DECEMBER 8: Food, wine and a taste of the season


A fun part of being a good and wine lover (and who isn’t 😉) is to build a personal, mindful library of tastes and flavours. The reason, for example, why people describe wine in terms of blackcurrant, peach or even tar is so someone drinking the same wine can be described and understood by drinkers in Napa Valley, Piemonte or Cape Town. Although with China and other Asian countries along with a growing interest in fine wines in countries such as Mexico and Venezuela the choice of terms is changing to include lychees, lemongrass or Mexican oregano.

So, a year ago I was in Barolo, a region of northern Italy and producer of some very fine, robust red wines and lesser known varieties. In the local tourist shop a selection of large glass jars were filled with various connected items offering with the same flavour backgrounds, such as this mix of citrus fruits. Stick your nose in, take a deep breath and remember that scent. 

Across Southern Europe citrus season is unfolding and our taste buds are once again becoming sensitive to Christmas flavours. Zest, oils and juice are made to work in so many cocktails, carried in drinks and liquid ingredients … Curaçao, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and the classic Tequila Sunrise, made with a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice. Perhaps one of the simplest cocktails is the iconic Screwdriver, two parts orange juice, one part vodka and served on the rocks ( Drink responsibly, folks 🤪).

Citrus season is coming
close up of fruits in bowl
Photo by Pixabay on
Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.

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