November 16th, 2011 • No Comments
Image by jetalone via Flickr
TasteDC has organized many events in the past at the French Embassy‘s “Maison Francais” including the Annual Beaujolais Nouveau celebration which always takes place (by law) on the third Thursday of November..and how convenient, probably the most versatile and light red that easily shines with the complex variety of flavors of many foods, is exactly one week before the Thanksgiving turkey-down celebration! Back in 2005, we organized a TasteDC.com Beaujolais Nouveau event at the French Embassy, and hundreds of people flocked to taste these fun wines, great French fromages and some delicious French fare, see many Photos Here.
The key to understanding this wine is it is meant to be drunk young – utilizing a process known as “carbonic maceration” CO2 is used to quickly press and maximize the skin compounds from the red grapes to produce a generally lower alcohol wine with an intense floral nose. Beaujolais is also 100% Gamay which is considered an inferior red grape to the Pinot Noir of neighboring Burgundy, but frankly is priced so much less, that it gives amazing bang for the wine purchasing dollar!
The story goes that this wine became popular because of Georges DuBoeuf and other Negociants in the Beaujolais wine region (just south of Burgundy) who wanted to sell young wine to improve their cash flow – a very traditional method of financing better wines in France. Wikipedia does a nice job explaining the history and details.
Here’s a schedule of some of the events coming up this Thursday, November 17th, 2011 in the Washington, D.C. Region via NBC Washington. Yes, Beaujolais Nouveau is an excellent wine for Thanksgiving – it has the features I like in a Thanksgiving wine: red, inexpensive and because of relatively low tannin and alcohol, it goes with the unusual range of foods expected to be gobbled down on that day. Enjoy, and cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
November 14th, 2011 • No Comments
Sometimes thoughts and concepts on food just build up in my head and get squeezed out like ketchup from a squeeze bottle (organic of course!) – here is my reply to a post on Linked-In in the “Slow Food” Group discussion begun by Eric McNulty:
Q: What are the barriers to embracing slow food, local food, healthy food? It must be more than cost. Thoughts?
Reply (Charlie Adler): Blame WWII..why? The U.S. govt. and U.S. industry came together in a form of Nationalism never seen before – the war promoted uniform delivery of food to troops – so if you came from Oregon, CA, Florida or Maine (the 4 corners), you would be eating the same canned foods, Heinz ketchup, Hershey’s chocolate, etc..food science could deliver non-perishable food to troops, why not to homes in the US? This is extremely simplified, but effectively, American tastes became homogenized, and Supermarkets grew with this new food production/distribution phenomenon..
I grew up with TV dinners, frozen pizza, and all kinds of pre-packaged processed foods in the 60’s and 70’s..ironically, even though today supermarkets provide a wider range of foods, more organic, and even more “nutritious” combinations, food has never been more processed, distributed from farther distances, and more weird food allergies “du jour” appearing daily by consumers – almost forgot, and more people overweight and on diets..Conclusion: Americans taste for food is chain, supermarket, convenience store, frozen, fat-free, Vegan, choose a label..
We have become our own worst enemy – the labels on food define us as a consumer – Slow Food has 3 strikes against it: “slow” is jargon for “stupid” or “wasteful” in American culture, “food” or “real food” is a foreign concept to the majority of Americans who eat Protein bars, and drink Energy drinks, and take dietary supplements, rather than actually get nutrition from a carrot or steak, and finally, Strike 3 – Slow Food is LITERALLY a foreign concept from Italy! Since Americans can’t even figure out why spaghetti and meatballs don’t go together, how will we as a nation understand such a philosophical concept as “slow food” unless we are seriously “Foodie”??