Wine Glasses: for More than Just Connoisseurs

The right wine glass depends on the texture, color, taste, and smell of a wine.Caring about which glass to serve wine in may seem pretentious, but with basic understanding about why each glass complements a certain type of wine, businesses can improve the quality of service they offer their customers. Though a wine glass probably will not make or break a wine drinking experience, serving wine in a glass that suits it can subtly improve the taste, smell, and feel of the wine. Listed below are some of the types of wine glasses available along with information about why they are best for certain types of wines.

Wide Bottomed-Wide Topped

Wide wine glasses are great for wines that should be allowed to “breathe,” such as those with sharp flavors or high alcohol content. The wide shape of the glass allows the air to circulate well across the surface of the wine, rounding out sharp flavors, making it more palatable. White wines such as Chardonnay and red wines such as Bordeaux are typically served in these glasses.

Wide Bottomed-Thin Topped

Smooth red wines with strong, pleasant aromas can be complemented in glasses with a wide bottom and thinner top. The wide bottom allows air to reach the wine, letting it breathe, while the narrow top concentrates the aromas in one area, emphasizing the smell. Science has proven that the smell of a food or drink can directly affect consumers’ taste perceptions, making it important to emphasize the aroma of a fruity wine, such as a Zinfandel.

Brandy Glasses

Dessert wine glasses for sweet drinks such as brandy, Port, and sweet white wines are usually short. The small size holds just a few sips, which is enough to satisfy a sweet tooth due to the sharp sweetness of these wines. The shape is usually easy to hold in the palm of your hand, which warms up the contents of the glass, releasing smells and flavors.

Thin, Tall Glasses

Thin, tall wine glasses typically used for Champagne or Cava allow a minimal surface area for the air to touch the wine. This prevents the bubbles in the wine from escaping too quickly, and helps keep the wine cool for a longer period of time.

Stemless Wine Glasses

Stemless wine glasses give a wine drinking experience a modern feel. However, the stem of the classic wine glass serves a purpose: it gives the drinker something to hold on to without warming up the contents of the glass. Though a wider temperature is acceptable when serving red wines, white wines are usually preferred served cool.  (…Read More…)

The Dos and Don’ts of Caring for Chafers

Proper care for chafers and chafing dishesChafing dishes, also known as chafers, are an important tool for buffets. They make it easy for food businesses to offer customers large amounts of food for taking at their own leisure, with a minimal number of employees constantly dealing with serving the food, and without sacrificing on temperature. Caterers and hotel buffets may be the biggest users of chafers, but even restaurants and college dining services offering catering for special events may choose to use chafers for convenience. Whereas service counters in venues with permanent buffet stations have a more permanent and usually less fancy feel, chafers can be set up in any location to give the buffet service a higher-class feel. Though well-maintained chafers can give events a classy vibe, without proper care chafers can be irreversibly damaged. Since appearance is one of the most defining factors in diners’ perceptions of events, having attractive chafers can help create good reputation for the food preparation services by making the event feel classy and clean.

The Dos of Caring for Chafers

Do purchase good quality chafers, which will generally look better and last longer than cheap alternatives. Good quality chafers are made with materials which require minimal maintenance, or can be aesthetically rejuvenated with simple maintenance, and are resilient to rough use over time. The quality of a chafer is not based solely on the type of material, rather also the quality of the material. Even stainless steel chafers come in different qualities. Therefore, before purchasing chafing dishes, it is recommended that businesses read reviews about the product to ensure satisfaction.

Do make sure your chafer has water in the water-bath section at all times. Lack of water can lead to burnt food and ruined chafers. To estimate the water level quickly, lift the pan and listen for a boil or sizzle, which are both signs that the water level is too low. This recommendation applies to bain marie style chafers. If an induction chafer is being used, cooks should occasionally check to make sure the temperature is not set too high in order to prevent food from getting burned.
Do stir food when it is in the chafer to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and/or getting burnt. (…Read More…)

Three Steps to Buying the Best Wok

Choosing the best wok for you

Buying a wok is overwhelming because of the huge range of options. By having a clear idea of the purpose it will serve, businesses can choose the best wok in three simple steps.

1. Choose the Material

Stainless Steel– Stainless steel gets very hot, but the heat transfer takes a relatively long time.

Cast Iron– similarly to stainless, steel, cast iron gets extremely hot, but also takes a long time to heat up. The metal is considered reactive, which can give acidic foods a metallic taste. Cast iron woks also tend to be heavy, making it hard to toss around the contents of the pan.

Carbon Steel– Carbon steel woks are relatively lightweight, distribute heat evenly, and are non-stick, making them (usually) the best option for sautéing.

All in all, since stainless steel and cast iron woks tend to take longer to heat up and distribute heat less evenly, they are less ideal for busy service in restaurants compared to carbon steel woks. Having lightweight woks makes quickly sautéing and tossing ingredients easy for chefs, since they won’t get tired out very quickly and will be able to make sure that the pan contents get cooked evenly.

 (…Read More…)