Monthly Archives: August 2014

Wine Cork Controversy…

The days of the wine cork may be numbered, as many wineries are experimenting with the use of caps made of composite and plastic. Corks can be quirky, and sometimes their assets are quickly followed by their liabilities. Could synthetic caps be a better industry choice?

Centuries ago, a nameless genius closed a bottle of wine using a piece of cork. To her (or him), we owe a debt of gratitude. A stroke of true genius that still endures, cork makes an ideal bottle stopper for… read more

PEAK ORGANIC BREWING CO. Portland, Maine

Peak is a craft brewing company dedicated to making delicious beer using local, artisan and organic ingredients. With roots in home brewing back in the ’90′s, brewer Jon Cadoux set about combining his love for beer with an ethic for sustainability. Whenever possible, he’d use organic ingredients from local farmers. It was a defining day when Jon discovered that he didn’t need to sacrifice flavor for sustainability – that better ingredients actually made good beer even more delicious.

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SHMALTZ BREWING CO., Clifton Park, NY

What began in 1996 as a sincere experiment of 100 cases of hand-bottled, hand-labeled beer (hand-delivered out of the back of founder Jeremy Cowan’s grandmother’s Volvo) has grown into a 200,000 case per year operation. In 2012, those 12,000+ barrels equated to a gross of $3.9 million in sales, a 42% increase over the previous year. The Shmaltz Tribe honors these contract brewing roots while embracing the miracle of new life in Clifton Park, NY, envisioning its expansion as a 50-barrel playground for brewing exceptional specialty beers and hosting a growing family of enthusiastic consumers at its new home.

 

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BEER’S MARCH THROUGH THE AGES. . .

Wine dates way back, but did you know beer pre-dates wine? Both were staple beverages since long before B.C., but back then, neither resembled how we expect them to taste according to today’s standards. As a member of your favorite Beer of the Month Club, you know the definition of beer: a fermented liquid made of hops, grain, water and yeast. Beer especially is a changed drink, as it was brewed before the discovery of hops. What type of beer you could find was determined by where your global roots were planted.

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Chocolate of the Month: Evening Cordial

Every once in a while, The Heavenly Chocolate Club® has the opportunity to share a truly elegant, one-of-a-kind chocolate delicacy with our members. This month’s selection is definitely a member of that exclusive club. Aptly named the “Evening Cordial,” it caters to the adult tastebuds, and adheres to the dictionary description of cordial:

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Brazilian Cerrado and Mexican Chiapas

BRAZILIAN CERRADO
— FULL CITY ROAST —
Brazil is the world’s largest grower of coffee, without question. Annual exports often exceed 20 million bags, each 132 pounds of raw, greeen beans. Many people question why the weather in Brazil affects the coffee market. The answer to that is supply and demand. During the summer of 1994, two cold fronts moved through Brazil, causing frost damage to the major growing regions, resulting in the next crop being drastically reduced. With less Brazilian coffee in the market, companies had to turn to other countries to find coffee to fill the hole left by a small Brazilian crop. This made the price of coffee nearly triple over a 30-day period!

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THE CASE OF THE CIGARS . . .

Sounds Like a Mystery — But It’s Not!
No mystery here! We’re talking cigar cases! Even smaller than the typical travel humidors, precious few include humidification devices. The sole function is to protect the contents from bending and crushing. Most are made of high-impact plastic, but leather and metal ones can be found in a size to fit every cigar. Some are compartmentalized to hold several cigars; others have “fingers” – distinct slots that hold one cigar each. The best are softly lined and can pass the “sniff test” — no odor of tanning chemicals, leather glue or plastic to ruin the cigars within.

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Q&A for Wine

“MAY I BRING MY FAVORITE WINE TO A DINNER PARTY?”

Of course you may — but don’t be surprised if your bottle is accepted as a gift by the host, but remains unopened. It’s perfectly possible that it will end up in your host’s wine rack. There’s also a chance the wine for the evening has already been chosen, and yours will be enjoyed by the recipient on another occasion. And yes, it would be inconsiderate to ask that your “gift” be opened and shared.

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