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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
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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
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  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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Taking a Cab Around The World By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier It is safe to say that Cabernet Sauvignon is widely known as the reigning king of all grapes – the gateway for most wine lovers – the red wine equivalent of the little black dress. The grape varietal is resistant to the elements, age-worthy, and is hearty enough to grow anywhere on the globe.   The blue-black berry is deceivingly small in size and
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  HERE’S TO MOMS By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier The ancient Greeks honored mothers by paying tribute to Rhea, the Mother of all gods. The Romans also had a mother of all gods in Cybele. They built a temple in Rome for her. In the U.K. “Mothering Sunday” was a religious holiday to give thanks to the Virgin Mary, also known as Mother Mary. The United States began the tradition much later. In 1908, Anna
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    Wine Geek Speak Commonly used wine terms and what they mean  By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier   ACIDITY Tartness. Think of what a lemon does to your mouth. Ok, not THAT much but you get the idea. Typically, wines from colder climates have higher levels of acid.   AROMA The smell of the wine. (The smell of the grape is the Bouquet)   ANGULAR A wine with notes that hit you in different
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Wine Pairings for your Easter/Passover Holiday By Certified Sommelier, Jimmy Quaile    Easter WINE Hunt Let’s face it, searching for the right wines to serve throughout your Easter Sunday can make you as crazy as forgetting where you hid that last Easter egg. Whatever your family’s tradition, versatility is the name of the game. Here are a few wines I plan on putting in my basket when I hop through my day. MORNING EASTER EGG
A Quick and Easy Guide to Rosé Wine By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier   What is Rosé Wine? Simply stated, Rosé is a pink wine with some of the flavors associated with red wine, but is lighter and fruitier in character. They can be made using any red grape varietal and can be sweet, dry, or sparkling!   Who made the first Rosé wine? Although Rosé wines were first made by the ancient Greeks most
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    Whiskey: To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’ By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier WHAT IS WHISKEY? Whiskey is simply a distilled alcohol obtained from fermented grains.  But an even easier explanation could be “Distilled beer minus the hops”. Like beer, malted barley and other grains are the source of the sugars necessary for fermentation. In beer, hops ( a flower) helps balance beer’s sweetness, whereas with whiskey, oak aging balances the whiskey’s flavors. Yeast
The ABCs of AVAs By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier One of the first things you ask when meeting someone new is, “where are you from?” It’s an easy way to begin getting to know the person. Maybe you also know someone from the place and have a mutual friend. It’s also how we define ourselves. Where you were raised had an enormous impact on shaping who you are today. The same can be said about
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