special occasions. Also, a subscription box might make serving a home-cooked meal easier on weeknights. 

Get Julia Child’s Book

Hey, it worked for Julie Powell. In the book and subsequent movie, Julie Powell spent a year cooking recipes from Julia Child’s famous book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She learned how to cook like a chef, so it could work for you too. However, the plot involves many setbacks, failed recipes, money wasted on expensive ingredients and inedible dishes. In the end, I’m not sure that she mastered French cooking or even basic cooking for that matter. In summary, it sounds like a lot of fun, but it’s not a culinary school.

Take Cooking Classes

Another great option for learning how to cook like a chef is to take a class. There are many course options. Public libraries, YouTube, and some community events provide opportunities for members to learn some cooking skills. There’s just no substitute for a good culinary education. These days, many culinary schools have options for home cooks. There are course pathways to teach you how to cook like and become a chef. One school, Culinary Lab School in California, even sets students up with apprenticeships that provide first hand experiences. They help prepare students for a career as a professional chef, and provide hands on learning to show students how a chef really cooks. In the end, the best way to cook like professionals is to become a chef!

If you want to learn how to cook like a chef, you might learn a few tricks of the trade from celebrity chefs. Perhaps you will highlight a few great tips from recipe subscription cards, or obtain a well loved copy of Julia Child’s famous book that will catapult you to chef status in about a year. You may learn something that will influence your cooking for a time, but if you truly want to cook like a chef, there is no substitute for cooking classes. There are currently so many options for enhancing your skills through classes. Invest in yourself by taking courses at a culinary school.

News

4 Ways to Host a Last-Minute Party With Great Food

Stressful is one way of putting it when you are hosting a party. How about when you are hosting a party last minute? Surprisingly, not as bad as it could be! If you are planning on having a party and it happens to be a last-minute gathering, I’m here to give you some advice and help on how to navigate your way to a fun event that you threw together last minute. 

Check out these tips, so you do not get stuck with a half-finished party: 

Order Food 

If you have little time to get everything organized before your friends or family show up, do not waste your time cooking up a fancy meal or some finger foods. In a pinch, jollibee delivery will save you valuable time that you will need to prep your home for your guests. You can place the food on plates or platters for presentation so that no one will even know that you were in a time crunch. 

Entertainment 

Not every party needs an elaborate entertainment event for it to be fun. Playing cards or charades are fun ways to get everyone socializing and having fun without spending a great deal of time planning a crazy party with live music. These games are played at parties all the time because they are a timeless classic, among many other options that will save you money as well. Plus, they are great icebreakers for friends who have not met or those shy members of our friend groups. 

Pick a Theme 

One way to wow your guests is to pick a color theme and run with it. You do not need to decorate your whole house, but picking a color like red, blue, or whatever color, will let you give your party a nice appearance that will likely distract your guests from any last-minute woes you had set things up. It not only livens up whatever room you designated as the main area but it also gives the appearance of a well thought out and planned event even though you did it last minute! 

Keep It Clean 

It doesn’t take too long to do this, but it should be said for the sake of your guests. Make sure you clean up a bit before anyone comes over! No one wants to go to a party where there are dishes in the sink or overflowing garbage. Do some quick cleaning up, and you’ll be ready to invite everyone in without fear of judgment or awkward explanations. 

Conclusion 

Planning a party for your friends can be stressful, but doing it last minute can be a nightmare. Not so much when you consider how many easy tips can be used to avoid a bad situation where you don’t feel ready to let people into your home. Order in some food, pick some classic and simple party games, color up the room(s), and make sure you do a little bit of cleaning before everyone comes over. Follow these tips, and your last-minute party will be sure to impress. 

Food Drink Report

Time for a Coffee Break: How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Coffee. The nectar of the gods. There are many different names for that warm cup of caffeine in your hands.

For millions of Americans, a day can’t be good if it doesn’t start out with the perfect cup of coffee. About 64% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee every day.

Most of those people make their own cup at home. There’s a difference between making your own cup of coffee and getting it at a local coffee shop. Bringing the café to your home starts with knowing how to make coffee.

Are you ready to learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee?

Let’s get started!

It Starts With the Coffee

You can’t cook a great meal without the best ingredients. The same goes for a good cup of coffee.

There are countless blends and roasts of coffee. Each one will give you a certain flavor. Here are some of the basics to know so you can pick the right coffee to suit your tastes.

Light Roast

Light roasts keep the full flavor of the bean and tend to have a blonde look. They’re more acidic than other types of roasts.

Medium Roast

Medium roasts retain most of the original flavors of the coffee bean. They tend to have a bit more balance between acidity, flavor, and aroma.

Dark Roast

Dark roasts tend to lose the flavor of the beans and have a burnt or smoke flavor. Dark roasts tend to bring the oils of the coffee bean to the surface.

Coffee and Caffeine

Do you know why coffee beans have caffeine? It’s actually a defense mechanism. These plants have caffeine to overstimulate predators. Think of a small animal or insect on a lot of caffeine. It would hurt them.

Since humans are larger, we use caffeine to wake us up or to keep us awake.

There are a lot of misconceptions about coffee and caffeine. Many people think of a dark roast as strong coffee. They also think that the stronger the taste, the more caffeine is in the cup of coffee.

That’s not really true. The difference in caffeine actually lies in the type of coffee bean. Some beans will have more than others.

Since the caffeine levels will vary from bean to bean, the other influencing factor in the amount of caffeine you’ll get in coffee is the amount of coffee vs. the amount of water. The more water a brew has, the less caffeine you’ll consume.

The Beans and Grinds

The source of the coffee beans and the grinds used will also have an effect on the flavor of the coffee. Beans exhibit certain flavor profiles. For example, beans from Ethiopia have a fruity flavor profile, like a blueberry muffin.

Those profiles will change when different beans are blended together.

It can be hard to get good coffee beans where you work. Try to get the best office coffee where you work because the quality will make a big difference in your enjoyment of coffee.

How you grind the coffee matters, too. You’ve probably seen very fine coffee grinds for espresso and rough grinds for brewing in a French Press.

The type of grind determines how much flavor is extracted from the coffee bean. A rough grind can cause very little flavor extraction, leaving the coffee to taste weak.

A coffee grind that’s too fine will cause too much extraction, giving your coffee a bitter flavor. You want to get it just right.

The Brewing Methods

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is no longer confined to getting the perfect ratio in your drip coffee maker. There are a lot of different methods for making the perfect cup of coffee.

Drip Coffee Maker

The drip coffee maker is the most common form of brewing coffee at home. There are some coffee makers on the market that take the mystery out of brewing coffee. They have the precise measurements and amount of water to add to get the right number of cups of coffee.

The right ratio is 2 tablespoons of coffee per 8-ounce cup. Your coffee should be a medium grind.

Moka Pot

The Italian espresso maker has a lot of names. It’s called a percolator, a Moka pot, or a stove-top coffee maker.

A Moka pot requires a fine grind of coffee. Take three tablespoons of an espresso roast and fill the water in the water container to just below the valve. Put the pot on the stove and wait until you hear the glorious sound of brewed coffee.

French Press

To brew coffee in a French press, measure out a half cup of beans. Grind them to a medium grind.

The key to having a good French press coffee is to use water at the right temperature. You should never pour boiling water over your coffee. That will burn the beans and make your coffee bitter.

If you want to try making a cold brew, put the right amount of coffee and water into the carafe. Stick it in the refrigerator overnight and press the coffee down in the morning. That will give your coffee a nice light flavor that’s refreshing on a hot day.

Pour Over

Some coffee purists believe that a good cup of coffee takes time. The pour over is a method of brewing coffee that brings out the full flavor of the coffee.

You’ll need a cup and a cone filter for this method. You may want to rinse your filter before using it.

There is no set ratio for pour-overs. You can experiment with this method to get the best brew for your taste. A good starting point is 2 tablespoons of coffee to 2 cups of water.

When you pour that water over the coffee, take your time. Start from the outside and work your way to the center. Pour a little bit of water at a time to maximize the extraction.

How to Make Coffee That Is Perfect Every Time

There are several things to learn when you want to know how to make coffee. You need to know the bean, the grind, the roast, and the brewing method.

Once you start to learn about the ways that flavor is affected, you’ll begin to experiment on your own to make the best cup of coffee.

Check out this site often for more lifestyle articles and local news.

Health

Different Types of Essential Oils

Essential oils are the aromatic oils which are derived from various plants by the process of steam distillation. Since these oils contain aromatic compounds they have a strong fragrance. While oils can be derived from almost all plants by separating the water based components from the oil, only some of these oils are used in medicines, healthcare, beauty, skincare products, food and other wellness applications. Most of these oils should be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba oil before being used. Some of the Different types of essential oils which are used extensively for aromatherapy, wellness, and healthcare and skincare applications are discussed below.

Lavender oil is one of the most widely used essential oils due to its pleasant fragrance, relaxing effect and help in treating cuts and bruises. The oil is used for stress alleviation helping the person relax. It can be also used for treating cuts, bruises and boils. The oil is distilled from the lavender plant.

Tea tree oil is an oil which is used mainly for treating skin problems. It can help reduce acne, make acne and other scars less visible. The oil is also used for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot. The oil is distilled from the Tea tree grown in Australia and is also used in skincare products

Calendula oil is derived from the calendula flowers also called marigold. The oil is suitable for treating acne, reducing scars. It is used for treating problems of those who have sensitive skin. The oil can be added to the bath water for those who suffer from psoriasis

Eucalyptus oil is obtained from the eucalyptus tree. It is widely used for boosting immunity and protecting the person from cold, fever and related illnesses. It can be used to treat problems related to the respiratory system like nasal congestion. However the oil should always be used in the diluted form.

Peppermint oil is distilled from the peppermint herb. It is one of the few essential oils which is edible and can be ingested. It is widely used for treating indigestion and other problems of the digestive tract. It is also used for improving the brain function and boosting immunity

Frankincense oil has been used for thousands of years for religious functions due to its pleasant smell. The oil is used for its relaxing properties, reducing the stress levels and treating depression. It can also help in boosting immunity, reducing inflammation and treat cuts, bug bites.

Oregano oil is extracted from the oregano herb. The oil contains the ingredients, thymol and caracole which have anti-bacterial properties, preventing the growth of disease causing bacteria. The oil can also help to boost the immunity of the user, fighting cold and other similar illness, though it has an unpleasant taste Chamomile oil is made from the chamomile flowers and has a pleasant smell. Though chamomile tea is widely consumed, the oil is convenient to use. This oil is used for relaxation, reducing anxiety and stress levels. Hence the oil is applied to the pillow cover to help the user sleep well.