James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Recent Posts

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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A beginners guide to Argentinian Bonarda

December 26, 2017

High-end vino is wonderful, but sometimes you just want something fun, feisty and easy to drink. If this refrain sounds familiar and you’re on the lookout for an unchallenging tipple, the under-appreciated Argentinian wine Bonarda fits the bill perfectly! This wine is a bit of a hidden gem for those on the lookout for a bright red with few tannins and high acidity.

 

Before we continue, however, it’s worth pointing out that Argentina Bonarda..

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A beginners guide to Sekt sparkling wine

December 26, 2017

After spending some time getting into the nitty-gritty of Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava it’s time to take an in-depth look at the “other” sparkling wine: Sekt. Sekt is a sweet sparkling wine that is primarily produced in Germany and Austria. The wine is guzzled by the gallon in both countries but its popularity has not yet spread beyond those borders. The reason for this is largely due to history and reputation. Until recently, the grading..

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A beginners guide to Cava

December 17, 2017

There's no denying that Champagne is great, but it's not exactly cheap. And, while Prosecco is an abundant and affordable alternative, it's not the best choice for those looking for something dry as opposed to sweet.

Fortunately, there is an affordable alternative to dry Champagne for those on a budget: Spanish Cava!

Production

Like most sparkling wines, most Cava is made from a blend of grapes, although some high-end bottles will stick to..

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