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Jun052013

An Introduction to Brandy


Brandy is an alcoholic beverage that is made through the
distilling of wine.  The word brandy is
derived from the word brandewjin, a
Dutch term which means ‘burned wine’ as the wine liquor undergoes distillation
process to produce a spirit that is exquisite and highly enjoyable.  The truth is brandies are widely popular as
drinks consumed after-dinner.  Nearly all
brandies are 80% proof or 40% alcohol percentage.


There are generally three types of brandy – grape, pomace,
and fruit.  Grape is made through the
distilling of wine; pomace is made using leftover pulp, seeds, stems, and skin
from wine production with the term being known differently in different places;
fruit on the other hand is basically the adding for different fruits to create
different flavors.


The distillation process is very important in the making of
brandy.  This is because by following a
gentler and slower method, they are able to let out aromatic flavors and
elements within the raw materials of the wine. 
Think of it as boiling fruit at low flames and high flames.  The high flame cooks the material quickly,
while the low flame allows the intense aroma and flavor of the fruit out, thus
achieving a more aromatic soup.  This is
similar to the distilling of brandy. 
Even though the process in making brandy differs with each distillery,
they all follow the slower and gentler method.


There are four steps needed in the making of brandy:


1.     Fermentation – this is the fermenting for fruit
so that the yeast can turn sugar into alcohol.


2.     Distillation – this is the process wherein the
fermented juice from the fruit is distilled in order to get the spirit.


3.     Aging – after distillation, the spirit is aged
in wooden oak barrels.  This is the
process which can differentiate the qualities of other brandies from each
other.  The type of oak used, the
temperature in which the aging brandy is stored, and the length of time the
brandy is aged all determines the quality and outcome of the brandy.


4.     Blending – this is mostly done for production
and it is performed so as to blend the brandy to taste.


Differentiating the Brandy
Labels:


When you buy brandy, it is important that you understand the
different rating systems given to each product so you will be able to discern
the different qualities and conditions based on the indicators they are labeled
with.


·        A.C.
– this denotes that the brandy has been aged 2 years on wooden oak barrels.


·        V.S. – this
means ‘very special’ and denotes that the brandy has been aged 3 years on
wooden oak barrels.


·        V.S.O.P.
– this means ‘very special old pale’ and denotes that the brandy has been aged
5 years on wooden oak barrels.


·        X.O. – this
means ‘extra old’ and denotes that the brandy has been aged for not less than 6
years on wooden oak barrels.


·        Vintage –
the brandy is stored on wooden oak barrels until bottling time.  The vintage date is shown on the label.


·        Hors D'age – this means ‘beyond age.’ These types of brandies have been aged
very long and serve as a mark for high quality product that is beyond the
official age scale.

 

Visit RSA Course Guide for additional information on spirits and alcoholic beverages.



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Categories: Cat
Jun042013

Getting Into Wine

Wine drinking is very healthy and a glass of wine each night is highly recommended for adults to gain the health benefits of wine.


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Categories: Cat
May152013

Drinking Alcohol and Its Effects

When people drink alcohol, not everyone will have or experience the same effect.  The different types of alcoholic drinks available also create certain effect which varies for each individual.  To measure the intoxication of a person, BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration level is used.  This is a more reliable way of measuring the intoxication of each person rather than counting the number of bottles they have indulged in.

The effect of alcohol can be felt in just a few minutes after consuming it.  The peak Blood Alcohol Concentration can be measured half an hour after the initial drink.  Our body is only able to metabolize a single standard drink of alcohol within one hour.  This means that if you continuously consume alcohol, you will have a much higher BAC reading.  There are multiple factors that can affect BAC reading, this would include age, gender, weight, alcohol experience, health condition, and most of all, the type of alcoholic drink you consumed.

Alcohol has without doubt can affect behavior.  With low BAC levels of 0.05%, many report of having a sense of well-being.  This is actually the point wherein a person has boosted confidence and becomes relatively more talkative.  Increasing the BAC levels to 0.08%, a person’s mobility and judgment can be impaired.  At this point, decision making and inhibition are all compromised.  At BAC levels of 0.15%, coordination, speech, and balance are impaired.  This is basically what you call highly intoxicated because under this level, people begin to nauseate or vomit.  At BAC levels of 0.30%, a person can suffer blackouts, loss of consciousness, loss of sphincter control, and loss of locomotion.  Above 0.30%, death is even possible.

Alcohol intoxication is actually very dangerous, particularly if that person does not have a company who is sober enough.  One particular dangerous situation is driving.  According to statistics, more than 30% of all road accidents involve drunk drivers.  Additionally, more than 30% of severe falls as well as drowning involve alcohol intoxication.  Domestic violence, rape, child abuse, and suicide are often also linked with alcohol use.  This perspective is for extreme results only.  More commonly, alcohol intoxication leads to hangovers, minor traffic incidents, as well as lost productivity.

Many have studied extensively the long-term effects of alcohol on the body.  They have discovered that certain health issues like cardiovascular disease, liver disease, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, erectile dysfunction, sterility, malnutrition, and mental disorders are all linked to individuals who continuously abuse alcohol on a daily basis.  Of course, other long-term effects of alcohol abuse would be on relationships, career, and finances.  It is not uncommon to find alcoholics having legal problems.

Pregnant women who take chances and consume alcohol have very high chances of harming the development of the fetus.  Additionally, women who breastfeed and consume alcohol will have a negative impact on the breastfeeding baby.  Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should never resort to drinking alcohol because it greatly affects the future development of their child.  In worse cases, their babies may even become retarded due to the effect of alcohol on their child’s brain development.

For additional information, visit RSA Guide Online.

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Categories: Cat
May152013

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