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Wines From Asia
Wines From Russia?
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The Russians are generally credited with having first made Vodka, which is a word meaning "water". The Poles and other eastern Europeans might contest this claim, but in any case it is mentioned in Russian texts as early as the 14th century. Americans were a little slow learning to appreciate the crystal-clear, nearly flavorless liquor until 1934, when the Schmirnoff family methods were brought to the states. In spite of the current popularity of the Vodka Martini, it's an often overlooked fact that the traditional martini was made with gin, and until the 1980's, vodka was still primarily used for mixing. This has changed quite a bit, with Americans now voraciously showing their appreciation of the Russian and eastern European penchant for flavoring vodka with pepper or citrus, and drinking it on the rocks or "neat". Main Wine offers all the Russian Vodkas you'd expect, as well as a broad selection from many other countries.
Wines From Japan?
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Japan produces a number of fine beers, even whiskey, but we're going to focus on Sake, a uniquely Japanese beverage. There are many mis-conceptions about sake, owing to the fact that it's often referred to as "Rice Wine". The process of producing a fine sake is actually a bit trickier than producing wine, as it requires that two processes, saccharification (which turns the starch in the rice into sugar) and fermentation (which changes the sugar into alcohol) occur simultaneously, and in perfect balance with each other. This is a process that is difficult to monitor with modern technology, and the finer sakes are still the result of the skill and intuition of the Toji, or brewmasters. Another interesting difference between sake and western libations is that typically the food is selected as a compliment to the sake. Depending on the sake and the occasion, it may be drunk either cold or heated, with the ritual surrounding the traditional consumption of heated sake making for a real bonding experience. Main Wine stocks a full selection of Sakes, as well as a number of fine Japanese beers.