An Evening with Earth, Wind & Fire

Chateau Ste Michelle.jpgWalking up to the Chateau Ste Michelle winery, you are first greeted with beautiful grape vines, towering trees and Mt. Rainier standing tall in the background. On this particular evening people were sitting on the grass all over the grounds waiting with excitement for the Earth, Wind & Fire concert to start. Each person relaxing on the grass had a bottle of wine next to them and there wasn’t an empty glass in sight. The wide variety of wines offered in the store made it easy to enjoy everything that Chateau Ste Michelle had to offer. The reception before the concert had an impressive selection of food and wine that kept you satisfied until the concert was ready to start. Continue reading

1, 2, Gluten-Free

ThinkstockPhotos-584507054.jpgThis article is gluten-free, and so is vodka and whiskey.  This is great news if you have been avoiding these spirits because of concerns of adverse effects. There are a lot of myths about all alcoholic beverages, and we like to think that we are experts, and we tell our friends and relatives things we have heard, without actually looking up the information to make sure that it’s correct. So if you have Celiac disease, or are avoiding gluten as part of a weight-loss diet, you do not have to miss out on your favorite drinks.

Want proof?  Here are the facts.

First, a short lesson in how spirits are made. Start with fermentation. This is the process by which yeast breaks down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide gas leaves the fermenting mixture, and a mixture of ethanol and water results. Then distillation takes place. The ethanol and water are heated, and the ethanol vaporizes first because it has a lower boiling point than water. The vaporized ethanol is collected (this is the spirit), and is cooled, causing it to condense back into ethanol liquid. The National Institutes of Health Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign states, “All distilled spirits are gluten-free.”  Continue reading

What’s Your Favorite Cigar?

As I travel throughout Florida and visit our ABC Humidors, I encounter many guests perusing our fine cigars and always enjoy helping them make their selections and in many cases end up in a great conversation about cigars. Inevitably it always seems that the conversation reaches the point where I am asked “So what is your favorite cigar?” It is a good question but it does not mean a simple answer.  I could just say a Cohiba Behike 54 or a Padron 45th Anniversary or a Davidoff Nicaragua but I am not in the habit of dropping $25 and up on a single cigar and while I love those cigars I would not call them favorites since they are a rare special-occasion smoke.

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