Decatur Wine and Spirits The Vintage Voice

Volume 2, Issue 5 — May, 2007


In This Issue
Editor's Note


Goblets and Draughts

To Relight or Not

Featured Product


Drink Recipe: Gin Buck

Upcoming Events
May 5: 15th Annual Helen WineFest

May 5: Augusta Wine Festival

May 5: Cinco de Mayo

May 6 & 20: 3rd Annual White Wine and Seafood Festival, Dahlonega

May 7: Wines Not to Fool Around With Dinner, Virginia Highlands

May 10: A Taste for Theatre at Cator Woolford Gardens, Atlanta

May 12: 2nd Annual Wine and Dine Festival, Atlanta

May 12: California Nouveau Dinner at the Beechwood Inn, Clayton

May 13: Mother's Day buffet at Chateau Elan, Braselton

May 13: Mother's Day brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards, Daholonega

May 14: Mediterranean Alfresco Dining, Buckhead

May 16: Wine & Cheeses at the Atlanta Wine School

May 19: Atlanta Beer Meetup at Manuel's Tavern, Atlanta

May 19: Smyrna Market Village Wine Stroll

May 26-27: Memorial Day Weekend Gourmet Wine Picnic with Live Music at the Beechwood Inn, Clayton

May 28: Memorial Day

Featured Product
Citadelle Gin
imperiaAlthough the production techniques for gin have improved over the centuries, Citadelle Gin is one of the few products made according to principles that were laid down when gin was still a relatively new product. The recipe for Citadelle Gin was developed in 1771, when explorers began sailing to the Orient and returning with exotic herbs and spices.

Today, Citadelle Gin is made with the same 19 botanicals listed in the original recipe, including but not limited to Grains of Paradise from West Africa to Nutmeg and Cardamom from India. The secret recipe is known only by the master distiller. And in keeping with the traditions of the first European captains of the 17th century, only the finest spices are used. The purity and subtle flavour of Citadelle gin makes it an ideal base for many cocktails, and in particular, the best Gin & Tonic in the world--or the perfect summertime drink.

Wine Club Selections
Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco
Despite the growing popularity of Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco remains the most widely planted white grape in the Alto Adige region and Lageder is one of the area's best producers. This wine comes from Lageder's single-varietal range and offers a very rich, tropical fruit character with a value that's hard to beat.

Varietal: Pinot Bianco
Region: Alto Adige
State/Country: Italy
Size: 750
Winery: Alois Lageder
Year: 2006
Price: $13.99

Windmill Estates Merlot
Hints of wild blackberries and ripe red cherries with notes of cassis and plum lead to a mouth full feel that merge into a perfectly balanced, well-structured finish. This is a perfect wine to enjoy with a hearty pasta or just fruit and cheese.

Varietal: Merlot
Region: Lodi
State/Country: California
Size: 750
Winery: Windmill Estates
Year: 2005
Price: $14.99

Gruet Winery Chardonnay
This is a young wine with a good structure that will deliver unbelievable freshness. The Chardonnay is light golden straw in color and lightly oak so that the fruit can shine through. It opens with peach and apples aromas and strikes a fascinating balance between fruity and mineral flavors.

Varietal: Chardonnay
Region: Engle
State/Country: New Mexico
Size: 750
Winery: Gruet
Year: 2005
Price: $16.99

Club Cigar
El Rico Habano Corona Suprema
Created by Cigar Master Ernesto Perez Carrillo Jr., the El Rico Habano is a full-bodied cigar in both strength and flavor. It features a Nicaraguan binder wrapped in a specially aged sun-grown leaf from Ecuador. The cigar is then aged again in a Spanish cedar room to maximize its deep, rich flavor. Since its introduction in 2001, it has become a sought-after selection among seasoned smokers and it is considered among the top cigars in the world with an average rating of 9.19 points out of 10 from Cigar Aficionado. Our price: $5.49


Editor’s Note
While many social ettiques seemingly are far too rigid, there are certain social rules with real relevance. These rules are meant to enhance your enjoyment such as in the case of storing and serving wine.

But wines are not the only drinks that can benefit from following the proper etiquette. Besides wine, the proper rules for serving and storage can also enhance the enjoyment of popular summer drinks such as beer.

In this issue, we explore some of those rules in terms of the glassware. Although almost any glass will do for serving beer, you will discover that there are specific reasons to use certain glasses for perfectly sensible motives unassociated with simple appearances.

Despite the stigma often associated with social rules, knowing the proper etiquette can also avoid the heartache of wasting a perfectly fine product such as a cigar. For instance, while many cigar smokers are tempted to discard cigars that have gone out--there are certain times when relighting that cigar would be both proper and well worth the effort.

When are those times? Read on and you will soon find out.

In accordance with the theme of etiquette, this month's featured product is a gin that is made with 19 spices based upon 450 years of French tradition.

Once again, thank you for subscribing to the Vintage Voice and we look forward to seeing you at the store in the near future.

Goblets and Draughts
Just as wineglasses are designed to enhance the flavor of wine, the truth is that many beers will also benefit from the proper service.

But while some labels are adamant about the type of glassware needed, chances are that you already posses the proper implements to truly bring out a beer's inner flavors.

Keep It Clean and Neat
Of greatest importance is to use a clean glass. Even trace amounts of oil or soap can kill the head, resulting in an unappetizing appearance and texture.

In the same vein, it is often best to use a glass with a stem. Holding the glass from the stem both prevents the glass from getting dirty while ensuring that the beer does not get too warm from excessive handling.

Otherwise, the key to a good glass is finding one that will release the aromas in the same way that wine glasses allow wine to open up and release its flavors.

As a result, almost any stemmed wineglasses will also work for beer--whether you are serving a golden ale or Russian stout.

Types of Beer Glasses

Flute Glass: Enhances and showcases carbonation.

Goblet: Allows for a good head

Mug or Stein: Holds the most beer

Pilsner Glass: Shows off the coloration

Pint Glass: Cheap and easy to drink from

Snifter: Enhances the malt and hop flavors

Tulip: Supports large foamy heads

Weizen: Allows for a large head and volume

Visit Beer Advocate for
details and pictures.

Red versus White
Aperitif beers such as pilsners, golden ales, triples and wheat beer will both look elegant and remain the proper temperature in white wine glasses such as champagne flutes.

For dark beers, red wine glasses are preferable. Unlike the white wine glasses, the red wine glasses allow for cupping the bowl of the glass to warm the beer when it is too cold outside for ice cold brew.

Going Traditional
Of course, you don't need to use wineglasses. Another good option is to use a goblet. These goblets are widely available in most department stores.

But the best thing for certain beers is to use a traditional glass. For instance, the typical Bavarian weissbier is best served in a tall glass with a broad foot in that a weissbier has high carbonation and fluffy head that requires a glass that can handle plenty of foam.

Another reason to stock the proper glassware is to provide the appropriate atmosphere. In Europe, for instance, Belgian wheat beer is often served in a tumbler to show off the golden color and tempt the drinker to take deep draughts.

Another popular form of glassware is the pint glass, which imparts the proletarian sense of drinking in a "pub" or bar.

From the Brewery to the House
While finding the proper glassware might appear difficult, most breweries also offer the proper glasses for the beers that they brew.

These glasses are often available at good beer shops and stores such as Crate and Barrel.

Stress Free is the Best Key
Although the proper glassware can enhance the experience, it is important to remember that the proper glassware is not an absolute necessity.

If you are at a picnic or barbecue, the proper glassware should be the least of your worries. At this stage, plastic cups will serve just as well.

While most people will not use plastic at the dinner table, most people also do not take their best China to the park.

So whether you are drinking at home or outdoors, have fun first and worry about the appropriate service later.

To Relight or Not
It happens to almost everyone. Engrossed in conversation, you forget to take a puff and all of the sudden you find that your cigar went out.

Even the best cigars will go out on occasion, raising the specter of whether relighting the cigar is both appropriate or worth the effort.

But believe it or not, relighting a cigar really is no different than fishing a bit of cork out of wine.

In fact, it will take less time to relight the cigar than to light it for the first time.

The right time and wrong time
Of course, relighting a cigar is not ideal. Therefore, there are appropriate times and inappropriate times to relight a cigar.

For instance, if you intentionally allow the cigar to die in hopes of enjoying it the next day, you will both ruin the cigar and your pleasure.

Although relighting a cigar is not inappropriate, the longer you wait the more likely that the cigar will go stale.

When to give up
If, however, you are forced to relight the cigar several times, odds are that you have a badly rolled cigar.

Since premium cigars are rolled by hand and are made from organic material, a substandard cigar occasionally may find its way into even the best cigar boxes.

These cigars are not worth relighting again and again. Instead, bring the cigar back to the shop and replace it.

Choosing the right flame
If you choose to relight a cigar, then choosing the right flame is also of great importance.

Cigar lighters are the easiest way to get an even light and ensure that the cigar is fully lit.

In essence, you will need a broad flame that is otherwise difficult to achieve with simple matches.

When in a pinch, matches will do. But to ensure a broad flame, it might be necessary to use at least a couple of matches simultaneously.

Nevertheless, relighting a cigar is not a cardinal sin. The real sin would be to waste the cigar due to the unfounded fear that relighting the cigar is not worth the effort.

Recipe: Gin Buck
flagA classic drink that is too often overlooked, the gin buck is marvelously refreshing. Not too sweet, not too strong, and easy to make... a great cocktail for May.

1.5 oz gin
1 Tbsp lemon juice
~6 oz ginger ale

Pour gin and lemon juice into an old-fashioned glass over ice cubes. Fill with ginger ale and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired.


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