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Wine Serving Tips

So, you have planned your formal anniversary party, or perhaps you’re inviting some guests over for a house-warming but you’re confused about how to serve wine like a perfect host?  Do not worry, here we come to the rescue to ease the creases, and by the time you’re done reading our quick guide-list, you’ll have your fundamentals right about what temperature should wine be served at, what glasses should you use and general wine serving etiquette.

Read on to serve wine like a pro…

Glasses

Like many other alcobevs, picking the right glasses to serve wine to your guests is equally important because it enhances the complex taste & aroma of drinks.

Sparkling wine & champagne is generally served in the long-stemmed slender flute glass. The long stem of the glass enables you to hold the glass without affecting the temperature of the drink, whereas, the slender shape retains the bubbles.

The Champagne saucer is a wide rimmed with shallow bowl and long-stemmed glass which is another option to serve champagne.

The round-shaped bowl of red wine glass enhances the oxidation rate of bolder red wines.

White wines are served in glasses similar to the red wine glass, but with a comparatively smaller rim & bowl. It preserves & enhances the aromas & in maintaining a cooler temperature.

Temperature

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are generally served chilled. The aromatic and sweet dry sparkling wines can tolerate low temperatures and can be served as low as 8 °C. Ideally, they should be left in the chiller an hour-two hours before opening.

White Wines

In comparison to red wines, the white wines contain lesser tannins and are high in acidity content. The acidic beverages are best served at low temperatures, ideally, the preferred temperature ranges between 10 to 14 °C.

Oaked white wines are better served warmer.

Red Wines

Red wines and Bordeaux are served refreshing at room temperature, not warm.

They contain tannins and are comparatively less acidic than white wines, so they are served at higher temperature. The wines with fewer tannins are served from 14 to 16 ° C, whereas full-bodied and tannic ones can be served at 18 °C.

Fortified and Sweet Wines

Fortified wines are high in alcohol content and taste sweet. To enhance the characteristic sweetness & complexity of these wines, they should be served at a slightly high temperature, of about 14 to 18 °C. In order to accentuate their freshness, it is best to serve them at low temperature, 10 to 14 °C, and the fortified dry wines can also be served at the temperature below 10 °C.

Additional Tip: Remember these few pointers when you serve wine to your guests:

– Serve the ladies first. In many cultures, it is found rude if women are not served before men.

– It’s always polite to ask your guests if they need a refill before refilling your drink.

–  While serving, it is important not to fill a glass full.

– Keep the essential bar tools handy, such as foil cutters and corkscrews, decanters.

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Local Drinks From Around The World & How To Toast Them Right

In celebrations & festivities, alcobev finds an important role to play in all cultures across the world. And as they rightly say, that you haven’t seen it all, you haven’t experienced a place fully if you haven’t eaten, drank & toasted like the natives.

So today, with this short list, let’s take you around the world sipping and toasting the right way.

Japanese Sake

Sake or Saké is the Japanese rice wine which is made from fermenting rice. Its brewing process is similar to that of beer but it differs in the process of ‘starch to sugar’ conversion, however, its ABV rate remains much higher than beer or wine.

Sake is one of the oldest drinks in the world & depending on the type kind of drink, it can be served either hot or cold.  The fermentation process is important in determining the taste, aroma & quality of the drink.

The Japanese consider pouring your own drink to be rude, as part of drinking etiquette, they look out for each other, ensuring nobody’s glass is left empty & they always serve the elders first.

How you toast there? Simply say ‘Kampei’ or “Cheers”!

Vietnamese Bia Hoi

Bia Hoi is a type of local draught beer, it is made from rice. This light lager is brewed daily & matured over a short period of time & usually consumed the same day it is produced.

How you toast there? Simply say ‘Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo’, which means ‘bottoms up’ or “Cheers”!

Spanish Sangria

Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink and it forms an integral part of their drinking culture. It is a popular wine-based drink which also has fruit juice, soda & it is loaded with seasonal fruits. There is no particular recipe for this beverage & it is often customizable. It is advisable that a dry &  fruity wine works well to make that perfect Sangria.

How to toast like a Spaniard? People there drink to good health with a ‘salud’.

South Korean Makgeolli

Makgeolli is a traditional home-brewed rice wine popular in South Korea. Made in a single fermentation process, Makgeolli usually takes only about 7-8 days to be ready and has the alcohol content of about 6-7%. It is served as an everyday drink and on celebratory events.

As a custom in South Korea, the host offers the toast and the gesture is returned by the guest.

How to toast there? ‘Gonbae’ or “bottoms up” is a great way to toast while in South Korea.

Greek Ouzo

‘Ouzo makes the spirit’, goes old saying in Greece and it stays true because the anise-flavoured aperitif remains one of the most popular drinks. The potent and fiery drink with 40% alcohol content, is customarily served neat, however, some people prefer to add water to their drink.

How to toast like a Greek? Well, the Greeks like to go according to the occasion. ‘Stinygiasou’ which means ‘to your health’, is a common informal way to toast. ‘Eis igian sas’ is reserved for more formal occasions and ‘Kali epitihia’ is said to wish someone good luck & health.

Disclaimer: Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful. Whether it is to celebrate or to unwind, it goes without a doubt that one must be a responsible drinker.

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What’s The Difference Between Irish Whiskey & Bourbon?

Scotch, Rye, Irish, Bourbon…With so many options available in whiskeys or whiskies all around the world, it is common to get confused with the varieties. With this article, let’s simplify it for you with an overview of the differences between Bourbon & Irish Whiskey.

Not only do bourbon & Irish whiskey differ in taste, ingredients, production methods, but they also differ in terms of geographical locations where they are produced. For the starters, it’s but safe to say that both are types of whiskeys (or whiskies). While Bourbon is made in America, Irish whiskey as the name suggests is made in Ireland. So, let’s delve a little further to get a better understanding.

Bourbon

Primarily made in Kentucky, it is only produced in America by law. As commonly said and understood, ‘all bourbon is whisky but not all whiskey is bourbon’.

95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, but the law doesn’t restrict its production in other parts of America.

In 1964 the Congress passed a concurrent resolution which declared bourbon as the ‘distinct product of the United States of America’.

To be legally called bourbon, this burnt golden American native has to fulfil the following criterion, namely-

1) Its mash should have at least 51% corn, the remaining proportion consists of other grains such as barley, rye or wheat. While some bourbons use more corns in during fermentation which makes it taste sweeter, others use rye for spice or wheat.

2) It should be aged in new charred oak barrels. The charring process helps Bourbon get its distinct flavour and the golden colour. There are no particular age criteria for bourbon, however, it is aged for a minimum of two years, and the best bourbons come out after four years, though they can be aged for longer.

3) It should be distilled to a maximum of 80% ABV and a minimum of 40% ABV.

4) It should be entered into the barrel for ageing at no more than 125 proof.

Bourbon is distilled in column stills and its flavour changes drastically over the years. During the maturation the right humidity & temperature allow the whiskey to penetrate deeper into the charred oak. It must be matured at least for a minimum of two years in the oak barrels.

Based on the different production processes, there are different types of Bourbons, and each has its own distinctive taste & character.

Irish Whiskey

It is interesting to know that the word ‘whiskey’ has Irish roots. It is derived from the Irish or Gaelic word ‘uisce beatha, which means the ‘water of life’.

Produced in Ireland, Irish whiskey is protected by law to be produced, labelled and marketing to be verified by the Irish revenue authorities. The main ingredient in Irish whiskey is barley malted & unmalted, it is made in the pot still phase, and similar to bourbon it is aged in oak casks.

The law requires Irish whiskey to adhere to the following specifications-

1) It should be distilled in the islands of Ireland from the mash of malted cereals with or without whole grains of other cereals.

2) Only yeast should be used in the fermentation process.

3) The minimum alcohol volume content must be 40% and it must be distilled at an alcoholic strength of less than 94.8%

4) The distillate must mature in wooden casks for a minimum of 3 years & its quantity must not exceed 700 litres in capacity.

5) The alcohol beverages must not be labelled, packaged, sold, advertised or promoted in such a way to suggest they are Irish whiskey or any of the sub-varieties unless they meet the relevant requirements.

To conclude, it all begins with the spelling, whiskey or whisky depends on the country where it is produced. The Americans and Irish prefer an extra ‘e’ in whiskey, whereas, the rest of the world prefers to call it ‘whisky’. So here’s hoping that with the above-mentioned overview, you’re better able to know your whisky!

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