Home Wine Aromatics Study, Tonics Your Way, Booze That Tastes Like Science, and Dusty Natto

Flavorful World’s Friday Fourplay offers up a bite-sized tidbit of info on each of the four food- and drink-related things we found most interesting each week.

Photo credit: MakeScentsOfWine.com

Hone Your Wine Skills

The makers of the Le Nez Du Vin Kit want you to know your wines.  Designed to help tasters better detect and express their impressions of the flavors and aromatics of various vintages, the kit features 54 sample aroma vials classified into categories like “fruit,” “floral,” the intriguing “grilled,” and more.  Already demonstrating its appeal to master sommeliers and amateur oenophiles alike, it seems like a good item to keep in mind, what with holiday gift-giving season not as far off as we think it is. It’s available at MakeScentsOfWine.com

Via Food Republic

Photo credit: UrbanDaddy.com

Custom Tonics For Your Gin

Don’t throw that next cocktail party until you’ve read this, because no matter what you think, your bar setup is sorely lacking.  Chronic Tonics at The Gin Joint in New Heights is sympathetic to your needs.  That’s why you can visit this watering hole and purchase bottled tonics flavored by in-house mixmistress Nicole. Taste combinations like Basil/Pink Peppercorn or Lemongrass/Coriander promise your guests a unique drinking experience. If you offer up sufficient prior notice, you can request a flavor concoction of your own design.  You get to let your inner mad scientist out to play.  Your drinks get to feel and taste a little groovier.  Win-win.

Via UrbanDaddy DC

Photo credit: BBC News

Space Whisky

In late 2011, a Soyuz rocket was sent to the International Space Station carrying vials of micro-organic compounds from Ardbeg Distillery.  Launched from Kazakhstan, the rocket’s payload will remain there for up to two years as part of an experiment believed to be unprecedented.  Its purpose?  For man to study the effects of near-zero gravity on the maturation process as the compounds, known as “terpenes,” interact with samples of charred oak.  As if that weren’t sufficiently cooler than anything you or I have done today, a limited edition tribute whisky has been created to mark the occasion, despite any findings of the experiment being over a year away.  Ardbeg Galileo is a 12-year-old single malt, an earthbound tribute to a heavenly pursuit.  And I want some.

Via BBC News

Photo credit: nydailynews.com

Sky Natto

I’m unlikely to ever grow as fond of natto as I am of other signature Japanese dishes.  I wouldn’t go so far as to declare my hatred of the fermented soybeans, their slimy texture, or their aroma, a smell best described as “distinctively memorable” (owing to my wife’s being Japanese-American and greatly enjoying natto, it is a household staple, thus I can detect it from a country mile’s distance.) I’ve eaten it on occasion and enjoyed it, never finding its aroma to be as repellant as many people do.  Those who simply cannot bear it may be pleased to know that microscopic organisms found in Chinese “yellow fog” dust clouds are now being used to reduce natto’s odor.  First sold at Kanazawa University, and produced with bacteria nearly identical to the organisms found in the dust clouds, Sky Natto, as it’s  been dubbed, is not only less pungent, but offers greater nutritional value than the standard product because it contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium.  Whether that will succeed as a persuasive selling point to the world at large remains to be seen.  But to many, it is doubtless a welcome beginning.

Via Japan Today

*Mention of a product, good, or service in a Friday Fourplay posting should not be interpreted as an endorsement either from Anthony Beal or Flavorful World food and drink blog. Vendors are not notified ahead of time that their products/services will be featured, thus Flavorful World will at the time of posting have had no related interactions with said vendors or any sample of their products/services by which to judge them. As such, we have no idea what these vendors are like to work with, or about the quality of their merchandise and are unqualified to vouch for them as reputable. Our Friday Fourplay lists are posted in the simple spirit of our having come across something that looks and sounds engaging, and thinking that perhaps our readers will think so too; no more, no less. With that in mind, patronize these establishments and vendors at your own risk.

2 thoughts on “Home Wine Aromatics Study, Tonics Your Way, Booze That Tastes Like Science, and Dusty Natto

  • September 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Well, regarding your natto post. People eat it for its health benefit. If you like cheese from a cow’s utter fermented, I don’t see how natto can be any worse.
    I add condiments and green onions among other crunchy things like croutons with my natto in the morning. I wrote an article on my natto experience here. Let me know what you think: http://foodstochew.com/my-week-with-natto-san/

    • September 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Greetings, Foodie Chewie, and thank you for your comment.

      For me, the difference comes down to textures. While it’s true that cheeses and natto both rely heavily on fermentation, what makes natto seems the less palatable of the two (again, speaking only for my own preferences here) is its texture, namely the weblike strands that trail away from one’s lips after each bite. This isn’t to say that I’ve loved every cheese I’ve ever tried or that any cheese would be favorable to natto; just that the fermentation isn’t such an issue for me. Fermentation is a wonderful process without which we wouldn’t have beer, wine, or countless other things that I eat and drink more of than I should (lol). Like my post mentioned, natto is eaten frequently in my household, and I don’t mind the odor or flavor of it as much as many people might. Like you, those members of my family who eat natto on a near daily basis also tend to enjoy it with the addition of things like vegetables, furikake, etc.

      I enjoyed your post on the subject very much; it seemed an accurate description of the eating experience, and I’m sure your add-in suggestions have proven useful to your readers, both those who enjoy natto regularly, and those that may have been inspired by your post to try it for the first time. 🙂

      Thanks again for writing; I’ll have to visit your blog more often,

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