Beer, at its most basic, is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from water and cereal grains, but there are numerous variations on this theme and countless permutations of each variation. The mineral make-up of water, beer's principal constituent, varies from place to place so much that there is significant regional variation even between beers made with the same recipe.
It is estimated that beer is the third most widely consumed drink in the world, after water and tea, but it is certainly the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage. This is not surprising given that beer is much simpler to make than wine or distilled beverages. Moreover, grape vines are not only harder to manage than cereal crops, require several years to mature to fruit-bearing age and the fruit needs to be picked before they are ready for fermentation. Cereal crops, on the other hand, are relatively simple to harvest and can be easily stored as required.... more
Bolivia is one of several South American countries whose vine-growing heritage dates back almost as far as the arrival of the Conquistadors of Spain, in the 1500s. But while neighboring Argentina and Chile have proved highly successful as wine nations in the past 50 years (even Paraguay and Brazil have been relatively successful), Bolivia's wine trade has remained somewhat embryonic.
The Muscat of Alexandria variety accounts for the vast proportion of Bolivia's vinifera plantings, and only in the past couple of decades has wine produced from these vines come to be used for table wines rather than for distillation into brandy. Muscat of Alexandria is the go-to for vineyards in h ... more
'Rest of World' is a phrase rapidly becoming less and less meaningful (and less easily definable) with each year that passes in the modern wine world. Wine is now produced in more and more regions all over the world, and production volumes in established stalwarts such as France, Italy, Spain and Germany are steadily reducing. Long-dormant vineyard zones are being revived (in Georgia, for example) and new wine-bearing terroirs are being sought out in locations as far-flung as ... more
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