James Aitchison


Recent Posts

A beginners guide to Mourvèdre wine

August 15, 2017

Possibly one of the greatest byproducts of the increase in wine appreciation amongst the general public is that previously obscure and under-appreciated vintages have found a new, enthusiastic audience. Case in point: Spanish Mourvèdre. This intense full bodied tipple is a wonderfully flavourful wine that shares many characteristics with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

 

While pure Mourvèdre is fairly unknown, the grape itself is a fairly common..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Tanzania peaberry

August 12, 2017

After spending some time in the lush slopes of the Mauna Loa, we’re heading back to Africa, the birthplace of coffee, to look at one of the more unique and unusual beans out there: Tanzanian Peaberry.

For whatever reason, Tanzanian coffee is pretty much always associated with peaberry coffee beans despite the fact that these beans can and do grow in many regions around the world. Regardless, any coffee fan should try peaberry beans at least..

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Three unusual ways to use avocado in the kitchen

August 12, 2017

Confession time: I used to hate avocados. I hated their texture and their taste and the idea of eating one filled me with revulsion. I’m happy to report, however, that I have seen the error of my ways; now I simple cannot get enough of this most wondrous of fruits!

In the interest of finding as many options as possible to enjoy avocados, I set out to explore some of the more unusual ways to incorporate and cook avocados. Here’s what I found.

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A beginners guide to Zweigelt wine

August 12, 2017

Today we’re heading away from the Mediterranean (only slightly) to look at one of the best summer wines around: Zweigelt. This Austrian wine is a far cry from the usual Pinot Noirs and Merlots and offers a unique and refreshing taste profile.

 

Zweigelt wine was first developed in 1922 by Austrian biologist Fritz Zweigelt when he crossed St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes. Since then, Zweigelt has gone on to become the most widely grown..

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A beginners guide to coffee: roasts

August 12, 2017

Regardless of whether it’s high-end, single origin or a simple cup of Folgers, the roast is the possibly the most important contributor to the overall flavor of a cup of coffee. The amount of time a bean is roasted influences the taste, aroma, body, and acidity of the resulting drink. Therefore, if you’re hoping to really get the most out of your coffee, it’s important to understand the difference between the various roasts and how they affect..

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A beginners guide to Albarino wine

August 5, 2017

Today we’re looking at one of the most distinctive whites to come out the Spanish wine region: Albarino. High-quality, zesty, and fruity, it’s pretty much the perfect summer white.

 

Albarino grapes are grown in the cooler, windy northwest Spanish and northwest Portuguese regions. These regions are wetter than other parts of Spain and Portugal; however, the Albarino grape is fairly hardy and thrives in these conditions.

Flavor profile

 

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A beginners guide to coffee: Ka'u

August 5, 2017

Kona coffee is often considered to be the only major bean grown in the United States. However, in recent years the Ka’u region in Hawaii has become regarded for its less well-known, but extremely high quality beans. Ka’u coffee may not have the brand recognition or popularity of Kona, but it’s a bean well worth seeking out, especially for fans of coffee that originates on the big island.

Region and history

 

Coffee was introduced to the Ka’u..

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The right temperature to store wine

August 5, 2017

If there is one thing pretty much everyone knows, regardless of whether they drink wine or not, it’s this: Red wine is served at room temperature and white wine is served chilled. Generally, this idea is true. Most reds are best when served at room temperature, and many whites benefit from chilling.

However, to really get the best out of wine, it’s important to know exactly what constitutes chilled, or “room temperature.” Additionally, like..

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A beginners guide to White Bordeaux

July 30, 2017

While the Bordeaux area in France is well-regarded for its red blends, it may surprise some to hear that the region is also responsible for creating some truly excellent white blends. The suitably named White Bordeaux is one of the best kept secrets of the white wine world.

 

White Bordeaux is primarily a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Muscadelle. The resulting blend is an excellent option for those looking for high-quality dry,..

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A Beginners Guide to Coffee: Sumatra

July 30, 2017

Possibly one of the most divisive beans around, Sumatran coffee is a true "love it or hate it" beverage. Thanks to the growing popularity of light roasted, Latin American coffees that emphasise clean and bright tastes, the heavy, grainy taste of Indonesian beans is falling out of favor. However, for those willing to try something a little unusual, the herbal earthiness of Sumatran coffee is worth trying.

Region and history

 

Indonesia is one..

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