Hasselback is a style that originated at a restaurant in Sweden called Restaurant Hasselbacken, where they made small lateral slits in a potato and stuffed them with bacon and cheese.
This unique dish, delicious to the core, soon garnered attention of food critics and became quite popular. These days many other things are also cut in Hasselback style like apples, radish and even chicken.
Hasselback Chicken is made by making slits in the chicken breasts and stuffing these with ingredients of like spinach, cheese of choice, potato etc before keeping it inside the oven to bake.
Slit, Stuff and Bake To an amateur cook like me, this dish seemed quite easy to make. The thought of pairing it with a white wine was an added encouragement. And so I decided to give it a try. After all it’s justabout a slit here and a stuff there before putting it into the oven, I reckoned.
Epic Culinary Disaster What came out of the oven was not not less than a culinary disaster. Although it was palatable, but not delicious as it seems in the pictures. Certainly not a decent pair with wine.
So that was the brief story of my most epic cooking and baking fail. But as Winston Churchill said “Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts”. I’m surely going to give it a retry soon.
So you’re going for a lavish 5 Course Wine Dinner, one you’ve been looking forward to since a long time.
You drive down to the venue in time, dressed impeccably. The first course starts with a customary glass of champagne and the flight of wines unfolds with a white or a rose wine followed by the red wines and even a Port or any other sweet wine to go with the dessert. A nice long dinner with plenty of food. You don’t feel drunk at all.
Now here’s the thing – should you drive back home or take a cab?
Before seeking the answer let’s do the maths. Each glass of wine served on the table was 150 ml. 5 courses makes it 5 glasses which is a whopping 150 x 5 ~ 750 ml. That makes it a full bottle of wine.
So just going by the maths, common sense and the legality of it all, you should not drive back and rather take a cab.
And that’s exactly the lesson I got after attending a couple of wine dinners and it is the one I wish I had learned earlier from my first wine event itself.
Now if I am going somewhere where I need to drink wine, then I either take a cab or get someone else to drive the car. And that’s my advise to you all too. Cheers !!
My favourite types of foods are those which are made by my better half at home to go with wines from our home bar.
How it Started My growing liking for wines also introduced me to the concept of Food and Wine Pairing. I even had a proverbial eureka moment at an Italian Wine Dinner, wherethe cheesy sea bass matched so well with the paired Chardonnay that something immensely pleasurable clicked in my mind instantly.
Happens with Everyone I’m sure this happens with all wine enthusiasts in their oenological journey. Over a period of time all wine lovers become an ardent fans of good food and wine pairing.
The problem however isthat such wine dinners do not happen very frequently. And frankly, ordering a wine paired meal at any decent restaurant can burn quite a hole in the pocket. This, along with some curiosity prompted us to try pairing wines with homemade food.
The very first dish we made at home to pair with wine was the one in the shared image below. You can also read about it here.
This simple oven baked bread (with olive oil sprinkling), brie cheese (in the bowl) alongwith grounded peanuts in a strawberry sauce (in the separate bowl), paired nicely with the Chilean Pinot Noir (though I would also recommend it with a white wine).
I’m Loving It After this we became quite regular at making wine friendly foods at home. Mostly it was with Italian foods like pizza, pasta, spaghetti etc, as also with quintessential Indian foods like mutton kebab and chicken tikka. And it was all so delicious 😋.
Here are few photos with explanatory captions.
Homemade pizza with wine
One for the BeachEncouraged by some wonderful food and wine pairings above, we also got a bit adventurous and tried out some pairings at our wine picnic by the sea.
Towards end, i exhort all of you to also try out pairing dishes made at home with wines of your choice. And do not forget to share the recipes of the same. Cheers 🥂
I walk quite a lot. There are days together when me and my wife go for the evening stroll. Often there are gaps in this walking routine too, but we try our best to be regular.
But today I will talk of a different kind of walk – one that I always look forward to. And that’s my walks in a vineyard, wheneverI visit one. Here are my three such experiences.
Grover Zampa Vineyards
This was my very first visit to a vineyard where I was like the proverbial Child in a Candy Store (Collins describes this as: enjoying yourself far too much and not controlling your behaviour in any way). Here are the things which I noticed during my short walk here:
Apiary Just on entrance of the vineyard is an Apiary – which is a colony of artificial beehives. Bee culture is part of the bigger scheme to promote diversity in the vineyards. And Mr Manjunath, the viticulturist told me “Happy bees means happy vines”.
Rain Water Harvesting Again near the entrance itself during a side I found a huge artificial pond which stores rain water for recharging the ground water.
Sloping Vineyard While walking through the vineyard I also noticed a gentle slope. This ensures proper air flow through the vine canopy, helps in soil drainage and provides an ease of working in amongst the vines.
Big Banyan Vineyards
Vineyard Soil During the walk in this vineyard, it was for the first time that I actually picked up the soil in my hands to have a feel of it. Soil, as we know is one of main components of terroir.
Shape of Leaves I also took this opportunity to have a close up look at the leaves of the vines. The one in picture is a leaf of Shiraz Grape. It has medium size 3 to 5 lobed leaves with short, sharp teeth. Resembles angle wings.
Windmills The first thing I noticed on entering this vineyard were multiple medium size windmills. I couldn’t understand the exact utility of these except maybe to indicate wind direction. Notwithstanding they add a lot of beauty to the scenic vineyard.
Leaf Disease Diseases of various kinds are not new to vines and their leaves. On a closer look I noticed some diseased spots on some leaves.
Roses at Edge of Vine Rows Roses were planted at the end of rows in this vineyard. These act as an early warning system against vineyard diseases. For example such rose attract insects like aphids before the vines. They also get fungal disease like black rot and mildew before the vines do thereby alerting the winegrowers about any impending onset of disease in their vineyards.
Drip Irrigation Controlled Drip irrigation provides water to the vines at the right time when the they feels the maximum water stress. I saw that black flexible pipe running all along the bottom of the vines for this purpose.
Cover Crops Cover crops are planted between the rows of vines. They represent an alternative to chemical weeding and tillage. This technique is not new though, as the Romans were already using it 2000 years ago. It is considered a good viticultural practice with positive effects on soil.
For all other wine enthusiasts I have this advice. Before going for a vineyard visit make a list of things you would be looking for and then make a deliberate attempt to actually see and observe all of these. It would add immensely to your knowledge of viticulture.
Wineglitz is a multi faceted brand which encompasses various kind of activities related to wines. It’s first wine dinner was held in winters of 2019 at Delhi.
The wine dinner which turned out to be a huge success, brought together passionate wine enthusiasts from different backgrounds, over some exceptional French wines.
There was so much of bonhomie and camaraderie generated that evening that it led all the guests to moot the idea of starting a wine club which would hold such wine gatherings regularly. And that’s how Club Wineglitz was created.
Since I was considered by all as the driving force for organising and conducting this wine event, so it became incumbent upon me to humbly accept the leadership of the newly formed wine club.
So quite humbly, I would not be wrong in saying that I’m the leader of a group of wine passionate members of the Club Wineglitz.
Today’s prompt is a beautiful coincidence. I just used my favourite word in yesterday’s story post on WordPress and today it’s asking about it.
Conviviality Yes, that’s my favourite word. And that’s also one of the reasons I love the wine culture since it’s all about conviviality.
More coincidence I just did a micro research on Internet to gather more insight on this word. To my surprise I found that conviviality is a major theme with the wines and spirits giant Pernod Ricard. So much so that in 2018 the company decided to make its corporate brand synonymous with its vision of conviviality.
We are all Convivialist To quote from the company’s magazine “Conviviality is the magic, the glue that binds us together, it allows us to meet our innate human need of connecting with one another”. I cannot agree more.
Wine Promotes Conviviality Wine is a social lubricant which encourages human interaction. To illustrate, while attending a wine Soiree, although we may arrive as strangers to each other, but wine breaks the social barriers and creates a connect almost instantly. Wine has that quality to promote conviviality and camaraderie.
So cheers to more happy and convivial times. Do share your views too 🥂.
It’s Wednesday and honestly speaking I have not particularly planned anything for the evening. Today’s Prompt though has got me thinking.
With a brief mid week introspection, I’ve now decided to do the following three things this evening.
Evening Walk Although going for an stroll in the evening is a daily affair for us but for past few days this got interrupted due to the rains. With a sunny day today, I plan catch up on the evening walk with my better half.
Catching up on Writing Recently I started writing on my first fictional story based on a wine theme. It’s titled The Lost Kingdom of Wine. Since today I would be back from work early so I would catch up on my writing and by working on the next chapter.
But First Champagne Don’t get me wrong folks, I do not drink on weekdays. But First Champagne is the name of a book by David White which I’m currently reading. It’s an in depth history of champagne region and it’s wines. I would utilise the free time today evening to catch up on my reading this wonderful book.
Having planned my activities, I now look forward to reading with curiosity about what you all plan to do today evening. Cheers !!