James Aitchison


Recent Posts

Five ways to store an opened bottle of wine

July 30, 2017

Wine is wonderful, but unless you commit to finishing the bottle there and then, there’s always the danger that you’ll end up wasting half of it. I enjoy a glass of wine now and then, but my wife is not particularly partial to vino. This dynamic has resulted in many a half-emptied bottle of wine being wasted thanks to the ravages of time.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Provided you make the necessary arrangements, there are..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

July 22, 2017

Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee are all very well, but if there’s one coffee that stands out for me it’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Packed full of fruity flavors and delicious hot or cold, it’s my favourite coffee by far. Here’s why you need to try this humble African bean.

Region and history

To many, Ethiopia is regarded as the birthplace of the humble coffee bean. The — possibly apocryphal — story goes that a young goat herder named Kaldi..

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A beginners guide to Barbera wine

July 22, 2017

Nothing beats a great bottle of red vino, but with the heat of summer in no danger of abating any time soon, it’s difficult to find truly refreshing red wines to try. Fortunately, there are a number of fairly obscure reds that not only taste great chilled, but also perfectly pair with summer foods and long warm days. One such wine is Barbera, a popular everyday wine from Italy.

Barbera is the third most widely grown grape in Italy. The wine..

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The best beef cuts to grill for a party

July 22, 2017

I’m not sure about you, but as far as I'm concerned, grilling is always more fun when done with friends and family. However, one of the big challenges of a big cookout is figuring out what cut of meat will feed a large amount of people — and not break the bank. Of course, the default is a few burger patties or links of sausages, but what if you want something a little more interesting? Well, we're here to help. Here are three cuts of beef that..

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How to make pickled onions in no time

July 14, 2017

If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of it’s pickles. Gherkins, sauerkraut, beetroot, if it can be pickled I’ll eat it. My absolute favourite pickle however is the humble pickled onion. Crunchy, tangy, and spicy, they’re just the best. If given the chance I could happily eat an entire jar in one sitting.

While it’s easy enough to just go out and buy a jar of pickled onions, It’s far more satisfying to make your own. Unfortunately, the only..

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A beginners guide to Nerello Mascalase Wine

July 14, 2017

It’s always strange how some wine types capture the popular imagination while others languish in relative obscurity, enjoyed only by those who have been fortunate enough to try them. One of the best examples of an amazing wine that deserves more recognition is Nerello Mascalase. This Sicilian light-bodied red is well-regarded by wine aficionados but fairly unknown outside of enthusiast circles.

For those looking for one of the best kept secrets..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Jamaican Blue Mountain

July 14, 2017

You’d be hard pressed to find a coffee bean more expensive and sought after than the venerable Kona bean, that is unless you were aware of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. It’s not unusual to find Jamaican Blue Mountain beans at around $50 a pound, making it easily on of the most expensive coffees around.

While the price may be intimidating at first, those willing to take the plunge will find Jamaican Blue Mountain to be one the finest, tastiest..

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Three red wines you need to try chilled

July 14, 2017

We all know the rules, white wines and rose are served chilled while red wines are served at room temperature. However, what if I told you that sometimes the best way to enjoy red wine is when it’s been chilled? Far from being blasphemous, chilling certain red wines opens can enhance the flavor and is a great and refreshing way to enjoy them in the hotter months.

Of course, you can’t just throw any old red wine into the fridge. Furthermore the..

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Three surprising uses for bergamot in the kitchen

July 7, 2017

In a burst of inspiration, my wife and I bought a bunch of herbs to plant in our garden. We’ve never had our own garden before and we couldn’t think of a better way to take advantage of our newly acquired green space. We bought the usual staples such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender, dill, and sage. With one space left to fill in our pots, we also — on a whim — bought some bergamot, or bee balm as it's sometimes called. We didn’t really..

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A beginners guide to Pinot Grigio

July 7, 2017

Pinot Gris, or Pinot Grigio as it’s known in France, is one of the most popular white wine varieties available in the United States. The popularity is well earned, Pinot Grigio is crisp, zesty, and wonderfully refreshing on a hot summers day.

As the name suggests, Pinot Grigio is an offshoot of the Pinot grape, which features so heavily in Pinot Noir’s and Pinot Blanc’s. Like many popular while wines, is not well regarded by aficionados thanks..

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