The Chianti Wine Regions

The region of Chianti is a tiny area in the heart of Tuscany between Siena and Florence and overlooks the Elsa Valley. The land is fertile with olive groves, green forests, and those delicious grapes just waiting to be picked off the vine and smashed into the most heavenly of drinks-Chianti wine. For many years, Italians have enjoyed the prestige of being recognized for having the largest harvest of grapes and the finest vintages of wine in the Mediterranean. The present day farmers can thank the Phoenicians for bringing vines to this area. They named the area, ‘Oenotria’, the ‘land of wine.’ The ripe fields, combined with the sun and Tuscan air led many others to this area to cultivate …

The Anatomy Of A Coffee Tree

Coffea, a member of the Rubiaceae family is responsible for the biological heritage of “coffee.” The Rubiaceae family includes more than 500 genera and 6,000 species of tropical trees and shrubs. It is doubtful the average person would recognize an actual coffee tree. Most of us would recognize a roasted coffee bean. Just in case you stumble upon something you think might be a real coffee tree, here is a quick description of one: •Pruned short in cultivation •Capable of growing more than 30 feet high •Generally covered with dark-green, waxy leaves that grow opposite each other in pairs, although a coffee tree can also have leaves that are purple or yellow (dark green is the predominant color) The leaves …

The World’s Largest Wine Producer

The largest wine producing area of the world can be found at the border of the Mediterranean Sea, in between Spain and the Rhone delta. Out of a population of 2.4 million, there are fifty thousand involved in growing vines. The area they consume spans twenty seven thousand and four hundred square kilometers (10500 miles). There are 400 cooperatives and about 2800 private wineries in the land with Banyuls to the southwest and Muscat to the east. Out of that comes two billion bottles of wine. The area has hot summers and mild winters. The soil ranges from sandstone and limestone to granite pebbles. Cargnan, Merlot and Grenache other red wines are produced here and among the white wines there …

Thai-Style Fragrant Water And Thai Hom Mali Rice

This very popular form of fragrant water is made from freshly gathered flowers and contains no alcohol. The flowers used are selected for their sweet and lingering fragrance, some of the more common ingredients being the flowers of damask rose (Rosa damascene Mill.), jasmine, “lam-chiak” (Pandanus tectorius Bl.), “kradang-ngaa-thai” (Cananga odorata Hook.f. & Th.), orange champaka (Michelia champaca Linn.), “chammanaas”(Vallaris glabra Ktze.),bullet wood, “lamduan” (Melodorum fruticosum Lour.) and “chan-ka-pho” (Vatica diospyroides Syming.). Other ingredients used include the leaves of fragrant screw pine, the inner bark of “chaluut” (Alyxia reinwardtii Bl.bar. lucida Markge.), sandalwood, Siam benzoin, jasmine and hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis Linn.)oils. Thai-style fragrant water is applied liberally onto the face, chest and arms during the hot climate. It is also …

Producing Quality Beans For Our Coffee Makers

Coffee requires very special climatic conditions to thrive, and it only grows in tropical areas with a steady supply of rain and sunshine. Even so, from its origins in Ethiopia, where most of the beans are still harvested from wild plants, coffee production has spread around the globe. The main producing areas are centered on the equator, in a slim band twenty five degrees to the north and south. Over seventy nations produce the beans, and the commercial value of coffee today is astonishing. Almost a third of global production occurs in Brazil. Columbia is the second largest producer, although it is perhaps the better known for producing fine roasts. Coming in third is Indonesia, followed closely by Mexico, where …

Wine Tasting – A Preference For Red Or White

For many of us wine is something of a mystery and when we are buying wine it comes down to a simple choice between red and white and what our local supermarket has available in its “special offer” bin. But wine really isn’t such a mystery at all and, in this area at least, a little knowledge can get you a very long way. The starting point is to understand the different types of wine available and here we can divide wines into five main groups. Red Wine. Red wine is fermented from what many people would refer to as red grapes but which are in fact more correctly named black grapes. In the case of red wine the grapes …

Wine Tasting – Understanding The Wines Of France

Are you baffled by the huge variety of French wines and completely lost when it comes to deciding which wine will best suit your needs? Each of the eight wine producing regions of France specializes in producing wine of a particular type and flavor and this simple overview will hopefully make choosing French wines a little easier. Burgundy Burgundy wines are produced from the black Pinot Noir and Gamay grapes and from the white Chardonnay grape. The Pinot Noir is probably one of the world’s oldest grape varieties and is notoriously difficult to grow. It does however produce some of our best wines which are full-bodied and rich and at the same time can be light, soft and velvety. Pinot …

Organic Coffee: Preserving The World One Cup At A Time

Many people wonder what organic coffee is all about. How does it differ from regular coffee? Is the cost worth it? These may be some of the questions that you think about when you hear or read the words “organic coffee.” Here are some facts that you should know about organic coffee. Organic coffee is not really a new idea. Organic coffee farming is actually the original way to grow coffee. Consider it as part of the trend of going back to the old ways. People are beginning to realize that perhaps the older methods and traditional ways are better than the newer and modern methods. But why is the coffee called “organic coffee”? Organic coffee is named “organic” because …

Have You Given A Thought To Where Your Cup Of Espresso Is Coming From?

The most amazing fact about the coffee beans is the trees having an expansion over 70 countries, from Brazil to Indonesia, still requiring a narrow range of conditions to produce those quality ‘beans’, while the total output remains small at large. ‘Beans’ as it is said so, is however a deliberate attempt to mark it in a single-quote, for the thing that gets ground and roasted to brew up the delicious drink is a seed and not a bean at all. The coffee tree, which can easily grow up to twenty feet or more than that, bears the fruits that contain the coffee seeds. However some wild varieties of coffee trees can grow to over 15m or 45 feet. Most …

Great Beans For The Perfect Espresso

The popularity of coffee is ever growing with coffee chains like Starbucks on every high street, espresso machines in every restaurant and a coffee vending machine in every office. Considering the number of countries that now produce coffee beans; over seventy around the globe, the conditions necessary for coffee growing are highly specific and the overall output is not that high. Although we always refer to coffee beans, the term is actually misleading as the green or red object that is roasted to make coffee is in fact a seed. It is found at the center of fruits that grow on trees, often about twenty feet tall but often reaching up to forty feet. The fruit looks a little like …

Organic Wines – An Alternative Way Of Producing Wine

The term “organic” is cropping up more and more when it comes to food and drink production in the 21st Century. It demands a cleaner and a non-chemically grown product. But how does this affect wine production and can there be such a thing as a wine company who can produce truly organic wine and stay in business? As the organic movement grows, there is pressure from environmentalists and increasingly choosy customers to know exactly what goes into their food and drink before they purchase it. Organic wines have previously been accused of being dull, and most of the world’s “best” wines have long been produced in a far from organic way. The place to start when talking about organic …

Organic Wine, Beer And Spirits

In the UK and USA, producers are increasingly making wines labeled organic or produced from organically grown grapes. The meaning and legal force of these terms can vary significantly from one country to another. A key point to add at this stage is the difference between organically grown grapes – fruit from vineyards grown without the use of industrial fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides – and wines made without synthetic preservative additives. Organic Vineyards – Where it all begins! An organic vineyard is one where grapes are grown without chemical fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides, or other synthetic chemicals. This prevents damage to soil and ensures that no chemicals end up in the wine as residue. Organic farmers aim to maintain …

10 Reasons Why We Need To Clean Water

If your clean water dilemma is how to clean water marks from glass vases, you’re just touching the tip of this iceberg. If your water is clean, should it leave water marks on glass vases? SECRET: You can clean water marks from glass vases. I don’t guarantee this will work on every vase, and urge you to use these ideas at your own risk, but here they are. Mix equal parts of cold tea with vinegar, and dissolve a denture cleaner tablet in the mixture. Or fill the vase with water and drop in 2 Alka Seltzer tablets. Soak your vase overnight in either solution, rinse, and dry. Ten Reasons Why We Need to Clean Water 1. Clean water is …

10 Reasons Why We Need To Clean Water

If your clean water dilemma is how to clean water marks from glass vases, you’re just touching the tip of this iceberg. If your water is clean, should it leave water marks on glass vases? SECRET: You can clean water marks from glass vases. I don’t guarantee this will work on every vase, and urge you to use these ideas at your own risk, but here they are. Mix equal parts of cold tea with vinegar, and dissolve a denture cleaner tablet in the mixture. Or fill the vase with water and drop in 2 Alka Seltzer tablets. Soak your vase overnight in either solution, rinse, and dry. Ten Reasons Why We Need to Clean Water 1. Clean water is …

Wine labels – Peeling off the mystery

One of the most baffling subjects that confronts the budding wine enthusiast is the deciphering of the myriad of information contained on the bottle label, especially that contained on wine bottles from European countries. Once the basic rules are taken on board it becomes a lot simpler. Whereas most New World countries put details of the grape varieties on the front label, a lot of European regions do not, and as this is the most basic of information for taste purposes why is this the case? European winemakers tend to put more emphasis on the place of origin. For instance, a Bordeaux red typically wont say ‘Cabernet’ or ‘Merlot’ on the front label, but instead have the name of the …

A Look At Ice Wine

Although there are several types of wine that you buy, one of the most unheard of is ice wine. Ice wine is a very rare form of wine, a wine that is produced under certain types of weather conditions. Ice wine is mainly produced in the Pacific Northwest region, where the weather conditions are right for the wine. As ironic as it is, ice wine is produced in very small quantities. With the wine requiring only the fines of quality and a lack of availability, the product is extremely rare indeed. Truth be told, there are only a lucky few who are actually able to purchase the wine. Ice wine, due to the scarce amount, can be extremely expensive and …