Thursday, April 9, 2015

How To Make a Perfect Red Wine Sauce

The MethodI have encountered two methods in restaurants to making red wine sauce. The first is the pure, basic and traditional method. Pour your reduction into a small frying pan enough to sauce as many dishes as you have to serve. The amount is important, I typically figure two tablespoons of reduction for each dish.This is where we have to mention the second method. In this method, add one-third parts cream to two-thirds wine reduction. This can be increased to equal parts cream and reduction if you want a creamier but still flavorful sauce. I prefer the cream addition. I find that it holds the sauce longer, the flavors are more enhanced, and it provides a buffer against the sauce breaking. Now, let the wine reduction heat up, until the edges begin to bubble. Remove your pan from the heat, when the bubbling stops add your butter. I use approximately one tablespoon of butter per dish The temperature is important, if the pan is too hot, the butter will clarify and ruin (break) your sauce. Add the butter into the center of the pan. Also, make sure it is cold butter as warm butter will clarify and ruin your sauce. Swirl the pan on a horizontal plane, do not toss or use a spoon or whisk. You want the pat of butter to spin in the middle of the pan and slowly melt. The idea is to temper the butter into the sauce, not melt it quickly. Try not to put the pan down or force the butter to melt. Let the sauce ‘make itself’ and remember patience is important. It should take about a minute for the butter to melt. Keep the sauce away from heat, which will clarify the butter and break your sauce. Pour on or around your dish and enjoy.Things to note,- You can save your reduction in an airtight container, at room temperature for a couple of weeks - Margarine will not work; the vegetable oil will separate and ruin the sauce.- Milk cannot replace cream, the fat content is not high enough and it will ruin your sauce- The sauce will thicken as it stands, a splash of water or stock (just a teaspoon or so) will loosen in up before serving. - Make sure your pan is clean, soap residue or oils will float to the top and ruin your sauce.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to make Pea Pod wine

·          Wash and slice the pea pods
·          Put them into a 5 gallon brewing bucket pour 8 pints of boiling water over them
·         Leave for 4 days to infuse. Clean and sterilise the demi-john
·         Measure the liquid and add sugar, lemon and orange juice and yeast to the demi-john, place air lock and leave in a warm place (65 to 75 Fahrenheit to ferment.
·         When the bubbling as stopped, the wine should then be stirred.
·         Leave for 3 or 4 days to settle
·         Strain the liquid into a clean and sterilise demi-john using a thick muslin cloth or something similar, making sure you fill it to the brim, cork and leave for 6 months
·         Pour into bottles, cork and leave in a cool dark place. Leave to stand for at least a few more months before you drink it. It should be ready to drink.
    Hope you enjoy. It will take about a year with most wines from start to finish. There are several ways in which you can speed this up, however I’m old fashioned and do it the old way that my father showed me many years ago. It worked for me over the years, wine is thing that shouldn’t be rushed. I hope that you will enjoy your pea pod wine, it’s really nice a strong white wine. Just don’t be put off with the length of time it takes to make. It’s rather rewarding to taste the wine that you have made.Take care and all the best with the wine making

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Beginners Guide to Choosing Wine

I enjoy a glass or two of wine when we are sitting back and relaxing. Also wine goes well with a meal. Some say that your choice of wine will match your main dish, for example, chicken or fish call for a white wine while a roast or steak demands a red.
However, you may want to rethink that, while as a general rule it may provide a good starting point for your wine choice, consider the sauce you may be using.
If you are serving BBQ chicken for example, you may prefer a red wine. Balance is the key to choosing the wine to accompany and enhance the meal. You do not want the wine to overpower the food, nor the food to overpower the wine.
You will also want to give thought to the sugar content of the wine and what dessert you will be having. The sweet dessert calls for a sweet wine.
Being a light drinker, I do not have wine often, usually if it is with a meal, it will be a special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday or when we have one of our rare dinner parties.When it comes to having a few drinks with friends, wine is frequently my drink of choice and I tend to order or bring a dry red wine. It is not simply that I prefer a red wine such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot.Over the years I have tried a number of wines, both red and white, and while I do enjoy a properly chilled white wine such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon  Blanc, my choice in wines is influenced by the setting.By this I mean, at home I will, now and then have a glass or two of a white, just because I like to have some variety in my choices.However, at a public event, say a wine and cheese, I will usually have a red.Why, well simply put, the white may be slightly warm and the taste is not quite right but the red, while, often enhanced by a slight chilling 10-15 minutes, will be more enjoyable warm than the white.In a good restaurant, it is usually a safe bet to select either white or read depending upon your meal. If in doubt about what wine to order when dining out, do not be afraid to ask, as asking questions is one way we learn.On the other hand do not be intimidated, it is your dining and drinking experience so order or buy what you enjoy.