James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

How to pick the right coffee grinder

April 27, 2019

While pre-ground coffee is convenient, nothing beats the flavor of freshly-ground beans. To get the best out of coffee you should aim to grind the beans just before brewing. Roasted beans gradually lose flavor over time but grinding accelerates this process. Ground coffee has a larger surface area and oxidises quicker thus losing a lot of flavor. For this reason, it’s best to purchase whole bean coffee and grind it as needed.

Types of coffee..

Read More

A Beginners Guide to Soave Wine

April 19, 2019

Today we’re going to take a look at an Italian classic: Soave. This wine is made from Garganega grapes and produced near the Soave village in Northern Italy. This region is known for its zesty white wines that pair wonderfully with Italian seafood. The hills around Soave are volcanic, which makes the region particularly fertile. Combined with the Italian climate, this makes for ideal vineyard cultivation conditions.

Types of Soave

Far from..

Read More

A Beginners Guide to Goat's Cheese

April 18, 2019

Getting a bit bored with Brie and looking to broaden your cheese horizons? Then it might be time to branch out and try some goat's cheese. This flavorful cheese is also called chèvre which literally means “goat” in French. Chèvre is often used to refer to the entire range of goat's cheeses rather than just a specific type of cheese or regional variety. Slightly lower in fat than cows milk Chèvre is a lighter cheese that’s best enjoyed in the..

Read More

A Beginners Guide to Nero d'Avola Wine

April 11, 2019

Today we’re discussing one of the most important wines in Italy, Nero d’Avola. This grape is predominately grown in Sicily and results in a bold, powerful red that combines fruity notes with a spicy, peppery finish. The grape, which thrives in dry and arid conditions is perfectly suitable, for the hot Italian landscape. It is also grown in California and Australia in limited quantities.

Flavor Profile

Nero d’Avola is a particularly..

Read More

A beginners guide to coffee: Ethiopia Sidamo

March 29, 2019

Well-balanced, complex, and smooth, Ethiopian Sidamo represents some of the best characteristics of African coffee. Often regarded as one of the finest coffees in the world, Sidamo can be enjoyed both hot and iced and is well worth seeking out.

History, growing, and processing

These beans are grown on the Southern border in what used to be called the Sidamo province. This region is often regarded as the birthplace of coffee production...

Read More

A beginners guide to Pinotage wine

March 26, 2019

With the warmer months just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to explore some big and bold red wines. One wine, in particular, seems tailor-made to be enjoyed with the smokey meaty flavors of grilled foods: Pinotage. The Pinotage grape is the result of the crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. The grape is South Africa’s signature variety and was created in an attempt to develop a hardy crop that could survive in the country's tough climate.

Read More

A beginners guide to Merlot

February 21, 2019

When it comes to red wines there are few safer bets than Merlot. Balanced, smooth, and easy to pair, Merlot is a wine that’s easy to recommend to everyone. Sadly, Merlot has developed a bit of a bad reputation as a result of cheap, substandard bottles flooding the market. But, provided you’re willing to stray off the beaten path, it’s likely that you’ll find any number of astoundingly tasty examples of this wine.

Merlot is one of the most..

Read More

A beginners guide to Viognier wine

February 13, 2019

When it comes to wine, we tend to associate the richer hearty notes of red wines with winter and the bright and zesty qualities of white wines with the warmer months of spring and summer. While it’s true that red wines tend to be more appropriate for the colder months, there are several white wines that are well worth consuming in winter. One such wine is Viognier, which brings a robust, full-bodied palate to the table and pairs well with a..

Read More

A beginners guide to wine: Five key characteristics

November 26, 2018

In order to truly enjoy wine, you need to understand it. Crucial to that understanding are the five factors that characterize any bottle of wine. Acidity, alcohol, body, sweetness, and tannins are the first five factors anyone hoping to develop their appreciation of wine must understand. Here’s what they are and how they affect the taste of everyone's favorite tipple.


Acidity refers to the overall tartness of the wine. Highly acidic..

Read More

A beginners guide to Chardonnay

November 14, 2018

In honor of the wonderfully warm weather, we’re going to take a look at one of the most popular white wines in the world: Chardonnay. Chardonnay grapes are among the most planted grapes in the world and, alongside the wine itself, the grapes are also commonly used in the making of Champagne.

Chardonnay grapes were first grown in Burgundy, Francethe same region that gave us the Pinot Noir grape. Considering Chardonnay’s popularity it’s not..

Read More