James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

A Beginners Guide to Nero d'Avola Wine

April 11, 2019

Today we’re discussing one of the most important wines in Italy, Nero d’Avola. This grape is predominately grown in Sicily and results in a bold, powerful red that combines fruity notes with a spicy, peppery finish. The grape, which thrives in dry and arid conditions is perfectly suitable, for the hot Italian landscape. It is also grown in California and Australia in limited quantities.

Flavor Profile

Nero d’Avola is a particularly..

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A beginners guide to coffee: Ethiopia Sidamo

March 29, 2019

Well-balanced, complex, and smooth, Ethiopian Sidamo represents some of the best characteristics of African coffee. Often regarded as one of the finest coffees in the world, Sidamo can be enjoyed both hot and iced and is well worth seeking out.

History, growing, and processing

These beans are grown on the Southern border in what used to be called the Sidamo province. This region is often regarded as the birthplace of coffee production...

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A beginners guide to Pinotage wine

March 26, 2019

With the warmer months just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to explore some big and bold red wines. One wine, in particular, seems tailor-made to be enjoyed with the smokey meaty flavors of grilled foods: Pinotage. The Pinotage grape is the result of the crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. The grape is South Africa’s signature variety and was created in an attempt to develop a hardy crop that could survive in the country's tough climate.

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A beginners guide to Merlot

February 21, 2019

When it comes to red wines there are few safer bets than Merlot. Balanced, smooth, and easy to pair, Merlot is a wine that’s easy to recommend to everyone. Sadly, Merlot has developed a bit of a bad reputation as a result of cheap, substandard bottles flooding the market. But, provided you’re willing to stray off the beaten path, it’s likely that you’ll find any number of astoundingly tasty examples of this wine.

Merlot is one of the most..

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A beginners guide to Viognier wine

February 13, 2019

When it comes to wine, we tend to associate the richer hearty notes of red wines with winter and the bright and zesty qualities of white wines with the warmer months of spring and summer. While it’s true that red wines tend to be more appropriate for the colder months, there are several white wines that are well worth consuming in winter. One such wine is Viognier, which brings a robust, full-bodied palate to the table and pairs well with a..

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A beginners guide to wine: Five key characteristics

November 26, 2018

In order to truly enjoy wine, you need to understand it. Crucial to that understanding are the five factors that characterize any bottle of wine. Acidity, alcohol, body, sweetness, and tannins are the first five factors anyone hoping to develop their appreciation of wine must understand. Here’s what they are and how they affect the taste of everyone's favorite tipple.


Acidity refers to the overall tartness of the wine. Highly acidic..

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A beginners guide to Chardonnay

November 14, 2018

In honor of the wonderfully warm weather, we’re going to take a look at one of the most popular white wines in the world: Chardonnay. Chardonnay grapes are among the most planted grapes in the world and, alongside the wine itself, the grapes are also commonly used in the making of Champagne.

Chardonnay grapes were first grown in Burgundy, Francethe same region that gave us the Pinot Noir grape. Considering Chardonnay’s popularity it’s not..

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A beginners guide to Cabernet Sauvignon

November 12, 2018

It may be blisteringly hot outside but that doesn’t mean that we should only be drinking chilled white wines. Regardless of the season, there’s always a good reason to dip into some tasty red such as today’s wine of choice: Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted wine grape in the world with over 720,000 acres dedicated to its production. Not bad for a wine that’s only been around for a couple hundred years. Its popularity is..

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A beginners guide to Sauvignon Blanc

November 10, 2018

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry and crisp wine that has its origins in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions of France. Sauvignon Blanc grapes thrive in warm but not overwhelming hot regions; as a result, a large quantity of the grape is grown in temperate regions such as South Africa, Australia, California, and France.

Flavor profile


Arguably the most unique thing about the taste of Sauvignon Blanc is its “green” flavors. Sauvignon Blanc wines..

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A beginners guide to Moscato wine

June 29, 2018

Today we’re going to look at one of the more divisive white wines around: Moscato. The intense sweetness of Moscato is the source of much controversy among wine fanaticssome love the sweet notes of the wine, while others find it sickly and extremely off-putting. The source of the sweetness is the Muscat grape. Due to its high amounts of natural sugars, the Muscat grape is one of the few noble grapes that can be enjoyed raw. As a result, wine..

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