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Brazil

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America. The first vineyards were planted by Portuguese immigrants in 1532, and in 1626 Jesuit priests introduced Spanish grape varieties that failed to yield satisfactory quality due to the hot and humid climate. Much late, in the 18th century Portuguese immigrants from Azores brought varieties from Madeira and those also failed to thrive. Humidity and disease resistant American hybrids, e.g Isabella, thrived, but yielded mediocre quality wines at best.
In 1870 Italian immigrants established extensive vineyards in Sierra Gaucha in southern Brazil abutting the Uruguay border. Moet et Chandon from France started producing sparkling wines in 1970’s, and ever since many wineries switched at least some of their output to this style.
Today, more than any other style, sprinkling wine production dominates the industry. Some of the best are made using traditional varieties e.g chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier, but some very attractive sparkling wines are made from glera, Italian riesling, trebbiano and viognier, and blends thereof. Even some cabernet sauvignon and merlot are used.
Approximately 50 per cent of sparkling wines are made by the Champagne method. The biggest producers focus on brut wines, containing 8 – 15 grams of residual sugar per liter.
Brazil is spread over a vast territory and has varied climatic conditions. Rio Grande de Sul was the first region, and expanded to Planalto Catarinense just north of Porto Allegre, Campos de Cuna da Serra, Serra Gaucha, Serra do Sudeste, Campanha, and Vale dos Vinhedos, all of which are located in southern Brazil at 29 degree south latitude.
Brazil has three certified geographic regions for wine – Vale dos Vinhedos DO ( Designation of origin), Pinto bandeira ( Indication of origin), and Altos Montes (IP = Indication of provenance) Certifications stipulate grape varieties, yields per hectare, chaptalisation, and yeast species allowed.
The preferred varieties for wine production are : cabernet sauvignon, merlot, tannat, pinot noir, tempranillo, touriga nacional for reds, and chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, viognier, gewurztraminer for whites. Experiemental varieties are also planted.
The soils vary between sandy mixed with granite, and limestone, clay with pebble stones, and alluvial. New vineyards are planted on high altitudes up to 1400 meters above sea level.
These regions are in the Plan Alto Catarinense abutting the border with Uruguay.
Generally, the most successful wines of Brazil are sparkling , which comply with legal regulations.
Sweetness levels of Brazilian sparkling wines are defined as follows: Nature 0 – 3 grams of residual sugar Extra brut 3 – 8 grams of residual sugar Brut 8-15 grams Sec 15 – 20 grams Demi-sec 20 – 60 grams Doce/Doux 60 +
The following sparkling wine producers are considered to be the best:
Cave Geisse
Enos Vinhos de Boutique Vallontano
Arte de Vinha
Guatambu
Vinha Buna
Domino do Brazil

SERVICE THAT SELLS!

Effective restaurant managers know and believe how important several of the skills mentioned below are in today’s market. Those who strive to master all will be rewarded with profitability levels bound to beat any of the competition. Such skills can be learned, and needless to say some talented individuals possess them. But possessing skills naturally is essentially of no use if managers fail to use them in their daily work. As most of us know, employees, particularly entry-level employees, seem to be more interested in fulfilling a certain umber of hours than trying hard to make the restaurant profitable.

Successful owners try to hire ATTITUDE and train for skill. Admittedly, there are precious few with a suitable “hospitality attitude”, but looking high and low for such individuals can be most rewarding. It should the objective of all restaurant operators to look for individuals who promise to look after the interests of the establishment as if it was their own. Most experts agree that a communication skill is one of the most important in the industry, at least for front-of-the-house positions. Those who want to become proficient should register with organizations encouraging and/or providing platforms for public speaking.

Better speakers build confidence amongst their staff and enhance their leadership. Always plan your work, and then work you plan. “ Managing” time is a failed concept. Time is a dimension, not a commodity.
Always plan the following day before leaving work and then think how you can best achieve all tasks.

Training is a philosophy, not a department to content with. All managers must be aware that training in every restaurant is an ongoing activity that is never really completed. If you think training is expensive, think of ignorance being a more costly shortcoming.
Marketing is more important than managing. Most managers erroneously believe running a “tight” operation to be more important than effective marketing, yet the Foodservice Association of Canada studies show than 70 per cent restaurant guest – base originates from a seven km. radius of the property.
It is good marketing to join local business associations, church groups, create attractive “frequent diner programs”, talk with guests, and occasionally even “buy” them a dessert as an encouragement to return! People like to be called by their name; many prefer to be called by their first name, but not all, particularly Germans, and Scandinavians. They are more formal, but after a while they warm up.
As a manager learn the names of your patrons and address them gracefully by their name. Always treat your employees with respect, and encourager them whenever possible to further their education, even offer to pay for their educations if they earn B+ or A grades. Also encourage them to suggest ways to improve efficiency of sales. Those who seem to be interested can be implemented and evaluated.

If an employee’s suggestion works to your satisfaction, reward him/her appropriately by presenting a tangible gift. Intangible rewards, like money, beverage, and food are soon forgotten. It is better to be a leader than be a boss. Always “wear” a friendly face.

The restaurant business is a show business and requires people with artistic talents! Good managers look after their health.
Excessive amounts of coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, salt and sugar are known to lead to serious and chronic illnesses. The restaurant industry is stressful as it is, there is no need to add to that burden. In the service business, good is never good enough As an owner/manager you must look at perfect service as a moving target. When a comfortable level of service delivery is achieved, you must raise the standards to a higher level. Only then can you maintain an edge over the competition. All the above suggestions are likely to make you a more successful restaurant owner/operator. It is your choice to be a leader or follower!

HOW TO SELL MORE BEER Use colourful table tents for special beers you carry Teach hosts/hostesses always to mention the availability of special beers ad appetizers when seating guests Sell “locally brewed” fresh, tasty, and professionally handled beers. Let you guests know that you are proud to handle a perishable product with due care All servers and bartender must ask positive questions when taking the order, i.e Can I get you a Creemore, Muskoka Lake or Connor’s lager? All servers must be taught up-selling techniques to increase revenue for the same amount of work. Display your beer selection on the ‘back bar’ Offer non-alcoholic beer instead of tea or coffee A FEW WAYS TO SELLING MORE APPETIZERS Use table tents offering “signature appetizers”, wine by the glass, and desserts Hosts/hostesses must be trained to mention the availability of special appetizers and anything on special. Needless to say, everything you offer must be appetizing, colourful, tasty, and reasonably priced. Train servers to suggest an appetizer immediately after taking the order. Offer a sampler platter of your most popular appetizers to your bar guests “Box” your best dollar margin appetizer on your menu to draw more attention to it.

HOW TO INCERASE WINE SALES ‘Servers must be trained to suggest wine at three different times Initial greeting When taking the order Just before serving dessert Compile a wine list long enough to be interesting for guests, but short enough for all servers to know all the wines in great detail Pair all suitable items with wines on your list. Cross-reference food wine and wine with food List you wines on the back of your food menu for ease of reading Let your servers know at least some of the wines on you list Conduct formal wine education classes including tastings to point out differences and food matches Ensure that every server has a proper corkscrew before each shift Conduct a briefing with all servers and indicate which brands they must suggest Offer monthly tangible incentives to the server outselling all others Contact your wine suppliers to support you with wine displays and display them prominently at the entrance of restaurant Ask your wine suppliers to donate t-shirts, portable radios, a wristwatch for your monthly contests. Send regular guests a birthday or anniversary card good for a bottle of wine, or dessert with a glass of appropriate wine List your wines from the most expensive to the least within each category Arrange your wine list by Old World and New World wine producing countries Arrange you wine list according to the texture and body of your offerings i.e full bodied to complement grilled steak or roast beef Train servers to suggest a bottle of wine when two people, each order a glass of wine, pointing out economies of scale. Point out to your servers that selling a bottle of wine is more “profitable” for them while creating less work Insist that the wine list is presented with the menu, if you have decided to have an extensive wine list Train your servers to recommend suitable wines with each dish Train servers to “assume the sale” by asking after the first bottle “Shall I bring another bottle of … NOW?”
Train your servers to become proficient in opening wine bottles, decanting and service. Arrange for role-playing exercises.
Always be on the floor during busy times to see how efficient servers are in selling and serving wine Institute policies to replace a bottle of wine if warranted (faulty wine like corked, vegetal smell, brettanomices, geranium, oxidized, maderized, excessive so2) HOW TO SELL MORE PREMIUM AND DE-LUXE LIQUORS IN COCKTAILS Train your servers to “up sell” when people order a regular cocktail using the following or similar questions: “ Would you like me to have your martini mixed with Tanqueray No. 10 or Bombay Sapphire gin?” Encourage servers to learn about liquors in general and premium or de-luxe brands in particular. Conduct educational sessions and tastings for your staff to learn more about liquor. Test servers’ liquor knowledge daily during pre-service briefings. It is more profitable to sell premium and de-luxe brands than well brands. They generate more revenue for the same effort, satisfy guests more and encourage higher tips Train servers to use the word “try” or “ May I suggest”

FEW WAYS TO SELL MORE EXTRAS and SIDE DISHES When a guest asks for French fried at the bar, have the bartender suggest a complementary snack like a broiled sausage, or breaded, deep-fried shrimp, or deep-fried cheese stick When a guest order a main course, complement him/her on the choice and suggest a side dish suitable i.e New York sirloin steak, suggest sautéed mushrooms or grilled onion Have servers offer guests “tasting samples” of side dishes Train your servers practice the “Sullivan node” (approval as they suggest dishes

SELLING MORE DESSERTS “EFFORTLESSLY” Train servers to “plant the seed” for dessert at least twice during service Roll on attractively arranged dessert trolleys to the table and suggest Place a platter containing a variety of desserts on the table before serving coffee/tea. Sample local business employees your selected desserts around 11.15 am Treat guests who waited for too long for dinner a dessert “on the house” to compensate Servers must always be trained to offer coffee/tea and a liqueur and/or cognac, especially for dinner

A FEW SUGGESTIONS TO SELL MORE AFTER DINNER DRINKS Train servers to suggest liqueurs or brandies before coffee Roll a trolley loaded with liqueurs and cognac to the table and knowledgeably suggest a variety Train servers about liqueurs and cognacs. They must know the difference between V. S. and X. O. and Hors d’age. Train servers in the preparation of flaming coffees, and to be flamboyant. Train your bartenders/servers to know all specialty drinks and coffee recipes by heart. Conduct educational sessions for your servers/bartenders on liqueurs, cognacs, eaux-de-vie, and preparation of flaming coffees.
Make sure your after dinner drinks are reasonably priced.

TERROIR

The term terroir contains several aspects and these represent this complex expression that is fundamental as to how the wines tastes.
All contribute to a very large extent how the fruit will taste if and when the grower provides appropriate care.
The components are: Altitude, location of the vineyards, weather, and soil composition. Altitude provide three major advantages: cooler temperatures, increased diurnal variation and appropriate drainage. For every 100 metres above sea level , the temperature drops approximately 1.2 C , resulting in significant differences between grapes grown at different altitudes. At extreme altitudes ( think Argentina or Switzerland) there is an increase in solar radiation, temperatures are cooler, the impact of sunlight on photosynthesis intensifies. This temperature differential, combined with cold overnight temperatures, slows down the ripening process and preserves the fruit’s natural acidity. This is the reason wines made from grapes grown at high altitudes can have a greater sense of lift and freshness than those made from the same grape grown at lower elevations.
Drainage stresses the vines, forcing them to work harder to find water, which in turn results in more flavour concentration as well as encouraging the particular characteristics of the soils to be more obvious in the final blend of wines.
Location is a contributor that involves the vicinity of large bodies of water that reflect sunlight, increased expose to light rays, slope generation of fog and other weather phenomena , water currents mitigate overall temperature i.e accumulating heat and releasing it later.
The driving force behind ripening is the sun which propels photosynthesis. Too much sun leads to over ripening, and too little to lack of flavour.
The composition of the soil is critical to the flavour profile and quality of the wine, provided the fruit is picked at the right time and the wine processed immediately and correctly.
Sandy soils have good drainage and heat retention. They yield highly aromatic wines with low tannin and lighter colour.
Clay soils are cool and retain water. They yield intensely structured wines with deeper colour and concentration.
Silt retains water and heat, and can be very fertile. The wines from silt soils tend to be smooth with low acidity.
Gravel soils have good drainage, absorb heat well, and force the vines to dig deep for nutrients. Gravel soils and cabernet sauvignon are a natural pairing. Limestone can contain high concentration of the fossils of ancient marine life and is great for growing chardonnay and pinot noir, as demonstrated on the soils of Cote d’Or in Burgundy.
Chalk soils are cool and drain well. The high calcium content of these soils makes them alkaline resulting in grapes with high acidity.
Volcanic soils have high mineral content and are excellent drainage

TERROIR The term terroir contains several aspects and these represent this complex expression that is fundamental as to how the wines tastes. All contribute to a very large extent how the fruit will taste if and when the grower provides appropriate care. The components are: Altitude, location of the vineyards, weather, and soil composition. Altitude provide three major advantages: cooler temperatures, increased diurnal variation and appropriate drainage. For every 100 metres above sea level , the temperature drops approximately 1.2 C , resulting in significant differences between grapes grown at different altitudes. At extreme altitudes ( think Argentina or Switzerland) there is an increase in solar radiation, temperatures are cooler, the impact of sunlight on photosynthesis intensifies. This temperature differential, combined with cold overnight temperatures, slows down the ripening process and preserves the fruit’s natural acidity. This is the reason wines made from grapes grown at high altitudes can have a greater sense of lift and freshness than those made from the same grape grown at lower elevations Drainage stresses the vines, forcing them to work harder to find water, which in turn results in more flavour concentration as well as encouraging the particular characteristics of the soils to be more obvious in the final blend of wines. Location is a contributor that involves the vicinity of large bodies of water that reflect sunlight, increased expose to light rays, slope generation of fog and other weather phenomena , water currents mitigate overall temperature i.e accumulating heat and releasing it later. The driving force behind ripening is the sun which propels photosynthesis. Too much sun leads to over ripening, and too little to lack of flavour. The composition of the soil is critical to the flavour profile and quality of the wine, provided the fruit is picked at the right time and the wine processed immediately and correctly. Sandy soils have good drainage and heat retention. They yield highly aromatic wines with low tannin and lighter colour. Clay soils are cool and retain water. They yield intensely structured wines with deeper colour and concentration. Silt retains water and heat, and can be very fertile. The wines from silt soils tend to be smooth with low acidity. Gravel soils have good drainage, absorb heat well, and force the vines to dig deep for nutrients. Gravel soils and cabernet sauvignon are a natural pairing. Limestone can contain high concentration of the fossils of ancient marine life and is great for growing chardonnay and pinot noir, as demonstrated on the soils of Cote d’Or in Burgundy. Chalk soils are cool and drain well. The high calcium content of these soils makes them alkaline resulting in grapes with high acidity. Volcanic soils have high mineral content and are excellent drainage

DOMAINE DE LA DECELLE ROUGE, 2017 – A DELIGHTFUL RED WINE FROM THE RHONE VALLEY

Rhone Valley’s red wines have always been known for their extraordinary values. Situated on the south east of France spreading on both sides of the mighty Rhone River , the region has been a bastion of wine, especially red wine, since Roman times, and continues to dazzle the palates of wine enthusiasts, not only in France, but all over the world.
Connoisseurs value red Rhone wines because of their ripeness, balanced, and deeply flavoured mouth feel. 0
Strictly speaking, the Rhone Valley has two major parts – North, stretching from Vienne to Valence; and the South from south of Montelimar, famous for its nougat confections, to Avignon.
The South has several and classified sub-regions – Valreas, Visan, Vinsobres, Rasteau, Seguret, Sablet, Gigondas, Cairrane, Vaqueyras, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Lirac and Tavel. In the village of Valreas ( 275 hectares of vineyards) contain red clay with varying degrees of stones that accumulate heat during the day and give it off during the night, helping grapes ripen fully. The Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and relatively mild winters help create wines that are balanced and full bodied.
Domaine de la Decelle Rouge 2017 among Valreas reds ( the village also produces white and rose) that stands out with its brilliant dark red colour fringed with violet, emanating a bouquet of raspberries, red currants and blackcurrants that cascade offer the full bodied palate. An excellent balance with deep flavours and hints of smoked meat would match perfectly medium rare grilled steaks, roast rib of beef, hard cheeses and game specialties. A pleasurable wine with a long satisfying aftertaste at an incredible price ( $ 17.00) available at Ontario stores in the Vintages sections or by mail .Buy a few bottles now, try one and then decide to buy a case or two.

SPICES – A PINCH OR DASH ENHANCES FLAVOUR

If you want to run a successful restaurant you must ensure efficient and caring service, a pleasant environment, and attractive, innovative menu with with reasonable price points to keep guests returning.
Restaurants low margin and high volume businesses, some more so than others. Fast food proportions rely on high volume, whereas high end restaurants rely on other aspects including value.
Tasty food translates to high sales and that leads to financial success. Home cooks cater to the taste buds of the family but in restaurants spiciness must be mitigated according to clientele, or cater to individual tastes that servers ascertain by asking guests.
Using spices judiciously goes a long way to creating appealing flavours. Many classically trained chefs safeguard their recipes by omitting one or more ingredient.
In the world of secret spice combinations secrecy reigns supreme.
First you must understand spices, their flavours, but you must also know your clientele.
If you looking for “heat” pepper is the staple to use. Cayenne hits the palate first, and must be used in minute quantities, as are many others like habanero and others.
You can also blend herbs and spices to create appealing combinations i.e fennel, thyme, and marjoram. No spice must overwhelm the dish. If you are catering to an ethnic market, it is important to think of preferences and palates. Mild curry to a western palate may be adequate but not to an Indian. Whatever you do, use fresh, whole spices, and grind, if possible daily, or as frequently as possible. As soon as you grind a whole spice, its flavour starts to deteriorate. Meat, seafood, poultry, and legumes require different spices and herbs in different proportions to enhance their flavour. Pork can support salt, paprika, and pepper and a small amount of cayenne. One the other hand beef tolerates salt, but less pepper, where else lamb, pending on the age of the animal, can absorb a lot of spices and herbs.
Chicken requires a light hand in spicing. Tarragon is an appropriate herb. For seafood, pending on specie, go light with spices and rely more on herbs. Vegetables and legumes possess delicate flavours, and should be spiced carefully. Madras massala used in small amounts makes a thin carrot soup taste heavenly. Rubs are now being used more and more, are combinations of spices and dry herbs that are rubbed into the meat well before grilling. A rub should be a balance of sugar, salt and spice ( generally equal proportions). Always store spices in tightly closed containers, in a cool and dark place at a constant temperature.
If you purchase ground spices make sure to buy the smallest package available and from a store with a high turnover. Avoid buying “fancy packaged” spices from huge multinational corporations. All are likely old and taste “weak” at best, and expensive. Indian grocery stores offer the best choices at lowest cost. Spices have always held mankind in awe and have been traded since antiquity from the east to the Middle east and beyond. Sumerians, Arabs, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and many Middle Eastern nations used spices for millenia and continue today even more so than ever before.
Columbus was looking for a “short cut” to spice sources when he set out from Spain, and accidentally discovered the Americas. Wielding more power than emperors , spices influenced history. Spices define fine taste, good health, culture, religion, social status and even regions.
India produces and exports significant amounts of spices all over the world. Indian states specialize in spice production like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karankata for pepper, Rajastan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh for cumin just to name two. All exports are subject to strict controls to ensure authenticity and quality level. Curry in India means , blend of spices, and in most restaurants it is mixed daily as needed, and never purchased, and even in large families the head cook mixes curry daily just before use.

2019 VINTAGE ROSE WINES – AVAILABLE NOW IN ONTARIO

Summer is rose time. This is especially true for Canadians who endure long and super cold winters for months on end. No one thinks drinking rose or even white wine in winter. Rose wine originated in the Provence, in France, with mild winters and long hot summers. People enjoy walking in sandals and sit in sidewalk cafes enjoying a cool glass of rose watching the world go by. Suitable for relaxing and easy life in Provence and enjoying Provence roses is something special not only for locals but for the millions of tourists who travel there for the good food and fine roses.
For connoisseurs Provence rose wines represent the epitome of rose. A little further north, the Rhone Valley produces some fine roses and a few villages are world famous for their roses i.e Tavel and Lirac.
In France by law, rose wines must be made using red grapes only. Besides Provence, and the Rhone Valley, many other regions produce rose including the Loire, Bordeaux, Alsace, Jura and Languedoc. Elsewhere Italy, Spain, Greece, the U S A, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand produce rose. The L C B O carries several domestic and imported brands and Vintages bi-monthly releases offer many rose wines throughout the summer months.

Ontario roses range from light, dry, pleasantly off dry to sweet. Some are better balanced than others and it comes down to individual preferences.
Every year Wine Writers’ Circle Of Canada organizes a rose tasting around April but this year covid-19 forced us to taste the 42 samples provided June 15.
Here are my selections:
Whispering Angel 2019, Chateau d’Esclans, Cotes de Provence,
Pale pink in colour. This elegant wine exudes Mediterranean ripe fruit aromas, tastes delicate and is refreshing with a long satisfying aftertaste. An excellent rose to cherish with light foods or on its own on the terrace, or in a sidewalk cafe.
91/100
$ 62.95
Rock Angel, 2019, Chateau d’Esclans, Cotes de Provence
An inspiring, light, acid-driven rose that offers a refreshing mouth feel. 88/100
$ 49.95
The Palm Whispering Angel, Caves d’Esclans, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
Pale pink in colour. A full bodied rose with a 13 per cent ABV that would enhance charcuterie platter of assorted cold cuts and cheeses, marinated black olives and marinated seafood.
87/100
$ 24.95
Chateau d’Aquila Rose, 2019, Tavel, Rhone Valley Dark pink bordering to light red in colour. Fruity, “juicy” with deep layered flavours. A fien balanced rose with a relatively high level of alcohol ( 14 per cent ABV). Enjoy with veal stews, bouillabaisse, pizzas, pastas, or grilled lamb chops.
87/100
$ 24.95 Vintages.
Alie, 2019, Frescobaldi, Tuscany Very pale bordering to white in colour. An appealing strawberry aroma wafts out of mtge glass . The wine is light and off dry, but well balanced. Highly enjoyable with light foods.
88/100
$ 22.95
Rose, 2019, Kim Crawford, New Zealand Dark pink.
Expect aromas of stone fruits, a medium body, refreshing and balanced wine. 88/100 $ 18.95
Pinot Noir Rose, 2019, Westcot Vineyards, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario Westcott Vineyards specializes in pinot noir. This fine rose weighing in with 12.9 per cent Abv is refreshing, medium weight, balanced, eminently enjoyable with various light foods.
88/100
$ 23.99 Winery and by email
Delfine, 2019, Westcott Vineyards, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Delicate body, enjoyable, refreshing with fruity undertones of ripe strawberries.
88/100
$ 18.99 Vintages
Racina, 2018, Pillitteri Estates Winery, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Ontario wineries use pinot noir, or other red grape varieties for their rose. The winemaker in this case decided to blend pink skinned pinot grigio and 15 per cent pinot noir.
Although this rose is two years old, it is still very aromatic, salmon flesh coloured, with a soft texture. A slight residual sugar balances the wine’s acidity. The finish is refreshing and sustained.
87/100
$ 23.00
Pink Twisted, 2019, Flat Rock Cellars, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
An expressive blend of pinot noir, gamay, riesling with a touch of gewurztraminer, this flagship rose offers vibrant ripe fruit aromas, with a touch of residual sugar on the finish. Enjoy with hamburgers, pastas, pizzas, cold cuts, cold cut sandwiches , marinated sea foods and semi hard cheeses. 87/100
$ 17.95

WORLD SPARKLING WINE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION

Sparkling wines taste refreshing, invigorate and uplift your emotions. Today, with increasing wealth in industrialized countries, millions drink sparkling wines more frequently than ever before. Years ago, sparkling wine was consumed for celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, ships launches, and other important events’ today in many European countries ordinary office workers get together for a glass of sparkling wine after work and socialization. World sparkling wine production stands  now at 32.5 billion standard bottles. Considering the world population of approximately 7.5 billion  minus all people who abstain alcohol for religious or other reasons ( approximately two billion) 5.5 billion consume more or less six bottles of sparkling wine annually, and according to statistics one bottle of 10 purchased bottle of wine is sparkling.

Several countries produce sparkling wines, but the most important producing countries are:

Italy 600 million          27 per cent

France 550 million     22 per cent

Germany 350 million 14 per cent

Spain 260 million       11 per cent

U S A 162 million         6 per cent

All other 500 million    20 per cent ( Brazil, Australia, Portugal, Austria, Canada, the United Kingdom, Moldova, Chile, Argentina, Chile, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece).

The biggest consumers are Germans ( 350 million bottles) followed by the French, Americans, Russians, and Italians.

The biggest importers are the United Kingdom and U S A ( 175 million bottles) followed by Germany ( 80 million), Belgium and Russia (50 million).

Champagne is the price leader of all sparkling wines sold with approximately 300 million bottles in 2019 followed by prosecco 500 million , because of considerably lower price, then comes Cremant de … 110 million (because of value), Cava , Spain 260 million (also good value).

There are several methods to produce sparkling wine Champagne method (the most elaborate and time consuming of all)

Transversage

Charmat (bulk production)

Continuous method (Russian invention)

Petillant naturel (aka pet-nat)

Gas injection

The biggest sparkling producer of the world is Henkell und Co. Of Germany, after it purchased Freixenet ( Spain) in 2018.

Cremant wines are produced in Alsace, Loire, Burgundy, Jura, Bordeaux, Limoux, Die and Savoie and by using the Champagne methode. Cremant wines contain less pressure and are considerable less expensive than champagne and can taste very appealing pending on terroir and care of the producer.

The United Kingdom produced 15.7 million bottles in 2018 and has increased production since then.

The U S A produces approximately 62 per cent of the total consumption of 300 million bottles.

Canada produces more or less two million bottles in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

The Liquor Control Board Of Ontario sold $ 100 million worth of sparkling wine in 2017 of Ontario sparkling wine. The production is increasing constantly.

Nova Scotia’s production is small but enjoys a good reputation and wins international awards due to its lightness and elegance.

Sparkling wines are available in following dosages:

Brut nature (aka sauvage) three grams of residual sugar per litre

Extra brut up to six grams Extra dry  12 – 17 grams,

Dry 17 – 32 grams

Demi- sec (off dry) 32 – 50 grams

Doux (sweet) more than 50 grams Sources  oiv.com, cavaspain.com, Deutsches wine

institute, Statistiks

Induction – a cooking revolution

Cooking requires precise control of heat. In the past this was achieved by experience and judging the food being cooked changing in colour and texture.
The phenomenon of induction discovered in 1831 prompted in metallurgy (cast iron, soldering, annealing etc) and ultimately induction cooking equipment. Induction works best on: power supplied to an inductor coil that generates a magnetic field when a specially manufactured or other suitable utensil is placed in contact with the hob’s surface, generating induced currents the flow through the base of the pot or saucepan. These currents transform the pot into a heat source, while the pot itself remains cold.
Induction technology produces two results: the pot becomes the heat source reducing heat loss significantly, and inertia is eliminated as the pot becomes the heating mechanism itself. The moment the pot is removed from the stove, heating stops.
Induction heat is approximately 90 per cent efficient versus 50 -55 for gas and 61 for electric cooking. It takes half the time to boil one litre of water by induction versus gas. Induction equipment equipped kitchens remain cool eliminating much of the exhaust equipment installations that consume energy. Cooks perform more efficiently due to more amenable prevailing temperature. This is the reason of induction heat equipment becoming more popular in public cooking demonstrations and banquet halls designed for special events.
Induction equipment is expensive, but in the long rum it becomes economical due to heat transfer efficiency and other related cost reductions. The expected life of induction equipment is 30 000 hours.
Conventional pots and pan warp and bend over time in most commercial operations due to uncaring attitude of many cooks working on production during peak service times. Cast iron (enamelled) and other metal pots that are slightly modified, can be used on induction cooking equipment, but specially designed and manufactured pots and pans are more efficient.
Several manufacturers offer commercial and home cooking equipment; Berghoff, Hammer Stahl, Max Burton, Duxtop, Samsung, Bosch, Frigidaire, Fulgar Milano, Bertazonni, L G, Thermador, GE, Electrolux, Allclad, Cristel, Le Creuzet, Zwilling, Demeyer, and Hesten Nanoband are some of them.

ARMENIAN WINES AND BRANDIES .

Armenia, now a small country in the Caucasus, was once a huge and influencial kingdom stretching from western Asia Minor to the Caspian Sea in the east and thrived 4000 B C to approximately 1250 A D.
It is the first nation to accept Christianity in 301 A D and cherishes its fundamental philosophy to this day. Archaeologists established Vayotz Dzor (Dzor = Valley) as the place of the first winery 6100 years ago in 2011).
Historical accounts exist to prove that in the fifth century B C Armenian traders transported wine down the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in containers of sewn sheep skins, to what is now Iraq.
Grape vines often adorn the pages of illuminated manuscripts, carvings appear on church walls and khachkars (typical Armenian crosses depicting historical events and family histories). Scientific and visual evidence point to Armenia being not only the birthplace of viticulture, but also potentially of fine wine on a global scale due to its terroir.
At a press conference held in Armenia in 2013 , Renee Payan (the former dean of the oldest wine institute in the world, the Unversite du Vin Suze la Rousse in France noted, “if France is one of the biggest wine producers today, then Armenia is the cradle of wine making, and it should restore traditions, re-establish its image and take its rightful place on the global viniculture map. Unfortunately, the Soviet system of agriculture and viticulture ruined a well established wine and distillation industry up to 1991 when the country won its independence from the U S S R. The country’s entrepreneurs imported capital that was mostly provided by expatriate Armenians, and is gradualy rebuilding both industries. Soviet agricultural policy was based on quantity. As a result of this, quality of wine and brandies suffered a great deal.
The country is located between latitudes 39 – 40 north but is on high altitude ( on average 1300 meters above sea level); consequently it is a cool climate region yielding high-acid grapes suitable for brandy and refined, refreshing white and rose wines.
Wine grapes grown on fewer locations with desirable terroir. Today, wine making is one of the fastest growing industries in Armenia and this confirms the will of local entrepreneurs to rebuild its old, well-established reputation of wine making and distillation.
Armenia has approximately 200 indigenous grape varieties, which represent the majority of all fruit grown in the country. A few varieties from Georgia, in the north, were introduced during Soviet times i.e khaketi, rkatsiteli just to name two.
Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, montepulciano etc were brought in from Europe. Of the country’s ten provinces six grow grapes. In Aragatsotn chilar and voskehat doniate, in Tavush sevanush, sev askeni, kaputkeni, koghbeni, benants, lalvari, jrali kara, jrjuk, lkeni, nosrahata, and tavrizeni thrive; Armavir garan damak and mskhali and a few others are planted; in Ararat spitak arakseni, spitakeni, sarnashakar, arevani, kahket, sevaygeni, karchmat, sev ginuk, yeraksheni, garni, vakeni, devsateni and ararati yield te tastiest fruit; Vayot Dzor nazeli, mormar, krdi chakat, khatun, khatouni. Areni, seyrak, movuz, shaheni, movsesi grow well; Syunik arevik, karmir kateni, seni, dghleni, itsitseni, sevuk, and hostakot yield satisfactory results.
Before independence, packaging was poorly designed and looked utilitarian at best with heavy and fragile bottles. Unappealing labels failed to project a good image and poor quality corks used as enclosures leaked and caused several other undesirable consequences. Now, wineries used premium quality corks for their better wines, and screw caps for their everyday products.
The soils vary from clay mixed with stones, calcareous, clay and sandy strewn with stones. All grapes are hand harvested and in the winery a second selection takes place to ensure that only sound and best looking fruit is crushed and pressed.
During Soviet times ( 1918 – 1991) the population was encouraged to drink vodka, a spirit still very popular along with local brandy. The average wine consumption is low ( was 1.2 litres per capita in 1990, and had six years later it had increased to 2.7 but today it is approaching 5 litres. This is so because of the low income of most families.
Soviet politicians preferred Armenian brandy, and each official U S S R government event had to have Armenian brandy and to this day Russia is the biggest and best market for brandies. The reason for the popularity of brandy is its lightness and aromatic characteristics due to the high-acid content of the grapes of the Ararat Valley where some 33 per cent of all grapes are grown. Aging barrels are from Artsakh wood, (Caucasus white oak), that is dense and most suitable for brandy aging. Ironically, the oldest and largest distillery of the country is now owned by Pernod-Ricard ( France), bought shortly after independence for a song, as the government was in desperate need for hard currency.
The Yerevan Brandy Factory produces a range of brandies aged from three years to 18 years of high quality that smell of apricots, are smooth in the mouth, deeply flavoured and ethereal in texture. The products are exported to over 30 countries. Russia is remins the largest and best market for Armenian brandies. Today, several other distilleries compete . Yerevan Noy Wine, Brandy and Vodka Factory, Shakmat Brandy, Proshyan Brandy Factory are only some of the bigger distilleries.
By law Armenian brandy must use the following grape varieties – voskehat, gran damak, mskhali, kangun and rkatsiteli Armenian wines that I have tried tasted both in the country and outside ranged from off dry to sweet that Russian and east European wine drinkers prefer to completely dry products. The white wines taste alcoholic and heavy in texture and reds are light in colour, aromatic off dry to sweet, occasionally well balanced and slightly tannic requiring bottle aging. This may be the reason of drinkers preference to off dry wines to compensate for excessive tannins. Recently Ontario agents have imported a few well made and very attractive red Armenian wines priced reasonably well to attract a wide segment of the wine drinking population in the province. After 1991 several diaspora Armenians (there are many more Armenians living outside of the country than inside.
In Armenia today there population is approximately 2.7, whereas outside the number is closer to eight million scattered all over the world from China to the U S A, and mostly Russia. This one of results of the 1915 genocide organized and brutally executed by he Ottoman Empire that killed and mutilated one-and-a half million innocent people.
Eduardo Eurnekian, a rich Argentinian entrepreneur, was the first to recognize the potential and started the Karas Wines with 250 hectares of vineyards. His company also manages the international airport of Yerevan. His wines I tasted are aromatic, full bodied, well balanced, with a long aftertaste. Karas wines are exported to several countries including Canada.
Zorik Gharibian founded Zorah Wines dedicated to growing exclusively indigenous grape varieties. He ferments his wines in karas ( i.e quvevri in Georgia). Varuzhan Mouradian created his Van Ardi Winery in Aragatsotn ; Vahe Heushguerian and Paul Hobbs (the famous Califonrian wine consultant) co-own Wine Works ; Armen Aslanian established his ArmAs Wine Estate with 70 hectares in Aragatsotn and a distillery; Tinity Canyon Vineyard in Vayots Dzor is owned by a trio of expatriate Armenians. T rinity Canyon wines are featured in high end Yerevan restaurants and exported to France, and the U S A; Jacob Schuller is a Swiss investor who bought 50 hectares of vineyard (planted to areni and voskehat) and makes his wines in rented facilities while a winery is being build. He exports his Noa (white and red) to Switzerland and distributes locally.
Armenian wine are now exported to Canada, the U S A, the United Kingdom, Russia, Lithuania, Italy, Ukraine, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netehrlands, Sweden, and China