Cognac: Wine or Spirit?

Cognac: Wine or Spirit?

Long before Alka Seltzer, Band-aids, Jello, or Kleenex, there was Cognac! With the possible exception of Champagne, Cognac is arguably the most known French word in the world. And like Champagne, Cognac is a place. And that place makes Brandy.  Brandy is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit juice. It can be produced using any grape or fruit. The inception of the spirit can be traced to an enterprising Dutch shipmaster who was trying

Bellini For Easter Brunch

Bellini For Easter Brunch

The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar, the iconic drinking establishment in Venice, Italy. The sunset-pink color reminded Cipriani of the toga worn in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini…hence the name. The drink consists of puréed white peaches and Prosecco. The original recipe was made with a bit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the drink a pink glow like the painting. Prosecco

Easter Wine Pairings

Easter Wine Pairings

By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier Easter is the perfect time to gather around the table with your family and enjoy delicious food, fun conversations, and great wine. Here are some Easter food and wine pairings to try this year! And don’t worry if you don’t have or like the go-to wine for each food, because we listed some perfect alternatives. Food                             

What Is Sake?

What Is Sake?

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

My Sherry Amore

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

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

When Two Become One: The Science of Wine & Food Pairing

When Two Become One: The Science of Wine & Food Pairing

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 UPDATED!

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing UPDATED!

  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

Wine Myth Busters

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

Wine To Lift Your Spirits

Wine To Lift Your Spirits

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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