• Cachaca

    Everything You Need To Know About Cachaça


    To drink cachaça is to swallow a mouthful of Brazilian history. This 100 percent Brazilian cane sugar liqueur or eau-de-vie is a national staple. From the first hours of colonization to independence in the early 19th century, the drink has been present at every phase of development of this country-continent. Just like rum, there are two different types of cachaça: artisanal cachaça and industrial cachaça.

    Artisanal cachaças are produced by the thousands of small sugar refineries dotted around the country. Brazilian farmers who grow sugar cane actually have a right to distil it. This operation is mainly carried out using age-old methods. The copper still is heated over a simple open-air wood fire. Most of the time, the condenser is cooled by water sourced from a stream or pond. However, the stills only retain the essence of the heated product and reject anything from the top and bottom ends containing unwanted particles. The cachaça is distilled at 40°(140° F) and immediately bottled (except for aged cachaça), unlike rum which is distilled at 65-75° (149-165° F), stocked for three months in wood casks then adjusted until it reaches the desired degree by adding spring water.

    In the case of aged cachaças, the aging casks are made from a wide variety of local and exotic woods which give their own distinctive flavor to each cachaça produced: chestnut, almond, cherry, oak, Brazilian Redwood, garapeira and many other varieties.

    Industrial cachaça are produced by the country’s middle and large-sized refineries, most of them situated in the suburbs of São Paulo and in the State of Ceará. The distilleries use column stills to distil the fermented sugar cane juice: continuous distillation. These cachaças are sold directly to brands that modify the products to suit their own “standards” by adding or removing components. Some producers have been known to add vanilla or cinnamon.

    So there you have it — everything you need to know about cachaça!

  • Chateau de Grevey-Chambertin

    THE chateau producing Napoleon’s favourite red wine, which is one of Burgundy’s most prized vineyards, has been sold to a Chinese gambling tycoon, leading to dire warnings from local growers of a “foreign invasion” of mainly Asian investors.

    The unnamed casino magnate from Macao outbid local vintners to pay €8m for Chateau de Grevey-Chambertain — a 12th-century listed building — along with its two-hectare vineyard and pinot noir grapes.

    It is the first Burgundy chateau to fall into the hands of the Chinese, who have already bought 20 Bordeaux chateaux and are fanning out to other regions as they seek to cater for rocketing domestic demand for French wine.

    But local wine-growers are furious at seeing the chateau sold to outsiders, particularly as they had put in an offer of €5m — well above the estimated value of the property of around €3m. They want nothing less than state intervention to keep their wine heritage in French hands.

    “I think France is selling its soul and that our politicians must react,” said Jean-Michel Guillon, the president of the Gevrey-Chambertin winemakers syndicate. “We are starting to say to ourselves that our heritage is going out the window because it is not the only (foreign) purchase we’ve seen in the area. I’m afraid that, within years, Burgundy will no longer belong to Burgundians.”

    Gevrey-Chambertin is a village in the Cote de Nuits  region of Burgundy and is home to some of the world’s most expensive red wines derived exclusively from pinot noir. Its intensity of colour and rich, deep flavours have earned it the title the “King of Wines”.

    25th August,2012.carte

  • Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

    Patrick Ricard, chairman of Pernod Ricard, the world’s second biggest spirits company, has died at the age of 67.

    Patrick Ricard was a member of the founding family and had chaired Pernod Ricard since 1978
  • Champagne Season loses its Fizz

    CHAMPAGNE is suffering its worst grape-growing season in decades because of an “unprecedented” blight of frost, hail and disease.Photo: Thinkstock

    Weather conditions and the ravages of mildew have made growers’ lives hell in recent months; cold snaps, freak hailstorms, unrelenting rain and grape rot are expected to cut yields by a third.

    This year has been unprecedented,” said Dominique Moncomble, the director of technical services at the CIVC, the champagne wine board.

    Frosts in mid-April destroyed nearly 10pc of the appellation’s crop, with losses as high as 40pc in some areas. Some producers lost everything in the Cote des Bar area when a powerful hailstorm struck in early June, affecting nearly 2,500 acres of vineyard.

    “Everything has been thrown at us this year,” said Benoit Gouez, chef de cave at Moet & Chandon. “Poor weather during flowering when it was cold and wet meant that took place over four weeks instead of just a few days.”This protracted blossoming led to bunches containing berries of very different sizes, a condition called millerandage.“Then the rainiest June since the 1950s helped the spread of downy and powdery mildew,” he said. These two types of fungus leave a dusty or cottony coating on grapes and leaves. Mildew is normally restricted to chardonnay grapes “but this year it also hit the black grapes of pinot noir and meunier”.

    The French agriculture ministry forecasts this year’s yield will be just 2.1 hectolitres, a quarter down on the five-yearly average.

    Champagne insiders insist that the region is well equipped to cope with smaller volumes as it has large stocks from previous years.

    As for the quality of this year’s vintage, the champagne board insists it is “not yet compromised” and could still make the grade as long as the current dry, warm weather continues until harvest in September.

    17th August,2012.

  • Wine Investment

    The most investable fine wines have done well over the past decade and studies indicate they have low correlation with traditional assets. Finite supply of the great investment wines, portability and relatively low storage costs are an advantage. There also has been huge growth of demand from prestige-oriented drinkers in China and other emerging markets.

    However, this is a double edged sword: while Chateau Lafite, the wine to serve to impress your regional party boss in China, has surged in price, so has fraud. By some estimates the amount of Lafite drunk in China last year exceeded total yearly production by almost 10 times. Wine investing requires storage charges, and wine funds are often quite expensive. Due diligence and caution are key in selecting advisers and storage places, as instances of fraud and overcharging are far from unknown.

    16th August,2012.

  • Beam

    Beam hires five graduates to promote Irish whiskey in the US


    Beam hires five graduates to promote Irish whiskey in the USBeam hires five graduates to promote Irish whiskey in the US

    Pictured: Stephen Teeling with graduates Ruth Dunne, Michael Egan, Joanne Ryan, Jennifer Graham and Emily Duffy

    Drinks giant Beam Inc, which bought Cooley Distillery earlier this year for €71m, has taken on five Irish graduates to promote its whiskey brands in the US.

    The five were chosen through IBEC’s Export Orientation Programme (EOP).

    The graduates, whose degrees include law, marketing and management, Emily Duffy, Joanne Ryan, Ruth Dunne, Michael Egan and Jennifer Graham, are being assigned to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco, respectively.

    The graduates are currently attending an intensive 10-day induction course at the newly established Kilbeggan Institute of Irish Whiskey Excellence at the Kilbeggan Distillery in Co Westmeath.

    There, they are being fully immersed in the whiskey making process and being tutored on how to market Irish whiskey to an overseas audience. They are working with the Kilbeggan distilling team on every aspect of whiskey production from distillation to maturation to ensure that they have a 360 degree understanding of the products they will be promoting.

    In addition they are receiving presentation training from UK specialist firm Sustrain UK and will whiskey master class training from Beam’s Irish whiskey global brand ambassador, John Cashman.

    “These talented graduates will benefit greatly from being exposed to international best practice in export orientated marketing,” said Beam’s senior global marketing manager for Irish whiskey, Stephen Teeling. “They will be supported by Beam’s US marketing and distribution infrastructure as they promote our portfolio of Irish whiskeys in five major cities in the US.

    “This programme has huge potential not only for the growth of our business but also for  producing highly skilled people who possess the talent and ability to successfully market Irish products overseas.  There is scope to roll this programme out across Europe and in other international markets.”

  • ASI Members

    President Association Name
    1 Albanie Albania Mr. Dashamir Elezi Albanian Sommeliers
    2 Allemagne Germany Mr.Bernd Glauben Sommelier Union Deutschland E.V.
    3 Andorra Andorra Mrs.Carme Sagarra Raspall Associación Andorrana de Sommeliers
    4 Argentine Argentina Mr.Andrés Rosberg Asociación Argentina de Sommeliers
    5 Australie Australia Mr. Ben Edwards Sommeliers Australia
    6 Autriche Austria Ms. Annemarie Foild Österreichschen Sommerlierverband
    7 Belgique Belgium Mr. Luk Derooze Gilde der Belgishe Keldermeesters B.Z.W.D.
    8 Brésil Brazil Mr.Danio Braga Associação Brasileira de Sommeliers
    9 Bulgarie Bulgaria Ms.Maria Jordanova Bulgarian Association of Sommeliers
    10 Canada Canada Ms. Jessica Harnois Association Canadienne des Sommeliers Professionnels
    11 Chili Chile Mr.Héctor Vergara Flores Asociación de Sommeliers de Chile
    12 Chypre Cyprus Mr. Georgios Kassianos Association Chypriote des Sommeliers
    13 Corée Korea Mr.Sungdo Choi Korea International Sommelier Association
    14 Croatie Croatia Mr.Veljko Ostojic Hrvatski sommelier klub
    15 Danemark Denmark Mr.Christian Aarø  Dansk Sommelier Forening
    16 Estonie Estonia Ms. Kristel Nõmmik Estonian Sommelier Association
    17 Finlande Finland Mr.Jouko Mykkänen Sommeliers Viinirnestarit
    18 France France Mr. Michel Hermet Union de la Sommellerie Française
    19 Grèce Greece Mr.Andreas Matthidis Union de la Sommellerie Grecque
    20 Hong Kong Hong Kong Mr.Nelson Chow Hong Kong Sommeliers Association
    21 Hongrie Hungary Mr.Kálmán Kozma Hungarian Sommelier Association
    22 Irlande Ireland  Ms. Mary O’Callaghan Irish Guild of Sommeliers
    23 Islande Iceland Mr. Ólafur Örn Ólafsson Samtök Ísleanskra Vínpjóna
    24 Italie Italy Mr. Giuseppe Vaccarini Associazione della Sommellerie Professionale Italiana
    25 Japon Japan Mr.Masaharu Oka Japan Sommelier Association
    26 Lettonie Latvia Mr. Romans Komars Latvian Sommelier association
    27 Lituanie Lithuania Mr. Arunas Starkus Lithuanian sommelier association
    28 Luxembourg Luxembourg  Mr. Bruno Meril Association Luxembourgeoise des Sommeliers
    29 Mexique Mexico Mr.Luis Cárdenas Barona Asociación Mexicana de Sommeliers
    30 Monaco Monaco Mr. Patrice Frank Association Monégasque des Sommeliers
    31 Norvège Norway Mr.Ken Engebretsen Norsk Vinkelnerforening
    32 Pay-Bas Netherlands Mr.Cees Vos Nederlands Gilde van Sommeliers
    33 Pologne Poland Mr.Piotr Kamecky Polish Sommeliers Association
    34 Portugal Portugal Mr.Manuel Henrique Miranda Associação dos Escanções de Portugal
    35 République Slovaque Slovak Republic Mr.Roman Pavúk Association of Sommeliers of the Slovak Republic
    36 République Tchèque Czech Republic Mr.Martin Pastyrik Asociace Sommelierû Ceská Republika
    37 Roumanie Romania Mr. Doru Dumitrescu Asociatia Somelierilor din Romania
    38 Royaume-Uni United Kingdom Mr. Nick Scade The Academy of Food & Wine Service
    39 Russie Russia Mr.Alexey Sidorov Russian Association of Sommeliers
    40 Serbie Serbia Mr. Miroslav Radojcin Serbian Sommelier Association
    41 Slovénie Slovenia Mr.Ivan Persolja Sommelier Slovenije
    42 Suède Sweden Ms. Ingela Svanström Sommelier Foreningen Sverige
    43 Suisse Switzerland Mr.Piero Tenca Association Suisse des Sommeliers Professionnels
    44 Turquie Turkey Mr.Randolph Ward Mays Türk Someyerleri Dernegi
    45 Ukraine Ukraine Mr. Dmytro Sydorenko Association of Sommeliers of Ukraine
    46 Venezuela Venezuela Mr.Leonardo D’Addazio Associacion Venezolana de Sommeliers
    ( Obserber )
    47 Espagne Spain Mr. Pablo Martin Martin Unión de Asociaciones Españolas de Sumilleres
    48 Georgie Georgia Mr. Shalva Khetsuriani Georgian Sommelier Association
    49 Indonésie Indonesia Mr. Soegianto Nagaria Indonesia Sommelier Association
    50 Malaisie Malaysia Mr. Roderick Wong Sommelier Association of Malaysia (SOMLAY)
    51 Montenegro Montenegro Mr. Dragan Trifunović Sommelier Club of Montenegro
    52 Singapour Singapore Mr. Tommy Lam Sommelier Association of Singapore
    53 Taiwan Taiwan Mr. Naseem Chen Association des Sommeliers de Taiwan
    54 Uruguay Uruguay Mr. Angel Pereyra Uruguayan Association of Professional Sommeliers.
  • ASI Certificate


    As decided at the Administrative Council held in Daejeon (South Korea), the “InternationalA.S.I. Sommelier” certification examination is to be launched in this coming September. (17th– Americas,18th– Europe/Africa, 19th–Asia/Oceania). In order to advance preparations toward the target dates, the A.S.I. board needs to know as soon as possible but not later than Thursday, July 12th, who and how many member associations(active members only) are willing to start. Those (including the hereinafter mentioned members, for confirmation purpose) who wish to take part in the 1st certification exam, please convey your intention to the A.S.I. board in writing (email).The following members have already expressed  their interest at the last Administrative Council meeting : Australia, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, The Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey.

    More details to follow from ASI.