Strawberry Shortcake and Bisol (food and wine matching competition)

Way back in March or was it April, I went to the La Dolce Vita show which was a showcase for everything, (what else?)Italian and was introduced to the lovely folks from Bisol prosecco. I fell in love with their prosecco, light and lively, lovely little bubbles- the perfect aperitif. Niamh of eatlikeagirl blogging fame has joined forces with Bisol to present the Jeio prosecco in a food and wine matching competition. The idea is to tell them what you’re perfect match would be with their Jeio prosecco. 5 finalists will be chosen and invited down for a cook -off at  Bibendum’s Wine office HQ. The winner of the competition will be invited down to dine at the Chef’s Table at the foodies favourite haunt,  The Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Common South. I’ve eaten at Trinity and it is delicious. So much so that I’ve decided to enter the competition with my Bisquick Strawberry Shortcake recipe. Roberto of Bisol recommended fresh strawberries to me when I was at the Dolce Vita show. I went home and dipped the strawberries in prosecco –  bliss! So I went one step further and made this childhood favourite, made with my favourite, Bisquick! Here’s my entry: Ingredients: 4 cups sliced, ripe strawberries                            1/2 cup sugar                            2 1/2 cups Bisquick mix (available from Waitrose)                             1/2 cup milk                             3 tablespoons sugar                             3 tablespoons butter, melted                             1 quart of whipping cream                                                                                   2 vanilla pods                                                                                  2 tablespoons powdered sugar For the shortcake: Heat oven to 425 degrees F, in a medium bowl, stir together strawberries and 1/2 cup of sugar, set aside In another  medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter until soft dough forms. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop by 6 spoonfuls Meanwhile, take whipping cream, scrape vanilla pods and add to whipping cream, add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (or to taste) and whip until stiff. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes, layer bottom with strawberries and whipped cream,...

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The Girl and The Sleuth hit Covent Garden

Well, I have to say, I think I got the easy end of the deal for the Covent Garden Market Stall that  Eatlikeagirl and I did last week. After listening to her tell me about how she stayed up all night making soda bread (and it has to be the best soda bread this side of Cork) and the hours she spent cutting up cucumbers to be pickled, I was thankful that all I’d had to do was pick up the phone and place the prosecco order! Well, I was also in charge of procuring the ice bucket, cups and ice runs. And don’t forget, I did have to pour those heavy magnums! Seriously, it was sooo much fun! I love meeting the public and it was great to talk shop with people who are genuinely interested in what you’ve got on the table. Not to mention the fabulously tasty smoked salmon. It was a perfect partner for the prosecco. I love smoked salmon anyway but Frank Hederman is a magician. I don’t know how he does it but he manages to smoke the salmon in such a way that it’s unlike any other smoked salmon I’ve ever had. The flavour of the salmon was so intense, it was like smoked salmon on steroids and none of that oilyness that is so often sadly a hallmark of poorly smoked salmon. It was as if he somehow squeezed all the excess oil out of the salmon and just left essense of salmon. It was that good! And the prosecco was the perfect companion. Bisol’s Jeio is a light and fruity, lovely apples and pears on the nose and palate but not overly sweet, the bubbles just sweeping away the salmon and leaving my mouth ready for another salmon bite (that’s all we had time for, what with either serving up the salmon or dodging the rain, trying to make sure my laptop didn’t get wet). I really like the Jeio, it’s such an easy drinker...

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Prosecco & Smoked Salmon, coming up!

The Winesleuth usually GOES to events, not plans them, but for a change of pace I’ve teamed up with the London based Irish food blogger, Niamh of Eatlikeagirl to bring you smoked salmon and Bisol Prosecco. Next Thursday, 6 Aug., Niamh and I are going to be running a food and drink stall in Covent Garden as part of the Real Food Market at Covent Garden, happening every Thursday this summer. Niamh was approached not long ago to set up a stall and we thought it would be fun to do a type of pop-up bar smack in the middle of Covent Garden. I’ve been a big fan of Bisol prosecco ever since the Dolce Vita show held at Olympia back in April and had the chance to speak with Roberto Cremonese of Bisol (watch video below). It’s quality prosecco and the folks of Bisol have been producing it since 1542. Niamh is in charge of the food and she’ll be serving up smoked salmon from the fine Irish purveyor Frank Hederman, one of her favourites, accompanied by Niamh’s homemade brown Irish soda bread and homemade cucumber pickle. Sounds delicious and it should go down a treat with the prosecco. So, if you’re wandering around Covent Garden next Thursday and feeling a bit peckish, stop by and say hi to the Girl and The Sleuth! Where: Covent Garden When: 6 August from 12 noon to 8pm Price: TBD but will be reasonable! The Winesleuth chatting with Roberto back in April about Bisol Prosecco… [viddler id=7944d0b3&w=437&h=333] Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Brightwell Vineyards & English wine week – slideshow

English wine. English wine week. Do they make enough wine to support English wine week? Well, yeah, they do. There are over 250 vineyards in the British Isles and loads of them are winning awards and making fantastic wines. I’ve become a big fan lately, not only because I’m living here but also because I think that they’re producing some fantastic stuff. I have to say that the sparkling wines are the ones that are winning the awards but they’re getting better and better at making those whites and even, dare I say, reds! Last weekend, Andrew from Spittoon invited a bunch of us food and wine bloggers up to Wallingford, Oxfordshire to visit Brightwell Vineyards and have a taste or two of quality English wine. So one EARLY Saturday morning, I met up with eatlikeagirl, foodstories, pencilandspoon  (Mark, a beer blogger) and cooksister to brave the wilds of the English countryside. (A slideshow of my trip to the English countryside and vineyards) Our first stop was Brightwell Vineyards which has been around for about 20 years and they have a quite an extensive collection of varietals but most are experimental. They focus mainly on bacchus, ortega, reichensteiner, and dornfelder with pinot noir being planted next year. They are unusual in that they focus on still wines as opposed to sparkling which most English producers seem to gravitate to. Brightwell is not only situated next to the Thames but has a lovely duck pond with lots of wild birdies, horses, the friendliest dobermans I’ve ever met (the dogs would probably show you where the safe is), and pigs! Athough the wine pigs, as we nicknamed them, will be moving next year to make way for rows of pinot noir. The big hit of the tasting had to be the Oxford 2006 Regatta red, a complex spicy, woody, red wine. Pepper, graphite, ripe red fruits, raspberry, all those decriptors were being thrown about with abandon by the bloggers. I had to agree and it also had a lovely silky weight to it. Carol,...

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Balfour video winetasting at the Bluebird

Well, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose from Hush Heath Estate and I’ve written about it numerous times. I even took a couple of bottles to the American winebloggers conference last summer where it was a big hit. Last week, Penny from the Wine Cellar at the Bluebird, had a tasting of the Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose. I took along my fellow wineblogger, Wine90, so she could see what all the fuss was about. We did a short winetasting video after the event and here it is… The Balfour Brut Sparkling Rose is available from the Bluebird, retail  £39.99 Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Funky English varietals at the annual trade show(w/ video)

Huxelrebe, Siegerrebe, Regner, Schönburger. The ill-fated cast of characters from an little known Wagnerian opera? “Reichensteiner and Würzer are dead” -The original title? Rondo, Ortega, and Phoenix. The Mexican villains from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western? Madeleine Angevine. Latest X-Factor winner? Triomphe. A sports car? Orion – oh, I know that, that’s a constellation, right? Well, yes and no. Orion is a constellation but it’s also a cool climate hybrid varietal used in England to produce wine.   In fact, all of the above are just some of the rather esoterically named varietals that have been put into use to produce English still and sparkling wine. Along with the more familiar müller thurgau, dornfelder, and bacchus, and the downright prosaic chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. I just love the monikers of this cast of characters but what have the English been doing with their wackily named varietals? There are two opinions about English wine. One, the still wines are a work in progress. Two, the sparklings, though, are winners. I had the chance to put the wines to the test at the recent English wine producers Annual Trade Tasting. The show was an opportunity for us to see what those English have been up to and the launch of English Wine Week 2009. English Wine week will be held at the end of May (23rd-31st) and encompasses a variety of activities including tours, tastings, and special events in vineyards around the country. There are also plans for a Welsh Wine Week and a Devon Wine Week alongside the English events. All events can be found on their website, www.englishwineweek.co.uk  I found that the whites were not quite ready for prime time. They were competently made and drinkable but nothing really shouted out to me except the one varietal that I discovered and actually liked, the Madeleine Angevine, a white grape that produced some lovely dry and fresh wines, aromas of orange blossoms and white flowers with nice acidity and rounded body but no flabbiness. It reminded...

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