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When cider and wine combine

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

A tasting with cider maker Mark McGill and winemaker James Healy this month led to interesting comparisons between cider and wine, two drinks that normally wouldn't be talked about in the same breath, let alone compared. And yet there are likenesses in each, if they are made from authentic raw material rather than being doctored with sugar and water. Which used to be the case with wine prior to the rise of Vitis vinifera grapes (the wine family of grapes) in countries new to winemaking, and which often remains the case with products labelled 'cider'. We at Regional love stocking and selling products...

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Kwak 8.4% 330ml and the power of beer

Posted by John Shearlock on

Kwak 8.4% 330ml and the power of beer

The early 1800s was a good time to be a mail delivery person in Belgium. If you were canny and got your routes to pass through the town of Dendermonde, when in need of thirst quenching sustenance, you could pull up at the De Hoorn Inn and have a decent beer poured into a special glass that would fit neatly onto a holder on the side of your carriage. There would be no need to leave the precious mail cargo stored in the carriage and you could quaff away to your heart's content. Ingenious.This beer was, of course, Kwak, its...

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The contradictions of cask strength...

Posted by John Shearlock on

Cask Strength - two mere words that instil more excitement than most when it comes to whisky.The term has come to be a catch all for whiskies bottled at high strength but, in its purist meaning, it really refers to any bottling that is not diluted from the abv that the spirit was at in the cask - and this can vary greatly depending on certain factors.As we know, the abv of the contents of an ageing cask can go down or up (yes up!) depending on the length of maturation and the environment in which the cask is ageing....

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Riesling takes centre stage - and it's dry

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Riesling takes centre stage - and it's dry

We are thrilled to offer tastings again but there's always a sense of nervous energy when hosting one on Riesling, the sixth most planted grape in New Zealand with a miniscule two per cent of the country's 41,603 hectares of vines. We know many of our customers love and adore this great white grape but so many more misunderstand the role Riesling plays in the world of wine - for instance, it is not all sweet and the trend today is towards bone dry Rieslings. Riesling also inspires a seemingly larger club of nerdy devotees than most other grape varieties. Many of...

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Famous Scottish distillery neighbours

Posted by John Shearlock on

Neighbours... everybody needs good neighbours right… and the world of scotch whisky is full of examples of distilleries that were built on top of each other. If you were to throw a stick whilst on a visit to Speyside you’d probably hit a distillery as this region is absolutely teaming with clusters of neighbouring distilleries, most notably around the towns of Rothes, Keith, Dufftown and Elgin. But, Glen Grant and Caperdonich (which was sadly demolished in 2011), had a special relationship and these two were literally joined by a pipe. Caperdonich was built as part of an expansion phase at...

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