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Stop Saying These 12 Things About Wine

It’s high time that people stop saying these 12 things about wine.

Sooner or later in your wine journey, you’re going to come across, shall we say, certain people: certain people who say certain things. They may be going for refined, but we both know they’re coming off as something else. Let them say their piece, pity them quietly, and be content in taking the high road.

  • only-drink-cabernet-comic-winefolly

    1. “I only drink…”

    “I only drink…” / “I don’t drink…”

    There’s no way this sentence ever ends well. The world of wine is so big! There are over 1,400 identified grape varieties and thousands of unique wine regions. Why anyone would limit themselves to just a tiny fraction of it, simply doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s no big thing, though. They could be in a wine phase and not even know it!


  • txakolina-comic-winefolly

    2. “Actually, it’s pronounced…”

    Pronouncing Alicante Bouschet, Gewürztraminer, and Txakoli (or Txakolina) without breaking a sweat is pretty cool. But you know what’s even cooler? Not giving people a hard time if they pronounce it wrong! (Lord knows we didn’t do it right on our first try.)


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    3. “Sweet wines? What are you, five?”

    We’re adults. And, adults can enjoy wines like Port, Sauternes, and Tokaji Aszú—sweet wines that rank among the most complex and revered wines on this planet! Yes, the wines that get most people into the world of wine in the first place tend to be sweet, so we see where that “beginners only” mentality comes from. Funny how that changes the further you get in your wine journey…


  • 4. “Ew, screw cap wines. Pass.”

    The wines of Australia and New Zealand are almost exclusively stoppered with screw caps. Take it from us, they are producing some effing dynamite stuff. Plus, screw caps have shown to age wines just fine (in fact, you don’t even have to store the bottle on it’s side). Why would someone let a flimsy, unfounded closure preference prevent them from tasting great wines? Tsk tsk.

    Learn more about the difference between corks and screw caps.


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    5. “Pssh. White wines aren’t meant for aging.”

    Sure, most white wines aren’t meant for long storage (but neither are most red wines for that matter!). However, when you get to top-tier Champagne, White Bordeaux, White Burgundy, White Rioja, Italian Soave, and German Riesling, you’ll discover they develop some surprisingly rich and luscious flavors with a little bit of age.


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    6. “I’m not drinking any #$ &@ing Merlot!”

    OK. Even now, this is still a very funny scene and quote. But what isn’t funny is dismissing some of the world’s greatest and most acclaimed wines for no good reason! Also, if this is said in reference to Sideways, the ironic inside secret was that Miles lusted after a bottle of 1961 Chateau Cheval Blanc, which is a Merlot blend from St. Emilion. See? Even Miles loves Merlot!

    (Also, if you’re still saying this, you should definitely watch some newer movies about wine. Some of them have been pretty great. Just sayin’.)


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    7. “Champagne isn’t Champagne unless it’s from the region.”

    While it’s true that Champagne can only come from Champagne, it’s been the universal word for sparkling wine for beginners for a long time. So instead of clobbering your compatriots with knowledge bombs, let them taste first and learn later. The sparkling wine might actually help smooth things over. They’ll get there, and we can all help.


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    8. “You never, ever pair red wine with fish.”

    We believe we speak for Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Beaujolais when we say, “Excuse moi?”

    Read more about pairing wine with fish here.


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    9. “How do you know it tastes like _______?”

    “Have you ever eaten a baseball glove? Doubt it.”

    A signature note of aged Tempranillo, and one that’s echoed by wine experts worldwide, is leather. Do these wine experts sit around gnawing on baseball gloves and the sides of couches? We doubt it. (But you never know.)

    We often encourage people to taste not only wine, but any number of things, be it vegetables, animals, and minerals, to expand their palate. But there’s no denying it: smell has a gigantic impact on taste. For the things we haven’t yet tasted, we’ll naturally try to relate them the best we can. That relation typically comes in the form of smell.


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    10. “You’re not getting all that acid/tannin? Ugh, it’s so obvious.”

    Oof, bad form. Detecting primary flavors is hard enough. Learning how to detect and describe acid and tannin is whole new ball game. What do productive members of wine society do? That’s right – emulate your grandma. If someone is looking adrift or openly lost, gently educate, rather than flagellate.


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    11. “There’s only one kind of wine: red.”

    Sing the praises of bold red wines all you want. We’ll join along. Right after we sing the praises for Viognier, Assyrtiko, and Albariño. All are great; all in different ways.


  • 12. “This wine tastes like morning mist, rolling down the hillsides, transforming into dewdrops on the grass…” 

    Not a half-bad tasting note, but let’s pump the brakes. We’re talking about wine, not writing the sequel to The Leaves of Grass! Now, there’s no wrong answer when it comes to taste and it’s important to remember feelings and sensations when drinking. But, it’s also equally important to put wine experiences into something that can be quantified—real tastes, real flavors. Wine is still a product and each has a specific flavor that can be (more or less) defined.

    Want to write useful wine notes? Check out this guide.

  • By Vincent Rendoni
    I’m a spicy meatball who loves light-bodied reds, aromatic whites, video games, and for better or worse, Seattle sports teams. I was a huge fan of Wine Folly before being hired, so I guess you could say I’m living the dream.

    The Drambuie Pursuit: Simon Difford Talks About Using Bitters with Drambuie

    The Drambuie Pursuit: Simon Difford Talks About Using Bitters with Drambuie

    Difford, cocktail pioneer and Class Magazine creator, talks about pre-prohibition bitters used in modernized versions of Drambuie’s classic cocktail, the Rusty Nail
    Video Rating: 5 / 5

    All About Gamay Wine

    Article by Dominic Donaldson

    Gamay is a purple grape that is mostly grown in Beaujolais and the Loire Valley in France. Beaujolais wine itself is usually made from the grape, which is low in tannins and has a thin skin.

    It is thought that the grape first appeared in the village of Gamay in France as far back as the 1360s where it brought relief to the growers in the village after the Black Death. It was easy to cultivate in comparison with the Pinot Noir grapes of the region, ripening a couple of weeks earlier, and produced strong, fruity wine.

    In 1395 however, cultivation of the grape was outlawed in Burgundy by Philippe the Bold who was the Duke of Burgundy, because it was taking up valuable land space that could be used for the Pinot Noir grape.

    The Duke really hated the wine that the grape produced, and it was further berated 60 years later by Philippe the Good.

    Plantation of the grape on acidic soil helps to soften it and actually ease the grape’s own high acidity.

    Today, the only other country that has significant Gamay viticulture is Canada, where it is grown in the Niagara peninsula. The Niagara peninsula is on the same latitude as France, and the wine produced in the region is early-drinking, soft and fruity. The grape is also grown in New World areas such as Australia and South Africa where some winemakers are experimenting with it to make fruity, easy-drinking varieties of wines.

    The serious Gamay wines of today however are made in ten special villages within the Beaujolais area of France, including Julienus, Fleurie and Moulin a Vent. Each of these villages produces wine with a character of its own, and characteristics range from rich and smooth to vivacious and light.

    We now know that the grape is a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais, an ancient white variety that hailed originally from Central Europe and was likely to have been brought to France by the Romans.

    Seventy million litres of Gamay are produced every year, with more than 50 per cent of this being sold as the fruity, easy-drinking Beaujolais. There is a big celebration day held on the third Thursday after the harvesting of the grapes known as Beaujolais day, and it’s worth being in Burgundy for this to enjoy some delicious samples!

    As with all alcohol, remember to enjoy this wine responsibly, and stick within the recommended daily allowances of units.

    The Truth About Absinthe Drink

    Article by Sarah Alfredo

    There is a mounting importance on the Internet on the subject of absinthe, an importance similar to the flair for Starwars, the Mars footages or even Napster downloads. Absinthe is just extraordinarily strong liquid very popular in Europe (chiefly in Paris) in the 1800s which was afterward banned towards the early days of 1900s due to its damaging content. So why is this propaganda for?The growing Internet obsession for the fascinating drink derives generally from the liquor’s rich history, which drives on-line specialists to make not only an alternative around the drink, but to even concoct home-made recipes of absinthe with a lot hazardous consequences.One writer writes: All you would-be home absinthe-makers must be conscious that the New England Journal of Medicine reported that some exceptionally ill-advised human being ended up in the hospital and almost died because he drank critical oil of wormwood, a pure form of the poisonous ingredient in absinthe…Adding to the growing agitation for absinthe is the information that Britain re-opened its doors to the import and utilization of the drink in 1998, when most of Europe has forbidden it for shut to a century. Even Canada had a change of heart on absinthe freshly, even though the symphony or ingredients of the drink has been revoltingly modified as to make it completely unfamiliar to its connoisseur’s appreciation.The enthusiasm for the drink becomes even extra reasonable when one realizes that many of its avid drinkers in the past were well-known artists– Edouard Manet, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway (and that’s naming just a few). So much so those communities who arrive to know concerning the drink ultimately connect it with increasing one’s original prowess, or even weirdness. In fact, there has been this dangerous report rancouring across the long-ago two centuries, that consuming huge amounts of absinthe leads to sightings of green small fairies which to original pundits, can get the position of an all-inspiring consider.Just several traditional artworks stimulated by absinthe: Edouard Manet’s 1859 The Absinthe Drinker; Edgar Degas’ 1876 L’Absinthe; Vincent Van Gogh’s 1887 Still Life with Absinthe; Pablo Picasso’s 1901 The Absinthe Drinker and 1914 Absinthe Glass.Barring the fable nearby the drink, what is absinthe, actually? Vicki Richman, in writing concerning the drink in relative to New Orleans the past notes: Absinthe is an anise-flavored liqueur distilled with obil of wormwood, a leafy herb, and in addition containing tasty herbs similar to hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm and angelica. Wormwood is Artemisia, an herb that grows natural in Europe and has been cultured in the United States as well. Much of its famous outcome is due to its tremendously high alcohol content, ranging from 50% to 75% (generally around 60%). The active feature in wormwood, dependable for the supplementary effects, is thujone, which is chemically a neurotoxin.You don’t just sit down and drink absinthe, bottoms up. You provide it with a cube of sugar placed on an “absinthe spoon,” and the juice was sprinkle over the sugar into the glass of water. The sugar helped obtain the acid bite off the absinthe, which also curved the liquid milky white.Matthew Baggott, writer of the Absinthe FAQ on the Internet quotation marks a passage in Lanier (1995) which succintly captures the traditions following the drink:

    All the Things You At All Times Wished to Know About Tequila – Section 2

    If you happen to peruse Section 1 of this essay, you are certainly already craving your favourite frozen margarita recipe, or possibly only a shot with salt and a lime. In any case, sit back and be taught even more concerning the tequila we drink at this time, and the way best to take pleasure in it!

    Manufacturers of Tequila

    In 1758, the King of Spain granted the first parcel of land covered in blue agave plants to Jos? Antonio Cuervo, and by the middle of the 19th century Cuervo’s fields had more than three million agave plants. In the present day, Cuervo is the biggest model of tequila.

    Other manufacturers going back to the 1800s which can be still popular right this moment are Tequila Herradura and La Preservancia Sauza. There are presently over 2,000 brand names associated to over one hundred distilleries in Mexico. Since there are so many distillers, every tequila bottle is marked with a serial number (NOM). This designation traces the bottle to its original company and to the physical plant where it was manufactured.

    However if you suppose your frozen margarita recipe is pure Mexicano, assume again. Not all tequila is bottled in Mexico, however. In 2003, the Mexican government issued a decree stating that each one tequila can be bottled solely in Mexico; but this initiated a maelstrom of discord by liquor firms in the United States who contended that worldwide trade agreements can be violated? as well as international exporting practices. In 2006 an agreement was reached between the U.S. and Mexico which allowed the majority import of tequila, thus preserving bottling jobs at American plants.

    The Right Way to Best Get Pleasure From Tequila

    Mexicans will advise you that one of the best ways to drink tequila is with a cup of sangrita, which is a sweet, bitter and spicy drink constructed from orange juice, grenadine (or tomato juice), and hot chillies. Think of it similar to the Mexican Bloody Mary. Each is served in equal-sized glasses, so that the tequila and sangrita may be sipped alternately.

    One other widespread approach to drink tequila in Mexico is named the bandera (the Spanish translation for flag), and is made up of three shot glasses, filled with lime juice, white tequila, and sangrita (the three colors of the Mexican flag).

    Outside the borders of Mexico, and particularly within the U.S., tequila is broadly enjoyed in the margarita, and especially the frozen margarita recipe. Consisting of tequila combined with triple sec and lime or lemon juice, the most popular margarita is usually served with salt on the glass rim, and is the most popular tequila-based mostly drink within the United States.

    A tequila slammer is a mixture of tequila and carbonated drink. In some European nations, tequila oro (gold) is commonly consumed with cinnamon before and slices of orange after, whereas tequila blanco (white) is consumed with salt and lime. When served neat, without any further substances, tequila is most often served in a slender shot glass known as a caballito (“Little Horse” in Spanish).

    Fascinating Tequila Tidbits

    What about that worm? The worm-in-the-tequila-bottle is definitely a gimmick. Some American-bottled brands promote their tequilas with a worm in their bottle, but it’s only an advertising and marketing ploy dating back to the 1940s. The truth is, if a worm is discovered within the blue agave plant, the plant is considered infected and the ensuing tequila is sold as an inferior brand.

    Do you know that a Mexican producer, Tequila Ley.925, holds a spot within the Guinness Guide of World Records? This company sold an one-liter bottle of restricted-version premium tequila for 5,000 in July 2006. It holds the record for the most costly bottle of spirit ever sold.

    Another fascinating tequila tidbit is that tiny synthetic diamonds might be constituted of tequila! In 2009, Mexican scientists found a way to create the tiny, nanometric measured diamonds by heating 80 proof tequila to over 800 degrees C (1,400 degrees F), and breaking its molecular structure. The tiny diamond chips are being developed for industrial use resembling in computer chips or cutting instruments. Someday, your everyday cellphone or laptop computer would possibly have little artificial gems that began as tequila. Who woulda thunk it?

    Ah, tequila. Whether you take pleasure in it by the shot, with a spicy glass of sangrita or in the ever common frozen margarita recipe, no different spirit conjures up such vivid ideas of enjoyment and relaxation. So run and get a bottle, some limes and discover that lost shaker of salt!

    Viva tequila! Viva margarita!

    All About Vodka Brands

    Like everything else in life, we want to know which is the ‘best’ vodka. Which vodka is most superior to others. And like everything else in life, we realize that there is no one single answer. For example, I use the latest Intel Pentium Core Duo Processor, as I require it to power my media center, on the other hand, my Grandfather still uses a 11 year old IBM Thinkpad with 4 MB RAM running Windows 3.11 with Wordpad!

    Anyway, back to Vodka. Vodka is defined as a neutral spirit devoid of any distinct characteristics such as odour, taste or colour. Considering the above definition all vodkas should be the same and the brand shouldn’t matter. This is true to some extent, in the sense, that the final product of all the brands are more or less similar to each other and while mixed in a blood mary, there is little or no discernable distinction between them. However, if you plan to have them as shots, on the rocks or in a martini, then you are well advised to consume a premium brand.

    There are a lot of vodkas out there. And each one is trying to catch your eye, with refreshing marketing, stylish bottles and happening events. This is because of the above noted fact, that the product is more or less same, and hence, marketing plays a big role.

    Okay. Now since we are clear about what vodka actually is, lets look at some of the brands. (If you are interested more about the history and other nuances of Vodka, read my article ‘All About Vodka’) I am not affiliated with any of them and I have no particular favourite among them either. So be assured that whatever is said herein is completely unbiased and in the best interest of vodka.

    Lets start with the world best selling vodka. Remember, the phrase is ‘best selling’, it doesn’t make the best vodka on the planet. I guess every vodka drinker knows it. Smirnoff. Smirnoff was the first American brand of Vodka, which was bought over from Vladimir Smirnov of Russia. The Smirnoff No. 21 is the most widely sold vodka in the world and is an extremely good example of classical vodka. It has little discerning character, and does not pamper you with slight flavours or a mellow follow through. If you don’t like to think too much and are on a budget, this is the vodka to go for. Have it chilled and experience the Russian in you. Smirnoff also comes in blue and black labels which are of increasing strength. It has also launched numerous flavoured vodkas such as Green Apple Twist, Citrus Twist, Lemon Twist and many more. They are great to have in martinis and light cocktails.

    Next up, Grey Groose. Now this is on that has had its fair share of Hollywood exposure. You can hear almost every celebrity asking for a Grey Goose Martini. This vodka brand is truly a marketing brilliance. Winter wheat being distilled with natural spring waters in a French Distillery is surely going to make some heads turn. It is this approach to vodka, that has made Grey Goose a brand to reckon with. But, nothing to be taken away, this is really great vodka to have in your martini. It comes in three flavours: L’Orange, Le Citron and La Vanille. The Citron is great to have in a Lemon Drop Martini.

    The third among the most marketed brands is Absolut. This Swedish vodka has the one of the largest number of flavoured vodkas in the market. Its global marketing strategy seems to have paid off in recent times and is considered to be a truly superior vodka in many places in the world. Its neutral variety comes in blue and red labels with increasing strengths. The red bottle (50 % vol) is a really smooth spirit with almost no discernarable taste of its own. The blue bottle mixes extremely well with almost all mixers and makes it great in most cocktails. The flavoured varieties too are very good and for the adventurous there are no dearth of varieties to try from.

    Now, lets move onto the lesser marketed, premium brands. I’ll start with what most vodka drinkers and experts consider a truly great and ‘almost perfect’ vodka. Stolichnaya is what it claims to be “a true Russian vodka”. It was founded at the Cristill Distillery in Moscow and is now manufactured in ex-Soviet republics (Kazakhstan and Ukraine). It is quadruple distilled though quartz sand and finally passed through a woven cloth, to give you a vodka free from any flavours or odours. This one is great to have on the rocks.

    Next on the list is Belvedere. This is a Polish vodka. However, unlike other Polish vodka this one is made from rye rather than potatoes. The experts are always confused about this one. Many hold it in high regard, while others suggest that the other brands mentioned here, are far superior. For the record, I like it. Still one could argue that with so many different brands with better marketing and “brand appeal”, this vodka still leaves you with something to desire more from.

    Our last entry on this discussion would be Belvedere’s sibling: Chopin. However, unlike its sibling, Chopin is made from potatoes; the way authentic polish vodka should. Even though for many years, potato based vodkas have been frowned upon by Russians as inferior, the truth lies in the fact, that with the right distillery, whatever be the ingredient, you can produce superior vodka. And Chopin is a great example of the same. This vodka is crisp and has a sweet and sour green apple tinge to it. It’s the only potato based vodka that is held with such high regard and just for this sake, I urge you to try it at least once. Your Polish experience will definitely be worth it.

    There are some other lovely vodka brands as well. Vox, Ketel One, Three Olives and Jewel Of Russia are just a few to name. Vodka, like other spirits, is full of tradition and variety. And to cover all would be an arduous if not impossible task. I hope not to offend anybody with my views. They are mine and others may not agree. As I always maintain wines and spirits are very personal in nature. The best wine or spirit is always the one you enjoy most! With that I humbly conclude this article. Hope you enjoyed it, as much as I need writing it.

    Fast Facts About Cocktail Sets

    Several men and women consider that pro bartending is work that’s suitable for non-mortals. That preparing beverages is a trained craft and regular people will by no means discover the industry techniques to making amazing tasting drinks. Nonetheless, the truth is that you may understand to blend in beverages. Listed here are ten suggestions for you to observe in case you wish to be ready to blend drinks like a master.

    If you’ve guests which don’t take in alcohol, you could also serve up non-alcoholic cocktails by simply adding different sorts of fruit alternatively. These fruit cocktails furthermore serve as an excellent dessert and also appetizer.

    An important aspect when it comes to producing a fantastic cocktail is by firmly adhering to the substances. You need to be capable to stick to the directions correctly including the amount of elements you have to incorporate. This will make sure that your cocktails will taste really excellent each and every time you blend them.

    When mixing your cocktail, stirring is most likely the easiest method to date. All you should do is employ a metal or glass rod and then stir the beverage. If you need ice, use ice cubes and drain the contents right into a glass once you find moisture begin to show up on the outside of the glass.

    Lots of recipes would definitely advise that the materials in a cocktail needs to be blend in jug or liquidizer for a number of seconds. This will help in making a great consistency for the beverages. The same effect cannot be attained if you merely shake the cocktail. These kinds of drinks generally incorporate eggs, and also fruits that should be meticulously combined. Try not to place entire ice cubes inside of the mixer, make use of crushed ice or break them apart first.

    You can please your family and friends by creating a lot of diverse sorts of blended cocktails. These non-alcoholic cocktails could also be dished up to kids to ensure that they do not get neglected on the fun. If you would like more variety, you may look through various recipe books for more options about the sort of cocktail drinks to mix up. Additionally, you could also make several appetizers which your buddies and family might take pleasure in alongside with the drink.

    All About Vodka

    Article by Gautamm Mehra

    Vodka is the surprise package of the 20th Century. From an unknown Russian drink to the most widely used cocktail drink, it has been quite a journey.

    History Of Vodka

    The exact history of vodka is not known. However, it has its origins in a grain growing region around what we know today as Poland, Western Russia and Ukraine. The word ‘vodka’ is derived from the Russian word ‘voda’, which means water. Experts believe that the first record of vodka was found somewhere around the 9th Century. However, the first known distillery is around 200 years after that, around the 11th Century, in Khylnovsk, Russia.

    The early process of distillation of vodka was crude. Due to the limitations in technology of the period, many impurities would remain behind and cause an unpleasant and unwanted taste. The early distillers would mask this by adding flavours to the vodka: The most common among them being absinthe, anisette, juniper, mint, pepper and peppermint.

    The Bolshevik Revolution, banned all private distilleries in Russia. Many of the master distillers fled from the country: One of them being the son of Master Distiller Smirnov. Vladimir Smirnov fled to France to setup his distillery. Here he made contact with an American businessman and created the Smirnoff (the French version of his family name) brand. Vodka was publicized as a ‘white whiskey’ that left you ‘breathless’ (it did not leave one with an alcohol breath). But, vodka found its place only in the 1950s and ‘swinging 60s’. The affluent youth and numerous cocktails, for which vodka’s odourless and tasteless characteristics make it a perfect component, led to the Vodka revolution. And Vodka surpassed Bourbon (American whiskey) as the largest selling hard liquor.

    Production Of Vodka

    Vodka has traditionally been prepared with the cheapest grain available at hand. Vodka is mainly made from starch. However certain Polish vodkas are based on potato. Even molasses is used sometimes. Vodka is basically pure alcohol (ethanol) and water. It is extremely similar to whiskey. Both are produced from fermented mash. However, Vodka is distilled off at a very high proof. Thus, by distilling vodka off at 190 proof, most of the flavour is lost and almost only alcohol and water are left behind. Thus, the best vodka is tasteless, colourless and odourless.

    Brands

    Some of the most popular and good quality vodka brands are Smirnoff, Grey Goose and Absolut. However, blind tastes often confirm, that most of us cannot discern between the different brands of vodka. This is natural and desired, as vodka is supposed to be tasteless as well as odourless. Hence, the brand of vodka, is a personal preference. It is suggested to use any ‘house’ brand while using vodka in mixed drinks.

    Vodkas also come in a variety of flavours. Brands like Absolut and Smirnoff have an arsenal of flavoured vodkas. Some of the popular flavours include raspberry, citrus, orange, vanilla and pepper.