|Wine & Spirits Information|
Start Your Wine Cellar The Right Way
One of the great joys of wine is to be able to select a bottle from your own cellar, perhaps one that you've been storing for some years, draw the cork and enjoy it with friends. You can marvel at the changes brought on by maturity and, as a bonus, you can brag about the price you paid and congratulate yourself on picking up such a bargain! However, wine is an ever-changing thing and how it is stored will directly affect how quickly and how well it ages! Storing wine is very simple ? It requires a constant temperature, humidity, darkness, stillness and a well- ventilated and clean environment.
? Insulation The first essential is to create a storage environment that provides the basics of stable temperature, no light and no vibration. In general terms 4? (100mm) of polystyrene is the equivalent to 3 ft (1 meter) of ground. So if you're trying to decide between an above ground construction and an underground cavern, you must be prepared to dig deep for the latter. Your cupboard, indoor space or your outdoor construction must be well shaded, well insulated and with the minimum of air movement in and out.
? Temperature The objective is to provide stored wines with a constant temperature of between 50ºF and 59ºF (10°C ? 15°C). Seasonal changes in temperature will not harm your wine, although fluctuations greater than one degree a week should be avoided. Wines subjected to temperatures over 77ºF (25°C) are in grave danger of rapid deterioration. Wines stored in less than ideal conditions will age at speeds quite different to those envisaged by winemakers when they offer suggested storage times. A hygro thermometer will provide you with accurate information as to both the temperature and humidity ranges within your cellar. A well-constructed above ground cellar or a well dug underground cellar will require the minimum of additional temperature control although your climate or the position of your cellar may necessitate the use of a cooling device that will provide complete temperature stability. Another alternative is a temperature controlled wine cabinet. Some of these can hold up to 800 bottles but be aware that some manufacturers' suggested bottle capacity can be misleading and the racks may be smaller than you require. Champagne bottles are larger than riesling bottles! Regard assembled wine as your best cooling block. A high density of wine bottles will reduce wine temperature fluctuations. Consider keeping your long-term wines in a professional storage facility if your cellar cannot conform to the optimum temperature ranges.
? Humidity A dry atmosphere is an enemy of the natural cork seal. A natural cork is compressed and forced into the bottle as a 100% natural seal. Low humidity combined with a defective cork results in the wine moving out of the bottle (increasing ullage) and air naturally moving into the bottle. Moderate humidity is important to keep the cork in good resilient condition and prevent it shrinking. Screw capped bottles do not require humidity. Excessive humidity will not harm the wine but can cause the labels to go moldy. The ideal humidity for your cellar is 70%, however anywhere between 50?80% is acceptable.
? Darkness Light will prematurely age a bottle of wine. Clear bottles are most susceptible to this problem, but ultraviolet light will penetrate even dark colored glass. Ultraviolet light will damage wine by causing the degradation of the otherwise stable organic compounds, especially the tannins found in wine. These organic compounds contribute to the aroma, flavor and structure of the wine. Without them your wine would be flat and thin. So exposure to ultraviolet light results in unfavorable and irreversible changes in your wine. Extra care should be given to sparkling wines as they are more sensitive to light than other wines.
? Lay it down! Store your wine bottles horizontally so the wine is in contact with the cork. This will keep the cork wet. If the cork dries out and shrinks it will let air get to your wine. Store it with the label facing up. This will help in three ways: You can easily see what the wine is. You don't have to disturb the bottle to see what you've got in your cellar. The sediment will form on the opposite side to the label and make it easier to see. The label is less likely to be damaged. If you're storing wine as an investment, a damaged label will reduce the value.
Chris Miley is the creator of the very popular book "How To Build And Start Your Own Wine Cellar" which includes complete instructions for building your own basement wine cellar plus many other ideas for wine storage areas in your home, from a cupboard under the stairs to a temperature controlled wine cabinet. Go to http://www.winecellarsecrets.com to find out more about building your own wine cellar
Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape responsible for the wines of Bordeaux's Medoc region, arguably some of the finest reds in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon performs well practically the world over, as long as it's not too cold, but in certain appellations in France, and more recently in California's Napa Valley, it produces wines that astonish with their richness and complexity.
France Car Hire
Here is a quick summary of the different French wine regions you can visit with some idea of what you'll be tasting and the airports where you can conveniently pick up a rental car.
Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste
First off let me say that I am in no way a wine snob. I do not believe that there is an ultimate right and wrong way to pair wine with food. It all boils down to your personal taste and the tastes of your guests. Most people like to pair white wines with white meats and lighter meals like fish, and red wines with red meats and pastas. You can certainly mix it up, however. Experiment and go with what you think tastes good.
Rare Varietals Cure Wine Boredom
The future of the Australian wine industry will be shaped by a group of innovative grapegrowers and winemakers who are busily experimenting with new varieties in new regions.
Wine Tasting Component I: Look
Wine Tasting Component I: Look
Using Cooking Wine
Cooking wine is sort of a holdover from prohibition. People who grew up thinking Alcohol is Evil didn't want to have any in their homes. But they wanted those delicious flavors in cooking. Cooking wine seemed to be a reasonable compromise.
How to Order Wine in a Restaurant
Ordering wine in a restaurant is not much different than buying it in a wine store. The main difference is that you have an audience. Yet ordering wine in a restaurant can be intimidating especially if the wine list is extensive.
Choosing a Wine Gift Basket
During the holiday season, most of us are in a frantic search for presents for loved ones and friends. Next time, instead of the usual hassle of selecting a gift which will suit him or her, try sending a wine gift basket instead. Wine gift basketsare a perfect present for both men and women and suit every occasion e.g. Birthdays, Weddings etc. The information below will help you select an appropriate wine gift for that special occasion.
The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic
Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number of variations and a history.
Who Made the First Wine Anyway?
Although details are understandably sketchy, it is believed that, around 6000 BC, grapes were being grown and wine was being made in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).
Merlot wine is a rich, soft wine with the flavor of blackberries, beloved because it is seldom harsh and not as acidic as a Cabernet Sauvignon with which it is often blended. Merlot wine has the added advantage of being rich and supple but only moderately tannic and, therefore, wonderfully drinkable from early on.
How To Open Champagne
I manage a highly regarded web community for corporate flight attendants and the subjects we discuss on our forum include: how to get hired, appropriate business attire, taxes and accounting, safety issues, and food service. The latter category can, at times, be a real hot button issue with opinions divurging and colliding frequently, even on the simplest matters. You see, corporate flight attendants really want to do everything perfectly -- the first time and every time -- as their passengers [clientele] include some of the most influential people in the world.
The most famous cool climates for Riesling wine are in Germany, Austria, and the Alsace region of France. In these places, Riesling wine can be dazzling, with intense mineral and peach flavors and breathtaking clarity and transparency. Similarly, the cool vineyards of upper New York state, Washington, Ontario, British Columbia, and New Zealand can produce elegant Riesling wine.
Uses of Mirror Tinted Contact Lenses
Mirror tinted contact lenses have become a topic of interest among many Americans. This is because the market for crazy contact lenses has continued to grow and be popular, so, as a result, contact companies are continually faced with making the next best thing. What is the next best thing you might ask? Mirror tinted contact lenses of course. Of course a significant amount of research and technology will be used in creating these contacts, however where there is demand the contact companies will be sure to supply. The technology for mirror tinted contact lenses would have to be similar to a one way mirror. That is, the contact reflects on side and allowss the wearer to see through the other side. Certainly this is not an easy creation, but definitely a unique and fun one.
Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in the world. Champagne is the name of the wine region located about 90 miles northeast of Paris.
Choosing that Perfect Wine for a Dinner Party
So, you find yourself having been invited to a dinner party and decided to bring the host a bottle of wine. But which type of wine should you buy? I am sure you have seen people seemingly bewildered in front of the wine shelves at the local grocery or liquor store. You have seen them, staring dumbly with no idea what wine to pick out. After you read this article, you can be assured you will never be one of those people.
Barbera is a wine grape variety from Monferrato in Piemonte, Italy. Babera produces an intense red wine with deep color, low tannins and high acid and is used in California to provide "backbone" for so-called "jug wines".
Australia Is More Than Jacobs Creek
The Jacobs Creek Brand of wines have taken the world by storm. And so they should. They are excellent Australian wines which are consistently good. They have clearly won the battle for everyday wines at their particular price range.
Whisky syndicates are groups of private owners and many have been around for years. The main purpose is to bring together a group of like-minded people to enjoy the benefits of cost sharing in order to invest in whisky casks and to eventually bottle for private consumption. As it will take over five years for one person to get through one cask at a bottle per week, remembering that this is at cask strength which is more like 1½ bottles at 40%, it follows therefore that a syndicate of five could organise one cask per year between them and have a regular supply with more variety.
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