James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

Keep the chills at bay with homemade mulled wine!

October 12, 2017

It’s mid-October which means it’s time we finally accepted the fact that yes, it is officially fall, and yes, it is getting colder. However, the shorter days and colder nights shouldn’t necessary be cause for mourning and sadness. While the chills are nothing to celebrate, one of the benefits of the colder seasons is that it gives us the excuse to enjoy all the warm, hearty food and drinks denied to us by the swealtering summer!

 

Mulled wine..

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How to make sense of coffee shop menus

October 12, 2017

Regardless of whether you’re new to the world of espresso drinks or a seasoned caffeine head, deciphering the menu at a coffee shop can be pretty overwhelming. I worked as a barista for three years and even I find myself a little befuddled when gazing at all the various combinations at my local espresso bar.

Well, if you find yourself struggling to figure out the difference between a latte and an au lait, this guide is for you! Here’s a simple..

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A beginners guide to Sémillon wine

October 6, 2017

Another week, another wine! Today, we’re going to be looking at the third largest grape crop in France: Sémillon. This golden grape is used in the production of dry and sweet white wines. It’s also a crucial element in White Bordeaux blends and is the main ingredient in Sauternes dessert wines.

 

While it’s primarily known as a grape of France, where over 28,000 acres are dedicated to it, Sémillon is grown throughout the world. Australia is..

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A beginners guide to Grenache wine

September 30, 2017

Today we’re looking at one of the most widely grown grapes in the world: Grenache. These grapes are responsible for some of the tastiest — and priciest — wines in the world. This late ripening grape is mostly grown in warmer regions like Spain, California, Australia, and Southern France. Just under 500,000 acres of vineyard land is dedicated to Grenache, making it one of the top ten largest wine crops in the world.

 

Needless to say, Grenache..

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The correct way to store coffee

September 30, 2017

Within the large segment of the population who enjoy coffee it seems there are two distinct factions constantly at odds with one another: those who store their coffee beans in the freezer and those who do not. The argument in favor states that freezing beans helps to preserve the flavor and prevents the coffee from going stale. The argument against, on the other hand, states that freezing coffee exposes it to excessive moisture, which negatively..

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A beginners guide to Muscadine wine

September 22, 2017

After a few dalliances in the world of orange and ice wines, it’s time to look at something a little closer to home: Muscadine wine. Possibly the closest thing the United States has to a national grape, Muscadine is a quintessentially American wine that derives its flavor from the Vitis rotundifolia grape. This species of grape is native to the United States and grows best in warm, humid areas such as Georgia, the Carolinas, Mississippi, and..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Guatemala Antigua

September 22, 2017

Today we’re going to be looking at a coffee that perfectly toes the line between quality and affordability: Guatemala Antigua. Guatemala is the second largest producer of coffee in Central America, and in many ways, Antigua beans represent all the best qualities beans in this region can offer. For those looking to switch from drinking mass-produced coffee to high-end beans, Guatemala Antigua is the perfect first step.

History and geography

 

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How to pick the right kind of vinegar

September 22, 2017

When it comes to cooking, one of my biggest pet peeves involves vinegar. Often while working my way through a new recipe, I’ll discover mid-process that the vinegar required for the dish is the exact one I’ve run out of. That being said, I do love vinegar and the wonderful tangy taste it brings to foods.

In order to make sure I’m never without the vinegar I need, I went on a shopping spree to fill in all the gaps in my cooking supplies..

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A beginners guide to ice wine

September 22, 2017

Today we are going to be looking at one of the more unusual grape-based offerings available: Ice wine. This super-sweet drink is not for everyone, but those looking for a wine unlike any other would be hard pressed — pardon the pun — to find something as unique as this chilly treat.

What is it?

 

When we talk about ice wine (or eiswein) we’re not talking about chilled wine or a glass of white with a couple of ice cubes. Ice wine is a very..

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A beginners guide to orange wine

September 16, 2017

Today, we’re going to put aside reds and whites and look at something a little different: orange wine. Despite the name, orange wine contains no actual oranges; instead, it is the result of leaving grape juice in contact with the skins and seeds for a prolonged period of time. This results in a white wine with a noticeably orange hue.

 

While there is something undeniably fascinating about it, the color itself is not orange wine's main selling..

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