Having the right tipple can make or break an occasion. Whether this be Christmas, Father’s Day or a milestone birthday, having the correct beverage can help define the atmosphere and improve the ambience.  Please note that I am not saying that one needs to drink in order to enjoy oneself, but merely that should anyone wish to have a drink that an appropriate tipple is available.  The synopsis below outlines just some of the most favored tipples that are consumed.

Red wine is popular although many find the choice of these confusing.  Red wine flavors vary in depth and intensity. It essentially is available in three predominant “body” types: light, medium and heavy.  Lighter red wines are ideal with or without food; well known light reds include Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. Medium reds are more versatile with more flavor than the former.  Again, these can be drunk alone or with food although attention needs to be paid to the types of food given the relatively heavier body. Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon are examples of these medium wines. Full bodied red wine carries rich and intense flavors and hence these cannot be drunk quickly. Australian Shiraz is a popular full bodied red while Cabernet Sauvignon from California is equally as popular.

Champagne is associated with celebration, romance and the sound of popping corks.  While champagne frequently accompanies chocolates and strawberries, it is in fact a drink that can be paired with many different food items. Like wine, champagne is classified by flavour ranging from “doux” (sweet) to “extra brut” (very dry). A common confusion is the difference between the term champagne and sparkling wine. Both are in fact made in the same way, with a second fermentation that causes carbonation.  However, only wine made that way in the Champagne area of France is allowed to be called Champagne.

Whisky is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Depending on the variety, different grains are used including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and maize (corn). Whisky is aged in wooden casks, except that in the US corn whiskey is not aged.  The world of whisky is a complex maze of grains, flavors and distillation processes. Four countries produce distinctly different whiskies: Ireland (Irish Whisky), Scotland (Scotch), America (Bourbon, Tennessee Whisky, Rye Whisky, Blended American Whisky), and Canada (Canadian Whisky), although whiskey is made throughout the world. This results in a diverse opinions from whisky connoisseur as to which is the best whisky.

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey and has been produced since the 18th century; it is a barrel-aged distilled spirit primarily made from corn. The name is derived from its association with Old Bourbon, an area that is now Bourbon County, Kentucky (which was named after the French Royal House of Bourbon). While today Bourbon can be manufactured anywhere, it is strongly associated with Kentucky and the American South in general.  Bourbon is served straight, diluted with water, on the rocks, or mixed in cocktails.

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