22. March 2009 20:08
Ciao…My name is Teroldego. I am a red grape variety from northern Italy – just a bit north of Trento from the plateau named Teroldego Rotaliano. This is the only place I like to grow. My home is between very steep rock walls, two nice rivers and a warm climate with cooling alpine winds blowing down on me.
I am also the very first D.O.C. wine from this region…and naturally I am very well respected amongst all Italian wines.
I came to Zürich last week with a few of my red and white colleagues from Trentino. We stayed at the noble Dolder Grand Hotel…nice place, and presented ourselves in their new ballroom to numerous wine tasters, pros and some wine freaks. You would not believe some of the wine taster’s palates we ended up in – vero! But, I had a good time, and I am sure I left quite an impression with many tasters who have never experienced my charm.
I have an intense deep ruby color with an almost black core…it is the first thing people notice about me. I also have an intense and immensely fruity aroma. It is like…black cherry jam with maybe a hint of some raspberries. I am also quite spicy and some even say, I have the smell of black licorice. Sometimes I spend several months of wellness inside a small oak barrel, and I come away smelling like vanilla and toasted wood. This gives me an attractive complexity…no? More...
20. March 2009 19:51
Rich and gooey brownies have a way of returning us to our memories, but re-creating this classic American cake can be challenging in a foreign context.
There are those times which occasional crop up when it is very easy to miss the little things you really enjoyed from an earlier time or different location. This doesn’t often happen to me, but I will admit…I do have an Achilles heel when it comes to brownies.
For some reason (a reason I’ve never really tried to figure out), I always seem to close my eyes as I prepare to take that first bite out of a rich and moist deep chocolate brownie. I simply savor the feeling of all that fat and chocolate oozing down my throat…and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt. I am, once again, that sneaky little child doing something that may get him in trouble.
It’s not surprising to me the brownie is much adored in the United States. After all, this very sweet and rich sponge cake with a crisp outside and fudgy inside has been known in America at least since Fannie Farmer first published her recipe in 1896 in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book. And even though this famous brownie recipe has undergone radical changes throughout the years, somehow good taste and sense eventually brings us back to the original.
Brownies are actually quite humble. They are simply made with eggs, flour, sugar, butter and chocolate, then cut into squares after they are baked. That’s it...except for the intermittent use of vanilla essence and walnuts. Simple...right?
Well…no actually! It’s just not that easy to successfully make a recipe from a source which has a different context. More...
13. March 2009 20:51
Ever wonder what’s involved in growing grapes to produce wine? Silvia has. She has enrolled in a class this year, which teaches students the practical, hands-on side of growing grapes. This multi-part posting began in February with some basic pruning and goes on throughout the year until the fall harvest.
Pruning vines is one of the most important tasks of a vintner during the year. It is the foundational work for the upcoming growing season and subsequent harvest.
Vineyards can look a bit on the shaggy side by winter’s end– sort of like Struwwelpeter who desperately needs a haircut. In the same way, vines also need a trim…and the trick is to prune the correct branches in order to make weak vines stronger and stronger vines a bit…well…less strong. Of course, the goal of all of this pruning is to make the wine maker’s tasks easier while managing grape yield and vintage quality.
And so on, and so on… All of this and more I learned while studying for my WSET diploma. I even had to learn which hormone in the root system gives the vine a kick start after the soil temperature rises above 10 degrees centigrade. Yes, I know quite a bit about wine and how wine is made…but, that’s all theory, and now it’s time to move over to the practical side… More...
9. March 2009 14:08
The Alternative Table is our unconventional option to restaurant dining.
We offer an exclusive opportunity periodically throughout the year to experience an inspired seasonal dinner with like-minded diners who appreciate fine food and wine…and always in a different and unique environment somewhere within the greater Zürich region. We can’t tell you too far in advance where you’ll end up…but, you will get good food and wine!
Our prix-fixe five-course meals are an exceptional opportunity to taste the finest food prepared exclusively from the best of what Zürich markets offer. The vibrant food and elegantly-simple presentations are matched with appropriate wines and served in an informal – yet professional manner. Each course is accompanied with two matching wines and preceded with brief and helpful explanations about the food…the wine…and the combination.
Our group sizes are always small – usually between 12 and 16 persons. The communal setting can be several small tables nestled together, or a single table for all diners.
The costs vary slightly, depending on the location we use, but in general terms, we ask for CHF 125-140 per person. Reservations are required. To reserve a place at our next Alternative Table, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special menu options are always available for those who have dietary restrictions…but we have to know ahead of time. Please indicate to us any restriction you or any member in your group may have when making your reservation.
The Alternative Table in April…
Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: Apéro at 7:30 pm with the first course served at approximately 8:00
Location: In Zürich City (we will send the exact location to you after receiving a reservation request)
Cost: 125 CHF
More information?...Please use the e-mail mentioned above if you would like us to send some more additional information to you, or if you have any questions or special concerns.