By Maria McKinley   |   Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm   |   Leave a Comment »

You have an endless supply of wine desserts if you own an ice cream maker. Not the kind your parents grew up with but the new ones that don’t require hand-cranking, rock salt, an endless supply of ice, or ear plugs to drown out the noise. Most small appliance manufacturers offer for sale a tabletop ice cream maker, usually a one quart model, that plugs into an outlet. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to place the insulated bowl in your freezer for the required amount of time while you plan out your recipe.

All recipes will include a liquid base (varieties of milk and/or cream), sweetener, and flavoring unless you’re making plain vanilla ice cream. For the one quart maker, you do not want to exceed 3 1/2 cups of liquid. Your model will come with a small recipe book and you might want to try a few of those recipes first.

You can choose your favorite pairings with red and white wine. Do you like chocolate or berries such as raspberries or strawberries? Cherries, plums, figs, currants with red wine? With white wine, do you prefer melon, peaches, pears, oranges, honey, apples, cinnamon?

More suggestions: Use semi-sweet to sweet wines to make ice cream. You’ll still need to add sugar (3/4 cup) but it will pair better with dairy. Use no more than 1/2 cup wine and while you’re developing your own recipes, you can start out with 1/4 to 1/3 cup wine. For best results, mix and chill the ice cream mix before you start to freeze. Taste before freezing. If you like it as a liquid, you’ll love it as ice cream.

2 cups half ‘n half
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup sugar (the addition of cookies adds sugar)
1/3 cup Oliver Winery Soft Red

Mix together and taste. If too thick or strong, add up to 1/3 cup milk. Chill. Add ingredients to insulated bowl and process. After 15 minutes, add 1/2 cup crushed Oreo cookies. Process another 5 to 10 minutes. Ice cream made with wine will be more like soft serve so serve immediately. Or you can remove the paddle and dish out into a large bowl and place in freezer. Allow to set up for at least 30 minutes. Serve.

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By Allen Dale "Ole" Olson   |   Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm   |   Leave a Comment »

The other day, annoyed with extreme heat, exceptional fatigue from several back-to-back meetings, and perhaps with the indiscretions of the evening before, I turned to one of my standard remedies. A cool bottle of Riesling from Albert Schweitzer’s birth village of Kaysersberg astride the Fecht River a few miles west of Colmar. I don’t know if the Nobel doctor’s influence still holds sway in Alsace or if the memory of the views from the crenellated bridge parapets soothe discomfort, but it seems that Riesling is always helpful both to my disposition and my physical discomfort. Others who share my love of Alsace Riesling will not take offense when I say its frequent petroleum-type flavors do indicate medicinal powers.

I have never known how seriously to take the late Dr. Maury’s book, Wine is the Best Medicine. E.A. Maury was a renowned Parisian physician who also loved wine, and his book, published in the mid 1970s, made for a fascinating read. (I understand there is an English language version, but I have never seen it.) With lusty humor and serious diagnoses, Dr. Maury advised specific recommendations for dealing with ordinary daily ailments.

Champagne, for example, would settle an upset stomach, Vouvray would resolve problems with constipation, and for those who had experienced heart failure, red Burgundy would be helpful.

I don’t place my Riesling remedy in the same category as the recommendations of Dr. Maury. It may be that I am my own shaman because of my belief that all things Alsatian are good for mind and body. Not only that, there are times when my disposition is just negative to the thought of Riesling acidity but yet seeks a wine as balm for it. So I turn to Bordeaux.

Clarets and their tannins have a pleasant bitterness suggestive of medicinal qualities that help offset the ills real or imagined when the fever rises, the sniffles pester, and evil spirits dominate. It’s good to have Riesling and Bordeaux in one’s medicine cabinet.

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By Allen Dale "Ole" Olson   |   Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 10:56 am   |   Leave a Comment »

While I welcomed Kahn’s “Bordeaux Blowout” this month, I admit I will not rush out to buy their remaining case of 1947 Cheval Blanc reduced to just $12,900 nor their 1928 Yquem at $2,999 — both exceptionally good vintages by the way. Even so, at today’s Bordeaux prices those offer good value. Plus both vintages are ready to drink now!

Kahn’s “Blowout” represents some of the most favorable prices for top tier Bordeaux not just in Indianapolis but in the country because the sale runs the gamut from $50 to $60 to $400 to $500 for prestigious bottlings. Yet it is also symptomatic of the reason most of us daily-use wine consumers have drifted away from Bordeaux. I did not include Bordeaux on my itinerary this past spring, partly because I was just there two years ago, but mostly because I have all but given up on my favorite red wines. I just can’t afford them.

But I keep looking and hoping. Every once in a while I find a retailer stocking the wines of the Thienponts, long-time personal friends, whose Chateau Puygurauds are always high quality value. I stalk the shelves of big retail stores that stock a range of clarets in search of wines from communes other than the high rent plots in the Medoc, Margaux, and Pauillac, such as Cotes de Castillon or even those with generic labels such as Bordeaux Superiore or just simply Bordeaux. I have learned that the Bordelaise do not drink classed growths every day and that this world-famous wine district produces a lot of very good unclassified wine. I have also learned that the district also produces a great deal of rather ordinary wine. Hence the search.

When buying red Bordeaux in the $10 to $20 range, there is risk. Much of it will be tannic, overly bitter rather than fruity. But with patience — and luck — you can find a fine second or third wine from one of the classified chateaux or a plain Bordeaux made by a producer with exceptional skill, most often from one of the lesser communes in the district. My current favorite is from the Chateau Bel Air l’Esperance, labeled merely “Bordeaux.” I hope you can find a retailer who caries it.

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