Thursday, July 12, 2012

Caring for your Cigar Humidor

Cigar humidors are something which can vary in price, whether ranging from relatively inexpensively to thousands of pounds. Whatever the price however, you still have to care for it and make sure that it is properly seasoned.

Many cigar smokers who keep their cigars in a humidor are unaware how to properly season their case, which is understandable, as they don’t usually come with instructions.

The purpose of this article is to tell you the correct way of caring for your cigar humidor, and clear up any misconceptions people may have on it.

Seasoning a humidor is a very important part in caring for a new humidor, regardless of price or quality. The insides of a humidor are most often lined with either Spanish cedar or mahogany. These woods are popular because they are incredibly good at retaining moisture, and have a natural anti-fungal agent, which works to repel mold. The wood would have been kiln dried, and if you only fill up the humidification device, then this kiln dried wood would just soak up all of the moisture.

In order to season a humidor correctly and properly, you need to get hold of distilled water, and a fresh new sponge. Soak the sponge with the distilled water and wipe down the inside of the humidor, making sure that every inch of the humidor’s interior has been wiped generously. Then you should fill the humidification device according to the specifications, and then once again to saturate the sponge, before leaving it inside the humidor, then close the lid and let it sit for around 24 hours. After, take the sponge out, and once more wipe down the interior wood. Refill the humidification device, and your humidor is now correctly and properly seasoned.

This is how the standard desktop humidor works, the Spanish cedar or mahogany retains any humidity, and the humidification device replenishes the moisture to the wood. For this reason you need to make sure that your humidor is properly seasoned in order to ensure that it works. Another point of note, there is a myth regarding variable humidity, that for a drop in temperature, you are required to compensate with an increase of humidity, and vice versa. This is a completely false, yet common misconception. The moisture level always needs to be around 70% regardless of temperature. By taking in these aspects of care for your humidor, you are sure to keep your cigars in the best condition.

Regularly seasoning a humidor and not needlessly tampering with humidity levels will ensure that your cigars are kept at a high quality for years to come, as well as the efficiency of your cigar humidor.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

French Wine


French Wine production predates the Roman Empire, so no surprises that its one the best countries for wine making in the world. Famous for the wine that the country produces, because of it many regions, rich experience and varieties of grape it has a range of diverse flavours that so many people love and enjoy. The most popular wine making regions in France are Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone and Champagne; these regions are now central to the wine industry, and product’s are exported all over the world becoming role models. There are also many southern regions in France that produce popular wine that you can enjoy every day with many being extremely good value for money.

France has the second largest vineyard space in the world, after Spain. They also produce the most wine a year out of any country. In France there are thousands of wine producers and grape farmers who all work in conjunction to make a variety of different wines, some of the finest in the world which are available to drink worldwide.

During the Roman Empire wine production boomed to a degree to which emperor Demoitian commanded that all Vineyards outside of Italy be uprooted. When the replanting of vineyards were permitted, they extended back to Northern France, Germany and Southern England. In the middle ages, Monasteries looked after the vineyards and produced it for the celebrating mass, however in the French Revolution; a lot of Vineyards owned by the church were confiscated. The 19th century saw a lot of vineyards fall victim to pests and diseases, along with two world wars which endangered the industry. This was when the AOC or Appellation d’Origine Controlee was established in 1935, which insured the authenticity of wine. So for example only wine from the Champagne region can be called Champagne.

The Bordeaux region is located on the Atlantic coast and is the most important wine growing region in France and the World. Its Vineyard covers 550,000 acres and production amounts around to 65 million Gallons. The best wines here go by the names of the chateaus in which they are made. Mainly recognized as a red wine producing region with blends including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Bordeaux is an area that is gifted with natural resources perfect for producing wine, making it one of the world’s capitals for winemaking.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand Wine

The Marlborough region of the south of New Zealand is renowned for its quality Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. These have a distinctive aromatic fruity, crisp character with a fresh aroma and vibrant unmistakable flavors of gooseberries and citrus. This world famous type of Sauvignon comes partly from the climate of the region, searing hot sun by day but nice and cool by night, so a lot of freshness from the acidity is retained in to the grapes. The ripening period is long and slow, this extended amount of time in the autumn helps to enrich the distinctive flavor of the wine. The unique buildup of the soil and maritime climate allows a long steady growing season in which the grapes are allowed to develop a natural balance of acids.

Sauvignon Blanc is taking the world by storm, becoming more and more popular because of its delightfully prominent flavour, and because of people searching for a new alternative to Chardanay. Although the Sauvignon Blancs grape originated in Borderaux and Loire Valley France, it has now been introduced to a variety of different countries, such as Australia, and as we already know New Zealand. The most desirable place for plantings in Marlborough is in sandy soils over slate shingles, because of the climate it is impossible to have a vineyard over 80 miles from the coast, this way the soil still has enough moisture to support such a plant. Wines coming from here usually prove to be a beautifully vibrant mouthful, and the year of 2010 vintage in Marlborough is probably the best vintage produced since the famously stunning harvest of 2001. It is said to be the flavour compounds of methoxypyrazines that induce that acidic fruity flavor that has made this wine so beautifully desirable. Without a doubt one of the most refined wines to drink at the moment, highly recommended.