James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

A beginners guide to cheese: Rinds

March 31, 2018

When it comes to cheese, I’m a big advocate for using the whole cow (pun intended) and rinds are no exception. In most cases, cheese rinds are perfectly edible and one could argue in some cases, extremely enjoyable. But before you start munching on some rinds, it’s important to tell the difference between the different types, and more crucially, know which ones can be eaten and which cannot.

Non-edible rind

 

Certain cheeses are encased in..

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A beginners guide to wine: Noble grapes

March 31, 2018

When learning the ins and outs of wine appreciation, it’s always best to start at the source. In the case of wine, the source is arguably the grapes themselves. So much of the flavor, aroma, and texture of wine has its origin in the types of grapes used in its production. Chances are you’ve already the term “Noble” being used to describe certain grapes. This is a word used to describe a certain category of grapes that are known for producing..

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A beginners guide to cheese: Types

March 9, 2018

How do you pick a cheese? It’s a question I ask myself more often than I would like. The sheer number of curds on offer is staggering and it’s almost impossible to determine how many different cheeses there are in the world. France alone has somewhere in the region of 400 official varieties and that’s just one country!

Choice is a wonderful privilege, but sometimes it helps to narrow things down a little bit, especially when it comes to the..

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A beginners guide to Pinot Noir

March 9, 2018

Today we’re going to look at one of the oldest, and in this writer's humble opinion, one of the greatest wines grapes in the world: Pinot Noir. This highly prized grape is over 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s also a remarkably fragile and prone to disease, a fact that makes its age and popularity all the more miraculous.

Pinot Noir is currently the 10th most popular grape crop in the world. About 290,000 acres are dedicated to..

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A beginners guide to White Pinot Noir

March 9, 2018

To anyone with the slightest smattering of French, the term White Pinot Noir sounds like the ultimate contradiction in terms. Despite the impossible name, however, the process of making White Pinot Noir is fairly mundane. This unusual wine is made using Pinot Noir grapes; however, whereas regular Pinot Noir is fermented using the entire grape, the white variety is made using grapes without skins.

White Pinot Noir is mainly produced in Italy and..

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The secret to great cheese pairings? White wine

March 9, 2018

Common wisdom states that when it comes to cheese tasting, red wine is best. But, what if I told you that when it comes to perfect flavor combinations, you’re better off pairing your favorite cheese with a bottle of crisp white wine? Here’s why you should pair cheese with white wine, plus a few classic combinations to get you started.

The comfort of certainty

So why is it best to steer clear of red wine when cheese tasting? Simple: white wine..

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A beginners guide to cheese: Milk types

March 9, 2018

When it comes to ingredients, you don’t really get many things simpler than cheese. Four simple ingredientsmilk, cultures, coagulant, and saltcan be used to make literally thousands of different cheeses. Arguably the most important of these ingredients, however, is milk. The type of dairy used in cheese-making can have a profound effect on the texture and taste of the finished product. Pretty much any milk can be used to make cheese but there..

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A beginners guide to Gewürztraminer wine

March 9, 2018

Gewürztraminer has a bit of a bad reputation and is commonly regarded as an overly sweet, boozy wine. Wine aficionados tend to turn up their nose to it, finding the wine overly aromatic and difficult to pair with food. However, there is a lot to love about this wine provided you give it a chance. Good bottles of Gewürztraminer can be found at very reasonable prices and, provided you focus on certain foods, it can be paired very well.

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A beginners guide to Sangiovese wine

January 17, 2018

The last month or so of winter is always the toughest. The whimsy and fun of the holiday season has passed us by and all that’s left to do is count down the days until spring. It’s not all bad, though. At the very least, the cold months give us an excuse to enjoy some rustic and warming wines! One of my personal favorite wines in this vein is Sangiovese. This Italian wine is pretty much the quintessential Tuscan varietal and the perfect..

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A beginners guide to Touriga Nacional wine

January 8, 2018

It’s the new year, a time for resolutions and bold proclamations. So in that spirit let’s spend some time looking at a bold and spirited wine from Portugal: Touriga Nacional. This intense tipple is made from grapes mainly grown in the Duoro region of Portugal, however, some are also grown in South Africa, Australia, and the United States. These grapes have until recently only been used in fortified wine blends, however, producers have started to..

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