News — Education

Mystery Solved: What are hops in beer?

Posted by Wine Gourmet on

Beer is comprised of four main ingredients: barely malt, yeast, hops, and water. While you may know that beer contains hops… do you know what they are and why they’re used? We’re here to lay it out for you. The brewing process is more complicated than most tend to realize. While winemaking carries it’s own weight in difficulty, brewers take on a different set of challenges: they’re basically magicians. To produce the exact product they have envisioned, a brewer must meticulously choose and combine an array of items in perfect proportion. This includes malts, roasted grains, unmalted grains, sugars, dozens...

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California Wine Month & The Magic of Monterey

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Did you know California, as a state alone, is the world’s 4th leading wine producer? Aside from topping the charts globally, they are also the largest wine producer in the United States. Every September is California Wine Month – a time to cherish these famed producers during the annual harvest season and an excuse to drink some exceptional wines.  Aside from all the fancy statistics that earn these Californian vintners their respect, their eco-friendly approach to winemaking shows why they’re a force to be reckoned with. Winegrowers look for sustainable alternatives for their vineyards and winegrowing methods to protect the delicate...

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Tips to Choosing Wines That Age Well

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A question that seems to pop up every now and then at a wine store – “How do I know what wines to cellar and what to drink now?” While it’s a question that can be answered, it’s not always cut and dry. Most wines are meant to be enjoyed within a year but some wines that are produced are intended to improve with age, becoming smoother and more complex over time as the harsh tannins break down. So how do we know which wines will age well? Sommeliers look for characteristics like the tannin structure, alcohol level, acidity, and...

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Why Pinot Noir is the Hardest Grape to Grow

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Did you know Pinot noir is the hardest grapes to grow? National Pinot Noir Day is this Saturday, August 18th and it’s prompted us to explain why some wine lovers make a big deal about Pinot Noir and you should too. Have you ever heard a winemaker say that it was a “good year” for wine? When growing and producing wine, the terrior (combined environmental factors that affect the crop) becomes a vital factor. This is especially true for the unpredictable Pinot noir grape; for instance if the grape is grown in conditions that are hot, not only will it...

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Virginia Craft Beer Month

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The Virginia Tourism Corporation has it right when they say "Virginia is for Craft Beer lovers". Over the last decade, the beer business in Virginia has rapidly grown but did you know August is Virginia Craft Beer Month? After a transformative legislation passed, the month long celebration was established to honor these masterminds and their impact on Virginia's economy. Back in 2012 former Governor Bob McDonnell observed the influx in Virginia's craft beer industry and signed Senate Bill 604. This bill allowed the retail sales of beer on brewery premises and in public tasting rooms, ultimately transforming the state's industry. With the new legislation...

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