Monthly Archives: July 2017

Wine must-know terms for holidays

The basic wine terms might be very useful during vacations, especially in Europe, with its ancient grape-culture. It is not necessary to get in-depth, but below there are some terms we would recommend to keep in mind, while entering a restaurant in Italy or France, or Spain.

In reality the wine terms in these countries could be traces to days of Roman Empire and beyond, however for a tourist it would be beneficiary to master some basics. Here are the basics to make your conversation with a sommelier a meaningful experience:)

  • Tanins – Naturally occurring compounds in grape seeds, skin and stems that will make wine taste “astringent and dry.” Bitterness in red wine is what is called tannin.
  • Varietal – The type of grape that your wine is made from. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Chardonnay, varietals are the most common wine identifiers.
  • Terroir – How the environment grapes are grown in affects the taste of your wine, from soil to climate.
  • Oaky – One of the most famous descriptors of wine. It’s when your wine has wooden undertones, usually thanks to the barrels it was aged in.
  • Bouquet – the terms wine aroma and wine bouquet are not exactly scientific but they can be useful to classify the origin of where the smells come from in wine. A wine aroma is derived from the grape variety and a wine bouquet is derived from the winemaking process of fermentation and aging. A classic example of a wine bouquet is the smell of vanilla, which usually comes from aging wine in new oak barrels.
  • Sweet vs. dry – Sweet wines are usually easier for novices to swallow than drier wines. Dry wines have more undertones of tanins and may make your mouth feel more sensations.
  • Light vs. full-bodied – Lighter-bodied wines go with light dinners and summertime. They usually have higher acidity and lower tanins. Fuller-bodied wines go with a steak dinner and cold winter nights. They are low in acidity and drier.
  • Finish – The aftertaste of wine. Does the taste last for a while after you swallow? This is the difference between a short finish and a long finish. Simpler wines tend to have a shorter finish, while more complex or older wines tend to have a longer finish.
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Silvery rain for Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore Brut Fagher

The Decanter WWA and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles medals

It’s time to update Le Colture summer palmarès! This time the attention is focused on the Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore Sparkling Brut ‘Fagher’ protagonist of an excellent placement at two of the most acclaimed international wine competitions, being awarded with two Silver Medals at the DWWA – Decanter World Wine Award and the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017.

The brut ‘Fagher’ is the most modern version of the sparkling wines produced by our company and the most internationally successful – explains the marketing manager and co-owner Alberto RuggeriIt is the result of a blend of Glera grapes coming from the vineyards located in Valdobbiadene and Ogliano hills. Thanks to its low residual sugar, 9 gr/liter, a pleasant acidity, good minerality and sapidity, this wine is an excellent interpreter of our philosophy’s distinctive features regarding the Prosecco Superiore.”

It is a fresh, young and characterful wine. Its most attractive aspects are enclosed in the inviting sweetness of the scents rich in citrus and fresh vegetable notes, which often combine with a pleasant note of bread and a lively tasting energy. It has a thin perlage that ensures good persistence in the mouth and cleansing of the palate as well as being an additional weapon in food matching. You will appreciate it with fish appetizers and processed vegetables, first courses with seafood and baked fish, or throughout the meal as is usual in the production area,.

Behind every single success there is a united family, a solid team in which everybody has a specific role, each of them working hard with a strong, remarkable passion, showing unchanged respect for a unique territory of inestimable value, which can reward all efforts and sacrifices with an undisputed high quality level.

Maison Lavau – Château Maucoil

Grape varieties:

Grenache noir (50%), Syrah (40%), Mourvèdre (10%)

Tasting notes:

This wine is deep on the nose with pronounced spicy aromas (peper, nutmeg), typical of the appellation and which accentuate the aromas of blackcurrants and raspberry jam. On the palate, the wine shows a solid yet nicely coated structure , volume and superb length

Serving and food pairings: 

Serve at 17-18°C allow the wine to express its full complexity. Decanting before serving would also be beneficial. This Gigondas can be paired with guinea fowl, coq au vin, a beef stew or casserole, and other prepared dishes, even if spicy or highly seasoned

New Slow Food Presidium Launched in the Netherlands to Protect Traditional Boeren Leyden Cheese

unnamedLast Sunday, June 25, Slow Food Netherlands launched the Traditional Boeren Leyden Presidium during the Slow Food in the Park event, a festival held to celebrate the diversity of the Slow Food network and spread the message of good, clean and fair food, featuring free workshops, tastings and a lunch prepared by the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance.

 

The new Traditional Boeren Leyden Presidium promotes cheesemakers from the cheese’s historic area of origin in Southern Holland, who skim milk following natural procedures and produce 10-12 kg cheeses matured for at least 12-18 months. Boeren Leyden is one of the oldest cheeses in the Netherlands, but today only a few farms still graze their cows in the open pastures of the polders and use traditional equipment and methods to produce a high-quality cheese whose flavor is on the verge of disappearing.

 

The Presidium involves a group of producers and affineurs:

 

 

Until 1870, all the cheese in the Netherlands was made on small farms by the cattle breeders themselves. When, in the early 20th century, the international demand for Dutch cheese increased, small cheesemakers gradually went into crisis, unable to survive on a market demanding competitive prices and high production figures. Nowadays, just 1% of Netherlands’s cheese is made on small farms and Boeren Leyden represents just a small fraction of that percentage.

 

The city of Leyden, whose coat of arms is stamped on labels, hosted a popular cheese market as early as 1303 and, until two centuries ago, Boeren Leyden was the most common cheese in the country. Thanks to its high acidity, low fat and firm structure, this cow’s milk cheese was perfect for carrying on Dutch navy and merchant ships. Despite the extremely high temperature and humidity of the tropical seas, the cheese kept very well and was used to nourish ships’ crews throughout the 16th and 17th centuries and traded in the country’s overseas colonies. It was in that period that cumin was added to the curd to make the hard cheese easier to cut.

 

According to the traditional Boeren Leyden cheesemaking process, morning milk is left to stand all day long to allow the cream to rise to the top. Then the cream is removed and the evening milk is added. The cream that rises during the night and removed the next morning, after which the milk is heated to a temperature of 28-30°C. Rennet is added, the curd is cut into 5-10 mm fragments in the next half hour, the whey is drained and the curd is washed with water to regulate lactose and pH levels. The curd is then stirred vigorously and left to ripen, following a practice similar to that of cheddaring. The resulting curd is crumbled and, after the addition of cumin seeds, placed in molds between two layers of curd to which cumin has not been added. After the molds have been pressed for some hours, the cheeses are extracted and pushed through so-called ‘zakpers’, which give it its typical rounded shape. After being soaked for four days in brine, the rind is coated with a reddish-brown film dyed with annatto seeds.

 

Boeren Leyden has received PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certification under the ‘Boeren-Leidse met sleutels’ denomination and the 10-12 kg cheeses can be made throughout the year, maturing periods varying from 30 days to 30 months.