Tuesday, February 21, 2012

South African Wine

The history of wine is South Africa can be dated back to the 17th century. It began back in 1659, when a Dutch East Indian Company was exploring the area. A Dutch surgeon named Kan Van Reibeeck produced his own grapes and wine (planting vineyeards), he did this to help prevent scurvy among the sailors.

South African Wine is difficult to find – with the supermarket versions not being very impressive. South African wine does have a good reputation, however, with good high quality wines being available directly from the country itself. These wines are obviously difficult to find but internet shops are helping make them more accessable.

There are many wine regions in South Africa, including Constantia, Stellenbosch and Paarl, as well as many others.

One of the main attractions of buying South African wine is that it’s very well priced. Some examples of popular South African wine include Linton Park Shiraz, Standveld First Sighting Pinot Noir and Zevenwacht Primitivo Stellenbosch. All of these wines are priced under £20, with Linton Park Shiraz being available online for £10.

The Benefits of Drinking Natural Wine


Natural Wine is hard to come by and there’s confusion concerning what a natural wine actually is. Some wine is referred to as “organic wine”, but these wines aren’t natural wines as they usually contain sulphites and have had some form of chemical tampering.

Although it’s impossible to have a wine without any sulphites, natural wine doesn’t have any additional sulphites added (sulphites are added to most wines to preserve their shelf life and help keep Rosé pink in colour). Natural wine is also made without the use of chemicals, sugars or artificial yeasts.

There is no legalisation stating what a natural wine is, so the term is often used for what the producers believe to be natural. The term is rarely seen in supermarkets, as they stock wines which have to last a long time.

To find natural wine you will most likely have to search online and see what the experts have found.

There are many benefits to drinking natural wine, one of the main reasons people search for natural wine is if they have intolerance to sulphites, giving them bad reactions when drinking wine.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Cigar Cutters



Cigar Cutters are a very important accessory for cigar smokers; allowing a quick, precise cut for the desired draw. Cigar cutters are mechanical devices which cut one end off a cigar, allowing it to be smoked properly. Some cigars are cut on both ends, others are twirled, but the majority has one end straight cut and one end in a cap that needs to be cut off for the cigar to be smoked.

There are three main types of cigar cutters; straight cut, punch cut and V-cut. The straight cut is the most common, causing both ends of the cigar to be exposed. The punch cut is used to cut a hole in the cigar cap, which is preferred by some as it exposes less of the filler and binder, also reducing the chance of getting tobacco in the mouth. The V-cut cuts a clean gash into the gap; good V-cutters penetrate deeper into the filler than straight cuts, but cheap V-cutters can cut too deep into the cigar, resulting with an uneven burn.

South African Wine

South Africa’s history of wine dates back to 1659. South African Wine production is centered around Cape Town, and there are major vineyard and production in Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

The South African wine industry can be traced back to explorations of the Dutch East Indian Company. A Dutch surgeon by the name Kan Van Riebeeck planted vineyards to produce wines and grapes, intended to help prevent scurvy amongst sailors.

South African wine is mostly made in small quantities but comes at very affordable prices. Buying wine directly from South Africa will give you a wine that might surprise, unlike the supermarket bought versions which are generally unimpressive. Many people have difficulty in the UK understanding what the fuss about South African wine is, but the truth is there are some very high quality wines which are just hard to come by.

Wine regions in South Africa include Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Breede River Valley, Overberg, and Klein Karoo.

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

The centre of the New Zealand’s wine industry is in the Marlborough Region with its unique Marlborough wines. The Marlborough Region is located in the North East of the south island of New Zealand and is the largest wine district in terms of production and vineyards.

The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is probably one of the most well known wines to come from the region and is now sold all over the world.

Since the first grape growers started planting in Marlborough during the 1970s, there has been extensive growth and fame in the wine industry.

The Marlborough wine region represents over 60% of total vineyard area in the country. The country is unique as there is a contrast between hot sunny days and cool nights, helping vintners extend the ripening period of their vines.

The cooler Marlborough climate has given the world a new style of wine with it’s remarkable Sauvignon Blanc.

Marlborough’s vineyard plantings are mostly around Renwick, Blenheim and Cloudy Bay in the Wairau valley.

New Zealand’s successful wine festival, The Marlborough Wine Festival, is held here, sampling a selection of Marlborough wines, local produce and gourmet cuisine.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Natural Wines



There is some confusion over what a natural wine actually is and there are many different terms to learn if you want to find good quality, natural wines. Some wine is referred to as organic, but an organic wine is not technically sulphite free or free from chemical tampering.

Natural Wine is produced to contain minimal amounts of sulphites (technically it’s impossible to have a wine without sulphites in), but natural wines are made without the use or chemicals, sugars or artificial yeasts.

Unfortunately there is no definitive legislation stated what a natural wine is, so many different wine producers state their wine is natural based on what they believe the wine should be like. The term isn’t often seen in supermarkets, which is good, because supermarket bought wine rarely passes for natural!

Trying to find a true natural wine can be quite a task, but there is hope, Good Wine Online is a website with a large catalogue of natural wines which have been tried and tasted.