Wine & Dining
Wine is a magic drink. It relaxes you, helps you digest your food and turns most ordinary meals into something special. It also makes friends for you, breaking ice at parties and putting people at ease.
Wine is good for all occasions; it is good at lunch, dinner parties, and all other celebrations. It has been reckoned that wine is mentioned 155 times in the Old Testament and 10 times in the New Testament. We take wine in the church and during sacramental occasions.
Wine is largely fermented from grapes. Since grape seeds have been found in prehistoric caves, it is conceived that wine is older than history. We do not know when men first had wine but it was accepted gift from the gods. The Egyptians attributed it to Osiris, the Greeks to Dionysus and the Armenians maintained that Noah planted the first vineyard near Erivan.
In Genesis Chapter 9 verse 20, we quote ‘Noah was the first tiller of soil. He planted a vineyard and he drank the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent …’
In this world, we need to give wine as gifts for all occasions. Weddings, birthday parties and occasions of special celebrations are good moments for taking wine as drinks or special gifts. When you purchase a bottle of wine, over fifty percent of what you pay is tax.
The wine itself does not cost much. It is the tax which puts people off. Five start hotels multiply the price of wine by even five times the retail price. Wines are made from grapes. There are also some table wines which are made from fruits. They are cheaper than grape wines which are referred to as table wines. Table wines in Kenya include Papaya (made from pawpaw), Passiflora (Made from passion fruit) and Vin D’Ananas (made from pineapples) etc
Wines are produced in many countries worldwide. In Kenya wines are imported from South Africa, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Wine making fruits are grown mainly along the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. You will find vines growing by the sea or on or on the chalky hills on the champagne area or in Germany where slate in the soil reflect heat. In Kenya some Vines are grown in Naivasha, Rift valley and Yatta.
In some countries like Italy, France, Australia and others, wine has overtaken beer as a national drink. This phenomenon indicates that wine is used in most festive and spiritual occasions in churches. Quality of wine depends on the choice of grapes and place of harvest. This is why wines are generally referred to according to according to regions. These regions include Cognac, Bordeux, Rhine Valley, Burgundy, Chianti etc
In the WTO (World Trade Organization) agreement of TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectually Property Rights) some wines are given geographic indications protective names. In other words the names like Gognac/Scotch whisky etc are protected.
Wine and Food
A meal – lunch, dinner or party is a setting for good talk and celebrations. It is also a place which marks the marriage between wine and food. A fine meal cooked well and seductive to the eye forms an appetite to the mouth. With a glass of wine gleaming red, white or rose, the appétit e doubles. On such a special occasion when wine is carefully selected, sipped, and drunk gently in aristocratic style, would eventually make an occasion enjoyable an memorable.
A meal may start with white dry wine, go on to the red wine and then older or finer red (Claret); or depending on the dishes served, there may be three red wines, beginning with the youngest and ascending to the oldest and finest wines. Win matures with age. The older, the milder the better. It is important to emphasize that to offer wine is generally considered as a charming gesture of hospitality
Traditionally, some wines accompany some dishes
Dry white wines are served chilled and taste best when served before red wines. White wines go well with fish, chicken and any white meat. Red wines are served with meat; roasted or grilled, mutton and/or beef.
Light rose goes well with midday sandwich. It is the wine recommended for a hot summer day. Normally it is out of place if served at dinner time. It goes well with all lunch meals. Fortified wines like Sherry, Port, and Madeira are drunk alone or with biscuits, cheese, deserts etc.
They maybe white or red, dry or sweet. Dry sherry (Fino or Manzilla) is generally considered to be the best perfect aspertif, particularly before a meal at which fine wines are to be served. Fortified wines have enhanced alcohol content as compared to table wines whose alcohol contents vary from 7-15% by volume. Fortified wines are near near the level of cheap spirits in terms of alcohol content.
Therefore, nobody would think of drinking fortified wines with meals – except perhaps a dry Sheryy with soup. It is possible to make endless permutation and combinations of wines and food - and everyone can discover new ones for him/herself. Wines and food have a natural affinity, and In more cases they unite with felicitous results.
Opening the Bottle of Wine
A corked bottle of wine is opened by a corkscrew; there are many versions of corkscrews. It is advisable to choose the wine which is available, affordable and good for your purpose. It is recommended that you hold the bottle of wine with a napkin as you serve so that the spillage, particularly of sparkling wine (Champagne), does not spill on the table.