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Wine | Manolo's Food Blog - Part 2
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Alcoholism: the sad truth

vodka vs wine

vodka vs wine

Just something to keep in mind as you build your Wine Cellar/Boozeteria.

Always Be Prepared!

Isn’t that what they tell you in Boy Scouts and Girl Guides? Well, now you can be! No more lying awake at night wondering if you have enough corkscrews to host an alcoholic convention: with this ingenious lighting fixture, your problems are solved and your sleep assured (especially if you “practice” a lot).

Corkscrew chandelier

Corkscrew chandelier

That's a corker!

That's a corker!

Spotted at the Bute and Alberni liquor store in Vangroover. I wonder what plans they have for them after the display changes…hmmm…does anyone have some wirecutters I can borrow? I have a screwy idea

Will It Saber: Kenyan Spear Head Edition

Really, you can keep your glitter ponies and your balloon-bending clowns. Matt Stache is the best entertainment a party could have. Also handy in case of zombie invasion, as he comes with more weaponry than G.I. Joe ever dreamed of. Here’s the latest in the Will It Saber series from our bubbly good buddy, which we feature because it’s great fun and NOT AT ALL because we got a shout-out in the video. Not at all.

We can’t find exactly that spear head on Amazon, but this Cold Steel Assegai‘s pretty close:

Cold Steel Assegai

And I don’t know why, but when you search Amazon for Spear Head, you also get these Naughty Monkey Clogs, so what the hell. SHOES!

Today in the history of bad ideas: Drunk Baking and Booze Bling

What the HEY-ELL?

What the HEY-ELL?

One finds the strangest things, one does, when surfing the internet looking for virtual presents for other bloggers (don’t ask). One of those things is this: the confetti bedazzled winebottle fishnet thingummy, which really should be on Regretsy, except it appears also to be mass-produced, because I guess the masses want their booze to look more Kardashian.

When one puts “wine” together with “confetti” the above is not acceptable (unless, of course, one is gifting someone to celebrate her victory at America’s Next Top Ecdysiast). The following IS:

This works

A handblown Italian wineglass. It’s just special enough to make an al fresco afternoon a little more exciting. And I like a fairly substantial glass for drinking wine outdoors. It just feels more medieval to me, as if Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Alan Rickman might show up on a horse and join me for a glass. And what is the point of being outside if they’re not going to, I ask? Rhetorically, of course: they wouldn’t show up without a proper invitation…now, do any of you have their emails?

Speaking of bad manners and bad ideas and wine, we present the following, tangentially-related video, one of a very amusing series on YouTube called My Drunk Kitchen. If you’ve watched every Sandra Lee show ever aired and are pining for something even more Out There, why, this girl has got you covered. Personally, I suspect that more than two bottles of bubbly were involved in the production of these “cookies,” and I’d like to know since when does YouTubing pay that much, but that is neither here nor there. Nor over there either.

So, here:

When your cooking project requires a spotter for safety reasons, maybe it’s time to order in.

To Serve Man

With carefully chosen accompaniments, that is. If I served the wrong wine with human flesh, well, I’d just DIE!

Okay, who ordered the Tête de Jean-Baptiste?

Okay, who ordered the Tête de Jean-Baptiste?


Have you seen The Silence of the Lambs? I have not, although I am familiar with the real-life inspirations Eddie Gein and Albert Fish (do not google them, seriously. No, trust me). Apparently Hannibal Lecter suggests Chianti and fava beans to go with the liver, and I’m just tired enough of hearing this that I! Must! Speak! Up!

Chianti, yes. Fava beans, no.

I’m not talking out of my toque here: I’ve surveyed professional winemakers of my acquaintance and studied the literature:

This Chilean/Israeli/Danish artist did not specify what wine he served at the dinner party where he also served meatballs made of … himself. But still, we can assume a robust Chilean red would work best (I mean, have you tried Aquavit? Have you put it in your mouth???)

The Democratic Underground suggests that Chianti is overpowering, and a good dry Riesling is the right accompaniment, although this could reflect the fact that democrats are very often spend their lives in captivity, penned in tiny cubicles and behind espresso machines and the ticket-taking window of indie theatres and are thus analogous to veal.  And they die young: just ask the Kennedys.

In light of the fact that Japan’s (why is it always Japan? Eh?) flesh-tasting robot puts human flesh (although maybe only fingers…insert anthropomorphic musing about why we call them “chicken fingers” etc here…also, what part of the chicken is the “nugget” anyway? No, don’t go there) in the same category as prosciutto and bacon, we should go with these recommendations from the Sideways Wine Club and drink Pinot Noir or (yes) Chianti, or possibly a Syrah, Rhone or Zinfandel.

I had a sparkling Syrah once, and it was exactly like carbonated hemoglobin, so I think it would be perfect for any cannibal occasion. Indeed, bubbly of any kind lends a certain flair to an event that highlights its importance. After all, it’s not every day you eat human flesh. Presumably. Hufu for the vegetarians present, of course.

Best Facebook Thread EVER

Best Facebook Thread EVER

As you can see, my expert friends suggest Pinot Noir (but then, they MAKE Pinot Noir) along with Hermitage or Grenache. Seriously, the younger the flesh, the whiter and less hemoglobular the wine should be, so for me (ferinstance) you’d want something as rich and old as Anna Nicole Smith’s last husband.

Now, about those fava beans…

Fava Beans share, along with liver and king mackerel, a certain dry umami flavour which renders them quite redundant when served alongside one another. If I have something that tastes a certain way, you know, thanks, I don’t need something that tastes pretty much the same sitting right beside it masquerading as something different. Yes, wines should be chosen to complement and extend, rather than contrast with the meal, but they’re much less likely to actually taste the same as the entree.

As for choosing the meat, other than selecting a young person who’s been confined to a cubicle his entire working life, I have no advice except that if you are going to eat human liver, perhaps you don’t want to choose Russian. Theirs are pretty much used up.

So, the next time you’re serving cutlets à la Salome, remember this post and serve something appropriate. If you get it wrong, you’ll never live it down.

Wine A-Z

The Wine Rack: Now THAT is what I call a Go Cup

That’s what I call a Go Cup. Heck, it might even make jogging tolerable.

Well, maybe it won’t boost your cup size all the way through the alphabet. Still, this handy-dandy little portable wine container will definitely bump you from an A to something farther down towards the Mittel-European consonantry. And yes, it’s called the Wine Rack. And no, I have no use for it myself, as I can already hide a 40-ouncer and a couple of highball glasses in my bra with room left over for garnishes.

To Market, to Market with Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Heather Watson

Chef-Owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Blogger Heather Watson

Actually, as you can see there were no hogs involved in the Winedown event at Market, the Vancouver outpost of the Jean-Georges empire (unless you count the people who tried to scarf more than their share of the truffle pizza). It’s a strange fact but a fact nonetheless that now that I’ve got a blog with “food” right there in the name (scroll up and confirm for me that I’m not just hallucinating this, okay?) I get dozens of invitations to cocktail events and none at all to foodie events.

Fortunately for my liver, Market changed my luck with their invitation to the Winedown event, at which actual food was served. It still counts, even if the invitation came through the bartender, right?

There were cocktails served, too, and very tasty they were although I have to say the Palaciosour was something I’d order again whereas the Basablanca comes across as just a too-tart, much more labour-intense Tom Collins.If the lemons in yours were sharper than the lemons in the test batch as mine were, you were hooped unless you wanted to go back and ask them to splash in some simple syrup or something, which is a bit like sending your food back to get some ketchup on it. I know it’s heresy, but sometimes making drinks in a pitcher and sampling the pitcher before pouring is more likely to result in consistent quality. At a posh event, people want them made individually; the problem is, there’s no time to test them this way. One must strike a balance between practicality and pizazz.

The Palaciosour was a nice sour (and not too) but the float of rich, hemoglobinesque red wine completely made the drink. The interplay between the bitters, the citrus, the refined whisky and the wine added an almost electric dimensionality to the experience that made it something special. It also looks pretty wicked, as the Rioja remains floating instead of mixing in with the rest of the drink.

UPDATE: added the decimals into the recipes. Darn proofreading!

Basablanca

.75 oz Telmo Rodriguez !Basa” Rueda.

.5 oz Victoria Gin.

.5 oz St.Germain.

.25 oz Fresh Lemon Juice.

2 dashes Fee Brothers West indian Orange Bitters

combine ingredients and shake with ice

double strain into a coupe

*garnish with zested lemon peel

Palaciosour

.5 oz Alvaro Palacios !La Vendimia” Rioja.

1.5 oz Centennial Rye Whisky

.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice.

.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice.

.75 oz Sugar Syrup.

2 dashes Fee Brother Plum Bitters

2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

combine Rye, citrus juice, sugar and bitters and shake with ice

double strain into an old fashioned glass

top with ice

float wine on drink surface

*garnish with brandied cherry on rim

And, didn’t I say something about food? The food was (as should be the case at one of Jean-Georges’ places) marvelous. Truffles don’t really float my boat, and thank GOD I finally found something expensive that I don’t actually adore, but the first item out of the kitchen was truffle pizza, and it had me reconsidering my truffle position. The truffle gave the cheese pizza an edge, a savory interest that wasn’t as overwhelming as truffles can be.

I remain, however, deeply skeptical of their celebrated truffle burger. I am a devoutly orthodox burgerologist.

For the second item, let me put this as simply as I can: the scallop sashimi with warm crispy rice and chipotle emulsion may just be the nicest thing I’ve ever had in my mouth, including my ex.

The Steelhead salmon sashimi with green chili, crushed pistachios, and mint (whatever happened to giving foods names instead of entire recipes?) was equally marvelous. It’s not easy to do foods that retain their individual component flavours while working together perfectly, and while this sounds strong, it was in fact subtle and perfectly-balanced.

The raw tuna with wasabi cream cheese and pickled ginger pizza was fresh and, again, well-balanced, but it made me wonder why some foods were sashimis and some were just pedestrian old “raw.” I suspect the salmon and scallops slept with the chef. The dish was radical, but very successful.

Rice cracker crusted tuna with a citrus-sriracha emulsion was my second-favorite of the night, even though I am allergic to the word “emulsion” outside of physics class. I’m a big fan of contrasting, bold flavours, and so was pretty much in heaven all night.

It was a good reminder that there is more to wine cocktails than sangria (or that lame excuse for white sangria that’s really just cheap white zin watered down with some orange slices in it, and Yaletown, I AM LOOKING AT YOU) and that less-alcoholic cocktails pair better with food, particularly after the second round.

Happy Valentine’s Day from ManoloFood!

Cheers!

Cheers!

I like their spirit(s)!

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