Do you have a house cocktail? You know, that one drink that you both love making for friends and also happen to be able to put together exceedingly brilliantly? That one drink that you almost always start a dinner party off with or hand to guests as they walk in the door when dropping by?
Six centuries, twenty-six generations, fifteen Italian estates and seven others around the world. In the world of Italian wines, Marchesi Antinori is a name synonymous with quality, innovation and creativity. While most are familiar with their wines of Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso, there are other good and affordable wines beyond this familiar horizon.
Matching wines to each dish that are strictly from a single country is a massive challenge even for the most experienced. Even more so for diners who have a stronger preference for the mainstream wines. In the landlocked country of Austria, the farmers grow a diverse range of grapes that are made into food-friendly wines for most, if not all, I dare say. Say hello to Austrian Wine Experience 2013, held for the third time in Singapore and this time is definitely a charm.
When pairing Champagne and food, the acidity of the wine is key to finding its perfect food partner. There are some classic and extravagant pairings like caviar and oysters, but there are some more unexpected foods that are also a great match. I don’t think that Champagne has to be stuffy and formal at all. It’s always a great time to enjoy bubbles – and here are some of my favourite pairings, perfect for a casual weekend afternoon or to start your evening with.
Drink-lovers (like me) have good reason to plan a Tohoku holiday. This scenic region northeast of Kanto (the region in which Tokyo sits) is home to some of the best sake breweries in Japan. While Niigata, which borders Tohoku, and which technically sits in Japan’s central Chubu region, may be the one prefecture most famous among foreigners for top-end sake, the producers in Tohoku’s prefectures churn out equally exceptional hooch.
Over the past year or so, there has been a sudden surge in the number of coffee roasters and indie cafes in Singapore. Almost every weekend, we hear of a new chic coffee joints sprouting up, with even better coffee, often tucked away in an obscure part of the city. Being coffee lovers, the hubby and I are thrilled by the recent boom, and we have made checking out these coffee spots part of our weekly date routine, albeit with the kids in tow.
Over the New Year, we vacationed in Melbourne with our munchkins, our first family holiday since baby girl C entered the brood. Since the hubby and I love visiting vineyards when we travel, we were looking forward to exploring the best of Yarra Valley. I was anticipating neat rows of lush green vines, well-manicured vast lawns for the kids to run around in, endless wine-tasting, delicious seasonal food served at the restaurants, all set in the vineyards’ peaceful and tranquil surroundings.
Like most other fresh university graduates, my first year in the working world saw me nowhere near being financially robust. Going for a Valentine’s date often translates to wallet hemorrhage. Although many relationship ‘experts’ have purported that a good relationship is not how much you spend, the innate manly ego often spurs us to spend like tomorrow may never come. But having gone through such years, I am now more inclined towards maximising my budget on this occasion.
About a year ago, on my walk back home from downtown Sydney, I decided to take a different route, down a set of side streets. I wasn’t in a hurry. It was one of those days when strolling down the road felt like the right thing to do. The stars had aligned, because I was about to discover Salvador. The café is almost hidden, on Kings Lane, next to a pedestrian stairway in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. Salvador Coffee is a definite treat, thus I’d encourage a pit stop for those who are in the area.
It’s that time of year again – the festive season. No matter whether you are in New York (where I am from), Bangkok, Singapore or Shanghai (places where I have lived), it is undoubtably Christmas. However, being from a non-tropical country, I always found it slightly odd to enjoy Christmas in 34° Celsius weather. My Christmas memories of childhood are about frosty windowpanes, hot drinks and cookies warm from the oven enjoyed in the flickering light of the Christmas tree.