James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

A beginners guide to Champagne

December 11, 2017

There are few alcoholic beverages more iconic and more closely associated with prestige and class than Champagne. This fascinating fizzy drink has been around for several hundred years and is still extremely popular. In fact, over 300 million bottles are produced per year and that output seems unlikely to slow down anytime soon.

Despite its appeal, selecting Champagne can be a bit of a daunting prospect. There’s a multitude of options to choose..

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How to get your friends into coffee.

December 11, 2017

Coffee is best when shared. While a good cup of coffee is a great thing in its own right, nothing beats catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee. But what if your bestie, or your significant other, simply doesn’t like the taste of coffee? Well, you could just accept that we’re all wonderfully unique, or you could try and convince them that coffee is the greatest and that they are fools for not drinking it. If you choose the second option,..

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How to pick sparkling wine glasses

December 11, 2017

Just as with regular wine, the shape of a drinking glass can significantly impact the taste of sparkling wine. The overall shape of the glassware can affect the aroma, flavor, and bubble content of all type of sparkling wine. So, when you’re planning on serving some bubbly to your guests, or just want to get the most out of your chosen bottle, it’s important to pick the right glass for the job.

Flute

The flute is possibly the most commonly used..

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A beginners guide to Montepulciano wine

December 1, 2017

Today’s wine, Montepulciano hails from the vineyards of central Italy and is known for its vivid red color and punchy herbal notes. Montepulciano is the second most grown grape in Italy and for the most part, is associated with cheaper blends. However, wines comprised of mainly Montepulciano grapes are worth seeking out thanks to their bold taste and surprising, rustic flavor.

Flavor profile

 

Montepulciano is a rustic wine that exhibits..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Processing

December 1, 2017

There are many factors that contribute to the overall flavor of your favorite cup of joe. Factors such as the brewing method, the roast, and even the growing region can exert a profound effect on the taste of the resulting cup of coffee. Equally important to the overall flavor is the processing method. Processing is the action or sequence of actions that converts the fruit of a coffee plant into green coffee beans.

 

When it comes to coffee..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Panama Geisha

December 1, 2017

If you pay close attention to the latest coffee trends, it’s entirely likely that you’ve already heard of Panama Geisha. This coffee has only been on the radar since 2004 but already it’s become one of the most sought-after beans in the world. This surge in popularity is easy to understand as the coffee combines a intense fruity flavor profile with a wonderfully bright mouthfeel.

History and geography

 

While it’s now only associated with..

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A beginners guide to Mencía wine

November 26, 2017

There’s nothing quite like the joy of discovery. I love roaming through the wine aisle and seeking out unfamiliar varietals and bottles. Occasionally, I've taken a risk and bought a bottle of a wine I’ve never heard of only to discover upon opening it that I’m not a fan. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence and most of the time taking a risk on wine yields great results!

 

My latest risk resulted in my discovery of Mencía and I’m happy to..

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Three Thanksgiving desserts that aren't pumpkin pie

November 17, 2017

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start making meal preparations. Regardless of whether you’re entertaining, feeding your family, or just having a small intimate dinner, one of the crucial ingredients in any Thanksgiving feast is the dessert. Of course, pumpkin pie is the obvious choice.  But what if like me, you’re not particularly partial to that gourd-based treat? Fortunately, there are any number of fall-themed desserts..

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A beginners guide to Aglianico wine

November 17, 2017

After a couple of weeks exploring the wonders of extremely dry whites, it’s time to shift gears and have a look at a red wine for a change. I’ve always been a fan of full-bodied robust red wines, and one of my favorites is Aglianico. This Italian grape first originated in Greece and is one of the longest surviving vines still being used for wine-making.

 

Aglianico is almost exclusively grown in Italy, with the majority of vineyards located in..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Sulawesi Toraja

November 17, 2017

When it comes to high-end coffee, Indonesia has a bit of a bad rap. This is largely due to the fact that the region produces a large amount of Robusta coffee. As Robusta is often considered to be a lesser bean when compared with Arabica, most coffee enthusiasts do not consider the region to be of particular interest.

Despite this, there is some coffee grown in the region that is capable of going toe to toe with even the most well-regarded..

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