History of Wine
"And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
"Red Wine!"---the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine."
History of Wine
Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam was the connoisseur and keen admirer of such noble fermented beverage as wine and he was the one of billions of other wine lovers in all ages of history. Fermented beverages have been preferred over water throughout the ages as they are safer, provide psychotropic effects, and are more nutritious. Some even said that alcohol and especially wine was the primary agent of the development of Western civilization. The history of wine is very rich and extensive and there were many reasons for such tremendous popularity of wine starting from the ancient times such as conspicuous display (the earliest Neolithic wine, which might be dubbed "Chateau Hajji Firuz" (the most ancient wine vessels that were discovered at Hajji Firuz Tepe, the territory of contemporary Iran) was like showing off a bottle of Pétrus today); a social lubricant; economy, trade and cross-cultural interactions and, of course, religion (wine is right at the center of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, regardless that it was forbade by the Islamic Code).
Most of the world population adores wine of different variations and of various types. Wine has always been an indispensable attribute of any celebration, but have you ever thought about the ancient history and origin of wine? The ancient history of wine has begun as long time ago as from the Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC!). Historians generally agree that wine was probably discovered accidentally in the Fertile Crescent area, the region between the Nile and Persian Gulf during the time of the world's first civilization. According to ancient history and origin of wine sources, gradually winemaking spread throughout the Mediterranean region and eventually through much of Europe by Phoenician, Greek and Roman traders.
History of wines has left its traces in Near East, particularly Mesopotamia (Iraq, Iran territory), later – in Persia (Iran), Egypt, Ancient Greece, Roman Empire. Think of Greek classical pottery and Dionysus cavorting with his satyrs and maenads and you will get a clue of the ancient history of wine that created immortal legends. Egyptian history of wines origin in Nile delta – the fertile land where grapes grew and white wine made from what is today called the Muscat grape of Alexandria. It is not surprising that the early Egyptians attributed this drink with the god Osiris and used it during funerary rituals.
Since Roman times, wine (potentially mixed with herbs and minerals) was assumed to serve medicinal purposes as well. It was not uncommon to dissolve pearls in wine for better health. Cleopatra created her own legend by promising Marc Anthony she would "drink the value of a province" in one cup of wine, after which she drank an expensive pearl with a cup of wine. From Rome winemaking greatly prospered under the Catholic Church who held widespread influence over Christian Europe. Eventually, winemaking capability and practiced extended to far-flung places like England who enjoyed wine varieties of Sherry, Port and Madeira. Christian monks of France and Northern Italy kept records of their winemaking practices and grape cultivation. By 1800, France would be recognized as the best of the wine-producing regions of the world.
Whatever the reason, we continue to live out our past civilization by drinking wine made from a plant that has its origins in the ancient Near East. Your next bottle may not be a 7000 year old vintage from Hajji Firuz that was thought of as a divine gift, but we appreciate and live it no less than our ancestors. Originally decorated bottle of wine with metal wine bottle holders from Metal Imagination could be an ideal gift for any celebration and occasion.
Wine is probably the most widespread and historically significant beverage starting from ancient times. Wine is the drink of kings, just as it is the beverage of choice for ordinary people. Wine has played a major role in the rise and fall of countless individuals, nations and even civilizations. History of wine is very long, interesting and intricate at the same time; nevertheless, classification of wine is no less capturing and complicated as its history.
Types of wines are normally classified by vinification method, by taste, by vintage, by wine style, and / or by quality. Vinification refers to how the wine is made. Vinification wine classification refers to three major categories: table wines, sparkling wines, and fortified wines. Types of wine can also be classified by taste. Table wines, for instance, are classified by character as dry (not sweet), semidry, semisweet; sweet wines are classified as dessert wines.
Apart from palate, types of wines can also be distinguished by sugar and alcohol percentage. Dry wines contain 2-3% of sugar and about 10% of alcohol – such wines are the lightest. Semisweet wines have sugar - 5-6% and alcohol 13-14%, while semidry wines are a little bit sweeter than semisweet ones. Dessert, or sweet wines contain the highest percentage of sugar and alcohols than other types of wine – about 14-16%, and 16% of alcohol. Table wines are also further classified by color, as red, white, or ros (pink). In addition to this wine classification, wines may also be classified according to specific flavors, types of grape they are made of and origins where this grape grew.
Table wines, also called still or natural wines, are consumed mostly with food, they tend to compliment the meal. White dry wine is usually served with seafood, fish, cheese, or nuts. Red dry wine is served with meals of meat and vegetables that are roasted, stewed, smoked, etc. Fortified or dessert types of wine, such as sherry or vermouth, are most commonly drunk before or after meals and are served with various cakes, pastry, chocolate, fruits, etc. Fortified wines are also frequently used in cooking. Concerning sparkling wines, for example champagne, is distinguishable by its effervescence and is drunk for the most part on festive occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and during the holidays.
Wines are usually named either by their grape variety or by their place of production. Generally speaking, European wines are named both after the place of production (e.g. Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti, Cotnari) and the grapes used (e.g. Pinot, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot). Wines from everywhere except Europe are generally named for the grape variety. Whether you prefer vintage wine or not, and whatever the classification of wine you like, wine is a ideal gift for any special occasion, especially when it is served in a unique metal wine bottle holder that you can easily find at Metal Imagination.
One of the most important things to take into consideration when serving a wine is the right temperature. If wine is served at the wrong temperature it could severely hinder the taste and experience of the drink. Do you know how to serve a wine with the right temperature so that the wine would gain a balance and a taste that is unmatched? If you want to find out how to serve a red wine or how to serve a white wine, at Metal Imagination you can find the answers on all your questions.
If you want to know how to serve a red wine, just remember that it must be slightly below room temperature or around 67-68 degrees Fahrenheit. When red wine is served too warm, it develops a strong alcohol taste and the real taste of wine is all but vanquished. Now let’s find out how to serve a white wine. White wines are served best just slightly below 50 degrees and when cooled properly it has a fresh clean fruit flavor that seems to be full of life. If white wine is chilled incorrectly, it will taste weak and lifeless with dulled and faded flavor.
So, how to serve a bottle of wine at the right temperature in order to keep its unique flavor? Most of us usually put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, but please, don’t kill your wine by freezing it unless you really want to see the entire odor wave on its way out the door. You should fill the ice bucket with water and ice and submerge the bottle of wine into the bucket just to the base of the neck. Red wine should be chilled in the ice bucket for about 15-16 minutes and white wines – between 20-25 minutes and should be served immediately upon opening.
Another easy and helpful way to chill wine to the right temperature is to have a wine cellar. You can get a wine cellar for a few hundred dollars that can hold about 24 bottle of wine. On a wine cellar you can set the temperature of the wine to the exact temperature you wish to store it and when you are ready to serve it, simply uncork and enjoy.
A very important tool to have, especially when you are entertaining guests, is a long probe wine thermometer that should be insert to the uncorked bottle of wine to see how the wine is close to being ready to serve it. Whether you prefer a red or white wine, now you know how to serve a bottle of wine at the right temperature. And at Metal Imagination you will find unique wine bottle holders in order to make your wine not only taste well, but also have an original look.
Classifications of North American Whiskies
North American whiskies are essentially classified by the type or variety of grains in the mash bill, the percentage or proof of alcohol at which they are distilled, and the length and manner of their aging.
Bourbon Whisky must contain a minimum of 51% corn, be produced in the United States, be distilled at less than 80% ABV (160 proof) and be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred barrels, although in practice virtually all straight whiskies are aged at least four years. Any Bourbon, or any other domestic or imported whiskey, for that matter, that has been aged less than four years must contain an age statement on the label. Small Batch Bourbons are bourbons that bottled from a small group of specially selected barrels that are blended together. It should be noted though that each distiller has their own interpretation of what constitutes a "small batch." Single Barrel Bourbon is Bourbon from one specifically chosen cask.
The Taste: Flavor descriptors such as toffee, pralines, vanilla, and dried fruit to describe the initial rush of flavors in a good, well-aged Bourbon. The charred oak barrels give Bourbon a distinctive spicy oak firmness that is unique to American whiskeys.
Origins and History of Bourbon Whisky
The first waves of British settlers in North America were a thirsty lot. It is recorded that the Pilgrims chose to make final landfall at Plymouth, Massachusetts, even though their original destination was elsewhere, primarily because they were almost out of beer.
The first locally-made alcoholic beverage was beer, although the limited supply of barley malt was frequently supplemented by such local substitutes as pumpkin pulp. Distilled spirits soon followed, with rum made from imported Caribbean molasses dominating in the northern colonies, and an assortment of fruit brandies in the south.
In the early 1700s a combination of bad economic times and religious unrest against the Established Church in Great Britain set off a great wave of emigration from Scotland and Ireland. These Scots, and the Protestant Scottish settlers from the Northern Irish province of Ulster who came to be known as the "Scotch-Irish" in the new World, brought to North America their religion, their distrust of government control, and their skill at distilling whiskey.
This rush of humanity, augmented by German immigrants of a similar religious and cultural persuasion, passed through the seaboard colonies and settled initially in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and western Virginia. Mostly small farmers, they quickly adapted to growing rye because of its hardiness, and, in the western counties, Native American corn because of its high yields. Grain was awkward to ship to East Coast markets because of the poor roads; so many farmers turned to distilling their crops into whiskey. In Pennsylvania these were primarily Rye whiskies; farther to the west and south Corn whiskies predominated. By the end of the American War of Independence in 1784, the first commercial distilleries had been established in what was then the western Virginia county of Kentucky. From the start they produced corn-based whiskies.
In 1794 the new, cash-strapped Federal government imposed the first federal excise tax on distillers. The farmer-distillers of western Pennsylvania responded violently in what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion. Federal tax agents were assaulted and killed by angry mobs. Order was finally restored when the federal government sent in an army of 15,000 militiamen, led by George Washington, to put down the revolt. The ringleaders were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, but cooler heads prevailed, and after jail time they were pardoned and released.
This situation did provoke a new migration of settlers into the then-western frontier lands of Kentucky and Tennessee. In these new states farmers found ideal corn-growing country and smooth, limestone-filtered water—two of the basic ingredients of Bourbon whiskey.
The name "Bourbon" comes from a county in eastern Kentucky, which in turn was named for the Bourbon kings of France who had aided the American rebels in the Revolutionary War. Bourbon County was in the early 19th century a center of whiskey production and transshipping (ironically, at the present time, it is a "dry" county). The local whiskey, made primarily from corn, soon gained a reputation for being particularly smooth because the local distillers aged their products in charred oak casks. The adoption of the "sour mash" grain conversion technique served to further distinguish Bourbon from other whiskey styles.
By the 1840s Bourbon was recognized and marketed as a distinctive American style of whiskey, although not as a regionally specific spirit. Bourbon came to be produced in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia, among other states. Nowadays Bourbon production is confined to Kentucky and Indiana, although the only legal location requirement for calling a whiskey "Bourbon" is that it be produced in the United States. Initially Bourbon was made in pot stills, but as the century progressed the new column still technology was increasingly adopted. The last old-line pot still plant closed in Pennsylvania in 1992, but the technique was revived in Kentucky in 1995 when the historic Labrot & Graham Distillery was renovated and reopened with a set of new, Scottish-built copper pot stills.
The late 19th century saw the rise of the Temperance Movement, a social phenomenon driven by a potent combination of religious and women’s groups. Temperance societies, such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League, operated nationally, but were particularly active in the southern states. The notion of temperance soon gave way to a stated desire for outright prohibition, and throughout the rest of the century an assortment of states and counties adopted prohibition for varying lengths of time and degrees of severity. This muddle of legal restrictions played havoc in the Bourbon industry, as it interfered with the production and aging of stocks of whiskey.
National Prohibition in 1919 had effects on the Bourbon industry beyond shutting down most of the distilleries. Drinking did not stop, of course, and the United States was soon awash in illegal alcohol, much of it of dubious quality. What did change was the American taste in whiskey. Illicit moonshine and imported Canadian whiskeys were lighter in taste and body than Bourbon and Rye. The corresponding increase in popularity of white spirits such as Gin and Vodka further altered the marketplace. When Repeal came in 1933, a number of the old distilleries didn’t reopen, and the industry began a slow consolidation that lasted into the early 1990s, at which time there were only 10 distilleries in Kentucky and two in Tennessee.
It may seem odd, but Scotch whisky may be Bourbon’s inspiration for long-term revival. The steady growth in sales of single malt and high-quality Scotch whiskies has not gone unnoticed in Bourbon country. All of the Kentucky and Tennessee whiskey distilleries are now marketing high-end "single cask" and "small batch" whiskies that have found great success among upscale consumers. Three small specialty distilleries have opened in the last few years in Kentucky and California to cater to this increasing demand for quality over quantity. The United States may yet, in the words of one commentator, "turn away from foreign potions and return to its native spirit."
How To Serve Scotch Whisky
Serving Scotch Whisky
The best way to serve Scotch is ‘on the rocks’. In other words, you should not add anything to it, before serving. Just pour it in a glass, directly over the ice cubes. Scotch lovers believe that adding anything to the drink masks its smooth taste and rich aroma.
If you are serving single malts, it is advisable to use a large bowl for the same. The glass will usually taper up to a narrow neck, while its lip will be flared. While the bowl captures the aroma of Scotch, the narrow neck directs it to your nose.
Scotch whisky can also be served in a snifter. The glass is characterized by a wide base and a wide mouth and is smaller than a wine glass. It has a slight taper towards the mouth, which directs the focus of the person on the drink’s aroma. Make sure that the snifter is clean, so that the person drinking it can get a clear view of the drink and appreciate it as well.
In case you aren’t serving neat Scotch, you can keep soda or water alongside, in a separate beaker, to act as the mixer. By doing so, those people who do not want to have the drink neat, would be given the choice of adding the desired liquid.
You can make use of carbonated cool drinks as a mixer for Scotch. Coke is the most preferred mixer, other than water and soda, for Scotch whiskey.
In case you are serving water along with Scotch, make sure to use only spring water, because it is purer than other types of water and would have the least effect on the taste and aroma of the drink. Moreover, experts insist on the use of spring water, because the chlorinated taste and smell of tap water will distort the aroma and rich taste of Scotch.
For those who find Scotch to be too strong alone, you can serve cocktails. There are a large number of cocktails that are made with scotch, just check out online or in a recipe book.
Main articles: History of beer
Beer is one of the oldest beverages, possibly dating back to the 6th millennium BCE, and is recorded in the written history of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. It is speculated that the Babylonians where the first to create the recipe for beer which was later used by the Egyptians for medicinal purposes. The earliest known chemical evidence of beer dates to ''c.'' 3500–3100 BCE. As almost any substance that contains carbohydrates, namely sugar or starch, can naturally undergo fermentation, it is likely that beer-like beverages were independently invented among various cultures throughout the world.
Beer produced before the Industrial Revolution was mainly made and sold on a domestic scale, although by the 7th century CE beer was also being produced and sold by European monasteries. During the Industrial Revolution, the production of beer moved from artisanal manufacture to industrial manufacture, and domestic manufacture ceased to be significant by the end of the nineteenth century. The development of hydrometers and thermometers changed brewing because they allowed the brewer more control of the brewing process and greater knowledge of the results.
Classification of Beers
Beers can be categorized according to the type of cereal used, but it is more common to use the type of fermentation for this purpose: spontaneous fermentation, top fermentation, or bottom fermentation.
Spontaneous fermentation. Spontaneously fermented beers are produced without the active addition of any microorganisms to the wort. The microorganisms come from the surrounding air and the equipment used in the brewing process and are a mixture of yeast species and lactic-acid bacteria, a mixture that produces alcohols and lactic and other organic acids, and gives the product a sour taste. Examples are the Russian beverage kvass, which is typically made of rye, and Belgian Lambic beer and the old Berliner Weisse, which are both produced partly from wheat. All beers made before the introduction and knowledge of pure yeast cultures were in a sense made via spontaneous fermentation. However, most such beers (as well as wines) were made inside containers that were repeatedly used for this purpose. Such containers rapidly become infected with spores that continue to maintain the original species of yeast—that is, the ones that produced fermentation in the first place. The use of the same vessel and associated equipment from one batch to the next causes the cereal grains employed to continue to be cross-infected between brewings. Recent scientific studies indicate that these spores remain alive for decades, or even longer. Moreover, many beer-making traditions include the step of adding fruit, such as raisins, to the mixture; this practice assures that the yeasts that naturally reside on the surface of the fruit will become a significant part of the microorganisms that infect the mixture.
These types of beer are technically ales—that is, they are all top-fermented.
Top fermentation : ales. Top-fermented beers, ales, are fermented at a rather high temperature, about 64–72°F (18–22°C), letting the yeast float on the surface of the wort.
Typical ales are British and Irish pale ales, bitters, stouts, and porters; Belgian ales, such as Trappist and abbey beers; and western German ales, such as Alt Bier and Kölsch. The Bavarian wheat beers—Weissbier (Weizenbier)—are also top-fermented and are produced in different varieties: pale and dark, with and without yeasts remaining, and as bock and Doppelbock. Some of the British and Belgian ales can be very strong, up to about 12–17 percent alcohol by volume, while common ales have a concentration of 3.5–6.0 percent alcohol by volume. Ales were predominant before the great expansion in popularity of bottom-fermented beers, the lagers, in the nineteenth century.
It should be noted that the term "ale" has also been used to signify unhopped beer, as contrasted with hopped beer (Cantrell, p. 619).
Bottom fermentation: lagers. Bottom-fermented beers, lagers, originated in Bavaria, where a cold-adapted yeast strain had been developed over a period of many years in the cold caves used for fermentation and storage. A temperature of about 45–59°F (7–15°C) is typical for bottom fermentation. The cold fermentation and the location of the yeast cells at the bottom of the container yield better storage capabilities and a cleaner, more purely malty taste in lagers, in comparison with ales, which are usually more fruity and bloomy in flavor. The name "lager" implies it is stored in cold conditions. Lagers are the dominating beers of the world today: pilsner; Bavarian; Vienna; Münchener, pale and dark; Dortmunder; bock; and Doppelbock beers. The difference between them depends principally on the brewing liquid, the type of hops, and the type of malt used. Bock and Doppelbock beers have a higher alcoholic content, 6.0–7.0 percent by volume and 6.0–8.0 percent by volume, respectively, in comparison with the other lagers, 3.8–6.0 percent by volume. Bocks and Doppelbocks are spring beers; their high levels of alcohol were originally produced to compensate for Lenten fasting.
How to serve a perfect glass of beer
While American beer once meant light lager, today it encompasses a wide array of flavors concocted by innovative craft brewers whose varieties - and in some cases alcohol content - approach the breadth of wine and spirits.
In fact, there's now so much to learn about beer styles and how to serve them that the president of the Craft Beer Institute, Ray Daniels, has launched a sort of beer sommelier certification program.
That's because all that variety has complicated not only pairing beer with food, but also the mechanics of serving it. Like wines, each variety of beer benefits from different serving styles.
Proper service means paying attention to glassware, the serving temperature and how the beer is poured.
A proper serving of beer presents the head well, offers the right portion, shows off the color and aroma, and honors brewers' efforts with a nice visual presentation, says Randy Mosher, a beer consultant who teaches at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, which specialized in brewing.
"Beer should be an aromatic and taste-and-texture experience. But we all know, what the stuff looks like has a huge impact to how people perceive things," he says.
Here, Mosher offers some general tips:
Match the beer to the glass
For amber ales, the typical American "shaker" pint (the standard, straight pint common at most bars) is fine. For a more bitter barley wine, with higher alcohol content and bigger flavor, choose a snifter, which traps aroma and is smaller.
"You wouldn't want a pint of barley wine. Well, you may want one, but shouldn't have one," Mosher says.
In general, a glass that curves inward, so the rim turns up, helps concentrate aromas. A classic pilsner flute with its tall, tapered conical shape serves to wedge foam in and give it support, Mosher says. Try one for a cream ale.
Pour, then wait a little
Don't tilt the glass. The idea is to keep the head. Pour some beer into your glass, let the head foam up a bit and settle, then keep pouring. It might take two or three pours. The idea is to keep the head while releasing some of the carbonation that otherwise can leave you feeling bloated.
"By doing it that way, it knocks a little gas out of the beer. It makes it taste smoother, less harsh. All those bubbles are filled with aroma, so if they're popping, they're releasing aroma," Mosher says.
"It's nice to have a thick head on beer. It feels good on the lips. It's all about those details."
Watch the temperature
Like wine, different beers taste best at different temperatures. Lagers are served cooler than ales, darker beers are served warmer than pale, and stronger beers are served warmer than weaker ones, Mosher says.
While American-style lagers should be served between 35 degrees to 38 degrees, English style beers should be served as warm as 50 degrees. Serve an India pale ale or a porter at around 50 degrees to 55 degrees.
Mosher acknowledges this can be tough to manage. "Not everybody has 12 different coolers," he says.
Assuming you don't have multiple refrigerators or beer coolors, keep them in your regular refrigerator. Before drinking, let the beer sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. This should get it to a better temperature.
Mosher does urge leaving the frozen beer glasses for only the lightest American industrial beers, such as Bud, Miller or Coors.
"You never want to put a really good beer in a frozen glass. It's a waste of money," he says. "The aromas just can't get out. They get locked into the liquid. So at slightly warmer temperatures, they have the ability to jump out of the glass and get into your nose."