Where do I find inspiration for my blogs flavours, cooking styles, wine preferences, etc? There’s a lot to the rhyme and reason behind food, vino, soul!
Travel The World/Feed Your Soul
There’s nothing like travelling the world! Not only is it an incredible life experience at the time, but you get to bring so much back with you. I’ve had the privilege of travelling to several countries in Europe, several places in the U.S, Peru, Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands, and several places in Canada including BC and the Okanagan Valley. I haven’t even scratched the surface on my bucket list, but going to all of these places has helped me expand my food and wine knowledge and my cultural awareness. Coming back from trips and getting to cook in my kitchen, I try to incorporate different spices, oils, salts, and any recipes I picked up. I also enjoy gaining a bit more wine knowledge from each country or state that I visit and can pick out wines of those countries to pair with specific dishes. If you’re able to, travel, eat the local food, drink the local wines, and take in all the culture you possibly can. “You have to taste a culture to understand it”.
Love Your Local
As much fun as it is to venture out and push your limits, it’s also an incredible adventure to enjoy what’s local. No matter where you live, or how many times you move, take the time to enjoy what your city has to offer in terms of local or sustainable options. Living in Kingston was easy. There were so many places that boasted local and sustainable options from farms in the city. I was well versed by the time I left! Knowing I was eating local and supporting local made me feel like I was fully supporting that family or that business. Buying wines directly from Prince Edward County wineries, rather than the liquor store helped me to feel as if I was contributing directly to their vineyards. Local doesn’t have to be expensive, either! It’s easy to think that local and sustainable options can be pricier, however most of the time, when you’re buying directly from the source and it’s not marked up by another business, you’re technically getting a deal. If your city has a local market, that’s also a great way to not only support those business owners but also a way to get some very fresh product. Let’s face it, it’s easy to fall in love with a city that cares for its people.
Read Those Books
There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion book! In this day and age, it’s so easy to use Pinterest for inspiration, and don’t get me wrong, I definitely do. But, there’s also that beautiful thing called a bookstore. I have many “go-to” books that help inspire me to learn more about food, culture, or different wine and wine pairings. Sometimes reading can spark a little more passion than surfing through a website of recipes. An author’s way with words can actually help you to picture the dish or the wine style and taste the flavours, spices, or grapes. I love cuddling up with a good book about how Champagne is made in France, down to the smallest detail. Or I can sit taking notes on a book of wine and food pairings in order to plan my meals for the week. If I’m having a dinner party or trying to impress (and have the time), I definitely use my wine and food pairing book. Or, if I’m studying for an interview at a wine bar, restaurant, or whisky bar, I’m using books as textbooks (except they’re much more enjoyable!) Another great option is picking up Cellier or LCBO magazines. At the SAQ, I always pick up a Cellier magazine. At the LCBO, I pick up the beautiful Food & Wine bible of recipes and drink pairings and the Vintages magazine that boasts different regions every month, or featured wines based around a holiday. So go ahead and pop into Chapter’s or Barnes and Noble and indulge in a few good reads.
Be-Basic Tech Age
I know, I know… I just finished explaining that it’s great to go against the new technology age and enjoy an actual book, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love Pinterest or Instagram and find them extremely useful! I did post about there being a ‘vino app for that’ and I still find them all helpful when shopping for a wine or pairing a meal. Let’s say you’re in the middle of the grocery store, you’ve picked up the makings for a solid chicken parm. You arrive at the liquor store, obviously not lugging along your massive food and wine pairing book and realized you’re cooking to impress tonight. Easy fix, get out your trusty phone and pop open ‘pocket wine’ (for example) and explore your many options that go with tomato sauce, poultry, and parmesan cheese! A lot of times when it’s been a long week, I really do appreciate an easy-peasy website to show me some delicious options and I can make my grocery list right there and then. Pinterest is perfect for that. If I’m interested in other people’s wine adventures in let’s say Argentina, I’ll explore their profile on Instagram and see if I can find that wine. So go ahead, create a file with all your go-to apps and have it in the palm of your hand whenever need be. Nothing wrong with a little new age ease.
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