Frequently Asked Questions:
A. Most wine producers are honest, of course, but it's still important to know what you're buying. Look carefully at the wine label to learn at least the minimum. The front label of most U.S. wines usually carries the name of the grape variety along with an appellation (place name), which refers to the legally defined American Viticulture Area (AVA) in which the grapes were grown. In general, the more specific the appellation, the better you can expect the wine to be.
Here's what the most common terms on American-made wines mean:
California: If a wine label says "California" on the front it means the grapes could have been grown anywhere up and down this gigantic state. In effect it often indicates that a high percentage of the wine comes from cheaper Central Valley grapes that make less concentrated, less interesting wines.
Coastal: Be careful with this increasingly popular term. Many of the wines are great values, but "Coastal" is not an AVA and doesn't mean a thing, legally.
Counties, valleys: Specific terms such as Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Willamette Valley are almost always a good sign. They mean that at least 85 percent of the wine was made from grapes grown there.
Towns, districts: If you see a town name like Oakville or a district name like Carneros it means even more specialization, better odds for high quality and an inevitably higher price.
Vineyard designations: The individual property where the grapes came from, like Sangiacomo Vineyard or Bien Nacido Vineyard, is the finest geographical distinction a winery can put on a bottle. This is usually a good sign of quality and a chance to experience what the French call terroir, the taste of a place.
Estate bottled: Another good sign of quality. It means that the wine was made from grapes grown in vineyards owned (or leased for the long term) by the winery itself, not grown by an independent farmer or another winery.
Produced and bottled by: This is one of the best phrases to see in fine print on a label. It means that the winery itself actually crushed the grapes, fermented the juice and put the wine into bottles. The only thing better in this regard is "grown, produced and bottled by," which is basically the same as estate bottled. Other phrases, such as "vinted and bottled by" and "cellared and bottled by" can mean the winery bought the wine from another vintner, maybe blended it and aged it a bit -- maybe not -- then bottled it.
A. White wines too warm will taste alcoholic and flabby, while white wines too cold will be refreshing but nearly tasteless. As for reds, keep them too warm and they will taste soft, alcoholic and even vinegary. Too cold and they will have an overly tannic bite and much less flavor.
Here's how to be confident the wine you serve will be on its best behavior:
Champagne and other sparkling wines should start out totally chilled. Put them in the refrigerator an hour and half before serving or in an ice bucket with an ice-water mixture at least 20 minutes before serving. For vintage-dated Champagne and other high-quality bubbly, however, you should let the bottle then warm up a bit if you don't want to miss out on the mature character for which you're probably paying extra.
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, white Zinfandel and other refreshing white wines should also be chilled to refrigerator temperature (usually 35 to 40 degrees) for an hour and a half before serving. But the better examples, such as barrel-aged wines like Fume Blanc (made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes) will improve if brought out 20 minutes early or allowed to warm up slightly during hors d'ouevres or dinner.
Chardonnay, white Burgundy and other rich, full-bodied and barrel-fermented white wines of high quality taste their best at classic "cellar temperature," or 55 degrees. Winemakers in France's Burgundy region know what they're doing when they offer tastes to visiting journalists and wine buyers directly from the barrels of Chardonnay in their cool, humid underground cellars. So put these into the fridge an hour and half before serving, but bring them out 20 minutes early to warm a bit.
Sweet dessert wines need the same treatment as Sauvignon Blanc, above, with the exception of fortified dessert wines like Port and sweet Sherry, which are better at cellar temperature or warmer. Treat dry Sherry like Sauvignon Blanc, too.
Almost all red wines
show their best stuff when served at about 65 degrees-cool, but warmer
than cellar temperature. This is not room temperature, unless you happen
to live in a Scottish castle or in San Francisco during July. So if you
don't keep your red wine in a cool cellar or cooled storage unit, you
will enjoy it more if you chill it for 20 minutes in the refrigerator
Rhone, Cabernet, Merlot
question, but one that is totally subjective to each individual palate.
For the most part, the old standby of "Red with meat, white with
fish" is a fair rule of thumb, but should by no means be the rule.
In the Northwest, for example, salmon is most often paired with Pinot
Noir. The key to matching wines with food should be more based on matching
the levels of quality, in my humble opinion. You wouldn't really want
to serve Osso Buco with a run-of-the-mill Chianti with the straw flask,
You may be wondering, "Why do I care how the stuff is made?!"
If so, you really should relax, maybe even have a glass of wine. Learning
the basics about winemaking is useful because it allows you to (a) credibly
evaluate the wines that you taste and (b) impress your date. For instance,
it's always a fun piece of trivia to let people know that red grapes can
make white wine, and it is good to know that you should never chill your
white wine by chucking it into the freezer - frost severely damages the
alcohol balance and taste of wine.
So what exactly is
this stuff and why is everyone all up in arms about it? Let's be clear:
wine isn't just high octane grape juice. Good wine really is tough to
make; if you don't believe us, try a nice bit of crappy wine and you'll
quickly learn why Monty Python claimed that it "opens the sluices
at both ends." Making a good wine involves taking a great grape,
growing it in the right soil, ushering it through the fermentation process,
aging it in the right way, and releasing it at just the right time. So
there are plenty of things to screw up, and the English have been botching
it for years.
What is wine?
Essentially, it is
fermented grape juice, but with a few extra twists. God saved a few pieces
of Eden when he gave us the boot, and one of the best is the fact that
any fruit containing sugar will turn to booze if you leave it to ferment.
In the process of fermentation, yeast converts the sugar into alcohol.
Yeast is found all over the place, and in the wild it lands on the skins
of grapes; hence, when grape juice is left to sit about in the wild, that
yeast will mix with it and ferment it naturally. Vintners nowadays don't
take any such chances: they labor over what precise strain of yeast to
use in their recipe because different choices will obviously lead to different
Most people believe
that green grapes make white wine and red grapes make red wine. That is
largely true, but if you care to impress anyone with arcane eno-trivia,
you should know that white wine can also be made from red grapes. The
inside of red grapes is essentially "white" - it is only their
skin that is red. And most wines are made with just the inside of a grape.
The red color in red wine is created by allowing the fleshy interior to
mix with the pulpy skins when it is being crushed. This process infuses
red wines with "tannin," an ingredient that gives red wine its
distinctive flavor. So you can make white wine with red grapes - like
White Zinfandel, a fine white wine made from a grape with a decidedly
red exterior - but not red wine with green grapes. Oh, and most champagnes
are made from red grapes. Weird, but true.
The grapes are crushed with or without the skins and then left to ferment. The nasty bits are removed from the juice and a disinfectant is used to neutralize any contaminants, such as mold and bacteria, that may have been on the grapes - remember, they've just been sitting outside for ages, surrounded by bugs and dirt, and yeast ain't the only thing lurking on the skin. The fluid, or "must," is then left to complete the fermentation process in either big steel vats or small wooden barrels - barrels call for a longer process and are harder to keep at the right temperature, but supposedly lead to a better finished product, for which you of course will end up paying more. Once the wine is properly fermented, the vintner will need to pluck out all the little nibblets and then mature the clarified vino. The better vineyards will age the wine for years in oak barrels, which infuses the wine with positive woody hints. The lamer vineyards will shove the stuff in a steel vat just long enough for it to be squirted into cardboard boxes with plastic spigots.
four major types of wine: red, white, rosé (or blush), and champagne.
As far as dining is concerned, we are going to focus only on the first
two types since champagne is its own animal.
Where color comes
Color is the first
and easiest distinguishing feature of wine. As we hinted at earlier, the
main difference between red and white wine is that grape juice used to
make red wine contains skins, seeds, and stems. This is significant for
the following reason: leaving juice to mix together with the woody bits
(known as maceration) causes the finished product to contain something
we briefly mentioned earlier - tannins. If the term tannin is bugging
you because you don't really get what we're talking about, just think
about a strong cup of tea. That woody taste is tannin. In wine, it can
lend a wonderful complexity to a red wine. As a general rule of thumb,
red wines are heavier and more complex than white wines. White wines are
usually a good place for beginners to start because they are initially
more palatable to novices since they often tend to be sweeter.
The reason you need
to be aware of the differences between red and white wine is because one
of the oldest rules in fine dining is that you should attempt to harmonize
your choice of food and drink. If you are going to be eating something
delicate with subtle tastes, the Rule states, you should avoid drinking
something with a strong flavor that will overshadow the food. Conversely,
a hearty meal will often be best complimented by a strong wine with flavor
of its own. Now every single guide to wine in the world makes a point
of saying that the Rule is out of date and the only hard and fast dictate
of wine drinking is to choose something you enjoy. Of course, if you're
dropping fatty cash for grub and grog, you should pick whatever the hell
you want. Don't let dead British wankers tell you how to eat a meal -
go with what you like.
The rationale behind
a reason that Rule evolved in the first place: it makes sense. If, for
example, you're trying to pick up on the vague hints of Caribbean brine
that delicately caress the primo slice of sushi you just ordered, slurping
a bowl of tequila isn't going to help. Balancing food with drink may not
be required anymore, but it's a good tip to keep in mind and will instantly
push you off the Zero mark when you start eating at good restaurants.
One of the
main distinctions - after red and white - that is bandied about by wine
drinkers is whether a particular quaff is sweet or dry. Though imagining
how a fluid can be dry is something of a logical stretch, just bear in
mind that dry is nothing more than the opposite of sweet, and we all know
what sweet tastes like. A related factor is the weight of a particular
type of wine, which refers to the amount of alcohol present in a given
Guides to Sweetness
Here is a quick and
dirty guide to the sweetness of wines (and please note that, for both
charts, the listed reds are not necessarily of the same sweetness/weight
as the whites listed next to them -- these are relative charts of sweetness/weight,
within red or white):
And here's a thumbnail
sketch of how heavy or light a wine is:
of Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois, produced from high quality vineyards,
were shipped to Northern Europe where they were enjoyed by the English,
Dutch and Scandinavians as early as the 13th century. In the 16th century,
they were transformed into eau-de-vie, then matured in oak casks to become
Cognac. That was the start of the adventure for a town which was to become
the capital of a world famous trade.
Cognac is a living
thing. During its time in the oak casks it is in permanent contact with
the air. This allows it to extract the substances from the wood that give
both its color and its final bouquet.
A. Armagnac may not be as well known as its bigger brother, Cognac, throughout the world of brandy drinkers but but among afficionados it is appreciated for its greater sophistication and subtleness. Indeed, someone once said : ``Cognac is like a fresh young girl, but armagnac is like a woman of a certain age that you do not wish to take home to meet your mother.''
There is a hint too of romanticism about Armagnac. It is part of the world of Gascony, which also gave birth to those great adventurers of French literature, d'Artagnan and the three musketeers, who have captured the imagination of many generations even outside France, and - inevitably - Hollywood.
One reason for the relative obscurity of Armagnac is perhaps that with one exception it is still produced by myriad small `chais' which do not have the resources to commercialise it in the same way as the big names of Cognac.
One of the principal differences between Armagnac and Cognac is the system of distillation, the Alhambic. This has five to eight stages in the one distillation machine. The spirit that emerges at the end of the process is more complete, because it has kept those parts that are lost at the beginning and the end of simpler distillations. These fragrant esters impart to Armagnac a greater fruitiness, reminding the discerning connoisseur of the fruit from which the spirit came. The bouquet of a fine Armagnac has wonderful hints of prune and other fruits which are driven out in other eaux-de-vie.
This unusual distillation process has made possible another innovation: recent developments in the control of rot in grapes have meant that some Armagnac producers have been able to produce a single grape Armagnac - folle blanche - a magically scented spirit.
The Armagnac growing area is divided into three: Bas Armagnac, around Aire-sur-l'Adour and Eauze, which produces the most prestigious Armagnacs, the Ténarèze, (Nérac, Condom and Vic-Fezensac), which produces some highly perfumed spirits sometimes rather coarser, and the Haut Armagnac (Mirande, Auch and Lectoure) which produces very little Armagnac nowadays.
There are four main
varieties of grape used mainly in Armagnac: folle blanche (known as gros
plant elsewhere), colombard, ugni blanc and the baco.
FLOC DE GASCOGNE
Faced with a slump
in sales of spirits Armagnac producers started selling the aperitif Floc
de Gascogne in the late 1970s. This is a ratafia, grape-juice matured
with Armagnac, and comes as a white or red drink.
Whisky is whisky which has been distilled and matured in Scotland. Irish
Whiskey means whiskey distilled and matured in Ireland. Whisky is distilled
in Scotland from malted barley in Pot Stills and from malted and unmalted
barley or other cereals in Patent Stills. The well-known brands of Scotch
Whisky are blends of a number of Pot Still and Patent Still whiskies.
Irish Whiskey distillers tend to favour three distillations rather than
two, as is general in Scotland in the case of Pot Still whiskies, and
the range of cereals used is wider.
As regards Bourbon
Whiskey, the United States Regulations provide:
Rye Whiskey is produced
both in the United States and Canada but the name has no geographical
significance. In the United States, Rye Whiskey by definition must be
produced from a grain mash of which not less than 51% is rye grain. In
Canada, there is no similar restriction. The relevant Canadian Regulation
'Canadian Whisky (Canadian
Rye Whisky, Rye Whisky) shall be whisky distilled in Canada, and shall
possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian
two kinds of Scotch Whisky: Malt Whisky which is made by the Pot Still
process and Grain Whisky which is made by the Patent Still (or Coffey
Still) process. Malt Whisky is made from malted barley only, while Grain
Whisky is made from malted barley together with unmalted barley and other
The Pot Still process
by which Malt Whisky is made may be divided into four main stages: Malting,
Mashing, Fermentation and Distillation.
The barley is first
screened to remove any foreign matter and then soaked for two or three
days in tanks of water known as steeps. After this it is spread out on
a concrete floor known as the malting floor and allowed to germinate.
Germination may take from 8 to 12 days depending on the season of the
year, the quality of the barley used and other factors. During germination
the barley secretes the enzyme diastase which makes the starch in the
barley soluble, thus preparing it for conversion into sugar. Throughout
this period the barley must be turned at regular intervals to control
the temperature and rate of germination.
At the appropriate
moment germination is stopped by drying the malted barley or green malt
in the malt kiln. More usually nowadays malting is carried out in Saladin
boxes or in drum maltings, in both of which the process is controlled
mechanically. Instead of germinating on the distillery floor, the grain
is contained in large rectangular boxes (Saladin) or in large cylindrical
drums. Temperature is controlled by blowing air at selected temperatures
upwards through the germinating grain, which is turned mechanically. A
recent development caused by the rapid expansion of the Scotch Whisky
industry is for distilleries to obtain their malt from centralised maltings
which supply a number of distilleries, thereby enabling the malting process
to be carried out more economically.
The dried malt is
ground in a mill and the grist, as it is now called, is mixed with hot
water in a large circular vessel called a mash tun. The soluble starch
is thus converted into a sugary liquid known as wort. This is drawn off
from the mash tun and the solids remaining are removed for use as cattle
After cooling, the
wort is passed into large vessels holding anything from 9,000 to 45,000
litres of liquid where it is fermented by the addition of yeast. The living
yeast attacks the sugar in the wort and converts it into crude alcohol.
Fermentation takes about 48 hours and produces a liquid known as wash,
containing alcohol of low strength, some unfermentable matter and certain
by-products of fermentation.
Malt Whisky is distilled
twice in large copper Pot Stills. The liquid wash is heated to a point
at which the alcohol becomes vapour. This rises up the still and is passed
into the cooling plant where it is condensed into liquid state. The cooling
plant frequently takes the form of a coiled copper tube or worm that is
kept in continuously running cold water.
The first distillation
separates the alcohol from the fermented liquid and eliminates the residue
of the yeast and unfermentable matter. This distillate, known as low wines,
is then passed into another still where it is distilled a second time.
The first runnings from this second distillation are not considered potable
and it is only when the spirit reaches an acceptable standard that it
is collected in the Spirit Receiver. Again, towards the end of the distillation,
the spirit begins to fall off in strength and quality. It is then no longer
collected as spirit but drawn off and kept, together with the first running,
for redistillation with the next low wines.
The Patent Still process
by which Grain Whisky is made is continuous in operation and differs from
the Pot Still process in five other ways.
Both Malt and Grain
Whisky must be matured after distillation has been completed. The new
spirit is filled into casks of oak wood which, being permeable, allows
air to pass in and evaporation takes place. By this means the harsher
constituents in the new spirit are removed and it becomes in due course
a mellow whisky. Malt Whisky which contains more of these flavoury constituents
takes longer to mature than Grain Whisky and is often left in the cask
for 10 years or even longer.
After maturation the
different whiskies are blended together. The blend is then reduced to
the strength required for bottling by the addition of soft water. The
different whiskies in the blend will have derived some colour from the
casks in which they have been matured, but the degree of colour will vary
from one whisky to another. Whisky matured in former fresh oak sherry
casks will usually be a darker colour than that which has been matured
in refilled whisky casks. The blender aims at uniformity in his product
and he may bring his whisky to a definite standard colour by adding, if
necessary, a small amount of colouring solution prepared from caramelised
sugar, which is infinitesimal in relation to the volume of whisky involved.
The whisky is then filtered carefully.
The final stage in
the production of Scotch Whisky is packaging and despatch. Most Scotch
Whiskies are marketed at home and abroad in branded bottles.
A. Vodka is a drink which originated in Eastern Europe, the name stemming from the Russian word 'voda' meaning water or, as the Poles would say 'woda'. The first documented production of vodka in Russia was at the end of the 9th century, but the first known distillery at, Khylnovsk, was about two hundred years later as reported in the Vyatka Chronicle of 1174. Poland lays claim to having distilled vodka even earlier in the 8th century, but as this was a distillation of wine it might be more appropriate to consider it a crude brandy. The first identifiable Polish vodkas appeared in the 11th century when they were called 'gorzalka', originally used as medicines.
Medicine and Gunpowder
During the Middle
Ages, distilled liquor was used mainly for medicinal purposes, as well
as being an ingredient in the production of gunpowder. In the 14th century
a British Ambassador to Moscow first described vodka as the Russian national
drink and in the mid-16th century it was established as the national drink
in Poland and Finland. We learn from the Novgorod Chronicles of 1533 that
in Russia also, vodka was used frequently as a medicine (zhiznennia voda
meaning 'water of life').
Since early production
methods were crude, vodka often contained impurities, so to mask these
the distillers flavoured their spirits with fruit, herbs or spices.
The mid - 15th century
saw the first appearance of pot distillation in Russia. Prior to that,
seasoning, ageing and freezing were all used to remove impurities, as
was precipitiation using isinglass ('karluk') from the air bladders of
sturgeons. Distillation became the first step in producing vodka, with
the product being improved by precipitation using isinglass, milk or egg
Around this time (1450)
vodka started to be produced in large quantities and the first recorded
exports of Russian vodka were to Sweden in 1505. Polish 'woda' exports
started a century later, from major production centres in Posnan and Krakow.
From acorns to melon
In 1716, owning distilleries
became the exclusive right of the nobility, who were granted further special
rights in 1751. In the following 50 or so years there was a proliferation
of types of aromatised vodka, but no attempt was made to standardise the
basic product. Types produced included; absinthe, acorn, anisette, birch,
calamus root, calendula, cherry, chicory, dill, ginger hazelnut, horseradish,
juniper, lemon, mastic, mint, mountain ash, oak, pepper, peppermint, raspberry,
sage, sorrel, wort and water melon! A typical production process was to
distil alcohol twice, dilute it with milk and distil it again, adding
water to bring it to the required strength and then flavouring it, prior
to a fourth and final distillation. It was not a cheap product and it
still had not attained really large-scale production. It did not seek
to compete commercially with the major producers in Lithuania, Poland
Vodka marches across
The spread of awareness
of vodka continued throughout the 19th century, helped by the presence
in many parts of Europe of Russian soldiers involved in the Napoleonic
Wars. Increasing popularity led to escalating demand and to meet this
demand, lower grade products were produced based largely on distilled
Earlier attempts to
control production by reducing the number of distilleries from 5,000 to
2,050 between the years 1860 and 1890 having failed, a law was enacted
in 1894 to make the production and distribution of vodka in Russia a state
monopoly. This was both for fiscal reasons and to control the epidemic
of drunkenness which the availability of the cheap, mass-produced 'vodkas'
imported and home-produced, had brought about.
It is only at the
end of the 19th century, with all state distilleries adopting a standard
production technique and hence a guarantee of quality, that the name vodka
was officially and formally recognised.
A. The first confirmed date for the production of gin is the early 17th century in Holland, although claims have been made that it was produced prior to this in Italy. In Holland it was produced as a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. To make it more palatable, the Dutch started to flavor it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own.
From Dutch courage
to William of Orange
British troops fighting
in the Low Countries during the Thirty Years' War were given 'Dutch Courage'
during the long campaigns in the damp weather through the warming properties
of gin. Eventually they started bringing it back home with them, where
already it was often sold in chemists' shops. Distillation was taking
place in a small way in England, but it now began on a greater scale,
though the quality was often very dubious. Nevertheless, the new drink
became a firm favorite with the poor.
The formation by King
Charles I of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, where members had the
sole right to distil spirits in London and Westminster and up to twenty-one
miles beyond improved both the quality of gin and its image; it also helped
English agriculture by using surplus corn and barley.
The Gin Riots
The problem was tackled
by introducing The Gin Act at midnight on 29 September 1736, which made
gin prohibitively expensive. A license to retail gin cost £50 and
duty was raised fivefold to £1 per gallon with the smallest quantity
you could buy retail being two gallons. The Prime Minister, Sir Robert
Walpole, and Dr. Samuel Johnson were among those who opposed the Act since
they considered it could not be enforced against the will of the common
people. They were right. Riots broke out and the law was widely and openly
broken. About this time, 11 million gallons of gin were distilled in London,
which was over 20 times the 1690 figure and has been estimated to be the
equivalent of 14 gallons for each adult male. But within six years of
the Gin Act being introduced, only two distillers took out licenses, yet,
over the same period of time, production rose by almost fifty per cent.
quality and patronage
The Gin Act, finally
recognized as unenforceable, was repealed in 1742 and a new policy, which
distillers helped to draft, was introduced: reasonably high prices, reasonable
excise duties and licensed retailers under the supervision of magistrates.
In essence this is the situation which exists today.
First the history: Tequila was first distilled in the 1500-1600's in the
state of Jalisco, Mexico. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and the
city of Tequila was established in about 1656. This is where the agave
plant grows best.
The agave is not a
cactus as rumored, but belongs to the lily family and has long spiny leaves
(pincas). The specific plant that is used to make tequila is the Weber
blue agave. It takes 8-12 years for the agave to reach maturity. During
harvest, the leaves are cut off leaving the heart of the plant or pina
which looks like a large pineapple when the jimadors are done. The harvested
pina may weigh 200 pounds or more and is chopped into smaller pieces for
cooking at the distillery.
Tequila was first
imported into the United States in 1873 when the first load was transported
to El Paso, Texas. In 1973 tequila sales in the US topped one million
There are two basic
types of tequila, 100% blue agave (cien por ciento de agave) tequila and
mixto. The 100% blue agave tequilas are distilled entirely from the fermented
juice of the agave. All 100% agave tequilas have to be distilled and bottled
in Mexico. If the bottle does not say 100% blue agave, the tequila is
mixto and may have been distilled from as little as 60% agave juice with
Grades of tequila:
As the tequila is
aged in wooden barrels, usually oak, it becomes smoother, with a woody
taste and golden color. Aging may disguise the agave flavor and few tequilas
are aged longer than three to four years.
Each distillery in
Mexico is assigned a NOM number that shows which company made or bottled
There is no worm in
tequila, that is Mezcal which is a whole different animal.
the different styles you may come across at our stores or your favorite
local brew pub.
Ale - originally a
liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation, as opposed to beer,
which was made by the same process but flavored with hops. Today ale is
used for all beers other than stout.
Alt - means "old".
A top fermented ale, rich, copper-colored and full-bodied, with a very
firm, tannic palate, and usually well-hopped and dry.
Amber Beer - an ale
with a depth of hue halfway between pale and dark.
Barley Wine - dark,
rich, usually bittersweet, heavy ales with high alcohol content, made
for sipping, not quaffing.
Bitter - the driest
and one of the most heavily hopped beers served on draft. The nose is
generally aromatic, the hue amber and the alcoholic content moderate.
Bock - a strong dark
German lager, ranging from pale to dark brown in color, with a minimum
alcoholic content of about 6 percent.
Brown Ale - malty
beers, dark in color, and they may be quite sweet.
Burton - a strong
ale, dark in color, made with a proportion of highly dried or roasted
Beer - these special season beers are amber to dark brown, richly flavored
with a sweetish palate. Some are flavored with special spices and/or herbs.
Dopplebock - "double
bock." A stronger version of bock beer, decidedly malty, with an
alcoholic content ranging from 8 percent to 13 percent by volume.
Hefe-Weizen - a wheat
beer, lighter in body, flavor and alcohol strength.
India Pale Ale (IPA)
- a generously hopped pale ale.
Kolsch - a West German
ale, very pale (brassy gold) in hue, with a mild malt flavor and some
Malt Liquor - most malt liquors are lagers that are too alcoholic to be labeled lagers or beers.
Muncheners - a malty,
pale lager distinguished from the darker, heavier Munich Dark beers by
the term "dunkel."
- a copper-colored, malty beer brewed at the end of the winter brewing
season in March.
Pale Ale - made of
the highest quality malts, the driest and most highly hopped beer. Sold
as light ale or pale ale in bottle, or on draft as bitter.
Pilsner - delicately
dry and aromatically hoppy beers.
Porter - a darker
(medium to dark reddish brown) ale style beer, full-bodied, a bit on the
bitter side. The barley (or barley-malt) is well roasted, giving the brew
a characteristic chocolaty, bittersweet flavor.
Stout - beer brewed
from roasted, full-flavored malts, often with an addition of caramel sugar
and a slightly higher proportion of hops. Stouts have a richer, slightly
burnt flavor and are dark in color.
Sweet Stout - also
known as milk stout because some brewers use lactose (milk sugar) as an
Wheat Beer - a beer
in which wheat malt is substituted for barley malt. Usually medium-bodied,
with a bit of tartness on the palate.
Try these beer and
food pairings: Stout with spicy chili. Hefe-Weizen (with a lemon twist)
with spicy mussels in cream sauce. Raspberry Wheat Beer with a chocolate
hazelnut tort. Pale Ale with a caesar salad (with a smoked meat). Walnut
Ale with a lamb kabob with onions and peppers.
A. If we lived in a perfect world, you would get 165 and 1/3 servings. Unfortunately, all bars see a good amount of waste from cleaning the tap lines, over-foaming pints, bad taps and common spillage. It's sad to think about all the beer that goes to waste. A moment of silence please...
produce their light beers at about an average of 30 to 40 less calories
from their premium brand (per 12 ounce serving). As for the alcohol, it
can vary from an average of only 0.4 percent to as much as 1.5 percent
alcohol by volume, from light to premium depending on the brewery.
(a Belgian-style in origin) are indeed sour, with generally unfamiliar
aromas to most beer drinkers. And, that's the intention.
Lambic brewers let
nature do the leg work via spontaneous fermentation. This is accomplished
in open fermenters where wild yeast, bacteria and other micro flora get
to do their funky job on the beer.
Stout is good for you, in moderation. Long used as a restorative and by
nursing mothers, stout contains a variety of vitamins (as do most beers).
The link between moderate but steady consumption of beer and a healthy
heart has been clearly documented.
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