Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wine Cosmoculture and a Newbie Cake Fail

I have a secret. I'm nurturing a new wine love, but have been holding out because I'm scared that my readers will decimate the NZ supply ;) 

You wouldn't do that to me, would you?  Of course not. As far as I know, most of you don't even drink, right?  **poker face**

Having searched all my adult life for a good organic wine that is without sulphur dioxide (Preservative 220), and having inspected hundreds of bottles on shelves, I'd arrived at the depressing conclusion that you just can't get preservative-free vino in NZ. 

But, happily, I was wrong.  While absent-mindedly googling a few common words in my world (like 'organic' and 'wine') I stumbled upon Philippe Viret 'Solstice' wine, from the Southern Rhône Valley.  This wine, which is sold online by Ashore (in Auckland!!), is not just organic and free from nasty preservatives, but also biodynamically grown according to the slightly incomprehensible principles of Cosmoculture

The Toronto Standard took a bash at defining Cosmoculture for the layperson, explaining it as: "...a radical form of winegrowing that harnesses telluric and cosmic energy and the magic properties of water, among other things, to produce wines of astonishing purity, energy and vibrancy".

It's all about the life force of the wine. That's got to be good, yes?

After doing a little victory dance around the office, I ordered up a couple of bottles, and sat tight for the anticipated 'out of stock' email and possibility that on (its undoubtedly delayed) arrival, the wine would be rank.

Two days later a box arrived at 7.30 a.m. and, being a responsible adult, I waited until 3 pm  after work to sample it.  This is very nice wine. As I'm not practiced in the flowery language of wine flattery, I'll just pinch what Ashore say about it:

"Ripe, black, peppered fruit aromas, with a touch of liquorice on the nose are followed on the palate by juicy blackberry, with a touch of brown spice and a long dark chocolate finish.  Medium bodied and very drinkable.  A lovely wine."

I agree. Not only is it lovely to drink, but the mental effect lacked any fuzziness.  The Programmer and I are both deeply in wine love.

And so, tonight, cosmocultural glass of vino in hand, I settled down to the mission of turning my organic, biodynamic, magic zucchini into a cosmic cake. The recipe was a time proven Alison Holst masterpiece that new mama Christine Facebooked me yesterday. However something went awry with my cake mojo. Maybe the position of the moon, or Mars (not) rising at a bad moment....

..or maybe I forgot to add the baking powder..???

Still tastes good, but the texture is like a gigantic chewy brownie (not a bad thing, if that's what you are aiming for).

I then had a most frustrating time trying to get the camera to focus, before realising it was on the video setting. :-/  And so we have the avant garde masterpiece 'zucchini cake focus dance'. 

The takeaway message being: savour your amazing wine or bake. Or bake then drink wine. Trying to do both at once may not work out (unless you come up with something like My Drunk Kitchen, in which case, go for it. If you can get plastered, then deliver such genius as 'when cooking......, use food', the world needs you to do so).


  1. oh YUM wine and chocolate-brownie thingy all in one post.... that vino sounds wonderful, I wil have to hunt some down (don't worry, separate countries!) and I reckon your cake looks AWESOME!

    1. I'm sure there'll be someone in Aussie importing it. Definitely worth it.

  2. Giant brownie thing works for me, hee hee! Looks looooovely! :)

    1. Yup... nearly all gone. PMT+chocolate brownie cake in the fridge is a lethal combo.

  3. Mmmm looks good - both wine and cake! Do give it another go with baking powder though - I'm sure you'll have more zucchinis any moment now...
    I like the spice combination in this recipe...really adds to the chocolate yum factor :-)

    1. Yes, we already have a new crop! I agree, the flavour is great. I actually used half coconut oil and half mashed banana instead of butter (didn't have any) and will probably do that again.

  4. Your wine is safe from me, I don't drink wine!
    And the cake... well it looks lovely... and the video is rather funny.

    1. don't drink wine...? *does not compute*


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