Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WHY WINE: CARAFES



According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the Italians changed the Arabic word gharrafa, (a vessel used to hold coffee), to caraffa. But the Italians not only used it to hold coffee, they also used it to hold wine. In the 1700's, the French changed caraffa to carafe. Today, a carafe is a bottle shaped container, with a wide bottom and a flaring lip, used to hold beverages for immediate consumption. Most carafes also have narrower necks than the bottom or lip. There are three types of carafes:

1) Insulated carafes can hold either cold or hot liquids. Constructed like a thermos bottle, they have a glass inner liner, a metal or plastic outer shell, with an air pocket in between and a lid. The lid aids in keeping the liquid at a constant temperature, for an hour or more. But while the thermos bottle has a screw-on lid, the carafe lid will have one of three options: 1) If the carafe has a pouring lip, the lid that rests inside the lip will not have to be lifted. 2) A flip lids allows the user to open half of the lid when pouring the liquid. and 3) A pump lid is a lid that when pushed down, releases the liquid through a spigot attached to the lid.

2) A bedside glass carafe is used to keep water by the bed. This carafe holds one or two glasses of water and has a removable drinking glass that fits upside down on top of the carafe. These are still used today in hotels, bed & breakfasts, and by private individuals.

3) The last type of carafe holds liquids at room temperature, including oil and vinegar, fruit juice and wine as an example. At a restaurant, this allow the customer to pour the amount of liquid they desire. And at a party, allows the hostess to socialize with the guests, while the guests have access to the liquid at their convenience.

Today, carafes are made out of glass and crystal, metal such as copper, chrome, silver and stainless steel, plastic, ceramic and earthenware. They can be clear glass or colored, plain designed, cut-glass in the case of crystal, theme designed, monogrammed, or have your logo etched on the side. Carafes may be purchase to hold anywhere from 8 ounces to a magnum of wine. Available at wine shops, specialty stores, department stores and restaurant supply stores, expect to pay anywhere from $5 for a plastic carafe to $400 for a cut glass crystal carafe with four matching glasses.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WHY WINE: WINE FACTS; Did you know?



WINE FACTS
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
1. Wine that lacks the proper amount of acidity will not age well, tends to spoil quickly and will turn brown.
2. Wine that contains too much acidity will have a nasty biting vinegary and sour taste.
3. Any sugar not converted to alcohol during the fermentation process of making wine is called residual sugar.
4. A young wine will have a fruity taste and aroma because of 1% to 3% residual sugar.
5. If all the sugar has converted to alcohol during the fermentation process of making wine, the wine will be dry.
6. Dessert wine has 5% to 30% residual sugar.
7. Wine fermented in oak barrels will have a vanilla or oak taste.
8. Oak barrels can be used for 4 to 6 years to age wine.
9. Tannin is a natural chemical substance, found in plants, known as polyphenols.
10. Tannin is a natural preservative which allows wine to age longer, but also means that the wine will take longer to age before it is “balanced” and ready to drink.
11. Tannin has a bitter taste.
12. A well structured wine is a wine that has aged long enough for the tannins, sugars and alcohol to become balanced and that no one flavor is stronger than another. The lasting taste in your mouth should be smooth and pleasant.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WHY WINE: Why count the calories


I don't know if this happens everywhere, but at every party or picnic I attend, there is always some body watching their calorie intake and monitoring each and every bite of food they consume. I always have to laugh at those who always order two cheeseburgers, a large order of fries and a "Diet" coke. After all, they don't need all the calories you get in regular coke classic.
But, as the holidays approach the roles are usually reversed. The dieters now tend to stay away from the mashed potatoes, bread and butter, chocolate cake and apple pies. "No dessert for me, I'll just have another glass of wine." It's not unusual to have any where from four to six or seven glasses of wine during the day ( at least I do ) and give up the 300 calorie dessert. But, does any one ever think about the amount of calories they consumed in their wine. Probably not.
So, to make it much easier to say "I'll have seconds on the pie ala mode" or "give me more cake,
I already cheated my diet with the wine," here's a small chart to remind you why the belt you received for Xmas is one size larger than last year, so might as well enjoy the desserts. After all, you are not giving up the wine


WINE FACTS
Do you know calorie count for:


Beer in a 12oz container
Wine in a 4oz glass
Light beer
100
Champagne
100 to 105
Regular beer
140 to 200
Dry wines
80 to 90


Red wines
95 to 100


Sweet wines
110 to 185












Specific Wines
Beaujolais
95
Pinot Noir

95
Burgundy – Red
95
Port – Ruby

185
Burgundy - White
90
Port – White

170
Cabernet Sauvignon
90
Red Bordeaux

95
Chablis
85
Rhone

95
Champagne – Dry
105
Riesling

90
Champagne – Pink
100
Rose

95
Chardonnay
90
Sangria

110
Chianti
100
Sauterne

110
Madeira
160
Sauvignon Blanc

80
Marsala
80
Shiraz

95
Merlot
95
Tokay

165
Mosell
100
Zinfandel – Red

90
Muscatel
160
Zinfandel – White

80


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