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FOOD & BEVERAGE SERVICES - II
FOOD: Anything edible having an ability to suppress
or appease our appetite / hunger.
BEVERAGE: Any liquid having thirst quenching,
refreshing, nourishing or stimulating
properties. Water is not a beverage rather
all beverages are water based.
Non Alcoholic Beverages
Refreshing Stimulating Nourishing
CLASSIFICATION OF BEVERAGES
Non Alcoholic Beverages Alcoholic Beverages
Fermented Fermented & Distilled Fermented , Distilled
CONSUMPTION TIME OF VARIOUS
PRE-MEAL DRINKS: Known as “ Aperitifs”
POST MEAL DRINKS: Known as “ Digestifs”
LBV or Vintage Port
Special Single Malt Whiskies
Liqueur / Spirit Coffee
Wine can be defined as the juice of freshly
gathered grapes grown in open vineyards,
suitably fermented according to the local
customs and traditions without the addition
of any foreign substance.
WINE PRODUCING COUNTRIES
ITALY is the largest producer of Wines.
FRANCE is the second largest producer of Wines.
OTHER WINE PRODUCING
OTHER WINE PRODUCING
FACOTRS AFFECTING WINE
VINE FAMILY & GRAPE VARIETY
VINIFICATION / VINICULTURE
LUCK OF THE YEAR
A number of factors affect wine quality, the most
important being the type of grape used. The best
grapevine is the vitis vinifera, which has many
different varieties. The grape yield per acre is also a
factor. The higher the yield is the lower the wine
quality will generally be, conversely, the lower the
yield is the more concentrated the grape flavours
and the better the wine quality will be normally, a
ton of gushed grapes yield an average of 170 gallon
of Table wine.
Soil is also a factor, the best being one that offers good drainage, which is
why gravel and sand are better than clay. Good drainage forces the wines
root to seek deep moisture which cause their root to become longer. These
longer root are able to reach deep mineral deposits and these mineral, in
turn, add flavour to gapes and thus to wine.
CROSS-SECTION OF SOIL TOP VIEW OF THE SOIL
Another factor is climate. Grape vines like Cool nights and
Sunny, warm days, as these help them maintain the right
balance between acid and sugar in the grapes. However, too hot
weather when the grapes are maturing, near harvest times, will
decrease the acid and increase the sugar and will produce a
wine that may not age well. On the other hand too little
sunshine will reduces the amount of grape sugar and produce a
wine low in alcohol and as a result, sugar may have to be added
before fermentation to rise the alcohol level. Also rain at
harvest time can dilute the grapes sugar and encourage rotting
thereby lowering the quality of the wine. Mechanical grapes-
picking equipment can give grapes growers more control over
the grapes quality than hand picking can as all the grape can
be picked quickly when they all at their peak of ripeness. But if
rain has spoiled some of the grape bunches, hand picking will
allow those to be by passed.
Finally, the skills of the winemaker is extremely
important as it can effect the personality and
quality of the wine produced. The vintner's skill
can also vary, because of local tradition and will
dictate the type of wine made. The market for
whom the wine is to be manufactured also calls
upon different wine making skills. For examples,
if the wine is to be made in a smaller quantity with
a high quality or in a larger quantity with a lesser
The best wines are made from a type of vine known as Vitis Vinifera.
Some of which are known to be three hundred years old. This wine
grows best in this broad belts one north and the other south of the
equator. Grapes can be grown outside these belts and be turned into
wine, but its quality is not considered as high as that from vines grown
within these belts. The northern belt includes knowledgeable wine
making countries such as France, Italy, Germany and the United States.
The Southern belt embraces Chile, Argentina, Australia and South Africa.
Vines will yield more grapes when planted in fertile soil on flat land but
the wine made from such grapes will seldom be comparable in quality to
wine made from grapes grown on sunny slopes in soil that may not be
fertile but is rich in the mineral that create a special characteristic, known
as bouquet, that is present in all quality wines.
As the grapes mature, their sugar content increases and their acid content
decreases. Grape growers thus must know when the balance between
sugar and acid is just right to produce the best wine.
Received wisdom is that pruning
hard keeps yields low and quality
high. However, many growers in
Australia have found that they can
produce good quality wine with
minimal pruning or no pruning at
all: yields, they say, find their own
level. The debate continues, with
European growers still firmly in
the hard-pruning camp. This
worker at Château Léoville-Barton
in Bordeaux is leaving just two
crop-bearing branches for the year
to come. The answer (if there ever
is one) may turn out to be that it is
local conditions that matter most.
MANUFACTURING OF WINE
Broadly categorized into 3 steps:
VITICULTURE (VINEYARD MANAGEMENT)
VINICULTURE / VINIFICATION
MANUFACTURING OF WINE
Various processes involved in the making of Wines are:
Removal of stalks / destalking
Cellaring & second processing
Fining & Filtering
Maturing of wine
Bottling of wines
Ageing of wine
Vin de Gouté: Known as running Wines. These
are from the first pressing.
Generally are of superior quality.
Vin de pressé: Known as pressed Wines. These
are from the second pressing.
These wines are popular at mealtime because of the low alcohol
content and also because they have a stimulating effect on the taste
These are produced by the natural fermentation of the juice of
freshly squeezed grapes.
Table wines are generally either red or white containing 9-14%
alcohol and may range from very dry to quite sweet .
Table wines are considered to be the best with the food as they are
great additions to the flavour of a meal.
More table wines are produced than all other wines combined.
These are effervescent wines. These wines appear to be bubbling
These are used for almost every occasion and could easily be termed
as All purpose wines.
They could be red or white like the table wines and generally have
an alcohol content of 9-14% ranges from very dry to very sweet.
All wines other than sparkling wines are called “Still Wines”.
The most prominent of all sparkling wines is “CHAMPAGNE”.
Dessert wines are generally fortified with brandy which halts their
fermentation and makes them stronger and sweeter than table wines
and sparkling wines.
These are wines which are generally used after the meals with
desserts or between meals with snacks. They have a filling effect
because of their sweetness and also helps in relaxation and digestion
after the meal.
Fortified wines are very sweet and have an alcoholic content of about
22%. Basically, the fortification enables the wines to travel more as
the increased alcohol content gives the strength to the wines.
The time at which the brandy is added decides the degree of
sweetness or dryness of the wine.
This category cannot really be accepted as wines due to the reason
that they essentially may not be made from grapes.
These are known as Appetizer wines and are used before the meals
to stimulate the appetite.
These are usually dry wines which are fortified after the
fermentation is complete. They can be flavored too and the alcohol
content generally ranges from 20-24%.
OENOLOGY / ENOLOGY: Science of making Wines.
AMPELLOGRAPHY: Science of studying Grapes.
VATS: Fermenting Vessels.
BRUT: Very Dry
SEC: Medium dry
DEMI-SEC: Medium sweet
MUST: Unfermented grape juice.
APERITIFS: Alcoholic drinks served or consumed
before the meal, helps in increasing the
DIGESTIFS: Alcoholic drinks served or consumed after
the meal, helps in digestion.
CASK : Barrels made up of Oak wood used to
store & age wines.
CELLAR: A warehouse used to store wines.
CHAI: French term for cellar.
MAITRE DE CHAI: Cellar master.
VINE: Creeper of Grape.
VINEYARDS: The place where vines are grown.
VIGNERON: The Vine grower.
VINTNERS: The Wine maker.
Area of Champagne
Style of Champagne
Type / Style
TASTING OF WINE
The quality of wine is analyzed by our senses.
SIGHT: The colour & clarity of the wine can be judged.
SMELL: Bouquet of the wine is analyzed.
TASTE: The aroma can be determined.
The tasting room should be well ventilated, with
sufficient natural light and the temperature of the room
should be around 20°C (68°F). Also there should be no
noise to distract the wine taster.
Winemakers and wine writers use a variety of descriptions to communicate the aromas,
flavors and characteristics of wines. Many of the terms seem familiar and natural,
yet others are less clear. Use this glossary of common wine terminology to help you
better understand and describe the wines you enjoy.
The presence of natural fruit acids that lend a tart, crisp taste to wine
Aroma Smells in wine that originates from the grape
Astringent Bitter; gives a drying sensation in the mouth
Balanced All components of the wine are in harmony
White wine that is fermented in an oak barrel instead of a stainless steel
The weight and tactile impression of the wine on the palate that ranges
from light to heavy/full
Bouquet Smells from winemaking, aging and bottle age
Buttery Rich, creamy flavor associated with barrel fermentation
Character Describes distinct attributes of a wine
Chewy Wine that has a very deep, textured and mouth-filling sensation
Clean Wine without disagreeable aromas or tastes
Closed Wine that needs to open up; aging and/or decanting can help
Complex Layered aromas, flavors and textures
Cooked Wine that has been exposed to excessively high temperatures; spoiled
Wine that has been tainted with moldy smells or other obvious flaws from
a bad cork
Delicate Light, soft and fresh wine
Dry No sugar or sweetness remaining; a fruity wine can be dry
Earthy Flavors and aromas of mushroom, soil and mineral
Elegance A well balanced, full wine with pleasant, distinct character
Finish The final impression of a wine on the palate; ranges from short to long
Firm Texture and structure of a young, tannic red
Lacking in acidity, mouth-feel, structure and/or texture
Fleshy A soft textured wine
Flinty A mineral tone, aroma or flavor
Floral Flower aromas such as rose petals, violets, gardenia or honeysuckle
Obvious fruit aromas and flavors; not to be confused with sweet flavors such as
berries, cherries and citrus
Rich, mouth filling, weighty-textured wine
Grassy Aromas and flavors of fresh cut grass or fresh herbs
Green Unripe, tart flavors
Hard Texture and structure that hinders flavor
Herbaceous Grassy, vegetable tones and aromas
Lean Wine is thin and tastes more acidic than fruity
Teardrop impressions of alcohol weightiness that are visible on the inside
edges of a wine glass
A wine with delicate flavors, texture and aromas
Lively Young, fruity and vivacious flavor
Conversion of hard, malic acid (green apple flavors) in wine to soft, lactic acid
(rich, butter flavors)
A wine with solid, but not rich weight and texture
Nose The smell of a wine; aroma
Aromas and flavors contributed during barrel fermentation and/or aging such
as vanilla, caramel, chocolate, smoke, spice or toast
Very low levels of residual sugar remaining in the wine
Rich Weighty flavors and texture
Round Smooth flavors and texture; well-balanced
Aromas of smoke and toast imparted by fired barrels
Sweet Wines that have a higher concentration of sugar after fermentation
A drying, astringent sensation on the palate that is generally associated with
heavier red wines
Terroir French word reflecting the expression of soil, topography and climate in a wine
Thin Wine is unpleasantly watery and lacks flavor and texture
Vegetal Herbal, weedy aromas and flavors
Velvety Smooth-textured with deep, rich aromas and flavors
Vintage Year that grapes were harvested and fermented to make a wine
MATCHING FOOD & WINE
There are some general rules concerning which wines
are best with which food. There are also some foods
with which one should not serve wine. Chinese and
Indian food are the best examples because these are
strongly flavoured foods and the curries would make a
wine useless as a compliment. For these foods, beer,
cider, tea or even a fruit juice goes best. In other words,
strong food with herbs & spices will overpower a good
wine and cause it to taste bland or even sharp. For the
same reason, a salad dressing containing vinegar or
lemon juice, a dish with heavy garlic, tabasco, mustard,
Worcestershire sauce etc. can ruin the taste of a good
Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Riesling Pinot Noir Syrah Merlot
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MATCHING
FOOD & WINE
APPETIZERS: Champagne, dry & light white or rose wine
or a dry sherry.
SOUPS: Dry sherry, full bodied dry white or light
SEAFOOD: Light, dry white wine.
FISH: Dry or medium dry white wine.
FISH IN RICH SAUCE: White wine with flavour & body.
ROAST BEEF OR LAMB: Full bodied red wine.
ROAST VEAL: Light red or full bodied white wine.
GRILLED MEATS: Light, delicate red wine.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MATCHING
FOOD & WINE
ROAST HAM, PORK: Medium dry white, rose wine.
GAME: Full bodied red wine.
STEW: Full bodied red wine.
PASTA: Robust red or full bodied white wine.
POULTRY: Full bodied white or light red wine.
DESSERTS: Sweet white or sparkling wine.
STRONG CHEESE: Full bodied red.
BLUE CHEESE: Sweet white wine.
MILD CHEESE: Medium bodied red or fortified wine.
FRUITS: Sweet white, sparkling wine or port.
STORAGE OF WINE
Proper Wine storage is of prime importance. A
good wine can be ruined before it reaches the
table, if it is not properly stored. The very first
essential of wine storage is an appropriate
location. Wine must be kept in a place where
it is not subject to temperature fluctuation and
sunlight or fluorescent light. This location
must also be such that the wine will be moved
as little as possible. The bottles should rest
quietly until they are ready to be opened as
frequent movement can damage the wine.
STORAGE OF WINE
The wines must always be stored on their sides and the wine
should be in constant contact with the cork so that it will not
dry out and allow harmful air into the bottles. Wines with
metal cap can be stored upright.
SERVICE OF WINES
Things required for service of Red wine:
The ordered wine bottle
Red wine glasses
SERVICE OF WINE
Things required for service of White wine:
The ordered wine bottle.
White wine glasses
Things required for service of Sparkling wine:
The ordered wine bottle
Champagne chiller with stand
There are mainly six wine regions in France:
Largest wine producing region of France. This region is
famous for the good quality red wines produced here
which are known as “CLARET” in England and other
English speaking countries.
3. ST. EMILLON
This region is also known as “The heart of France” and is
famous for the fine quality red, white & sparkling
burgundies produced here.
2. COTE D’OR
This region is named after the river which flows
through it. Rhone produces good white & red wines.
1. COTE ROTIE
3. CHATEAU NEUF-DU-PAPE
This region produces the world’s best sparkling wine which is named
after the region i.e. “CHAMPAGNE”. The word Champagne can
only be associated to a sparkling wine, if
a) It is produced within the region of Champagne and
b) It is manufactured by using the “ Methode Champagnoise”.
1. MONTAGNE DE REIMS
2. VALLEE DE LA MARNE
3. CÔTE DE BLANCS
4. CÔTE DE SEZANNE
This region is located along the Rhine river
which flows across Germany. This region
produces some good quality white wines which
are France’s answer to the German Rhine &
Mosell wines. Riesling is the main grape
variety used for making the wines.
This region is located along the banks of Loire
river which is the longest and one of the most
beautiful rivers of France. Loire wines
sometimes are collectively known as “ Vins de la
loire” which includes red, white & rose wines ,
ranging in quality from poor to great.
It is an island in the Mediterranean, the wines of which
are primarily consumed on the island itself. It has nine
AOC regions and and island wide vin de pays
designation and is still developing its production
methods as well as its regional style.
It’s a small in the mountains close to Switzerland where
some unique wine styles, notably Vin Jaune and Vin de
Paille are produced. The region covers six appellations and
is related to Burgundy through its extensive use of the
Burgundian grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Though
other varieties are also used. It also shares climatic
conditions with Burgundy.
It is by far the largest region in terms of vineyard area
and the region in which much of France’s cheap bulk
wines have been produced. While still the source of
much of France’s and Europe’s overproduction, the so-
called “wine lake”. This region is also the home of some
of France’s most innovative producers. They try to
combine traditional French wine and international styles
and do not hesitate to take lessons from the New World.
Most of the wine from this region is sold as Vin de pays.
It is located in southeast and close to the Mediterranean.
It is perhaps the warmest wine region of France and
produces mainly rosé and red wine. It covers eight major
appellations led by the Provence flagship, Bandol. Some
Provence wine can be compared with the Southern Rhone
wines as they share grapes, style and climate. Provence
also has a classification of its most prestigious estates,
much like Bordeaux.
Savoy or savoie, primarily a white wine region in the
Alps close to Switzerland, where many unique grape
varities are cultivated.
South West France or Sud-Quest, a somewhat
heterogeneous collection Bordeaux. Some areas produce
primarily red wines like Bordeaux, while others produce
dry or sweet white wines. Area included in Sud-Quest
Bergerac & others of upstream Dordogne
Areas of upstream Garonne including Cahors
Areas in Gascony
Basquecountry areas, such as Irouléguy
FRENCH WINE CONTROL TERMS
TABLE VIN / VIN DE TABLE: These are the wines of medium quality which
may be a blend of wines from more than one country of the EEC and are not less
than 8.5% in alcoholic content.
VIN DE PAYS: These are the wines from the larger districts of France.
AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôllée): Under AOC, strict regulations are there
to govern & control the whole wine manufacturing process ( viticulture,
fermentation & vinification ). Quality wines from different French regions whether
small or large, if bears a label of AOC, ensures the guarantee of authenticity.
VDQS ( Vins délimités de qualité supérieure): VDQS wines are excellent second
quality wines produced from specified vineyards or districts of France. These wines
are also governed by strict laws.
MISE EN BOUTEILLE CHÂTEAU: Wines bottled at the Chateau.
‘e’: This ‘e’ mark indicates that the bottler has complied with the EEC bottling
QWPSR: Quality wines produces in a specific region
INAO: Institut des Appellations d’origine
TERROIR: It refers to the unique combination of factors like soil,
underlying rocks. Altitude, slope of hill, orientation towards sun and other
• CHIANTI (ITALY)
• VALPOLICELLA (ITALY)
• BARDOLINO (ITALY)
• BARBERA (ITALY)
• ST. JULIEN (BORDEAUX)
• POUILLAC (BORDEAUX)
• ST. EMILLON
• POMEROL (BORDEAUX)
• GRAVES (BORDEAUX)
• NUIT ST. GEORGES
• BEAUNE (BURGUNDY)
• CHINON (LOIRE)
• ST. JOSEPH (RHONE)
• CÔTE ROTIE (RHONE)
• HERMITAGE (RHONE)
• CHATEAU NEUF DU PAPE
• VALDEPENAS (SPAIN)
• RIOJA (SPAIN)
The discovery of Champagne is frequently credited to “Dom
Perignon”who was the Cellar Master at Abbey in the late seventeenth
and early eighteenth century. It is often said that he was the first to
put the bubbles into the wine but the fact is that the nature puts them
there. What Dom Perignon did do was apply to wine the process that
puts fizz into beer. The bubbles are the same, CO2 which is a byproduct
It is quite easy to make a fizzy or an effervescent wine. If the wine is
bottled before the fermentation is complete and the bottle is tightly
stoppered, the co2 will not escape until the bottle is opened. Dom
Perignon actually discovered a process of tightly stoppering the bottle
with a cork and he also learned how to improve a mediocre quality wine
to a champagne by blending.
Manufacturing of Champagne
There are 4 methods of making Champagne:
Charmat or Tank or Cuve close method
Transfer or Transversage Method
Carbonation or Impregnation Method
CHARMAT / TANK / CUVE CLOSE
This was started by M. Charmat in France. In this
method, the still wine is taken into a Vat and a
measured quantity of sugar & yeast is added to
start the secondary fermentation. This fermentation
is carried out for 10 days and then is transferred
through filters under pressure and bottled. This
method is quicker and cheaper than Methode
TRANSFER / TRANSVERSAGE
This is very similar to Methode
Champenoise but in this process, the
expensive Remuage & Degorgement steps
are not carried out. Instead , the wine is
passed through a fine filter and Dosage is
added to the filtered wine and then it is
bottled. This is not a preferable method as
the bouquet and body of the wine is lost.
This is also a cheaper method of producing
sparkling wine. In this method, the CO2 is
injected into the still, chilled wine and the
wine is then bottled under pressure.
1. Grape Varieties used:
a) Chardonnay (White)
b) Pinot Noir (Red)
c) Pinot Meuniere (Red)
2. First Fermentation
3. Assemblage / Blending
4. Liqueur de tirage
5. Secondary Fermentation
6. Sedimentation Process (REMUAGE)
7. Removal of Sediments (DEGORGEMENT)
8. DOSAGE OR LIQUEUR DE EXPEDITION
BRAND NAMES OF CHAMPAGNE
II. KRUG & CO.
III. PIPER HIEDSICK
IV. DOM PERIGNON
V. MOET ET CHANDON
VII. CHARLES HIEDSICK
IX. POL ROGER
X. VEUVE CLICQUOT
XI. LOUIS ROEDERER
XII. LAURENT PERRIER
XV. PERRIER JOUT
INDIA - MARQUIS DE PAMPADOUR (M.D.P.)
SPAIN - CARTE NEVADA
ITALY - ASTI SPUMANTE
GERMANY - HENKEL TROKEN
AMERICA - CHAMPAGNE AMERICANO
AUSTRALIA - YALUMBA
Non-Vintage champagne makes up about 80% of all
champagne made. By law, these champagnes must age
for one year in the bottle. Almost all champagnes are
blended and often from the wines of more than one
harvest. Vintage champagnes are produced occasionally
in a particularly good grape growing year. When this
happens, only the grapes from that year are used and the
champagne becomes the vintage one. The year appears
on the bottle label and the cork.
The Vintage Champagne may be a blend but from
the same year. However, in order to be declared a vintage
Champagne by law, it must be matured for a minimum of
one year and then be aged in the bottle for a minimum of
WINES OF GERMANY
Germany does not produce much of wine. Its total wine
production is only about 10% of either France’s or Italy’s
and only about 1% of the world’s total production.
Germany produces wines from the major vines of the
world like Riesling, Sylvaner, Traminer etc. Although in
earlier times most of the German wines used to be red but
today it is almost entirely white. The wines of Germany are
produced primarily in the valley of the Rhine & Moselle
rivers. Some of the best German wines are produced from
over ripened grapes, a condition that concentrates the
grape sugar & natural flavour. It is the degree of ripeness
that forms the basis of German wine laws. Because of their
sweetness, German wines are best consumed on their own
or with desserts but not with any strongly flavoured food.
WINE REGIONS OF GERMANY
Germany is divided into 13 wine producing regions
(Anbaugebiete). Each region is having 2 or more districts.
Each district has several villages or parishes and each
village has several vineyards. In total, there are about
2600 vineyards in Germany.
1. Ahr 2. Baden
3. Hessiche Bergstrasse 4. Franken
5. Mittelrhein 6. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
7. Nahe 8. Rheingau
9. Rheinhessen 10. Rheinpfalz
11.Württemberg 12. Saale Unstrut
GERMAN WINE LAWS
German wine laws came into existence in the year 1971.
1. Deutscher Tafelwein: This category is equivalent
to the French Table Wines. The alcohol content must be
at least 8.5% by volume. Sugar can be added to reach at
this level. Acidity must be 4.5 g/lt. Tafelwein (without
Deutscher) is a table wine blended with other European
wines, also known as Euroblend.
2. Deutscher Landwien: This category is equivalent to
French Vin de pays. There are 19 different areas from
where the German Country wine can be produced. The
wine must be dry or semi dry with 0.5% more alcohol that
tablewines. These are also known as German Fruit wine.
3. Qualitatswein bestinnter Anbaugebiete (QbA): These
wines must be produced exclusively from allowed varieties in
one of the 13 wine-growing regions (Anbaugebiete), and the
region must be shown on the label. The grapes must reach a
must weight of 51°Oe to 72°Oe depending on region and
grape variety. The alcohol content of the wine must be at
least 7% by volume, and chaptalization is allowed. QbA
range from dry to semi-sweet, and the style is often indicated
on the label. There are some special wine types which are
considered as special forms of QbA. Some top-level dry
wines are officially QbA although they would qualify as
Prädikatswein. It should be noted that
only Qualitätswein plus the name of the region, rather than
the full term Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete is found
on the label.
Prädikatswein, recently (August 1, 2007) renamed
from Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP) :
The top level of the classification system. These prominently
display a Prädikat from Kabinett to Trockenbeerenauslese on the
label and may not be chaptalized. Prädikatswein range from dry
to intensely sweet, but unless it is specifically indicated that the
wine is dry or off-dry, these wines always contain a noticeable
amount of residual sugar. Prädikatswein must be produced from
allowed varieties in one of the 39 subregions (Bereich) of one of
the 13 wine-growing regions, although it is the region rather than
the subregion which is mandatory information on the label.
(Some of the smaller regions, such as Rheingau, consist of only
one subregion.) The required must weight is defined by the
Prädikat, and the alcohol content of the wine must be at least 7%
by volume for Kabinett to Auslese, and 5.5% by volume for
Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese.
The Prädikatswein (formerly QmP) category of the
classification contains most high-quality German wines,
with the exception of some top-quality dry wines. The
different Prädikat designations differ in terms of the
required must weight, the sugar content of the grape juice,
and the level required is dependent on grape variety and
wine-growing region and is defined in terms of the
Oechsle scale. In fact the must weight is seen as a rough
indicator of quality (and price). The Prädikat system has
its origin at Schloss Johannisberg in Rheingau, where the
first Spätlese was produced in 1775 where wines received
different colour seals based on their must weight.
The different Prädikat designations used are as followed,
in order of increasing sugar levels in the must:
fully ripened light wines from the main harvest, typically semi-sweet with crisp acidity, but
can be dry if designated so.
Spätlese - meaning "late harvest"
typically semi-sweet, often (but not always) sweeter and fruitier than Kabinett. Spätlese can
be a relatively full-bodied dry wine if designated so. While Spätlese means late harvest the
wine is not as sweet as a dessert wine.
Auslese - meaning "select harvest"
made from selected very ripe bunches or grapes, typically semi-sweet or sweet,
sometimes with some noble rot character. Sometimes Auslese is also made into a powerful
dry wine, but the designation Auslese trocken has been discouraged after the introduction
of Grosses Gewächs. Auslese is the Prädikat which covers the widest range of wine styles,
and can be a dessert wine.
Beerenauslese - meaning "select berry harvest"
made from individually selected overripe grapes often affected by noble rot, making rich
sweet dessert wine.
Eiswein (ice wine)
made from grapes that have been naturally frozen on the vine, making a very concentrated
wine. Must reach at least the same level of sugar content in the must as a Beerenauslese.
The most classic Eiswein style is to use only grapes that are not affected by noble rot. Until
the 1980s, the Eiswein designation was used in conjunction with another Prädikat (which
indicated the ripeness level of the grapes before they had frozen), but is now considered a
Prädikat of its own.
Trockenbeerenauslese - meaning "select dry berry harvest" or "dry berry selection"
made from selected overripe shrivelled grapes often affected by noble rot making
extremely rich sweet wines.
WINE PRODUCING REGIONS
1. Ahr - a small region along the river Ahr, a tributary of
Rhine, that despite its northernly location primarily
produces red wine from Spätburgunder.
2. Baden - in Germany's southwestern corner, across
river Rhine from Alsace, and the only German wine
region situated in European Union wine growing
zone B rather than A, which results in higher minimum
required maturity of grapes and less chaptalisation
allowed. Noted for its pinot wines - both red and white.
Although the Kaiserstuhl region in the wine growing
region of Baden is Germany's warmest location, the
average temperature in the whole wine region is a little
bit lower than in Palatinate (zone A). One of two wine
regions in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
3. Franconia or Franken - around portions of Main river,
and the only wine region situated in Bavaria. Noted for
growing many varieties on chalky soil and for producing
powerful dry Silvaner wines.
4. Hessische Bergstraße (Hessian Mountain Road) - a
small region in the federal state Hesse dominated by
5. Mittelrhein - along the middle portions of river Rhine,
primarily between the regions Rheingau and Mosel, and
dominated by Riesling.
6. Mosel - along the river Moselle (Mosel) and its
tributaries, the rivers Saar and Ruwer, and was
previously known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The Mosel
region is dominated by Riesling grapes and slate soils,
and the best wines are grown in dramatic-looking steep
vineyards directly overlooking the rivers. This region
produces wine that is light in body, crisp, of high acidity
and with pronounced mineral character. The only region
to stick to Riesling wine with noticeable residual
sweetness as the "standard" style, although dry wines
are also produced.
7. Nahe - around the river Nahe where volcanic origins
give very varied soils. Mixed grape varieties but the
best known producers primarily grow Riesling, and
some of them have achieved world reputation in recent
8. Palatinate or Pfalz - the second largest producing
region in Germany, with production of very varied
styles of wine (especially in the southern half), where
red wine has been on the increase. The northern half of
the region is home to many well known Riesling
producers with a long history, which specialize in
powerful Riesling wines in a dry style. Warmer than all
other German wine regions. Until 1995, it was known in
German as Rheinpfalz.
9. Rheingau - a small region situated at a bend in river
Rhine which give excellent conditions for wine growing.
The oldest documented references to Riesling come from
the Rheingau region and it is the region where many
German wine making practices have originated, such as
the use of Prädikat designations, and where many high-
profile producers are situated. Dominated by Riesling with
some Spätburgunder. The Rheingau Riesling style is in-
between Mosel and the Palatinate and other southern
regions, and at its finest combines the best aspects of
10. Rheinhessen or Rhenish Hesse - the largest
production area in Germany. Once known as
Liebfraumilch land, but a quality revolution has taken
place since the 1990s. Mixed wine styles and both red
and white wines. The best Riesling wines are similar to
Palatinate Riesling - dry and powerful. Despite its name,
it lies in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, not in
11. Saale-Unstrut - one of two regions in former East
Germany, situated along the rivers Saale and Unstrut,
and Germany's northernmost wine growing region.
12. Saxony or Sachsen - one of two regions in former East
Germany, in the southeastern corner of the country, along
the river Elbe in the federal state of Saxony.
13. Württemberg - a traditional red wine region, where
grape varieties Trollinger (the region's signature variety),
Schwarzriesling and Lemberger outnumber the varieties
that dominate elsewhere. One of two wine regions in the
federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
FAMOUS WINES OF GERMANY
1. Spätburgunder: The forefather of the burgundy
wines. Dark red colour with delicate aroma. Typical is
a taste that reminds of blackcurrant or blackberry.
These noble wines are good with game, poultry, paté
de fois gras, pasta and pizza. The colour stays in the
berry involucres and creates, therefore, a salmon-
coloured fresh wine that is especially consumed in
2. Trollinger: Southern Tyrol is the original homeland of
the Trollinger from where the name is derived from.
Today, it is almost exclusively cultivated in
Wurttemberg. A light and fruity wine that varies in its
colour between salmon-red and ruby-red. A good
Trollinger tastes juicy and is served lightly cooled.
3. Muskattrollinger: Fruity, bright red wine with
distinctive nutmeg aroma. Rare speciality, good
with Hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
4. Lemberger (Blaufrankisch): a warm and aromatic
wine. The colour is a glowing ruby-red with some
brown reflections. Powerful red wine, one of the
most noble types.
5. Dornfelder: Deep purple, dense colour. Noble red
wine with a full body and full aroma and flavour.
Excellent for the production in small wooden
6. Samtrot: A natural mutation of the black Riesling.
Ruby-red to dark red colour. Velvety taste, warm
and full bodied.
Abbreviation for Amtliche Prüfungsnummer,
the official testing number displayed on
a German wine label that shows that the
wine was tasted and passed
government quality control standards.
WINES OF ITALY
Italian wine is wine produced in Italy, a country which is home to some
of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Etruscans and
Greek settlers produced wine in the country long before
the Romans started developing their own vineyards in the 2nd century
BC. Roman grape-growing and winemaking was prolific and well-
organized, pioneering large-scale production and storage techniques
like barrel-making and bottling. Two thousand years later, Italy remains
one of the world's foremost producers, responsible for approximately
one-fifth of world wine production in 2005.
Wine is a popular drink in Italy. Grapes are grown in almost every part
of Italy, with more than 1 million vineyards under cultivation. In some
places the vines are trained along low supports. In others they climb as
Most wine-making in Italy is done in modern wineries. However,
villagers who make wine for their own use sometimes still tread the
grapes with their bare feet, until the juice is squeezed out. They
believe this ancient method still makes the best wine.
Although wines had been elaborated from the wild Vitis vinifera grape for millennia, it
wasn't until the Greek colonization that wine-making flourished. Viticulture was
introduced into Sicily and southern Italy by the Mycenaean Greeks, and was well
established when the extensive Greek colonization transpired around 800 BC. It was
during the Roman defeat of the Carthaginians (acknowledged masters of wine-making) in
the second century BC that Italian wine production began to further flourish. Large-scale,
slave-run plantations sprang up in many coastal areas and spread to such an extent that,
in AD92, emperor Domitian was forced to destroy a great number of vineyards in order to
free up fertile land for food production.
During this time, viticulture outside of Italy was prohibited under Roman law. Exports to
the provinces were reciprocated in exchange for more slaves, especially
from Gaul where trade was intense, according to Pliny, due to the inhabitants being
besotted with Italian wine, drinking it unmixed and without restraint. Roman wines
contained more alcohol and were generally more powerful than modern fine wines. It was
customary to mix wine with a good proportion of water which may otherwise have been
unpalatable, making wine drinking a fundamental part of early Italian life.
As the laws on provincial viticulture were relaxed, vast vineyards began to flourish in the
rest of Europe, especially Gaul (present day France) and Hispania. This coincided with
the cultivation of new vines, like biturica (ancestor of the Cabernets). These vineyards
became hugely successful, to the point that Italy ultimately became an import centre for
Depending on the vintage, modern Italy is the world's largest or second largest wine
producer. In 2005, production was about 20% of the global total, second only to France,
which produced 26%. In the same year, Italy's share in dollar value of table wine imports
into the U.S. was 32%, Australia's was 24%, and France's was 20%. Along with Australia,
Italy's market share has rapidly increased in recent years.
Vines and vineyards together with olive trees
CLASSIFICATION OF ITALIAN WINES
Italy's classification system is a modern one that reflects current realities.
It has four classes of wine, with two falling under the EU category Quality
Wine Produced in a Specific Region (QWPSR) and two falling under the
category of 'table wine'. The four classes are:
Vino da Tavola (VDT) - Denotes wine from Italy. NOTE: this is not always
synonymous with other countries' legal definitions of 'table wine'. The
appellation indicates either an inferior qualifying wine, or one that does not
follow current wine law. Some quality wines do carry this appellation.
Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) - Denotes wine from a more specific
region within Italy. This appellation was created for the "new" wines of Italy,
those that had broken the strict, old wine laws but were wines of great
quality. Before the IGT was created, quality "Super Tuscan" wines such as
Tignanello and Sassicaia were labeled Vino da Tavola.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
Both DOC and DOCG wines refer to zones which are more specific
than an IGT, and the permitted grapes are also more specifically
defined. The main difference between a DOC and a DOCG is that the
latter must pass a blind taste test for quality in addition to conforming to
the strict legal requirements to be designated as a wine from the area
in question. Presently, there are 120 IGT zones. In February 2006 there
were 311 DOC plus 36 DOCG appellations.
Italy's 20 wine regions correspond to the 20 political regions.
Understanding of Italian wine becomes clearer with an
understanding of the differences between each region; their
cuisines reflect their indigenous wines, and vice-versa. The
36 DOCG wines are located in 13 different regions but most
of them are concentrated in Piedmont and Tuscany. Among
these are appellations appreciated and sought by wine
lovers around the world: Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello and
Chianti Classico. Despite its high quality Amarone is not
classified as a DOCG.
The regions are, roughly from Northwest to Southeast:
Sangiovese - Italy's claim to fame, the pride of Tuscany. Its wines are full of cherry
fruit, earth, and cedar. It produces Chianti Classico, Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di
Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano, Montefalco Rosso, and many others.
Nebbiolo - The most noble of Italy's varietals. The name (meaning "little fog") refers to
the autumn fog that blankets most of Piedmont where it is grown, a condition the grape
seems to enjoy. It is a somewhat difficult varietal to master, but produces the most
renowned Barolo and Barbaresco, made in province of Cuneo, along with the lesser-
known Sforzato, Inferno and Sassella made in Valtellina, Ghemme and Gattinara, made
in Vercelli's province. The wines are known for their elegance and bouquet of wild
mushroom, truffle, roses, and tar.
Montepulciano- The grape of this name is not to be confused with the Tuscan town
of Montepulciano; it is most widely planted on the opposite coast in Abruzzo. Its wines
develop silky plum-like fruit, friendly acidity, and light tannin.
Barbera - The most widely grown red wine grape of Piedmont and
Southern Lombardy, most famously around the towns of Asti and Alba, and Pavia. The
wines of Barbera were once simply "what you drank while waiting for the Barolo to be
ready." With a new generation of wine makers, this is no longer the case. The wines are
now meticulously vinified, aged Barbera gets the name "Barbera Superiore" (Superior
Barbera), sometimes aged in French barrique becoming "Barbera Barricato", and
intended for the international market. The wine has bright cherry fruit, a very dark color,
and a food-friendly acidity.
Corvina - Along with the varietals rondinella and molinara, this is the principal
grape which makes the famous wines of the Veneto: Valpolicella and Amarone.
Valpolicella wine has dark cherry fruit and spice. After the grapes undergo passito (a
drying process), the Amarone they yield is elegant, dark, and full of raisin like fruits.
Some Amarones can age for 40+ years.
Nero d'Avola - Nearly unheard of in the international market until recent years, this
native varietal of Sicily is gaining attention for its robust, inky wines, and has
therefore been nicknamed "the Barolo of the South".
Dolcetto - A grape that grows alongside Barbera and Nebbiolo in Piedmont, its
name means "little sweet one"", referring not to the taste of the wine, but the ease in
which it grows and makes great wines, suitable for everyday drinking. Flavors of
concord grape, wild blackberries and herbs permeate the wine.
Negroamaro - The name literally means "black and bitter". A widely planted grape
with its concentration in the region of Puglia, it is the backbone of the
acclaimed Salice Salentino: spicy, toasty, and full of dark red fruits.
Aglianico - Considered the "noble varietal of the south," it is primarily
grown in Campania and Basilicata. The name is derived from Hellenic,
so it is considered a Greek transplant. Thick skinned and spicy, the
wines are often both rustic and powerful.
Sagrantino - A native to Umbria, it is only planted on 250 hectares, but
the wines produced from it (either blended with Sangiovese as Rosso di
Montefalco or as a pure Sagrantino) are world-renowned. Inky purple,
with rustic brooding fruit and heavy tannins, these wines can age for
Malvasia Nera - Red Malvasia varietal from Piedmont. A sweet and
perfumed wine, sometimes elaborated in the passito style
Trebbiano - Behind cataratto (which is made for industrial jug wine), this is the
most widely planted white varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country, with a
special focus on the wines from Abruzzo and from Lazio, including Frascati. Mostly,
they are pale, easy drinking wines, but trebbiano from producers such as Valentini
have been known to age for 15+ years. It is known as Ugni Blanc in France.
Moscato - Grown mainly in Piedmont, it is mainly used in the slightly-sparkling
(frizzante), semi-sweet Moscato d'Asti. Not to be confused with moscato
giallo and moscato rosa, two Germanic varietals that are grown in Trentino Alto-
Nuragus - An ancient Phoenician varietal found in southern Sardegna. Light and
tart wines that are drunk as an apertif in their homeland.
Pinot Grigio - A hugely successful commercial grape (known as Pinot Gris in
France), its wines are characterized by crispness and cleanness. As a hugely mass-
produced wine, it is usually delicate and mild, but in a good producers' hands, the
wine can grow more full-bodied and complex. The main problem with the grape is
that to satisfy the commercial demand, the grapes are harvested too early every
year, leading to wines without character
Tocai Friulano - A varietal distantly related to Sauvignon Blanc, it yields
the top wine of Friuli, full of peachiness and minerality. Currently, there is a
bit of controversy regarding the name, as the EC has demanded it changed
to avoid confusion with the Tokay dessert wine from Hungary.
Ribolla Gialla - A Slovenian grape that now makes its home in Friuli,
these wines are decidedly old-world, with aromas of pineapple and
Arneis - A crisp and floral varietal from Piedmont, which has been grown
there since the 15th century.
Malvasia Bianca - Another white varietal that peeks up in all corners of
Italy with a wide variety of clones and mutations. Can range from easy
quaffers to funky, musty whites.
Pigato - A heavily acidic varietal from Liguria, the wines are vinified to pair
with a cuisine rich in seafood.
Fiano (wine) - Grown on the southwest coast of Italy, the wines from this
grape can be described as dewy and herbal, often with notes of pinenut and
Garganega - The main grape varietal for wines labeled Soave, this is a
crisp, dry white wine from the Veneto wine region of Italy. It's a very popular
wine that hails from northeast Italy around the city of Verona. Currently,
there are over 3,500 distinct producers of Soave
The term "Super Tuscan" describes any Tuscan red wine that
does not adhere to traditional blending laws for the region.
For example, Chianti Classico wines are made from a blend
of grapes with Sangiovese as the dominant varietal in the
blend. Super Tuscans often use other grapes,
especially cabernet sauvignon, making them ineligible for
DOC(G) classification under the traditional rules.
SOUTH AFRICA IS ONE FO THE WORLD’S MOST EXCITING WINE
PRODUCING COUNTRIES. As of 2003, South Africa was 17th in terms of
acreage planted with the country owning 1.5% of the world's
grape vineyards with 270,600 acres (110,000 hectares). Yearly
production among South Africa's wine regions is usually around
264 million gallons (10 million hl) which regularly puts the country
among the top ten wine producing countries in the world. The
majority of wine production in South Africa takes place in the Cape
Province, particularly the southwest corner near the coastal
region. South African wine has a history dating back to 1659,
and at one time Constantia was considered one of the greatest
wines in the world. Access to international markets has unleashed
a burst of new energy and new investment. Production is
concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and
production centres at Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.
There are about 60 appellations within the Wine of
Origin (WO) system, which was implemented in 1973
with a hierarchy of designated production regions,
districts and wards. WO wines must be made 100%
from grapes from the designated area. "Single
vineyard" wines must come from a defined area of
less than 5 hectares. An "Estate Wine" can come from
adjacent farms, as long as they are farmed together
and wine is produced on site. A ward is an area with a
distinctive soil type and/or climate, and is roughly
equivalent to a European appellation.
Grape varieties in South Africa are known
as cultivar, with many common international
varieties developing local synonyms that still have
a strong tradition of use. These include Chenin
blanc (Steen), Riesling (known locally as Weisser
Riesling), Crouchen (known as Cape
Riesling), Palomino (the grape of the Spanish
wine Sherry known locally as "White
French"), Trebbiano (Ugni
Blanc), Sémillon (Groendruif) and Muscat of
Alexandria (Hanepoot). However, wines that are
often exported overseas will usually have the more
internationally recognized name appear on the wine
In 2006, SAWIS (South African Wine Information and
Systems) reported that the country had 100,146 hectares
of vineyards, with about 55 percent planted to white
varieties. Chenin blanc has long been the most widely
planted variety, still accounting for at least one-fifth of
all grape varieties planted in South Africa as of 2004
though that number is decreasing. In the 1980s and
1990s, interest in international varieties saw increase in
plantings of Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. Other
white grape varieties with significant plantings
include Colombard (spelled locally as Colombar), Cape
Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Hannepoot, Muscat Blanc à
Petits Grains, Riesling and Sémillon. Both red and white
mutants of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains as well
as Chenel and Weldra, two Chenin blanc-Ugni
blanc crossings, are used for brandy distillation and
fortified wine production.
Since the 1990s, interest and plantings of red grape varieties have
been steadily on the rise. In the late 1990s, less than 18% of all the
grapes grown in South Africa were red. By 2003 that number has
risen to 40% and was still trending upwards. For most of the 21st
century, the high yielding Cinsaut was the most widely planted red
grape variety but the shift in focus to quality wine production has
saw plantings of the grape steadily decline to where it represented
just 3% of all South Africa vineyards in 2004. In its place Cabernet
Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinotage have risen to prominence with
Cabernet Sauvignon being the most widely red grape variety
covering 13% of all plantings in 2006. Other red grape varieties found
in South Africa include Carignan, Gamay (often made in the style
of Beaujolais wine with carbonic maceration, Grenache, Pontac, Ruby
Cabernet, Tinta Barroca and Zinfandel.
There is a wide range of lesser known groups that are used to feed
the country's still robust distilled spirits and fortified wine industry.
These grapes usually produce bland, neutral wine that lends itself
well to blending and distillation but is rarely seen
as varietal bottlings. These include Belies, False
Pedro, Kanaän, Raisin blanc, Sultana and Servan.
SOUTH AFRICAN WINE REGIONS
CONSTANTIA: It is the historic hub of Cape wine. Closest to
Cape Town, it boasts some of the most famous estate names
such as Groot and Klein Constantia, and Buitenverwachting.
On premium terroir and in ideal climatic conditions, superb
sauvignon blanc and semillon wines are produced
DURBANVILLE: and its hills northeast of Cape Town have a
winemaking history dating back 280 years. Some star
performers are emerging, including brilliant sauvignon blancs
with strong contemporary focus on shiraz and merlot.
Durbanville Hills is a large, modern facility and Nitida a small
FRANSCHHOEK: lies in a contained valley, a pretty town
founded by the French Huguenots in 1688. Today it is very
much a boutique region with old buildings, restaurants and
small producers. Stylish cellars include La Motte, Cabrière,
Plaisir de Merle and Boekenhoutskloof.
KLEIN KAROO: is a semi-desert region inland that has
inspired some winemakers to take up the challenge.
Fortified wines such as muscadels and Portuguese “port”
styles do well in places such as Calitzdorp.
OLIFANTS RIVER is a fast-growing region stretching a few
hundred kilometres up the west coast from the Cape. Plenty
of exported easy-drinking wines come from here. The
Vredendal Winery is one of the largest in the world,
employing some of the most modern techniques.
ORANGE RIVER is one of Africa’s great rivers and along its
Northern Cape bank lie large white-wine producing
vineyards. Winemaking is sophisticated and reds are getting
more attention with an eye to exports.
PAARL is another of the Cape’s historic towns where
wine has been made for centuries. Home to the original
KWV head office and its impressive Cathedral Cellar, as
well as the country’s best-known brand Nederburg,
many cellars, small and large, from boutique to co-
operative, produce wine from the ordinary to the
sensational. Winemakers have been concentrating on
shiraz, but some fine chenin blanc, pinotage, cabernet
sauvignon, blends, and even unusual varieties such as
viognier and mourvèdre are turned into prize-winning
wines. Glen Carlou, Villiera and the value-for-money co-
operative Boland Kelders are among the top performers
ROBERTSON and a few other villages lie along a fertile, if
warm, valley where white wines such as chardonnay (from De
Wetshof Estate) and sparkling wine (from Graham Beck
Winery) used to be the main stars. Today the move is to red
varieties, especially shiraz (Zandvliet).
STELLENBOSCH is, in the minds of many, the finest wine
area in South Africa, claiming the crown for reds. With a
list of more than 80 wineries and producers, it is also the
most expensive wine farmland. Nearly all the most famous
international names in South African wines are found here
in an area reaching from sea-facing slopes to valley-
hugging hills. This is the home of Kanonkop, Meerlust,
Rustenberg, Thelema and Warwick. The list is endless.
This is also where Distell, the country’s largest player in
the drinks market, is seated. Designated wards within the
district are Jonkershoek Valley, Simonsberg-Stellenbosch,
Bottelary, Devon Valley and Papegaaiberg. Cabernet
sauvignon, merlot, pinotage and chenin blanc are the
SWARTLAND means “black country”, a traditional sunny
wheat area north of Cape Town. These days, wineries are
making modern, well-appreciated white wines here with top
reds on the way. The Darling region especially is on the roll.
WALKER BAY near the coastal town of Hermanus has
become another of the Cape’s most fashionable regions. With
Elgin to the west and Bot River inland, it falls under the
Overberg appellation. It is the home of Cape pinot noir and
good chardonnay and home to places like Hamilton-Russell.
WORCESTER and surrounds comprise 20% of all South
Africa’s vineyards. Brandy is produced, and wine for
wholesalers. Small volumes are bottled under own labels.
Value-for-money is a hallmark.
California wine is wine made in the U.S. state of California. Nearly
three-quarters the size of France, California accounts for nearly 90
percent of entire American wine production. The production in
California alone is one third larger than that of Australia. If California
were a separate country, it would be the world's fourth-largest wine
The state's viticultural history dates back to the 18th century
when Spanish missionaries planted the first vineyards to produce
wine for Mass.
Following a wine renaissance in the mid-20th century, Californian
wine entered the international stage at the 1976 Judgment of
Paris wine competition when Californian wines beat out French
wines in both red and white wine categories.
Today there are more than 1,200 wineries in the state, ranging from
small boutique wineries to large corporations like E & J Gallo
Winery with distribution across the globe.
GRAPES & WINES OF CALIFORNIA
Over a hundred grape varieties are grown in California
including French, Italian and Spanish wine varietals as well as hybrid
grapes and new vitis vinifera varieties developed at the UC Davis
Department of Viticulture and Enology. The seven leading grape varieties
Other important red wine grapes include Barbera, Cabernet franc,
Carignane, Grenache, Malbec, Mouvedre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and
Sangiovese. Important white wine varietals include Chenin blanc, French
Colombard, Gewürztraminer, Marsanne, Muscat Canelli, Pinot
blanc, Pinot gris, Riesling, Roussane, Sémillon,Trousseau gris,
New World wine styles
While Californian winemakers increasingly craft wines in more "Old World"
or European wine styles, most Californian wines (along with Australia, New
Zealand, Chile and Argentina) favor simpler, more fruit dominant New
World wines. The reliably warm weather allows many wineries to use very
ripe fruit which brings up a more fruit forward rather than earthy or
mineralic style of wine. It also creates the opportunity for higher alcohol
levels with many Californian wines having over 13.5%. The style of
Californian Chardonnay differs greatly from wines like Chablis with
Californian winemakers frequently using malolactic
fermentation and oak aging to make buttery, full bodied wines. Californian
Sauvignon blancs are not as herbaceous as wines from the Loire
Valley or New Zealand but do have racy acidity and fresh, floral notes.
Some Sauvignon blanc are given time in oak which can dramatically
change the profile of the wine. Robert Mondavi first pioneered this style as
a Fume blanc which other Californian winemakers have adopted. However,
that style is not strictly defined to mean an oak wine.
SPARKLING & DESSERT WINES
California sparkling wine traces its roots to Sonoma in the
1880s with the founding of Korbel Champagne Cellars. The
Korbel brothers made sparkling wine according to
the méthode champenoise from
Riesling, Chasselas, Muscatel and Traminer. Today most
California sparkling wine is largely made from the same
grapes used in Champagne-Chardonnay, Pinot noir and
some Pinot meunier. Some wineries will also use Pinot
blanc, Chenin blanc and French Colombard. The premium
quality producers still use the méthode champenoise (or
traditional method) while some low cost producers, like
Gallo's Andre brand or Constellation Brands' Cook's, will use
the Charmat method
WINE REGIONS OF CALIFORNIA
California has over 427,000 acres (1,730 km2) planted under vines
mostly located in a stretch of land covering over 700 miles (1,100 km)
from Mendocino County to the southwestern tip of Riverside County.
There are over 107 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), including the
well known Napa, Russian River Valley, Rutherford and Sonoma Valley
AVAs. The Central Valley is California's largest wine region stretching
for 300 miles (480 km) from the Sacramento Valley south to the San
Joaquin Valley. This one region produces nearly 75% of all California
wine grapes and includes many of California's bulk, box and jug
wine producers like Gallo, Franzia and Bronco Wine Company.
The wine regions of California are often divided into 4 main regions-
North Coast - Includes most of North Coast, California, north of San
Francisco Bay. The large North Coast AVA covers most of the region.
Notable wine regions include Napa Valley and Sonoma County and the
smaller sub AVAs within them. Mendocino and Lake County are also
part of this region.
Central Coast - Includes most of the Central Coast of California and the
area south and west of San Francisco Bay down to Santa Barbara
County. The large Central Coast AVA covers the region. Notable wine
regions in this area include Santa Clara Valley AVA,Santa Cruz
Mountains AVA, San Lucas AVA, Paso Robles AVA, Santa Maria Valley
AVA, Santa Ynez Valley and Livermore Valley AVA.
South Coast - Includes portion of Southern California, namely the
coastal regions south of Los Angeles down to the border with Mexico.
Notable wine regions in this area include Temecula Valley AVA, Antelope
Valley/Leona Valley AVA, San Pasqual Valley AVA and Ramona Valley
Central Valley - Includes California's Central Valley and the Sierra
Foothills AVA. Notable wine regions in this area include the Lodi AVA.
The Australian wine industry is the fourth-largest exporter in
the world, exporting over 400 million litres a year to a large
international export market that includes "old world" wine-
producing countries such as France, Italy and Spain. There is
also a significant domestic market for Australian wines, with
Australians consuming over 400 million litres of wine per
year. The wine industry is a significant contributor to
the Australian economy through production, employment,
export and tourism.
near Griffith in the
Riverina wine region
Major grape varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling.
The country has no native grapes, and Vitis vinifera varieties were
introduced from Europe and South Africa in the late 18th and early 19th
centuries. Some varieties have been bred by Australian viticulturalists, for
example Cienna and Tarrango.
Although Syrah was originally called Shiraz in Australia and Syrah
elsewhere, its dramatic commercial success has led many Syrah
producers around the world to label their wine "Shiraz".
About 130 different grape varieties are used by commercial winemakers in
Australia. Over recent years many winemakers have begun exploring so
called "alternative varieties" other than those listed above. Many varieties
from France, Italy and Spain for example Petit Verdot, Pinot
Grigio, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Viognier are becoming more
common. Wines from many other varieties are being produced.
CABERNET SAUVIGNON SEMILLON
MERLOT SAUVIGNON BLANC
PINOT NOIR RIESLING
Barossa Valley: The Barossa Valley is north east of Adelaide,
South Australia, and has a hot climate. Penfolds is one of the
more famous wineries in this region. Barossa is renowned for its
Rieslings which is indicative of the Valley's German heritage, and
for the reds such as Shiraz and Cabernets.
Hunter Valley: The Hunter Valley is another hot area and is
located north of Sydney, New South Wales. This area is within
easy reach of Sydney for a day trip or you can stay overnight at
one of the many bed and breakfasts. Some of the more notable
vineyards include Rosemount, and Rothbury. A variety of wines
are grown in the Hunter Valley, including Shiraz and Semillon. As
well as visiting the larger vineyards, you will want to check out
some of the smaller boutique wines.
Clare Valley: The Clare Valley is a cooler growing area located in
South Australia, north of Adelaide. This is an area of four
interconnecting valleys, the Clare, Polish River, Watervale and
Skillogallee. The main wines from the Clare Valley are the whites
such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Semillon.
Coonawarra: Coonawarra lies to the south east of Adelaide and
is more noted for it's reds such as Shiraz and Cabernet
Sauvignon. The area has a cooler climate and is also noted for is
reddish coloured terra rossa soil. Penfolds grows some its grapes
here for some of its Cabernets. One of the more popular wines
from this region includes the Wynns Coonawarra Estate.
Yarra Valley: The Yarra Valley is located in Victoria, north east of
Melbourne. It has a temperate climate and is noted for making the
cooler climate varietals. The Pinot Noir is popular here and one of
the better wines that we have tried from this area is Coldsteam
Eden Valley: is a small South Australian town in the Barossa
Ranges. It was named by the surveyors of the area after they
found the word "Eden" carved into a tree. Eden Valley has an
elevation of 460 metres and an average annual rainfall of
716.2mm.Eden Valley gives its name to a wine growing
region that shares its western boundary with the Barossa Valley.
The region is of similar size to the Barossa Valley, and is well
known for producing high quality riesling and shiraz wines.
Englishman Joseph Gilbert planted the first Eden Valley
vineyard, Pewsey Vale, in 1847. Within the Eden Valley region
there is a sub-region called High Eden which is located higher in
the Barossa Ranges, giving cooler temperatures.
Pyrenees: The Pyrenees ranges are located
in Victoria, Australia near the town of Avoca. It is a wine growing
region. The altitude of the ranges is 220-375 m (722-1230 ft).
Wines were first planted in the region in 1848. In recent years it is
recognized as a significant producer of full-bodied red wines
based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grape varieties.
Grampians: The Grampians is an Australian wine region located
in the state of Victoria, west of Melbourne. It is located near
the Grampians National Park and the Pyrenees hills. The area is
dominated by red wine production,
particularly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Henty is a town in south western Victoria, Australia. The town is
located in the Shire of Glenelg Local Government Area,
373 kilometres (232 mi) west of the state capital, Melbourne.
It is also an Australian wine region. It has one of the cooler
climates of any Australian wine region and is known for its white
wine production of Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon and Sauvignon
blanc as well as a small red wine production of Pinot noir.
Henty Post Office opened on 16 April 1885 and closed in 1977.
Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced to the
region by ancient civilizations, such as
the Phoenicians,Carthaginians, Greeks, and mostly
the Romans. Portugal started to export its wines to Rome
during the Roman Empire. Modern exports developed with
trade to England after the Methuen Treaty in 1703. From this
commerce a wide variety of wines started to be grown in
Portugal. And, in 1758, the first wine-producing region of the
world, the Região Demarcada do Douro was created under
the orientation of Marquis of Pombal, in the Douro Valley.
Portugal has two wine producing regions protected by
UNESCO asWorld Heritage: the Douro Valley Wine Region
(Douro Vinhateiro) and Pico Island Wine Region (Ilha do Pico
Vinhateira). Portugal has a large variety of native breeds,
producing a very wide variety of different wines with distinctive
Portugal possesses a large array of native varietals, producing an
abundant variety of different wines. The wide array of Portuguese
grape varietals contributes as significantly as the soil and climate
to wine differentiation, producing distinctive wines from the
Northern regions to Madeira Islands, and from Algarve to
the Azores. In Portugal only some grape varietals or castas are
authorized or endorsed in the Demarcated regions, such as:
Vinhos Verdes - White castas Alvarinho, Arinto
(Pedern),Avesso, Azal, Batoca, Loureiro, Trajadura; red
castas Amaral,Borraçal, Alvarelhão, Espadeiro, Padeiro, Pedral, Rabo de Anho, Vinhão.
Porto/Douro - Red castas Touriga Nacional, Tinta
Amarela, Aragonez, Bastardo, Castelão, Cornifesto, Donzelinho Tinto,Malvasia
Preta, Marufo, Rufete, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Francisca Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca; white
castas Arinto, Cercial,Donzelinho Branco, Folgazão, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel Galego
Branco, Rabigato, Samarrinho, Semillon, Sercial,Roupeiro, Verdelho, Viosinho, Vital.
Dão - Red castas Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Aragonez, Jaen e Rufete; White
castas Encruzado, Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Verdelho.
Bairrada - Red casts Baga, Alfrocheiro, Camarate, Castelão, Jaen, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez;
white castas Maria Gomes, Arinto, Bical, Cercial, Rabo de Ovelha, Verdelho.
Bucelas - White castas Arinto, Sercial e Rabo de Ovelha.
Colares - Red casta Ramisco; White casta Malvasia
Carcavelos - Red castas Castelão and Preto Martinho; White castas Galego Dourado, Ratinho,
Setúbal - Red casta Moscatel Roxo; white casta Moscatel de Setúbal.
Alentejo - Red castas Alfrocheiro, Aragonez, Periquita1, Tinta Caiada, Trincadeira, Alicante
Bouschet, Moreto; White castas Antão Vaz, Arinto , Fernão Pires, Rabo de Ovelha,Roupeiro
Algarve - Red castas Negra Mole, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez , Periquita; White
castas Arinto, Roupeiro, Manteúdo, Moscatel Graúdo, Perrum, Rabo de Ovelha.
Madeira - Red castas Bastardo, Tinta, Malvasia Cândida Roxa, Verdelho Tinto e Tinta Negra; white
castas Sercial, Malvasia Fina (Boal), Malvasia Cândida, Folgasão (Terrantez), Verdelho
The traditional rebelo boat, used to transport Port Wine from the Douro
Valley to the cellars near the city of Porto.
The appellation system of the Douro region was created nearly two hundred
years before that of France, in order to protect its superior wines from inferior
ones. The quality and great variety of wines in Portugal are due to noble
castas, microclimates, soils and proper technology.
Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region (QWPSR) or VQPRD - Vinho de
Qualidade Produzido em Região Demarcada
These are the most protected wine and indicates a specific vineyard, such
as Port Wine, Vinhos Verdes, and Alentejo Wines. These wines are labeled
D.O.C. (Denominação de Origem Controlada) which secures a superior
Wines that have more regulations placed upon them but are not in a DOC
region fall under the category of Indicação de Proveniência
Regulamentada (IPR, Indication of Regulated Provenance)
Regional Wine - Vinho Regional Carries with it a specific region within
Table Wines - Vinho de Mesa carries with it only the producer and the
designation that it's from Portugal.
Vineyards in Vinho Verde Demarcated Region
in Minho, Portugal
Vinho Verde is produced from grapes which do not reach great doses of sugar.
Therefore, Vinho Verde does not require an aging process. Vinho Verde wines are now
largely exported, and are the most exported Portuguese wines after the Port Wine. The
most popular variety in Portugal and abroad are the white wines, but there are also red
and more rarely rosé wines. A notable variety of Vinho Verde is Vinho Alvarinho which is
a special variety of white Vinho Verde, the production of Alvarinho is restricted by EU law
to a small sub-region of Monção, in the northern part of the Minho region in Portugal. It
has more alcohol (11.5 to 13%) than the other varieties (8 to 11.5%).
Douro wine (Vinho do Douro) originates from the same region as port wines. In the
past they were considered to be a bitter tasting wine. In order to prevent spoilage during
the voyage from Portugal to England, the English decided to add a Portuguese wine
brandy known as aguardente. The first documented commercial transactions appearing
in registries of export date as far back as 1679. Today's Douro table wines are enjoying
growing favor in the world, maintaining many traits that are reminiscent of a port wine.
Dão wine is from the Região Demarcada do Dão, a region demarcated in 1908, but
already in 1390 there were taken some measures to protect this wine. The Dão Wine is
produced in a mountainous region with temperate climate, in the area of
the Mondego and Dão Rivers in the north region of central Portugal. These mountains
protect the castas from maritime and continental influences
Dão wine is from the Região Demarcada do Dão, a region demarcated in 1908, but
already in 1390 there were taken some measures to protect this wine. The Dão
Wine is produced in a mountainous region with temperate climate, in the area of
the Mondego and Dão Rivers in the north region of central Portugal. These
mountains protect the castas from maritime and continental influences
Bairrada wine, is produced in the Região Demarcada da Bairrada. The name
"Bairrada" is from "barros" (clay) and due to the clayey soils of the region. Although
the region was classified in 1979, it is an ancient vineyard region. The vines grow
exposed to the sun, favouring the further maturity of the grapes. The Baga casta is
intensely used in the wines of the region. The Bairrada region produces table, white
and red wines. Yet, it is notable for its sparkling natural wine: the "Conde de
Cantanhede" and "Marquês de Marialva" are the official brands for this wine.
Alentejo wine is produced from grapes planted in vast vineyards extending over
rolling plains under the sun which shines on the grapes and ripens them for the
Colares wine is type of wine produced in sandy soils outside Lisbon between the
foothills of Sintra and Roca Cape. Because of Lisbon's urban sprawl, the lands
available for vineyards became so small, that the demands has always been higher
than the production, making it one of the most expensive Portuguese wines
PORTUGUESE WINE TERMS
Casta: Grape variety
Colheita: Vintage year
Espumante: Sparkling wine
Garrafeira: A reserva red wine aged at least two years in a barrel and one
year in a bottle; a white wine aged at least six months in a barrel and six
months in a bottle.
Maduro: mature (in opposition to verde). Mature wines are Portuguese
wines produced in all regions except the ones produced in Vinho Verde
region, due to that, the term "maduro" rarely appears on bottles.
Reserva: Superior quality wine of a single vintage
Verde: green (in opposition to maduro). Wines produced in Vinho Verde
region with a distinctive method.
Spanish wines are wines produced in the southwestern European country
of Spain. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has over 2.9
million acres (over 1.17 million hectares) planted—making it the most
widely planted wine producing nation but it is only the third largest producer
of wine in the world, the largest being Italy and France. This is due, in part,
to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry,
infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country is ninth in
worldwide consumptions with Spaniards drinking, on average,
10.06 gallons (38 liters) a year. The country has an abundance of
native grape varieties, with over 600 varieties planted throughout Spain
though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20
including Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha, Palomino, Airen, Macabeo, Pare
llada, Xarel·lo, Cariñena and Monastrell. Major Spanish wine regions
include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which is known for their Tempranillo
production; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the
northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from
Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing
regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region.
CLASSIFICATION OF SPANISH WINES
Vino de Mesa (VdM) - These are wines that are the equivalent of most country's table
wines and are made from unclassified vineyards or grapes that have been declassified
through "illegal" blending. Similar to the Italian Super Tuscans from the late 20th century,
some Spanish winemakers will intentionally declassify their wines so that they have greater
flexibility in blending and winemaking methods.
Vinos de la Tierra (VdlT) - This level is similar to France's vin de pays system, normally
corresponding to the larger comunidad autonóma geographical regions and will appear on
the label with these broader geographical designations like Andalucia, Castilla La
Mancha and Levante.
Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This level is similar to
France's Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS) system and is considered a stepping
stone towards DO status.
Denominación de Origen (Denominació d'Origen in Catalan - DO)- This level is for the
mainstream quality-wine regions which are regulated by the Consejo Regulador who is also
responsible for marketing the wines of that DO. In 2005, nearly two thirds of the total vineyard
area in Spain was within the boundaries a DO region.
Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa/DOQ - Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in
Catalan)- This designation, which is similar to Italy's Denominazione di Origine Controllata e
Garantita (DOCG) designation, is for regions with a track record of consistent quality and is
meant to be a step above DO level. Rioja was the first region afforded this designation in
1991 and was followed by Priorat in 2003, and Ribera del Duero in 2008.
Additionally there is the Denominación de Pago (DO de Pago) designation for individual
single-estates with an international reputation. As of 2009, there were 9 estates with this
SPANISH WINE LABELLING LAWS
Crianza red wines are aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in
oak. Crianza whites and rosés must be aged for at least 1 year
with at least 6 months in oak.
Reserva red wines are aged for at least 3 years with at least 1
year in oak. Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at least 2
years with at least 6 months in oak.
Gran Reserva wines typically appear in above average vintages
with the red wines requiring at least 5 years ageing, 18 months of
which in oak.Gran Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at
least 4 years with at least 6 months in oak.
Tempranillo is the second most widely planted grape
in Spain and is an important grape in the Rioja, Ribera
del Duero and Penedès regions.
CAMPO DE BORJA
• Balearic Islands
• Canary Islands
• Castile and León
• Castile-La Mancha
WINE PRODUCING REGIONS OF SPAIN
Condado de Heulva
India has forever remained a land of dichotomies. It has always
perceived a notion in almost two totally paradoxical perspectives.
And wine or liquor is no exception to this rule. When on one hand
it was a drink of festivities; it was also considered a forbidden
affair for the society at large. Drink was considered as a ‘Taamasi’
food that is always subject to repudiation as it only results in bad
thoughts and behaviour. But it was never shunned completely and
pervaded every spatial and temporal dimension.
Since the very inception Indians had the native familiarity with
Wine. This becomes apparent with the artifacts found at the sites
of Harappan Civilization. During the Vedic period wine was often
referred to as Somarasa; it was believed to be associated with
Indra, and was a part of religious festivals. Soma is mentioned in
Vedic scriptures as well. Also the reference of Drakshasava is
found in ayurvedic texts which was basically a delicious digestive
preparation made from ripened red grapes, cinnamon, cardamom,
nagkesara, vidanga, tejpatra, pippali, and black pepper and
contained natural alcohol.
Indian wine is wine made in the Asian country of India. Viticulture in
India has a long history dating back to the time of the Indus Valley
civilization when grapevines were believed to have been introduced
from Persia. Winemaking has existed throughout most of India's
history but was particularly encouraged during the time of
the Portuguese and British colonization of the subcontinent. The end
of the 19th century saw the phylloxera louse take its toll on the Indian
wine industry followed by religious and public opinion moving
towards the prohibition of alcohol. Following the
country's independence from the British Empire, the Constitution of
India declared that one of the government's aims was the total
prohibition of alcohol. Several states went dry and the government
encouraged vineyards to convert to table grape and raisin production.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a revival in the Indian wine industry took
place as international influences and the growing middle
class increased started increasing demand for the beverage. By the
turn of the 21st century, demand was increasing at a rate of 20-30%
Vineyards in India range from the more temperate climate of
the northwestern state of Punjab down to the southern state
of Tamil Nadu. Some of India's larger wine producing areas are
located in Maharashtra, Karnataka near Bangalore and Andhra
Pradesh near Hyderabad. Within the Maharashtra region,
vineyards are found on the Deccan Plateau and around
Baramati, Nashik, Pune, Sangli and Solapur. The high heat
and humidity of the far eastern half of the country limits
Variety Area (ha) Production (t)
Anab-e-Shahi (white, seeded) 3,000 135,000
Bangalore Blue Syn. Isabella (black, seeded) 4,500 180,000
Bhokri (white, seeded) 500 15,000
Flame Seedless (red, seedless) 500 10,000
Gulabi Syn. Muscat Hamburg (purple, seeded) 1,000 30,000
Perlette (white, seedless) 1,500 60,000
Sharad Seedless - A mutant of Kishmish Chorni (black,
FOUR SEASONS WINES
Fortified wine is wine to which a distilled
beverage (usually brandy) has been added. When added to
wine before the fermentation process is complete, the alcohol in
the distilled beverage kills the yeast and leaves residual
sugar behind. The end result is a wine that is both sweeter and
stronger, normally containing about 20% alcohol by
volume (ABV). The original reason for fortifying wine was to
preserve it, since ethanol is a natural antiseptic. Even though
other preservation methods exist, fortification continues to be
used because the fortification process can add distinct flavors to
the finished project.
Fortified wine is distinguished from spirits made from wine in
that spirits are produced by means of distillation, while fortified
wine is simply wine that has had a spirit added to it. Many
different styles of fortified wine have been developed,
including port, sherry, madeira, marsala, and vermouth.
Although grape brandy is most commonly added to produce fortified
wines, the additional alcohol may also be neutral spirit that has been
distilled from grapes, grain, sugar beets, or sugarcane.
Regional appellation laws may dictate the types of spirit that are
permitted for fortification.
The source of the additional alcohol and the method of its distillation can
affect the flavor of the fortified wine. If neutral spirit is used, it will usually
have been produced with a continuous still, rather than a pot still.
During the fermentation process, yeast cells in the must continue to
convert sugar into alcohol until the must reaches an alcohol level of
16%–18%. At this level, the alcohol becomes toxic to the yeast and kills
it. If fermentation is allowed to run to completion, the resulting wine will
(in most cases) be low in sugar and will be considered a dry wine. The
earlier in the fermentation process that alcohol is added, the sweeter the
resulting wine will be. For drier fortified wine styles, such as sherry, the
alcohol is added shortly before or after the end of the fermentation.
In the case of some fortified wine styles (such as late
harvest and botrytized wine), a naturally high level of sugar will inhibit
the yeast. This causes fermentation to stop before the wine can become
Mistelle (sifone in Italian, mistela in Spanish) is
sometimes used as an ingredient in fortified wines,
particularly Vermouth, Marsala and Sherry, though it
is used mainly as a base for apéritifs such as the
French Pineau des Charentes, It is produced by
adding alcohol to non-fermented or
partially fermented grape juice. The addition of
alcohol stops the fermentation and, as a
consequence Mistelle is sweeter than fully
fermented grape juice in which the sugars turn to
Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and
often simply Port) is a Portuguese style of fortified
wine originating from the Douro Valley in the northern
provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet red wine, often
served as a dessert wine, and also comes in dry, semi-dry
and white varieties. Fortified wines in the style of port are
also produced outside of Portugal, most notably in
Australia, South Africa, Canada, India, Argentina and the
United States. Under European Union guidelines, only the
product from Portugal may be labeled as Port. Elsewhere,
the situation is more complicated: wines labelled "Port"
may come from anywhere in the world, while the names
"Dao", "Oporto", "Porto", and "Vinho do Porto" have been
recognized as foreign, non-generic names for wines
originating in Portugal.
Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the
demarcated Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified
by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as Aguardente in
order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the
wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The fortification spirit is
sometimes referred to as Brandy but it bears little resemblance
to commercial Brandies. The wine is then stored and aged,
often in barrels stored in "caves" (pronounced "ka-vess" and
meaning "cellars" in Portuguese) as is the case in Vila Nova de
Gaia, before being bottled. The wine received its name, "Port",
in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city
of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the
product was brought to market or for export to other countries in
Europe. The Douro valley where Port wine is produced was
defined and established as a protected region, or appellation in
1756 — making it the third oldest defined and protected wine
region in the world after Chianti (1716) and Tokaji (1730).
Over a hundred varieties of grapes (castas) are
sanctioned for Port production, although only five
(Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz
(Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga
Nacional) are widely cultivated and
used. Although Touriga Nacional is the most
celebrated Port grape, the difficulty of growing it and
its small yields result in Touriga Francesa being the
most widely-planted variety within the Douro. White
ports are produced the same way as red ports,
except that they use white grapes—Esgana-
Cão, Folgasão, Malvasia, Rabigato,Verdelho,
STYLES OF PORT
Port from Portugal comes in several styles, which can be divided into
two broad categories:
Wines that have matured in sealed glass bottles, with no exposure to
air, and experience what is known as "reductive" aging. This process
leads to the wine losing its colour very slowly and produces a wine
which is smoother on the palate and less tannic.
Wines that have matured in wooden barrels, whose permeability
allows a small amount of exposure to oxygen, and experience what is
known as "oxidative" aging. They too lose colour, but at a faster
pace. If red grapes are used, in time the red colour lightens to a
tawny colour - these are known as Tawny (or sometimes Wood)
ports. They also lose volume to evaporation (angel's share), leaving
behind a wine that is slightly more viscous and intense.
The IVDP (Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto) further divides Port
into two categories: normal Ports (standard Rubies, Tawnies and
White Ports) and Categorias Especiais, Special Categories, which
includes everything else.
TYPES OF PORT
WOOD AGED PORTS: BOTTLE AGED PORTS:
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are
grown near the town of Jerez, Spain. In Spanish, it is
called vino de Jerez.
The word "sherry" is an anglicization of Jerez. In earlier
times, Sherry was known as sack (from the Spanish saca,
meaning "a removal from the solera"). "Sherry" is
a protected designation of origin; therefore, all wine labeled
as "Sherry" must legally come from the Sherry Triangle.
After fermentation is complete, Sherry is fortified
with brandy. Because the fortification takes place after
fermentation, most sherries are initially dry, with any
sweetness being added later. In contrast, port wine (for
example) is fortified halfway through its fermentation, which
stops the process so that not all of the sugar is turned into
The aging of sherry takes place in one of two ways:
BIOLOGICAL AGING: The sherry ages in contact with a
film of yeast (Flor) that changes the characterstics of the
wine be metabolising elements within the wine and
controlling the rate of oxidation.
PHYSIO-CHEMICAL AGING: The sherry is in direct contact
with air and its immediate oxidising effects.
PRODUCTION OF SHERRY:
3. Settling (debourbage)
5. Classification (Fino/olorosso)
6. Fortification (fino-15% / olorosso-18%)
7. Aging Finos: Biological Aging
Olorosso: Physio-chemical Aging
9. Working on the scales
11. Finishing: addition of sweetener
# Fino ('fine' in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of
Sherry. The wine is aged in barrels under a cap of flor yeast to prevent
contact with the air.
# Manzanilla is an especially light variety of fino Sherry made around the
port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
# Amontillado is a variety of Sherry that is first aged under flor but which is
then exposed to oxygen, producing a sherry that is darker than a fino but
lighter than an oloroso. Naturally dry, they are sometimes sold lightly
# Oloroso ('scented' in Spanish) is a variety of Sherry aged oxidatively for a
longer time than a fino or amontillado, producing a darker and richer wine.
With alcohol levels between 18-20%, olorosos are the most alcoholic
sherries in the bottle. Again naturally dry, they are often also sold in
# Palo Cortado is a rare variety of Sherry that is initially aged like an
amontillado, but which subsequently develops a character closer to an
# Sweet Sherries (Jerez Dulce in Spanish) are made either by fermenting
dried Pedro Ximénez or Moscatel grapes, which produces an intensely
sweet dark brown or black wine, or by blending sweeter wines or grape
must with a drier variety. Cream Sherry is a common type of sweet Sherry
made by blending different wines
Marsala is a wine produced in the region surrounding
the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Marsala wine first
received Denominazione di origine controllata, or DOC, status
While the city's natives sometimes drink "vintage" Marsala, the
wine produced for export is universally a fortified wine similar
to Port. Originally, Marsala wine was fortified with alcohol to
ensure that it would last long ocean voyages, but now it is
made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets.
CHARACTERSTICS & TYPES:
Marsala is produced using the Grillo, Inzolia, and Catarratto white grape
varietals, among others. Marsala wine was traditionally served as
an aperitif between the first and second courses of a meal. Contemporary
diners will serve chilled with Parmesan (stravecchio), Gorgonzola, Roquefort,
and other spicy cheeses, with fruits or pastries, or at room temperature as
a dessert wine. Marsala is sometimes discussed with another Sicilian
wine, Passito di Pantelleria (Pantelleria Island's raisin wine).
Different Marsala wines are classified according to their color, sweetness and
the duration of their aging. The three levels of sweetness are secco (with a
maximum 40 grams of residual sugar per liter), semisecco' (41-100 g/l)
and sweet (over 100 g/l). The color and aging classifications are as follows:
Oro has a golden color.
Ambra has an amber color. The coloring comes from the mosto
cotto sweetener added to the wine.
Rubino has a ruby color.
Fine has minimal aging, typically less than a year.
Superiore is aged at least two years.
Superiore Riserva is aged at least four years.
Vergine e/o Soleras is aged at least five years.
Vergine e/o Soleras Stravecchio e Vergine e/o Soleras Riserva is aged at
least ten years.
MARSALA IN COOKING
Marsala wine is frequently used in cooking, and is especially
prevalent in Italian restaurants in the United States. A typical
Marsala sauce, for example,
involves reducing the wine almost to a syrup
with onions or shallots, then adding mushrooms and herbs.
One of the most popular Marsala recipes is Chicken Marsala,
in which flour-coated pounded chicken breast halves are
braised in a mixture of Marsala, butter, olive oil, mushrooms,
and spices. Marsala is also used in some risotto recipes, and
is used to produce rich Italian desserts such
as zabaglione,tiramisu and shortcake.
Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands.
The wine is produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines
which can be consumed on their own as an aperitif, to sweet
wines more usually consumed with dessert. Cheaper versions are
often flavored with salt and pepper for use in cooking. The islands of
Madeira have a long winemaking history dating back to the Age of
Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships
heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from
spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. On the long sea voyages,
the wines would be exposed to excessive heat and movement which
transformed the flavor of the wine as the wine producers of Madeira
found out when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands
after a round trip. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking
process which involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high
as 60°C (140°F) for an extended period of time and deliberately
exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. Due to this unique
process, Madeira is a very robust wine that can be quite long lived
even after being opened.
TYPES OF MADEIRA
There are four major types of Madeira, named according to
the grape variety used. Ranging from the sweetest to the
driest style, they are:
Malvasia (also known as Malmsey or Malvazia)
Bual or Boal
STYLES OF MADEIRA:
Reserve (5 years)- This is the minimum amount of aging that a
wine labeled with one of the noble varieties is permitted to have.
Special Reserve(10 years)-At this point the wines are often
aged naturally without any artificial heat source.
Extra Reserve (over 15 years)-This style is rare to produce with
many producers extending the aging to 20 years for a vintage or
producing a "colheita". It is richer in style than a Special Reserve
Colheita or Harvest-This style includes wines from a single
vintage but aged for a shorter period than true Vintage Madeira.
The wine can be labeled with a vintage date but include the word
"colheita" on it.
Vintage or Frasquiera-This style must be aged at least 20 years
Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with aromatic herbs and
spices ("aromatized" in the trade) such
as cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile. Some
vermouth is sweetened; however, unsweetened, or dry,
vermouth tends to be bitter. The person credited with the
second vermouth recipe, Antonio Benedetto
Carpano from Turin, Italy, chose to name his concoction
"vermouth" in 1786 because he was inspired by a German wine
flavoured with wormwood, an herb most famously used
in distilling absinthe. The modern German word Wermut (also
spelled Wermuth) means both wormwood and vermouth. The
herbs in vermouth were originally used to mask raw flavours of
cheaper wines, imparting a slightly medicinal "tonic" flavour.
STYLES OF VERMOUTH:
There are three general styles of vermouth, in order from driest
to sweetest: extra dry, bianco/white, and sweet/red.
Sweet red vermouth is drunk as an apéritif, often straight up,
as well as in mixed drinks like the Manhattan. Dry white
vermouth, along with gin, is a key ingredient in the mixing
of martinis. Red vermouths are sometimes referred to as Italian
vermouths and white vermouths as French vermouths,
although not all Italian vermouths are red and not all French
vermouths are white.
Wine and food matching is the process of pairing food dishes
with wine to enhance the dining experience. In many cultures,
wine has had a long history of being a staple at the dinner table
and in some ways both the winemaking and culinary traditions of
a region will have evolved together over the years. Rather than
following a set of rules, local cuisines were paired simply with
local wines. The modern "art" of food pairings is a relatively
recent phenomenon, fostering an industry of books and media
with guidelines for pairings of particular foods and wine. In
the restaurant industry, sommeliers are often present to make
food pairing recommendations for the guest. The main concept
behind pairings is that certain elements (such as texture and
flavor) in both food and wine react differently to each other and
finding the right combination of these elements will make the
entire dining experience more enjoyable. However, taste and
enjoyment are very subjective and what may be a
"textbook perfect" pairing for one taster could be less enjoyable
Foods and wines are matched in
the exact same way as the way
they are tasted: on the palate,
where it comes together. In other
words, you match wine the same
way that you match anything that
tastes good together.
Take, for instance, a large scoop of
icy cold, creamy sweet vanilla ice
cream, which is made all the better
with a generous scoop of hot
chocolate syrup. The match works
because both are soft and sweet,
and the chocolate adds its own
unique flavor ("chocolate!") plus a
fun, contrasting sensation (hot vs.
PRINCIPLES OF MATCHING WINE & FOOD
1st Principle: Wine Is a Food
All food and wine matching is more easily understood when
the taste components of wines are thought of in the same
way as ingredients in a dish. Just like good cooking involves
a balancing of ingredients and technique, good wine/food
matching involves focusing on how specific components in
wines interact and achieve a sense of balance and harmony
with specific components in dishes.
2nd Principle: The Five Basic Taste Sensations
Sweetness: Related to amount of residual sugar in both foods
and wines; sensed by taste buds located towards at the tip of
Sour/tartness: Degree of acidity in both foods and wines
(more so in whites than in reds); tasted at the center and sides
of the tongue
Saltiness: Not a significant component in wine, but important
in how a wine relates to it in foods; tasted somewhere in the
center of the tongue
Bitterness: Tasted in many foods, and in the tannin content of
red wines (to a lesser degree in whites); tasted towards the
rear of the tongue
Umami: The flattering, amino acid related sense of
"deliciousness" found in many foods, and to a limited extent in
wines (location of "umami taste buds" on palate indeterminate)
3rd Principle: Key Tactile Sensations
Density, body or weight: The sense of light vs. heavy
contributed by proteins, fats and/or carbs in foods, and primarily
related to degree of alcohol content in wines (bolstered by tannin
Soft/crisp textures: Tactile contrasts in foods; and in wines,
smooth or easy vs. hard, sharp or angular
Spicy/hot: Feel of heat when chiles, peppers or horseradishes
are used in foods; not felt as a tactile sensation in wines, but
suggested in aromas and flavors ("spice" notes)
4th Principle: Flavor Is Aroma Related
Without the sense of smell, neither foods nor wines have "flavor."
Example: the taste and tactile sensations in an apple, a
pineapple, and an onion are similar in that they are all sweet,
crisp yet juicy, with some degree of acidity, but they all give a
distinctly different flavor perceived through the sense of smell.
By the same token, both Cabernet Sauvignon and a Petite Sirah
are two types of red wine that tend to be dark, full bodied, dry,
and fairly hard in tannin; but the Cabernet gives aromas and
flavors of herbal, minty, berry/cassis aromas and flavors,
whereas the Petite Sirah gives ripe berry/blueberry and black
peppercorn-like aromas and flavors.
5th Principle: The Two Ways Foods and Wines Are
When there are similar taste sensations in both a dish and a
wine (example: the buttery sauce in a fish dish enhanced by
the creamy or buttery texture of an oak barrel fermented white
When sensations in a wine contrast with sensations in a dish
to positive effect (example: the sweetness of a white wine
balancing the saltiness of a dish like ham or cured sausage,
6th Principle: Intrinsically Balanced Foods & Wines Make
the Best Matches
No matter what your personal taste, invariably you discover this
natural occurrence: the easiest foods and the easiest wines to
find a match for are the ones with their own intrinsic sense of
harmony and balance. This is because taste buds and
sensations of tactile qualities work for you collectively.
Extra Dry Brut Blanc de Blanc Blanc de Noir
Mild Cheese -
Shrimp, crab, lobster -
Seafood w/lite sauce -
Seafood w/cream sauce - - - -
Grilled fish - - - -
Pasta w/cream sauce - - - -
Pasta w/red sauce - - - -
Asian food -
Pork - - - -
Beef - - - -
Chocolate - - - -
The Five Rules for Matching Wine with Food
Look for compatible weights and bodies. The essence of this rule embodies the age
old 'red wine with red meat, white wine with fish and white meat". In its simplest
form, make sure the weight and body of the dish is consistent with the weight and
body of the wine.
Look for compatible acidity levels. When pairing food with wine make sure that the
acidity level in both are about the same. A good example is a dish like lemon
chicken paired with a high acid Vernaccia from Italy.
Look for complementary flavors and complexities. Food and wine shouldn't fight one
another for your attention. Instead they should help one another achieve synergy,
complimenting each other's best traits. NOTE - There is a corollary to this rule that
suggests looking for contradictory, but balancing flavors and complexity. If done
correctly, the wine and food match will work, but this approach is much more
complex and demands that the chef really knows the dish and the wine very well.
Approach the corollary with caution.
When matching wine to a food with a pronounced sauce, pair to the flavors in the
sauce. When pairing wine with food, make sure you match according to the
strongest traits of each. In a fruit glacé-type sauce one would look for a wine with
forward and overt fruitiness to pair best.
When matching wine to a food without a pronounced sauce, pair to the flavors in
the main ingredient. This is really a re-statement of rule four, except emphasizing
that in the absence of a strong sauce, look to the flavor characteristics of the main
There are a number of foods that always pose the greatest challenge when paired with wine. Here
are a few:
Vinegar or vinegar-based sauces
Vinegar is wine that has been acted on by a bacteria called acetobacter, which turns the alcohol in
the wine into acetic acid and water. Another term for the process is called "souring". Because of
this, most wines tend to taste spoiled in the presence of vinegar. Look for clean, bright, high acid
wines to pair the best, whites being most favorable.
Tomato or other similarly high acid foods
Especially high acid levels in food make it tough to maintain balance. For this reason, look for high
acid wines, like those made with Barbera or Vernaccia grapes to provide the greatest balance. Less
acidic wines will be overpowered by highly acidic foods.
Artichoke and asparagus
The complexity and often-weedy flavors in both these vegetables make for tough wine pairing. Look
for high acid, grassy wines, like Old World Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire to blend most favorably.
Egg and egg-based dishes
The sulfurous quality of the egg has a similar as vinegar, imparting an unpleasant flavor to softer
wines. Look for clean, bright high acid wines to pair best, almost always white.
Cranberry sauce and other similar relishes
The cacophony of flavors that abound in cranberry sauce and pickle relish make them near
impossible to pair with wine. As with vinegar and eggs, look for clean, bright and high acid wines.
The variability of chocolate in sweetness and texture can be difficult to pair well with wine. For
sweeter chocolate, look for sweeter wines to make an effective pair, making sure to maintain
balance in the weight and body of each. For semi-sweet or even bittersweet chocolate, look for
drier wines to make an effective pair, again making sure to maintain balance in the weight and body
Foie Gras with Sauternes
Like a marriage made in Heaven, foie
gras finds its perfect complement in
the company of the famed white
dessert wine from Bordeaux. What
probably makes this pair work best is
the sweet, honeyed character of the
wine combined with its naturally high
acidity that cuts through the rich,
fattiness of the duck liver. The often-
gamey quality of the liver finds a
welcome cushion in the nectar like
quality of the wine. If you can't find
true Sauternes, then you can often
substitute a similar botrytis-affected,
SOME IDEAL PAIRINGS
Oysters with Chablis
Chablis hails from Burgundy,
France in a region where
prehistoric, fossilized seashells
make up most of the lower soil
strata. Here the grapes are
infused with the taste of chalk
and the sea. What could be
better to pair with the briny,
chalky flavors found in fresh,
raw oysters? Nothing, I think. If
you can't find Chablis, then try
to find a similarly weighted white
wine that has seen little time in
oak and comes from a region
with plenty of mineral and
limestone in the soil
GRILLED BEEF WITH CLARET
Claret, or more formally, red wine
from Bordeaux is often tough, tannic
and highly earthy and complex.
These elements pair wonderfully with
the gamey, robust intensity of the
grilled beef. This is especially true in
the case of dry aged beef and older
Claret. The rich complexity of the
beef blends beautifully with the
subtle, unfolding complexity in the
wine. If you can't find Claret, per se,
then look for similarly bodied wines
based on Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot or Cabernet Franc.
BEEF BOURGOGNE WITH
Much of the synergy in this match is
due to the fact that the stew is
prepared with the wine being served
with it. This is really true of any dish
cooked with wine - the match will be
best if the dish is prepared with the
same wine being served. It is a
fallacy that one should cook with
inferior wines. When one does so,
one produces inferior food
There is also one important factor that one should always
remember when matching wine with food - Cuisine from a
particular country or region will inevitably pair best with the
wines native in that country or region. This is largely due to
the fact that wine and cuisine grow up together in a country.
Where this is changing somewhat is in those areas where old
wine making traditions are being replaced with more globally
acceptable practices and styles. Generally, though, when all else
fails - look to the native wines of a particular country to make the
best dining partner.
The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus,
meaning "breath", but also "soul, courage, vigor“.
Spirit is a high concentration potable alcoholic beverage
that is obtained by the distillation of a low concentration
liquid containing alcohol. The raw materials used could
be wine, sugar solution or fermented grain mash.
As alcohol is separated from the fermented liquid, certail
other flavours remain with the alcohol known as
“congeners” and give the spirit their distinct
characteristics. Also ageing the spirits and the
containers in which they are aged give unique
characteristics to distilled spirits.
The best known distilled beverages are:
Whisky / Whiskey
A column still, also called a continuous still, patent
still or Coffey still, is a variety of still consisting of
two columns invented in 1826 by Robert Stein, a
Clackmannanshire distiller and first used at
the Cameron Bridge Grain Distillery. The design was
enhanced and patented in 1831 by
an Irishman, Aeneas Coffey. The first column (called
the analyzer) has steam rising and wash descending
through several levels. The second column (called
the rectifier) carries the alcohol from the wash where it
circulates until it can condense at the required
Column stills behave like a series of single pot stills, formed in a
long vertical tube. The tube is filled with either porous packing or
bubble plates. The rising vapor, which is low in alcohol, starts to
condense in the cooler, higher level of the column. The temperature
of each successively higher stage is slightly lower than the previous
stage, so the vapor in equilibrium with the liquid at each stage is
progressively more enriched with alcohol. Whereas a single pot still
charged with wine might yield a vapor enriched to 40-50% alcohol, a
column still can achieve a vapor alcohol content of 96%. A
continuous still can, as its name suggests, sustain a constant
process of distillation. This, along with the higher concentration of
alcohol in the final distillate, is its main advantage over a pot still,
which can only work in batches. Continuous stills are charged with
pre-heated feed liquor at some point in the column. Heat (usually in
the form of steam) is supplied to the base of the column. Stripped
(alcohol-free) liquid is drawn off at the base, while almost pure
alcohol is condensed after migrating to the top of the column.
Column stills are frequently used in the production of grain whisky.
Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn—
"burnt wine") is a spirit produced by distilling wine, the wine
having first been produced by fermenting grapes. Brandy
generally contains 36%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically
taken as an after-dinner drink. While some brandies are aged in
wooden casks, most are coloured with caramel coloring to imitate
the effect of such aging.
Brandy can also be made from fermented fruit (i.e., other than
grapes) and from pomace.
# The first step in making fine brandies is to allow the fruit juice (typically grape)
to ferment. This usually means placing the juice, or must as it is known in
the distilling trade, in a large vat at 68-77°F (20-25°C) and leaving it for five
days. During this period, natural yeast present in the distillery environment
will ferment the sugar present in the must into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The white wine grapes used for most fine brandy usually ferment to an
alcohol content of around 10%.
# Fine brandies are always made in small batches using pot stills. A pot still is
simply a large pot, usually made out of copper, with a bulbous top.
# The pot still is heated to the point where the fermented liquid reaches the
boiling point of alcohol. The alcohol vapors, which contain a large amount
of water vapor, rise in the still into the bulbous top.
# The vapors are funneled from the pot still through a bent pipe to a condenser
where the vapors are chilled, condensing the vapors back to a liquid with a
much higher alcohol content. The purpose of the bulbous top and bent pipe
is to allow undesirable compounds to condense and fall back into the still.
Thus, these elements do not end up in the final product.
PRODUCTION PROCESS OF BRANDY
# Most fine brandy makers double distill their brandy, meaning they
concentrate the alcohol twice. It takes about 9 gal (34 1) of wine to make I
gal (3.8 1) of brandy. After the first distillation, which takes about eight
hours, 3,500 gal (13,249 1) of wine have been converted to about 1,200 gal
(4,542 1) of concentrated liquid (not yet brandy) with an alcohol content of
26-32%. The French limit the second distillation (la bonne chauffe) to
batches of 660 gal (2,498 1). The product of the second distillation has an
alcohol content of around 72%. The higher the alcohol content the more
neutral (tasteless) the brandy will be. The lower the alcohol content, the
more of the underlying flavors will remain in the brandy, but there is a much
greater chance that off flavors will also make their way into the final product.
# The brandy is not yet ready to drink after the second distillation. It must
first be placed in oak casks and allowed to age, an important step in the
production process. Most brandy consumed today, even fine brandy, is less
than six years old. However, some fine brandies are more than 50 years
old. As the brandy ages, it absorbs flavors from the oak while its own
structure softens, becoming less astringent. Through evaporation, brandy
will lose about 1% of its alcohol per year for the first 50 years or so it is "on
# Fine brandy can be ready for bottling after two years, some after
six years, and some not for decades. Some French cognacs are
alleged to be from the time of Napoleon. However, these claims
are unlikely to be true. A ploy used by the cognac makers is to
continually remove 90% of the cognac from an old barrel and then
refill it with younger brandy. It does not take many repetitions of
this tactic to dilute any trace of the Napoleonic-age brandy.
# Fine brandies are usually blended from many different barrels
over a number of vintages. Some cognacs can contain brandy
from up to a 100 different barrels. Because most brandies have
not spent 50 years in the barrel, which would naturally reduce
their alcohol contents to the traditional 40%, the blends are diluted
with distilled water until they reach the proper alcohol content.
Sugar, to simulate age in young brandies, is added along with a
little caramel to obtain a uniform color consistency across the
entire production run
TYPES OF BRANDY
1. Grape Brandy
Grape brandy is produced by the distillation of
fermented grapes. Grape brandy is best when it
is drunk at room temperature from a tulip-shaped
glass or a snifter. Often it is slightly warmed by
holding the glass cupped in the palm or by gently
heating it. However, heating it may cause the
alcohol vapor to become too strong, so that the
aromas are overpowered.
COGNAC: Cognac comes from the Cognac
region in France, and is double distilled using pot
stills. Popular brands
include Hine, Martell, RémyMartin,
Sabourin, Delamain and Courvoisier. The brandy
abbreviatios are as follows:
VO: Very Old, 10-15 years
VOP: Very Old Pale, 15-20 years
VSO: Very Superior Old, 20 -25 years
VSOP: Very Superior Old Pale, 25-40 years
XO: Extra Old, 50-70 years
Age of Cognac, according to stars:
* * * * * 15-20 years
* * * * 10-15 years
* * * 7-10 years
* * 5-6 years
* 3-4 years
Armagnac: Armagnac is made from grapes of the Armagnac
region in Southwest of France. It is single-continuous distilled in
a copper still and aged in oaken casks
from Gascony or Limousin. Armagnac was the first distilled spirit
in France. Armagnacs have a specificity: they
offer vintage qualities. Popular brands are Darroze, Baron de
Sigognac, Larressingle, Delord, Laubade, Gélas and Janneau.
American Brandy: American grape brandy is almost always
from California. Popular brands include Christian Brothers,
Coronet, E&J, Korbel, Paul Masson and J. Bavet.
Brandy de Jerez: Brandy de Jerez is a brandy that originates
from vineyards around Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. It
is used in some sherries and is also available as a separate
2. FRUIT BRANDY
Fruit brandies are distilled
from fruits other than
grapes. Apples, plums,
blackberries, and apricots
are the most commonly
used fruits. Fruit brandy
usually contains 40% to
45% ABV. It is usually
colorless and is
customarily drunk chilled
or over ice.
# Applejack is an American apple brandy, made from the distillation
of hard cider. It is often freeze distilled.
# Buchu brandy is South African and flavoured with extracts
from Agathosma species.
# Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower
Normandy. It is double distilled from fermented apples.
# Damassine is a prune (the fruit of the Damassinier tree) brandy
from the Jura Mountains of Switzerland
# Coconut brandy is a brandy made from the sap of coconut flowers.
# Eau-de-vie is a general French term for fruit brandy (or even grape
brandy that is not qualified as Armagnac or Cognac, including
# German Schnaps is fruit brandy produced in Germany or Austria.
# Kirschwasser is a fruit brandy made from cherries.
# Kukumakranka brandy is South African and flavoured with the ripe
fruit of the Kukumakranka.
# Palinka is a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. It can only be made
of fruits from Hungary, such as plums, apricots, peaches,
elderberries, pears, apples or cherries.
# Poire Williams (Williamine) is made from Bartlett pears (also known as
# Rakia is a type of fruit brandy produced in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; it may be made from
plums, apples, quinces, pears, apricots, cherries, mulberries, grapes, or
# Slivovice is a strong fruit brandy made from plums; by law, it must
contain at least 52% ABV. It is produced in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech
Republic, and Poland.
# Slivovitz is a fruit brandy made from plums. It is a traditional drink
in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia. Macedonia, Serbia, and
# Šlivka (pronounced: Shlyeewca) is plum fruit brandy made in
# Šljivovica (pronounced: Shlyeewoweetza) is plum fruit brandy made in
# Tuica is a clear Romanian fruit brandy made from plums, apples,
pears, apricots, mulberries, peaches, quinces, or mixtures of
these. Romania and Moldova also produce a grape brandy called vin
ars (burnt wine) or divin
3. POMACE BRANDY
Pomace brandy is produced by fermentation and distillation of
the grape skins, seeds, and stems that remain after grapes have
been pressed to extract their juice (which is then used to make
wine). Most of the pomace brandies are neither aged, nor
Portuguese aguardente Bagaceira,
Cypriot Zivania and
Rum is a distilled beverage made from sugarcane by-
products such as molasses and sugarcane juice by a
process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a
clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and
The majority of the world's rum production occurs in and
around the Caribbean and in several Central
American and South American countries, such
as Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Puerto
Rico, and Brazil. There are also rum producers in places
such asAustralia, Fiji, the Philippines, India, Reunion
Island, Mauritius, and elsewhere around the world.
PRODUCTION OF RUM
FERMENTATION: Most rum produced is made from molasses.
Within the Caribbean, much of this molasses is from Brazil. A
notable exception is the French-speaking islands where
sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient.
Yeast and water are added to the base ingredient to start the
fermentation process. While some rum producers allow wild yeast
to perform the fermentation, most use specific strains of yeast to
help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation
time. Dunder, the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations, is
the traditional yeast source in Jamaica. "The yeast employed will
determine the final taste and aroma profile," says Jamaican
master blender Joy Spence. Distillers that make lighter rums, such
as Bacardi, prefer to use faster-working yeasts. Use of slower-
working yeasts causes more esters to accumulate during
fermentation, allowing for a fuller-tasting rum.
As with all other aspects of rum production, there is no standard
method used for distillation. While some producers work in
batches using pot stills, most rum production is done
using column still distillation. Pot still output contains
more congeners than the output from column stills and thus
produces a fuller-tasting rum.
AGEING & BLENDING: Many countries require that rum
be aged for at least one year. This aging is commonly performed
in used bourbon casks, but may also be performed in stainless
steel tanks or other types of wooden casks. The aging process
determines the coloring of the Rum. Rum that is aged in oak
casks becomes dark, whereas Rum that is aged in stainless
steel tanks remains virtually colorless. Due to the tropical climate
common to most rum-producing areas, rum matures at a much
faster rate than is typical for Scotch or Cognac. An indication of
this faster rate is the angels' share, or amount of product lost
to evaporation. While products aged in France or Scotland see
about 2% loss each year, rum producers may see as much as
10%. After aging, rum is normally blended to ensure a consistent
flavor. Blending is the final step in the Rum making process. As
part of this blending process, light rums may be filtered to
remove any color gained during aging. For darker
rums, caramel may be added to the rum to adjust the color of the
STYLES OF RUM
The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the
location that a rum was produced. Despite these variations the
following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:
# Light Rums, also referred to as silver rums and white rums. In
general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general
sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for cocktails. Light
rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color. The
Brazilian Cachaça is generally this type, but some varieties are more
akin to "gold rums". The majority of Light Rum comes out of Puerto
Rico. Their milder flavor makes them popular for use in mixed-drinks,
as opposed to drinking it straight.
# Gold Rums, also called amber rums, are medium-bodied rums
which are generally aged. These gain their dark color from aging in
wooden barrels (usually the charred white oak barrels that are the
byproduct of Bourbon Whiskey). They have more flavor, and are
stronger tasting than Silver Rum, and can be considered a midway-
point between Silver/Light Rum and the darker varieties
# Spiced Rum: These rums obtain their flavor through addition of
spices and, sometimes, caramel. Most are darker in color, and
based on gold rums. Some are significantly darker, while many
cheaper brands are made from inexpensive white rums and
darkened with artificial caramel color.
# Dark Rum, also known as black rum, classes as a grade darker
than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred
barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or
gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong
molasses or caramel overtone. It is used to provide substance in
rum drinks, as well as color. In addition to uses in mixed drinks,
dark rum is the type of rum most commonly used in cooking. Most
Dark Rum comes from areas such as Jamaica, Haiti, and
Martinique, though two Central American countries, Nicaragua
and Guatemala, produced two of the most award-winning dark
rums in the world: Flor de Caña and Ron Zacapa Centenario,
# Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums
which they have infused with flavors of fruits such
as mango, orange, citrus, coconut or lime. These serve to flavor
similarly themed tropical drinks which generally comprise less
than 40% alcohol, and are also often drank neat or on the rocks.
# Overproof Rum is rum which is much higher than the standard
40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 75%, in fact,
and preparations of 151 to 160 proof occur commonly.
# Premium Rum: As with other sipping spirits, such
as Cognac and Scotch, a market exists for premium and super-
premium rums. These are generally boutique brands which sell
very aged and carefully produced rums. They have more
character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts, and are
generally consumed without the addition of other ingredients
Whisky or whiskey is a type of alcoholic
beverage distilled from fermented grain mash.
Different grains are used for different varieties,
including barley, malted barley, rye, malted
rye, wheat, and maize (corn). Most whiskies are
aged in wooden casks, made generally of oak,
the exception being some corn liquors.
WHISKY PRODUCTION PROCESS
PREPARING THE GRAIN:
Grains are shipped directly from farms to the whiskey manufacturer to
be stored in silos until needed. The grain is inspected and cleaned to
remove all dust and other foreign particles.
All grains except barley are first ground into meal in a gristmill. The meal
is then mixed with water and cooked to break down the cellulose walls
that contain starch granules. This can be done in a closed pressure
cooker at temperatures of up to 311°F (155°C) or more slowly in an
open cooker at 212°F (100°C).
Instead of being cooked, barley is malted. The first step in malting
barley consists of soaking it in water until it is thoroughly saturated. It is
then spread out and sprinkled with water for about three weeks, at
which time it begins to sprout. During this germination the enzyme
amylase is produced, which converts the starch in the barley into
sugars. The sprouting is halted by drying the barley and heating it with
hot air from a kiln. For Scotch whiskey, the fuel used in the kiln includes
peat, a soft, carbon-rich substance formed when plant matter
decomposes in water. The peat gives Scotch whiskey a characteristic
smoky taste. The malted barley is then ground like other grains.
Mashing consists of mixing cooked grain with malted
barley and warm water. The amylase in the malted
barley converts the starch in the other grains into
sugars. After several hours the mixture is converted into
a turbid, sugar-rich liquid known as mash. (In making
Scotch malt whiskey the mixture consists only of malted
barley and water. After mashing the mixture is filtered to
produce a sugar-rich liquid known as wort.)
The mash or wort is transferred to a fermentation vessel, usually
closed in Scotland and open in the United States. These vessels
may be made of wood or stainless steel. Yeast is added to begin
fermentation, in which the single-celled yeast organisms convert
the sugars in the mash or wort to alcohol. The yeast may be
added in the form of new, never-used yeast cells (the sweet mash
process) or in the form of a portion of a previous batch of
fermentation (the sour mash process.) The sour mash method is
more often used because it is effective at room temperature and
its low pH (high acidity) promotes yeast growth and inhibits the
growth of bacteria. The sweet mash method is more difficult to
control, and it must be used at temperatures above 80°F (27°C) to
speed up the fermentation and to avoid bacterial contamination.
After three or four days, the end product of fermentation is a liquid
containing about 10% alcohol known as distiller's beer in the
United States or wash in Scotland.
Scottish whiskey makers often distill their wash in traditional
copper pot stills. The wash is heated so that most of the alcohol
(which boils at 172°F [78°C]) is transformed into vapor but most of
the water (which boils at 212°F [100°C]) is not. This vapor is
transferred back into liquid alcohol in a water-cooled condenser
and collected. Most modern distilleries use a continuous still. This
consists of a tall cylindrical column filled with a series of
perforated plates. Steam enters the still from the bottom, and
distiller's beer enters from the top. The beer is distilled as it slowly
drips through the plates, and the alcohol is condensed back into a
liquid. With either method, the product of the initial distillation—
known as low wine—is distilled a second time to produce a
product known as high wine or new whiskey, which contains about
Water is added to the high wine to reduce its alcohol content to about 50% or
60% for American whiskeys and about 65% or higher for Scotch whiskeys.
Scotch whiskeys are aged in cool, wet conditions, so they absorb water and
become less alcoholic. American whiskeys are aged in warmer, drier conditions
so they lose water and become more alcoholic. Whiskey is aged in wooden
barrels, usually made from charred white oak. White oak is used because it is
one of the few woods that can hold a liquid without leaking but which also
allows the water in the whiskey to move back and forth within the pores of the
wood, which helps to add flavor. In the United States these barrels are usually
new and are only used once. In most other countries it is common to reuse old
barrels. New barrels add more flavor than used barrels, resulting in differences
in the taste of American and foreign whiskeys. The aging process is a complex
one, still not fully understood, but at least three factors are involved. First, the
original mixture of water, alcohol, and congeners react with each other over
time. Second, these ingredients react with oxygen in the outside air in oxidation
reactions. Third, the water absorbs substances from the wood as it moves
within it. (Charring the wood makes these substances more soluble in water.)
All these factors change the flavor of the whiskey. Whiskey generally takes at
least three or four years to mature, and many whiskeys are aged for ten or
Straight whiskeys and single malt Scotch whiskeys are not
blended; that is, they are produced from single batches and are
ready to be bottled straight from the barrel. All other whiskeys are
blended. Different batches of whiskey are mixed together to
produce a better flavor. Often neutral grain spirit is added to
lighten the flavor, caramel is added to standardize the color, and a
small amount of sherry or port wine is added to help the flavors
blend. Blended Scotch whiskey usually consists of several
batches of strongly flavored malt whiskeys mixed with less
strongly flavored grain whiskeys. A few blends contain only malt
whiskeys. Blending is often considered the most difficult and
critical process in producing premium Scotch whiskeys. A
premium blended Scotch whiskey may contain more than 60
individual malt whiskeys which must be blended in the proper
Glass is always used to store mature whiskey because it does not
react with it to change the flavor. Modern distilleries use
automated machinery to produce as many as 400 bottles of
whiskey per minute. The glass bottles move down a conveyor belt
as they are cleaned, filled, capped, sealed, labeled, and placed in
cardboard boxes. The whiskey is ready to be shipped to liquor
stores, bars, and restaurants.
Scotch whiskies are generally distilled twice, though some are
distilled a third time. International laws require anything bearing
the label "Scotch" to be distilled in Scotland and matured for a
minimum of three years and one day in oak casks, among other,
more specific criteria. If Scotch whisky is from more than one
cask, and if it includes an age statement on the bottle, it must
reflect the age of the youngest whisky in the blend. Many cask-
strength single malts omit the age as they use younger elements
in minute amounts for flavouring and mellowing. The basic types
of Scotch are malt and grain, which are combined to create
blends. Many, though not all, Scotch whiskies use peat smoke to
treat their malt, giving Scotch its distinctive smoky flavour. While
the market is dominated by blends, the most highly prized of
Scotch whiskies are the single malts. Scotch whiskies are
divided into five main
regions: Highland, Lowland, Islay, Speyside and Campbeltown.
Most Irish whiskeys are distilled three times, although there are
exceptions. Though traditionally distilled using the pot still method, in
modern times a column still is used to produce the grain whiskey
used in blends. By law, Irish whiskey must be produced
in Ireland and aged in wooden casks for a period of no less than
three years, although in practice it is usually three or four times that
period. Unpeated malt is almost always used, the main exception
being Connemara Peated Malt whiskey.
There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: single malt,
single grain, blended whiskey and uniquely to Ireland, pure pot still
whiskey. The designation "pure pot still" as used in Ireland generally
refers to whiskey made of 100% barley, mixed malted and unmalted,
and distilled in a pot still made of copper. The "green" unmalted
barley gives the traditional pure pot still whiskey a spicy, uniquely
Irish quality. Like single malt, pure pot still is sold as such or blended
with grain whiskey. Usually no real distinction is made between
whether a blended whiskey was made from single malt or pure pot
The model for Japanese whiskies is the single malt Scotch,
although there are also examples of Japanese blended whiskies.
The base is a mash of malted barley, dried in kilns fired with a little
peat (although considerably less than is the case in Scotland),
and distilled using the pot still method. For some time Japanese
whisky suffered from the commonly held belief that whisky made
in the Scotch style, but not produced in Scotland, was inferior, and
until fairly recently, the market for Japanese whiskies was almost
entirely domestic. In recent years, Japanese whiskies have won
prestigious international awards and now enjoys a deserved
reputation for a quality product.
Canadian whiskies are usually lighter and smoother than other
whisky styles. Another common characteristic of many Canadian
whiskies is their use of rye that has been malted, which provides a
fuller flavour and smoothness. By Canadian law, Canadian
whiskies must be produced in Canada, be distilled from a
fermented mash of cereal grain, "be aged in small wood for not
less than 3 years", and "possess the aroma, taste and character
generally attributed to Canadian whisky". The terms "Canadian
Whisky", "Canadian Rye Whisky" and "Rye Whisky" are legally
indistinguishable in Canada and do not denote any particular
proportion of rye or other grain used in production.
American whiskey is distilled from a fermented mash
of cereal grain. It must have the taste, aroma, and other
characteristics commonly attributed to whiskey.
American blended whiskeys combine straight whiskey
with un-aged whiskey, grain neutral spirits, flavorings
Indian whisky is an alcoholic beverage that is labelled as
"whisky" in India. Much Indian whisky is distilled from
fermented molasses, and as such would be considered
a sort of rum outside of the Indian subcontinent. 90% of
the "whisky" consumed in India is molasses based,
although India has begun to distill whisky from malt and
Gin is a spirit flavoured with juniper berries. Distilled Gin is
made by redistilling white grain spirit and raw cane sugar
which has been flavoured with juniper berries. Compound
Gin is made by flavouring neutral grain spirit with juniper
berries without redistilling and can be considered as a
flavoured Vodka. A well made Gin will be relatively dry
compared to other spirits. Gin is often mixed in cocktails with
sweeter ingredients like tonic water or vermouth to balance
PRODUCTION OF GIN:
The most common style of Gin, typically used for
mixed drinks, is London dry Gin. London dry gin is
made by taking a neutral grain spirit and redistilled
after botanicals are added. In addition to Juniper
berries, it is usually made with a small amount of
citrus botanicals like lemon and bitter orange peel.
Other botanicals that may be used include anise,
angelica root and seed, orris root, licorice root,
cinnamon, coriander, cassia bark.
TYPES OF GIN:
# DUTCH GIN: also known as Holland’s, Genever
and Schiedam Gin, is typically made from equal
parts of malted barley, corn and rye. It has a slightly
sweet, malty character and is generally full flavoured
than dry Gin. There are two styles of Dutch Gin:
Oudo: means “Old”. It has a strong flavour from a
higher proportion of barley.
Jonge: means “young”. It is light both in flavour and
# DRY GIN: the preferred choice for most gin
drinkers- is made primarily from corn with a small
percentage of malted barley and other grains. It’s
typically dry, aromatic and moderately light in
flavour and body. Dry Gins made in England (where
this style originated) commonly have a slightly
higher alcohol content and are more flavourful than
American made Gins.
Vodka, one of the world's most popular liquors, is composed
solely of water and ethyl alcohol with possible traces of
impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made from
a fermented substance of either grain, rye, wheat, potatoes,
or sugar beet molasses.
Vodka’s alcoholic content usually ranges between 35 to 50
percent by volume; the standard Russian, Lithuanian,
and Polish vodkas are 40 percent alcohol by volume
Vodka is traditionally drunk neat in the vodka belt — Eastern
Europe and the Nordic countries — and elsewhere. It is also
commonly used in cocktails and mixed drinks, such as
the bloody Mary, the screwdriver, the White Russian,
the vodka tonic, and the vodka martini.
PRODUCTION PROCESS OF VODKA:
MASH PREPARATION: The grain or vegetables are loaded into an
automatic mash tub. Much like a washing machine, the tub is fitted with
agitators that break down the grain as the tub rotates. A ground malt
meal is added to promote the conversion of starches to sugar.
STERILIZATION & INOCULATION: Preventing the growth of bacteria is
very important in the manufacture of distilled spirits. First, the mash is
sterilized by heating it to the boiling point. Then, it is injected with lactic-
acid bacteria to raise the acidity level needed for fermentation. When
the desired acidity level is reached, the mash is inoculated once again.
FERMENTATION: The mash is poured into large stainless-steel vats.
Yeast is added and the vats are closed. Over the next two to four days,
enzymes in the yeast convert the sugars in the mash to ethyl alcohol.
DISTILLATION & RECTIFICATION: The liquid ethyl alcohol is pumped
to stills, stainless steel columns made up of vaporization chambers
stacked on top of each other. The alcohol is continuously cycled up and
down, and heated with steam, until the vapors are released and
condensed. This process also removes impurities. The vapors rise into
the upper chambers (still heads) where they are concentrated. The
extracted materials flow into the lower chambers and are discarded.
Some of the grain residue may be sold as livestock feed.
WATER: The concentrated vapors, or fine spirits, contain 95-100%
alcohol. This translates to 190 proof. In order to make it drinkable, water
is added to the spirits to decrease the alcohol percentage to 40, and the
proof to 80.
BOTTLING: Alcoholic beverages are stored in glass bottles because
glass is non-reactive. Other receptacles, such as plastic, would cause a
chemical change in the beverage. The bottling procedure is highly
mechanized as the bottles are cleaned, filled, capped, sealed, labeled,
and loaded into cartons. This can be done at rates as high as 400
bottles per minute.
STYLES OF VODKA
BOMBORA VODKA: Bombora Vodka is an Australian brand of
vodka. Its name comes from the Aboriginal word for "reef," and
surf talk for "massive wave." It is distilled 5x from grapes
harvested in the Barossa Valley and natural spring water
collected from the Great Artesian Basin.
Derived from the Aboriginal word
for "water over
rocks," CooranBong is the first
super premium vodka distilled
from Australian grapes in the
world. Using select hand-
picked Shiraz and Cabernet
Sauvignon grapes from
the Barossa Valley, CooranBong
emphasizes a unique 10x
Vodka is an 80
proof vodka distilled
Australia. The vodka is
distilled from the
molasses of Australian
Downunder is priced
vodkas at about the
ICEBERG VODKA: Iceberg
Vodka is a vodka manufactured by
the Newfoundland and Labrador
Liquor Corporation. The vodka is
produced using water from icebergs
harvested off the coast
of Newfoundland. Won the 2006-
2007 Golden Icon Award for Best
Vodka; the Golden Icon Awards are
presented annually by Travolta
In 1998, the Beverage Tasting
Institute gave Iceberg a 'superlative'
score of 94 out of 100, ranking it
second behind the acclaimed Grey
Goose in a blind taste test of the
world's best vodkas
DRAGON BLEU VODKA: Dragon
Bleu is a French brand of vodka. It
is distilled and bottled in
the Grande Champagne area
of France from a blend of three
grains:wheat, barley, and rye.
Dragon Bleu is produced by
French distiller Patrick Brisset,
who is the former President of
the International Centre for Spirits
and Liqueurs (Centre International
des eaux-de-vie) in Segonzac,
France. Dragon Bleu is 40%
alcohol by volume (80 proof). It is
produced using the water of the
Gensac Spring. This vodka fits
into the high-priced category
Tequila (Spanish pronunciation: [teˈkila]) is a Blue Agave-
based spirit made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila,
65 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands
(Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
The red volcanic soil in the region surrounding Tequila is particularly well
suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the
plants are harvested there each year.
Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of
Jalisco and limited regions in the states
of Guanajuato, Michoacán,Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof),
but can be produced between 35–55% alcohol content (70–110
proof). Though most tequilas are 80 proof, many distillers will distill to
100 proof and then cut it down with water to reduce its harshness. Some
of the more well respected brands distill the alcohol to 80 proof without
using additional water as a diluter.
PRODUCTION OF TEQUILA: Harvesting the agave plant remains a
manual effort, unchanged by modern farming technologies, and
stretching back hundreds of years. The agave is planted, tended, and
harvested by hand. The men who harvest it, the "jimadores", possess
generations of knowledge about the plants and the ways in which they
need to be harvested. The jimadores must be able to work swiftly in the
tight rows, pull out the hijuelos (Agave offspring) without damaging the
mother plant, clear the piñas (Spanish for pineapples), and decide when
each plant is ready to be harvested . Too soon and there are not enough
sugars, too late and the plant will have used its sugars to grow
a quiote (20–40 foot high stem), with seeds on the top that are then
scattered by the wind. The piñas, weighing 40 to 70 pounds, are cut
away with a special knife called a coa. They are then shredded, their
juices pressed out and put into fermentation tanks and vats. Some
tequila companies still use the traditional method (artisanal) in which
the piñas are crushed with a Tahona (stone wheel). The musto, (Agave
juice, and sometimes the fiber) is then allowed to ferment in either wood
or stainless steel vats for several days to convert the sugars into
alcohol. Each company keeps its own yeast a closely guarded secret
TYPES OF TEQUILA:
There are two basic categories of tequila: mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use
up to 49% of other sugars in the fermentation process, with agave taking up the
remainder. Mixtos use both glucose and fructose sugars.
With 100% agave tequila, blanco or plata is harsher with the bold flavors of the
distilled agave up front, while reposado and añejo are smoother, subtler, and
more complex. As with other spirits that are aged in casks, tequila takes on the
flavors of the wood, while the harshness of the alcohol mellows. The major
flavor distinction with 100% agave tequila is the base ingredient, which is more
vegetal than grain spirits (and often more complex).
Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:
Blanco ("white") or plata ("silver") – white spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored
immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or
neutral oak barrels;
Joven ("young") or oro ("gold") – is the result of blending Silver Tequila with
Reposado and/or Añejo and/or extra Añejo Tequila;
Reposado ("rested") – aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in
Añejo ("aged" or "vintage") – aged a minimum of one year, but less than 3
years in oak barrels;
Extra Añejo ("extra aged" or "ultra aged") – aged a minimum of three years in
oak barrels. This category was established in March 2006.
Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with
aromatic herbs and spices ("aromatized" in the trade) such
as cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile. Some
vermouth is sweetened; however, unsweetened, or dry,
vermouth tends to be bitter. The person credited with the
second vermouth recipe, Antonio Benedetto
Carpano from Turin, Italy, chose to name his concoction
"vermouth" in 1786 because he was inspired by
a German wine flavoured with wormwood, an herb most
famously used in distilling absinthe. The modern German
word Wermut (Wermuth in the spelling of Carpano's time)
means both wormwood and vermouth. The herbs in
vermouth were originally used to mask raw flavours of
cheaper wines, imparting a slightly medicinal "tonic" flavour.
STYLES OF VERMOUTH
There are three general styles of vermouth, in order from driest
to sweetest: extra dry, bianco/white, and sweet/red.
Sweet red vermouth is drunk as an apéritif, often straight up, as
well as in mixed drinks like the Manhattan.
Dry white vermouth, along with gin, is a key ingredient in the
mixing of martinis.
Red vermouths are sometimes referred to as Italian vermouths
and white vermouths as French vermouths, although not all
Italian vermouths are red and not all French vermouths are
Cider (pronounced /ˈsaɪdər/) is a beverage made from apple juice. Non-
alcoholic and alcoholic varieties are produced. Alcoholic beverages from
cider are made from the fermented juice of apples and are known in the
U.S. and Canada as hard cider, while non-alcoholic versions are known
as apple cider. Alcoholic cider varies in alcohol content from less than
3% ABV in French cidre doux to 8.5% ABV or more in traditional English
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented pear juice. It is
similar to cider, in that it is made using a similar process and often has a
similar alcoholic content, up to 8.5% alcohol by volume. The term Pear
Cider is sometimes used, and is considered equivalent to Perry by
some industry bodies.
Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly in the Three
Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in
parts of south Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou.
CIDER PRODUCTIONScatting and pressing:
Apples grown for consumption are suitable for cider making, though some
regional cider-makers prefer to use a mix of eating and cider apples (as in
Kent, England), or exclusively cider apples (as in the West Country, England).
There are many hundreds of varieties of cultivars developed specifically for
Once the apples are gathered from trees in orchards they are scatted (ground
down) into what is called pomace or pommage. Historically this was done
using pressing stones with circular troughs, or by a cider mill. Cider mills
were traditionally driven by the hand, water-mill, or horse-power. In modern
times they are likely to be powered by electricity. The pulp is then transferred
to the cider press and built up in layers known as cheeses into a block.
Traditionally the method for squeezing the juice from the cheese involves
placing sweet straw or hair cloths between the layers of pomace. This will
alternate with slatted ash-wood racks, until there is a pile of ten or twelve
layers. It is important to minimize the time that the pomace is exposed to air
in order to keep oxidation to a minimum.
The set is then subjected to increasing degrees of pressure, until all the
'must' or juice is squeezed from the pomace. This juice, after being strained
in a coarse hair-sieve, is then put into either open vats or closed casks. The
pressed pulp is given to farm animals as winter feed, composted or
discarded, or used to make liqueurs.
Fermentation is carried out at a temperature of 4–16 °C (40–60 °F). This
is low for most kinds of fermentation, but is beneficial for cider as it
leads to slower fermentation with less loss of delicate aromas.
Shortly before the fermentation consumes all the sugar, the liquor
is racked (siphoned) into new vats. This leaves dead yeast cells and
other undesirable material at the bottom of the old vat. At this point it
becomes important to exclude airborne acetic bacteria, so vats are filled
completely to exclude air. The fermenting of the remaining available
sugar generates a small amount of carbon dioxide that forms a
protective layer, reducing air contact. This final fermentation creates a
small amount of carbonation. Extra sugar may be added specifically for
this purpose. Racking is sometimes repeated if the liquor remains too
Apple based juices with cranberry also make fine ciders; and many
other fruit purées or flavourings can be used, such as grape, cherry, and
The cider is ready to drink after a three month fermentation period,
though more often it is matured in the vats for up to two or three years.
Blending and bottling
For larger-scale cider production, ciders from vats produced from
different varieties of apple may be blended to accord with market taste.
If the cider is to be bottled, usually some extra sugar is added for
sparkle. Higher quality ciders can be made using the champagne
method, but this is expensive in time and money and requires special
corks, bottles, and other equipment. Some home brewers use beer
bottles, which work perfectly well, and are inexpensive. This allows the
cider to become naturally carbonated.
POPULAR BRANDS OF CIDER
1. ARGENTINA: Real, Victoria, Del Valle, Rama Caida
2. AUSTRALIA: Strong bow, Mercury, Cold stream
3. AUSTRIA: Mostviertel
4. BELGIUM: Stassen, Strongbow Jacques, Konings
5. CANADA: John Molson. Ice Cider
6. BRITAIN: Biddenden, theobolds, strongbow, blackthorn.
Bulmers, Frosty Jack, White Strike, Diamond White
7. USA: Martinelli’s, Woodchuck,
An apéritif (also spelled aperitif) is an alcoholic drink that is usually served
to stimulate the appetite before a meal, contrasting with digestifs, which are
served after meals.
Apéritifs are commonly served with something small to eat, such
as crackers, cheese, pâté, olives, and various kinds of finger food.
This French word is derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means “to
open.” There is no consensus about the origin of the apéritif. Some say that
the concept of drinking a small amount of alcohol before a meal dates back
to the ancien Egyptians.
Main records, however, show that the apéritif first appeared in 1786
in Turin, Italy, when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented vermouth in this
city. In later years, vermouth was produced and sold by such well-known
companies as Martini, Cinzano, and Gancia.
Apéritifs were already widespread in the 19th century in Italy, where they
were being served in fashionable cafes in Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan,
Turin, and Naples.
Apéritifs became very popular in Europe in the late 19th century. By 1900,
they were also commonly served in the United States. In Spain and in some
countries of Latin America, apéritifs have been a staple of tapas cuisine for
A digestif is an alcoholic beverage that is taken just after a meal,
purportedly as an aid to digestion — hence the name, which is
borrowed from French. If a digestif is a bitters, it will contain bitter
or carminative herbs that some believe will aid digestion.
In contrast to apéritifs (which are taken before a meal), digestifs
usually contain more alcohol. Digestifs are usually taken straight (neat)
and are most often spirits such
as amari, bitters, brandy, grappa, tequila, or whisky.
Some wines (usually fortified wines) are served as digestifs — for
example, sherry, port and madeira.
POPULAR APERITIFS & DIGESTIFS
Calvados is an apple brandy from the French région of Basse-
Normandie or Lower Normandy. Calvados is distilled from
specially grown and selected apples, of which there are over 200
named varieties. It is not uncommon for a Calvados producer to
use over 100 specific varieties of apple to produce their Calvados.
The apples used are either sweet (such as the Rouge Duret
variety), tart (such as the Rambault variety), or bitter (such as the
Mettais, Saint Martin, Frequin, and Binet Rouge varieties), with
the latter category of apple being inedible. The fruit is picked
(usually by hand) and pressed into a juice that is fermented into a
dry cider. It is then distilled into eau de vie. After two years aging
in oak casks, it can be sold as Calvados. The longer it is aged, the
smoother the drink becomes. Usually the maturation goes on for
several years. A half-bottle of twenty-year-old Calvados can easily
command the same price as a full bottle of ten-year-old Calvados.
It is a brandy made by distilling hard cider or fermented apple
pomace. Applejack (American Brandy) is sometimes produced by a
different method which is now rarely used. This method involves
freezing the fermented cider and then removing the ice.
POIRE WILLIAMS: Poire Williams is a colorless eau de vie made
from the Williams pear. It is generally served chilled as an after-dinner
Many producers of Poire Williams include an entire pear inside each
bottle. This is achieved by attaching the bottle to a budding pear tree
so that the pear will grow inside it.
The Williams pear is known as the Bartlett pear in the United States.
Williamine is brand of Poire Williams; the trademark is owned by
Distillerie Louis Morand & Cie, who distill the drink on their premises in
Martigny, Canton of Valais, Switzerland from nearby orchards.
Kirschwasser (pronounced KIRSH
-vahs-ər, German for “cherry
pronunciation: [ˈkɪɐ̯ ʃvasɐ]) is a
clear, colourless fruit brandy
traditionally made from double-
distillation of morello cherries, a
dark-coloured cultivar of the sour
cherry. However, the beverage is
now also made from other kinds of
The cherries are
fermented complete (that is,
including their stones).
Kirschwasser is often simply
called Kirsch in both German- and
Slivovitz or Sliwowitz is a distilled beverage made
from Damson plums. Slivovitz is primarily produced in Slavic regions of
Central and Eastern Europe, both commercially as well as by many
households on an informal, homemade basis. Primary producing
nations include Serbia, Czech
Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia, Poland, Hungary, Bulga
ria, Romania and Croatia. It is most popularly consumed in those
nations, as well as wherever communities of expatriate from these
nations exist. Similar plum brandies are also produced in Switzerland,
France, the United States, and Canada, but marketed under other
names, such as brandy, Pflümli, or eau de vie.
Framboise (pronounced /fʀɑ̃bwaz/) (from
the French for raspberry)
or Frambozenbier (Dutch) is
a Belgian lambic beer that is fermented using
raspberries. It is one of many modern fruitbeer
types that have been inspired by the more
traditional kriek beer, made using sour cherries.
Framboise is usually served in a small glass
that resembles a champagne glass, only
shorter (could also be a goblet). Most framboise
beers are quite sweet, though the Cantillon
brewery produces a tart version called Rosé
de Gambrinus that is based on the traditional
kriek style. The Liefmans brewery uses Oud
bruin beer instead of lambic to make its high
quality framboise beer, resulting in a very
different taste. Recently, Framboise has
become popular outside of Belgium, and can
now be found in pubs and supermarkets all
over the world.
Marc is a spirit distilled from pomace wine or from the residue of
grape skins and seeds after the grapes have been pressed for wine
making. It is manufactured in similar styles in other countries like
Italy (Grappa), Portugal (Bagaciera) and Spain (Aguardente).
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored
with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled
with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are
usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during
their production to allow flavors to marry.
The word liqueur comes from the Latin liquifacere (“to
A distinction can be made between liqueurs and the kind
of cordials that are made with fruit juice. In some parts of the
world, people use the words “cordial” and “liqueur”
Liqueurs date back centuries and are historical descendants
of herbal medicines, often those prepared by monks,
as Chartreuse or Bénédictine. Liqueurs were made in Italy as
early as the 13th century and their consumption was later
required at all treaty signings during the Middle Ages.
Nowadays, liqueurs are made worldwide and are served in
many ways: by themselves, poured over ice, with coffee,
mixed with cream or other mixers to create cocktails, etc.
They are often served with or after a dessert. Liqueurs are
also used in cooking.
Some liqueurs are prepared by infusing certain woods, fruits,
or flowers, in either water or alcohol, and adding sugar or
other items. Others are distilled from aromatic or flavoring
agents. The distinction between liqueur
and spirits (sometimes liquors) is not simple, especially since
many spirits are available in a flavored form today. Flavored
spirits, however, are not prepared by
infusion. Alcohol content is not a distinctive feature. At 15-
30%, most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content than spirits,
but some liqueurs have an alcohol content as high as
55%. Dessert wine, on the other hand, may taste like a
liqueur, but contains no additional flavoring.
Anise liqueurs have the interesting property of turning from
transparent to cloudy when added to water: the oil of anise
remains in solution in the presence of a high concentration of
alcohol, but crystallizes when the alcohol concentration is
Layered drinks are made by floating different-coloured
liqueurs in separate layers. Each liqueur is poured slowly into
a glass over the back of a spoon or down a glass rod, so that
the liquids of different densities remain unmixed, creating a
LIQUEUR COLOUR FLAVOUR/SPIRIT BASE COUNTRY
ABRICOTINE RED APRICOT / BRANDY FRANCE
AVOCAAT YELLOW EGG, SUGAR / BRANDY HOLLAND
ANISETTE CLEAR ANISEED FRANCE, SPAIN, ITALY, HOLLAND
AQUAVIT CLEAR CARAWAY, ANISE / GRAIN SPIRIT SCANDINAVIA
ARRACK CLEAR HERBS, SAP OF PALM TREES JAVA, INDIA, CEYLON, JAMAIKA,
BENEDICTINE YELLOW / GREEN HERBS / BRANDY FRANCE
B AND B PALE YELLOW GREEN BRANDY & BENEDICTINE FRANCE
CALVADOS AMBER APPLE / BRANDY FRANCE
CHARTREUSE GREEN HERBS, PLANTS / BRANDY FRANCE
CHERRY BRANDY DEEP RED CHERRY / BRANDY DENMARK
COINTREAU CLEAR ORANGE / BRANDY FRANCE
CRÈME DE CACAO DARK BROWN CHOCOLATE / VANILLA FRANCE
CRÈME DE MENTHE GREEN MINT / BRANDY FRANCE
CRÈME DE VANILLE CLEAR VANILLA FRANCE / HOLLAND
DRAMBUIE GOLDEN HONEY, HERB / WHISKY SCOTLAND
GRAND MARNIER AMBER ORANGE / BRANDY FRANCE
GLAYVA GOLDEN HERB, SPICE / WHISKY SCOTLAND
KIRSCH CLEAR CHERRY / BRANDY ALSACE
KAHLUA PALE CHOCOLATE COFFEE / RUM MEXICA
KUMMEL CLEAR MARASCHINO CHERRY ITALY
PARFAIT AMOUR VIOLET VIOLET, LEMON PEEL, SPICES FRANCE, HOLLAND
SAKI CLEAR RICE JAPAN
SAMBUCA CLEAR LIQUORICE / NEUTRAL SPIRIT ITALY
SLIVOVITZ CLEAR PLUM / BRANDY EUROPE
A cocktail is a style of mixed drink. Originally a mixture of distilled
spirits, sugar, water, and bitters, the word has gradually come to mean
almost any mixed drink containing alcohol.
A cocktail today usually contains one or more types of liquor and one or
more mixers, such as bitters, fruit
juice, fruit, soda, ice, sugar, honey, milk,cream, or herbs.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD COCKTAIL
It should be made from good-quality, high-
It should whet rather than dull the appetite. Thus,
it should never be sweet or syrupy, or contain too
much fruit juice, egg or cream.
It should be dry, with sufficient alcoholic flavor, yet
smooth and pleasing to the palate.
It should be pleasing to the eye.
It should be well-iced
COMPONENTS OF A COCKTAIL
The base is the principal ingredient of the cocktail. It is typically
a single spirituous liquor, such as rum, gin or whiskey, and
typically makes up 75 percent or more of the total volume of the
cocktail before icing.
The modifying agent is the ingredient that gives the cocktail its
character. Its function is to soften the raw alcohol taste of the
base, while at the same time to enhance its natural flavor. Typical
modifying agents are aromatic wines (such as vermouth) and
spirits (such as Fernet Branca or Amer Picon), bitters, fruit juices
and "smoothing agents" such as sugar, eggs, and cream.
Special flavoring and coloring agents include liqueurs (such
as Grand Marnier or Chartreuse), Cordials, and non-alcoholic
flavored syrups (such as Grenadine or Orgeat syrup). These are
typically used in place of simple syrup, and are to be used
PREPERATION OF COCKTAILS
COCKTAILS CAN BE:
POINTS TO BE OBSERVED WHILE MAKING COCKTAILS
USE ONLY THE BEST KNOWN PROPRIETARY BRAND OF SPIRIT
MAKE SURE THAT THE COCKTAIL SHAKER IS PERFECTLY
ALWAYS USE CLEAR ICE. NEVER USE THE SAME ICE AGAIN.
ALL INGREDIENTS SHOULD BE MIXED WELL.
DO NOT OVERFILL THE SHAKER. USE A LARGE SHAKER.
SHAKE THE DRINK WELL FOR 15-20 SECONDS. DRINKS
CONTAINING EFFERVESCENCE SHOULD NEVER BE SHAKEN,
CHILL THE COCKTAIL GLASS BEFORE SERVING.
SERVE IMMEDIATELY AFTER MIXING. DO NOT FILL THE GLASS
TILL THE RIM.
ALWAYS USE THE BEST QUALITY GARNISHES.
IF EGG WHITE OR YOLK HAS TO BE ADDED, SEPARATE THEM
PLACE THE ICE FIRST IN THE SHAKER AND THEN THE OTHER
COCKTAILS BASED ON WINES, LIQUEURS ARE GENERALLY
INGREDIENTS USED FOR SHAKEN COCKTAILS SUCH AS FRUIT
JUICE, CREAM, SUGAR NEED A VIGOROUS SHAKE TO BLEND
TYPES OF SHAKERS
A cocktail shaker is a device used to mix beverages
(usually alcoholic) by shaking. When ice is put in the
shaker this allows for a quicker cooling of the drink
A shaken cocktail is made by putting the desired
ingredients (typically fruit
juices, syrups, liqueurs and ice cubes) in the cocktail
shaker. Then it is shaken vigorously for around 5 to
10 seconds, depending upon the mixability of the
ingredients and desired temperature.
There are at least three varieties of cocktail shakers:
The Boston Shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a metal
bottom and glass or plastic mixing glass. The mixing container
and bottom are inserted into each other for shaking or used
separately for stirring or muddling. A separate strainer, such as
a Hawthorn or Julep strainer, are required for this type shaker if
crushed ice is used. Without such a strainer, some bartenders
may instead strain by narrowly separating the two pieces after
shaking and pouring the drink through the resulting gap.
The Cobbler Shaker: A three-piece cocktail shaker that has
tapers at the top and ends with a built-in strainer and includes a
cap. The cap can often be used as a measure for spirits or
The French Shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a metal
bottom and a metal cap. A strainer is always required for this
type of shaker, barring the separation method mentioned