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preparation on Grape Thinking

Posts Tagged ‘preparation’

Red wine and steak

Monday, August 25th, 2008

For the reward given – cooking steak is probably one of the best things you can do to entertain guests. It’s so easy and there’s really no better accompaniment for steak than red .

I like to buy a whole Angus fillet and cook it first before cutting it into fillet steaks, this way you can keep the juices and really preserve a lot of the flavour. It also presents a perfect opportunity to do what any male wine , or any male for that matter – likes most… marinade. Like making hot-sauce, there is perhaps no time more satisfying to a man than when given the chances to marinade something. There’s a certain feeling of alchemy in preparing the meat that really doesn’t come with other pre- chores like peeling potatoes or rolling pastry flat.

The ingredients for getting a steak ready are quite simple: rock salt, English mustard, lemons, pepper, red wine, olive oil, chopped garlic and mixed spices. Adding lemon helps seal the steak and within minutes the pinkish colour will disappear and the fillet will start to gain a more cooked sort of colour. At this point I roll the fillet in a bed of rock-salt before smothering it in a healthy dose of English mustard mixed with spice and crushed garlic. Once done, leave it to soak in a pool of red wine on top of a bed of diced onions allowing the blood and fermented to comingle.


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Posted in Dining, Food, Lifestyle, Millennials, Wine, Wine Review | 2 Comments »

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and wine I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was about laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of wine, a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.


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Posted in Lifestyle | No Comments »

Laying Tracks Before the Train

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Just this morning, while searching for inspiration, I delved into the London Times archives, which stretch back over 150 years, and it was there that I found this gem of an article. I’d recommend you it in entirety, but as I know how pressed for time we all tend to be, I’ll try give a few outtakes to those of you passing through.

The article is from 1876, and is a report on the Californian industry where the author advises ‘great caution to those who may think of putting their money into vineyards’ in California, and states one of the problems of the industry as being ‘remoteness from the and want of railways.’ More classic still is the quote about Californian red wine where the author states ‘but owing to the fact that it requires impressive skill and experience to produce good red wine and an abundance of certain varieties of grape, this branch of viniculture has not yet met with such success as it promises in the future.’ My, my, how time has changed things!

Indeed, we may look back on the last 10 years and marvel at how much change there has been, and anyone familiar with would advise that nothing stays as it is, and the only thing we can ever be certain of is change itself. Critter wines came in hard and fast about the same time that French wines dropped in popularity, but my general prediction is this.

Now that Sarkozy has won, French wines are going to come back with a vengeance and win back their lost market share, giving California a run for its money, and deflating the over-inflated prices of Napa. Critter labels will drop in popularity, and good value/ high quality wines from Argentina, Spain and will begin to dominate the $7-$13 category. We’re going to see Australia depart from silly pictures, and will see a solid effort to tackle the wine glut by placing emphasis on more high-end Aussies.

Another point that I strongly believe is that there is a huge market for an online national wine retailer that stocks low cost, high quality and diverse global wines, challenging the perception that there are 4 types of white wine and 4 types of red. I think the Internet is the railway that the producers of over a century ago were longing for. Whilst a century ago, the lack of high-speed/ low cost and efficient means of transport to get wines to market left a lot of wines in cask without a buyer; today there are plenty overseas stateside wines that go unsold because of lack of cost-effective efficient means to get them to the consumer.

I’m all about tradition, but only insofar as tradition is based in , and is not a resistance of much needed modernization.

The full article I referred to appears below:

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Posted in News, Wine | 2 Comments »