Tag Archives: Drinks

POP PIE a great place to try!

Not to be confused with Popeye, the spinach eating guy in the cartoon!


 

In a mood for a light meal?

Well, Tainan has many beautiful hidden places to eat, and this has to be one of the most hidden ones. But make sure not to miss it, since it has great pies and a magical atmosphere.

Here is the location:

The place is cosy and well decorated, check it out!

Ok, so it is time to order!

You are usually required to order a set, it includes a soup and a well dressed salad. Check out the nice detail of giving you a wooden spoon!

The soup I got is pumpkin and the pie I order is mushroom and chicken.  It was a great combination and they were both of great taste. I absolutely recommend this place to change the daily routine of the traditional lunch boxes in Taiwan.

The coffee I ordered is a Vienna cafe, it was good, but nothing extra-ordinary. But overall I liked it!

They also offer green tea. Just as the coffee it was good, not nothing too memorable.

So conclusion, the drinks are just ok, but the pies are delicious, it is a place worth giving a try.

SunShower rating:

4.5/5


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For the best in town, the Arful Dodger’s deserves a crown 

I am rating this awesome place because it is one of my favourites, but it is not necessary to state how good it is, because everybody already knows that this place is incredible. I just want to let more people know what they are missing if they haven’t tried it. Although it is very easy to find physically and online, since it has already been rated and talked about in many other web pages. But perhaps you just came to Tainan and just don’t know where to go for a great meal. Here, let me introduce to you the Artful Dodgers.

It is promoted like an English bar/restaurant, but the truth is they not only serve fish-and-chips but western style food. You know, a little bit of Latin American food (like quesadillas), a little bit of North American food (burgers), Mediterranean food (like Greek salad, one of my favourites), and of course, European (meat pies, exquisite English breakfast, and one of the best pasta in town).

Parmesan Chicken

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Quesadilla
Besides their spectacular regular menu, they also have specials, varying from roast beef, to curry and other special dishes.  The place is truly awesome. Personally I love to get brunch here, as the atmosphere makes feel more like in Europe than in Taiwan. And the service is also very good, the staff always receive you with a welcoming gesture, either in English or in Chinese

But my favourite time to go is Friday night, it is lady’s night and we girls get discount on drinks, plus an absolutely delicious truffle.

Their drinks menu is also a good reason to go, great variety of beer, cocktails and wine.  If you have wandered in the wine section of this blog, you will be able to find their red Cabernet Sauvignon and the newly added Pinot Grigio. 

No matter the time of the day, I just simply love to go there with my friends and share together a wonderful time.

Now, let me tell you a little anecdote… When I first discovered this place, I noticed that my male friends took unexpected long time in the bathroom, but, of course, it would not have been polite to ask. One day, one of my friends came out staring at a picture in his phone and then enthusiastically showed us. We felt a little awkward, but then it all became clear.  There is a Titanic poster with details about the ship, take a look:

If you are in Tainan and feel like a wonderful none-Asian meal, here is your place to go.

Variety: 5/5

Taste:5/5

Drinks: 4/5

Atmosphere: 4/5

Service: 4/5

The SunShower rating is 

4.8/5

And if you are wondering how to get there, here is the location:

It’s open every day except on Tuesdays.

 

They have recently made some udgrades, I am eager to go check it out!!! 

 


 

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White Bordeaux – Moelleux 

And there I was thinking that Bordeaux was only a reference to Red Wine.

This post is special, because it two of my most wonderful French friends made the honorable selection. They did warned me that it would be really sweet, but I was confident as I have tried many moscatos. I though they were going to be similar. I was wrong!

They are totally different. The white Bordeaux was an incredible surprise, as it was so sweet that that there was basically no sourness to taste and yet different layers of fruits could be tasted.

I personally do not like wines that are too sweet, but this was an comfortable encounter.

Fruitiness: 3.8/5

Sourness: 2.0/5

Sweetness : 4.2/5

Style : Light

Body: 4/10

Found in: Carrefour

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and Sweetness, are a white wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

The overall SunShower rating is

3.6/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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Bordeaux – Puisseguin Saint-Emilion

Bordeaux! What a blessing for the world of wine! And, this one was particularly outstanding, as it was carefully chosen by my favourite French friends. It was a lovely movie night!

This wine felt soft and shy but at the same time rather elegant. It felt refined, as its smell was pleasant and not aggressive at all. It was or dark ruby red and well layered.

Personally, I really enjoy how French people are into the Bordeaux wines, and the magical thing is that they never dissapoint me. I can’t wait to get another recomendarion from you guys!

Fruitiness: 4.0 /5

Sourness : 4.0 /5

Tannin: 3.0 /5

Style: Medium

Body :4 /10

Year: 2014

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

Overall SunShower rating is:

4.0 /5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Thanks for reading!

Want to check out another pleasant Bordeaux, try this one 

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Merlot-Long Country

Playful! That is the perfect word to describe this wine. And it is exactly how it makes you feel.

As a merlot, it is low in Tannin, which is a characteristic feature, but I would have expected it to be more layered. It is a two year old wine, and it was too flat, perhaps if it is aged for longer time.

Either way, it is a great choice to share with friends and spend a great time.

Fruitiness: 3.5/5

Sourness : 3.6/5

Tannin: 3.2/5

Style: Light-Medium

Body :4/10

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

Overall SunShower rating is:

3.9/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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Cabernet Sauvignon – Joostenberg

This is the wine served at Artful Dodgers. I love this restaurant and if you are interested I will posting about it soon.

They have only one selection of wine, and it is this one. Many of my dear friends always complain that even though the food is excellent, they do not like the wine. Before starting this blog, I did not understand all the reasons, but now that I have learned a little I went again and tried it once more with Grexxen and the SaltyAvocado.

Continue reading Cabernet Sauvignon – Joostenberg

Globalization has come to Tainan’s Night Markets.

Aren’t night markets just amazing? It the first thing you gotta do when you visit a city in Taiwan! You can eat, drink, shop and even play some fair games.

They are crowded and noisy but at the same time lively and fun. One can never leave the night market with an empty stomach or a frown. And they are one of the things that throughout the years that I have lived in Taiwan, they never changed. Sure some of the store aren’t there any more and there are new ones instead, but the culture of the night market never changed.

As amazing as the can be, there was always one tiny thing that is slightly annoying. It is really bad when you first come to Taiwan, and then, with time one learns to accept the reality, and that is, vendors are not going to speak English. Off all the stores, maybe just around 10% of them have English menu, and the for rest you just gotta use your ability of sight and smell to know what they are selling. This is not such a terrible thing, since it works most of the times, but also it happens very often that one can misjudge a certain food. This could be disgusting or tragic, disgusting becase perhaps something you though was going to be delicious isn’t, and tragic because you restrain yourself from eating something you might actually really enjoy.

But guess what? Tainan is changing!!!

A few weeks back we were invited to an activity. It was supposed to be a foreigners friendly night. We were told that they were going to take us to the night market and give us some money to spend there. Well, it is a free ride and free money, so let’s go. What we didn’t know is that the best was yet to come!!!

 

It was not only the foreigners friendly night, but the beginning of a new era for Tainan night markets. As it turn out the Tainan’s city government, with the support of STUST (Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology ) organized a program where students help night market vendors to translate their menu into English. The students get to practice their English while contributing to society and the vendors get their menus in English for free.

Sadly some of the vendors refused to take part of this initiative indicating that they do not need it. In some cases it is because they already had English menus. Either the case, from now on, the foreigner friendly stores will have a flag indicating the English service.

 

This service is only found in Tadong Night Market (Open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday), WuSheng Night Market (Open on Wednesday) and the Flower Garden Night Market (Open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)

Congratulations and thanks are in orders to the organizers of this service.

I am personally proud and deeply happy to see this happening.

Just like this Tainan, this beautiful city, is taking part of the inevitable globalization.


Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed  my article.

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Languedoc – Prieuré Saint Hippolyte

A wonderful movie night, or might I say news night with the gang. And by gang I mean Grexxen and theSaltyAvocado.

The selection of this wine was very simple, we wanted a Rosé wine, and this was the only one that we had’t try that looked good. So we took it!

Continue reading Languedoc – Prieuré Saint Hippolyte

Riesling – Bree

Rieslings, I don’t know them very well. I began my journey of white wines with Moscatos and I haven’t moved too far form them. Although I did had this incredible Chardonnay- Andean and also the utter disappointment of the Pinot Gris 

Strolling around Carrefour, I made a quick stop in the wine section. The-always-exciting sushi was already nominated as dinner, and what is best to drink with fish, with raw fish? White wine, everybody knows that, right?

Now, look at this bottle? isn’t it Intriguing? From behind it looks more like a vodka, but tell me? wouldn’t you you like to have a try of this? Well, I could not resist it! And you know what? I wasn’t disappointed.

It was a White Wine done correctly. Definitely more serious and sophisticated than Moscatos. Somewhat more mysterious and layered than Chardonnays. It was worth trying as I now feel like I rose my level in wine tasting.

Fruitiness: 3.6/5

Sourness:3.8/5

Sweetness: 3.2/5

Body: 5/10

Style: Light

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and Sweetness, are a white wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

The Overall SunShower rating is:

4.3/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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Which other white wine should I try?

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Vino Tinto – Delmora

What’s a girls night without a proper wine? Turns out we found this in our favorite makeup store.

It was unexpected, it was there and just waiting for us to take it. So, we did not struggle, and invite it to join.

Continue reading Vino Tinto – Delmora

Origin Denomination – Marquis Du Village

This was not specifically wine night, but it was “Black Mirror” night. We started this series while drinking Cuvée Pierre – Minerva. But it was not possible to finish all the seasons in one night. For installment 2, we were accompanied by Marquos du Village, a satisfying origin denomination.

Of dark color and deep smell. Very similar to a shiraz merlot, but fruitier. There isn’t too much to say, but that it was a good companion for the night as it was smooth and soothing.

Fruitiness: 4.1/5

Sourness: 4.0/5

Tannin: 3.6/5

Style: Light – Medium

The overall SunShower rating is

3.9/5


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You may also be interested in these ones:

Origin Denomination – Norte Sur

Origin Denomination – Pierre de Montmaurels

Pinotage – 56 hundred Nederberg

About three weeks ago, I was in charge to get the wine for the night. So, I dropped into the store and found a collection of Nederberg. They seamed interesting so I went for these two beauties.

img_0969-1

I should have written about them right after drinking them for I have forgotten some of their features, however I have very clear the rating I want to give them.


PART I

Let me start with the Pinotage.

Continue reading Pinotage – 56 hundred Nederberg

Bordeaux – Saga

RED WINE NIGHT! That’s what it was meant to be. Mainly because of two big reasons:

1. We have been having whites and recently roses

2. When I was in Dominican Republic, I brought back a curious magical bottle for Grexxen. It has roots and other twigs. The very first time, you are suppose to fill it with a red wine and leave it for 1 week, after that that you can fill it with any other types of alcohol and get shots every 3 days. We have to try it, right?

Continue reading Bordeaux – Saga

Syrah Grenache – Vincent Bouquet

We had just been delighted by sweet, young Berlinger and as our cups grew empty. We uncork this other beauty, or we though it was.

It was of a lighter, cutter pink and just by its smell we could sense that it was more mature kind of wine. There is no doubt it was intriguing.

I was honored to do the first sip. However as it touched my lips I could only devise the sourness and the alcohol. But I am not a Syrah-type fan, so I though I was just being too picky. After cheering, we all had faces as if we just did a big effort swallowing it. The alcohol taste was too dominant, and the sweetness and expected fruitiness taste were hindered by  sour-bitterness.

This wine was a wolf, dress as a sheep!

We decided to not dismisses it at once and thought that perhaps if we chilled it a bit it would improve.

It did!

Ok, it wasn’t  a wolf anymore, but perhaps a sly fox dress as rabbit.

Fruitiness: 2.5/5 

Sweetness: 3.0/5

Sourness: 4.5/5

Style: Medium

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

2.5/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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And perhaps you could be interested in a better kind of rosè wine, the Berlinger

Moscato – Italian Botter

Alright, since i have been rating the Moscatos all so high, I think we can all agree that I really enjoy Moscatos. My favorite being Frontera, but this one, gave quite a surprise.

Judging by the bottle, you may think that it is giggly, naive and perhaps inconsistent. We had serious doubts when selecting it, but since it is a Moscato, we decided to give it a chace. And I am really glad we did so, cause it was certainly a surprise.

And guess what? It is bubbly, almost like a sparkling wine.  Perfect for sharing with friends and spending and easy going afternoon.

It hasn’t many layers but it isn’t flat and the finish is simply charming. Leaving your lips satisfied and with a smile but naughty enough to leave you wanting for more.

Of light color and sweet pineapple-ish smell. I may even dare to say that there was a taste of peach right before the finish.

Sweetness: 4.6/5

Fruitiness: 4.6/5

Body: 4.0/5

Found in: Simple Mart

The overall SunShower rating is

3.8/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Fun Fact: Did you know that Moscatos are one of the hardest wines to make? because of it’s sweetness and lack of sourness bacterias are more likely to want to like in this medium, so winemakers have to add extra sulfides to it, but being careful not to saturate it.


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But before you leave, check out this other two South African Moscatos, Cape Elephant and my close friend’s favorite, Obkiwa.

 

Chardonnay – Andean

The Andean Malbec was a thrilling experience and when I found its counterpart, a Chardonnay, I knew I had to try too.

This was the first time I had a Chardonnay, so I cannot compare with others, but I have heard how good this type of wine is, so I had double high expectations.

I wasn’t disappointed, none of my friends were. Just by smelling the cork you can tell that this wine is promising.

It smelled as something serious and sophisticated. I imagine myself in an elegant place with a gourmet menu.  This is the type of wine you want to have for a intense conversation, or even over business.

It’s coloration is darker than other white wines I have tasted, but just add to its elegance.

The taste was well balanced, and just like the smell, it is was sophisticated.

Sweetness: 3.9/5

Fruitiness: 4.0/5

Body: 4.5/5

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

4.5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs

Why do White Wines are Better when Chilled?

More Chill for Whites, Please!


So, I take my precious Frontera and offer a sip to a friend and he goes:

“Yeah! It’s ok.” – Okey? Just okey? It is great for me and why is he not enjoying it more???-

“But I would prefer it cold!” – He finishes saying.


Red ones are fine at room temperature, but why would white wines be just better if they are cold? Why?

Time for the chu chu twirling train of science. Let’s discover some wine chemistry.

Wine Making

Ok! So, wines are made from the fermentation of grapes and sometimes, of some other fruits and plants.  In short words, if it is a RED one, the grapes are crushed with the skin, which provides the color and the tannin. And if it is a WHITE one, the juice is extracted from the fruits. For ROSE ones, the juice is allowed to stay with the crushed skins and it is removed afterwards.

Either the case, some bacteria are added at this point and after 1 or 2 weeks, the carbohydrates and some of the sugars are transformed into alcohol and acids.

Wonderful! Now we have our wine. It is delicious and a real piece of art. A few weeks later we want to share it with friends. But instead of a pleasant wine night, it turns into a disaster; the wine had changed color and it smells like rotten nuts and tastes like vinegar.

The wine did not fully become vinegar, as it did not contain the right type of bacteria for that. But what happened?

OXIDATION!!!!

If you are wondering what is Oxidation , it is what happens when you leave an apple half bitten on your table. It turns brown

oxidation-social.jpg

  1. This is mostly the reason of the change of color into a darker brownish one, and it is also partially responsible for the smell.
  2. Because there is enough oxygen, the bacteria in the wine proliferated and continued the fermentation process, releasing not only alcohol but molecular sulfur. Which is the main responsible for putrid odor.

 

How to controlling this problem?

SULFITES!!!!

YES! More sulfur! Not in the molecular style, but in its SO3 form

In case you want to know, here is the reaction:

Figure-2-Equilibrium-between-molecular-bisulfite-and-sulfite-forms-of-sulfur-dioxide-in

No, it isn’t not harmful!

They are preservatives, used in many types of food. As the matter of fact, most the goods the consume contain more sulfides than wine.

The Bottom Line on Sulfites in Wine, Wine Follie, January 15, 2014, http://winefolly.com/tutorial/sulfites-in-wine/

Basically, sulfites join all the molecules that could oxidize, thus preventing oxidation. But there is one more thing, sulfites can cross the bacteria’s cell wall and damage it from inside.

This is how you prevent the wine going bad.

A little of history!

The romans discovered that they could burn sulfur candle in the wine barrels and thus and thus the fermentation odor cause by the bacteria was reduced. Sulfites have been used in wine ever since then.

How Sulfides do their job

Let’s not get into nerdy stuff, but it is important to mention that Sulfides will join all the available molecules that can oxidize. ALL OF THEM! Therefore, the sweeter the wine, the more sulfites it needs. I am looking at you Moscato!!! You sweet, delicious, heavenly thing!

1.Frontera                       2. Obikwa                3. Italian Botter

Red wines are normally less sweet and because they have tanning, their own natural antioxidizing they have less sulfites than white ones.

Now, let’s go back to our original question.

Why white wines are better when cold?


 

As I mentioned sulfites will join all the available molecules that may oxidize. Let’s imagine sulfite as an annoying child that requires attention. sulfite.jpg

 

Wines have esters, phenols and aldehydes. These three guys give the wine its taste, the body, the consistency. These three are the main musicians of the orchestra.

Esters, Phenols and Aldehydes

And they will not perform well with a crying baby next to them.

Luckily, a child is not allowed to out when the weather is cold. The colder it gets, the less children are allowed to go out. So, when the wine is chilled, sulfites stay at home and the musicians are left alone to perform their best.

director

The alcohol is, of course, the director. If the musicians aren’t performing well, he will come out too strong and be all over the place. As a result you will end up with a disappointment and a possible headache.

The answer to our question

Because there are more sulfites in white wine, it will require a lower temperature (around 5-8°C) to control the bonding with other compounds. While reds are best at around 14-18°C. Not really at room temperature (usually 20° C), but a little colder.

Don’t worry! Lower temperatures will also stop bacteria proliferation and with the appropriate sealing, a cork or a screw cap, just a little oxygen will be in contact with the wine.


I think I will talk about wine sealing, next time.


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While my next post is ready, why don’t you go check some of my wines reviews.

Andean-Chardonney

La Bateliere

Cuvee Pinot

Merlot – La Batelière

Yesterday was a good friend’s birthday. Sadly, he is not here to celebrate with us, so that left us with no option but to drink in his honor.

We took a picture of our local wine selection and waited for him to chose one. First question of the night was, red or white? The answer was: RED.

Continue reading Merlot – La Batelière