Monday, April 2, 2018

How to Choose the Perfect Wine for Any Occasion

Wine expert and enthusiast Stephen Iwerebon provides a basic guide for choosing the right wine for any special occasion from birthday celebrations, weddings, date night, impressing the in-laws and beyond.

Many individuals consider themselves casual wine drinkers and can select wines they like to go with dinner or a glass or two of in the evening. Buying wine for oneself isn't so stressful but having to pick out a wine for a special occasion or for someone else can be a bit overwhelming. 
Throughout his college years and career Stephen Iwerebon has had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the globe. During his travels, he has spent ample time sampling different wines and learning about their different flavor profiles and categories. This experience has allowed him to gain insights on which wines work best for specific occasions and for specific individuals. Check out some of his tips and advice below for choosing the perfect wine for any occasion. 
Stephen Iwerebon Wine Enthusiast

Date night or first date

The best wine to impress your date is, Pouilly Fume. If one wants a dry taste and the other wants a taste on the light side the Fleurie is a red wine with a light fruit flavor for both of you.

Meeting the parents or impressing your in-laws
Here some wines that are sure to win them over:
  • Champagne or Prosecco – champagne mixed with orange is a great Mimosa for brunch. Prosecco mixed with orange and cranberry juice makes a Holiday drink called Poinsettia.
  • The Italian white wine Cutizzi is a favorite for Stephen Iwerebon. It is made from Greco di Tufo Grapes and is rich with a full bodied flavor. This wine is best served with grilled fish, roast pork with vegetables, or a pizza made of seafood.
  • Rhone wines are best served in the winter months. The reason being is it’s a sun filled, fruity red wine. You can eat just about anything with this wine. Rhone complements steak very well.

Summer Wedding
Most likely a white wine will be served at a summer wedding. Keep in mind Champagne is a great drink to serve for the toast. If the menu for the day has fish and seafood you might want to have a Rosé wine.
If the wedding is in the fall or winter than its best to serve a red wine, though it is always a great idea to have both to please the preferences of all the guests.

Giving Wine as a Gift
Stephen Iwerebon would have to suggest the Magnum bottles as a great size for a gift. You might choice to give your friend a bottle filled with a sparkling wine to lighten the mood of the party and most guest will enjoy the bubbly taste. If the magnum bottle is not to your liking you can pick a standard-sized bottle for gift giving after the party. Also a good bottle of Bordeaux Grand Cru wine from 2005 makes for a great gift for a collector.

The Wine for Every Occasion
Stephen Iwerebon's recommendation is a bottle of Barolo straight from Italy. Some of the best foods to have with this bottle is wild duck, quail, grilled steak, sweetbreads, truffles, risotto cheese and more.
All of these wines can be bought online or likely in your local supermarket or liquor store. Stephen Iwerebon encourages wine enthusiasts to step out of their comfort zone and try different wines they wouldn't normally buy. This is the best way to develop a taste and understand which wines pair up with different occasions. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Top Wines to Try This Winter

Best Wines for Cold Winter Months

Most people have a change in preferences for wine with the change in seasons. In summer usually crisp wines are preferred and in winter it is the heartier reds. 
Stephen Iwerebon Winter Wine Enthusiast

Of course everyone will have their own personal preference but usually this is the base to pick a wine for the winter or any other season.

The winter wines are full bodied reds and they also pair well with the heartier dishes preferred in the cold winter month. As a home chef, Stephen Iwerebon loves experimenting with different pairings. Some of the sparkling wines are also consumed in the cold season.

Here are some of the top winter wines recommended by wine enthusiast Stephen Iwerebon.

  • Syrah
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet sauvignon
  • Malbec
  • Sparkling wine
  • Oaked chardonnay
  • Bordeaux blend

These are the wines that are used at home and also when entertaining the guests. With winter comes the holiday season and a lot of entertaining needs to be done. So you need to stock up your wine as a good host and serve the best of wines to the guests.

Usually people go directly to the wineries to taste and then buy the wines to stock up for the year or season. There are different wine holidays each year. These are the best times to buy the best of wines and some special kinds of wines too. For your winter stock you can shop for your wine during the national zinfandel day that falls on November 19.

To get the best of wines you need to be a good wine taster. You should know the technique how to taste and tell the difference between an average wine and a great wine. Also you can tell the amount of alcohol content in the wine using this tasting. You just have to follow the three S’s: the swirl, sniff and sip.

Then you need to store the wine carefully so that it retains its aroma and taste. After taking so much effort to taste and buy wine from some of the best wineries you do not want all the wine to go waste for want of some good storing facilities and methods. Wine is best stored in a dark room at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also the bottles are kept on their sides to preserve your wine the best. You can also keep the bottles pointed downwards so that the cork does not dry up preventing the air from making an entry into the bottle.

Making wine is an art and best left to the connoisseurs. There are several steps in its making and each of them have to be followed without any error creeping in so that the best of the wines are made and the taste of the wines do not change. Also it will be good for you to know these enthusiasts so that you can get the best of wines from these experts.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Great Cooking Videos!

Cooking has always been a passion of mine.  My family thinks this is great!  I like to try a wide range of recipes.  I love to watch the cooking shows because they give you a whole new perspective and appreciation for food.  I have learned so many tricks and tips from some of these cooking videos. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Stephen Iwerebon - Easy Meals for College Kids

As a home chef with a passion for cooking and developing new recipes, Stephen Iwerebon is reaching out to college students this fall to help them make healthy, easy choices when it comes to their college diets.

It’s that time of the year again! This month hundreds of thousands of college students are making the transition from home town to college town. With the move comes excitement of friends and freedom but the move also brings homework, papers, and no more easy access to your parents' fridge. For many students, this means stocking up on packs of Easy-Mac and Ramen Noodles, but it doesn't have to be this way.

Chef Stephen Iwerebon is encouraging students to explore some easy, healthy, and delicious meal options this year.

You won’t even need your old cafeteria meal plan because he has come up with the easiest and most delicious meal that is cost effective, time effective, and easy to do. Stephen Iwerebon was in college once and remembers scrambling to find good food that fit into his college-kid-budget. Cooking and meal planning was one of his biggest stressors in college, but now it’s one of his greatest joys. Stephen Iwerebon hopes that he can impart some of his wisdom and make it one of your greatest college joys as well!
Stephen Iwerebon Recipes

The first meal is simple and quick! It’s called Rice and Bean Soup. This meal only takes 5 minutes to prepare and two hours to cook. This makes it a fantastic study dinner! Throw it in the oven while you study and take a nice study break to eat it when the timer goes off! This particular recipe will yield 4 servings, so go ahead and have yourself a small study party while you’re at it! Or, if you’re like Stephen Iwerebon and like to travel around or study alone, throw it in the fridge in a Tupperware container- it’ll hold for a week refrigerated.

  • Red Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Uncooked rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • garlic cloves
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Frozen Corn
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You will need 1 cup of Red beans, 1 cup of black beans, 1 cup of rice, 3 Sweet potatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 10 ounces diced tomatoes, 8 ounces frozen corn, 8 ounces tomato sauce, frozen corn, 2 tablespoons olive oil.

  • Boil beans in a sauce pan, let them soak for 90 minutes
  • Drain the water
  • Add new water – about two inches of water above the beans
  • Turn the heat up until the water begins to boil
  • As soon as the water boils, lower the heat to a medium temperature. Cook on this temperature for 88 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper, tomato dices, and garlic
  • In the 88th minute, add 1 cup of rice, add more water as needed.
  • After rice is added, cook for another 2 minutes (the beans will have cooked for 90 minutes total)
  • Cook the corn (as the package directs)
  • Slit the sweet potatoes and place them in a baking dish that is ¼ inch filled with water, and cover with foil. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes
  • Add the corn into the beans and rice mixture

Now take your study break and eat a delicious, easy, and cheap home-cooked meal! Mom will be so proud!

For more easy college recipe ideas, be sure to follow Stephen Iwerebon on Pinterest:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Stephen Iwerebon: Favorite Winter Recipes

Stephen Iwerebon loves cooking and experimenting with new dishes.

He especially loves coming up with themed and seasonal dishes all year long. 

Best Cold Winter Night Dishes
Home chef Stephen Iwerebon believes there is a comfort food out there for every occasion and reason. Some bring back memories, some make us feel better and some warm us up or cool us off. Tis’ the winter season and the snow is falling and the temperatures are dropping beyond chilly. Let’s take a look at some of those warm your belly dishes.
Stephen Iwerebon Winter Recipes

The Dishes
  • Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Cabbage Rolls
  • Porkolt (Hungarian Stew)
These are some favorite cold weather dishes recommended by Stephen Iwerebon. Each one brings comfort, warmth and even memories of childhood and holiday gatherings. Each one of these is a must try during the cold winter months. 
Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti
This is a favorite for all ages, the great taste of chicken parmesan and baked ziti in one dish. This is a simple 6-ingredient dish. Stephen Iwerebon has found this to be a very comforting dish for those nights when you want something simple, tasty and warming. 
Beef Stroganoff
A creamy favorite loved by all. With tender strips of beef and mushrooms in a cream sauce served over noodles, this Russian dish is a comfort food across the globe. 
It a favorite dish for Stephen Iwerebon year round but he especially loves it in the wintertime when it’s cold outside. This is easy to make and a sure crowd pleaser for all ages.
Cabbage Rolls
As a gardener, Stephen Iwerebon loves cabbage rolls as a classic dish. He loves making this for his family year round but his favorite time to make this simple dish is during the winter holidays. He loves having all the kids in the kitchen helping make the rolls. 
This dish is another comfort food found in many variations around the world. It can be found made with a red sauce or a broth. Every ethnicity has put their spin on this fan favorite. It makes a great crock-pot dish and excellent leftovers. 
It is a Hungarian stew. Great for those cold winter lunches or dinners, this is another childhood favorite for Stephen Iwerebon. It is a very fragrant stew as well as great tasting. This was always a great dish when he was sick or had a busy day at school while attending Penn State University
The blissful aroma of paprika and bell peppers will fill the room with this stew. Not only will it make a nice winter warm up dinner it will make the room feel warm and inviting. The generous amount of paprika used in this dish is what sets it aside from other beef stews. This dish is served mainly in central Europe. 
The Wrap

These 4 dishes are all amazing in their own way. They each come from a different culture, and bring a favorite flavor of that culture to the table. These dishes are great year round, but even better during those cold winter days when you just want to keep warm.
To learn more about Stephen Iwerebon and his favorite dishes and recipes, check out his profile on Quora:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stephen Iwerebon - Guide to Port Wine

A Beginners Guide to Port Wine

Wine enthusiast Stephen Iwerebon will take you through the basics of everything you need to know about delicious Port wine.

What is Port wine? Port wine is one of the words most notable fortified wines.  Here are some basic facts on this traditional wine:

Stephen Iwerebon - Port Wine
Port Wine is defined as a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.
This wine came to be popular throughout history.  It is named after the city Oporto where the wine was taken to port and loaded onto ships for England. The English fighting with the French in the 17th century boycotted French wine and started to import from Portugal. The fragile wine became fortified when a bit of brandy was added to it to help shelf life as it made its voyage to the England. The introduction of brandy added to the higher alcohol content and added sweetness and stopped the fermentation process. It was a huge success in England and has since spread worldwide.

While traveling, Stephen Iwerebon has had the opportunity to sample a variety of Port wines, admiring their different styles and flavors.
There are several different types of Port. Port is used to describe the region and the fortified wine. The main ports are red but there is also a white variety as well. Many ports are still stomped or treaded in Agares (large stone or cement tanks). After treading, the grapes are left seeds stems and all to ferment for several days until the alcohol level reaches 7 percent. The brandy is then added and it is aged in oak casks for about 18 months.  There are several styles based on aging. The main 2 are wood and bottle aged. Wood aged ports are ready to drink young. Bottle aged may sit for a decade or more before reaching their peak.

Types of Port Wine

Ruby Port is a very popular port aged for about 3 years.  The name refers to the color the wine has out of the bottle.  At this stage the wine is intense and fruity with flavors reminiscent of cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant, a favorite for Stephen Iwerebon.
Tawny Port is another type, which age for longer periods in oak casks. These include the sumptuous 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old Tawny Ports. The nuttiness and aromas of butterscotch and oak wood intensify the longer they spend in the cask. Stephen Iwerebon enjoys this type of wine after a meal, as a dessert wine.
White Port is made from the white Port grapes, which are aged for two to three years in large vats and can be sweeter or drier in style.
Bottled Ports are Vintage Ports. These have been conditioned or aged in the bottle after being aged for 2 years the vat. These bottles continue to grow in complex flavor as they age but are fine to drink young. The Vintage Ports represent the best grapes of that season and are among the most long-lasting of all wines.
Crusted Ports are not a single year like Vintage but are bottles without filtering the sediment leaves a crust in the bottle as it ages. These types of ports should be decanted to remove sediment and allow the wine to breathe.
Port wines pairs well with cheese and the young Ruby is often served with chocolate of used as a reduction for steak. The White Port is often served as a aperitif to start the meal off.

Pick up a bottle and some of your favorite cheese and enjoy a wonderful evening with friends, exploring this decedent rich wine.