December 13, 2017

4 Booze Myths Demythstified

I’ve been dealing quite a bit with the public lately in regards to booze, and it surprises me how much the incorrect myths regarding beverages become entrenched in the minds of people. I wanted to set the record straight on a few things to better educate the readers who enjoy a tasty glass of EtOH (that’s the common chemical abbreviation for ethanol). Myth #1 – The Sulfite-Free Wine The first myth that needs dispelling is sulfites in wine. There is no such thing as sulfite free wine. All fermented beverages will have at least some amount of trace sulfites as they’re…

The Wisdom of Miyagi

by Joel Mann One of the great cheesey movies from the 80’s is The Karate Kid. Say what you will about the acting, the general plot line, or even the ability of a teenager to learn martial arts at a black belt level in a few months. The real gem of the movie is Mr. Miyagi and his philosophy of life. Balance is the whole key. It’s the old wisdom of all things in moderation. A bit apropos tied into a discussion concerning alcohol. I bring the topic up not to beat the drum of a teetotaler or neo-prohibitionist, as…

Recent Adventures on the Drinking Trail

The winter season is always one of my favorite times of the year. In the booze world, it coincides with the release of all the fantastic seasonal beverages for fall and winter, particularly in the beer world. I’ve been busy as can be personally the last several months, so it’s always nice to take a moment to relax and enjoy the simple pleasure of a good meal and a tasty beverage. To start the New Year, I’m just going to recap a few of my recent enjoyable experiences in the drinking world, some seasonal, some not, that you hopefully get…

Remedial Beer

I’ve spent years educating myself on the topic of booze, and sometimes take for granted that not everyone may understand what, to me, seems like common knowledge. I encounter frequent misinformation from the average consumer as a result, so every now and then I just feel the need to give an education lesson. I almost debated calling this article Beer 101, but that titling format gets far too over-used, and let’s face it, this is information you should know well before you ever dream of college studies. So I went with Remedial Beer, because this really is the 1+1=2 basics,…

The Beer That Conquered the World

What image comes to your mind when I say beer? Is it the dark, inky, black body and creamy white head of Guinness? Is it the cloudy, opaque appearance and creamsicle hue of a hefeweizen? Most likely it’s a beer with a light straw color and bright clarity similar to a Pilsner, as roughly 9 out of every 10 beers brewed and consumed in the world is an imitation of this Czech standard. How did this beer come into being and make its way around the globe to be imitated by brewers worldwide? Let’s go to the town of Plzen and…

Drinking on the Dark Side

I’m going to tack in a different direction and discuss that malty cousin to wine, also known as beer. Some people may wonder what a wine column is doing discussing beer. In truth, I think of my musings as an equal opportunity chance to highlight all tasty beverages of the adult persuasion. Besides, those that know the wine industry are familiar with the cliché, “It takes a lot of beer to make great wine.” And this is the best time of year for beer. The fall and winter months bring the return of all the tasty seasonals that warm you…

Colder is Better and Other Wise Words

I once again want to tackle the myths that seem to stubbornly hang on regarding beverages. Call them what you will, but most are nothing more than rumor, second-hand innuendo, and wives’ tales that somehow get accepted as fact by the uneducated masses. Just because some bartender at your favorite club swears it’s true because it happened to his friend, doesn’t make it so. So strap in and learn a little something about what actually goes on in your glass so you don’t make the beverage mistakes that do result in a lousy tasting product. The issue at hand that…

Beer: The Other Food Pairing

The dragon the wine world forever chases is food pairing. It started with the simple mantra of white wine with fish, red wine with meat. Now there seems to be a whole industry searching out all the flavor nuances of a particular dish and what wine matches best with that. It’s been a boon for the culinary world as the diversity of tastes from cuisines around the globe has caused a food renaissance in the United States that has taken us from the bland meat and potatoes of years past to vibrant, bold flavors that enhance the pleasure of eating…

The Coming of the Can

The current be-all and end-all package of the beverage industry is the can. Cans are sturdy when filled, lightweight, air tight, block light from the contents inside, can hold carbonated backpressure if designed properly, are easily recycled, and with the proper internal sealant are virtually non-reactive with the contents they hold. Cans take up less space. Thin metal is very conductive, so cans heat faster if pasteurization is required, and cool quicker for your enjoyment. Plus, a shiny metal surface is the ideal canvas to paint your logo and product brand for display. The brewing industry caught on to this…

The Race to Zero

One recent trend I’ve noticed in the beverage world is the low calorie drink. It started with the rush to have the lowest number on light beers. It’s morphed into cocktails now with ready-to-serve brands geared towards the diet market. I’m not a fan of the trend in the slightest. Not because I disagree with healthy eating (or drinking), but because I disagree that these products are necessarily healthy choices versus more traditional options. That, and after trying many of them, I seriously believe consumers are short changing themselves on flavor just so they can have an extra serving of…

O’zapft is!

Even as a wine guy, I’ve always kept a fondness for beer (it does take a lot of beer to make great wine after all). Arguably the greatest beer event in the world, the annual Oktoberfest in Munich, will be ending as this issue goes to press. It’s an event that embodies what most people know of as stereotypical Germany. It’s one of my favorite holidays, not simply because beer is involved, but it’s a signal for the change in season that brings with it the robust flavors of autumn and winter: dark holiday brews, hearty cold-weather meals, holiday festivities…

Key Lime Pie Battle

LEGAL NEWS: A Florida state legislator who was locked in a fierce battle over making key lime pie Florida’s official pie has given up. Rep. Dwight Stansel, a pecan farmer, lobbied for pecan pie to be chosen. He later gave in to public sentiment and key lime pie is now the official pie of Florida. Arizona legislators are rumored to be considering lemons as the state fruit, but are still arguing over who should pick them. MODERN MORALITY NEWS: At two Rolling Hills Consolidated Library branches in Savannah and St. Joseph, Missouri, a children’s book about two male penguins that…