Match Perfectly Wine and Cheese

Trying to choose what cheeses to combine with particular wines can be a little complicated, having in mind also the fact that everywhere you search you will find different advises. In fact, it doesn't really need to be that problematic. With this post, I’m trying to give you some simple techniques to match wine and cheese perfectly.

Wine and cheese offered as partners is highly conventional and extremely popular due to the simple fact that they bring out the best in each other. Cheese is considered a palette cleanser, and allows the wine drinker more pleasure with each sip and drink. Typically a small taste of cheese is a good idea in between sips of a favorite wine to boost the essence and improve the satisfaction.

If you are planning a wine tasting party of just having a couple of friends over to savor wine and cheese you will want to make sure you are equipped with the exact combinations of wine and cheese. In order to start, let’s begin with a basic principle: red wines commonly go best with hard cheeses and white wines go best with soft cheeses. A white wine goes very well with stronger flavored cheeses, while a red wine is best to be matched with milder flavors. Wines that are sweet or fruity flavored typically work best with pungent cheese flavors.

Here are some basic rules which, if are followed, guarantee you the perfect match between wine and cheese:
- matching wines and cheeses from the same regions can work well and is normally thought of as a good idea;
- creamy cheeses work especially to balance out wines with rough tannins;
- salty flavored cheeses like blue cheese complete sweet desert wines very nicely;
- the acidity of goat cheese is wonderful with the sharp flavor of a sauvignon blanc;
- sparkling wines and champagne are boosted with cheeses that are rich and creamy.

Are You a Gourmet Traveler?

Since I’ve just written a post about the best places to eat in Venice, I’m coming with another related subject: gourmet travelers. Gourmet travelers love the food. They are constantly on the road checking out the best of the best. If you know one, you will find about the places visited from the postcards sent. Below are some memorable places and just a little taste of what represents them best.

France. France is a synonym for exceptional culinary arts and famous chefs. The French kept and refined the best from all culinary influences of the last 2000 years. Today France offers a state-of-the art cuisine.

Italy. Just for info, Italy is the true promise of Mediterranean food with regional differences: pasta, penne, polenta, prosciutto, parmigiano and pecorino, rigatoni, risotto, vitello and scaloppine. You will love it.

Singapore. Since Singapore fights for the title of the Food Capital of Asia, you might want to visit at least the Singapore Food Festival, one of Asia's foremost gastronomic events.

Thailand. The Thai cuisine is actually four regional cuisines of the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern, Central and Southern. Thai food is mainly based on the use of fresh herbs and spices, and the way to chose individual dishes, accompanied by rice. The various dishes try to find a balance of the five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal: spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter.

Caribbean. The Caribbean cuisine is based on cooking cultures of Caribbean Indians, African hunters, European sailors, and Indian and Chinese merchants. Caribbean food consists basically in fish or meat flavored with hot pepper, lime, curry and other spices served with rice.

Peru. Peru is definitely a culinary hot spot. You should try traditional Peruvian cooking, which is a mix of Spanish and native Indian food. Highlight of Peru's Nouveau Cuisine is Novandina, based on Incan ingredients.

Malaysia. The food in Penag is widely regarded as the best in Malaysia. George Town the capital city of Penang is known as the culinary capital of Malaysia.

Best Restaurants in Venice

Venice, although a very beautiful city, isn’t known for its good places to eat. In fact, Venice is more known for the exact opposite: it is one of those cities that most tourists complain about high prices and mediocre food. But since not all the places to eat in Venice serve bad food, below I’ve listed some restaurants that worth to be mentioned when it comes to good places to eat in Venice.

Osteria ai Promessi Sposi [location: Cannaregio 4367 on Calle dell’Oca]. Here you will find excellent selection of typical Venetian plates.
Do Mori [location: San Polo 429 on Calle dei do Mori, near Rialto Market]. It is said to be Venice’s oldest bar, serving typical Venetian food.
Osteria al Portego [location: Castello 6015 on Calle della Malvasia]. Here you can eat typical Venetian tapas, but also regular plates.
Enoteca al Volto [location: San Marco 4081 on Calle Cavalli, closed on Sundays].
Vino Vino [location: San Marco 2007 on Ponte delle Veste near La Fenice]. It is a very small place, but with good prices on both first and second courses.
Trattoria da Bepi [location: Cannaregio 337 on Ponte delle Guglie]. It is a family restaurant, offering the possibility to seat outside near the canal. Attention: it is closed on Mondays.
Devil’s Forest Pub [location: San Marco 5185 on Calle dei Stagneri off Campo San Bartolomeo]. Here you will find a British pub atmosphere with English & Irish beer on tap.
Osteria “Alla Botte” Cicchetteria [location: San Marco 5482 on Calle della Bissa]. It is another place where you can eat typical plates.
Osteria da Alberto [location: Cannaregio 5401 on Calle Giacinto Gallina].
Antica Osteria Ruga Rialto [location: San Polo 692 on Calle del Sturion]. It is mostly a bar, but you can serve also some typical Venetian food.

100th Birthday Celebration

This two CD set (released in 2007) is celebrating the life and music of the late, great Cuban musician: Compay Segundo. Released on what would have been his 100th birthday, it contains 28 great tracks which definitely worth to be listened.

Long before his star turn on 1997's Buena Vista Social Club album and documentary, guitarist and songwriter Compay Segundo (born Maximo Francisco Repilado Munoz) started out, in the '30s, playing classical clarinet. He later joined the popular El Conjunto Matamoros, where he developed into a world-class guitarist in the Son genre, one of the traditional Afro-Cuban styles that eventually evolved into salsa. By the early '40s, he had formed a duo called Los Compadres where he was able to showcase his songwriting gifts, melodious voice, and guitar chops, and for which he invented a seven-stringed instrument called the armonico. In the mid '50s, when the duo parted ways, he formed his own band, which played together until his death at 96 in 2003.

If you didn’t had so far the chance to listen to Compay Segundo, you can have a little taste by grabbing one of the tracks from the album mentioned above using an MP3 Search Engine, although I recommend buying the CD since it’s a worthy album. Let me know if you enjoyed it…

House Rules: A Novel

In House Rules, Jodi Picoult explores the complex world of Emma Hunt, who is almost entirely focused on helping her eighteen-year-old son, Jacob, learn to communicate appropriately with his family and peers. This is a difficult task, considering the fact that Jacob has Asperger's syndrome, a disorder characterized by a compulsive attachment to order and routine, a tendency to take comments literally, hypersensitivity to bright lights, human touch, and scratchy fabrics, a reluctance to make eye contact, lack of empathy, painful bluntness, and difficulty relating to others. Emma's life is complicated by the fact that her husband, Henry, left shortly after their younger son, Theo, was born. Fifteen-year-old Theo deeply resents the amount of time and money that his mother spents on his older brother.

The author of this book (published on March 2, 2010), effectively conveys the anguish of a single parent who invests almost all of her energy trying to give her son a chance to enjoy a fulfilling life. But the price that she pays is steep, not just financially, but emotionally. Emma has few pleasures, no vacations, and no luxuries; her younger son must settle for whatever time and attention she can spare. Picoult's narrative device of allowing each character to convey his or her thoughts in alternating chapters works well. In spite of its length (over five hundred pages), the story moves along briskly and is helped immeasurably by sharply written dialogue and liberal doses of humor.

House Rules has lively courtroom theatrics and a dash of romance. Although the plot has gaping holes as well as a bit too much sermonizing, Picoult wisely avoid overdosing on melodrama and sentiment. She drives home a theme that is close to her heart: Family members may occasionally loathe one another, but it is well worth the effort to make peace. This is an engaging, entertaining, moving, and at times, eloquent work of fiction. In conclusion, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how the legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way, and fails those who don't.

Becoming a True Dad

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Raising a Father. All opinions are 100% mine.

A wile ago I wrote about a book titled Raising a Father, a book about a father who realized, at the edge of 37, that he did not know his daughter at all. At that time I didn’t knew much about the book or the author himself, but since I grew up with no father figure in my entire life, perhaps this is the reason for which I found it very touching.

Raising a Father tells the story of Raka, the daughter of Sen, who used all her charm, love and caring nature to teach her father how to be a better dad, and in the end a better person. On the other hand, Sen is a corporate employee who learned at a point in his life, that he is loosing his father-daughter future. As a result, he promptly quit his highly successful career in the corporate world in order to start a home-based marketing consulting company in Denver, named his daughter as manager, and began the journey of becoming a true father. After that he learned how to measure the real success: by having a strong relationship with his daughter.

This book will teach every man that success depends on spending more time with the loved ones, on being there for every special moment and on surrounding them with love, encouragement, tolerance, acceptance, approval, recognition, kindness or security. For the rest of you out there who would love to become the best fathers they can be, watch the following video or grab your copy of this precious book.

Visit my sponsor: Raising a Father

Welcome to Jardin Mjorelle

Jacques Majorelle is born in 1886 in Nancy (France). Settled in 1919 in Marrakech, he continued his career in painting, where he acquires a ground which was going to become the Majorelle garden. Since 1947 he opened his garden's doors to the public. After a car accident, he returned to France, where he died in 1962. In 1980 Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent repurchased the garden and restored it.

The contrasts, the colors, the light games seem to go out from one of the paintings done by Jacques Majorelle. It was one of the most important collectors of plants of his era, and to this reason plants from five different continents are exposed in an enchanting framework. This was the workshop of Jacques Majorelle, an inspiration place of contemplation, that shelters today the magnificent art collection Islamic of Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent. The originality of these places lies in the combination of a luxurious vegetation and architectural elements allying sobriety and traditional Moroccan aesthetic.