jamie goode's wine blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wine with cheese, again

Apparently, the best way to gain weight is to eat at night, just before bed. I remember reading this advice in an interview with Vin Diesel, normally a tough, shaven-headed, six-pack touting hard guy who had to put on weight (and hair) for the excellent Find me guilty. He snacked on ice cream, late at night, and his six pack became a two-tyre.

Now as a person who likes to eat and drink, but doesn't want to become a fat boy, I'm on a continual diet (of sorts). I don't eat as much as I want, most of the time. It's tough, though, because I do love food.

Indeed, one of the things I've noticed about fat people - and I'm not being judgemental here, because I truly believe that beauty resides within, and you should feel good about yourself whether or not you conform to society's shallow obsession with appearance - is that they do enjoy their food. Forget about all this talk concerning metabolic rates and leptin gene status: if you have a friend with a big belly, just watch how much they eat. It's an eye opener.

I digress. Anyway, I have a weakness. I like to snack and drink late at night as I work. I've never had a six-pack, and this is probably why.

Tonight, I'm nibbling on Comte and bread, along with two rather different wines, both of which work quite well with the cheese. The first is the remainder of the Karlsmuhle Riesling Kabinett 2005 I reported on here a few days ago. It's amazing how well these young Rieslings keep in the fridge. Off-dry Rieslings seem to be a good match for quite a broad range of cheeses.

The second is a brilliant young Alentejo (Portugal) red - the 2006 Monte da Peceguina from Malhadinha Nova. It's amazingly vibrant, with ripe, pure summer fruits complemented really well by some grippy tannins and good acidity. I think it's this sweetly fruited, vibrant, juicy character that makes this a red wine that works with slightly harder (but not hard) cheeses like Comte. It's a wine that bridges the new and old worlds.

Some more thoughts on wine and cheese. Wines that rely on tannins for structure work less well with cheese than wines that rely on acidity. This is why whites generally work better with cheese than reds. Unusually for reds, the Peceguina relies more on acidity for structure than tannin; therefore, it works quite well with cheese. Tannins and cheese are a bad match, generally.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Bad science

I encourage you to read Ben Oldacre's Bad science column in The Guardian today. It discusses the fact that TV diet guru Gillian McKeith has been forced to stop using the title 'Dr', which she obtained on the basis of a qualification gained by correspondence course from a non-accredited American college. 'Is it petty to take pleasure in this?' asks Oldacre. 'No. McKeith is a menace to the public understanding of science.' Diet is an area where good science is rare and bad science often goes unchallenged.

Talking of bad science, I've now taken delivery of my Bev Wizard Wine Enhancer! More on this later.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Juicing and detox

Ever been tempted to 'detox'? Read this refreshingly b******t-free article article in the Guardian on the phenomenon of 'juicing'. This is what it has to say about the emotionally appealing notion of 'detoxing':
The other main claim for juicing is that it will detox your body. Again, according to Professor Sir Colin Berry, professor emeritus of pathology at Queen Mary's Hospital, London, this notion is incorrect. "Detoxification in the popular sense of the word is completely meaningless," he says. Your body is 'detoxing' itself all the time: your gut and skin prevent bacteria and many toxins from entering the rest of your body, but when harmful chemicals do get through, the liver acts as a kind of chemical factory, combining them with its own chemicals to make water-soluble compounds that can be excreted by the kidneys [as urine]. "The human body works at a fixed rate for many of its detox processes, which can't be speeded up in any useful way," says Berry.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Helpline for fatties

As a regular consumer of good food and wine, I have to watch what I eat, especially as my fourth decade is looming in the headlights. It's a necessary discipline. The alternative is to become fat. I have nothing against fat people, but personally I would rather avoid the metabolic diseases and increased cancer risk that comes from having an expanding waistline, let alone the expense involved in renewing one's wardrobe.

Along these lines the BBC news site has a piece about how obesity 'could bankrupt the NHS' in which experts are recommending a helpline for fatties:
"They said action was needed by all of society and even recommended a helpline for people who bought larger clothes. The number should be promoted on the labels of all clothes sold with a waist of more than 40in (102cm) for men, 37in (94cm) for boys, 35in (88cm) for women, and 31in (80cm) for girls."

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