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An Italian Dinner At Home

The week has been stressful, with loads of things to do, both at home and at work. By evening today, every single muscle in the body will refuse to budge. What do you need to shed the stress piled up over the week/month? A combination of flavorful, aromatic and healthy Italian dinner cooked lazily at home and some wine should do the trick.

Insalata and Antipasti

Start with a simple bruschetta made of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Pair it with aromatic and fruity white wines like Chenin Blanc or Viognier.

Throw in a Caprese salad made from fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pair it with a Chenin Blanc. Highly acidic Sauvignon Blanc surprisingly pairs well with tomatoes. Try our Nine Hills Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc with this famous insalata.

 

Pasta and Risotto

If you are preparing hearty red meat sauce pasta, go for a Tuscan wine (Chianti) made from Sangiovese grapes as it has enough tannin to dance well with the tangy tomato sauce and the richness to complement the red meat. Closer home you can try full bodied dry or semi dry red wines like Nine Hills Cabernet or Shiraz with soft tannins.

And if you are in the mood for Pasta in Alfredo sauce, a Sauvignon Blanc will do wonders for the silky cream sauce. The wine cuts through the Alfredo sauce, while the herbal notes of the wine add a spring of freshness to the dish.

Try your hand at creamy risotto with mushrooms. This deceptively simple to prepare, Mushroom Risotto, is a great example of a dish that lends itself to either a red or white wine. With the strong earthiness of the mushrooms, a Shiraz that has similar strong flavors and a hint of earth would be perfect, but a pungent style of Sauvignon Blanc could be a delicious alternative if you are in the mood for a white wine.

Dessert

No Italian meal can be complete with its signature desert, Tiramisu, with its layers of coffee-soaked savoiardi biscuits and sweet mascarpone cheese.

 

So spread your favorite table cloth, fill a crystal vase with fresh perfumed flowers, light some aromatic candles and put on some Italian music to bring the sunny spirit of the Italian countryside into your home. Now savor your home cooked Italian food with wine, of course!

Three cheers to “la Dolce Vita”!

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Categories: Tips Tags: , , , ,

Organizing a Wine Dinner

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

As the wine culture in India is rapidly taking momentum, more and more people have started taking their wines seriously. You will find wines being served not only at big lavish parties but also at casual home dinners. You can organize your own wine dinner and make a success of it by following a few guidelines.

The first rule of thumb is to pair your wine well with the kind of food you are serving as the subtle taste of wine can bring out the fine flavors of the food. If you are serving more than one kind of wine with the meal, the general theory is to serve white wines before reds, light wines before heavier and bolder ones, and dry wines prior to sweeter ones.

Every wine lover knows the rule of pairing the meat with red wine and fishes with white wine but when it comes to multi-course Indian cuisine, with its complex flavors of spices and sauces, it becomes a different ballgame altogether. In here, it would be better to consider the manner in which the dish is cooked, which part of the country the dish belongs to, what the key ingredients are and which spices have been used. And finally the key is to trust your own sense of taste and what you think you enjoy the most.

For the aperitifs, serve your guests some dry and refreshing wines. A glass of bubbly (champagne) and sparkling wines with delicate hors d’oeuvres should be ideal to start with. They cleanse the palate and their neat acidity helps in working up the salivary glands. Our Nine Hills Shiraz Rose with its fruity aromas is perfect for appetizers and light entrées.

Red wine is a good match for red meat, barbeques and chicken. Our feisty red wines, Nine Hills Shiraz and Nine Hills Cabernet Sauvignon can stand up to fiery and intense food favoring chilly, garlic and spices.

For lightly spiced vegetarian dishes or sea food, you will do amazingly well by choosing a crisp and delicate white wine like our own Nine Hills Sauvignon Blanc.

And finally, to satiate your sweet tooth, you can serve sweet wines also called dessert wines (as the late harvests have a generous amount of residue sugar in it) as an accompaniment to a dessert or as the dessert itself.

If you are ever in doubt, then champagne is your savior as you can never go wrong with serving champagne. The bubbly sparkling wine pairs tremendously well with most Indian dishes.

Now make a child’s play out of your wine dinner. Bon Appétit!

Story of The BBQ Story

July 28, 2011 2 comments

Paneer Makhni is now passé. Vilayeti Sabzi Makhni (with zucchini, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes) is in. Hey, don’t cry ‘sacrilege’ yet!!! It isn’t. The economy opened up two decades back and so did India’s appetite for global cuisine. Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean speciality restaurants are now present in almost every ‘gully’-‘nukkad’ of Indian cities….

But how about Hungarian goulash and Spanish kebabs? How about finding out the origins of Biryani? How about making your own sausages and steaks in your house? How about growing tomatoes and chillies in your own porch or window sill? Looks like we finally have your attention…..

Presenting to you the The BBQ Story — The brain-child of Sarabjeet Singh, BBQ Story, in collusion with Sushil Dwarkanath (Sarabjeet’s HOD at Christ University Dept of Hotel Management, Bangalore) and Faseeulla S (Co-Founder and Partner with Sarabjeet in their venture called Green Umbrella Kitchen solutions) organises grilling and cooking lessons on the first Sunday of every month in Yolk Studio, Koramangala, Bangalore. These classes are called ‘Chapters’ and so far, four chapters have concluded. With that, enthusiasts have learned how to marinade their meats to their tastiest best, grill a complete meal, make creamy chicken tikka and murg biryani the Bangalore style, grill mutton kheema patties, grill fish wrapped in plaintain leaf, and most recently, make country style grilled steaks and home-made fresh sausages. Once cooked, the food is matched with an appropriate brand of Nine Hills wine and instantly devoured!! Mouth-watering? You bet…

But what is most endearing about BBQ Story is the fact that they enthuse in their participants the cause for ‘life’ – they ensure that every participant goes back home with a sapling (tomato, chilly, so far – with promises of coriander, basil in the near future) so that they can be a part of the growth of the plant, partake in the joy of seeing the plant bear flowers and fruits, and appreciate the cycle of life. Haven’t we all gone far away from these little joys in our every day chase to make a living? Time to re-consider…BBQ Story shows the way.

Unfortunately, BBQ Story has so far been organised only in Bangalore. But, take heart, the success of the last four chapters has encouraged Sarabjeet and his team to look beyond their home turf and organise such delectable ‘grilling’ sessions in other Indian cities too. Keep watching this space for all updates…

In the meantime, write in to us to let us know if you liked reading about the BBQ team and if you want them in your city too. Guess if we manage of raise a good ‘demand’ storm, BBQ team will have no other option but to oblige us……..