Spit Happens #37 Wine and food are the best of friends

I have been involved in the food service and hospitality industry for almost 40 years. During that time I have been fortunate to complete a culinary program, hospitality training and many years of retail. My current main job is doing wine tours in the Kelowna area. Over this time I have been lucky enough to talk to many food service professionals and learn some tips on food and wine matching and what works and doesn’t work. It is a vast body of knowledge and can be hard to keep it all organized . There are a few books I recommend to use as reference when doing menus and creating a nice flow to a dinner. There are also a few principles I use to pull it all together.

  • Try to have a cohesive plan if you are going to open multiple bottles over the course of an evening. A thematic approach can work to hold it all together. IE all Burgundy or Tuscan wines. All from a single country or sometimes all the same grape Riesling anyone
  • Try to match food from a region with wine from the same region whenever possible. There is a reason why pasta works with Italian wine or why big Argentine reds work with beef. Regional wine and food concepts rarely develop separately from one and other. Regional recipes reflect the characteristics of the local wines because that’s the wines the have access to and see on a regular basis.
  • Look for a flavor echo or a complimentary flavor profile . IE match a high acid white with oysters as the acidity brightens the seafood much the same way squeezing lemon over it brings up the brinyness. An earthy red with long slow cooked dishes or anything mushroomy does the same thing.

I also use a number of reference books to do my home work ahead of time when assembling recipes and shopping for ingredients.

  • Cheese Primer by Steve Jenkins 1996. A very comprehensive look at the greatest cheeses from around the world. I can’t think of a dinner party theme that can’t be improved by the addition of very good cheese. I make a short list of cheeses I want and then go to Les Amis du Fromage or Benton Brothers and let them know what I need. If they don’t have it they are great lateral thinkers and will come up with a great substitute.
  • The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornberg 2008 LINK This isn’t so much a cookbook as it is a way to adjust and create recipes on the fly. Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + “ The X Factor” the components of a great dish are what is perceived by the taste buds, what is perceived by the rest of the mouth, What is perceived by the nose and what’s perceived by the other senses plus the heart mind and spirit. These two geniuses get “it” , whatever it is. Lots of great ideas on flavor affinities and complimentary herbs and spices for almost any dish. Plus advice on the function of various dishes in a menu plan and the relative weight ( in flavor terms ) that each food can have. Outstanding.
  • Red Wine With Fish , The New Art of Matching Wine With Food 1989. This was the first book that really opened my eyes to the power of wine and food.  Brilliant concepts on food and wine pairing , a section on the 10 greatest matches ever and some really groundbreaking thoughts on comparing and contrasting flavor styles in wine. Never reprinted so I have linked to the results page for Abebooks. ( You do know about Abebooks don’t you ? If you are a book lover this is a rabbit hole you might not ever crawl out of)

Thanks for your time.
If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/winecellardepot/ .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning.

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

David Lancelot

Whisperkool Newsletter

Quarterly Newsletter – April 2018

Spring is here, and that means warm weather is on the horizon. It’s an excellent time to inspect your WhisperKOOL cooling unit for damage or wear and have it repaired by a licensed HVAC technician if need be. Please see the information below (taken from our fourth-quarter 2017 newsletter) for more information on inspecting and performing routine cleaning and maintenance on your WhisperKOOL cooling unit.

Helpful Hints: Airflow

Airflow is of the utmost importance! The following hints will help ensure peak performance and longevity of your cooling unit:

  • Our self-contained units are designed to be mounted through the wall with a recommended clearance of 3-5 feet around the system (to avoid air recirculation).
  • Do not install the system in a cubby or corner or inside a wall cavity or cabinetry. This can cause an obstruction of airflow.
  • Grilles should NEVER be placed over a self-contained cooling unit.
  • Ducted systems should have soft sweeps and minimal bends. Ducts should be installed so that the supply and return air takes the shortest route possible to and from the cellar.
  • Ductwork should be properly insulated to prevent heat transfer. Condensing units should have 3-5 feet of unobstructed clearance in every direction (to avoid air recirculation).
  • Outdoor units should be placed in an area of mild to moderate temperatures. Watch a YouTube video about the WhisperKOOL SC Series by clicking here.

Maintenance Reminders

  • The evaporator and condenser coils for all through-the-wall systems must be cleaned quarterly. To clean the coils, simply vacuum the front and rear grilles or coils as shown above.
  • Through-the-wall Extreme units have washable filters covering the coils behind the grille areas. These filters must be cleaned quarterly.
  • All ducted units come with paper air filters which must be replaced quarterly. To order filters, call the WhisperKOOL customer service department at 1-800-343-9463.

New Products

Our 24-volt thermostat conversion option is now available on all Ceiling Mount, Quantum, and larger Platinum Split systems. The 24V option modifies typical WhisperKOOL unit controls. The standard keypad and bottle probe are removed and replaced with 24V wiring which may then be tied into a home thermostat of your choosing.

Note: The 24V option must be requested at the time of sale. It is not an aftermarket upgrade and cannot be added to an existing unit. 

(24V thermostat not provided by WhisperKool*)