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Archive for January, 2011

Do Spirits Need Their Own Glassware, Like Wine Does?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 1:10:05 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

There are a number of variables that factor into the enjoyment of wine and spirits which may be different for each individual. For some it may be associated with a favorite meal, for others it may have more to do with the company in which it is being consumed. Regardless of when or where you choose to enjoy your favorite libation, using the proper stemware made specifically for that style can truly enhance the experience.Ridel VinumSingle Malt Scotch Glass

Most members of the wine community are aware of all the different varietal glasses (Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc) and how the shapes and sizes bring about the aromas and flavors specific to those wines. What you may not realize is the same dynamic goes for spirits and their glassware. Let’s take Whiskey for example look at the standard Single Malt Scotch Glass.

First and foremost, the glass should have a tulip shape. The purpose of this is to concentrate all the aromas towards the top of the glass, whereas in a tumbler they settle more in the middle or even towards the bottom. In fact, some Whiskey aficionados will argue that a brandy snifter should be used to intensify this effect, however if your sense of smell is a bit sensitive this may not be the best idea.

Just like wine, the aromas and color will offer much insight to the whiskey’s quality and style. So the shape and clarity of the glass both play pivotal roles in exhibiting the spirit in its truest form. The glass should also allow the spirit to reach all parts of the tongue so that you can distinguish between the different aspects as well as appreciate the mouthfeel, or weight, of the whiskey.Glencairn Whiskey

The bottom line is this… all spirits have their own specific glassware for a reason. Otherwise we could all drink every beverage from a plain old water glass! So if you are looking to intensify your tasting experience the next time you indulge, sip your favorite drink from its proper glassware. It just may open your senses as to why true connoisseurs are such a proponent of this practice.

A Dual Zone Wine Cooler: The Right Choice For You?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 4:21:31 PM
by Marshall T., Wine Enthusiast Companies

If you have ever considered purchasing a wine refrigerator or cellar for your collection, there is probably a good chance you have asked yourself that exact question. The most basic of instincts leads us to assume that if one is good then two is better, seemingly making the decision easy to go for the Dual Zone option.  However wine storage is not quite that basic, and there are some things to consider before making your final decision.
Dual Zone Wine Cellar
First things first…ALL wine is stored at the same temperature for aging which is ideally 55 degrees including red and white wines, champagne and even port. So the main purpose of any dual zone unit is to have a section designated for service temperature. Most times they are made for white wine service (41-50 degrees), but certain units can have a section for red wine service (57-65 degrees).  So if your main goal is purely for storage, you can rule out the two temp option from the get go.

If you’re still considering the dual temp option, let’s take it one step further. How much of you’re unit do you need dedicated for service? Some dual temps are split in half, so you can use half for storage of all wines and the other half for service of (usually) whites. If you and your wine drinking contingency are big white wine drinkers, this probably makes sense. But if white wine consumption plays a smaller role in your house, then you may want to look for one that has just a small compartment for service, and not half of an entire unit.Dual Zone Temperature Control

So if you are someone who entertains frequently or finds that wines just don’t last more than a year or so in your wine cabinet, then a dual zone unit with service temp capabilities is right up your alley. However, if you are laying wines down for the long haul and aren’t really looking to utilize a service option, then sticking with a one temp unit may be a better choice. Remember, you can always stash a few bottles of white wine in your fridge to get them to drinking temperature. As for reds, by the time you open up a bottle, use a decanter and swirl it around a few times in the glass, it will come up to service temperature quicker than you may think.