Ever since “Sideways” was released in 2004, wine geeks and newbies alike have flocked to Pinot Noir. New life was breathed into this ancient grape, and its spiritual home of Burgundy in France. Pinot Noir became the new hot grape in wine, with its smooth and easy drinking style. But, Burgundy is also the most notoriously difficult wine region in the world. What’s the scoop? (more…)
Spain: we’re all familiar with the country. It’s all tapas and bullfighting, right? While known for so much, its wines are usually passed over for the famous French or Italian offerings. But, with thousands of years of history and a unique wine culture, Spain has lots to discover. (more…)
One of the most classic wines around, it would only make sense to kick off this new series with the mighty Chianti. During the 1970s it seems Chianti got a bad rap as cheap table wine, with its straw basket wrapped around the bottle and plopped onto checkered table cloths all over the country – a lot has changed. One of Italy’s most recognized wines, if not the world’s, Chianti has risen back to greatness. But, what makes it so classic? (more…)
Over the last decade or two, there has been a return to the obscure and indigenous grape varietals of old regions. Tired of the usual Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, consumers are looking for cool new styles with names they’ve never heard of and flavours they have yet to taste. One of these up and coming wines is Southern France’s “Picpoul de Pinet”. (more…)
While Italian food is by far one of the most popular cuisines worldwide, many of the dishes it has become known for are southern in origin. Specifically, spaghetti and pizza are local specialties of Naples in Campania. Aside from this, many of these famous “Italian” dishes have influences from other countries, and are new. Tomatoes were only introduced to the Italian diet after the 18th century, after the discovery of the Americas. Can you imagine Italian food without tomatoes? (more…)
Italian food just might be the most popular “ethnic” food in the world, but there is a lot more to it than pizza and pasta. As Italy is a long and narrow country, there are many differences region to region in terms of food. What is traditional and classic in one area, may be unheard of just a few towns over. So, what is special about Northern Italy? (more…)
So, you’ve got northern French food pretty much down pat, but what separates it from the south? What are some classic dishes and preparations, ingredients, or even wine pairings? And, how do you know when you’ve *really* gotten to the south? (more…)
For most people, when they think of high end dining and “fancy food” they tend to think of France. With their incredible history and intimidating menus, made up of largely unpronounceable words, nothing screams classic cuisine like French food.
Stuck right in the middle of central Europe, Hungary has recently come out of the shadow of communism after decades of rule. Because of its location in Europe, it received a lot of outside influence, especially to its food, from several different areas. Today, traditional Hungarian food clearly shows Germanic, Italian, Slavic, and even Asian twists to it.
Sometimes, it’s not the foods that we’ve never heard of that surprise us, but the ones we think we know. Spain’s “tapas” have been one of the most popular foods/restaurant themes in the last decade, but it seems few people really understand what tapas is all about.