How A Wine Club Can Help You

If you are new to wine, a wine club will help you find out which wines you really like (and those that you don’t). It is the perfect way of discovering new wines on a regular basis. If you’re not currently a member of a wine club, you should think again. Here’s why you are missing out.

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Do you generally stick to what you know?

When faced with rows and rows of unfamiliar wines in the local supermarket, do you find that you always end up sticking to what you know? If you do branch out, it’s likely to be because you are swayed by the nicest, most appealing label or because you’ve gone on someone else’s recommendations (which then leave you feeling flat when you discover that you don’t like the same wine as them!) So in your quest to buy new, exciting, great tasting wines for your dinner party or Sunday Lunch, you come away with your same old, trusted bottle of wine. Sound familiar?

Join a Wine Club:

But all of that could be put to an end if you join a wine club. Each month or quarter (depending on the wine club), the wine club will send you a selection of wines from around the world. Featuring a variety of whites, reds, rosé and maybe the odd sparkling or dessert wine, you get to try wines from different grapes, countries and styles. True, you probably won’t like them all but it’s a great way of tasting your way through a selection of new releases, customer favourites and award winning wines that you probably wouldn’t have previously dared chosen.

Discover What You Like:

In the same way that we all like different food, the key thing to remember about wine is that we all like different wines and no one can tell you what you will like. (Remember this next time you are in the wine shop!) So to get the most out of your wines, you need to work out what you like. To help you along the way, most wine clubs enclose detailed information in the wine club case about the wines, so that you can learn more about the grape, country and winemaker as you drink. Suggestions for food matches can also give you confidence next time you host a dinner party. It’s also worth rating your wine club wines as you taste them, as you can be sure that you’ll have forgotten how the first ones tasted by the time you finish the case! Even better is to choose a wine club that displays customer comments on its website. That way, you’ll have an idea of what to expect from your wine club wine before you taste it.

Wine Styles Can Help:

Some wine clubs, such as the Virgin Wines Discovery Wine Club, categorise wines by style, such as “Classic Chardonnay”, “Oaky Aussie Chardonnay”, “Huge Reds” and “Soft and Juicy” reds. This is great for newcomers to wine, as it is far more intuitive than the traditional country and grape based categories, plus it recognises that certain grape varieties like Chardonnay can vary significantly in taste. The real advantage of being a member of a wine club that categorises wines in this way, is that it opens wine drinkers up to a far wider range of wines than they might otherwise have come across. For example in the “Fragrant but Dry” category, wine drinkers will find Argentinean Torrontes as a great value alternative to a pricey French Muscat – a recommendation that you won’t get from a wine club or shop that focuses simply on grape or country.

Try a Tasting Course:

To help wine drinkers learn more about wine, some wine clubs offer tasting courses or events. Tasting wines back-to-back allows drinkers to really get a feel for how two different wines taste and, ultimately, it can help them decide what to buy more of in the future.

Risk Free Buying:

Still not convinced? Part of the fun of joining a wine club is tasting new wines and discovering new favourites but if you are worried about getting something you really don’t like and wouldn’t have chosen yourself, don’t worry. Many wine clubs offer a money back guarantee, so if you come across a wine that you really can’t stomach, they will refund your money.

Join Today:

Joining a wine club can really help you when it comes to learning about wine. Not only will you get to taste a variety of new wines and find out what you really like but also it will give you more confidence in choosing your wines. You’ll never need worry about picking out a bottle of wine for your next dinner party again! To find out about Virgin Wines’ Discovery Wine Club, visit Virgin Wines.

 

Cooking With Fine Italian Wine

Instead of enjoying a fantastic glass of your favorite fine Italian wine with dinner, consider using the nectar of the gods as an ingredient in your favorite dish. Cooking with wine has never been more popular and endless recipes abound that incorporate all different types of wine into favorite dishes and unique spins on classic cuisine. When you cook with Italian wine, the alcohol evaporates, so the dish will be appropriate for individuals unable to consume alcohol, underage eaters, or individuals who do not wish to imbibe any alcohol.

Many international dishes include wine, especially Italian, French, and Spanish favorites. You can use any type of wine or alcohol to cook with, but Italian wine has substantial fan following when it comes to cooking with wine. Whether you want to add a unique flavor or a powerful zest to your dishes, adding your favorite Italian wine will have everyone raving over your cooking skills and the dishes you serve.

The key to cooking with wine is to choose good quality Italian wine. Just as quality directly affects the drinking enjoyment of a glass of Italian wine, the quality will also affect the end taste of dishes that are prepared using wine as an ingredient. Remember, quality wines are not necessarily the most expensive wines, so avoid associating price with taste. It is safe to say that if you enjoy drinking a particular vineyard’s wine, you will also enjoy cooking with the same wine.

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Also, you should carefully choose a Italian wine appropriate for the dish. Generally, the recipe you choose will come with
the appropriate Italian wine included, but the traditional rules for serving wine with food applies to including the wine as ingredients with food. Many individuals choose to cook with white wine for a tangier, crisp taste and choose red wines for heartier dishes, including those filled with tasty cuts of meats.

Even though water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, alcohol has a much lower boiling point, around 175 degree Fahrenheit. For this reason, you can quickly remove alcohol in Italian wine, in fact, approximately 40 percent of the alcohol is boiled out in approximately 15 minutes. Eventually, the Italian wine will turn into a thick syrup is boiled long enough. This syrup is perfect for use as a glaze with meats or vegetables.

Once the alcohol has been evaporated, the flavors are emphasized. Also, alcohol, including Italian wine, brings out the flavor of tomatoes and other ingredients. Consider adding a bit of white Italian wine to tomato sauces to bring out the flavors.

There are a variety of cooking wines on the market, but you should avoid these products, since they are of lower quality than a fine Italian wine and usually contain a high amount of sodium. However, if you are a collector of fine Italian wine, save these delicious drinks from the heat, since the alcohol will only be evaporated and the importance of the wine will be lost. There are a variety of quality Italian wine on the market that are perfect for cooking. Choose rich, fruity wines for dessert dishes and strong white wines for sautéed or baking dishes.

Consumption Of Wine Is Safe In Pregnancy

There have been many articles written about the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. And there have many debates and researches that referred to this issue.

Some experts say moderate drinking during pregnancy is okay, but there are others who believe taking even one drink is like very dangerous for the baby’s health.

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The thing that is not debatable is that whatever women eat or drink while pregnant goes directly through your bloodstream into the placenta so literally if a pregnant woman takes a drink — a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail — the unborn child takes the same.

For the unborn child, the alcohol interferes with his ability to get enough oxygen and nourishment for normal cell development in the brain and other body organs. Research has shown that a developing foetus has very little tolerance for alcohol and infants born to mothers who drink during pregnancy can have serious problems. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a pattern of mental and physical defects which develops in some unborn babies when the mother drinks “too much” alcohol during pregnancy. A baby born with FAS, or even with the lesser Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), can have serious handicaps and therefore could require a lifetime of special care. There is even some research that indicates that women who plan to get pregnant should stop drinking before they even conceive.

The debate raised by the Department of Health is about how much is “too much” because until now it was said that the only safe limit is no alcohol at all. The Department of Health said that pregnant women and those hoping to conceive can safely drink up to two glasses of wine a week without harming the foetus.

Dr Raja Mukherjee, an expert on the disorder who works at St George’s hospital medical school in Tooting, London, called for pregnant women to cut out alcohol completely, and said the UK’s binge drinking habits were of particular concern: “There is an increasing literature of evidence, however, to suggest that binge drinking as well as low doses of alcohol can cause damage.”

The Department of Health said the research cited at the conference had been reviewed in March as part of the government’s alcohol harm reduction strategy, and that the two units a week limit was considered to be safe.

 

Choosing Wine On A First Date

First dates are nerve wracking enough without having to worry about what wine to choose to impress your new friend!

One of the great things about wine on a date is that one bottle is a defined amount, normally about five glasses. If shared equally it is unlikely that you will fall off your chair drunk after half a bottle of wine!

However, there are some other social sins that can be committed whilst choosing wine on a date.

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Getting Started

First, you need to decide whether you want white, red, rosé or sparkling wine. This is perhaps the most important decision. As a general rule, red wine is more of an acquired taste and it can be harder to select a good red. Therefore, when you do not know your companion’s tastes it may be wise to steer clear of the red wine section.

Sparkling wine can make you appear a little pretentious or if you go for a cheaper version, a tightwad; so this is usually best avoided. If you are not sure whether your companion likes wine at all, rosé wine is often a safe option as it often lacks the sharpness that people commonly dislike in wines.

How Much to Spend?

Remember more money doesn’t always mean more quality. If you are very new to wine, go for a house white. A house white is unlikely to be extremely imaginative or unusual, but is almost always perfectly drinkable. For this reason it is a safe, middle of the road option.

If you want to impress, look for something other than the house white. Keep away from extremes until you know your companion a little better, so don’t go for bone dry whites. Instead, opt for a fruity dry wine that appeals to those who like both dry and medium whites.

Whilst neutral wines may seem like a bit of a cop-out, bear in mind that you simply want a drinkable wine that does not offend.

If you are really not sure what to choose, why not offer your companion a choice of glasses as an aperitif while you have a beer or spirit. This way you can judge your companion’s taste. Even if they select a spirit, you can still get a measure of whether they prefer sweet or dry wines.

Of course, you could always give your companion the choice…

Choosing The Right Type Of Wine

Wines as we know them are generally distinguished as either red or white wine. However, this distinction is much too simplified considering the various types of wine depending on the grapes they were made of and the location of the vineyard where they were grown.

Having invested possibly hundreds of dollars in your latest bottle of vintage wine (ah well, we can but dream), the next important decision is where to store this prized possession?

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The knowledge that wine can come in hundreds, perhaps thousands of flavors, can leave you with a feeling of dread especially when you have to order wine in restaurants. The basic rule is that there is no one perfect wine because it really depends on your own taste buds. An expensive wine that may taste perfect for one can taste horrible to another.

When ordering wine in restaurant, ask for the wine you personally prefer or have gotten familiar to the taste of. If you are the adventurous type or you really don’t have an idea which wines are good, then it is always practical to ask the help of the waiter or the restaurant staff taking your order. It is proper to surmise that the staff or waiter should have been given instructions and the basic training in wine selection by the restaurant owner or manager. But what if the waiter is just as ignorant as their customers about their wine list? What if the big decision as to which wine to order is left in your hands? Art of Wine Tasting.

If no one on the staff is knowledgeable about wines or can’t make suggestions, ask the waiter to just come back and then ask your companions about their preferences. Ask your dining companions whether they prefer red or white wine. The most common choices would be chardonnay for white wine as this is the king of white wine, or cabernet sauvignon for red wine as this is known as the king of red wine. No other choice could be much safer.

Wines benefit from being kept in dark conditions. Although this is not always practical, wine should certainly be stored in an area that is not exposed it to direct sunlight.

If you are eating white meat life fish or chicken, it would be best to order white wine. If you have chosen red meat like pork or beef roast, then red wine lie Pinot Noir would be an ideal wine to order. Ordering wine by the bottle is sometimes cheaper than ordering wine by glass. There are restaurants that offer discounts to customers who order two or more bottles of wine.

Whether or not you have a limited budget, it is always wise to ask for the price of wine per bottle or per glass, if only to have a stock knowledge of their prices the next time you are tasked with the same decision to order wine for the group. If money isn’t a problem for you, then Dom Perignon would be a good choice although this wine is higher priced than the others. There are equally good wine sparklers like Iron Horse or Domaine Chandon which are priced reasonably, depending on where you are eating.

There are wines that are better when they are less than three years old. You can try ordering white wines like Pinot Blanc or French Macon are dry white wines that command good prices and can be eaten well with appetizers. Wines are best drunk when they have been properly chilled.

Many modern wines do not need to be aged over a great period of time; therefore extensive cellars are often unnecessary. Having said this, if you have the time, space and resource to excavate a cellar, your wine will surely benefit. A purpose built cellar is not normally an option for most households and so suitable alternatives must be explored.

Choosing The Right Pair Of Wine And Cheese

Wine and cheese parties from the seventies are returning. They are easy to set up. You don’t need a reason for the party. They can be brought together at any time, no matter the weather and there is nothing like the pairing of cheese with wine.

Most people can get overwhelmed. To begin with there are a wide range of choices in wines and cheese. Then there is figuring out what wine goes with what cheese.

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The first thing to remember when you set about buying your supplies is never by cheap boxed wine. It may be easy to open but the flavors of cheese or any other food cannot be brought out with cheap wine.

Remember strong wines go with strong cheese and mild cheeses go with mild wine. Neither drink nor food must dominate. The flavor of each bite of cheese on your palette is replaced with a sip of the wine.

Wines that are acidic complement pungent cheese such as Chardonnay with Brie or a Savignon Blanc with goat cheese.A soft cheese like Camembert goes well with sweet wines like Vouvray or Chenin Blanc.And hard cheeses like Parmegiano, Romana or Regiano are wonderfully matched to full bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Red Zinfandel and Red Bordeaux.Sweet wines like Vermouth , Port or Sherry may be combined with the a the well known, much loved cheddar cheese. If the cheddar is aged then its sharp taste compliments an equally tangy glass of Shiraz Cabernet.

Remember, that the best guide of what cheese and wine combinations to go for, you should rely on your tastes. If it seems to work together then serve them together. Don’t worry about the errors you make, they will only help improve your abilities in the long run.

What Is A Perfect Wine Refrigerator

If you compare your home refrigerator and a wine refrigerator, some differences will become apparent. A food refrigereator is kept well below 50 degrees fahrenheit, much too cold for a wine refrigerator. Wine should be stored at around 55 degrees. Another difference between the two refrigerators is the the one for food is opened multiple times during a day. Opening a wine refrigerator that many times would make it very hard for the refrigerator to maintaing the correct temperature.

The Size of a Wine Refrigerator

You may wonder which size of wine refrigerator to choose. There are a number of models and choices. Some wine refrigerators hold 6 bottles while other models hold 20 or more bottles. The six bottle units sit nicely of your counter top while you will need some floor space for the bigger models. One of the advantages of the bigger wine refrigerators is the individual cooling compartments. This allows you to put red, white or rose in the wine refrigerator and each type of wine will have its own section.

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What Temperature Should I Store My Wine?

Storage of wine can be critical to the final product in your glass. Too warm and the wine will age to fast but too cold is just as harmful as the colder temperatures don’t allow the natural aging process to continue. Different wines have different temperature tolerances. If you are a fan of blush, rose or dry white wines or even light red wines, then that dial for temperature should be set to between 40 and 52 degrees. Don’t put your champagne or other sparkling wines in the wine refrigerator. The temperature for full-bodied wine should be stored at temperatures in the 52 to 60 degree range. These temperatures in your wine refrigerators makes for a much better end product.

The Difference between a Wine Cellar and a Wine Refrigerator

Basically the difference relates to the amount of wine that can be stored. Obviously the wine cellar will hold more bottles and is much more expensive since it usually takes up one or more rooms in your house. These rooms are usually in a basement that gets litte light and essentially acts like a big refrigerator with different “temperature zones” for different wines that you’re storing. While the idea of a wine cellar may be very attractive to the wine enthusiast, they had better have deep pockets. They are quite a bit more expensive than even the best wine refrigerator.

Where to Purchase a Wine Refrigerator

Purchasing a wine refrigerator can seem like a daunting task but it really need not be that hard. There are several places you can purchase them. Online, you may want to check out a specific manufacturers web site. Offline you can go to home improvement stores or appliance dealers. Just be sure to compare prices when you decide you want a good wine refrigerator. Learn about the different models and their features. That way you won’t be talked into a model that you either can’t afford or one that has features that you don’t need. You will see and taste the benefit of a good wine refrigerator in your glass.

The Wine Rack Table: The Height Of Functionality

In the spirit of comfortably decorating our homes, the ability to combine form with function goes a long way towards making our job much easier. And for those with smaller living environments, the inclusion of furniture that serves a dual function can be enormously helpful. For those who enjoy wine as a beverage and a hobby, the purchase of a wine rack table can display wine bottles beautifully and still function with the utmost efficiency.

Choosing a wine rack table depends largely on your personal style, space considerations, and budget. A smaller wine rack table can fit in a corner and hold several wine bottles underneath it, maximizing space and providing vertical storage. The flat top provides an extra space from which to serve drinks. For additional storage, choose a wine rack table that provides space for some stemware pieces and additional barware such as a bottle opener.

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If you have a larger space with which to work, then a lower, wider wine rack table may serve a number of purposes. While providing more space for a greater number of bottles than its smaller counterpart, this particular wine rack table also offers a larger horizontal table top for serving and enjoying cocktails. A wine rack table of this variety may also offer drawer space for efficiently storing barware accessories.

Also be sure to consider the overall style of your home when choosing a wine rack table. Manufacturers offer designs of every variety – from contemporary and country to antique and eclectic. The materials of each wine rack table differ largely as well – from solid wood of every variety, to metal and wrought iron. Choose a wine rack table based on your needs as a wine enthusiast, as well as how the particular table will function within your room as piece of furniture and as a decorative item.

Begin your search for the perfect wine rack table by exploring local home improvement stores, furniture stores, and large retail outlets that display a variety of home goods. You will find a range of styles, sizes, and prices so do your homework before you purchase.

A beautiful wine rack table can add sophistication, organization, and functionality to your home, allowing you to display your wine with style.

Choosing A Wine Rack Design For You

A home’s décor ultimately reflects the style of its occupants. Those who engage in hobbies and collecting that is near and dear to their heart will frequently display corresponding pieces in an attractive display in their home. In addition to infusing the home with the occupant’s unique personality, such a display creates an instant conversation piece that will engage visitors and give them a feel for the home’s overall style. For wine connoisseurs, the display of a variety of wines that they particularly enjoy can be both functional and decorative. To this end, a beautiful wine rack design can do the most to display your wine with visual impact.

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When choosing a wine rack design, begin initially by determining the specific material that would most complement your home. Wine racks are made from everything from solid wood and metal to wrought iron and come in a variety of styles – from contemporary to antique. A wine rack design should fit with your home’s overall style, allowing it to merge seamlessly with the other elements in your home.

Functionality should also be a consideration when choosing a wine rack design. If you are content to have a wine rack that simply stores and displays a couple of good wine bottles then you should look for simple designs; these should also be relatively inexpensive. However, if you would also like to display stemware, barware, or additional items, then seek out a more comprehensive wine rack design. While these will undoubedtly be higher priced, it could be well worth the expense if the wine rack design will offer you a greater level of efficiency.

Your space restrictions should also be considered when it comes to a wine rack design. While some standing wine racks can fit within a corner of your home or against a wall, there are others that hang from the ceiling, maximizing space for those with a smaller living environment.

Visit home furniture stores and large retail stores that offer a display of home goods. You will easily find a beautiful wine rack design that works for your particular purposes. The Internet also offers a comprehensive listing of websites that sell wine racks online. You can shop from the comfort of your own home and have the wine rack design shipped right to your door.

A stunning wine rack design is a relatively inexpensive way to complete the look of your home and create a sophisticated display that reflects your personality.

Choosing A Wine Gift Basket

Wine gift baskets are a wonderful gift for all kinds of people – wine lovers will appreciate them as you have shown consideration of their hobbies, and if you are selecting a gift for someone you do not know well, then it is a safe bet that a wine gift basket will be considered a generous and luxurious gift.

Making a Wine Gift Basket

Wine gift baskets are quite simple to make, but if you give someone a home made one then they will appreciate the time and thought you have put into it. Just select the things you want to put in to the basket, arrange it all in an attractive fashion, and wrap it and tie it nicely with ribbon.

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You may need to secure the items before you wrap the basket to make sure they stay in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Buying a Wine Gift Basket

If making a gift basket yourself is too daunting a prospect, then you could purchase a ready made one. There are lots of companies that sell them – some will even let you pick the gifts and make you a basket to – order.

One is Wine County Gift Baskets, which is a company that offers the absolute best selection of value priced, handcrafted gift baskets and gift towers, and this includes corporate gift baskets, gourmet gift food baskets, spa gift baskets, coffee gift baskets and tea gift baskets, just to name a few of the many offered selections.

Wine country gift basket will make personalized wine gift baskets for you, allowing you to pick out items from their catalogue to make the ideal gift basket. They will also hand deliver the basket to the recipient if you wish.

Another great option here is Express Gift Baskets, a company that was established a decade ago, in 1997, and which since then has been shipping thousands of baskets across the world. They specialize in the corporate market and carry a full line of promotional items.

Express Gift Baskets will also make custom baskets for you, and will allow you to add your logo or design to the items if you wish, making them ideal for businesses who wish to send gifts to regular customers or to their employees.

An Introduction To Chardonnay

Chardonnay grape is the most popular type of white wine, found all over the world. The flavor, taste, and aroma of it will though, depending on where it was made and what processing methods were used. Chardonnay has a variety of different styles and flavors, and remains a major type of grape. As a result of it’s popularity, this fine wine spread throughout Europe and other locations of the world such as Australia and California.

As more and more wine makers discovered Chardonnay, the fine wine began to grow quite well in South Africa and other areas as well. With it being a non aroma type wine, oak seems to work very well with it. The richest and most complex are American and French Chardonnay, which are also among the most preferred white wines. Even though it does suffer from fatigue, the flavor and richness of this wine will keep it loved by many for years to come.

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Chardonnay originated from the Burgundy and Champagne area of France. Although white Burgundy is a popular wine that is prepared with Aligote, a lesser known grape, the fact remains that white Burgundy can’t be made without the use of Chardonnay grape. What this goes to show, is that Chardonnay grapes have more than a few uses.

In appearance, Chardonnay grapes are green in color with thin skins. The grape is a result of the Pinot and Croatian Blanc grape, which are extinct to this day. Chardonnay on the other hand is still popular, fermented and aged using oak barrels that help to bring out the vanilla flavor the wine is well known for. It can also be aged and fermented using bottles, although it won’t age quite as much as red wine.

Almost all Chardonnay wines are considered to be chilled, making them work extremely well with dishes that contain butter and cheeses. The wines also have less acid content as well, which makes them work well with seafood as well. There are a lot of food that you can pair Chardonnay with, which is what makes it so popular. A lot of fine restaurants serve it as well, especially Italian and seafood restaurants.

The Chardonnay grape can also be used in making Champagne and other types of sparkling wines. Although Chardonnay wine is the most popular use, there are several other uses for the grape that lead to some truly fine wines. Oak is often times used with the wine as well, which provides it with some great flavors as it ages. Although it can be a bit on the expensive side, it still remains one of the most preferred types of wine. You can find it at any wine or alcohol store – making it a great addition to your wine or drink collection.

All You Need To Know About Spirit Wines

Moderate wine consumption produces a better balance of these two. Additionally, wine has an anti coagulation effect which makes the blood less likely to clot.

The health benefits of drinking alcohol can’t be underrated. Mainly because of the evidence that it can greatly prove your health.

However, not all alcoholic beverages can provide healthful gains. Between wines and spirits, wines provide more healthful benefits compared to spirits.

Generally, spirits refer to purified or extracted alcohol. The process of distilling alcohol is usually done by heating a “fermented liquid.” The liquid is made to disperse in the air making it change from a liquid state to a gas or vapor, and then squeezed back into its liquified form. Learn the art of Wine Tasting.

Spirits are generally made from any natural material that can be “fermented” to produce alcohol. You could surmise that wine with a little percentage of alcohol can be transformed into spirits by increasing its alcohol content and decreasing its liquid substance.

Measurements

Since spirits are distilled forms of any organic substance including wines with the abundance of alcohol content, these particular types of beverages are measured and assessed depending on their alcohol content. Most countries that manufacture spirits use a particular means of measurement. The common way is to use the “Gay-Lussac system” or measuring the spirits according to “alcohol by volume” or ABV.

For example, a particular spirit that is classified as 60% ABV means that it has 60% alcohol. In the United States, spirits or any alcoholic beverage are classified in accordance to their alcohol content by using “proof of scale.” The “proof” of an alcoholic beverage, particularly spirits, has their ABVs doubled. For instance, if a spirit has a 30% ABV, it is classified as 60% proof.

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Classifications

Spirits are, basically, classified according to the kind of fermenting material that is used in the process of fermentation and distillation.

To know more about the classification of spirits, here is a list that can help you out:

1. Brandy

This is a type of spirit that is made from “fermented” grape sap. The alcohol contents of brandy are generated from a meticulous distillation process of grape juices, mostly from wines.

2. Gin, Vodka, etc.

These spirits are generated from distilled beers that are naturally made from grains.

3. “Fortified wines”

These are special kinds of spirits made from a combination of “fermented wine” and extracted spirits, which are, more often than not brandy.

These are just a few of the many classifications of spirits. They may differ from the kinds of materials that they have originated from but they are all extracted and distilled to produce alcohol. That is why they are known as spirits.

Chemical and food experts have known for years that wine contains rich deposits of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars that are often beneficial to good health. Wine is also rich in potassium and low in sodium. Red wines have more of these elements due to the juices longer contact with the grape skins. Red wines are also rich in Vitamin B which comes from the grape skins as well.

Under Counter Coolers: The Modern Wine Cellar

Not too many years back if you heard the term wine cooler, your thoughts automatically went to Bartles & James and if someone told you about their wine collection you pictured a dusty underground vault, where bottles lined the walls in orderly rows, slowly aging to perfection. Your average person that lived in your average suburban home could enjoy a good glass of wine when out on the town, but seldom had the capacity to store wine in optimal conditions at home. With the advent of under counter coolers, a wine cellar is no longer a necessity in order to be a collector of fine wines. In fact, anyone can turn their kitchen into modern day wine cellar.

Fine wines are expensive and they are only worth the money if you have a place to store them. Wine is alive, constantly changing according to its environment. Lots of things affect what changes a wine, including temperature, humidity, darkness, calm, ventilation and the angle at which it is stored. A good wine cooler will take these things into account. You always want your wine to be stored so that it is horizontal, at the lowest, stable temperature possible, in a place that is free of vibration, and away from places where you store items that have a strong odor.

The ideal conditions for storing wine are at 50 -55 degrees and 70% humidity. A wine refrigerator or wine cooler is ideal for this task. Unlike regular refrigerators, wine coolers run a little warmer maintaining the optimum temperature for wine. Because they are electronic, their temperature never fluctuates, helping the wine to maintain its constant flavor. They also offer storage options so you can lay the bottles down, allowing the wine to always stay in contact with the cork. An under the counter wine cooler, built into your kitchen also offers extra protection from the natural light in your house.

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When you go out shopping for a wine cooler, there are some things to look for. You want to make sure that the door of the cooler is dark. Try to avoid clear glass coolers. They may look fabulous when they are filled with rows of wines glittering under the fluorescent lights of your kitchen, but all of the light that will seep in the bottles will ruin your wine. When wine is exposed to too much light it creates a condition called being “light struck.” The result of this condition is that the wine ends up tasting like dry cardboard.

Another consideration when you purchase an under counter wine cooler is the location where you plan to install it. Stand in the middle of your kitchen and take a minute to observe each spot under your counters that the cooler could potentially be placed. Make sure you don’t install it near a stove or oven, which could affect its temperature. Stay away from the refrigerator and the dishwasher because vibrations from both of these appliances will over time, ruin your wine. Placing an under counter wine cooler near the sink also puts if too close to vibrations as water runs through the pipes. If you have an island that has no appliances situated on it you have found the perfect location for your under counter wine cooler.

With the installation of an under counter wine cooler, you can serve wine to guests that came from your own “cellar” Since a cooler will maintain the perfect conditions for storing your wine, your guests will never know you didn’t trek down a flight of stars into a darkened basement, sift through row after row of fine pinots to choose the perfect vintage, and chill the bottle to perfection just for

A Little Wine Goes A Long Way

Changing to a healthier diet needn’t mean you miss out on the good things in life …

A question of balance:

You’ve embarked on a diet – and have even discovered some exciting new recipes – but what about wine? According to doctors, a little bit of what you fancy does you good, so much so that heart attack patients in one Wiltshire hospital were given two glasses a day during their stay. It’s also a great stress reliever, helping you unwind at the end of a busy day. The secret is moderation – but by drinking less you can afford a few special bottles and expand your wine horizons.

A world of choice:

Start by taking a grape variety you know, then work your way through different examples from around the world. Lovers of Aussie Chardonnay, for instance, might ring the changes with rich, barrel-matured white Burgundy. If you’ve already discovered fruit-filled Chilean Cabernet, then you really need to try the aristocratic reds of Bordeaux. Find out for yourself why the wines of New Zealand have become so popular, or experience the everlasting appeal of Burgundy. Just a few rungs up the price ladder, flavours become more intense – making it far easier to stick to a single glass!

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When exploring, don’t be afraid to ask questions of waiters or shop staff – if properly trained they will be full of useful advice. The very cheapest wine is rarely the best value for money. Excise duty, VAT, transport and packaging are virtually the same whether it’s a basic vin de table or from a prestigious estate. By paying a little extra – say £5 to £7 – you get a big increase in wine quality.

The easy option:

More people are ordering their wine online thanks to the convenience and range of wines on offer. Online wine merchants invariably provide more information about their wines than you will find on the label when perusing the supermarket shelves. Laithwaites were voted UK Independent Wine Merchant of the Year 2007 and have seen their online orders increase rapidly in recent years. It isn’t hard to see why – a quick look at their website reveals a wide range of wines with helpful descriptions about each bottle. Ordering is simple, each selection is delivered direct to your door and every bottle is covered by a full money-back guarantee.

With expert wine merchants available at your fingertips it has become a whole lot easier to enjoy better wines at very competitive prices. Avoid cheap supermarket wine and you’ll discover a little good wine really does go a long way. You may find that you shed those unwanted pounds and your health, not to mention your palate, improves too! More information can be found at our site.

What You Should Know Before Buying A Wine Rack

For some people, the storage and acquisition of wine is more than just a hobby, it is an art.

Wine connoisseurs all know that the proper storage of wine is important to its final flavor. Once it is already bottled, wine will still mature and gain body and flavor. Proper care should be taken when handling wine, or else its potential for greatness will go to waste. To keep their wine well preserved, the discriminating connoisseur will choose a proper wine rack.

How to Buy a Wine Rack

The Build
Wine racks can be made of so many different materials and styles. You should consider which material and style fits your needs and preference. You could have wood, glass, alloy, or metal racks. Some people try to choose materials that match their living rooms. There are a variety of styles of wine racks, find one that is convenient for you. The popular styles include counter top racks, diamond bins, cabinets and others.

The Essential Elements
A good wine rack will ensure that the following elements are strictly controlled. Light, humidity, temperature, stability. If you want to keep your wine well preserved and ready for ambush party, you need to make sure they are not exposed to light, moisture, extreme temperatures and shaking or vibration.

Cabinet wine racks are good at keeping wine bottles safe. They can emulate the conditions at a wine cellar best. These condition include moderate humidity, cool temperatures, and little light

We try to control the humidity so we can avoid getting the wine cork from accumulating moisture. This will lessen the chances that the wine will get contaminated or oxidized.

Keeping the correct humidity or appropriately moist environment will keep the wine cork damp, reducing the chances of contamination and/or oxidization. Warm conditions will accelerate wine aging. You have to keep this in mind when you consider which wine rack to choose.

Things to Remember

Don’t place wine cellars above or near refrigerators. Refrigerators generate heat and this heat could ruin your wine collection. Buying and installing a good wine rack would be useless if that happens.

Your rack has to be smooth enough that when the wine bottles are put and taken, they will not get scratched and damaged. Bottles and labels are also important parts of the overall value of wine.

A wine cellar is great but not necessary to store your wine in the correct environment. But since not everyone can afford a wine cellar or has space enough for one, you could opt for a wine rack instead. Wine racks function a lot like wine cellars, but they are smaller and are more accessible. They are also a lot cheaper and easier to install.

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Believe it or not, ultraviolet light can affect and ruin wine. That’s the reason wine cellars are so dark and that’s why you have to keep your wine in a dark safe place. When you store your wine bottles, make sure they are stored sideways; this ensures that the wine is always in contact with the cork to keep it moist.

Once again we cannot express how important it is to maintain the right conditions for your wine to mature nicely. Your wine rack system has to maintain the right amount of humidity and temperature to keep your collection going. Bear in mind that wine is something you keep for a long time. Keep your wine racks pumping a temperature range of 55-60° F. Also make sure the humidity is in the 50% to 75% range. Adjust these settings according to the needs of your wine.

Start Planning for Your Wine Rack Now!

Well, now you have pretty much gotten everything in order. When a party comes crashing through, you can whip out the grade A wine and celebrate to your hearts content. Pour out the good times to the tune of the compliments and admiration your friends will throw your way all because of your fine wine rack.