Thursday, January 28, 2010


Grains are shipped directly from farms to the whiskey manufacturer to be stored in silos until needed. The grain is inspected and cleaned to remove all dust and other foreign particles.
All grains except barley are first ground into meal in a gristmill. The meal is then mixed with water and cooked to break down the cellulose walls that contain starch granules. This can be done in a closed pressure cooker at temperatures of up to 311°F (155°C) or more slowly in an open cooker at 212°F (100°C).
Instead of being cooked, barley is malted. The first step in malting barley consists of soaking it in water until it is thoroughly saturated. It is then spread out and sprinkled with water for about three weeks, at which time it begins to sprout. During this germination the enzyme amylase is produced, which converts the starch in the barley into sugars. The sprouting is halted by drying the barley and heating it with hot air from a kiln. For Scotch whiskey, the fuel used in the kiln includes peat, a soft, carbon-rich substance formed when plant matter decomposes in water. The peat gives Scotch whiskey a characteristic smoky taste. The malted barley is then ground like other grains.
Mashing consists of mixing cooked grain with malted barley and warm water. The amylase in the malted barley converts the starch in the other grains into sugars. After several hours the mixture is converted into a turbid, sugar-rich liquid known as mash. (In making Scotch malt whiskey the mixture consists only of malted barley and water. After mashing the mixture is filtered to produce a sugar-rich liquid known as wort.)
The mash or wort is transferred to a fermentation vessel, usually closed in Scotland and open in the United States. These vessels may be made of wood or stainless steel. Yeast is added to begin fermentation, in which the single-celled yeast organisms convert the sugars in the mash or wort to alcohol. The yeast may be added in the form of new, never-used yeast cells (the sweet mash process) or in the form of a portion of a previous batch of fermentation (the sour mash process.) The sour mash method is more often used because it is effective at room temperature and its low pH (high acidity) promotes yeast growth and inhibits the growth of bacteria. The sweet mash method is more difficult to control, and it must be used at temperatures above 80°F (27°C) to speed up the fermentation and to avoid bacterial contamination. After three or four days, the end product of fermentation is a liquid containing about 10% alcohol known as distiller's beer in the United States or wash in Scotland.
Scottish whiskey makers often distill their wash in traditional copper pot stills. The wash is heated so that most of the alcohol (which boils at 172°F [78°C]) is transformed into vapor but most of the water (which boils at 212°F [100°C]) is not. This vapor is transferred back into liquid alcohol in a water-cooled condenser and collected. Most modern distilleries use a continuous still. This consists of a tall cylindrical column filled with a series of perforated plates. Steam enters the still from the bottom, and distiller's beer enters from the top. The beer is distilled as it slowly drips through the plates, and the alcohol is condensed back into a liquid. With either method, the product of the initial distillation—known as low wine—is distilled a second time to produce a product known as high wine or new whiskey, which contains about 70% alcohol.
Water is added to the high wine to reduce its alcohol content to about 50% or 60% for American whiskeys and about 65% or higher for Scotch whiskeys. Scotch whiskeys are aged in cool, wet conditions, so they absorb water and become less alcoholic. American whiskeys are aged in warmer, drier conditions so they lose water and become more alcoholic. Whiskey is aged in wooden barrels, usually made from charred white oak. White oak is used because it is one of the few woods that can hold a liquid without leaking but which also allows the water in the whiskey to move back and forth within the pores of the wood, which helps to add flavor. In the United States these barrels are usually new and are only used once. In most other countries it is common to reuse old barrels. New barrels add more flavor than used barrels, resulting in differences in the taste of American and foreign whiskeys. The aging process is a complex one, still not fully understood, but at least three factors are involved. First, the original mixture of water, alcohol, and congeners react with each other over time. Second, these ingredients react with oxygen in the outside air in oxidation reactions. Third, the water absorbs substances from the wood as it moves within it. (Charring the wood makes these substances more soluble in water.) All these factors change the flavor of the whiskey. Whiskey generally takes at least three or four years to mature, and many whiskeys are aged for ten or fifteen years.
Straight whiskeys and single malt Scotch whiskeys are not blended; that is, they are produced from single batches and are ready to be bottled straight from the barrel. All other whiskeys are blended. Different batches of whiskey are mixed together to produce a better flavor. Often neutral grain spirit is added to lighten the flavor, caramel is added to standardize the color, and a small amount of sherry or port wine is added to help the flavors blend. Blended Scotch whiskey usually consists of several batches of strongly flavored malt whiskeys mixed with less strongly flavored grain whiskeys. A few blends contain only malt whiskeys. Blending is often considered the most difficult and critical process in producing premium Scotch whiskeys. A premium blended Scotch whiskey may contain more than 60 individual malt whiskeys which must be blended in the proper proportions.
Glass is always used to store mature whiskey because it does not react with it to change the flavor. Modern distilleries use automated machinery to produce as many as 400 bottles of whiskey per minute. The glass bottles move down a conveyor belt as they are cleaned, filled, capped, sealed, labeled, and placed in cardboard boxes. The whiskey is ready to be shipped to liquor stores, bars, and restaurants.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Whisky or whiskey is a type of alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barleymalted barleyrye, malted rye, wheat, and maize (corn). Most whiskies are aged in wooden casks, made generally of oak, the exception being some corn liquors.


The grades and variations used to describe rum depend on the location that a rum was produced. Despite these variations the following terms are frequently used to describe various types of rum:
# Light Rums, also referred to as silver rums and white rums. In general, light rum has very little flavor aside from a general sweetness, and serves accordingly as a base for cocktails. Light rums are sometimes filtered after aging to remove any color. The Brazilian Cachaça is generally this type, but some varieties are more akin to "gold rums". The majority of Light Rum comes out of Puerto Rico. Their milder flavor makes them popular for use in mixed-drinks, as opposed to drinking it straight.
# Gold Rums, also called amber rums, are medium-bodied rums which are generally aged. These gain their dark color from aging in wooden barrels (usually the charred white oak barrels that are the byproduct of Bourbon Whiskey). They have more flavor, and are stronger tasting than Silver Rum, and can be considered a midway-point between Silver/Light Rum and the darker varieties
# Spiced Rum: These rums obtain their flavor through addition of spices and, sometimes, caramel. Most are darker in color, and based on gold rums. Some are significantly darker, while many cheaper brands are made from inexpensive white rums and darkened with artificial caramel color.
# Dark Rum, also known as black rum, classes as a grade darker than gold rum. It is generally aged longer, in heavily charred barrels. Dark rum has a much stronger flavor than either light or gold rum, and hints of spices can be detected, along with a strong molasses or caramel overtone. It is used to provide substance in rum drinks, as well as color. In addition to uses in mixed drinks, dark rum is the type of rum most commonly used in cooking. Most Dark Rum comes from areas such as JamaicaHaiti, and Martinique, though two Central American countries, Nicaragua and Guatemala, produced two of the most award-winning dark rums in the world: Flor de Caña and Ron Zacapa Centenario, respectively.
# Flavored Rum: Some manufacturers have begun to sell rums which they have infused with flavors of fruits such as mangoorangecitruscoconut or lime. These serve to flavor similarly themed tropical drinks which generally comprise less than 40% alcohol, and are also often drank neat or on the rocks.
# Overproof Rum is rum which is much higher than the standard 40% alcohol. Most of these rums bear greater than 75%, in fact, and preparations of 151 to 160 proof occur commonly.
# Premium Rum: As with other sipping spirits, such as Cognac and Scotch, a market exists for premium and super-premium rums. These are generally boutique brands which sell very aged and carefully produced rums. They have more character and flavor than their "mixing" counterparts, and are generally consumed without the addition of other ingredients


As with all other aspects of rum production, there is no standard method used for distillation. While some producers work in batches using pot stills, most rum production is done using column still distillation. Pot still output contains more congeners than the output from column stills and thus produces a fuller-tasting rum.
AGEING & BLENDING: Many countries require that rum be aged for at least one year. This aging is commonly performed in used bourbon casks, but may also be performed in stainless steel tanks or other types of wooden casks. The aging process determines the coloring of the Rum. Rum that is aged in oak casks becomes dark, whereas Rum that is aged in stainless steel tanks remains virtually colorless. Due to the tropical climate common to most rum-producing areas, rum matures at a much faster rate than is typical for Scotch or Cognac. An indication of this faster rate is the angels' share, or amount of product lost to evaporation. While products aged in France or Scotland see about 2% loss each year, rum producers may see as much as 10%. After aging, rum is normally blended to ensure a consistent flavor. Blending is the final step in the Rum making process. As part of this blending process, light rums may be filtered to remove any color gained during aging. For darker rums, caramel may be added to the rum to adjust the color of the final product.


FERMENTATION: Most rum produced is made from molasses. Within the Caribbean, much of this molasses is from Brazil. A notable exception is the French-speaking islands where sugarcane juice is the preferred base ingredient.
Yeast and water are added to the base ingredient to start the fermentation process. While some rum producers allow wild yeast to perform the fermentation, most use specific strains of yeast to help provide a consistent taste and predictable fermentation time. Dunder, the yeast-rich foam from previous fermentations, is the traditional yeast source in Jamaica. "The yeast employed will determine the final taste and aroma profile," says Jamaican master blender Joy Spence. Distillers that make lighter rums, such as Bacardi, prefer to use faster-working yeasts. Use of slower-working yeasts causes more esters to accumulate during fermentation, allowing for a fuller-tasting rum. 


Rum is a distilled beverage made from sugarcane by-products such as molasses and sugarcane juice by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak and other barrels.
The majority of the world's rum production occurs in and around the Caribbean and in several Central American and South American countries, such as GuatemalaColombiaVenezuelaGuyanaPuerto Rico, and Brazil. There are also rum producers in places such asAustraliaFiji, the PhilippinesIndiaReunion IslandMauritius, and elsewhere around the world. 


Pomace brandy is produced by fermentation and distillation of the grape skins, seeds, and stems that remain after grapes have been pressed to extract their juice (which is then used to make wine). Most of the pomace brandies are neither aged, nor coloured.
Italian grappa,
French marc,
Portuguese aguardente Bagaceira,
Serbian komovica,
Bulgarian grozdova,
Georgian chacha,
Hungarian törkölypálinka,
Cretan tsikoudia
Cypriot Zivania and
Spanish orujo,
Macedonian komova.


# Applejack is an American apple brandy, made from the distillation of hard cider. It is often freeze distilled.
# Buchu brandy is South African and flavoured with extracts from Agathosma species.
# Calvados is an apple brandy from the French region of Lower Normandy. It is double distilled from fermented apples.
# Damassine is a prune (the fruit of the Damassinier tree) brandy from the Jura Mountains of Switzerland
# Coconut brandy is a brandy made from the sap of coconut flowers.
# Eau-de-vie is a general French term for fruit brandy (or even grape brandy that is not qualified as Armagnac or Cognac, including pomace brandy).
# German Schnaps is fruit brandy produced in Germany or Austria.
# Kirschwasser is a fruit brandy made from cherries.
# Kukumakranka brandy is South African and flavoured with the ripe fruit of the Kukumakranka.
# Palinka is a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. It can only be made of fruits from Hungary, such as plums, apricots, peaches, elderberries, pears, apples or cherries.
# Poire Williams (Williamine) is made from Bartlett pears (also known as Williams pears).
# Rakia is a type of fruit brandy produced in Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; it may be made from plums, apples, quinces, pears, apricots, cherries, mulberries, grapes, or walnuts.
# Slivovice is a strong fruit brandy made from plums; by law, it must contain at least 52% ABV. It is produced in SerbiaSlovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
# Slivovitz is a fruit brandy made from plums. It is a traditional drink in BulgariaBosnia and HerzegovinaCroatiaMacedoniaSerbia, and Slovenia.
# Šlivka (pronounced: Shlyeewca) is plum fruit brandy made in Macedonia.
# Šljivovica (pronounced: Shlyeewoweetza) is plum fruit brandy made in Serbia.
# Tuica is a clear Romanian fruit brandy made from plums, apples, pears, apricots, mulberries, peaches, quinces, or mixtures of these. Romania and Moldova also produce a grape brandy called vin ars (burnt wine) or divin

Friday, January 22, 2010


Fruit brandies are distilled from fruits other than grapes. Apples, plums, peaches, cherries, elderberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apricots are the most commonly used fruits. Fruit brandy usually contains 40% to 45% ABV. It is usually colorless and is customarily drunk chilled or over ice.


Armagnac:  Armagnac is made from grapes of the Armagnac region in Southwest of France. It is single-continuous distilled in a copper still and aged in oaken casks from Gascony or Limousin. Armagnac was the first distilled spirit in France. Armagnacs have a specificity: they offer vintage qualities. Popular brands are DarrozeBaron de SigognacLarressingleDelordLaubadeGélas and Janneau.
American Brandy: American grape brandy is almost always from California. Popular brands include Christian Brothers, Coronet, E&J, KorbelPaul Masson and J. Bavet.
Brandy de Jerez: Brandy de Jerez is a brandy that originates from vineyards around Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. It is used in some sherries and is also available as a separate product.    


1. Grape Brandy
Grape brandy is produced by the distillation of fermented grapes. Grape brandy is best when it is drunk at room temperature from a tulip-shaped glass or a snifter. Often it is slightly warmed by holding the glass cupped in the palm or by gently heating it. However, heating it may cause the alcohol vapor to become too strong, so that the aromas are overpowered.

v     COGNAC: Cognac comes from the Cognac region in France, and is double distilled using pot stills. Popular brands include HineMartellRémyMartin, HennessyRagnaud-SabourinDelamain and Courvoisier. The brandy abbreviatios are as follows:
VO: Very Old, 10-15 years

 VOP:  Very Old Pale, 15-20 years

 VSO: Very Superior Old, 20 -25 years

 VSOP: Very Superior Old Pale, 25-40 years

 XO: Extra Old, 50-70 years

 Age of Cognac, according to stars:
* * * * * 15-20 years
* * * * 10-15 years
* * * 7-10 years
* * 5-6 years
* 3-4 years 



# The first step in making fine brandies is to allow the fruit juice (typically grape) to ferment. This usually means placing the juice, or must as it is known in the distilling trade, in a large vat at 68-77°F (20-25°C) and leaving it for five days. During this period, natural yeast present in the distillery environment will ferment the sugar present in the must into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The white wine grapes used for most fine brandy usually ferment to an alcohol content of around 10%.
# Fine brandies are always made in small batches using pot stills. A pot still is simply a large pot, usually made out of copper, with a bulbous top.
# The pot still is heated to the point where the fermented liquid reaches the boiling point of alcohol. The alcohol vapors, which contain a large amount of water vapor, rise in the still into the bulbous top.
# The vapors are funneled from the pot still through a bent pipe to a condenser where the vapors are chilled, condensing the vapors back to a liquid with a much higher alcohol content. The purpose of the bulbous top and bent pipe is to allow undesirable compounds to condense and fall back into the still. Thus, these elements do not end up in the final product.
# Most fine brandy makers double distill their brandy, meaning they concentrate the alcohol twice. It takes about 9 gal (34 1) of wine to make I gal (3.8 1) of brandy. After the first distillation, which takes about eight hours, 3,500 gal (13,249 1) of wine have been converted to about 1,200 gal (4,542 1) of concentrated liquid (not yet brandy) with an alcohol content of 26-32%. The French limit the second distillation (la bonne chauffe) to batches of 660 gal (2,498 1). The product of the second distillation has an alcohol content of around 72%. The higher the alcohol content the more neutral (tasteless) the brandy will be. The lower the alcohol content, the more of the underlying flavors will remain in the brandy, but there is a much greater chance that off flavors will also make their way into the final product.
 # The brandy is not yet ready to drink after the second distillation. It must first be placed in oak casks and allowed to age, an important step in the production process. Most brandy consumed today, even fine brandy, is less than six years old. However, some fine brandies are more than 50 years old. As the brandy ages, it absorbs flavors from the oak while its own structure softens, becoming less astringent. Through evaporation, brandy will lose about 1% of its alcohol per year for the first 50 years or so it is "on oak."
# Fine brandy can be ready for bottling after two years, some after six years, and some not for decades. Some French cognacs are alleged to be from the time of Napoleon. However, these claims are unlikely to be true. A ploy used by the cognac makers is to continually remove 90% of the cognac from an old barrel and then refill it with younger brandy. It does not take many repetitions of this tactic to dilute any trace of the Napoleonic-age brandy.
# Fine brandies are usually blended from many different barrels over a number of vintages. Some cognacs can contain brandy from up to a 100 different barrels. Because most brandies have not spent 50 years in the barrel, which would naturally reduce their alcohol contents to the traditional 40%, the blends are diluted with distilled water until they reach the proper alcohol content. Sugar, to simulate age in young brandies, is added along with a little caramel to obtain a uniform color consistency across the entire production run

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Brandy (from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn—"burnt wine")  is a spirit produced by distilling wine, the wine having first been produced by fermenting grapes. Brandy generally contains 36%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink. While some brandies are aged in wooden casks, most are coloured with caramel coloring to imitate the effect of such aging.
Brandy can also be made from fermented fruit (i.e., other than grapes) and from pomace. 


Column stills behave like a series of single pot stills, formed in a long vertical tube. The tube is filled with either porous packing or bubble plates. The rising vapor, which is low in alcohol, starts to condense in the cooler, higher level of the column. The temperature of each successively higher stage is slightly lower than the previous stage, so the vapor in equilibrium with the liquid at each stage is progressively more enriched with alcohol. Whereas a single pot still charged with wine might yield a vapor enriched to 40-50% alcohol, a column still can achieve a vapor alcohol content of 96%. A continuous still can, as its name suggests, sustain a constant process of distillation. This, along with the higher concentration of alcohol in the final distillate, is its main advantage over a pot still, which can only work in batches. Continuous stills are charged with pre-heated feed liquor at some point in the column. Heat (usually in the form of steam) is supplied to the base of the column. Stripped (alcohol-free) liquid is drawn off at the base, while almost pure alcohol is condensed after migrating to the top of the column. Column stills are frequently used in the production of grain whisky.


column still, also called a continuous stillpatent still or Coffey still, is a variety of still consisting of two columns invented in 1826 by Robert Stein, a Clackmannanshire distiller and first used at the Cameron Bridge Grain Distillery. The design was enhanced and patented in 1831 by an IrishmanAeneas Coffey. The first column (called the analyzer) has steam rising and wash descending through several levels. The second column (called the rectifier) carries the alcohol from the wash where it circulates until it can condense at the required strength.  


The best known distilled beverages are:
v Brandy
v Rum
v Whisky / Whiskey
v Gin
v Vodka
v Tequilla 


The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning "breath", but also "soul, courage, vigor“.
Spirit is a high concentration potable alcoholic beverage that is obtained by the distillation of a low concentration liquid containing alcohol. The raw materials used could be wine, sugar solution or fermented grain mash.
As alcohol is separated from the fermented liquid, certail other flavours remain with the alcohol known as “congeners” and give the spirit their distinct characteristics.   Also ageing the spirits and the containers in which they are aged give unique characteristics to distilled spirits. 


There is also one important factor that one should always remember when matching wine with food - Cuisine from a particular country or region will inevitably pair best with the wines native in that country or region. This is largely due to the fact that wine and cuisine grow up together in a country. Where this is changing somewhat is in those areas where old wine making traditions are being replaced with more globally acceptable practices and styles. Generally, though, when all else fails - look to the native wines of a particular country to make the best dining partner.



Much of the synergy in this match is due to the fact that the stew is prepared with the wine being served with it. This is really true of any dish cooked with wine - the match will be best if the dish is prepared with the same wine being served. It is a fallacy that one should cook with inferior wines. When one does so, one produces inferior food



Claret, or more formally, red wine from Bordeaux is often tough, tannic and highly earthy and complex. These elements pair wonderfully with the gamey, robust intensity of the grilled beef. This is especially true in the case of dry aged beef and older Claret. The rich complexity of the beef blends beautifully with the subtle, unfolding complexity in the wine. If you can't find Claret, per se, then look for similarly bodied wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Cabernet Franc. 


Oysters with Chablis
Chablis hails from Burgundy, France in a region where prehistoric, fossilized seashells make up most of the lower soil strata. Here the grapes are infused with the taste of chalk and the sea. What could be better to pair with the briny, chalky flavors found in fresh, raw oysters? Nothing, I think. If you can't find Chablis, then try to find a similarly weighted white wine that has seen little time in oak and comes from a region with plenty of mineral and limestone in the soil 


Foie Gras with Sauternes
Like a marriage made in Heaven, foie gras finds its perfect complement in the company of the famed white dessert wine from Bordeaux. What probably makes this pair work best is the sweet, honeyed character of the wine combined with its naturally high acidity that cuts through the rich, fattiness of the duck liver. The often-gamey quality of the liver finds a welcome cushion in the nectar like quality of the wine. If you can't find true Sauternes, then you can often substitute a similar botrytis-affected, dessert wine. 


There are a number of foods that always pose the greatest challenge when paired with wine. Here are a few:
Vinegar or vinegar-based sauces
Vinegar is wine that has been acted on by a bacteria called acetobacter, which turns the alcohol in the wine into acetic acid and water. Another term for the process is called "souring". Because of this, most wines tend to taste spoiled in the presence of vinegar. Look for clean, bright, high acid wines to pair the best, whites being most favorable.
Tomato or other similarly high acid foods
Especially high acid levels in food make it tough to maintain balance. For this reason, look for high acid wines, like those made with Barbera or Vernaccia grapes to provide the greatest balance. Less acidic wines will be overpowered by highly acidic foods.
Artichoke and asparagus
The complexity and often-weedy flavors in both these vegetables make for tough wine pairing. Look for high acid, grassy wines, like Old World Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire to blend most favorably.
Egg and egg-based dishes
The sulfurous quality of the egg has a similar as vinegar, imparting an unpleasant flavor to softer wines. Look for clean, bright high acid wines to pair best, almost always white.
Cranberry sauce and other similar relishes
The cacophony of flavors that abound in cranberry sauce and pickle relish make them near impossible to pair with wine. As with vinegar and eggs, look for clean, bright and high acid wines.
The variability of chocolate in sweetness and texture can be difficult to pair well with wine. For sweeter chocolate, look for sweeter wines to make an effective pair, making sure to maintain balance in the weight and body of each. For semi-sweet or even bittersweet chocolate, look for drier wines to make an effective pair, again making sure to maintain balance in the weight and body of each.

The Five Rules for Matching Wine with Food

Look for compatible weights and bodies. The essence of this rule embodies the age old 'red wine with red meat, white wine with fish and white meat". In its simplest form, make sure the weight and body of the dish is consistent with the weight and body of the wine.
Look for compatible acidity levels. When pairing food with wine make sure that the acidity level in both are about the same. A good example is a dish like lemon chicken paired with a high acid Vernaccia from Italy.
Look for complementary flavors and complexities. Food and wine shouldn't fight one another for your attention. Instead they should help one another achieve synergy, complimenting each other's best traits. NOTE - There is a corollary to this rule that suggests looking for contradictory, but balancing flavors and complexity. If done correctly, the wine and food match will work, but this approach is much more complex and demands that the chef really knows the dish and the wine very well. Approach the corollary with caution.
When matching wine to a food with a pronounced sauce, pair to the flavors in the sauce. When pairing wine with food, make sure you match according to the strongest traits of each. In a fruit glacé-type sauce one would look for a wine with forward and overt fruitiness to pair best.
When matching wine to a food without a pronounced sauce, pair to the flavors in the main ingredient. This is really a re-statement of rule four, except emphasizing that in the absence of a strong sauce, look to the flavor characteristics of the main ingredient instead


2nd Principle: The Five Basic Taste Sensations
Sweetness: Related to amount of residual sugar in both foods and wines; sensed by taste buds located towards at the tip of the tongue
Sour/tartness: Degree of acidity in both foods and wines (more so in whites than in reds); tasted at the center and sides of the tongue
Saltiness: Not a significant component in wine, but important in how a wine relates to it in foods; tasted somewhere in the center of the tongue
Bitterness: Tasted in many foods, and in the tannin content of red wines (to a lesser degree in whites); tasted towards the rear of the tongue
Umami: The flattering, amino acid related sense of "deliciousness" found in many foods, and to a limited extent in wines (location of "umami taste buds" on palate indeterminate)

3rd Principle: Key Tactile Sensations
Density, body or weight: The sense of light vs. heavy contributed by proteins, fats and/or carbs in foods, and primarily related to degree of alcohol content in wines (bolstered by tannin in reds)
Soft/crisp textures: Tactile contrasts in foods; and in wines, smooth or easy vs. hard, sharp or angular
Spicy/hot: Feel of heat when chiles, peppers or horseradishes are used in foods; not felt as a tactile sensation in wines, but suggested in aromas and flavors ("spice" notes)

4th Principle: Flavor Is Aroma Related
Without the sense of smell, neither foods nor wines have "flavor." Example: the taste and tactile sensations in an apple, a pineapple, and an onion are similar in that they are all sweet, crisp yet juicy, with some degree of acidity, but they all give a distinctly different flavor perceived through the sense of smell.
By the same token, both Cabernet Sauvignon and a Petite Sirah are two types of red wine that tend to be dark, full bodied, dry, and fairly hard in tannin; but the Cabernet gives aromas and flavors of herbal, minty, berry/cassis aromas and flavors, whereas the Petite Sirah gives ripe berry/blueberry and black peppercorn-like aromas and flavors.

5th Principle: The Two Ways Foods and Wines Are Successfully Matched
When there are similar taste sensations in both a dish and a wine (example: the buttery sauce in a fish dish enhanced by the creamy or buttery texture of an oak barrel fermented white wine)
When sensations in a wine contrast with sensations in a dish to positive effect (example: the sweetness of a white wine balancing the saltiness of a dish like ham or cured sausage, and vice-versa)

6th Principle: Intrinsically Balanced Foods & Wines Make the Best Matches
No matter what your personal taste, invariably you discover this natural occurrence: the easiest foods and the easiest wines to find a match for are the ones with their own intrinsic sense of harmony and balance. This is because taste buds and sensations of tactile qualities work for you collectively.

Sula launches India’s first Grape Spirit based Whisky, ECLIPSE, in Delhi market

Sula Vineyards, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Artisan Spirits, has launched India’s first Premium blended whisky with Grape Sp...