A Wine Affair

I still remember the day this all started. I was turning 15 years old and there I was, sitting at my dad’s dinner table around 8pm. Food was served. I remember thinking to myself, “wow this plate looks good!”

Of course, like everyone else in the family, my love for food already existed. It was no secret to anyone that my cousins and I always waited for that special “Tuesday”, when my Grandma TATA hosted lunch for her friends, played cards and cooked for hours to serve the most spectacular first, second, and third course meal with delicious sweets for dessert.

Anyway, back to my dad’s dinner table, I still remember this dinner was different for me. My dad, his wife, and I were sitting ready to start eating and all of a sudden he opens a bottle of wine and pours a glass for me. I’m pretty sure he saw my face and said “go ahead, you can have some”. I must confess, I was extremely surprised. Not only I felt big (I was turning 15 remember?), but I also felt special. I felt more special when I tried the wine. And here’s where it gets more complicated.

My first love affair was white. Yes, white wine. I’m pretty sure, a high percentage of people reading this, will frown and say “oh no, I am not a white wine drinker, I’d prefer red” and the truth is, maybe, me too; but in that instant that was the only wine I had ever tasted and boy it tasted good.

I kept thinking to myself, why white and not red wine. Not that I had a rich wine knowledge at 15, but most of the glasses you see around in parties while adults are having fun looked red. So, I had this doubt and asked my dad about it. His answer was pretty simple and straight forward “it just goes with this type of food”. I wondered, what this type of food was and of course, it was fish.

What I remember is that I loved everything about it: the sweetness, the acidity, and the mix of flavors with salmon, capers and the dark bread. I loved the texture, even the temperature. I honestly loved everything about it. After that dinner, I felt different; I felt something had changed in me. I fell in love that night turning 15 with a white wine that I can’t even recall from where it was (but most likely to from Spain if coming from my dad’s stack).

Little did I know that my 15th birthday was going to bring me a love and a passion, and that I was ready to embrace it with my arms wide open, hence, I fell in love with every single flavor of this affair.

20 years have passed since that dinner and honestly it has been an adventure for me just by trying new wines or even repeating the good old ones. And of course, the inevitable happened…I tried red. And red became a must.

Along all these years, I have learned that wine is like a precious metal. That one that is admired before trying it or wearing it, and then cheered and praised after its tasting, appearance or putting it on. I have also learned that a wine you like is a wine others must not love.

However, one of the best wine lessons this affair has taught me is that wine offers a chance for everyone and that is one of the things I absolutely love from it. It adapts to you, your personality, your taste and your essence. Think about it, there is always a new opportunity for everyone to try, savor it and fall in love with wine. It’s a never ending cycle. As soon as you taste a wine you like, you develop a strange attraction and all of a sudden you have a relationship with a wine you just met seconds ago, and not only that, but you start offering such wine to someone else, inviting friends, family and even strangers to taste this wine you feel you need to share with someone. And that’s the other thing I like about it. You share wine with loved ones. Sometimes you even share with -not- so loved ones, but don’t worry, because most likely you would end up loving them after one bottle… and that is the beauty of it.

I must confess I am happy with my wine affair. The reason is, I get to love and receive something back. I get to open a new wine and with it, a new chance of falling in love, over and over again. At the very end, the beauty of wine, is that wine accepts everyone even though not everyone accepts wine…so pour a glass and try that wine you have been wanting to taste for a long time. Now is the time, today is the day. Do yourself a favor that will bring you love and who knows, maybe even an affair.

April Produce

Here’s my monthly list of produce for the month of April. As I’ve been saying, it’s not that we should only consume these types of produce during this month but there are certainly advantages to consuming seasonal foods. The most important is that they preserve and maintain their nutritional properties intact. It maintains its contribution of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Just as they retain their nutritional benefits they also maintain their organoleptic qualities, ie: texture, appearance and much more intense flavor. Since they have grown naturally in trees or in the soil without the use of products that favor their rapid development, thus achieving its maturation at the right moment.

On the other hand, not only can we talk about advantages and benefits in terms of consumption, but also other collateral advantages, such as the price that might be cheaper if grown naturally 😉

Here’s the list:

VEGETABLES

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Garlic
  • Green Peas
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

FRUITS

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Citrus
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries

Know Your Vitamins

I am not a nutritionist, but with my weight struggle I’ve come to learn a bit about what our bodies need to function properly and help metabolism do its job. Even though this account is more for cooking, I think it’s important that we also learn what each foods benefits are. So let’s start with vitamins. There are fat soluble which dissolve in fat like vitamins A, D, E, K, and water soluble, which dissolve in water like vitamins like B complex, C, folate.

 

March Produce

It’s very useful to find out what the benefits of consuming seasonal foods. I already spoke about this a little bit last month and I think I’ll start making it a trend. It’s not that we should only consume these types of produce during March, I understand we live in a globalized world and if it is not tomato season here, it still is somewhere.

But there are certainly advantages to consuming seasonal foods. The most important is that they preserve and maintain their nutritional properties intact. It maintains its contribution of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

Just as they retain their nutritional benefits they also maintain their organoleptic qualities, ie: texture, appearance and much more intense flavor. Since they have grown naturally in trees or in the soil without the use of products that favor their rapid development, thus achieving its maturation at the right moment.

On the other hand, not only can we talk about advantages and benefits in terms of consumption, but also other collateral advantages, such as the price that might be cheaper if grown naturally 😉

Here’s the list:

VEGETABLES

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Rutabagas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard

FRUITS

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Citrus
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate

 

February Produce

Every produce has a high season, which makes it test better. Tomatoes are juicier, strawberries are sweeter, and pretty much any other fruit, vegetable, or herb is better when eaten during its natural harvest. So know what is available this month and try to get to work mainly with these ingredients, this way you’ll enjoy tastier, juicier, sweeter plates. **Of course, this list will vary depending on where you are 😉 Just make sure you investigate what is in season in your area.

 

Here’s the list:

VEGETABLES

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Winter Squash

FRUITS

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Citrus
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pomegranate

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