Chapter 3Blog
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The wine closure dilemma

The wine closure dilemma

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The wine closure dilemma It is said that most of the wine consumers prefer the traditional cork stopper as the classic cork enables the wine to breathe and hence further develop its aroma in the bottle. Hence for many wine consumers a cork bottle stopper suggests quality. But is that a widespread believe or the proven truth? Let’s take a close look at various options how to close a wine bottle and its pros and cons. The very traditional cork bottle stopper The classical cork bottle stopper is made out of cork – a natural product derived from the cork oak tree. It is the outermost layer of the bark. Already the ancient Greeks and Romans used this material to close their wine bottles. Pros: -better wine aging process for bottles stored longer than a year as the bottle is not hermetically closed. If bottles are stored for less than a year the impact of a cork bottle stopper on the wine aging process can be neglected. -Cork can compensate minimalistic errors in an uneven bottle production as the material can adjust to the bottleneck. -Renewable material -recyclable -tradition   Cons: - Cork taint or wine fault: a musty smell caused by microorganism living in the cork. -Complicate storage: A bottle closed with cork should be stored horizontally and in a place with constant temperature and humidity -It is a rather expensive method for closing a wine bottle   The screw cap The screw cap for wine bottles was invented in the late 1950s in France. The screw closure technique is predominantly used in Australia and New Zealand. Pros: -The wine aging process is slower than using cork as the screw caps keep oxygen out for a longer time than the traditional cork bottle stoppers. - easy to open and reclose - Easy storage: Bottles with screw cap can be stored either vertically or horizontally moreover changes in storage temperature or air humidity do not have a huge impact on the wine quality. Cons: -There is a need of a perfect bottleneck: unevenness in the glass leads to imperfect wine storage -image of a “cheap wine” -no classical “pop” sound when opening the bottle.   The synthetic cork bottle stopper Synthetic cork bottle stoppers are made out of plastic compounds. It is recommended to store those wine bottles up to two years as the synthetic material will change its composition. Pros: -causes the same “pop” sound when opening the wine bottle. -High level of isolation Cons: -The synthetic cork bottle stopper is not biodegradable. - Danger of a potential “chemical” wine aroma caused by the synthetic closure. -As hard to open as the classical cork bottle stopper.   Vino-Seal Vino-Seal also known as Vinolok is a closure mechanism for wine bottles and represents the newest invention in this field. It was invented in 2004 by a US company. The Vino-Seal is a glass stopper with a small silicone ring which garantees a hermeneutic storage of the beverage. Pros: -elegant design - hermeneutic storage - easy to open and close Cons: -rather expensive and complicated method for closing bottles -Once the bottle is opened the closeness factor is not that high compared to other closure options. These bottles should not be stored horizontally. -no classical “pop” sound when opening the bottle.   Zork The Zork mechanism was invented in 2006 in Australia. The closure consists of three parts: a rather robust outer cap, an inner metal film which prevents the wine from oxidation and a plunger which causes the classical “pop” when opening the bottle. Pros: -causes the same “pop” sound when opening the wine bottle. -easy to open and reclose - no special bottleneck needed - also a small number of bottles can be closed by using this method. - all the materials used can be recycled. Cons: -it is a rather expensive method to close bottles   Summing up one can conclude that there exist a wide range of opportunities of how to close wine bottles and that each method has its pros and cons. Closing a wine bottle with other material than cork does not mean that the beverage is of a lower quality. Fortunately a lot of research is done in this field in order to improve the storage capability of wine. Findings were used to create new closure methods such as Vino-Seal and Zork, which represents relatively new options to close bottles.  So far long term studies regarding various types of wine bottle closure methods are missing, hence it is not possible to seriously say which method is the best. It is very probable that the result of those long term studies will depend on the type of wine and the duration of the storage.   Every glass has a story...

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The perfect Easter treat...Chase Elderflower Liqueur Cupcakes and Cocktail

The perfect Easter treat...Chase Elderflower Liqueur Cupcakes and Cocktail

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WHAT TO DO …WITH CHASE ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR Set in the Herefordshire countryside, Chase Distillery is in the enviable position of having field after field of fresh organic fruit at their disposal. Hand-picked by the distillery staff, the fruit is mixed with the award winning Chase Vodka (World’s best vodka 2010) to create a thick velvety liqueur which is excellent and the perfect compliment to champagne, cocktails  and even desserts. Chase Elderflower Liqueur has a beautiful flavour reminiscent of English Summer days. The natural elderflower flavour is imparted by macerating the freshest blooms of the elderflower with our naturally smooth and creamy Chase Vodka as the base. By carefully pressing these fresh elderflowers, we achieve the best taste without using any artificial ingredients or heat methods. The result is a delectable velvety finish with a wonderful fruity floral finish. Click here for the tasting notes and more information.    Here are two great ways to enjoy the Chase Elderflower Liqueur: Elderflower Cupcakes INGREDIENTS     175g Unsalted butter     175g Caster sugar     3 Eggs     5 tbsp Chase Elderflower Liqueur     175g Self-raising flour Mini Meringues:     2 egg whites     100g caster sugar Icing:     110g Unsalted butter     120g Icing sugar     3 tbsp Chase Elderflower Liqueur     50g Cream cheese   METHOD For the Mini Meringues:  Preheat the oven to 150 degrees gas mark 2. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in sugar until the mixture feels smooth, not gritty. Pipe/spoon small portions onto tray and bake for 35 minutes, or until dry but not browned. Turn off the oven but leave meringues to cool down completely inside it. For the Cupcakes: Once the meringues are cool remove from the oven and preheat the oven to 180° gas mark 4, line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Using electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the eggs and liqueur. Add a spoonful of flour to the creamed butter then slowly pour in the egg mixture, beating constantly. Sift the remaining flour and a pinch of salt into the mixture and fold until evenly combined. Place heaped tablespoons of the batter into the cases and bake for 18 - 20 minutes until the cakes are golden and spring back when touched. Cool on a wire rack. For the icing, cream the butter, icing sugar and liqueur together for 3 - 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese until you have a thick, creamy icing. Spread over the cupcakes. For the Decoration, On top of the icing spoon on a teaspoon of lemon curd and decorate with a mini meringues and sprigs of elderflower.      COCKTAIL English Country Garden 37.5ml Williams GB Gin 12.5ml Chase Elderflower Liqueur 3 slices fresh cucumber                1 handful fresh mint 12.5ml fresh lime juice 12.5ml sugar syrup Soda top Method: MUDDLE cucumber in the bottom of a shaker, add all other ingredients (except soda) and SHAKE with cubed ice, double strain into a tall glass over cubed or crushed ice. Garnish: Fresh mint sprig dipped in icing sugar and a cucumber wheel. Serve with straws.   Every glass has a story! Cheers, your Xanadu Team

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LAYERED DRINKS

LAYERED DRINKS

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They are eye catchers, they are fun to drink and not as difficult to make as it may seem. We talk about layered drinks; to be more specific: layered cocktails or layered shots. Layered cocktails do not create new textures or flavors but make a beautiful presentation, showcase all the ingredients and could add something special to the drinking or eating experience as different flavors or temperatures are experienced in turns in creative ways. Layered drinks can be drunk at once (shots), with a straw and layer by layer, or, if you dare, stir the layers and enjoy it this way! A layered drink, also called a pousse-café, is a cocktail in which various liqueurs and drinks are used to create an array of colored layers. They have been traditionally made by carefully pouring slowly one liqueur at a time over the back of a spoon. This process requires practice, patience and takes sometimes long time, but with a little bit of patience and practice, everything is possible. The simple principle behind layering is: the sweeter the drink the heavier it is. The more sugar something contains, the further down you will find the layer. Very sweetened drinks have a strong density and will always be at the bottom of the glass, followed by fruit juices, water and on top those with the least water and the most alcohol, such as rum with 75% alcohol by volume. Step by step instructions All you really need for this is a spoon. But if your bottles are very full, cocktail pourers can help you pour them slow and steady. Figure out the specific gravity of each of the ingredients in your drink. Check out the image above, it will help you as a main guideline. You may need to research online or just experiment.  Sort out your ingredients in terms of heaviness, so you can pour them in from HEAVIEST TO LIGHTEST. Pour the heaviest liquor or liqueur into a glass of your choice. Just keep in mind, that the broader the glass the less the layers will be noticeable. Try not to get any up on the sides – pour straight down into the center of the glass. How to pour a layered cocktail Turn a spoon upside down. Place it inside the glass, with the tip of the spoon against the inside edge of the glass, above the first layer. Be careful not to touch the first layer with your spoon. Pour the next heaviest liqueur as slowly as possible over the back of the spoon, moving the spoon up as the level of ingredients rises (keep it above the ingredients). It’s easier to do this with a bottle that’s half full (or less) rather than one that’s nearly full, so you may need to pour some of the liquor or liqueur into another container. Pour from the opposite side of where you’re holding the spoon (see picture). If the two ingredients mix up a little bit, give them a few seconds to settle, and they usually separate nicely. Repeat the process with the third layer, continuing to raise the spoon as you pour. Bring it as close as you dare to the top (you can always wipe off any spillage on the outside of the glass). As you get closer to the rim of the glass, you can move the spoon just a few millimeters away from the edge of the glass and continue to pour over it – that gives the liqueur plenty of room to land in the glass without landing too heavily. (Besides, the further along you get in that layer, the less danger there is of disturbing the one beneath it.) Your finished result is three (or more, for the daring) distinct layers in different colors. Of course, this means you need to pick ingredients that aren’t too close in color if they’re next to each other (unless that’s what you want). This is an extremely artistic approach to cocktail pouring, and there’s no end to what you can come up with. We put together two of our favorite layered cocktails:   Ghana Independence day cocktail: If you want to impress your guests with a cocktail in traditional Ghanaian colors you will need following: Melon liqueur Chase Elderflower Liqueur (available at Xanadu-world.com) Cranberry juice Fill a highball glass (or any other glass) with ice cubes. Pour in the Melon liqueur (which will sink to the bottom). Gently pour in the Chase Elderflower Liqueur. Do not shake. Gently splash in a bit of cranberry juice. Do not mix. Drink will be layered, from top to bottom; green, yellow, red.   The Anniversary This drink looks amazing in any glass and is perfect for someone who enjoys Martinis. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 ounce Gin: we use Williams Chase GB Extra Dry Gin (available at Xanadu-world.com) 1 ounce Armagnac: we use Bas Armagnac - J. Goudouline (available at Xanadu-world.com) 1 ounce Vermouth: we use La Canallese - Extra Dry Vermouth (available at Xanadu-world.com) 2 dashes orange bitters Directions: Stir with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

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How to cool your wine

How to cool your wine

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There are better ways to cool your drinks than pouring cold water in it or ice cubes! Sometimes living in a hot country like Ghana creates some problems you don't necessarily think of when living in moderate countries like Austria or North Italy. If there are 35 degrees outside, well and inside 29 degrees, your wine, or whiskey or any other spirit will be warm within minutes. If you are a whisky drinker you are lucky…because some of the whisky experts say, that the ice cube in the whisky brings out all the flavors. But ice cubes in wine???? NO WAY! Don’t try to do that in Italy or France ;) When ice is melting it will dilute the drink within seconds. So what to do? Simple: put some grapes into the freezer (white or red) and use them instead of ice cubes! It won’t water your drink as much as normal ice cubes would. You could of course try to make ice cubes out of your wine, but then you need ice cubes of every bottle :) or you are a friend of experimenting, then you can mix different flavored ice cubes to your drink! Might be worth a try ;) The grape idea works also for cocktails! Try to freeze other fruits and vegetables for your cocktails! Create your story because: Every glass has a story...  simply freeze some grapes and use them to cool your drink!  ....or be more creative and cool gherkins, lemons etc. for different cocktails!

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Every bottle shape has it\'s story...

Every bottle shape has it\'s story...

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Every BOTTLE SHAPE has it's story...  Have you ever wondered why there are different shapes of wine bottles? It is very easy to every wine producer or vineyard think that each kind of wine has its typical bottle or designs its own bottle. The truth is as a matter of fact there are just three main shapes of wine bottles: the Bordeaux bottle, the Burgundy bottle and the champagne bottle.   The Bordeaux bottle You can recognize the Bordeaux bottle by its straight sides, its “high shoulders” and the clunge (dimple at the bottom of the bottle). The curved bottom prevent settled  sediments escaping into the serving portion in the wine glass. The Bordeaux bottles are produced either with green or colourless glass. All sweet wines (red and white wines) are filled into colourless glass. All dry red wines are stored in green bottles. Dry white wines can be found in green and in colourless bottles. Typical varietal for the Bordeaux bottle are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc und Semillion.   The Burgundy bottle Unlike the Bordeaux bottle the Burgundy bottle does not have outstanding shoulders. The bottle’s sides are gently sloping. Also the clunge at the bottom of the bottle is smaller than those of the Bordeaux bottle. Traditionally Burgundy bottles are made of green glass, however, there are also some wines which are filled in colourless glass bottles. Most typical varietal filled into the Burgundy bottle are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Champagne bottle Champagne bottle is used for champagne (obviously) and also other sparkling wines. In comparison to the Boredeaux and Burgundy bottle, its walls are thicker and its clunge more pronounced. Those two characteristics and the gently sloping shoulders make the bottle more robust as due to the second fermentation in the bottle the pressure is high.  The pressure inside a champagne bottle is comparable to the tire pressure of a truck. For more stories simply visit our website or follow us on our Social Media!    Every glass has a story!

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