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The Food & Wine Glossary

The 'Art of Cuisine' – art of preparing and cooking foods using a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. It is often named after the region or place where its underlining culture is present. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade.

Here are a few of the preparation terms that are used by our Chefs.

Amuse Bouche     

(amuse boosh) is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so free and according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine. The term is French, literally translated as "mouth amuser".

Confit     

(Con-fee) A generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food, and is a speciality of southwestern France.

Fondant            

  

(Fahn-duhnt) A very sweet and thick sugar paste used in candy making and glazing baked goods.

Jus     

(Zhoo ) The French word for "juice," which can refer to both fruit and vegetable juices, as well as the natural juices exuded from meat. Jus de citron  is "orange juice," while jus de viande  means "juices from meat." A dish (usually meat) that is served au jus is presented with its own natural juices.

Purée / Puree          

           

(Pyuh-ray ) Any food (usually a fruit or vegetable) that is finely mashed to a smooth, thick consistency. Purees can be used as a garnish, served as a side dish or added as a thickener to sauces or soups.


Wine Cellar

At the Feathered Nest, we are proud of our eclectic wine list, with over one hundred and eighty bins available, combining ‘classics’ with carefully selected special wines from both Old and New World. Our guiding principle being quality and variety.

Selected Wines and Champagnes are available to purchase from The Feathered Nest Pantry.

According to some, the proper order of wines at dinner should be Chablis or Pouilly, with oysters and fish; with the entree, Beaujolais, light Burgundy, or Bordeaux; with the roast, and above all with game, the grands cru's should be chosen, a chateau wine, a Vougeot or a Chambertin. With roast veal Beaune or Pommard should be drunk, or perhaps dry Champagne. Champagne, sweet or demi-sec, should be taken with dessert, and before coffee a glass of port in the English fashion. Afterwards, Cognac or Armagnac.

Read more on our Wine Cellar page.

Varietal

Wines made from a single grape variety.

Bordeaux

A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. 89% of wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called "claret" in Britain).

Claret

British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to that of Bordeaux.

Chardonnay

A green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a "rite of passage" and an easy entry into the international wine market.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A hybrid of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc, and one of the most popular wine grapes in the world.


WHITE WINES

Generally, white wines are served with lighter foods and are typically served with appetizers or entrees that offer a lighter presentation.

Chardonnay

Depending upon its environment, this white wine can range in flavour from semi-sweet to sour and can have either a heavy or light characteristic. Most often, the flavours that will present themselves are lemon, lime, tangerine, apple, melon and oak. This tends to be a rather dry wine and goes best with strong cheese, appetizers, oysters, seafood with a light or cream sauce, grilled fish, poultry and pork.

Chenin Blanc

A crisp, semi-dry to dry wine - which tastes of apples, pears and tropical fruit - can age for up to five years and tends to best complement both mild and strong cheeses, appetizers, shrimp, crab, lobster, shellfish, poultry and Asian foods.

Gewurztraminer

A German variety, usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. Indeed, Dry Gewürztraminers may also have aromas of roses, passion fruit and floral notes. It is not uncommon to notice some spritz (fine bubbles on the inside of the glass). It goes well with Münster cheese, and fleshy, fatty (oily) wild game. Smoked salmon is a particularly good match.

Dry Riesling

Riesling is a white grape, which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. An aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity, usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked.  It is usually included in the "top three" white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is a variety, which is highly "terroir-expressive", meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine's place of origin. This goes very well with mild and strong cheeses, appetizers, shrimp, crab, lobster, seafood with light sauce, grilled fish, poultry, pork and Asian foods.

White Riesling

While there are a number of types of Riesling, this tends to offer a fruity, floral taste, which will exhibit more of a melon characteristic if produced in California, as opposed to the more tart grapefruit characteristic of the German variety. White Riesling not only goes well with mild cheese, but also is one of the wines that blends exceptionally well with chocolate.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sometimes referred to as Fume Blanc, this light wine offers the combined tastes of herbs and olives, with a slightly smoky characteristic. While there are variations of Sauvignon Blanc which range from sweet to dry, it tends to be quite light and is a perfect complement to mild and strong cheeses, appetizers, oysters, shrimp, crab, lobster, shellfish, seafood with light sauce, pasta with cream sauce, grilled fish and poultry.


RED WINES

Due to their heaviness, red wines are generally not served with an opening course, such as an appetizer - although there are exceptions. Instead, these tend to do much better with heavier foods, and are often found in combination with a weightier entrée, such as pasta with red sauce and beef dishes.

Beaujolais

This tends to be a light, fruity wine that typically offers a fragrance of bananas, pears and other mild fruits. While the better varieties of Beaujolais should be enjoyed within two years of production, some of the better vintages can be kept for up to 10 years, whereas Beaujolais Nouveau should be used immediately. This light, tasty wine best complements strong cheese, appetizers, pasta with red sauce, pork and poultry.

Cabernet

Ranging from mild, mellow characteristics to the rich and hearty variety, Cabernet is deep red in colour and typically has the flavour of black currants with a hint of vanilla and oak, as a result of the storage barrels in which the wine is encased. More subtle flavourings include blackberry and mint. Cabernet blends quite well with strong cheese, pasta with red sauce, beef and chocolate.

Merlot

As a mellow, less harsh red wine, Merlot offers a variety of flavours, which include violets, black cherries, plums and oranges. This tends to do best with medium-heavy dishes, among which are strong cheese, pasta with red sauce and beef, but is also one of the few wines that provides a beautiful complement to chocolate.

Pinot Noir

The tremendously broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that Pinot noir can produce sometimes confuses tasters.In the broadest terms, the wine tends to be of light to medium body with an aroma reminiscent of black and/or red cherry, raspberry and to a lesser extent currant and many other fine small red and black berry fruits. Strong cheese, pasta with red sauce, beef and pork are the best matches for Pinot Noir.

Zinfandel

This deep red - nearly black - wine is quite spicy with a hint of fruit that tends toward the flavour of dark cherries or berries. As Zinfandel ages, it becomes much more mellow, but is often appreciated in its youth.  This heady wine best presents itself when enjoyed in union with strong cheese, pasta with red sauce, pizza and beef (including hamburgers).

Port

There are many types of port (white, ruby, tawny, dated, harvest and vintage) and, depending upon who produces it, this wine can be aged from one to twenty years. Bouquets will typically include those of black currants, truffles, pepper and smoke. The two primary foods that are best complemented by port are strong cheese (usually cheddar) and chocolate.