Monthly Archives: November 2015

    The Heartbreak Grape: A guide to Pinot Noir Wine

    There’s a reason they call pinot noir grapes the Heartbreak Grape and it’s not because of the correlation between breakups and wine consumption. If you’ve ever wondered what makes pinot noir so special and elegant in the world of wines, here’s the simple answer: it’s not easy to grow. The conditions that yield the perfect grape for a medium-bodied and flavorful pinot noir are very particular and that’s why they can only be grown properly in certain regions of the world.

    As of today, the regions producing the best pinot noir grapes are France, Oregon, California, Germany, Italy and most recently, New Zealand. Each region yields different tasting wines even though they come from the same grape, so if you’re not exactly sure where to begin your pinot noir adventures, this should help just a little:

    France

    When it comes to pinot noirs, France is the real OG. In fact, for many years it was believed that pinot noir grapes couldn’t grow to their full potential outside the Burgundy region but, surprise! They totally can. When enjoying a real Burgundy wine, expect earthy, sometimes cherry-like flavors and low tannins (the stuff in the wine that makes your mouth feel dry after).

    New Zealand

    New Zealand is kind of the self-proclaimed new cool kid on the block when it comes to pinot noir. More commonly known for its sauvignon blanc, New Zealand started giving France a run for its money thanks to its fruitiness—which many Millennials and wine newbies prefer—laced with the complexity of Old World wine.

    Oregon

    Having Oregon in the U.S. is a lot like having our own little (a lot bigger than actual Burgundy) Burgundy, except better in terms of variety. When it comes to variety of flavors, aromas and complexities, Oregon pretty much has the pinot noir game figured out. Expect earthy and cranberry flavors in many or Oregon’s best and most popular wines.

    California

    Thanks to its year-round cool climates and beautiful scenery, California makes the perfect vacation destination for humans, so it’s no wonder when grapes grow there, they stay there. That is until they’re turned into a wide selection of pinot noirs ranging from light and fruity to rich and spicy. While California doesn’t yet have quite the reputation of France and Oregon, it’s well on its way to cultivating some of the best grapes for pinot noirs in the world.

    Italy

    If Burgundy’s pinot noir had a more mysterious but for some reason younger brother, his name would be pinot nero. Italy’s dark, rich and earthy take on pinot noir is nothing less than you’d expect from the romantic boot known for its delicious food and wine.

     Germany

    German pinot noirs, also known as (a slightly more intimidating) Spatburgunder, are typically grown in the Ahr region of Germany. Thanks to warmer climates, winemakers here are able to cultivate an earthier, ripe and plum-like flavor. A nice change from the everyday German beer, eh?

    To say the least, pinot noir grapes are tricky to grow and hard to keep alive. They’re picky about the weather, they don’t have the thickest skin and are pretty prone to rot—they are after all the Heartbreak Grape. But to know them is to love them and though difficult to cultivate, there’s no denying they’re worth the effort for a heck of a tasty wine.

    Pork: It’s Not Just “The Other White Meat”

    Pork has long been known as “the other white meat”. Whether it’s a jab at the little porkers by their small feathered counterparts or society discriminating against their weight, one thing is for sure: Ling & Louie’s has plenty of love for pork. So much so, there’s a whole Pork & Pinot menu you can check out right here!

    But back to our case.

    To the average non pork-connoisseur, bacon is the reigning champ of all things pork. You can put bacon in burgers, around hotdogs, dip it in chocolate and if you’re a real pioneer you’ll even throw some in your salad (don’t do that). But aside from bacon, there are many other parts of pork that can make for some delicious dishes.

    Health Benefits of Pork

    Aside from just tasting great, there are lots of benefits to eating pork. For starters, it’s a flavorful and healthier alternative to beef. But despite its nickname, pork is still technically considered a red meat. Fortunately for pork lovers everywhere, its decreasing fattiness in recent years has put pork just about beak to snout with chicken in terms of fattiness. But pork hasn’t lost its benefits. A proper serving of pork still provides the nutrients found in red meat including B vitamins and zinc.

    Cooking with Pork

    The trick to making a killer pork dish is learning to adjust your method for each cut. Sounds simple enough, but don’t heat up your wok just yet. The thing to keep in mind when cooking a pork dish is the amount of fat in your cut. The less fat the shorter you cook at higher temperatures or the longer you cook, the lower the temperature, of course all while monitoring your juices and inside temperature of the cut with a thermometer.

    Cooking with pork today isn’t the same as cooking with it 40 years ago. Today’s pork is much leaner and as a result, much easier to accidentally dry out when cooking. While it can be tricky to cook with pork, doing it the right way can give you a flavor-packed roast just as good as or even better than whatever Mrs. Moo two pastures over can.

    Don’t Want to Cook?

    We know you didn’t make it all the way to the end of this because you feel like cooking tonight. But don’t worry, our offer still stands. We’ll totally wine and dine you. Well, more like Pork & Pinot to be exact.

     

     

     

     

Ling & Louie's is a proud member of Desert Island Restaurants family.