Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOIRE VALLEY WINES - HISTORY OF WINE MAKING

Vines already existed when Romans invaded the Loire Valley.
The legend says that Saint Martin was the first to make wine in the Loire region. It was in 380.
The wine production then grew fast. In both river banks, wine makers made white wine. On the hills, they went for red wine.
Such as in Burgundy, most of the vineyards belong to monasteries and monks had developed the wine production in the whole region.

LOIRE WINES - GEOGRAPHY

The Valley of the Loire, in the Centre West of France, is often considered as the most beautiful French wine region.
The region is wide and follow the river, starting in the Auvergne and Massif Central and finishing in the Atlantic coast around Nantes city.
The Loire River is wide and deep. The landscape is quiet and undulated.
It is probably more accurate to say that the Loire Valley is made of several different regions, which have one thing in common: the river.


Loire Region Information:
Location:
From the Massif Central mountains to the Atlantic coast and Nantes cities. The Loire wine region follows the Loire river in its valley and the rivers flowing into (Cher, Loir, Layon, etc)
Weather: Atlantic weather in the West (mild winter and summer)
Continental in the East (cold winter, warm summer)
Main Cities: Nantes , Tours, Bourges
Places of Interest: Châteaux de la Loire (Chambord, Azay le Rideau, Amboise, etc)
Loire Valley wine road (the most beautiful in France !)
Angers (heritage city)
Atlantic Coast (salt production)

LOIRE VALLEY WINES

The Loire Valley is famous for its white wines. None of them use Chardonnay as a main grape variety. Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon are widely used. About 75% of the production is made of white wine. Although Loire is a land of white wine, some red wines are very interesting. They are fruity and pleasant. The Loire Valley is probably the most beautiful wine region in France and in the world.

The most basic information on the wines of Loire are:
Location:
From the Massif Central to the Atlantic coast around Nantes. The Loire wine region follows the Loire river in its valley

Loire region information

Size of the vineyards: 30,000 hectares
Grapes in Loire: Chenin Blanc Sauvignon
Production: 400 million bottles
Loire wine making

Type of Wine: Dry white wine
Sweet white wine
Semi-dry white wine
Sparkling white wine
Fruity red wine
Rosé wine




Friday, November 14, 2014

STORAGE OF WINES: STORING AFTER OPENING

Storage after opening: 
This is storage for bottles of table wine that have been opened but not completely consumed. There are many methods for prolonging the life of opened table wines but even the best can only slow the degradation of the wine. These methods are for still table wines. Sparkling wines and fortified dessert wines have different characteristics and requirements. 

Gas Systems: Sparging the bottle with a gas (nitrogen or argon) can be very effective but it is expensive and I've never known anyone who actually used a gas system over a long period of time. They just seem to ultimately be more trouble than they are worth. If you do elect to try such a system, stay away from carbon dioxide since it will mix into solution with the wine. 

Vacu-vin: An item came on the market a few years ago called a Vacu-vin. This consists of rubber bottle stoppers that hold a weak vacuum created by a hand pump that comes with the system. While some people swear by them, there is a consistent complaint that wines treated with a Vacu-vin seem 'stripped' of aromas and flavor. They actually create a lower pressure environment instead of an actual vacuum. This means they don't remove all the oxygen and oxidation of the wine will still occur.

Half bottles, marbles and progressive carafes: These are all ways of limiting the amount of air in contact with the wine. The concept is good if you move quickly and refrigerate the remaining wine.

STORAGE OF WINES - II

For any wine lover, storing wine well is very important. There are a few simple principles that need to be understood in order to select proper wine storage conditions. We can logically break down the process into just 3 categories: storing wine for the short haul, storing wine for long term aging and storing (or saving) wines that have already been opened.

Short Term Storage: 
This is wine you will consume within 6 months. These may be bottles that are just home from the store and destined to be consumed shortly or bottles that have been pulled from longer storage to be accessible for spur of the moment consumption. 

The closer you can duplicate the conditions required for long term storage, the better. However, in many situations, keeping the wines in a box in an interior closet is a satisfactory solution. 

Keep the bottles stored so that:
the cork stays moist 
the wines are at the lowest stable temperature possible 
the location is free of vibration 
the location is not a storage area for other items that have a strong odor 
Stay away from those little 9 bottle racks that end up on top of the refrigerator; it's hot, close to the light and vibrates from the refrigerator compressor.
Long Term Storage: 
This is wine that you will keep for more than 6 months before consumption. A good storage location for wine is generally dark, is free of vibration, has high humidity and has a low stable temperature. 

Generally accepted 'ideal' conditions are 50 to 55 degrees farenheight and 70 percent humidity or higher. The high humidity is important because it keeps the corks from drying and minimizes evaporation. The only problem with even higher levels of humidity is that it brings on growth of mold on the labels or the loosening of labels that have water soluble glue. 

Temperatures lower than 55 degrees only slow the aging of the wines. There have been wines found in very cold cellars of castles in Scotland that are perfectly sound and are much less developed that those kept at 'normal' cellar temperature. A near constant temperature is preferable to one that fluctuates. 

With regard to light, most modern bottles have ultraviolet filters built into the glass that help protect the contents from most of the effects of UV rays. Despite the filters in the glass, long term storage can still allow enough rays in to create a condition in the wine that is referred to as 'light struck'. The result is that the wine picks up the taste and smell of wet cardboard. This is especially noticeable in delicate white wines and sparkling wines. The condition can be created by putting a bottle of champagne near a fluorescent light for a month. 

Regular or constant vibrations from pumps, motors or generators should be avoided since the vibrations they cause are thought to negatively affect the evolution of the wines. One additional factor to avoid is storing other items with very strong odors near the wine. There have been many reports of wines picking up the aromas of items stored nearby. 

If you do not have a suitable wine cellar, there are many types of 'wine refrigerators' that will work as well. They differ from common refrigerators in that they work at higher temperatures (50-65 degree range) and they do not remove humidity from the air. There are kits available that will convert regular refrigerators into suitable wine storage units.

AGEING & STORING WINE

Whether or not to bottle age your wine after you have purchased it is a very personal and somewhat complex decision. While most white wines are designed to be enjoyed within two to three years after their vintage date, many robust red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon such as William Hill Winery's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Aura, will continue to evolve and improve with additional aging in proper storage conditions. 
Under the proper storage conditions, the components of red wines will interact and evolve. During bottle aging, the wine's varietal aromas and flavors, as well as tannins and pigment, interact with oak compounds imparted during fermentation and barrel aging. Tannins and pigment compounds will link together to form longer, smoother polymer chains, softening the tannic impression of the wine. This integration can help to develop increasingly complex flavors and aromas, and deepen the wine's color from purplish to a deep, brick red.
However, the primary caveat of a fine red wine improving through additional aging is the quality of its storage conditions. The ideal storage environment for wine mirrors the conditions of many wineries' storage caves: 

Cool Temperature:
55-65°F. Cool temperatures slow the aging process and help to develop complex varietal character.
Consistent Temperature:
Less than 10°F fluctuation throughout the year. Temperature fluctuations can cause the wine to expand and contract, possibly causing damage to the cork.
Humidity:
Between 60-80%. Humidity over 80% can encourage mold, while dry conditions can cause evaporation and oxidation.
Darkness:
Excessive light exposure can cause proteins in wine to become hazy, and can create "off" aromas and flavors.

Vibration-free:
Vibration (from appliances or motors) can travel through wine and be detrimental to its development.
Odor-free: 
The storage area should be free from chemical odors, such as cleaners, household paints, etc. 

Basements are usually wonderful for storing wine because they meet many of the above criteria. Other options include a little-used, interior closet in an air-conditioned home. Wine storage systems are available that provide optimum temperature and humidity conditions for serious wine collecting.

STORAGE OF WINES - Q&A

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

Should I be storing the wine I drink everyday in a special way or place? 
Simply keep your bottles of wine in a cool place away from direct sunlight until you’re ready to drink them. If you are going to store them for more than a few weeks, it is best to store them on their side rather than upright. This will keep the cork moist and therefore airtight.
There is no need to store white wines or Champagne/sparkling wines in the refrigerator if you are not planning on drinking them soon. Simply chill them before serving. 

Where should I store wine I don't plan to drink immediately? 
There are two types of wine you may not plan to drink immediately--wines you have purchased that are ready to drink, and wines designed to be aged. Most wines on the market today are designed to be ready to drink as soon as you purchase them. Therefore, the long-term storage conditions recommended for wines designed to be aged are not necessary. 

Keep these ready-to-drink wines away from direct sunlight and heat, any source of vibration, and lying on their sides. This will ensure that the cork will remain moist and therefore airtight.

There is no need to store white wines or Champagne/sparkling wines in the refrigerator if you are not planning to drink them soon. Simply chill them before serving.

If you do begin to accumulate wines designed to be aged, storage becomes more important. The key conditions to keep constant are temperature (needs to be about 55 degrees) and humidity (70% - 80%). To achieve this at home, you may need to convert a closet or buy a special unit designed. 


Where should I store wine after it is opened? 
A re-corked, leftover bottle of red or white wine can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 — 5 days without compromising its flavor. Just take the red wine out of the refrigerator to let it come up to room temperature before drinking. A tightly corked leftover bottle of Champagne/sparkling wine can also be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3 - 5 days.

How long will an open bottle of wine keep? 
Longer than you may think. Don’t throw it away! Re-cork the wine (if you’ve thrown away the cork use plastic wrap and a rubber band). An open bottle of red or white wine will keep in the refrigerator for 3 — 5 days. A bottle of Champagne/sparkling wine (tightly recorked) will also keep for 3 — 5 days in the refrigerator.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

STORAGE OF WINE - I

Most of the enjoyment that comes from drinking wine involves its aroma. Taste only has four aspects - sweet, sour, salty, acid. The nose does the rest. Vapors are created as wine warms up, so the wine needs to be a few degrees below its ideal drinking temperature for this to work. Room Temperature is rarely 'wine drinking temperature' - if you're in the Indian Ocean on a yacht, you hardly want 100° Chardonnay! How about Houston in July? Warmth makes white wines taste dull. Few homes are regulated to match wine-drinking temperatures. 
So throw out the old "refrigerate all whites, drink all reds at current room temperature" adage. Here is a chart to indicate in general best temperatures for drinking wine at. Remember, though, that you also want to keep in mind the temperature of the room relative to this 'idea temperature'. If your room is 60°F and you are serving a fine Burgundy, perhaps chill the Burgundy to 58°F to allow it a little warming up in the glass. Fridges do well for cooling a wine when necessary, but for warming I prefer to warm it with my hands, glass by glass. 
If you run into someone hooked on Room Temperature, have them imagine drinking a fine ice wine in Barrow, Alaska in February. At that temperature, even a wine meant 

Storage of Wine - Serving temperatures of Wine

Temp FTemp CNotes
 
100°39°Warm Bath
 
68°20°-
 
66°19°Vintage Port
 
64°18°Bordeaux, Shiraz
 
63°17°Red Burgundy, Cabernet
 
61°16°Rioja, Pinot Noir
 
59°15°Chianti, Zinfandel
 
57°14°Tawny/NV Port, Madeira
 
55°13°Ideal storage for all wines
 
54°12°Beaujolais, rose
 
52°11°Viognier, Sauternes
 
50°10°-
 
48°Chardonnay
 
47°Riesling
 
45°Champagne
 
43°Ice Wines
 
41°Asti Spumanti
 
39°-
 
37°-
 
35°Fridge Temperature
 
33°-
 
32°water freezes
 
-18°Freezer Temperature

STORAGE OF WINE



What's the big deal about storing a wine at a certain temperature? Simply put, wine is a perishable good. Storing a fine wine at 100° will cause it to lose its flavor, while storing it at 0° will cause as much damage.

The trick with wine is to store it at a stable, ideal temperature, and then to serve it at a temperature which best shows off its personal characteristics. If you serve a wine too cool, the flavors will all be hidden. It's like eating a frozen pizza while it's still frozen. If you serve a wine too hot, all you can taste is the alcohol.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WINE TERMINOLOGY

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.

Acidity The presence of natural fruit acids that lend a tart, crisp taste to wine
Aroma Smells in wine that originate from the grape
Astringent Bitter; gives a drying sensation in the mouth
Balanced All components of the wine are in harmony
Barrel Fermented White wine that is fermented in an oak barrel instead of a stainless steel tank
Body 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
Corked 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
Flabby/Flat 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
Fruity Obvious fruit aromas and flavors; not to be confused with sweet flavors such as berries, cherries and citrus
Full-Bodied 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
Legs Teardrop impressions of alcohol weightiness that are visible on the inside edges of a wine glass
Light-Bodied A wine with delicate flavors, texture and aromas
Lively Young, fruity and vivacious flavor
Malolactic Conversion of hard, malic acid (green apple flavors) in wine to soft, lactic acid (rich, butter flavors)
Medium-Bodied A wine with solid, but not rich weight and texture
Nose The smell of a wine; aroma
Oak Aromas and flavors contributed during barrel fermentation and/or aging such as vanilla, caramel, chocolate, smoke, spice or toast
Off-Dry (Semi-dry) Very low levels of residual sugar remaining in the wine
Rich Weighty flavors and texture
Round Smooth flavors and texture; well-balanced
Smoky/Toasty Aromas of smoke and toast imparted by fired barrels
Sweet Wines that have a higher concentration of sugar after fermentation
Tannin 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


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BURGUNDY WINES

Agnès et Marcel Durand Red Wine
strong rubyred color, fruity, light menthol smell, fine tannins, full body
  Agnès et Marcel Durand  Beaujolais-Villages

 Aimée-Claude Bonnetain Red Wine
blue red color, scent of red fruit and spices, well structured, balanced, fruity, long, typical, ...
  Aimée-Claude Bonnetain  Côte de Brouilly

 Alain Chatoux Vieilles vignes Red Wine
clar, dark orange red color, notable scent of red fruit with alcoholic notes, aromas of currant j...
  Alain Chatoux  

 Alain Michaud Red Wine
delicious, deep orange-red color with bright red reflexes, smells of faded roases, spices, coffee...
  Alain Michaud  Brouilly

 André Depardon La Madone Red Wine
dark red color, intense raspberry scent, full, fine, balanced, long flavor, rounded
  André Depardon  Fleurie

 André Méziat Red Wine
clear, intense red color, strong scent of vineyard peaches and cherries, full-bodied, rich, soft,...
  André et Monique Méziat  Chiroubles

 Belvedere des pierres dorées White Wine
shining yellow color, complex scent of rhubarb, and strawberries, lively, open, good composition
  Cave coop. Beaujolaise  

 Bernard Broyer Red Wine
deep ruby red color with purple reflexes, expressive scent with citrusfruit, red fruit, and spice...
  Bernard Broyer  Juliénas

 Bernard Jomain Red Wine
intense red color, almost blue, elegant nuances of black currants, strong, rustic
  Bernard Jomain  Brouilly

 Bernard Lavis Red Wine
intense ruby-red color, smells of fresh red fruit, plants, clear, rounded, soft flavor, full
  Bernard Lavis  Beaujolais-Villages

 Bernard Pichet Red Wine
orange-red color, hints of blossoms and raspberries, youthful, plant aromas, balanced
  Bernard Pichet  Chiroubles

 Bernard Santé Red Wine
delicious orange-red color, strong, concentrated scent of licorice and flowers, very soft, sweet,...
  Bernard Santé  Chénas

 Cave Beaujolaise de Quincié Red Wine
shining, clear, pepper-flowery scent, hints of very ripe grapes, open personality, rounded, long ...
  Cave Beaujolaise de Quincié  Régnié

 Cave de Ponchon Red Wine
clear, lively, fruity flavor, well structured, harmonious, pretty
  Florent Dufour  Régnié


Cave de Saint-Vérand Cuvée réservée Vieilles vignes Red Wine
blue-red color, intense scent of red frui and spring roses, noble, clear, spicy notes, pleasant, ...
  Cave Beaujolaise de Saint-Vérand  


Cave des Vignerons de Bel-Air Red Wine
strong red color, pretty scent of black currants and tobacco, soft flavor with aromas of very rip...
  Cave des Vignerons de Bel-Air  Morgon

 Cave des Vignerons de Liergues Rosé Wine
pretty, clear color with hints of autmn, pleasant scent of red currants and quinces, lively, soft...
  Cave des Vignerons de Liergues  


Cave du Beau Vallon Au pays des pierres dorées Red Wine
blue-red color, alcoholic-fruity scent of black currants and spices, full, rounded, aromas of sto...
  Cave du Beau Vallon  

 Cave du Bois de La Salle Red Wine
clear, sparkling, smells of red currants and raspberries, well balanced, fresh, long, lively tann...
  Cave du Château du Bois de La Salle  Saint-Amour


Cave Jean-Ernest Descombes Red Wine
shining, tempting ruby-red color, intense scent of red fruit and spices, hints of roasted coffee ...
  Cave Jean-Ernest Descombes  Morgon


Cédric Martin White Wine
golden color, copper tone, free scent with cloves, gingerbread, and flowers, elegant apricot nuan...
  Martin Cédric  


Cellier de la Vieille Eglise Red Wine
deep ruby-red color, shimmers amber, bouquet of underwood and spicy fruit, lively, somewhat flesh...
  Cellier de la Vieille Eglise  Juliénas


Château Bonnet Elevé en fût de chêne Vieilles vignes Red Wine
blue-red color, lovely oak hints, vanilla, open
  Pierre Perrachon  Chénas


Château de Belleverne Red Wine
ruby-red color, smells of flowers and red fruit, sharp tannins, balanced
  Sylvie Bataillard  Saint-Amour


Château de Belleverne Red Wine
dark orange-red color, purple reflexes, complex, fine smell of raisins, flintstone, and red fruit...
  Bataillard Père et Fils  Chénas


Château de Chénas Red Wine
medium orange-red color, nuances of black currants and spring roses, warm, soft, well balanced, p...
  Cave Château de Chénas  Chénas


Château de la Prat Red Wine
strong red color, complex, elegant scent of very ripe grapes with mineral, strong, lively, pretty
  Aujoux  Juliénas


Château de Leynes White Wine
golden-yellow color, smells like the vine, good character, soft, harmonious
  Jean Bernard  


Château de Pizay Red Wine
deep orange red color, pretty aromas of red fruit, fine, clear, rich, balanced, delicious, enchan...
  SCEA Domaine Château de Pizay  


Château de Raousset Red Wine
intense ruby-red color with purple reflexes, fine, expressive scent of strawberries and currants,...
  SCEA des Héritiers du Compte de Raousset  Chiroubles


Château de Raousset Red Wine
intense red color, fruity scent, pleasant personality, strong, lasting
  Château de Raousset  Morgon


Château de Vaux Cuvée traditionnelle Red Wine
light ruby-red color, crystal clear reflexes, very pretty scent of fresh grapes, elegant, harmoni...
  Jacques et Marie-Ange de Vermont  Beaujolais-Villages


Château des Boccards Red Wine
intense orange red color, scent of overripe fruit, hunt-, and pepper hins, long lasting, soft, ro...
  James Pelloux  Chénas


Château des Jacques Clos du Grand Carquelin Red Wine
shining orange-red color, strong, wood scent, fruity nuances, hints of roasted coffee, oak wood, ...
  Château des Jacques  Moulin-À-Vent


Château des Ravatys Cuvée Mathilde Courbe Red Wine
light red color, smells of cut wood and underwood, lively, fine, harmonious, long lasting
  Institut Pasteur  Côte de Brouilly


Château du Bluizard Red Wine
intense red color, smells of sour cherries and raspberries, full, well structured, cherry aromas
  SCE des Domaines Saint-Charles  Brouilly


Château du Bourg Cuvée Réserve Red Wine
dark ruby red color, intense, fruity scent, soft, fleshy, aroma of red fruit, pleasant, balanced,...
  GAEC Georges Matray et Fils  Fleurie

BURGUNDY WINES - COTE DE BEAUNE

The Côte de Beaune is the more southerly part of the Côte d'Or. The northernmost tip abuts onto the Côte de Nuits, and the region extends south to the Côte Chalonnaise. The geology is more variable than that of the Côte de Nuits. The region sits on a combination of Callovian, Argovian and Rauracian limestones, with much intervening marlstone. Obviously, the climate is the same as for the Côte de Nuits - continental, with a wide annual temperature difference. Spring rains and frost, and Autumn rains, which may interfere with the harvest, can also be a problem here. The vineyards face south-east on the slope between the plain to the south-east, and the hills to the north-west, the easterly aspect aiding exposure to the sun. 
Pernand-Vergelesses can be a source of some good value Burgundy, but no great wines. Nearby, however, we start to see some of the more serious wines of the Côte de Beaune at Aloxe-Corton. The wines of this village, as well as a number of other villages nearby, are red as well as white. Red Corton should be a muscular, savoury wine, whereas the white is a rich, intense, buttery drink. Beaune, Savigny-les-Beaune and Chorey-les-Beaune are all best known for their red wines. The wines produced here are well fruited, tasty, sometimes quite elegant affairs, although they are somewhat lighter (and less expensive) when from the latter two villages. 
Pommard can make wonderful red Burgundy, well structured and meaty, whereas Volnay is better known for it's heady, perfumed and delicately textured wines.
Towards the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, however, are the Côte d'Or's most famous white wine villages. Meursault produces rich, complex, intense yet elegant wines, but it is Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet that lead the pack. The former bears a wonderful combination of richness with mineral complexities, the latter are sometimes broader and more open, although both are lovely, and words cannot really do them justice. Nearby are the villages of St-Romain, St-Aubin, Santenay and Auxey-Duresses. All are responsible for some value Burgundy. 
The appellations of the Côte de Beaune are as follows:
Grands Crus: As with the Côte de Nuits, such wines are not required to bear the village name. The Grands Crus are as follows:
Aloxe-Corton: Corton (the largest Grand Cru in Burgundy, with a number of subdivisions, eg Corton-Bressandes), Corton-Charlemagne.
Puligny-Montrachet: Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet.
Chassagne-Montrachet: Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet.
As with the Côtes de Nuits, some vineyards lie in more than one village. Here, the Grands Crus Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet lie in both Puligny and Chassagne-Montrachet. Most villages of the Côte de Beaune have no Grands Crus.
Premiers Crus: As with the Côtes de Nuits, these are too numerous to name. As with Chablis and the Côtes de Nuits, a wine blended from several such sites will be labelled as Premier Cru, whereas a wine from an individual vineyard will bear the vineyard name, eg Pommard Premier Cru Les Petits Epenots.
Village Wines: The villages of the Côte de Beaune are Ladoix, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, Savigny-lès-Beaune, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthelie, St-Romain, Auxey-Duresses, Meursault, Blagny, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, St-Aubin and Santenay. Blagny is a small hamlet close to the Premier Cru vineyards of Meursault.
Sub-Village Appellations: These include Côte de Beaune Villages (may be applied to declassified wine from fourteen villages of the Côte de Beaune not including Aloxe-Corton, Beaune, Volnay or Pommard), Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits (applies to a large number of communes to the west of the Côte d'Or), and basic Bourgogne. There is also the confusing appellation Côte de Beaune, which refers to wines from the commune of Beaune not deemed worthy of the appellation Beaune.
The Côte d'Or - My top wines. As many producers have vineyards in so many different sites, I have grouped together the good names in Burgundy here. This is a personal list (in alphabetical order), so it doesn't include great but hardly affordable domaines such as Romanée-Conti. My list of top estates and producers includes Domaine d'Arlot, Simon Bize, Robert Chevillon, Bruno Clair, Michel Colin-Deléger, Drouhin, René Engel, Faiveley, Jacques Gagnard-Delagrange, Jean-Marc Blain-Gagnard, Richard Fontaine-Gagnard, Jean Grivot, Hudelot-Noëllat, Jadot, Jaffelin, Henri Jayer, Leroy, Méo-Camuzet, Albert Morot, Daniel Rion, Domaine des Perdrix, and Etienne Sauzet. 

BURGUNDY WINES - COTE DE NUIT

The Côte d'Or is divided into two main viticultural regions, the Côte de Nuits being the more northerly of the two. The northernmost tip lies just south of Dijon, and the region extends down to the Côte de Beaune, onto which it abuts. Named after the town of Nuits-St-Georges, it is most widely reknowned for it's red wines, although there are a few worthy white wines made here also. Geologically, the region sits on a combination of Bajocian, Bathonian, Callovian and Argovian limestones, with some Liassic marlstone. The climate is continental, with a wide annual temperature difference. Spring rains and frost can be a problem, as can Autumn rain, which may interfere with the harvest. This is true for the whole Côte d'Or. The vineyards lie on the slope between the plain to the east, and the hills to the west. Soils on the plain, to the east of the N74 (not illustrated), are too fertile for quality wine, and on the hills it is too sparse. The easterly aspect also aids exposure to the sun. 
The most northerly village of note is Marsannay, an up and coming wine region for the production of value Burgundy. Next is Fixin, a village which can produce some good value wines, although they never achieve greatness.
Further south come the villages of the Côte de Nuits that produce some of the great wines of Burgundy. Firstly, Gevrey-Chambertin, which impresses with the combination of its muscular, weighty attitude and paradoxical perfumed edge. Morey-St-Denis is a meaty, intense wine which can be superb, but like many of these famous names overcropping and poor vinification techniques can result in some very weak wines. Chambolle-Musigny may be marked by a wonderful, floral, fragrant bouquet, whereas at Vougeot we have an unusual situation. Much of the wine is classified as Grand Cru as it lies within the walled vineyard of the Clos de Vougeot, but only a small part of this wine is truly of Grand Cru quality. At best it can be a tasty, full-bodied, richly fruited wine, although it is not one of the great Grands Crus.
Flagey-Echézeaux is unusual as it lies to the east of all the other vineyards. The wines can be quite fine. Next is Vosne-Romaneé, a fine set of vineyards which can produce some superb wines. Vosne-Romaneé can have a rich, creamy, sensuous texture, even in the village wines from a good producer. Other than Nuits-St-Georges, there are no other villages of huge significance.
The appellations of the Côte de Nuits are as follows:
Grands Crus: Such wines are not required to bear the village name. Thus wines produced, for example, from the Grand Cru Chambertin Clos de Bèze would not include the village name of Gevrey-Chambertin, where it is situated. These are as follows:
Gevrey-Chambertin: Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Charmes-Chambertin, Chapelle-Chambertin, Griotte- Chambertin, Latricières-Chambertin, Mazis-Chambertin, Ruchottes-Chambertin.
Morey-St-Denis: Bonnes Mares, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos de la Roche, Clos des Lambrays.
Chambolle-Musigny: Musigny, Bonnes Mares.
Vougeot: Clos de Vougeot.
Vosne-Romanée: La Romanée, La Tâche, Richebourg, Romanée-Conti, Romanée-St-Vivant, La Grande Rue.
Flagey-Echézeaux: Grands-Echézeaux, Echézeaux.
The Grand Cru Bonnes Mares straddles the villages of Morey-St-Denis and Chambole-Musigny. Nuits-St-Georges has no Grands Crus.
Premiers Crus: These are too numerous to name here. As with Chablis, a wine blended from several such sites will be labelled as Premier Cru, whereas a wine from an individual vineyard will bear the vineyard name, eg. Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos Saint-Jacques.
Village Wines: The villages of the Côte de Nuits are Marsannay (La-Côte), Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Vougeot (although anything other than Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot is rare), Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-St-Georges. Village wines from Flagey-Echézeaux are sold under the Vosne-Romanée appellation.
Sub-Village Appellations: These include Côte de Nuits Villages (may be applied to wine from Corgoloin, Comblanchien, Prémeaux, Brochon, and declassified wine from Fixin), Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits (applies to a large number of communes to the west of the Côte d'Or), and basic Bourgogne.

BURGUNDY WINES - BEAUJOLAIS

The Beaujolais is a French AOC wine, almost all Beaujolais wines are reds of the Gamay grape but like most AOC wines are not labelled varietally. Whites from the region, which make up only 1% of its production, are made with Chardonnay grapes. Beaujolais tends to be a very light bodied red wine, with relatively high amounts of acidity which makes it less a casual sipping wine and one more suited to food.
Most Beaujolais should be drunk within the first three years of its life. Only the best examples of the ten "crus" listed below - and produced by the best vintners - improve with age for up to ten years.
Wines labeled simply "Beaujolais" account for 50% of the production. Beaujolais Villages makes up 25% of the region's production, and comes from better vineyard sites in and around the ten "crus" in the north part of Beaujolais. Wine from these individual crus, which make up the balance, can be more full-bodied, darker in color, and significantly longer lived. Unfortunately for the unknowing wine drinker, these wines do not usually use the word "Beaujolais" on the label, leaving one with little recourse but to memorize the list. The ten crus are: Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Saint-Amour, Chiroubles, Chénas, Fleurie, Juliénas, and most recently, Régnié.
By far, the largest production comes from the négoçiant Georges Duboeuf, who makes the well-known "flower labels".

Tourism
Some of the major tourist attractions are the Gothic abbey church of Saint-Seine-l'Abbaye and the Romanesque abbey church at Saulieu, as well the Château de Bussy Rabutin at Bussy-le-Grand. The Abbey of Cîteaux, headquarters of the Cistercian Order, lies to the east of Nuits-Saint-Georges in the south of the département.

BURGUNDY WINES - COTE D'OR

The département is part of the current région of Bourgogne. It is surrounded by the départements of Yonne, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Jura, Aube, and Haute-Marne.
A chain of hills called the Plateau de Langres runs from north-east to south-west through the département to the north of Dijon and continues south-westwards as the Côte d'Or escarpment, after which the département is named. It is the south-east facing slope of the escarpment which is the site of the celebrated Burgundy vineyards. To the west of the Plateau de Langres, towards Champagne, lies the densely wooded district of Châtillonais. To the south-east of the plateau and escarpment, the département lies in the broad, flat-bottomed valley of the middle course of the Saône.
Rivers include:
* The Saône 
* The Seine rises in he southern end of the Plateau de Langres. 
* The Ouche rises on the dip slope of the escarpment and flows to the Saône via Dijon. 
* The Armançon rises on the dip slope of the escarpment and flows north-westward. 
* The Arroux rises on the dip slope of the escarpment at the southern end of the département. 
Climate
The climate of the département is temperate, with abundant rain on the west side of the central range.
Beaujolais
Beaujolais is a historical province and a wine-producing region in France. It is now part of the Burgundy région for administrative purposes. The region is known internationally for its long tradition of winemaking, and more recently for the enormously popular Beaujolais nouveau.

BURGUNDY WINES - THE GEOGRAPHY

Highest point: Haut-Folin (901m) in the Morvan. The Canal of Burgundy joins the Rivers Yonne and Saône, allowing barges to navigate from the north to south of France. Construction began in 1765 and was completed in 1832. At the summit there is a tunnel 3.333 kilometers long in a straight line. The canal is 242 kilometers long, with a total 209 locks and crosses two counties of Burgundy, the Yonne and Cote d'Or. The canal is now mostly used for riverboat tourism; Dijon, the most important city along the canal, has a harbor for leisure boats.

BURGUNDY WINES - THE WINE

Chardonnay vineyards in the south of the Côte de Beaune surrounding the town of Meursault. 
Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) is the name given to certain wines made in the Burgundy region of France.
Red Burgundy wines are usually made with the Pinot Noir grape, and white Burgundy wines are usually made with Chardonnay grapes, as dictated by the AOC. Geographically, the wine region starts just south of Dijon and runs southward to just short of the city of Lyon. The area of Chablis stands on its own to the west of Dijon, about as close to Paris as it is to the heart of Burgundy. The main wine regions in Burgundy proper (those that are entitled to the AOC Bourgogne designation) are the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune - which collectively are known as the Côte d'Or - and further south the Côte Chalonnaise. Also viticulturally part of Burgundy are Beaujolais, Chablis, and Mâcon, and they show some similarity. However, a wine from one of these regions would rarely be referred to as a "Burgundy."
Burgundy is home to some of the most sought-after wines in the world, and the most expensive, including those of Domaine de la Romanée Conti. Burgundy is in some ways the most terroir-oriented region on the planet; immense attention is paid to the area of origin, and in which of the region's 400 types of soil a wine's grapes are grown. It has a carefully demarcated quality hierarchy: the grand crus are at the top, followed by premier crus, then village, and finally generic Bourgogne. Bourgogne is where grapes other than Chardonnay and Pinot Noir begin to be introduced, allowing pinot blanc and Pinot Gris, two Pinot Noir mutations that were traditionally grown and now are in decline in the area. Other Burgundy AOCs that are not as often seen are Bourgogne Passetoutgrains (which can contain up to two thirds Gamay (the grape of Beaujolais) in addition to Pinot Noir), Bourgogne Aligoté (which is primarily made with the Aligoté grape), and Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire. The latter is the lowest AOC, and Grand definitely refers to the size of the area eligible to produce it, not its quality. There are certain regions that are allowed to put other grapes in miscellaneous AOCs, but for the most part these rules hold.
From about the year 900 up to the French Revolution, the vineyards of Burgundy were owned by the Church. After the revolution, the vineyards were broken up and sold to the workers who had tended them. The Napoleonic inheritance laws resulted in the continued subdivision of the most precious vineyard holdings, so that some growers hold only a row or two of vines. This led to the emergence of négociants who aggregate the produce of many growers to produce a single wine. It has also led to a profusion of increasingly small family-owned wineries, exemplified by the dozen plus "Gros" family domaines.

BURGUNDY WINES - THE HISTORY

The Burgundians were one of the Germanic peoples who filled the power vacuum left by the collapse of the western half of the Roman empire. In 411, they crossed the Rhine and established a kingdom at Worms. Amidst repeated clashes between the Romans and Huns, the Burgundian kingdom eventually occupied what is today the borderlands between Switzerland, France, and Italy. In 534, the Franks defeated Godomar, the last Burgundian king, and absorbed the territory into their growing empire.
Its modern existence is rooted in the dissolution of the Frankish empire. When the dynastic dust had settled in 880s, there were three Burgundies: the kingdom of Upper Burgundy around Lake Geneva, the kingdom of Lower Burgundy in Provence, and the duchy of Burgundy in France. The two kingdoms of Burgundy were reunited in 937 and absorbed into the Holy Roman Empire under Conrad II in 1032, while the duchy of Burgundy was annexed by the French throne in 1004.
During the Middle Ages, Burgundy was the seat of some of the most important Western churches and monasteries, among them Cluny, Citeaux, and Vézelay.
During the Hundred Years' War, King Jean II of France gave the duchy to his younger son, rather than leaving it to his successor on the throne. The duchy soon became a major rival to the French throne, because the Dukes of Burgundy succeeded in assembling an empire stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea, mostly by marriage. The Burgundian Empire consisted of a number of fiefdoms on both sides of the (then largely symbolical) border between the French kingdom and the German Empire. Its economic heartland was in the Low Countries, particularly Flanders and Brabant. The court in Dijon outshone the French court by far both economically and culturally.
In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, Burgundy provided a power base for the rise of the Habsburgs, after Maximilian of Austria had married into the ducal family. In 1477 the last duke Charles the Bold was killed in battle and Burgundy itself taken back by France. His daughter Mary and her husband Maximillian moved the court to Brussels and ruled the remnants of the empire (the Low Countries and Franche-Comté, then still a German fief) from there.

Monday, November 10, 2014

TOBACCO - CONSUMPTION

Beedi are thin, often flavored, south Asian cigarettes made of tobacco wrapped in a tendu leaf, and secured with colored thread at one end. 
Chewing tobacco is one of the oldest ways of consuming tobacco leaves. It is consumed orally, in two forms: through sweetened strands, or in a shredded form. When consuming the long sweetened strands the tobacco is lightly chewed and compacted into a ball. When consuming the shredded tobacco, small amounts are placed at the bottom lip, between the gum and the teeth, where it is gently compacted, thus it can oftentimes be called dipping tobacco. Both methods stimulate the salve glands, which led to the development of the spittoon. 
Cigars are tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker's mouth. 
Cigarettes are a product consumed through the inhalation of smoke and manufactured out of cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco, often combined with other additives, then rolled or stuffed into a paper-wrapped cylinder. 
Creamy snuff are tobacco paste, consisting of tobacco, clove oil, glycerin, spearmint, menthol, and camphor, and sold in a toothpaste tube. It is marketed mainly to women in India, and is known by the brand names Ipco (made by Asha Industries), Denobac, Tona, Ganesh. It is locally known as "mishri" in some parts of Maharashtra. 
Dipping tobacco are a form of smokeless tobacco. Dip is occasionally referred to as "chew", and because of this, it is commonly confused with chewing tobacco, which encompasses a wider range of products. A small clump of dip is 'pinched' out of the tin and placed between the lower or upper lip and gums. 
Electronic cigarette is an alternative to tobacco smoking, although no tobacco is consumed. It is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine solution. 
Gutka are a preparation of crushed betel nut, tobacco, and sweet or savory flavorings. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-size packets. 
Hookah are a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) water pipe for smoking. Originally from India, the hookah has gained immense popularity, especially in the middle east. A hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking herbal fruits, tobacco, or cannabis. 
Kreteks are cigarettes made with a complex blend of tobacco, cloves and a flavoring "sauce". It was first introduced in the 1880s in Kudus, Java, to deliver the medicinal eugenol of cloves to the lungs. 
Roll-Your-Own, often called rollies or roll ups, are very popular particularly in European countries. These are prepared from loose tobacco, cigarette papers and filters all bought separately. They are usually much cheaper to make. 
Pipe smoking typically consists of a small chamber (the bowl) for the combustion of the tobacco to be smoked and a thin stem (shank) that ends in a mouthpiece (the bit). Shredded pieces of tobacco are placed into the chamber and ignited. 
Snuff are a generic term for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the eighteenth century. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of Great Harwood and was famously ground in the town's monument prior to local distribution and transport further up north to Scotland. There are two major varieties which include European (dry) and American (moist); although American snuff is often referred to as dipping tobacco. 
Snus is steam-cured moist powder tobacco product that is not fermented and does not induce salivation. It is consumed by placing it in the mouth against the gums for an extended period of time. It is a form of snuff that is used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but does not require regular spitting. 
Topical tobacco paste are sometimes recommended as a treatment for wasp, hornet, fire ant, scorpion, and bee stings. An amount equivalent to the contents of a cigarette is mashed in a cup with about a 0.5 to 1 teaspoon of water to make a paste that is then applied to the affected area. 
Tobacco water are traditional organic insecticide used in domestic gardening. Tobacco dust can be used similarly. It is produced by boiling strong tobacco in water, or by steeping the tobacco in water for a longer period. When cooled the mixture can be applied as a spray, or 'painted' on to the leaves of garden plants, where it will prove deadly to insects.

TOBACCO - CURING

Curing and subsequent aging allows for the slow oxidation and degradation of carotenoids in tobacco leaf. This produces certain compounds in the tobacco leaves very similar and give a sweet hay, tea, rose oil, or fruity aromatic flavor that contribute to the "smoothness" of the smoke. Starch is converted to sugar which glycates protein and is oxidized into advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), a caramelization process that also adds flavor. Inhalation of these AGEs in tobacco smoke contributes to atherosclerosis and cancer. Levels of AGE's is dependent on the curing method used.
Tobacco can be cured through several methods which include but are not limited to:
Air cured tobacco is hung in well-ventilated barns and allowed to dry over a period of four to eight weeks. Air-cured tobacco is low in sugar, which gives the tobacco smoke a light, sweet flavor, and high in nicotine. Cigar and burley tobaccos are air cured. 
Fire cured tobacco is hung in large barns where fires of hardwoods are kept on continuous or intermittent low smoulder and takes between three days and ten weeks, depending on the process and the tobacco. . Fire curing produces a tobacco low in sugar and high in nicotine. Pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff are fire cured. 
Flue cured tobacco was originally strung onto tobacco sticks, which were hung from tier-poles in curing barns (Aus: kilns, also traditionally called Oasts). These barns have flues which run from externally fed fire boxes, heat-curing the tobacco without exposing it to smoke, slowly raising the temperature over the course of the curing. The process will generally take about a week. This method produces cigarette tobacco that is high in sugar and has medium to high levels of nicotine. 
Sun-cured tobacco dries uncovered in the sun. This method is used in Turkey, Greece and other Mediterranean countries to produce oriental tobacco. Sun-cured tobacco is low in sugar and nicotine and is used in cigarettes. 

TOBACCO - CULTIVATION

Tobacco is cultivated similar to other agricultural products. Seeds were at first quickly scattered onto the soil. However, young plants came under increasing attack from flea beetles (Epitrix cucumeris or Epitrix pubescens), which caused destruction of half the tobacco crops in United States in 1876. By 1890 successful experiments were conducted that placed the plant in a frame covered by thin fabric. Today, tobacco is sown in cold frames or hotbeds, as their germination is activated by light.
In the United States, tobacco is often fertilized with the mineral apatite, which partially starves the plant of nitrogen to produce a more desired flavor. Apatite, however, contains radium, lead 210, and polonium 210—which are known radioactive carcinogens.
After the plants have reached relative maturity, they are transplanted into the fields, in which a relatively large hole is created in the tilled earth with a tobacco peg. Various mechanical tobacco planters where invented in the nineteenth and twentieth to automate the process: making the hole, fertilizing it, guiding the plant in—all in one motion.
Tobacco is cultivated annual, and can be harvested in several ways. In the oldest method, the entire plant is harvested at once by cutting off the stalk at the ground with a sickle. In the nineteenth century, bright tobacco began to be harvested by pulling individual leaves off the stalk as they ripened. The leaves ripen from the ground upwards, so a field of tobacco may go through several so-called "pullings," more commonly known as topping (topping always refers to the removal of the tobacco flower before the leaves are systematically removed and, eventually, entirely harvested. As the industrial revolution took hold, harvesting wagons used to transport leaves were equipped with man-powered stringers, an apparatus which used twine to attach leaves to a pole. In modern times large fields are harvested by a single piece of farm equipment, although topping the flower and in some cases the plucking of immature leaves is still done by hand.

TOBACCO - TYPES

There are many species of tobacco, which are encompassed by the genus of herbs Nicotiana. It is part of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) indigenous to North and South America, Australia, south west Africa and the South Pacific.
Many plants contain nicotine, a powerful neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to insects. However, tobaccos contain a higher concentration of nicotine than most other plants. Unlike many other Solanaceae they do not contain tropane alkaloids, which are often poisonous to humans and other animals.
Despite containing enough nicotine and other compounds such as germacrene and anabasine and other piperidine alkaloids (varying between species) to deter most herbivores, a number of such animals have evolved the ability to feed on Nicotiana species without being harmed. Nonetheless, tobacco is unpalatable to many species and therefore some tobacco plants (chiefly Tree Tobacco, N. glauca) have become established as invasive weeds in some places.

There are a number of types of tobacco include but are not limited to:
Aromatic Fire-cured, it is cured by smoke from open fires. In the United States, it is grown in northern middle Tennessee, central Kentucky and in Virginia. Fire-cured tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee are used in some chewing tobaccos, moist snuff, some cigarettes, and as a condiment in pipe tobacco blends. Another fire-cured tobacco is Latakia and is produced from oriental varieties of N. tabacum. The leaves are cured and smoked over smoldering fires of local hardwoods and aromatic shrubs in Cyprus and Syria. 
Brightleaf tobacco, Brightleaf is commonly known as "Virginia tobacco", often regardless of which state they are planted. Prior to the American Civil War, most tobacco grown in the US was fire-cured dark-leaf. This type of tobacco was planted in fertile lowlands, used a robust variety of leaf, and was either fire cured or air cured. Most Canadian cigarettes are made from 100% pure Virginia tobacco.[14] 
Burley tobacco, is an air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. In the U.S., burley tobacco plants are started from palletized seeds placed in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in March or April. 
Cavendish is more a process of curing and a method of cutting tobacco than a type of it. The processing and the cut are used to bring out the natural sweet taste in the tobacco. Cavendish can be produced out of any tobacco type but is usually one of, or a blend of Kentucky, Virginia, and Burley and is most commonly used for pipe tobacco and cigars. 
Criollo tobacco is a type of tobacco, primarily used in the making of cigars. It was, by most accounts, one of the original Cuban tobaccos that emerged around the time of Columbus. 
Dokham, is a tobacco of Iranian origin mixed with leaves, bark, and herbs for smoking in a midwakh. 
Oriental tobacco, is a sun-cured, highly aromatic, small-leafed variety (Nicotiana tabacum) that is grown in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Oriental tobacco is frequently referred to as "Turkish tobacco", as these regions were all historically part of the Ottoman Empire. Many of the early brands of cigarettes were made mostly or entirely of Oriental tobacco; today, its main use is in blends of pipe and especially cigarette tobacco (a typical American cigarette is a blend of bright Virginia, burley and Oriental). 
Perique, A farmer called Pierre Chenet is credited with first turning this local tobacco into the Perique in 1824 through the technique of pressure-fermentation. Considered the truffle of pipe tobaccos, it is used as a component in many blended pipe tobaccos, but is too strong to be smoked pure. At one time, the freshly moist Perique was also chewed, but none is now sold for this purpose. It is typically blended with pure Virginia to lend spice, strength, and coolness to the blend. 
Shade tobacco, is cultivated in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Early Connecticut colonists acquired from the Native Americans the habit of smoking tobacco in pipes and began cultivating the plant commercially, even though the Puritans referred to it as the "evil weed". The industry has weathered some major catastrophes, including a devastating hailstorm in 1929, and an epidemic of brown spot fungus in 2000, but is now in danger of disappearing altogether, given the value of the land to real estate speculators. 
White Burley, In 1865, George Webb of Brown County, Ohio planted Red Burley seeds he had purchased, and found that a few of the seedlings had a whitish, sickly look. The air-cured leaf was found to be more mild than other types of tobacco. 
Wild Tobacco, is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of South America. Its botanical name is Nicotiana rustica. 
Y1 is a strain of tobacco that was cross-bred by Brown & Williamson to obtain an unusually high nicotine content. It became controversial in the 1990s when the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used it as evidence that tobacco companies were intentionally manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes.

TOBACCO - ORIGIN

The Spanish word "tabaco" is thought to have its origin in Arawakan language, particularly, in the Taino language of the Caribbean. In Taino, it was said to refer either to a roll of tobacco leaves (according to Bartolome de Las Casas, 1552), or to the tabago, a kind of Y-shaped pipe for sniffing tobacco smoke (according to Oviedo; with the leaves themselves being referred to as Cohiba).
However, similar words in Spanish and Italian were commonly used from 1410 to define medicinal herbs, originating from the Arabic tabbaq, a word reportedly dating to the 9th century, as the name of various herbs

TOBACCO - AN INTRODUCTION

Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of smoking, chewing, snuffing, dipping tobacco, or snus. Tobacco has long been in use as an entheogen in the Americas. However, upon the arrival of Europeans in North America, it quickly became popularized as a trade item and as a recreational drug. This popularization led to the development of the southern economy of the United States until it gave way to cotton. Following the American Civil War, a change in demand and a change in labor force allowed for the development of the cigarette. This new product quickly led to the growth of tobacco companies until the scientific controversy of the mid-1900s.
There are many species of tobacco, which are all encompassed by the plant genus Nicotiana. The word nicotiana (as well as nicotine) was named in honor of Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Portugal, who in 1559 sent it as a medicine to the court of Catherine de Medici.
Because of the addictive properties of nicotine, tolerance and dependence develop. Absorption quantity, frequency, and speed of tobacco consumption are believed to be directly related to biological strength of nicotine dependence, addiction, and tolerance. The usage of tobacco is an activity that is practiced by some 1.1 billion people, and up to 1/3 of the adult population. The World Health Organization reports it to be the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and estimates that it currently causes 5.4 million deaths per year. Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in developed countries, however they continue to rise in developing countries.
Tobacco is cultivated similar to other agricultural products. Seeds are sown in cold frames or hotbeds to prevent attacks from insects, and then transplanted into the fields. Tobacco is an annual crop, which is usually harvested in a large single-piece farm equipment. After harvest, tobacco is stored to allow for curing, which allow for the slow oxidation and degradation of carotenoids. This allows for the agricultural product to take on properties that are usually attributed to the "smoothness" of the smoke. Following this, tobacco is packed into its various forms of consumption which include smoking, chewing, sniffing, and so on.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Made in "Sparkling" India

Moet-Hennessy has launched a new line of sparkling wine grown and produced in India in a bid to create a new “consumption culture” among young, affluent and sophisticated Indians. 

The French wines and spirits house is launching an aggressive marketing campaign for ‘Chandon Nashik’ in a country where wine consumption is still low and the potential for growth very high, said Mark Bedingham of Moet-Hennessy Asia Pacific, in an interview with Harpers.co.uk.

Produced in the Nashik region of western India, the home-grown bubbly benefits from the drier, more moderate temperatures of the area which is located inland and at a higher altitude, he told the publication.
The Chandon Brut is a mix of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is described as having a fresh aroma and “subtle complexity.” The Rosé, made from Shiraz, is ripe with red fruit aromas and a full flavoured palate.

The luxury brand’s marketing strategy, meanwhile, is to catch both the demographic and the wine market while they’re still young. That means engendering brand loyalty among young, cosmopolitan and social Indian consumers while the wine-sipping culture is just beginning to find its feet.

Chandon Nashik India is rolling out in wine shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs across the country


Friday, November 7, 2014

Food & Wine Pairing Guidelines

Pairing guidelines


Food and wine are intrinsically linked so choose a wine that complements the meal and brings out the best in the food’s flavors. The guidelines below will steer you in the right direction.

Pair wines and foods of the same flavors
Similar food and wine flavors complement each other. Sole with lemon sauce and Sauvignon Blanc both have citrus flavors.

Pair wines and foods with the same weight/texture
Similarly weighted food and wine complement each other. Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied. Lobster and Chardonnay are both medium-weight and rich so they complement each other.

Pair wines and foods with the same sweetness level
Wine should be equal to or higher in sugar than the dish. Roasted pork with apple glaze pairs beautifully with Riesling.

Salt
Crisp wines balance salty flavors. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc balances salty olives and feta cheese.

Sauces
Pair the wine to the sauce served.
-Light citrus sauces pair with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
-Heavy cream and mushroom sauces are ideal with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
-Red and meat sauces match Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah.

Protein
Match wine to meat, fish or poultry when serving without a sauce. Pinot Noir tastes great with duck.

Spicy Food
Sweeter wines offer relief from spicy foods. Riesling pairs well with Asian cuisines.

Tannins
Tannic wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon cut through the coating that fat leaves in the mouth. Cabernet pairs great with steak.

Color
Nature has color-coded fruit and vegetables with the wine best suited to their flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is pale yellow and pairs well with citrus.

Acid
Wine should be equal to, or higher, in acid than the dish. A perfect example is pairing Pinot Noir with tomato tapenade.



CHAMPAGNE COUPE MOULDED FROM KATE MOSS’S BREAST LAUNCHED

English supermodel Kate Moss’s left breast has been immortalised in a Champagne coupe designed by painter Lucian Freud’s daughter.

Taking Marie Antoinette as her inspiration, whose left breast was said to have served as the model for the first Champagne coupe in the late-18th century, British artist Jane McAdam Freud crafted the coupe from a mould of Moss’s left breast.

The glass has an elongated, slender stem, while the outside of the bowl features an intricate Art Deco-inspired pattern and the base bears the model’s signature.

“I was excited to participate in this project – what an honour to be alongside Marie Antoinette, she was a very intriguing and mischievous character,” Moss said.

“Champagne is always associated with celebration and happy occasions and I had fun creating this beautiful coupe,” she added.

McAdam Freud was commissioned by 34 Restaurant in London’s Mayfair to create the coupe in honour of Moss’s 40th birthday and to mark her 25-year milestone in the fashion business.

The second release of the Champagne house’s 1998 vintage will be paired to a “seasonal menu” created by 34’s head chef, Harvey Ayliffe.

The coupes will be in use at 34 and sister Caprice Holdings restaurants The Ivy, Daphne’s and Scott’s, all of which are owned by restaurateur Richard Caring.

Moss is no stranger to artistic collaborations – she posed for late painter Lucian Freud in 2003 while pregnant with her daughter Lila Grace.

Three years later Moss modelled for sculptor Marc Quinn on Sphinx, a life-sized sculpture of Moss in a yoga position with her hands and feet behind her head.

This is also not the first reinterpretation of the Marie Antoinette coupe. In 2008 Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with Dom Pérignon on a Champagne coupe inspired by his muse, Claudia Schiffer’s bosom.

Sold with bottles of 1995 Oenothèque, the coupes cost £2,123.

Courtesy:http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/

Monday, November 3, 2014

Smartphones are the hotel room keys of the future

US-headquartered hotel chain Starwood just launched its new program, dubbed SPG Keyless, to allow guests across 10 Aloft, Element and W brand hotels in its portfolio, to skip the reception desk and gain access to their pre-booked hotel rooms using their smartphones. New locks at these hotels communicate with guests’ phones via Bluetooth to allow for quick locking and unlocking with a simple tap on the lock pad attached to each door.

Travelers who book a room via official Starwood channels online or via phone can use the SPG app for Android and iOS to receive their room number and unlock their rooms upon arrival. The app also allows you to access gyms and elevators at participating hotels — making for one less key for guests to worry about, reduced check-in time and increased convenience when using hotel amenities. 
Currently, only one phone is activated per room, so guests sharing a room will have to get a traditional key for access when the assigned device or its owner aren’t close at hand.

Starwood plans to expand its smartphone-based room access to 140 more properties by mid-2015, and we’ll probably see this functionality extend to smartwatches like the Apple Watch then too. You can also expect to see Hilton Worldwide hotels implement this next year as well, but the chain hasn’t mentioned just how many properties it will be available at.

Given that there could be issues relating to security and malfunctioning, other hospitality companies will probably watch closely before enabling smartphone access to their rooms around the world.


Courtesy:www.thenextweb.com

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