Volume 2, Issue 7 — August, 2007
In This Issue
Aug 14: Wine Dinner, Food 101, Atlanta
Sep 3: Labor Day
Derived from the Latin word “Crisma," or ‘The Cream of Creams', Crisma basically is a combination of aged Barbados rum and fresh cream blended with some age old secret herbs and spices.
Like most rums, Crisma can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It is great on the rocks or in coffee. It is also wonderful on ice-cream and cake, and it can be used to make uniquely interesting coladas and daiquiris.
One of the more intriguing recipes is a cocktail shooter using coffee liqueur, Crisma, and Grand Marnier.
Either way, the Caribbean Rum Cream is an unforgettable pleasure. But don't take our word for it. Taste it. As the makers say, "even then you may not believe" how good it really is. Our price: $14.99
Wine Club Selections
Don't be concerned if you find yourself inhaling deeply from your glass, over and over...it is just your nose's way of telling you that it wants more!
This is a medium-bodied and well-structured wine that is incredibly full of life and a perfect wine to be enjoyed with good food and friends. It goes well with everything from hamburgers and chicken to pizza and mild cheeses.
A beautiful red/purple color, it features aromas of red cherries, red raspberries, dark chocolate and baker's spice. On the palate, it has fresh, vibrant red berry flavor along with hints of sandalwood, spice, and violets in the finish. It is an awesome value as well and a wine that you would not want to miss, especially if you favor Malbecs.
The Consumer Reports #10 on its list of "Great Wines at a Great Price," the Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel is is a crowd-pleaser that would be perfect for an outdoor party or picnic. The aroma is almost pure berries and the flavor is a tart cherry with notes of blackberry, some oak and mild acidity in the finish. It’s medium bodied, and not really a big or complex Zin. But its fruit-forward nature appeals to a wider audience, making it a great selection for any occasion.
Chateau de Sancerre, Sancerre
The area was once known for the production of the Pinot Noir grape until the 20th century, when the Sancerre area was devastated by phylloxera. The vineyards were later replanted in Sauvignon Blanc and in 1936, the Sancerre white was given AOC status, or a controlled label of origin.
This classic Sancerre is completely stainless steel fermented and kept on lees in order to preserve its freshness. The vineyard is south facing and includes clay, limestone and flint. The 2005 vintage is a little bit softer than 2004, according to the experts. But the wine has a great pale gold brilliant color and nice fluid texture. On the nose, it is intense with notes of fresh flowers, peach and melon. At the palate, it is sharp, vibrant, clean and fresh. The finish is long and reminiscent of oranges.
A prefect compliment to shellfish, white fish and other light summer fare. Best enjoyed... Right away!
If you haven't visited us recently, you will also find a variety of new products at the store, including but not limited to rums, tequilas, old-world liquors, beers, bourbons, cognacs and cigars.
In this issue, we explore the white wines of France and alternatives for traveling with your favorite cigars.
As always, you will also find a coupon for the monthly selections at the bottom of the newsletter.
As for the wine tastings, we are still committed to setting up a regular wine tasting. But unfortunately, we need further guidance from our regulators prior to starting.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the store and we truly hope that you will find our causal musings entertaining, enticing and informative.
That is a common misconception. Bordeaux along with Burgundy are just as respected for thier white wines as are the Loire Valley and Alsace. In fact, some of the world's best white wines are made in Burgundy and Bordeaux.
But when it comes to French white wines, it would still be fair to assume that Alsace and the Loire Valley wines remain some of the better values.
The Best of the Best
Both regions are located in northern France, where the cooler climate and a shorter growing season are better suited for white grapes.
In Alsace, the primary grapes include the Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. The highest quality wines are the Rieslings, which also account for the most grapes planted.
The Loire Valley, in turn, is best known for the Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc grapes. But unlike Alsace wines, Loire Valley wines are classified by style and include some of the country's best known styles.
From Pouilly Fumé to Vouvray
The Pouilly-Fumé is a dry, fully bodied wine that is made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The Muscadet is light, dry wine made from Melon grapes.
In contrast, the Sancerre is a balance between the fulled bodied Pouilly-Fumé and light bodied Muscadet made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. And the Vourvray, made from Chenin blanc grapes, is the most versatile style and can be either dry, semisweet, or sweet.
Latest Trends and Best Values
But despite the growing intrest in the Sancerre, one of the best values remains the Muscadet. Unlike the Sancerre, the Muscadet remains an affordable style that has undergone a similar remarkable increase in quality without the accompanying increase in price.
The Whites of Bordeaux and Burgundy
These wines are classified by the name of the chateau, or vineyard, that produced the wine. As always, the type of soil and direction of slope are the primary factors affecting the quality.
The levels of quality are the village wine, or wine that bears the name of the village; Premier Cru, or a specific vineyard with special characteristics; and Gran Cru, a specific vineyard with especially good soil and growing conditions.
Banking on Burgundy
These wines include the Chablis, the Côte De Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais.
Of those wines, the most famous is the Chablis, whose name unfortunately has become associated with some very undistinguished wines due to the lack of “copyright” protection. However, the French are serious about their Chablis wines, which use the same classifications for quality as Bordeaux wines, and a French Chablis is assuredly very different wine than the generic “Chablis” wines.
Choosing the Right White
The most important factor therefore will be the grape variety. And as with most wines, the best way to learn which variety has the most personal appeal is through experimentation. In other words… cheers!
Have Smoke, Will Travel
What's the best way to protect that cigar?
Choosing the right humidor simply requires reviewing several factors.
First, the humidor should be large enough to accomidate the size and shape of the cigars you smoked most often. Next, the humidor should be durable enough to withstand significant jostling (after all, you might find yourself constantly opeing the case for inspectors.) And finally, the humidification unit should be solidly installed so that it doesn't fall off when sprinting for a flight, taxi or being jammed into an overhead compartment.
Travel humidors typically resemble small cigar boxes and can be purchased at most smoke shops. The majority are made of wood and can accomodate between 10 to 25 cigars.
The largest drawback to tubes and leather cases is that they carry a limited supply of cigars and they rarely can keep the cigar for longer than two to three days. In addition, cigars that are packed in tubes are just a so-called "one-at-a-time" solution.
These finger cases often are adjustable and can fit cigars of several different sizes. These are called "open cases" and they typically come in plastic, leather or silver.
The leather and silver cases are by far the most elegant. However, when buying a leather case, it is imperative to ensure that the case is lined so that the cigar will not take on a "leathery" flavor.
The right cigar case is not only functional, it is also an accessory. As such, it will either distinguish you as a "person of taste" or "tasteless person."
Therefore, it might be worthwhile to invest in a variety of travel cases. In the end, a "wardrobe" of cases is not only an investment in protection-- it will also be a statement of taste.
Recipe: Limoncello Cooldown
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour Limoncello over the ice. Fill the rest of the galss with club soda, stir, and serve.
Other liqueurs make great refreshers too. Try Chambord, Campari, or any other sweet, strong liqueur. You'll find that the soda brings out flavors which normally are not easily appreciated against the full strength liqueur.
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1789 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur, Georgia 30033 | Phone: 404-633-8242 | www.decaturspirits.com