Purple Palate Blog

Fruit Spirits

Fruit Spirits   Wherever fruit is grown, a spirit can (is usually made). They may have terms such as Wasser, Geist, or Eau-de-vie, and they capture the essence of the fruit. The raw materials are generally divided into 3 types. Pip fruits such as Williams Pear, stone fruits such as Kirsch, and berries/soft fruit (Xuxu strawberry).   2 techniques are used prior to distillation. Fermentation, where fruit is crushed, then cultured yeast added to create a low alcohol wine (around 5%ABV). An important choice is to leave the pit or stone in the fermenter, as they add distinct aromas and […]

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Calvados – Cider to Sensational

Calvados   Calvados is fruit spirit made from apples and sometimes apples and pears. Thee are 2 regions and 3 appellations that can use the name Calvados. In Normandy in France is biggest area west of the Rouen, while Calvados Pays d’Auge is located in central region of Normandy with Domfrontias is to western edge of Normandy. Based on Apple and Pears (but mainly apple are far more planted). The same as to make cider and which are divided in 4 categories-Acidic/Sour, Bitter/Sour, Bittersweet, Sweet. Domfrontias must contain 15% pears. The fruit is crushed, then pressed to extract the juice. […]

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Grappa-Taste of Italy

Grappa   Raw Materials   Is a type of Brandy made from Pommace, a by product of wine industry. It is made in every region of the world. Designated as Grappa in Italy only. It may be made of skins of both black and white grapes. White grapes do not contain any alcohol as they are removed before fermentation, and the Pommace if not dry, but does contain sugars. This must be diluted with some water and fermentation done to produce alcohol. Black pommace has already undergone fermentation and may be distilled immediately. Good quality Grappa must be fresh and […]

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Pisco- The South American battle for naming rights

Pisco Pisco is a grape brandy made in South America, in Chile and Peru. There is a long dispute over the use of the name. Each country Pisco is different from the other, but they do have the same element in common, both are very aromatic varietal particularly different types of Muscat, making them perfumed and floral.   Raw Materials Peruvian Pisco is made from 8 different varietals, divided in Aromatic and Non Aromatic, while Chilean Pisco is made from 11 varietals (many of which differ from Peru).   Distillation Peruvian Pisco macerates the skins to enhance aromas, then is […]

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Brandy de Jerez

Spanish Brandy Brandy de Jerez Raw Materials Arien grapes grown in inland area of La Mancha is the main component of Brandy de Jerez. Arien is high sugar low acidity grape, which makes a higher alcohol wine.   Process SO2 is allowed but is not preferred as it imparts suphur flavours into the spirit. Wine is made using cultured yeast.   Distillation Mostly takes place in La Mancha (though a few producers do distil in Jerez). May use Columns but generally Pot still used for Holandes. Several different spirits are produced dependant on alcohol levels. Holandes is distilled to less […]

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Armagnac

http://www.armagnac-janneau.com/en/gallery/armagnac-region.html Armagnac History. Armagnac historically was thought to be better Brandy producer (than Cognac), but due to distance from coast there was less demand .   Region There are 3 main Crus for Armagnac. Tenereze, Haut Armagnac and Bas Armagnac.   Raw material May be produced by 10 varietals, the main ones being: Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche, Colombard, and Baco Ugni Blanc is most coveted by only has 55% plantings, next is Baco at 32% plantings, with Folle Blanche and Colombard generally making most of the rest. This range gives more diversity of styles and flavours. No Must enrichment of […]

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Cognac and Production

Cognac Production   Regions   Cognac region is North of Bordeaux, and comprises of 6 winegrowing areas or crus, all Designation of Origin (DO) Cognac, for the production of the Grape based spirit (brandy) called Cognac. They include Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderises, Bon Bois, Bois Ordinaries and Fin Bois Generally accepted the best of grapes grown for Cognac in these regions is from the 2 Champagne regions and the Borderies region. With only 13% of the production from Bois Ordinaries and Bon Bois. Historically due to the coastal proximity, the region became famous for their brandy production, as it […]

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Louis the 13th Cognac-1 only available $3000

Hi All, Just letting you know that we have 1 bottle of Louis the 13th Cognac available, it’s a a bargain at $3000.00 First created in 1874, LOUIS XIII Cognac is an exquisite blend of up to 1,200 grapes eaux-de-vie sourced 100% from Grande Champagne, the first cru of the Cognac region. Each eau-de-vie is matured slowly inside oak cask. The embodiment of an ancestral savoir-faire, LOUIS XIII Cognac has been watched over by generations of Cellar Masters since its origins. Each Cellar Master selects and sets aside for his successors the oldest and greatest eaux-de-vie from LOUIS XIII cellars, […]

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The Column Still=Coffey Still, Patent Still and Continuous Still-innovations in distillation

Distillation is the process of physically separating/purifying component products from a liquid mixture by the use of evaporation and steam. The process was (probably) first discovered by the Greeks, creating flammable, intoxicant substances from wine (fermented grapes). It travelled throughout the known world through travels of monks (carrying alcohol medicines(tinctures)) and the invasion of Europe by the Moors (Ottoman empire). The first stills were Pot Stills, which was a large single chambered Pot that boiled the fermented mixture(mash, wort etc) separating the components at different volatility (boiling points). These liquids become gases and rise to the top of the still, […]

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Irish Whiskey-A turning of the tide.

Currently I am studying WSET4, and the notes, and history of Irish Whiskey is one of a vibrant and strong industry, well supported and loved, then a massive crash all but deleting the industry. To give you an idea, a very brief overview of the history of Irish Whiskey. 1200s Irish monks bring the distillation process (including tincturing, and steeping) to Ireland. 1405 Recipes were handed down orally, rather then written. so first written in 1405 with the death of a landed man from a “surfeit of Acqua Vitae” , with the Latin “Acqua Vitae” in Gallic being “uisce beatha”, […]

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