maria lorraine's Profile

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Berkeley: Current favorites for flavors and ambience?

We went to Corso. Loved it. Enjoyed the salumi platter, very flavorful and with a variety of textures, We shared the risotto with truffle, and the branzino, a whole fish perfectly seasoned and grilled. Service was friendly and attentive. Very impressed with the staff here.

Thanks for all your help with suggestions.

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Apparently, I'm not communicating well. The Champagne crown caps *do* leak (well documented), and your cider crown caps do not. This discussion is not important, and OT, so never mind. Glad you're making cider, tho.

Mar 01, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Just asking if you duplicate methode traditionelle's yeast and sugar quantities for in-bottle fermentation on your cider. To see if the stresses on your crown cap are the same as on the Champagne bottle, since you said your crown caps do not leak when Champagne's crown caps do. If I've understood you correctly, you've explained why -- you're not doing methode traditionelle and creating the same amount of stress on the cap.

Wasn't a question about RS, since the amount of yeast added to the Champagne bottle before the crown cap is put on is calculated to be totally spent (thus the wine is dry) during the in-bottle fermentation period.

Mar 01, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Making yogurt without using commercial yogurt or starter

Would love to read some scientific references that delineate the specific bacteria on chili stems to see if any of those are in the family of yogurt bacteria/microorganisms. I've gone digging through the databases, and haven't found it. Would also love to read that after metabolizing non-lactose sugars the bacteria are able to metabolize lactose.

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

I think every winery has to make a call on what closure best serves the wine's color (red, white) and flavor profile, demographic, brand image and predicted drinking window. Can change with each variable.

Feb 27, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Just wondering, Kaleo, if you've added the same amount of Champagne yeast and sugar to filled bottles of cider before capping.

If you're curious about the leakage, there's a fair amount of info out there. I've seen the caps decay from acidity firsthand (and thus leak).

Feb 27, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Difficulty Handling Chayotes

It's the Cucurbitaceae allergy.

http://www.allergymate.com/cucurbitac...

Feb 27, 2015
maria lorraine in General Topics

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

That *is* great you make and cap ciders. Lovely.

What's the longest time you've had your bottles under pressure? Are they 750s? Is the pH the same as Champagne?

Feb 26, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Aren't we talking about crown caps and not screwcaps?

From my understanding, the membranes in screwcaps have greatly improved but still aren't 100%. Jury is still out on aging wines with them.

Feb 26, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Creme de Lys VS Belcreme de Lys, info please

Thanks for the followup. You might provide some feedback on the bottle with the new name. Nicely put, of course.

Feb 26, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

If the crown caps leak, my guess is that the wine that is left in the bottle goes flat (gas escapes). At that point, oxygen enters the bottle, and oxidation happens. Bear in mind that DP says oxidation happens with the traditional cork closure also.

If the cap hasn't leaked, what I've heard/read is that reductive aromas/flavors develop and worsen over time.

Feb 26, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

I've read industry discussions on problems with crown cap closures used on Champagne/sparkling wine. Gets worse over time. Just like the reduction problem, which is also a factor.

Prevaricating? Well, maybe deliberately obfuscating, or saying the best thing to maintain an iconic brand image. No winery, especially one as prestigious as Dom Perignon, likes to admit to quality control errors. The idea that Dom Perignon is launching a new aging paradigm -- "plenitudes" -- what the "P" in P2 and P3 refer to, means they may be very careful in their language.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Yes. I went digging for them. IIRC, you can request (for free) the full text of the articles if the abstracts don't give you enough info. Cabral's previous articles on cork phenolics are easy to find.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

One thing I forgot to mention: crown caps leak over time. They also degrade, probably from acidity. Having the wine leak out of the bottle really gets in the way of "freshness and vibrancy."

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Speaking of the Champagne cork vs. crown cap issue:

Have you heard about Duval-Leroy's Clos des Bouveries experiment with the Maestro "crown cap" closure vs. the cork closure? The Maestro came out on top in many discussions. Would love to try myself.

You know, the language used by DP is ambiguous -- what do "freshness and vibrancy" really refer to? Retention of dissolved gases? Acidity? What? We need to know how these words are being defined in order to evaluate what is being measured.

What I suspect "freshness and vibrancy" refer to -- and this has come up previously in Champagne crown cap vs. cork closure discussions -- is that after 12 to 15 years for the P2, or especially, after 20 years for the P3, the reductive faults from the crown cap really emerge.

DP does admit the cork closure also has substantial issues. A good number, comparatively, of the P2 and P3 bottles are discarded because of oxidation -- that's why each bottle is hand-disgorged and tasted before release.

Even if the crown cap were superior in organoleptic evaluations of Champagne (subjunctive contrary to fact), the Champagne cork will not go away -- because of aesthetics, the "pop," tradition, the ongoing perception that higher-quality wines are closed with corks -- lots of things.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

wine suggestions to go with a salmon pie

The preparation of salmon determines the wine pairing. The trick is to match the flavor intensity of the dish to the flavor intensity of the wine, so they're in balance. This preparation closely resembles a poached salmon in intensity, which takes a white. Grilled salmon, in contrast, because of the smoke and char, normally pairs to a red with the weight of Pinot Noir. I would have gone with a white: Savennieres, Gavi, Pinot Gris, Erbaluce, or Champagne.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

<< Not to quibble, but all we have to go on is a 319-word magazine article *about* his work, which has yet to be published.>>

You don't think the only thing I've read about this is that 319-word article, do you? Au contraire. I've read around 20 scientific articles on this very thing, including articles written previously by Cabral (he was one of the authors) to articles penned by other phenolic scientists on the very same subject. I linked to several of them above. In addition, I've attended at least two seminars led by Cabral on cork, and have spoken with him personally a handful of times. I didn't just fall of the turnip truck.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

Surface area means far less to me than the quantities and potency of the individual molecules transferred from the oak or cork into the wine.

For example, many molecules that arrive in the wine via the oak or the cork appear in very minute quantities, measured in mg/mL or PPM or PPB. The potency of the individual molecule makes all the difference. For example, the family of anisoles that taint the wine via the cork, TCA, TBA, TeCA, etc, all occur in extremely minute quantities (2 to 10 PPB), but are so potent they affect the entire bottle of wine.

Other molecules are much less potent, and even though they are leeched into the wine in greater quantities than the anisoles, have far less of an effect on flavor.

More to the point, if we could quantify the acids and phenols leeched from the cork into the wine, making sure that none of these were also derived from the oak or the wine themselves, then we'd get at how much a contribution these cork molecules were making on the final wine. For example, the molecule leeched in the highest quantity from the cork is gallic acid, from my understanding. Gallic acid occurs in wine in a range of .002 to .035 mg/ml. How contributory is gallic acid in this minute quantity to the overall flavor or structure of the wine when compared to all the other flavor or structural components of the wine? Is it really "major" as Cabral is saying? No.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Much difference in Carnaroli or Vialone rice brands? Any preferences?

Thanks for posting this. Do you have a link for the purchase of Acquerello?

As far as using better quality rice, and then using other ingredients that are not "better quality," I don't think anyone is suggesting that. The quality of all ingredients makes a difference in final result and its hedonic pleasure.

I agree that we can incrementally increase the quality of the dish and its flavor by boosting the quality of most ingredients in the dish: great rice (hence this thread I began), wonderful Parmigiano Reggiano, imported butter, great stock, great onion, and so forth.

But I am also an advocate that as a cook you get as close to perfection as possible, using as many ingredients in their highest quality form as you can. If the home cook must use canned or Tetra-pack stock in order to enjoy risotto, then so be it. It's better to make the dish and enjoy it than not make it because you do not have fresh homemade stock, IMO.

Feb 25, 2015
maria lorraine in General Topics

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

To my knowledge, which I admit is limited in this matter, I don't believe so. It's difficult to find a closure that does not affect the wine in any way, so a control wine is difficult to come by. Stelvins impart their own flavors (reductive); a glass stopper allows too much oxygen in; and so forth. I'd love to know, like you, how much the wine is actually affected by the minute ingress of phenolics from cork -- either in structure or flavor or overall acidity. Because the Cabral claim is suspect as stated.

Feb 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

"Cork brings beneficial phenolics to wine," says cork producer

What I don't understand is Cabral's quote that phenolics and volatiles in natural cork “have a major role” in winemaking.

Really, "major"? Geez, a little overstatement.

There are numerous prior studies on phenolics from wine corks, essentially acids also found in bark and trees, gallic acid particularly. Protocatechuic acid, an antioxidant also found in hibiscus and acai, is also leeched into the wine from the cork.

But do those terribly minute acids create any perceptible differences in flavor or structure? Doubtful.

Cabral, the leader behind this latest study, and one of the authors on prior studies on cork phenolics, is the head of R&D for Amorim, the cork producer.

My take on this "scientific study" is that it's really a disguised PR push to advocate for using cork as a closure. But the claim that cork phenolics play a "major role" in wine flavor seems inflated.

More studies at these links:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1...

http://ajevonline.org/content/49/1/6....

https://books.google.com/books?id=e3Z... phenolics wine&f=false

http://www.itqb.unl.pt/~imartins/Sant...

Feb 24, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Question for the Board: Should we stop talking about Old and New World wine?

I come across the major strains of Brett all the time in California wine. I dislike most strains, but the 4EG strain often has smoky/bacon/pepperoni notes, which can be contributory.

Feb 21, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Question for the Board: Should we stop talking about Old and New World wine?

By choosing certain wines are outliers -- different from the norm -- you are demonstrating that a norm exists. The exceptions prove the rule.

I've done OW/NW comparison tastings many times, and often the outliers were chosen: New World wines made/grown like Old World wines; and Old World wines made/grown like New World wines. But the bulk of wines hold true to the OW/NW differentiation.

Feb 19, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Question for the Board: Should we stop talking about Old and New World wine?

Still a useful shorthand for describing wines/winemaking.

Feb 19, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine
1

Tips on making croissants?

I'm seeing more and more recs for using pastry flour.

I find it very odd that bread flour is being recommended -- I think it likely bread flour is that more likely found in a bread bakery,

Feb 19, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking

napa lunch

Gosh, why those two?

Check the board for recs. I'd do Bistro don Giovanni also,
or Press, or Farmstead, or Bistro Jeanty, or Archetype, or Goose and Gander, or so many others before Mustards. I like Cindy's but think you still have better options.

Possible to Get Moist Beef Stew from Dutch Oven?

Personally, I would much prefer that you add your recipe text here, rather than linking to your personal blog. I also feel it would be more useful to those reading the thread. As it is now, your post promotes your site more than it does adding to the thread's request for info, IMO.

I went through your previous posts, and found the same thing happening. Happy that you blog, and all, but think your contribution would actually be useful if you would post the recipe, instead of merely the link to an offsite website.

Here is Chowhound's rule on linking to a blog:
"Our policy is the same as it's always been- we don't allow the hyping or promotion of any other site- whether is be food site, blog or anything else. Non-hypey or promotional posts, which add to the content of this site in a meaningful way, are OK. Chowhound's mission is to be a trove of opinions and information, rather than a nexus of outbound links to opinions and information."
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3044...

How long does wine keep?

The bottle does not crack. Even if it were full (and you were worried about the water in the wine expanding, and thus cracking the bottle), that doesn't happen -- with a full bottle that gets completely frozen, the cork is pushed out of the bottle and the bottle does not crack. With a partially emptied bottle, there is no chance of cracking.

And if you are truly worried, I offered the other option of using the large silicone ice cube trays. Perhaps you missed that.

No problems with freezing and re-freezing either.

Things will be fine. I freeze leftover wine all the time.

Feb 12, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

How long does wine keep?

You can freeze the unused portion of a fresh bottle, and keep it till you're cooking another recipe that requires wine. The little falloff in flavor will be perfectly fine for cooking. Pour the unused wine in one-half or one-cup measurements into separate Ziploc bags. Or, you can use the large or x-large silicone ice cube trays, which are also good for freezing leftover stock.

Feb 11, 2015
maria lorraine in Wine

Dear god why can't I make mayo in my food processor?

You can swap out the metal blade for the plastic "dough" blade -- that can really help.

Feb 11, 2015
maria lorraine in Home Cooking