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Wine Wise - Notes from a Wine Drinker

( Originally Published 1933 )



WINE COCKTAILS

WHEN a guest calls in the evening it is a gracious act of hospitality to offer a glass of Port, which should be accompanied with a slice of cake or cooky. Personally, I prefer a glass of Sherry as a cocktail rather than the gin and whisky concoctions offered in many homes. I think the time will come when Sherry will take the place of these cocktails.

WINE WITH SELTZER

If you want to serve a long drink to guests in the afternoon, a light white wine with Seltzer shot into it and a tiny piece of lemon over the rim of the glass makes a good cool beverage. Byron, the poet, enjoyed Hock and Seltzer as a delicious "long drink" when he suggested, "After travel, ennui, love and laughter, nothing revives like hock and soda water."

THE FESTIVE WINE

The most suitable wine for use at weddings, birthdays, banquets or festive occasions of any kind, particularly where toasts are to be drunk, is Champagne.

Sparkling Burgundy will serve as a good substitute for Champagne for any of these occasions.

RED WINES

Good red wines, owing to their moderate proportion of tannin, relative richness in iron, phosphates and phosphoric acids, are powerful tonics and recuperative without being unduly exciting or fatiguing for the stomach. They should be served the temperature of the room. Gentle warmth brings out an appreciation of the body of the wine and diminishes the astringency, developing all the finer qualities, particularly the aroma and flavor.

PORT

Port is the wine famed for blood building. For those in delicate health a glass of Port taken with a biscuit is a splendid invigorator. It is also beneficial to those suffering from anemia.

SHERRY

As a tonic there is no better wine than rich-flavored, full-bodied Sherry. It is a good appetizer taken alone or with a raw egg.

Sherry, Port, Angelica, Tokay or Muscatel when served in the home may be poured from a decanter.

GRAPE BRANDY

"Grape brandy is the soul of wine," says H. Warner Allen. "It is the only perfect finale to a series of good wines, for it is the distilled essence of wine."

Grape brandy is a pure grape product because it is distilled under the supervision of the Government and its age is guaranteed. Before it receives the Government's approval, this brandy must be at least four years old, being aged in the wood.

Grape brandy is esteemed as a cordial and frequently used for toddies or milk punch in the sick room. It is excellent for use in omelettes, sauces, puddings, and to serve with black coffee.

GRAPE WINE VINEGAR

Grape wine vinegar is unrivaled as a condiment for salads and sauces and for cooking purposes. It is particularly desirable to use wine vinegar when wine is being served, because other vinegars often clash with the wine and detract from its enjoyment.

CHEESE WITH WINE

When serving a cheese with table wines it is always advisable to choose the milder varieties of cheese. Some of the stronger cheeses are so potent that their flavor completely destroys the bouquet of the wines with which they are served.

MEDITERRANEAN WINES

Chianti is a wine of much kindliness and individual charm. Attractive for its softness and lack of acidity. In Florence, in which district it is made, it is known as "the wine with the perfume of violets." Barolo is a red Italian wine that more nearly approaches Burgundy in type. It is a fuller wine than Chianti but not so heavy as Barbera. Marsala is a kindred wine to Sherry, and is produced in Sicily.

WHITE WINES

While the chilling temperature destroys the flavor of Claret, it seems to have the contrary effect on white wines, bringing out their bouquet and giving them an agreeable sprightly taste that wine drinkers seek for and when found always admire. Haut Sauterne is the favorite wine for women. It gives a hostess an excellent opportunity to exhibit rare and daintily colored glass.

WINES AT PICNICS

For picnic purposes a convenient stream on a hot day is the ideal temporary cellar for the bottles of wine. In default of this, they may be cooled as required by enveloping them in a wet cloth, which should be placed in the sunshine for quick evaporation.

-LEN CHALONER.



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