Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fun Facts About Spirits & Wine

The pressure in a champagne bottle is 90 pounds per square inch, that is three times the pressure in an automobile tire.

It is estimated that there are 49,000,000 bubbles in a bottle of champagne.

The world's oldest known recipe is for beer.

Brandy, Rum, and Whiskey can be either aged too long or not long enough.

The word "Toast," which means wishing good health, originated in ancient Rome. Back then they used to take a piece of toasted bread and drop it into a glass of wine.

Distilled spirits such as Brandy, Rum, Gin, Tequila, etc. contain no carbohydrates, no fats, and no cholesterol of any kind.

All spirits(unlike beer or wine) are originally clear and colorless. They achieve there colors due to the aging process.

The French wine "Fat Bastard" is banned in Texas and Ohio.

The soil in France is considered so precious that is mandatory for workers to scrape the soil off their shoes before they leave.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wine Names

Most wines get their names from the types of grapes they are made from, while others particularly European varieties, may get their names from the regions where they are from. A wine that is named after it's grape variety is called a varietal. It's really simple: Pinot Noir is made from Pinot Noir grapes; Chardonnay is made from Chardonnay grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, same as Zinfandel, Merlot, Sangiovese and Pinot Gri... and so on. Champagne, Sherry, and Port wines are the more well known blended wines. You will find wines that have more than one grape that are blends. Vintners would blend wine made from different grapes in order to add more complexity to the flavor and texture of the wine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Basics of Spirits and Wine

What are Spirits

Alcohol is basically a hydroxyl compound such as ethanol or methanol. The process of fermentation with an organic substance (usually sugar) is transformed by a single-celled microorganism such as yeast into alcohol. Distilled alcohol is also called a spirit. The process of spirits distillation is heating a fermented liquid, evaporating off the alcohol as vapor, and then condensing it back into liquid form. Spirits are classified by the fermented material that they are distilled from. Vodka, Gin, Whiskies, and most types of Schnapps are made by distilling a kind of beer made from grain. Rum and Cane Spirits derive from fermented sugar cane juice or molasses. Brandy is made from fermented grape juice, and Fruit Brandy is made from other fruits. Tequila and Mezcal come from the fermented pulp of the agave plant.

What is Wine

Any fruit juice can be used to make wine, but the majority of all wine is made from the juice of the grape. Yeast is the magical ingredient that turns grape juice into wine. Yeast is a living organism that feeds off of sugars in the grape juice in a process called fermentation. There is yeast spores in the air and all that is really needed to make wine is an open container of grape juice and time. Yeast spores will reproduce exponentially until all of the fermentable sugars have been consumed. During this fermentation process, the sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast will then impart a taste to the finished wine depending on various factors such as the strain of yeast used, temperature during fermentation, and etc. After the fermentable sugars have been consumed, the yeast will fall to the bottom of the container, the wine will be removed to another container to mature then to wait to be bottled.