James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

A beginners guide to wine: The "other" Noble grapes

June 29, 2018

Although we have already covered the six original Noble grapes, in recent years the concept of "Noble grapes" has been expanded to include a few more additional grapes that have found favor outside of the traditional European areas of grape production. These grapes are often referred to as the "international varieties" in order to differentiate them from the original six.

Reds

Grenache

 

One of the most widely grown grapes, Grenache is used to..

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How to pick the right Mozzarella cheese

June 29, 2018

I remember the first time I tried to make a pizza with fresh mozzarella cheese. I knew very little about cheese but I did know that “real” pizza is made with mozzarella. So I went to the grocery store and grabbed the first mozzarella cheese I saw. It was packaged in liquid and was extremely soft. I got home, tore it up, put it on my pizza and threw it in the oven. To my dismay, the resulting pie was a soggy inedible mess. I had made a critical..

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A beginners guide to Tannat wine

June 29, 2018

Today we’re going to look at a red wine that has only started gaining popularity in the last few years: Tannat. Tannat is considered the national grape of Uruguay, where it is grown in abundance. The country's dry climate is ideally suited to this grape, which has proven particularly hardy and resistant to various diseases, pests, and fungus that can devastate more fragile varietals.

 

Tannat grapes are also grown in France, where the wine..

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A beginners guide to Verdejo wine

June 29, 2018

One of the best aspects of wine appreciation is going off the beaten path and exploring some lesser-known tipples. With that in mind, let’s talk about another hidden gem of the wine world: Verdejo. This wine hails from Spain and is pretty much unheard of outside of the country.

 

The Verdejo grape orientated in North Africa but was brought to Spain in the 11th century. Verdejo grapes were originally used only in the production of sherry...

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A beginners guide to Chenin Blanc wine

June 29, 2018

Maybe it’s just me, but as the days get longer and warmer I start gravitating away from reds towards crisp white wines. One of my personal favourites is the under-appreciated Chenin Blanc. While not as well-regarded as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc is a wonderful grape in its own right and is known for its versatility. This grape can be used to make wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavors. In fact, Chenin Blanc grapes can be used to make..

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A beginners guide to Vermentino wine

April 2, 2018

Spring has finally sprung which means it’s time to start exploring some of the wonderful white wines on offer. One of the more underrated whites worth seeking out is light and flavorful Vermentino. Vermentino is a complex white wine that is perfect for rich fish and pork meals. Most Vermentino grapes are grown on the Italian island of Sardinia. France also produces a large amount of Vermentino grapes, while a small amount are also grown in the..

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A beginners guide to wine: Climate

April 2, 2018

When it comes to wine, the most important factor is the grapes. Grapes provide all the unique flavor and aroma notes that bring character to our favorite wines. Many factors contribute to the overall taste of grapes but one of the most crucial is the climate. Climatic conditions have a profound effect on grapes and the same grape can taste entirely different depending on whether it was grown in a warm or cool climate.

In wine production, there..

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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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