Wine

Wine has been around for thousands of years. There are a countless number of red grape varieties in the world, some able to make wine. Right now, the world wine market focuses on about 40 – 50 different red wine grape varieties, the most widely recognized and used.

What differentiates red wine from white is first, the skin color of the grape, and second, the amount if time the grape juice has with its skins. After picking, red grapes are put into tanks or barrels where they marinate with their skins for a bit, absorbing the pigments and other aspects of the skin (think tannins). This is how red wine gets its red color. The exact color, which can range from light red to almost purple, depends on both the color of the particular grape skin and the amount of time it sits with the skins. Remember, the inside of almost all grapes is a light, golden color – it's the skins that have the pigment. For example, much of Champagne is made from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier, both red grapes. Yet because it spends so little time on its skins, the color of the Champagne is often white.

The list below is roughly organized from lighter-bodied to fuller-bodied, lower tannins to higher tannins and light color to deeper color – but note that this is not an "always" list, just a general guideline. Remember, European and old-world countries tend to label their wine by region, while new world wine is most often labeled with grape variety.

Grapes
Where they grow best
Gamay
Beaujolais, France
Pinot Noir
Burgundy, France; California; Oregon; Champagne
Tempranillo
Spain
Sangiovese
Tuscany, Italy
Grenache/Garnacha
Rhone, France; Spain; Australia
Merlot
Bordeaux, France; California; Washington State, Chile
Zinfandel
California
Cabernet Sauvignon
Bordeaux, France; California; South America
Nebbiolo
Piedmont, Italy
Syrah/Shiraz
Rhone, France; Australia; South Africa; California
Carmenere
Chile
Malbec
Argentina; France
Mourvedre
France; Australia; California
Petit Sirah
California
 

Whisky

Whisky is to the Scots what champagne is to the French, and a visit to Scotland would not be complete without sampling this fiery, heart-warming spirit. All malt whiskies are produced using much the same process, but the environment, maturity and storage of the whisky have such a strong bearing on its character that everyone is a different experience. There is no “BEST” malt whisky- some are suited to drinking at bedtime, other as an aperitif.

Glenmorangie is the biggest selling single malt in Scotland, with a light, flowery taste and strong perfume.

The Maccallan is widely acknowledged as being the “rolls Royce of single malt” aged in sherry casks, it has a full flavour.

The Glenlivet is the most famous of the Speyside malt, distilled since 1880.

Malt region Single malts vary according to regional differences in the peat and stream water used. It is the division of the traditional whisky distilleries, each whisky has subtle but recognize regional flavour characteristics.

Blended whiskies are made from a mixture of up to 50 different single malts example chivas regal 12 year blended whisky, black label 12year blended whisky, the famous grouse standard 8years whisky and teacher’s scotch whisky.

Single malt are made in one distillery, from pure barley malt that is never blended. E.g glenfiddich, glenlivet, glenmorangie, maccallan 12year, taliker, lagavulin the edradour, royal lochnagar and etc.

How whisky is made

Traditional made from just barley, yeast and stream water, Scottish whisky “water of life” takes a little over three weeks to produce, though it must be given at least three year to mature. Maturation usually takes palace in oak casks, often in barrels previously used for sherry. The art of blending was pioneered in Edinburgh in 1860s.

1.malting is the first stage. barley grain is soaked in water and soaked in the water and spread on the malting floor. with regular turning the grain germinates, producing a “green malt”germination stimulates the production of enzymes which turn the starches into fermentable sugar.

2.drying of the barley halts germination after 12days of malting. This is done over a peat fire in a pagoda-shaped malt-kiln. The peat-smoke gives flavour to the malt and eventually to the mature whisky. the malt is gleaned of germinated roots and then milled.

3.mashing of the ground malt, or “grist”, occurs in a large vat or “mash tun”, which holds a vast quantity of hot water. The malt is soaked and begin to dissolve, producing a sugary solution called “wort”, which is then extracted for fermentation.

4.fermentation occurs when yeast is added to the cooled wort in wooden vats or “washbacks”. The mixture is stirred for hours as the yeast turn the sugar into alcohol, producing a clear liquid called wash.

5.distillation involves boiling the wash twice so that the alcohol vaporizes and condenses. In copper “pot stills”. The wash is distilled-first in the “wash still”, then in the “spirit still”.now purified, with an alcohol content of 57 %,the result is called young whisky.

6.maturation is the final process. The whisky mellows in oak casks for a legal minimum of three years. premium brands give the whisky a 10-15 year maturation, though some are given up to 50 years.

 
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