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  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? 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 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
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
All Hail Riesling, Queen of White Wines! By: Eugene G Fitzgerald III, CS, CSW, WSET ADVANCED In the world of wines few would debate that Cabernet Sauvignon is the undisputed king of grapes. It is grown in nearly every major hub that produces wine and can thrive in almost every climate. Despite being extremely recognizable, both on the nose and the palate, no two wines produced by this grape are exactly the same. Cabernet is
“I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like?” By Certified Sommeliers,  Jimmy Quaile & Eugene Fitzgerald I’m a beer drinker. What wine would I like? As crazy a question as this seems, there is an answer. The trick is to find a bridge between the drinks. For those who are fans of ales, in particular hoppy India Pale Ales or IPAs, I’ve got the answer and a delicious one at that, but first a
Decoding Wine DNA. By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier                                           Who put cherries in my Pinot Noir? How is it possible that Cabernet can have aromas of bell pepper and chardonnay like apple?  Winemakers can’t actually put juice from other fruit in the bottle unless they state it on the label (“Plum-flavored wine”). So how does that taste get in there?  There is a scientific reason; first of which is the type of yeast used
Wine at your wedding. What and how much? By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier When you are deciding on wine to be served at your wedding there are a few things to consider. First and foremost is how much you will need. A 750ml bottle of wine has a little over 25 ounces, that’s 5 glasses. A 1.5L bottle is double that ~ 10 glasses. Most stores will allow you to return unopened/undamaged bottles, so take that
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier In the wine industry, you think of Argentina and you immediately think Malbec. Fair enough. It has become the country’s signature grape. However Malbec’s origins are in France’s southwest region of Cahors where it is known as Cot or Auxerrois. The grape remains one of the six “allowable” grapes in Bordeaux, but it was almost completely wiped out in the mid 1900’s by the insect Phylloxera. Enter stage left; Argentina!
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