Wine is made with grapes, but not typical table grapes you'll find at the grocery. Wine grapes (latin name: Vitis vinifera) have thick skins, are small, sweet, and contain seeds. There are many different kinds of wine grapes-over a thousand, but just a few of these varieties (listed below) are grown commonly all over the world.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that originated in France. Today, it's the most popular wine variety in the world. Wines taste full-bodied with bold tannins and a long persistent black peppery finish.
Syrah (aka Shiraz) is a full-bodied red wine that originated in France. Wines are full-bodied with bold fruit flavors and subtle tannin that drops off into a smooth finish. Syrah is commonly blended with Grenache and Mourvre to create the red Rhône blend.
Zinfandel (aka Primitivo) is a medium-bodied red wine that originated in Croatia. Wines are fruit-forward and spicy with a medium length finish. Zinfandel is a red grape that may be better known as the rosé wine White Zinfandel.
Pinot Noir is a dry light-bodied red wine that originated in France. Wines are somewhat tart with a burst of fruit that leads into a long soft finish.
Chardonnay is a dry full-bodied white wine that originated in France. When oak-aged, Chardonnay will taste creamy and buttery. Unoaked wines are lighter and zesty with apple and citrus flavors. Chardonnay is the white wine of Burgundy.
Sauvignon Blanc is a dry light-bodied white wine that originated in France. Wines are zesty, typically with herbal green fruit flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is an older heritage grape, a parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pinot Gris is a dry light-bodied white wine that originated from Northern Italy and France. Wines are zesty, thirst-quenching and often lighter in alcohol (12% ABV) making them ideal for outdoor dining.
Riesling is an off-dry aromatic white wine (dry styles also exist) that originated from Germany where it is the most important wine. Wines are mouth-watering and tart with a lemon-honey-like sweetness. Riesling is considered a low alcohol wine when it is sweet at around 9%-10% ABV.
Liquor is a generic term used to describe any alcoholic spirit distilled from vegetables, fruits or fermented grain. It is an alcoholic drink produced from pure distillation rather than sugar fermentation. The process separates the mixture to produce pure vapor which condenses to form liquor with more alcohol content.
Brandy has over the years been known as the "fire wine." It is liquor distilled from mashed fruits mainly grapes. It can also be made from a variety of fruits including plums, pears as well as apples. After the distillation it is then aged in oak casks to give it a rich color. Traditionally brandy lovers used it as a nightcap consumed after dinner. However in the modern world brandies such as Courvoisiers and Hennessy are very popular in parties. In addition cooks also use this type of liquor in pan sauces and desserts to reduce the syrupy sweet essence.
Gin is commonly used in many classical cocktails including martinis, Singapore Slings, Tonics, Gins and Negronis. It is a dry spirit produced from distillation of grains and gets its flavor mainly from the juniper berries. Most of gin drinks are clear in color though there are some which appear yellowish as a result of aging in the barrels. For many years, this drink has won the title of cocktail drinks until recently when it was surpassed by Vodka. However it still maintains the name, "drinker's drink."
Rum is known as the favorite liquor for navy sailors and pirates. They are popularly known to mix sugar-water, lime juice and rum to make a pickling drink. Rum is a type of liquor beverage made from the distillation of molasses or sugar juice. Traditionally it was a common drink in Caribbean islands but it has since then widely spread to the South American countries. There are three main categories of rum namely spiced, dark and light. Each is used for straight drinking, cooking and mixing respectively though most of the time the uses overlap. The drinks include pina caladas, mojitos and rum-and-colas.
Tequila is officially produced from a plant grown in some parts of Mexico called the blue agave. As a result tequila with 100% of the blue agave is considered pure and goes at a higher price than other liquors.Drinkers of tequila usually take a shot of tequila followed with a spicy tomato juice or a slice of citrus fruit. The most consumed types of tequila are the sunrise tequila and margaritas which are paired with fruit juice to drink.
Vodka is one of the purest spirits in the world hailing from Russia and Eastern Europe. It is odorless, tasteless and clear liquor from the distillation of potatoes, grains and in some times molasses. Makers of vodka distill the potatoes, sugar beets or grain to create virtually pure ethanol. It is the added water to dissolve the concentration to drinkable liquor. Consumption of this liquor differs according to geographical regions. In Eastern Europe, people usually drink vodka straight and dry while in Western Europe and Americas they usually use it as cocktail.
Whisky is a type of liquor which is distilled from a range of grains. The most common grains used are corn, rye and barley. This type of liquor is first distilled two to three times, and then it is aged in large oak barrels to improve its flavor.Some of the renowned whisky beverages include the Scotch Single-malts such as Laphroaig, Irish blends like Jameson and the American bourbons like Jack Daniels.
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