Ice Wine from Buhl, Idaho


This is a very interesting article about making a great Ice Wine here in Idaho – Holesinsky Vineyards, Buhl, Id to be precise. The article comes from Magic Valley. [Robin received this article and sent the link to me.]

Ice in their vines: Holesinsky Winery pulls off tricky ice wine harvest
COLIN TIERNAN ctiernan@magicvalley.com

Dec 12, 2019

BUHL — He dipped his pipette into the barrel and pulled out a couple of ounces of liquid gold. “This wine is very, very, very, very, very, very special,” Holesinsky Winery owner and winemaker James Holesinsky said, carefully releasing the yellow-orange ice wine into his glass. Holesinksy has been making wine for 18 years. This is just the second time he’s had a chance to make ice wine. The conditions haven’t been right since 2006. The 2006 harvest was on Halloween; this year’s fell on Oct. 30.
“It’s hard to do,” he said. “The grapes have to be in the perfect condition. You can’t have an influx of an avian bird problem. … All of the stars have to align in order for this to be a reality.”

To make real ice wine, a winemaker has to let his grapes freeze on the vine, harvest them before sunrise while they’re still frozen and squeeze them without letting them thaw. Most of the world’s ice wines come from Germany and Canada. In Idaho, it’s a rarity. The process is risky, but it makes a complex, decadent wine. The winemaker’s harvesting the fruit when the nutrient content peaks. Also, because Holesinsky pressed the grapes while they were frozen, the water content in the wine is lower. It’s a more concentrated product.
“When we picked the grapes while they were frozen, all of the water was suspended as ice,” Holesinsky said. “So when you squeeze them, all you squeeze out is the sugar and the nectar, the flavoring.”

Normally, 2 acres of grapes make 12 barrels of wine. This precious barrel of ice wine — the lone ice wine barrel out of the 40 total barrels Holesinsky made this year — took 2 acres of white Riesling grapes, grown in Hagerman.
“The intensity of flavor is a thousand times a conventional wine,” Holesinsky said.
This ice wine has twice as much sugar as a conventional wine. Most wines are about 21% sugar. This ice wine checks in at 41%. Holesinsky’s ice wine tastes rich and juicy, especially compared to the lemonade-colored wines a few barrels down. Winemakers who can pull off an ice wine earn bragging rights, but the extra work can be lucrative, too. Ice wines are expensive.
This one barrel will sell as 600 half-size bottles and likely earn Holesinksy $30,000 compared to the $24,000 he’d fetch from 12 standard barrels.

Pain in the ice
An enologist has to have perfect weather conditions to make ice wine.
But special weather requirements aren’t the only reason the Gem State doesn’t dabble much in the dessert alcohol. Turning 2 acres of grapes into a barrel of ice wine is grueling.
“We were out picking ice wine at 4 o’clock in the morning at 5 degrees,” Holesinsky said.

It’s not easy to find people willing to wake up in the middle of the night, don headlamps and harvest frozen grapes by hand in Hagerman, Idaho. Labor for the ice wine harvest didn’t come cheap — Holesinsky had to pay his workers $20 an hour. It’s important to finish the harvest quickly — before the sun can start melting the ice in the fruit — so it takes a big crew.
After Holesinsky had the grapes off the vines, he had to press them in the cold.
Normally it takes about 45 minutes to squeeze enough grapes for a barrel of wine. But frozen grapes are tougher.
“You have to squeeze the living (heck) out of it for about four days,” Holesinsky said.
Because the fruit was so full of minerals, Holesinsky said the juice initially smelled like sawdust and dirt, almost like wet cardboard.
The challenge doesn’t end once the juice is in the barrel. Because the sugar content is so high, it’s more difficult to initiate the fermentation process, and it’s trickier to keep the yeast alive. This ice wine is 14% alcohol.
If Holesinsky had been unlucky, birds could have eaten up a large amount of his crop. If he’d waited too long, the grape plants could have taken up the water in the grapes, drawing it into their roots, leaving withered raisins on the vines. The fruit could have started rotting, too.
An ice wine harvest also taxes the plants in the vineyard. When a grape plant senses a freeze, it will pump nutrients into its grapes to provide nourishment for its seeds. That improves the wine, but it comes with a cost.
“They pull all of the resources out of that cane — extra sugar, extra amino acids, polysaccharides, you name it,” Holesinsky said.
That stress isn’t a big deal when you’re only doing an ice wine once every decade or so, Holesinsky said, but you wouldn’t want to weaken your plants with an ice wine harvest every year.

From the vineyard to the shelves
After aging the ice wine for about six months, Holesinsky will bottle it. He’ll filter it lightly before bottling, which will make it less cloudy, but he’ll leave some of the sediment in order to retain the complex flavors. He said a bottle will probably sell for roughly $71 in stores.

Holesinsky Winery last made ice wine 13 years ago. The 2006 Liquid Gold Ice Wine, seen Dec. 5, was an award winner.

DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS
When Holesinsky made his first ice wine in 2006, it was good, but a bit syrupy. This one will be better, he said. He hopes people get a chance to taste the wine after all the hard work that went into it.
“It’s very unique,” Holesinsky said. “You don’t get to experience this every day.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include that the ice wine was harvested at the end of October. In addition, due to an editing error, a previous version of this story misstated how many barrels of ice wine were produced. There was just one.

Kewpie Mayonnaise. What?


Several weeks ago, we first heard of Kewpie Mayonnaise. A Japanese speciality sauce. (Kewpie Products) If you follow the posted link, you will find several available dressings like Deep Roasted Sesame, Caesar and both USA and Original (pictured below) mayonnaise. And from the Kewpie website, here is an explanation of this mayonnaise.

Kewpie is Japan’s most trusted and beloved mayonnaise and salad dressing brand, and has been a staple of Asian cuisine since we introduced mayonnaise to the Japanese kitchen in 1925… During a battle in Mid-18th century, Minorca Island, Spain; a French marshal Duc de Richelieu enjoyed the sauce for a meat dish in a coastal town of Mahon, and brought it back to Paris as Mahon’s sauce, Mahonnaise.It is widely believed to be the origin of what became known as mayonnaise… Aspiring to create a brand everyone loves,founder Toichiro Nakashima named the nourishing condiment ”KEWPIE Mayonnaise”,with the hope of improving physique of Japanese people. In 1925 when Japan’s firstmayonnaise started to be manufactured and distributed at Kewpie, they used twice as much egg yolk as imported mayonnaise of that time. This was because Nakashima, who first discovered mayonnaise in the USA, had always hoped to create nourishing, high-quality mayonnaise.

The original mayonnaise – pictured here – is available at the Asian Market on Fairview Ave at Milwaukee. Address: 9975 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83704, Open ⋅ Closes 8PM, Phone: (208) 321-4502. Another source might be Mandalay Asian Market, Asian grocery store, 10658 W Overland Rd, Boise, (208) 410-7915.

From thekitchn.com,

Kewpie is a smoother, creamer mayonnaise, and it’s made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar. Its popularity in Japan really can’t be overestimated. Wikipedia says that people who are known to really like mayonnaise are apt to be called mayora by their friends!

This mayonnaise has a deliciously unique taste that is hard to beat. Slightly sweet. Slightly sour from a light touch of vinegar and very creamy from the vegetable oil. I will probably make some egg salad and use it in it. (And of course, the hard cooked will be made in the Instant Pot. 7-7-7 method!) Cheers!

Spring Release at Parma Ridge Winery


 
A really good release party at Parma Ridge Winery on April 18. Warm temperatures. Clear skies. Great food. Great wines. Here are the wines that were released and the Tapas we had. Left-Click any photo to see enlarged.

 

 

2018 Avielle. 100% Merlot. This Rosé is maned after Avielle, our fiery daughter with Strawberry Blonde hair. Enjoy notes of sweet honey and ripened strawberries with a crisp finish. [Blog Note: Don’t miss this one. It is superb!]
Paring: Crostini with Borsin, Crispy Prosciutto and Blackberry Compote.

 

 

2018 Tre Bianchi. 63% Gewürztraminer, 20% Riesling and 17% Viognier. Meaning “Three Whites” in Italian, this full-bodied white features pronounced citrus and melon notes.
Paring: Tempura Halibut Bites with Unagi Sauce.

 

2016 The Last Zin. 75% Merlot and 26% Zinfandel. “The Last Zin” is a final hurrah to our Zinfandel that perished in the hard-freeze of 2016. This estate-grown red is balanced with notes of wild blackberry, smooth tannins and a touch of charred caramel.
Paring:“The Rochester” – A Korean Chicken Slider with Arugula, Grilled local sweet Onions and Sriracha Aioli. [Superb!]

 
2016 Tempranillo. 100% Tempranillo. This Spanish Varietal features subtle spices, roasted red pepper and dried cranberry with a smooth oak finish.
Paring: Fresh Fried Chips and Chipotle Cheddar Dip wwith Smoked Chorizo and Filet Mignon Bites.

Great Feasts Coming to Parma Ridge Winery Bistro!


Join us this Weekend with Wonderful Wine, Fabulous Food and an Amazing View
We are open Wednesday & Thursday from 12-5 p.m. for Wine Tasting, Beer and our Small Bites Menu, Friday & Saturday 12-9pm and Sunday 11 am- 5 pm with our Full Bistro Menu, Wine Tasting & Beer.
Reservations Required for Dining from 5-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday.
You can now text us at 208-946-5187 to make a reservation.
[The Pork Chops and the Brisket pictured below are AWESOME! So is the Omelet. Left-Click the photos to see them enlarged.]

SAVE THE DATE! WINE CLUB RELEASE THURSDAY, APRIL 18 from 4-8 p.m.
2018 Avielle, Rosé of Merlot, $17 Retail, $14.45 Wine Club
2018 Tre Bianchi, Gewurztraminer, Riesling & Viognier, $18 Retail, $15.30 Wine Club
2016 The Last Zin, Merlot & Zinfandel, $28 Retail, $23.80 Wine Club
2016 Tempranillo, $34 Retail, $28.90 Wine Club
PLEASE RSVP via text at 208-946-5187 or email at info@parmaridge.wine with the time you will be coming. Cards will be charged beginning this week so please let us know asap if you have changes to your club or your card on file. Menu and prizes will be announced in the Wine Club email this week.

Easter Brunch and Special Menu, Sunday, April 21 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Limited Reservations remaining — Make yours today!

Featured Specials:
Omlete a la Mason – $12.95
Folded Omelet with Eggs from Relk Farms, a Groves Country Mushroom Melange and Beecher’s Aged White Cheddar. Served with a Roasted Potato Medley of Peruvian, Baby Red and Yukon Gold with Crumbled Bacon

Braised Short Ribs – $24.95
Slow Braised Short Ribs with a Roasted Potato Medley of Peruvian, Baby Red and Yukon Gold with Sauteed Carrots and Fennel

Pork Chop au Poivre – $24.95
A Smoked and Seared Double Cut Pork Chop with a Brandy Peppercorn Creole Mustard Sauce, Fried Artichoke Hearts and a Roasted Potato Medley of Peruvian, Baby Red and Yukon Gold

We will be offering our regular menu and the new featured Spring items this weekend, Storm might also be adding a few specials of his own to practice for Easter Sunday!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad $10.95
Mixed Greens with Sun-Ripened Tomatoes, Currants, Golden Raisins, Thyme Roasted Artichokes, Beecher’s Aged White Cheddar and Marinated Chicken with a Zesty White-Balsamic Basil Dressing

Pear Salad – $9.95, with Grilled Chicken $12.95
Mixed Greens with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese Crumbles and Poached Pear with a Slice of Grilled Baguette

Caprese Bite Appetizer $6.95
Lightly Toasted Baguette with Roma Tomatoes, Italian Basil, Buffalo Mozzarella and a Balsamic Reduction

Our Bacon Wrapped Prawns are back! Come try them this weekend
Jumbo Bacon Wrapped Prawn Appetizer $13.95
Char-Broiled Bacon Wrapped Jumbo Prawns with Cherry Chipotle BBQ sauce on a Bed of Spring Greens, 4 Prawns per order

Loaded Bowls $14.95
Choose between Rosemary Truffle Fries, Tater Tots or Fresh Fried Potato Chips

Poutine Bowl – House Made Demi-Glace, Local Fresh Cheese Curds, Sautéed Button Mushrooms & Applewood Smoked Bacon

Chipotle Cheddar Bowl – Tillamook Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Fondue with Filet Bites, Basque Chorizo, Crispy Bacon, Sautéed Jalapenos & Cilantro

Join us for Happy Hour Friday from 4-6 p.m.
$1 off Mimosas
$1 off Brock Lager
$7.50 Mesquite or Deluxe Sliders with beer, mimosa or wine purchase
$7.50 Personal Pepperoni, Sausage Mushroom or Fungi Flatbreads with beer, mimosa or wine purchase

Mother’s Day Brunch and Special Menu, Sunday, May 12 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Make your reservation today
Special Weekend In April Ladies Luncheon & Crafting Event April 6th

Buy 2 Bottles get 1 Free on Wednesday & Thursday at Parma Ridge! Mention this ad to take advantage of this offer in our tasting room.

Ladies Luncheon & Crafting Event April 6th at Parma Ridge
Please join us for a Ladies Luncheon & Crafting Event with @therustyboard!
When: Saturday, April 6th 11:30 am.- 1:30 p.m.
Where: Parma Ridge Winery
So many 9×12 choices! Pick a Pallet Sign to make for $26, Box Frame for $30 or Framed Chalkboard for $35. Pick what you want it to say and then RSVP with Payment by March 23rd. Instant Message Amy Watts at (208) 921-7616 or wattsfamilyof6@gmail.com for google form & option to pay via a link to square account.
Parma Ridge will offer their full menu and wine, wine tasting and drinks so come hungry & thirsty!
Space is limited so register today.

LIVE MUSIC ON THE PATIO THIS SUMMER
These evenings are filled with fun! Enjoy excellent music, wine & beer and our fabulous cuisine. Our kitchen will remain open until 9 p.m. on nights we have live music. Reserve your spot today as space fills up fast!

Cunningham and Moss, Saturday June 1 & Saturday September 14 from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Don Cunningham and David Moss team up for this dynamic acoustic Duo. A little Rock a little Roll and a whole lotta Soul. Two Guys Two Guitars. Read more about Cunningham and Moss Here.

The James Gang, Saturday, June 15th from 6-9 pm
James Barrett- Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Rochelle Barrett-Lead Vocals
Ken Lynde- Lead Guita
Read More about The James Gang Here.

The RockIts, Saturday, June 29th from 6-9 pm
Our one and only Nikki Barrett is the lead singer of this band. This Rockabilly/Hillbilly Band is sure to entertain the crowd! Read more about the RockIts Here.

More Live Music Nights coming soon!

LIMITED QUANTITIES – STOCK UP NOW
2016 Reserve Syrah, Retail $34, Wine Club $28.90, less than 1 Case Left
2017 Reinhart Riesling, Retail $20, Wine Club $17.00, 17 Cases Left
2016 Reserve Merlot, Retail $35, Wine Club $29.75, 25 Cases Left
2017 LaRea Dolce, Late Harvest, Retail $28, Wine Club $23.80, 25 Cases Left
2016 Storm Red, Retail $35, Wine Club $29.75, 27 Cases Left
2016 Joshua Storm, Retail $32, Wine Club $27.20, 30 Cases Left
2016 Kenneth Storm, Retail $32, Wine Club $27.20, 37 Cases Left

Breakfast Sandwich

Sunday Brunch Specials
Breakfast Sandwich – $7.95
Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich with Cheesy Bacon Fries
Best Ever Biscuits and Gravy – $7.95
Sausage Gravy over a Fresh Bacon Cheddar Biscuit topped with a Sunny Side Up Egg
Brunch Burger – $9.95
Quarter-Pound Burger with Melted Double Cream Brie, Applewood Smoked Bacon, and Sunny Side Up Egg with a Lemon-Tarragon Aioli and Rosemary Garlic Truffle Fries

We Bottled our 2018 Tre Bianchi, 2018 Avielle, Rosé of Merlot, 2018 Rhubarb Wine, and 2016 “The Bomb” – a blend of Cabernet, Malbec & Merlot last weekend. Watch the videos on our Facebook Page!

Have you seen the recent articles on Parma Ridge?

Parma Ridge was featured in the AAA Magazine, thank you Nathan Leigh for the write-up on our location!

“Settle in at Parma Ridge Winery, just southeast of Parma, Idaho, and on a clear day you might be able to see nearly 60 miles from east to west—a panoramic view of the whole lower Boise River Valley.” —Nathan Leigh

Have you seen the recent articles on Parma Ridge?
Parma Ridge was featured in the AAA Magazine, thank you Nathan Leigh for the write-up on our location!
“Settle in at Parma Ridge Winery, just southeast of Parma, Idaho, and on a clear day you might be able to see nearly 60 miles from east to west—a panoramic view of the whole lower Boise River Valley.” —Nathan Leigh

Parma Ridge was voted #1 Winery in Idaho By House Beautiful. See the line up here!

Have you seen the recent articles on Parma Ridge? Parma Ridge was voted #1 Winery in Idaho By House Beautiful. See the line up here!

Great article by By Andy Purdue and Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine on the Idaho Wine Industry. Parma Ridge made the list with our 2016 Dry Rose of Merlot – Read it here!
See you this weekend on the Ridge!
Cheers,

Steph and Chef Storm
Sous Chef and Assist Winemaker Megan Hartman

Parma Ridge Winery
24509 Rudd Road, Parma ID, 83660
208-946-5187
http://www.parmaridge.wine

 

 

Save the date for our Easter Special Menu — Make your Reservation today!
Try our new Mediterranean Salad with one of our Featured Specials

Japanese Special March Festival


I found this to be interesting. That’s probably because of my Cultural Anthropology background.

Hina Matsuri in Japan

Source: https://matcha-jp.com/en/753
Although it is not a national holiday, March 3rd is a special day for girls. Families who don’t have young daughters might not do anything special on this day.
March 3rd is Japanese Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri. Ornate dolls are displayed in the family home to mark the beginning of spring and to wish good health and good fortune for all of the girls in the family.
However, a tradition of this festival is still passed down until now. Actually, how people celebrate Hina Matsuri is different from place to place. We will introduce here what the Japanese people usually do on this day.
Hina Dolls represent what the imperial family was like in the ancient times. The dolls on the top tire of the platforms represent the emperor and the empress. The rest of the dolls are three court ladies, five musicians and the minister of the Right and Left who used to support the government in the old days. There are some decorations such as Gissha (oxcarts), small cupboards, Japanese paper lamps called “Bonbori”, and orange and peach tree branches displayed on the tire of platforms.
The facial expressions and costumes of each doll are also different depending on their personality and position.
The special meals for Hina Matsuri are Amazake (sweet drink), Chirashizushi (a style of sushi) and Hina Arare (sweet colorful rice crackers).
Amazake is a traditional Japanese sweet and thick drink made from fermented glutinous rice. Amazake literally means “sweet alcohol” but it has less than 1 percent of Shirozake alcohol in it. So children are also able to drink it.

Shirozake
Drinking Shirozake, which is a traditional sweet sake, was one of the customs to get rid of bad things out from your body. But Shirozake is an alcoholic drink, so Amazake was made with the children in mind.
Hina Arare are colorful and cute small rice crackers. The colors of these rice crackers have meanings. White represents the earth of the winter, pink and red represent life, while green represents the green shoots in the spring. Hina Arare is a snack showing our expectations toward the arrival of spring after the long cold winter. People also say that you will live healthy for this coming year if you eat each color of Hina Arare.
Chirashizushi is a type of Sushi which has lotus roots, shrimp and thinly shredded egg omelet on the top of vinegar rice. It has been a dish enjoyed widely at celebrations.
The ingredients in Chirashizushi have meanings as well. The lotus root is said to give one the power to see what will happen in the future, shrimps are a symbol of longevity and so on.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/japanese-girls-day-hinamatsuri-party-dishes-2031057
As with almost all holidays, food and drink play a role on Girls’ Day, with rice wine and rice cakes taking center stage, along with flower blossoms. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means a festival of peach blossoms. Peach blossoms, shiro-zake (white fermented rice wine) and hishi-mochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes) are placed on the stand with the hina dolls. Hishi-mochi are colored pink representing peach flowers, white representing snow, and green representing new growth.
Traditionally, girls in Japan invited their friends to a home party to celebrate this festival. Many people prepare a special meal for girls on this day, including savory dishes such as chirashi, which is sugar-flavored, vinegared sushi rice with raw fish on top; clam soup served in the shell; and edamame maze-gohan, mixed rice usually consisting of brown rice and soybeans.
Other popular dishes to serve at a Girl’s Day celebration are inari sushi—rice-stuffed tofu pockets—with miso grilled salmon and cabbage ramen salad. Sweets are on the menu as well, incorporating a feminine shade of pink, like chi chi dango, which are pink pillows of mochi (glutinous rice flour and coconut milk), a favorite among children, and sakura-mochi, a pink, sweet rice cake. Some families include an impressive edible centerpiece, such as the layered chirashi sushi cake.

Some recipes for Hina Matsuri
(The recipes listed below can be found at the link above.)

Chirashizuchi
Easy Seafood Chirashizushi: Use a shortcut of packaged sushi seasoning to quickly season steamed rice and add pre-cooked gomoku vegetables for this delectable dish. Add your favorite toppings of choice.
Edamame Maze-Gohan (Mixed Rice): Is easy to prepare, especially for large crowds. Steamed rice is mixed with furikake seasoning, bottled nametake (seasoned mushrooms), and shelled edamame for a delicious rice dish.
Inari Sushi: Preparing a dish for a large crowd doesn’t need to be complicated. Find out the secrets of making quick inari sushi with impressive results.
Cabbage Ramen Salad: This spin on the traditional Chinese chicken salad recipe uses crunchy dried ramen noodles, cabbage, and shredded chicken to create a zesty Japanese-fusion salad.
Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Wings: Let your slow cooker do all the work to whip-up a batch of delicious teriyaki chicken wings with just a few ingredients, and use the free time to prepare a few other dishes.
Miso Ginger Marinated Grilled Salmon
Miso Grilled Salmon: Miso-grilled salmon can easily be prepared by making the marinade ahead of time and then letting the salmon marinade for a few days in the fridge. All you need is an oven or a grill to cook up delicious fillets in under 40 minutes.
Clam Soup: A traditional soup that is often enjoyed on Hinamatsuri is clam soup. This clear style soup is known as sumashijiru and is simply seasoned from the broth of the clams.
Chi Chi Dango: These pillowy soft bites of mochi are made of glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. These pink, soft mochi are an absolute favorite among children.
Sakura Mochi: Sakura mochi is a glutinous rice dish that is often enjoyed during Hinamatsuri. This slightly sweetened, pink mochi is filled with sweet red beans (koshian) and wrapped in a salted sakura (young cherry blossom) leaf.

Farm to Table Feast


And it was a good feast! Held at Peaceful Belly Farm and the new event room and building – Grand Opening November 16–18, noon until 6 pm.
The Farm to Table Dinner Series, “Josie of Peaceful Belly, Scott from Snake River Winery, Clay from Stack Rock Cidery, Nate Whitley chef at the Modern Hotel and Chef Abby Carlson have teamed up to create an amazing 5-course meal held on our magical Sunny Slope farm. The plates are creative, unique, and 100% local and seasonal. These dinners will transport you to another time and place where fresh food is cooked with amazing brilliance and presented to the table in a picturesque farm setting.” Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy and Left-Click to see any of these photos enlarged. All in all – A good dinner.

Sunset at the farm.
The menu for the dinner.
New event room and tasting room.
Appetizer –

Fingerling Potato, Lentils and Onion

Smoked Trout
Warm Fingerling Potatoes
Buttermilk
Shallots
Arugula
2012 Arena Valley Riesling

Beef Tongue Carpaccio
Black Garlic Aioli
Roasted Chilis
Sunny Slope Cide
r

Roasted Winter Squash
Leeks
Kale
Brown Butter Tamari Vinaigrette
2014 Blauer Zweigelt

Reflections at the Intermezzo

Intermezzo
Pumpkin Pie Sorbet

Roasted Pork Loin
Onion Puree
Lentils
Tomato
Swiss Chard
2009 Reserve Bordeaux Blend

Tri of Ice Cream Sandwiches
2014 Orange Muscat

What’s In A Wine Glass?


Besides wine? Shape and form. An interesting article from SevenFifty Daily “In 1958 the Austrian glassmaker Claus Josef Riedel added a new wineglass to his catalog. With a large bowl and a gently flared lip, the Burgundy Grand Cru was specifically intended to hold Burgundy wines. At that time, a glass made for a particular wine was a first. According to Maximilian Riedel, a grandson of Claus and the current CEO of Riedel, until then nobody else had recognized that the “taste, bouquet, balance, and finish of a wine [could be] affected by the shape of a glass.” His grandfather, he says, “took notice [whenever] a slight change in his glassware made a change in what he was drinking.”

The Burgundy Grand Cru was followed by a line of 10 more wine-specific shapes: Alsace, Bordeaux Grand Cru, Chardonnay, Hermitage, Loire, Montrachet, Riesling Grand Cru, Rosé, Sauternes, and Zinfandel. Today, Riedel makes dozens of specialized glasses; the company’s 2018 catalog specifies which of dozens of shapes are appropriate for some 200 different wines, which include familiar grapes like Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc (in oaked and unoaked expressions); less familiar grapes, such as Bacchus and Zierfandler; appellations, like Hermitage; and styles, like rosé.

The idea that particular shapes are appropriate for particular wines has become so accepted that other makers of high-end glassware, such as Zalto and Gabriel-Glas, now differentiate themselves by explicitly offering “universal” glasses—wineglasses that are suited for drinking any kind of wine.”

There’s a lot more information from Examining the Science of Wineglass Shapes. This is really an interesting article that Robin found. Enjoy!

What is this thing called ….. Borscht?


I’m not sure that Cole Porter or Ella Fitzgerald would approve of the title, but I think it is appropriate. Keep reading.

“Borscht (English: /ˈbɔːrʃ, ˈbɔːrʃt/ ) is a sour soup commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht … Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.” [Wikipedia] And “those other sour soups” that are cousins to borscht may come from day Lithuania and Belarus, the Ashkenaz Jews, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines, Poland, Armenia and even Chinese cuisine, a soup known as luó sòng tāng, or “Russian soup”, is based on red cabbage and tomatoes, and lacks beetroots altogether; also known as “Chinese borscht”. Wow! There are many varieties of borscht.

But there is only one original or authentic borscht. Borscht derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium, also known as cow parsnip), which lent the dish its Slavic name. Growing commonly in damp meadows throughout the north temperate zone, hogweed was used not only as fodder (as its English names suggest), but also for human consumption – from Eastern Europe to Siberia, to northwestern North America.
And what is generally served with borscht? “Pirozhki, or baked dumplings with fillings as for uszka, are another common side for both thick and clear variants of borscht. Polish clear borscht may be also served with a croquette or paszteciki. A typical Polish croquette (krokiet) is made by wrapping a crêpe (thin pancake) around a filling and coating it in breadcrumbs before refrying; paszteciki (literally, ‘little pâtés’) are variously shaped filled hand-held pastries of yeast-raised or flaky dough. An even more exquisite way to serve borscht is with a coulibiac, or a large loaf-shaped pie. Possible fillings for croquettes, paszteciki and coulibiacs include mushrooms, sauerkraut and minced meat.” [The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, Anastas Mikoyan]

So. What is borscht usually made of? What are the components? Ingredients? Borscht is seldom eaten by itself. Buckwheat groats or boiled potatoes, often topped with pork cracklings, are other simple possibilities, but a range of more involved sides exists as well.
In Ukraine, borscht is often accompanied with pampushky, or savory, puffy yeast-raised rolls glazed with oil and crushed garlic. In Russian cuisine, borscht may be served with any of assorted side dishes based on tvorog, or the East European variant of farmer cheese, such as vatrushki, syrniki or krupeniki. Vatrushki are baked round cheese-filled tarts; syrniki are small pancakes wherein the cheese is mixed into the batter; and a krupenikis a casserole of buckwheat groats baked with cheese.

But please note, your borscht may be different from your neighbors. There are cultural differences in the borscht. Ingredients may include,beet juice, beet root, veal, ham, crayfish, beef, pork, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, cucumbers, radishes, green onion, hard-boiled egg halves, dill weed, leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, chard, nettle, dandelion, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, squash, to name a few.

Our Borscht
So whatever inspired me to write this post? Well, we made a borscht and I posted a photo of it (the one pictured here actually) and I got comments. One of them in particular, from a Ukrainian lady, and she said,”That’s not real Russian Borsch (smiley face). It’s beet soup (smiley face). My mom makes the best, she is a Gourmet Chef for over 50yrs, and specializes in Jewish Cuisine.” [Mara Rizzio] I spoke to Mara – she makes awesome pirogies – and it was a good discussion. Thank-You Mara for “setting” me straight. Thus, this blog post. Cheers. And here is a recipe for Borscht that I found in the internet, from NPR, that includes various ingredients. Have fun! Borscht Recipe.

Berbere Spice Blend and Doro Wot – Chicken


Now is the time to add some spice to your life. At least the spices of North Africa – Ethiopia to be exact.

From Demand Africa, “In Amharic, the state language of Ethiopia, ‘barbare’ means pepper or hot. Not surprisingly, berbere spice, the flavor backbone of Ethiopian cooking, gives traditional Ethiopian dishes that fiery kick. Berbere’s constituent spice is paprika (itself a ground spice made from Capsicum peppers), but the final blend could be made from up to 20 spices.
Ethiopian cooks of old were not short of kitchen experiments, and over time have added garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, African basil, black and white cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, coriander seed, thyme, rosemary, turmeric and ajwain (carom seeds commonly used in Indian cooking) to the mix. This allows berbere to impart a richer, aromatic and more layered flavor to any dish it’s added to, whether Ethiopian or not…Amharic language scholars speculate that the name ‘barbare’ came from ‘papare,’ the Ge’ez word for pepper (Ge’ez was the language of ancient Ethiopia). While that is likely lost in the mists of time, the more probable theory is that berbere came at a point in Ethiopia’s history when the independent Axumite kingdom controlled the Red Sea route to the Silk Road. The Axumites knew the secrets of the monsoon winds, and harnessed it to send their ships toward India in summer, and back again to Africa in winter…Berbere is the cornerstone spice blend of Ethiopia; without it, ‘doro wot’ or chicken stew (Ethiopia’s national dish) would not have that distinctive brick-red appearance and rustic, savory intensity.
Doro wot is cooked during traditional festivities and is typically served with injera, fermented sourdough flatbread with a slightly spongy texture that serves as the plate and scooping utensil for the stew. Doro wot is ladled generously on top of it and served alongside vegetables and other dips. (To eat injera, Ethiopians pinch off a piece of it and use the same to scoop out a small portion of the stew.)”

You can buy the spice blend in your grocery store – our Albertsons carries it – but it is more fun to make your own. All of these spices should be locally available.
Berbere Spice Mix
Prep Time: 5 min Total Time: 5 min
Ingredients:
1/2 c Chili Powder
1/4 c Paprika
1/2 t ground Ginger
1/2 t ground Cardamon
1/2 t ground Turmeric
1/2 t ground Coriander
1/2 t ground Fenugreek
1/4 t ground Cinnamon
1/4 t grated fresh Nutmeg
1/4 t ground Allspice
11/8 t ground Cloves
1/8 t fresh ground Black Pepper
Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight jar.

Ethiopian cuisine (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ምግብ) characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wot, a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 20 inches in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.

A recipe from African Bites for
Doro Wat
Ethiopian Chicken Stew -slowly simmered in a blend of robust spices. Easy thick, comforting, delicious, and so easy to make!
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins Servings: 6
Calories: 470 Author: Immaculate Bites
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Spiced butter Sub with Cooking oil or more
2-3 medium onions sliced
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons Berbere Spice (See above)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
½ Tablespoon minced ginger
3- 3½- pound whole chicken cut in pieces or chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
½ Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon dried basil optional
4-6 Large soft-boiled egg shelled removed
1-2 Lemons Freshly Squeezed (adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Season chicken with, salt, pepper and set aside
In a large pot, over medium heat, heat until hot, and then add spiced butter and onions, sauté onions, stirring frequently, until they are deep brown about 7 -10 minutes. After the onions are caramelized or reached a deep brown color, add some more oil, followed by berbere spice, garlic, and ginger.
Stir for about 2-3 minutes, for the flavors to blossom and the mixture has a deep rich brown color. Be careful not to let it burn.
Then add about 2-3 cups water .Add chicken, tomato paste, paprika, basil, salt and cook for about 30 minutes.
Throw in the eggs and lemon juice; thoroughly mix to ensure that the eggs are immersed in the sauce.
Continue cooking until chicken is tender about 10 minutes or more Adjust sauce thickness and seasoning with water or broth, lemon,salt according to preference.
Serve warm

Biscuits and Gravy Anyone?


And here are some recipes! From Jim Long’s Columns at Blogspot.
“The “real” gravy most of us in the Ozarks know and love is just plain sausage gravy. It’s simple, cheap and easy to make, yet this satisfying concoction has become almost impossible to find in restaurants. What you’ll find instead, is factory-made gravy out of a can. Wholesale restaurant suppliers deliver cases of gallon-sized cans of fake sausage gravy and all the “chef” has to do is to open the can, pour it into a pot and heat it…There are regional variations of the classic sausage gravy, with some folks adding onions, others adding a dash of cayenne pepper, others swearing fresh-cracked black pepper, or crushed red pepper is the only way to fix the gravy, but over all, the recipe for the real thing remains the same as it has for centuries.” [Jim Long’s Columns]

Sausage Gravy
Ingredients:

1 lbs Country Sausage (mild or hot)
3 T Flour
1/2 t fresh Nutmeg
Salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups Whole Milk
Directions:
Crumble the raw sausage in a hot cast iron frying pan. Fry the sausage until there is no pink left. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring quickly until a paste forms. Then add milk, 1 cup at a time and the nutmeg. Stir briskly and cook the mixture until it thickens. Then pour it over fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits, split in half, buttered or not.

A little biscuit history from Quora, “The American South has deep Scottish roots, and American biscuits are made in a very similar way to Scottish shortbread, so most likely the origin of biscuits is in Scottish shortbread. They brought the recipe over, and as dishes do, it evolved. A little more liquid turned the originally hard biscuit into a soft one…The ingredients of biscuits and gravy are all cheap and readily available. Pigs have been in America longer than the Puritans – originally brought to Jamestown in 1608. Other than that it’s pretty much just flour, milk and some salt and pepper. People brought their cooking methods over from Scotland and Northern England (hence the popularity of fried foods in the South), usually emphasizing the simpler dishes, cooking styles and ingredients. Over the decades of people making, perfecting and experimenting with the recipe, those original recipes and cooking methods evolved into the biscuits and gravy we know today. There’s some evidence people have been eating biscuits and gravy since before the Revolutionary War.”

Buttermilk Biscuits
Drop biscuits or rolled, your choice! And the biscuits? You can buy those canned, frozen, instant or bakery-made but the old-fashioned biscuit is as follows:
Ingredients:
2 c Flour
4 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking Soda
3/4 t Salt
2 T Butter
2 T lard or Crisco
1 c Buttermilk, chilled
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. With your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. Pour in the chilled buttermilk and stir to mix. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust with flour and fold dough over on itself 4 or 5 times. Roll out with a rolling-pin or quart fruit jar until the dough is about an inch thick. Cut out biscuits with 2-inch cutter and place biscuits on a baking sheet so the biscuits are just touching. Bake until golden and fluffy, about 15-20 minutes.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Hollandaise Sauce
Make the gravy while the biscuits are baking. This isn’t health food, but it certainly is a satisfying breakfast! Add some eggs and bacon and a few cups of coffee and you are tasting a real Ozarks tradition.

Just don’t confuse Sawmill Gravy with Sausage Gravy. They are not the same.
“During the early years of America, many logging camps sprung up in the mountains where virgin timber was found. In these lumber camps, cooks would prepare breakfast for a hundred or more lumberjacks. One of the common foods was gravy made from coarsely ground cornmeal. When made from whole grain cornmeal, this gravy was very nutritious and would give the lumberjacks strength to do their jobs.
This gravy’s name comes from the fact that these men worked at a saw mill, and sometimes when the gravy would be coarse and thick, the lumberjacks would accuse the cooks of substituting sawdust for cornmeal.

Cornmeal Gravy, aka Sawmill Gravy
Sawmill Gravy
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon bacon drippings
3 heaping tablespoons white cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
dash of pepper
Directions:
Place bacon drippings in a pan. Add cornmeal and salt. Cook on medium heat, stirring until brown. Add milk and let boil until it thickens, stirring vigorously to keep it from lumping. Season with pepper to taste.” From: “Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook”, Recipe from Janice Miracle, Middlesboro, Kentucky.