The Port Wine Guide

The Port Wine Guide

The Port Wine Guide  By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Port is a wine originating from the Douro river valley in Portugal and is named after the town of Oporto. The wine is a blend of grapes, the most common being Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Touriga Roriz (a.k.a. Spain’s Tempranillo). It is also “fortified”, meaning the neutral spirit Aguardente (sometimes simply referred to as Brandy) is added, which stops the remaining sugar from fermenting and

Prohibition: A Short History of The Noble Experiment

Prohibition: A Short History of The Noble Experiment By Jimmy Quaille, Certified Sommelier The 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the sale of alcohol became the law of the land for 13 years starting at 12:01 am on the 17th of January, 1920. Some states refused to appropriate funds to enforce it and other states, like Maryland never enacted the code in the first place…but not for the reasons you may think. Alcoholism certainly was

The Basics of Bubbly

The Basics of Bubbly

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 2017: Which wine should I give when I don’t know “wine”?

Wine Gift Guide 2017: Which wine should I give when I don’t know “wine”?

Wine Gift Guide 2017 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

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing

  Thanksgiving Wine Pairing 2017 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

Sulfites: Headaches & Salad Bars!

Sulfites: Headaches & Salad Bars!

Sulfites: Headaches & Salad Bars! By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier First, a little background: Sulphur dioxide (aka, Sulfites) is a chemical compound made up of sulfur and oxygen. It occurs naturally but can also be produced in a laboratory. Measured in parts per million (ppm), it has been  used for thousands of years as an antioxidant and antimicrobial to preserve foods and beverages. As far back as the 8th Century BC, ancient Greeks who used sulfur

10 Devilish Wines For Halloween

10 Devilish Wines For Halloween

10 Devilish Wines For Halloween  By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier  The Phantom 2012 $16.98 Grapes: Red Blend Intense, juicy and succulent, this brawny wine screams for a steak or hearty stew. Palermo 2014 $42.98 Grapes: Red Blend Deep aromas of raspberry and ripe cherry with notes of star anise, black tea, Kirsch and blackberry. Ultra smooth! PoiZin 2015 $16.98 Grape: Zinfandel A lush and fruit driven Zin with fresh plum, bing cherry and peppercorn. The

Wine Scores: What’s The Point?

Wine Scores: What’s The Point?

  Wine Scores: What’s The Point? By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Customer: What score did this wine get? Me: Off the top of my head I don’t know, but I’ve had this wine recently and I would easily give it a 90. Customer: Yeah, but I only buy wines that actually GET a 90. Me: From who? Customer: It doesn’t matter, as long as it gets a 90. There isn’t a day that goes by

Cheap Wine Vs. Expensive Wine. Which is better?

Cheap Wine Vs. Expensive Wine. Which is better?

Cheap Wine Vs. Expensive Wine By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Wine is a commodity. In economics, a commodity is defined as an item produced to satisfy consumer’s wants or needs. So my short answer to explain why some wine is cheap and some expensive is supply and demand. There are, however, many costs that go into making that wine good enough to command the price no matter how high or low, the first being where the grapes are

Is This Wine Sweet? What’s the Difference Between Sweet Wine and Dry Wine?

Is This Wine Sweet? What’s the Difference Between Sweet Wine and Dry Wine?

By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier What’s the Difference Between Sweet Wine and Dry Wine? Answer: Sweet wine tastes sweet and dry is the opposite of sweet. The end. Ok Ok, lets start with a little wine science; Grapes have natural yeast. During fermentation, the yeast eat the sugar and alcohol is the by-product. Therefore, the higher the alcohol ~ the dryer the wine. To make sweet wine a winemaker can stop the sugar from turning

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