James Aitchison

James Aitchison

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How to make your own pumpkin spice latte

September 8, 2017

It’s September and that can only mean one thing. Yes, it’s the time when everyone goes crazy for the iconic red and brown colors that only appear once a year. No, I’m not talking about the fall leaves, I’m of course talking about the pumpkin spice latte. This — to me — mystifyingly popular drink makes an appearance for one month of the year and is pined for by enthusiasts for the remaining eleven.

 

There was a hint of controversy this year..

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A beginners guide to Petit Verdot

September 8, 2017

This week, we’re looking at another fairly obscure wine packed with character and flavor: Petit Verdot. This intense vintage has seen a steady increase in popularity over the last few years and is well regarded for its rich color and unusual taste. A bit of a “love it or hate it” wine, those on the lookout for something a little different should definitely give it a try.

 

Petit Verdot is a bit of a New World wine success story. The grape was..

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Five wine faults and how to spot them

August 31, 2017

Nothing can put a damper on a well planned dinner party like spoiled wine. Just recently, I found myself to be the unlucky owner of a corked bottle of red. Fortunately, I wasn’t entertaining so the only people who were severely put out by this development were my wife and myself. Still, it was a frustrating and disappointing experience to open up a carefully chosen bottle only to be treated by an awful, damp aroma.

With that in mind, I thought..

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Four foods you should never pair with wine

August 31, 2017

Arguably, one of the best things about wine appreciation is experimenting with food pairings. Nothing brings out the subtle flavors and tastes of a good bottle of wine like a well chosen meal or foodstuff. Sadly, though, there are a few food items that just don’t work with wine. Here’s a few surprising morsels that should never, ever be paired with wine.

Chocolate

 

The first no-go food pairing is arguably the most tragic. Yes, sadly chocolate..

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A beginners guide to Nebbiolo wine

August 31, 2017

As much as I appreciate light and crisp wines in the summer months, sometimes I just want something full-bodied and flavorful. That’s why I’m particularly partial to Nebbiolo wines from Italy's Piedmont region. These unusual wines are notable for their complex flavors, intricate subtleties, and delicate aromas.

 

As mentioned, Nebbiolo grapes are grown in the Langhe area, which is part of the broader Italian Piedmont vineyard region. Within..

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Meet the most refreshing drink on earth: Coffee fizz!

August 26, 2017

A glass of iced or cold brew coffee can really cut through the summer heat, but when it comes to refreshment I’ve always found them to be somewhat lacking. You see, as much as I love cold caffeinated beverages, they’re still superseded in the refreshment department by an ice-cold glass of soda. There’s just something about the combination of sugar and bubbles that provides relief in a way that cold coffee can’t.

 

Of course, it’s not a great..

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A beginners guide to Saignée Rosé

August 26, 2017

While I understand their appeal, I’ve never been particularly partial to rosé wines. It’s true that a rosé can be refreshing and is a great complement to a warm summer's day. Personally though, I tend to gravitate towards the more robust end of the wine tasting spectrum. Fortunately, as is often the case in the world of wines, there is a rosé variety that perfectly appeals to my desire for a refreshing wine that also features a bold flavor..

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How to pick the right glassware for your wine

August 26, 2017

When it comes to drinking wine, pretty much any receptacle will do. One doesn’t need high-end glassware to enjoy the occasional glass of vino. In fact — as I can personally attest — wine can still be enjoyed when drunk from a coffee mug. However, if you’re getting serious about wine and really want to get the best out of it, it’s probably time to invest in some glassware.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your mindset, there are a..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Monsoon Malabar

August 15, 2017

This week, rather than focusing on a specific bean, we are instead going to look at one of the more fascinating harvesting processes around: Monsoon Malabar. This unique process is found only in the Malabar coast in India, and it involves exposing the harvested beans to the full force of the region's seasonal monsoon weather. This process results in a coffee that tastes unlike any other.

Origins

 

 

Like most tales surrounding the origins of..

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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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