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What is Sherry?

What is Sherry?

Sherry is made in and around the town of Jerez de la Frontera in south-west Spain. The main grape variety is Palomino Fino. Pedro Ximenez - often referred to as PX - is also grown and is used mainly for sweetening wines. [...more]

Education

What is Marsala Wine?

What is Marsala Wine?

Marsala is made on the Italian island of Sicily, around the coastal town of Marsala. It is made from the local grape varieties Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia, fermented to dryness like sherry, then fortified. [...more]

Education

What is Port Wine?

What is Port Wine?

Port is made in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It takes its name from the city of Oporto, the port from which wines are shipped around the world. Most ports are also aged in the city. [...more]

Education

What is Wine?

What is Wine?

In very general terms, wine is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the juice of fruits or berries. The official European Union definition is more specific: 'The product obtained from the total or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, whether or not crushed, or of grape must'. This official definition distinguishes 'proper' wine from wine made from kits, or the once-popular 'British' wine, made from grape juice concentrate. [...more]

Education

What is Fortified Wine?

What is Fortified Wine?

Fortified wines, also known as liqueur wines, are so called because they have been fortified (strengthened) by the addition of grape spirit. This addition increases the alcoholic strength and stabilises the wine. [...more]

Education

Brandy: A guide to Regional Production & Variations

Brandy: A guide to Regional Production & Variations

Cognac is the best known type of Brandy in the world, a benchmark by which most other Brandies are judged. The Cognac region is located on the west-central Atlantic coast of France, just north of Bordeaux, in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. The region is further subdivided into six growing zones: Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Bois Ordinaries, Borderies, Fins Bois, and Bons Bois. The first two of these regions produce the best Cognac and will frequently be so designated on bottle labels. [...more]

Education

An introductory Guide to Brandy

An introductory Guide to Brandy

The word Brandy comes from the Dutch word brandewijn, ("burnt wine"), which is how the straightforward Dutch traders who introduced it to Northern Europe from Southern France and Spain in the 16th century described wine that had been "burnt," or boiled, in order to distill it. [...more]

Education

Beamish & Crawford Brewery Tour

Beamish & Crawford Brewery Tour

With the news that Heineken are to sell off the historic Beamish & Crawford brewery site in Cork - here is a little video tour of Irelands oldest brewery. [...more]

Education, Video

The Main Classifications of Rum

The Main Classifications of Rum

White Rums are generally light-bodied (although there are a few heavy-bodied White Rums in the French islands). They are usually clear and have a very subtle flavour profile. If they are aged in oak casks to create a smooth palate they are then usually filtered to remove any color. White Rums are primarily used as mixers and blend particularly well with fruit flavours. [...more]

Education

The Rum Producing Regions of the World

The Rum Producing Regions of the World

Rum Regions The Caribbean is the epicentre of world Rum production. Virtually every major island group produces its own distinct Rum style. Barbados produces light, sweetish Rums from both pot and column stills. Rum distillation began here and the Mount Gay Distillery, dating from 1663, is probably the oldest operating Rum producer in the world. […] [...more]

Education

Rum – Glossary & Terminology

Rum – Glossary & Terminology

A complete Rum (Rhum) Glossary & Terminology Guide [...more]

Education

A Brief History of Rum

A Brief History of Rum

The history of Rum is the history of sugar. Sugar is a sweet crystalline carbohydrate that occurs naturally in a variety of plants. One of those is the sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum), a tall, thick grass that has its origins in the islands of present-day Indonesia in the East Indies. Chinese traders spread its cultivation to Asia and on to India. Arabs in turn brought it to the Middle East and North Africa where it came to the attention of Europeans during the Crusades in the 11th century. [...more]

Education

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