Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Three Cups of Tea

I believe winter is the best time to enjoy a cup of hot tea.
while the snow falls
enveloping all that it touches.
tree branches
heavy with snow
with trepidation.

I have always favored Pueerh,  over the years having sampled many types of this fermented leaf produced in the Yunnan province of China. Pueerh can be paired with food, with various meats and fish, or just by itself for it's excellent health properties.  The health benefits of Pueerh are believed to be many including weight loss, alleviation of indigestion and aid in the reduction of cholesterol.

But for now, I would like to extoll the virtues of Oolongs. Specially those from Taiwan, an island off the coast of China previously known as Formosa. A friend gifted us with a wonderful example of this variety, a Ginseng Oolong, also known as the King's tea.  The ginseng imparts a floral orchid-like aroma while the combination with superior quality Oolong gives the final product a lingering sweetness and a deep golden brown color. This is a delicious tea that nourishes your body and replenishes your energy.  Above all, countless cups of this hot beverage are best suited to drive winter's dreariness away.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cafe Biba, Brooklyn

Cafe Biba is situated near the beautiful East River park of Williamsburg and views of the sparkling East river through it's windows are part of the menu. It's location in one of the most exciting neighborhoods of Brooklyn, a part of it's sacred charm.  Yet, despite it's proximity to commercially busy streets during the busy weekly hours, one can  still enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a dash of solitude within its confines. 

I wanted to show my mother, who was visiting us from India, this part of town. After a long walk on the  streets thriving with people, we decided to finish our afternoon with a cup of coffee. Our barista was a Mr. Jeremy with whom we had a long conversation about India and his travels in the Northern parts. He'd been rechristened as Jai Ram ji by the locals in the villages he'd lived in  and couldn't wait to visit India again. 

Address: 101 Kent Avenue, 
Brooklyn, NY

Monday, 3 November 2014

Paolo Scavino 'Sorriso' 2013

Paolo Scavino's 'Sorriso' blew my socks off! It overtook my dinner at Avoce, surpassing everything I had eaten at the table except for dessert, a small plate of zeppoli accompanied by a light toffee sauce.

Paolo Scavino is a winery in the Barolo region. It was founded in 1921 in Castiglione Falletto by Lorenzo Scavino and his son Paolo. Farming has always been a family tradition and passion with Enrico Scavino, who together with daughters Enrica and Elisa (fourth generation) run the family Estate. Since 2000, the Langhe D.O.C. Sorriso, has remained as a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Viognier, vinified and aged in stainless steel.
Viognier is a finicky grape and can show the characteristics of a flat tire unless the skills of a highly skilled winemaker are used. In the 'Sorriso' 2013 blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, all were soft but well balanced on the palate. There was a slight hint of effervescence, which could've been the result of the vintage being young or from being leftover from the primary fermentation.  Whatever the reason, I enjoyed the miniscule bubbles as this made the wine seemingly more alive. With a clean acidity towards the end and a long finish the experience was nothing but refreshing, complimenting my main course of seared tuna well. 

Wine: Paolo Scavino, 'Sorriso' 2013
Price: $ 16.00 (Average) 
Blend: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Origin: Italy