What is Sake? By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Sake is an alcoholic beverage that is brewed from rice. It was first produced in China in 4800 BC, making it the oldest known spirit in the world. How is Sake made? Sake is made by fermenting Rice, Koji, water, and yeast. The rice is “polished,” or milled, to remove the outer layers of each grain along with fats and proteins. The level to which it is
My Sherry Amore By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Sherry is perhaps the wine world’s best kept secret. In fact, at one point it was regarded as the world’s finest wine. Shakespeare wrote about it in many works, Columbus took it with him on his second trip to America, and Magellan spent more money on it than on weapons. Sherry can be used in cooking and in cocktails, should be sipped before and after meals, and
The Basics of Bubbly  By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier All Champagne is sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is Champagne! The name Champagne is so branded that it has become a catch-all for all sparkling wine, much to the great chagrin of France. They do have a point…Champagne is a place. If the wine is not made in that place it’s not Champagne. Look at it this way; an Idaho potato has to come
Wine Gift Guide 2018 By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Which wine should I give when I don’t know “wine”? Wine makes the perfect gift for a number of reasons. You can buy a good bottle to fit any budget, it’s the perfect “emergency” gift to have on hand in case you forgot someone, one size fits all, PLUS, it’s a gift you can enjoy yourself if you covered all your bases.  However it can be
When Two Become One The Science of Wine & Food Pairing By Certified Sommelier, Jimmy Quaile The ‘apple of my eye’, a ‘bitter pill to swallow’, ‘sour grapes’, and ‘take with a grain of salt’ are all clichés that demonstrate the connection taste has with our emotions. It also has to do with evolution. A bitter taste was an indication that the food was poisonous, whereas the taste of sweetness was sign of nutrients and
  Thanksgiving Wine Pairing 2018 By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier The long-standing rule of matching wine and food – red wine with meat and white wine with fish – actually has a scientific explanation. Then again, I doubt too many people eat meat or fish without a compliment of side dishes…especially on such a gastronomic feast as Thanksgiving.  So how do you pair the perfect wine for a meal that is a minefield of competing
Wine Myth Busters By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier The old cliche, “Don’t believe everything you hear” is never more true than in the world of wine. Some of these “facts” have been passed down through so many generations of wine drinkers you’d think there was no doubt about them…and you’d be wrong. Here are a few long-held myths and their realities.    – All wines get better with age. Not true. Then again, wine doesn’t
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier What exactly is fortified wine? Short answer; A fortified wine is a wine to which a distilled spirit is added. Long answer; Wine is fermented, whereas alcohol is distilled. Before refrigeration, wine was transported by ship in casks that were not air-tight. As a result, the wine would oxidize and turn into acetic acid (vinegar). To prevent this, winemakers added alcohol to the wine, which resulted in a higher alcohol
VIVA TEQUILA! By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier July 24th is National Tequila Day. That’s right, an entire day celebrated across the country honoring a fermented drink. Not just ANY fermented drink you understand ~ A drink that which dates back to the Aztecs in 1000 B.C. A drink which uses a prehistoric plant that is actually a member of the Lily family. A plant that can weigh over 100 pounds before being peeled, roasted and
  I love Beaujolais! By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier   I love Beaujolais! There, I said it. Now before you think I’ve lost my mind and need to turn in my Sommelier pin let me clarify. I’m not talking about Beaujolais “Nouveau”…that heavily marketed wine you had in the 80’s with your Thanksgiving dinner. No no no…I’m talking about BEAUJOLAIS! In fact, to be more specific CRU Beaujolais. “Cru” is the French word that is
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