The Beauty Of Red Wine: A Beginner’s Guide

The hit comedy film Sideways is about a road trip in the wine country of sunny California where the two main characters, Miles and Jack, taste copious amounts of red wine while dealing with major life dramas. It’s a hilarious film that touched so many people with its dark comedy and truly moving portraits of people dealing with love, pain, and wine tasting. But perhaps the greatest thing about Sideways was how it inspired so many people to go out and become connoisseurs of fine wine! According the Internet Movie Database, the movie made so many of its fans want to buy Pinot Noir (a dry red wine) that sales significantly increased in the US and UK during and after …

Tea Drinking In The United States

Traditionally, the marketplace for loose leaf tea drinkers in the United States has been limited. Although loose leaf tea was extremely popular in colonial times, the consumption of loose leaf tea gradually changed and recently the American market for tea has been generally confined to iced tea and tea in bags. Loose leaf tea was introduced to America at the same time of introduction to Europe. As early as 1650 Dutch traders were active in the tea trade and Peter Stuyvesant, as an early governor of the New York colony, brought the first tea to New York. Loose leaf tea was so popular in colonial New York that at one time the small colony consumed more loose leaf tea than …

Tea, High Tea And Afternoon Tea – What’s The Difference?

Tea the Drink There are two forms of tea that often cause confusion in the tea world: tea the drink and tea the meal. Tea the drink is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant and from the processing of the plant white, green, oolong, and black teas are produced. The basic teas are also often blended with other plants like vanilla, mint and melon as well as flavors like Oil of Bergamot to make Earl Grey Tea, The beverage is made by steeping processed leaves, buds, or twigs of the tea bush in hot water for a few minutes. The processing can include oxidation, heating, drying, and the addition of other herbs, flowers, spices, and fruits. The term “herbal tea” …

Tea: Earl Grey Tea: Who Was Earl Grey?

Earl Grey tea is a popular flavored black tea named after an historic figure in 19th century England. Earl Grey’s existence and historic accomplishments are well documented but his influence on the tea that bears his name is less clear. Charles Grey was the 2nd Earl Grey, (13 March 1764 – 17 July 1845), and was a British Whig statesman and Prime Minister. His father, Charles Grey, the 1st Earl Grey, was a notable British general in the American Revolution who commanded victories in several battles, notably against the American forces under General Anthony Wayne and at the Battle of Germantown (1777–78). Descended from a long-established Northumbrian family, Grey was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was elected …

Sherry – Spanish Sunshine in a Bottle! (part 1 – Introduction & Regions)

Sherry is a fortified wine, made in Spain from three types of grapes: Palomino, Pedro Ximénez, and Muscat (Moscatel). Sherry-style wines made in other countries often use other grape varieties. Sherry differs from other wines because of how it is treated after fermentation. It is first fortified with brandy and then if destined to be fino style a yeast called flor is allowed to grow on top. Oloroso style is fortified to a strength where the flor cannot grow. (In contrast, port wine is fortified to a higher percentage of alcohol than sherry, effectively preventing the growth of any yeast.) REGIONS JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA or JEREZ for short, the Scheris of the Moors, one of their fortresses in Spain, …

Holiday Gourmet Food Gift Guide

It’s official, people of all ages love to receive gourmet foods as a gift. For any occasion, for birthdays, for anniversaries, for Christmas, for Mother’s Day, for Father’s Day, it doesn’t matter. Gourmet foods are one of the few gifts that you can count on to please the recipient. Everyone who receives a gourmet food gift basket or package feels special. Here is a guide to the most popular types of gourmet food gifts and what type of gift recipient they are perfect for: Cheeses Cheese is a great gift for the true “foodie”, or anyone who also enjoys wine. Gourmet cheeses are available from all over the world, but the very best specialty cheeses tend to come from France, …

History And Origin Of Tea

The history of tea is really quite fascinating. There are many myths that surround the creation of tea. One such popular myth is from a Chinese legend stating that tea was discovered in 2737 BC when Chinese emperor Chen Nung accidentally dropped the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Not wanting to throw the water out, he took a sip and tea was born. One would think that tea would grow on vines in the ground. However, tea is actually grown from trees found in the hotter climates of the world. From China, tea was brought to Japan who incorporated it into their special occasions and into their holiday meals. When it reached England in sixteen sixty-two, tea was fully …

How Do You Drink Black Tea?

Perhaps you’ve never been a tea drinker before, but you’ve decided to give it a whirl. Or maybe you already drink standard varieties of tea, but you’d like to try black tea for a change of pace. In any case, you’re wondering how you should go about drinking this unusual full-bodied beverage. To begin with, you should be aware of the fact that tea aficionados around the globe tend to make tea in a similar way. Yet, it is true that certain methods of tea preparation may differ from country to country and from region to region. Favorite Methods For example, in India, black tea is often steeped with a combination of milk and hot water. In Great Britain and …

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 …

Dying to Drink an Awesome Beer? Go German!

The German people are renowned for a lot of things; one of them is brewing. Beer is a crucial piece of their legacy and civilization, with more than 1300 various breweries spread across the land. As far as per capita beer consumption, the German people are only behind the Czechs and the Irish. The history of Germanic beer spans back to the origin of the country when monks began to experiment with brewing around 1000 A.D. The country’s leaders eventually began to regulate the production of beer as brewing started to be more and more profitable. The Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, or purity standard, came about in fifteen-sixteen and remains the most famous and influential aspect to effect German brewing. The Bavarian …

A World Of Wine At Your Fingertips

Many wine drinkers dream of finding an exciting discovery from far-off lands at a great price … unfortunately the reality is usually wildly different. Today a few large wineries produce the majority of bottles you find on the high street and names like Hardys and Blossom Hill dominate the supermarket shelves. Many wine merchants and supermarkets are simply looking to secure the best price possible on easy-drinking, bulk wines from a large manufacturer. So if you want something a little different it’s not much use scanning the shelves in your corner shop or local supermarket – all you’re likely to find is mass-produced wine made for simple glugging! However there is hope … the advent of the Internet and growing …