Coming to Ballymaloe, which I have now dubbed 'Appreciation of Food 101', I never knew that I would appreciate wine so much. The way each bite of food can be transformed after a sip of deliciously paired wine can be incredible and change the experience of what you eat.
When you think of eating locally, in terms of how it just tastes so much better when the food is fresh, it's incredible how true that is for a good wine. Wine, like good produce or meat, really depends on the quality of grape vine, the geology of the region (soil, weather, etc) and how it is matured.
The difference is that it also needs to be matured in carefully selected barrels for several months and is carefully blended by the head honcho of the winery. The best wines are the least amount adulterated after it is blended.
What fascinates me is that food pairing with wine is pretty easy when you know a little bit about the wine regions of the world.
For example, the Loire Valley in France makes excellent dry white wine that goes well with shellfish, especially oysters. Incredibly, the vines grow on limestone made up of millions of oyster fossils. WHAAA??
Beyond wines, if you aren't a wine drinker, fermented drinks don't need to be alcoholic! Kamboucha and Kefir is really easy to make! Check out MASTER FERMENTER Sandor Katz for more information on how to incorporate these healing foods in your diet!