2011年8月29日 星期一

金蘭酒

吳新榮日記 (戰後) 1945/8/16...自今日起吾人要開新生命啦啦隊....撈魚抓蝦 而後煮鹽酥蝦飯 ....開攜來之金蘭酒而飲.....


 金蘭
注音一式 ㄐ|ㄣ ㄌㄢˊ
漢語拼音 j n l 注音二式 j n l
語本易經˙繫辭上:「子曰:『君子之道,或出或處,或默或語。二人同心,其利斷金;同心之言,其臭如蘭。』」形容友情深厚,相交契合。南朝宋˙劉義慶˙世說新語˙賢媛:「山公與嵇、阮一面,契若金蘭。山妻韓氏覺公與二人異於常交,問公。公曰:『我當年可以為友者,唯此二生耳。』」
引申為結拜兄弟之詞。如:「義結金蘭」。
一種酒。宋˙范成大˙桂海虞衡志˙志酒:「使金至燕山,得其宮中酒,號金蘭者,乃大佳。燕西有金蘭山,汲其泉以釀。」

2011年8月22日 星期一

Courage & Co Ltd

英文勇氣為courage,更是重要。所以戴名博士在倫敦喝到牌子為Courage 的啤酒,不禁說笑話,參考《戴明修煉 II

其實該啤酒公司的創始人之姓為 Courage

Courage & Co Ltd was started by John Courage at the Anchor Brewhouse in Horsleydown, Bermondsey in 1787.

Courage
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1787
Founder(s) John Courage
Products Beer
Owner(s) Wells & Youngs

Courage Brewery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2011年8月15日 星期一

Is Bordeaux a good pairing for mooncake?

Overheard
Is Bordeaux a good pairing for mooncake? Collectors, particularly in Asia, have paid record-breaking sums for fine wines over the past couple of years. But market turmoil threatens to put a cork in soaring prices for all sorts of alternative investments.

The next clue on the future of wine prices could come with an Asian festival in early September, according to Gary Boom, founder of wine merchant and investment tracker Bordeaux Index. The celebration is marked by the consumption of round pastry mooncakes filled with lotus-seed paste and a salted duck egg, as well as the exchange of generous gifts, including, in recent years, expensive bottles of Bordeaux.

For the wine-investment industry, "the festival will, as usual, be the most illuminating indicator of [second-half 2011] activity," notes Mr. Boom. And if the prices don't pick up, investors can always wash down their duck eggs with a decent red.

2011年7月30日 星期六

Tohoku brewer eyes global market

BY MASAFUMI TATEMATSU STAFF WRITER

2011/07/31


photoHideharu Ohta, president of Daishichi Sake Brewery Co., says his sake "grows from a bud into a large flower" when it is matured for more than a year. (Eiji Hori)photoHideharu Ohta stands in rice paddies where his employees are trained to farm in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. Surface soil has been removed due to radioactive contamination. (Eiji Hori)

It seemed fitting for Hideharu Ohta to have a presence at a dinner party that the Dutch royal family hosted at Paleis Het Loo on Dec. 14.

Ohta, 51, is Japan's unofficial ambassador of sake, the 10th chief of the brewery his ancestors founded 260 years ago.

On the table at the Dutch royal family dinner were bottles of Minowamon, a "daiginjo-shu" (very special brew) from Ohta's Daishichi Sake Brewery Co., based in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.

The palace stands in Apeldoorn, a little more than an hour's drive from Amsterdam. It is extremely rare for sake to be served at a dinner party of a foreign royal family.

Ohta has long undertaken a mission of spreading the message of sake abroad.

He has set his sights on global markets by appealing to taste buds with the "kimoto method," said to be the most orthodox sake brewing method.

Ohta lives by the words told to him by his mother-in-law, "Rakutenmei," which means "enjoying the mandate of heaven."

"I think the mandate of heaven for me is to pass the kimoto method, the treasure I took over, down to future generations and make its wonders better known in Japan and around the world," Ohta said.

In the kimoto method, naturally occurring lactic acids and bacteria are utiled to brew sake, without using additives.

But few brewers have used this method since World War II because the maturation process requires much more time and effort than other methods and controls are more difficult.

Ohta, who studied law at the University of Tokyo, once dreamed of becoming a political scientist but decided to take over the family business at his grandfather's request.

When he visited a French winery in 1992, Ohta was impressed because the midsize operation has a worldwide reputation.

"If wine sells this much around the world, sake is worth the same level of appraisal," Ohta thought.

Fifteen years ago, Ohta set up an organization with 12 breweries to promote exports.

While sake was already being exported, quality control was less than satisfactory in the distribution stage.

Even sake that turned yellow was being sold for prices several times higher than in Japan, so it was not necessarily enjoying a good reputation abroad.

Ohta's organization asked retailers and other businesses to maintain low-temperature distribution from breweries to storefronts.

It cut intermediate margins to hold prices down to levels 50 percent higher than those in Japan and provided information by holding seminars for sommeliers and restaurateurs.

Distribution of sake in good condition and at reasonable prices led to a sake boom in the United States.

It also became common for sake to be listed on menus at exclusive restaurants in the Netherlands and France.

In 1999, Daishichi, a midsize brewey with annual sales of 1 billion yen ($12.66 million), began taking part in Vinexpo, a major alcohol trade fair, ahead of larger competitors.

When Japan hosted the Group of Eight summit at Lake Toyako, Hokkaido, in 2008, Daishichi's sake was chosen for a toast at a dinner party for the wives of G-8 leaders.

The same year, Gault Millau, a French restaurant guide that rivals the Michelin Guide, asked Daishichi to become one of its official sponsors, the only one from Japan.

Excerpts from the interview with Ohta follow:

* * *

Question: Your brewery here in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, is only about 60 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was crippled by the Great East Japan Earthquake. What have you done to prevent radioactive contamination?

Answer: Fortunately, buildings were not destroyed, or stored sake bottles were not broken. Upon learning of the accident at the nuclear power plant, our master brewer closed all the windows of the brewery and covered ventilation fans with vinyl sheets. With quick initial responses, the inside of the brewery was kept clean, and we have tried to maintain that condition. Vinyl sheets are hung like curtains at locations where people come and leave, and wet towels are on hand so that people who come from the outside can wipe away dust. But these are emergency measures. I am considering attaching high-performance filters to air intake ducts and installing air curtain devices along routes where materials are brought in.

Q: How has the nuclear plant accident affected your business?

A: I had been resigned to suffering damage from rumors. But many people encouraged us, saying, "Hang in there, Tohoku" and "Hang in there, Fukushima." The support we received has turned out to be far stronger than the negative impact. In April and May, we saw more sales than in average years. Officials in the distribution industry have also held a campaign to support us after confirming the safety (of our products). We appreciated that they came out in our support.

Q: You have been exporting sake aggressively since you became president in 1997.

A: Seventy percent of our exports goes to the United States. The remaining 30 percent goes to Asia--Hong Kong and Singapore--and European countries--Britain, the Netherlands and France. Exports have been gradually increasing, but they still account for less than 5 percent of our overall sales. We are focusing on establishing our brand, not increasing export volumes. We are exporting high-value added sake, such as "ginjo-shu" (special brew). If that becomes popular, we want to expand the lineup.

Q: Does the appreciation of sake differ from country to country?

A: In the United States, the sake market has expanded since around 2000. The words such as "junmai-shu" (pure rice sake) and "ginjo-shu" (special brew), are understood, and consumers drink expensive sake after understanding their value. We have seen more bloggers on sake and more operators of specialty sake stores. The market has been expanding quietly, rather than experiencing a boom.

In France, sake was wrongly associated with strong distilled spirits, such as those found in China and Vietnam. When we took part in Vinexpo for the first time in 1999, many people asked about alcohol content, believing that it must be extremely high. They looked puzzled when we told them it is 15 percent. Visitors stayed away from our booth in the morning. Today, no one asks what the alcohol content is anymore.

Q: What are the attractions of sake for people in other countries?

A: Refinement, harmony and fullness. These are the qualities inherent to sake. It is a sophisticated taste into which complex elements have blended. No particular taste, such as sourness and astringency, stands out. The Japanese word of "umami" (pleasant savory taste) has been established internationally. I think sake is an alcoholic beverage that contains "umami" most in the world.

The taste of wine depends greatly on grape harvests of that year, but the taste of sake is not necessarily determined by rice. We can produce sake reminiscent of freshly cooked rice or sake with a rich, fruity taste. In that sense, sake is an alcoholic beverage created with free will, not one governed by fate.

Q: Daishichi's sake has good body, not a light and dry taste. What are the secrets?

A: Our kimoto method can produce a flavor of complexity and harmony and a smooth texture, the characteristics that cannot be expected from simpler methods. Our sake contains elaborate ingredients, which can be brought into harmony only through maturation. Daishichi's motto is, "Leap to the farthest possible." We received the grand prize at the National New Sake Awards competition, but we decided to work for higher goals, instead of taking part in the competition. The competition is held in May, when sake has just been brewed, and I'm afraid that Daishichi's sake is not appreciated fairly at that time. When we sample just-brewed sake, we may conclude that we cannot drink it for two to three years, but that may eventually turn out to be a great brew. We are most happy when we produce such sake.

Q: Do you think your sake is appreciated globally because it is brewed with the kimoto method?

A: All ethnic groups around the world have brewed beverages, using fruits and grains found in their regions. Rice was one of the ingredients used in Japan. The kimoto method is close to where sake brewing started and to the way brewed beverages are universally around the world. I think the kimoto method shares the set of values for the world's brewed beverages, such as "a more complex and strong taste" or "growing into good sake through maturation."

Three hundred years ago, no other biotechnology as complicated and delicate as (the kimoto method) existed in the world. In a sense, I think the kimoto method is as valuable as "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji). When Murasaki Shikibu wrote the novel more than 1,000 years ago, no comparable literature existed in the world.

2011年6月24日 星期五

The cost of coke

he UN's world drug report

The cost of coke

Jun 23rd 2011, 16:59 by The Economist online

The price of cocaine varies greatly between rich countries

EVERY year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime publishes a report with lots of fascinating data on the production and consumption of illegal drugs around the world. This year's report highlights a few interesting trends: despite all the effort put into the war on drugs, the street price of cocaine in Europe has dropped relentlessly over the past two decades (even adjusting for inflation and impurity). This may explain why Europe is now almost as big a market for cocaine producers as America. The numbers we have picked out below show the variations in price between a selection of different countries, as well as consumption per person in those places.

2011年6月10日 星期五

FW: 我的咖啡奇緣 (謝金河)

我不是咖啡迷,不常在辦公室,經常是助理從7-11帶回一杯熱拿

鐵,平時品嚐咖啡也
是隨遇而安。遇到喝咖啡的場合,我都是加入一些牛奶,但不加糖,但這些喝咖啡的
習慣,最近卻被顛覆了。


大約一個多月前,一個周日中午,剛爬完七星山,吃過中飯,朋友提議去喝咖啡,於
是,他就帶領著我到菁山路,靠近仰德大道的一家看起來並不起眼的「吉佳咖啡」。
吉佳的陳老闆一眼就看出我是誰,就因為這個因緣際會,我上了一課很重要的咖啡
課。


在咖啡廳坐定,陳老闆就教我如何喝咖啡,他說咖啡不在價格高低,在咖啡豆是否新
鮮。他說喝到新鮮咖啡就跟喝果汁一般,一入口會有一些果酸,但入口後會產生回
甘,再由甘變甜,口感會愈來愈棒,因此,喝到新鮮的咖啡就跟喝果汁一般,什麼都
不必加,喝黑咖啡最好,這個觀念與昌吉街賣豬血湯附近一家一個小夥子開的「黑湯
咖啡」很相近。


陳老闆說,一般人喝咖啡會加糖,加奶精,那是因為咖啡豆已不新鮮,已經氧化了,
因此,會愈喝愈苦,只好用糖、奶精來蓋掉這個苦味。我問他說,為什麼他賣上等的
牙買加藍山大杯350元,小杯250元,一般咖啡連鎖店卻賣一杯卅元,差別在那裏,他
不假思索地就說這是已過了新鮮品味期的咖啡豆。


經過這個指點,我終於了解,喝咖啡貴在咖啡豆經過烘焙出來後是不是在兩周內喝
完,我在陳老闆店內買了半磅牙買加藍山,也買了半磅綜合咖啡,回家試了一下,確
有很大差別,當然兩者價格相差近10倍。這時我才知道我們在外頭喝的咖啡價差差別
那麼大,原來是咖啡豆的差別。


我的喝咖啡奇緣第一課就從此開始,另一個顛覆過去習慣的新觀念是,喝新鮮咖啡對
身體幫助很大,喝不新鮮的咖啡對身體傷害很大,最令我震驚的是,陳老闆告訴我
說,喝到新鮮咖啡,不但不會睡不著覺,反而更好睡。過去,我在晚飯後從不喝咖
啡,上周四、五,我在餐廳請朋友吃飯,飯後我請廳房用吉佳的咖啡豆沖煮出來的咖
啡跟朋友共享,為了證明陳老闆的觀點,我連續在十點鐘左右各喝了一大杯黑咖啡,
回到家仍然很好睡,證明了陳老闆此言不差。


從喝咖啡,我有了一個新體驗,那就是喝咖啡、喝茶、喝紅酒最後的道理都一樣。另
一個是吃最重材,像一般平價牛排館,可能賣一客100元,或150元的牛排,但是上等
牛排如神戶牛排,可能一客要3000元以上,價格拉很大。一般到自助餐店買一條魚,
也許50元,但是到上等日本料理煎一尾「紅喉」可能要1千多。同樣是魚,價格大不相
同,喝咖啡也是一樣,吃東西,食材最重要。


最近我看到一則外電報導說,每天一杯咖啡長壽機率高,這項研究是調查希臘愛琴海
以東的伊卡里西島,調查島上65100歲的老年人,他們每天喝45杯咖啡,結果有3
分之1以上的人可以活到90歲,這個島上癌症患者比西方國家平均人數少20%,比西方
國家患心臟病的人少50%,而且從不存在老人癡呆的問題。結論是:希臘長壽島百歲
老人秘笈:每天一杯濃咖啡,看起來喝咖啡好處不少。


現在我慢慢學會品嚐咖啡,每天早上帶一壼新鮮咖啡,什麼都不加,除了咖啡香,還
有神清氣爽的感覺。

2011年6月9日 星期四

The Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling is a cocktail that was developed sometime before 1915[1] by Ngiam Tong Boon (嚴崇文), a bartender working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel Singapore. The original recipe used gin, Cherry Heering, Bénédictine, and fresh pineapple juice, primarily from Sarawak pineapples which enhance the flavour and create a foamy top.

Most recipes substitute bottled pineapple juice for fresh juice; soda water has to be added for foam. The hotel's recipe was recreated based on the memories of former bartenders and written notes that they were able to discover regarding the original recipe. One of the scribbled recipes is still on display at the Raffles Hotel Museum.

Recipes published in articles about Raffles Hotel prior to the 1970s are significantly different from current recipes, and "Singapore Slings" drunk elsewhere in Singapore differ from the recipe used at Raffles Hotel.

The current Raffles Hotel recipe is a heavily modified version of the original, most likely changed sometime in the 1970s by Ngiam Tong Boon's nephew. Today, many of the "Singapore Slings" served at Raffles Hotel have been pre-mixed and are dispensed using an automatic dispenser that combines both alcohol and pineapple juice to pre-set volumes. They are then blended instead of shaken to create a nice foamy top as well as to save time because of the large number of orders. However, it is still possible to request a shaken version from bartenders.

By the 1980’s the Singapore Sling was often little more than gin, bottled sweet and sour, and grenadine. With the move towards fresh juices and the re-emergence of quality products like Cherry Heering the cocktail has again become a semblance of its former self.[2]


Notes

  1. ^ Campbell, Colin (12 December 1982). "Singapore Journal; Back to Somerset Maugham and Life's Seamy Side". The New York Times (Singapore).
  2. ^ Burkhart, Jeff (10 April 2011). "Sometimes a bartender needs to sling whatever works". mercurynews.com. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2011-04-14.

Further reading

  • "The Genealogy and Mythology of the Singapore Sling", Ted "Dr. Cocktail" Haigh, in Mixologist: The Journal of the American Cocktail, 2007, ISBN 978-0976093701

External links


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/singapore-sling#ixzz1OnvOxqgh

2011年5月17日 星期二

地酒

地酒

じ‐ざけ〔ヂ‐〕【地酒】

    その地方でつくられる清酒。特に、灘(なだ)や伏見(ふしみ)を除いた地方のものをさす。
local [a local brand of] sake


日本人用「一滴入魂」形容釀酒精神,如果酒有靈魂,也能在杯中與知音相遇。

日本地酒協同組合 - 阿德札記-喝:

所謂的「地酒」理論上是指用當地的原料()由當地的釀酒師(杜氏)釀造的酒,原先是用以區分大廠牌和在地小廠的說法,但是在物流發達的今天這個定義並不是那麼明確,因為一些酒廠也有可能從別處買米(像現在大家都想買兵庫縣的山田錦來釀好酒),產品也銷售到日本全國;不過我想要稱為地酒的話,至少是要能表現出當地特色才行。原先在日本地酒並不被認為是好酒,在江戶時代伊丹、池田、灘等地區(大致是今日的大阪、神戶之間)的酒才被認為是上品,當時其他地區的酒被視為是下品;這個情況一直要到二十世紀才漸漸改變,大約二十年前地酒則開始變得受歡迎,地酒熱潮(地酒boom)蔓延到各地,甚至還被介紹到歐美。

日本地酒協同組合是一個日本酒的同業組織,在日本這種日本酒同業組織有很多個,最大的應該是「日本名門酒會」。從今年台灣因WTO開 放日本酒進口以來,已然有許多品牌的日本酒陸續引進台灣,有的代理商更直接和這類同業組織合作,引進該組織所屬會員酒廠的產品。本次試酒會就是日本地酒協 同組合進入台灣市場的發表會,總共有九家會員酒廠參與這次活動,其中有知名度很高的,也有甚少聽聞到的酒廠。各家酒廠在會場的攤位是依照酒廠所在地由北到 南的順序,從左向右一字排開,因此我也依照這個順序喝過去。這次來的酒廠都各有特色,且水準頗高。以下介紹本次試酒會中各酒廠和試飲的產品:

2011年5月15日 星期日

Moët Hennessy heads to China to produce bubbly

法國酒商去寧夏
Moët Hennessy heads to China to produce bubbly
英國《金融時報》 斯坦利•皮尼亞爾巴黎報導


Champagne production is confined to 80,000 acres of terroir about 100 miles east of Paris, but Moët Hennessy will soon be producing upmarket bubbly from a brand-new winery in north-west China.


香檳生產局限在巴黎以東大約100英里處的8萬英畝土地上,但酩悅軒尼詩(Moët Hennessy)不久將在中國西北地區創辦一家新酒廠,生產高檔起泡酒。

Moët, which owns historic champagne brands Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cliquot and Krug, has joined forces with a Chinese state-owned agricultural group to develop a sparkling wine in the remote Ningxia Hui region.


擁有唐培裡儂香檳王(Dom Pérignon)、凱歌(Veuve Cliquot)和庫克(Krug)等老字號香檳品牌的酩悅軒尼詩,已與中國一家國有農業集團聯手,將在偏遠的寧夏回族自治區生產一種起泡葡萄酒。

The wine will not be sold as champagne – a moniker that is still reserved for wines from the eponymous region – but it will aim to satiate Asia's booming demand for bubbly.


這種葡萄酒不會作為香檳銷售——香檳之名仍只用於產自法國香檳地區的葡萄酒——但將力求滿足亞洲對起泡酒不斷增長的需求。

Just south of Inner Mongolia and 900km west of Beijing, Ningxia's climactic conditions are not far removed from those of Champagne, with the Yellow River substituting for the placid Marne.


寧夏位於內蒙古以南、北京以西900公里處,氣候條件與法國香檳產區相近,在這裡,黃河取代了溫和的馬恩河。

The joint venture will include 163 acres of land holdings, with Moët – part of Bernard Arnault's LVMH luxury empire – in control of a new winery on site.


該合資項目佔地163英畝,將在當地成立一家新酒廠,由酩悅軒尼詩控制。酩悅軒尼詩隸屬於伯納德•阿爾諾(Bernard Arnault)旗下的奢侈品帝國——酩悅軒尼詩•路易威登集團(LVMH)。

No financial details were disclosed.


雙方沒有對外披露詳細財務信息。

The end-product will be sold under the Chandon label, a secondary brand that currently markets wines from non-French domains in California, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.


最終產品將貼上Chandon標籤銷售。 Chandon是一個二線品牌,銷售美國加州、巴西、阿根廷和澳大利亞等法國以外地區生產的葡萄酒。

China has become a buoyant market for top-end alcohol brands, overtaking the UK as the top export market for Bordeaux wines in value for the first time in 2010, according to France's Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux.


中國如今已是一個紅火的高檔酒市場。根據法國波爾多葡萄酒行業協會(Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)的數據,按價值計算,2010年中國已經超過英國、成為波爾多葡萄酒最大的出口市場。

Between 2005 and 2009, annual wine consumption in China more than doubled to 867m litres, equivalent to more than 1bn bottles, claims Vinexpo, a wine exhibition group.


國際葡萄酒及烈酒展覽會集團(Vinexpo)表示,從2005年到2009年,中國年葡萄酒消費量增長了一倍以上,達到8.67億公升,相當於10億瓶以上。

The increase in drinking has been echoed by an increasing interest in production.


隨著葡萄酒消費量的增長,企業生產的興趣也不斷升溫。

International vintners have been driven to try growing grapes in more exotic locales, including China, India and Mongolia.


跨國酒業集團紛紛在中國、印度和蒙古等異國他鄉種植葡萄。

As well as affordable land – a fraction of the price of established domains in Europe – they are attracted by the growing appetite for wine in emerging markets, in contrast to steadily falling sales in developed countries.


除了地價遠比歐洲成熟產區便宜以外,葡萄酒在新興市場越來越吃香這一點也吸引著他們,相比之下,發達國家的葡萄酒銷量則每況愈下。

In 2009, Château Lafite-Rothschild, one of winemaking's most august names, partnered with CITIC, China's largest state-owned investment company, on a 60-acre project on China's eastern coast.


2009年,羅斯柴爾德拉菲堡(Château Lafite- Rothschild)——葡萄酒行業最讓人敬畏的名字之一——與中國最大的國有投資公司中信集團(CITIC)攜手,在中國東部沿海地區合作經營一個佔地60英畝的項目。

France's Pernod Ricard group already grows in the Ningxia region which Moët is now targeting.


在酩悅軒尼詩看中的寧夏地區,法國保樂力加集團(Pernod Ricard)已經在種植葡萄。

It is not LVMH's first foray into Chinese drinks production.


LVMH並非初次進軍中國釀酒業。

In 2007, it bought a 55 per cent stake in Wenjun, a brand of baiju – a clear grain spirit popular in China – in an attempt to transform the image of the drink away from cut-price firewater to a luxury brand.


該集團在2007年就購入了中國白酒生產公司文君55%的股權,意圖改變該品牌“低價烈酒”的形象,把它打造成一個高端品牌。白酒是一種穀物酒,在中國極其流行。



譯者/何黎

2011年4月16日 星期六

the world's thirst for whisky

Inside Europe | 16.04.2011 | 07:05

Rural Scotland is profiting from the world's thirst for whisky

While wine-growing may transcend borders, the opposite is true for Scotch whisky. In fact, in order for the spirit to be called Scotch whisky, it must be made in Scotland. And when consumers think of whisky, they are clearly associating it with Scotland more and more as the country's whisky industry is in the middle of a boom.

While sales in traditional markets are still strong, emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are providing sustainable growth and encouraging tremendous investment by industry players. Laura Schweiger travelled to Scotland to find out why, when it comes to Scotch whisky, the world is thirsting for more.

Rural Scotland is profiting from the world's thirst for whisky



2011年2月28日 星期一

critter wines/new-world-wine

critter wines/ duke it out

Look-Alike Wines Featuring Look-Alike Marsupials Duke It Out
Two big makers of so-called critter wines lately aren't looking so warm and fuzzy. The producer of Yellow Tail has filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court accusing the maker of Little Roo of trademark infringement.



duke it out: fight, esp. with fists; do battle



Being less dependent on geography, New World wines have placed more emphasis on branding as a marketing tool, following the example set by Germany's Blue Nun and Portugal's Mateus Rosé, brands created in 1927 and in 1942 respectively. One particular style of branding has been the 'critter wines' that use animals on their labels. Without the partible inheritance of the Napoleonic code to worry about, New World vineyards tend to be very much bigger than those in say Burgundy, which has allowed economies of scale and a better ability to negotiate with mass market retailers. With supermarkets selling an increasing proportion of wine in many markets, New World producers are better positioned to take advantage of this trend towards high volumes and low margins.

new-world-wine
A reference to non-European wine-producing countries such as argentina, australia, chile, new zealand, south africa and the united states. New World wine techniques are modern, science-based viticulture and viniculture methods, although the differences are rapidly disappearing. See also old world wine.




critter
(krĭt'ər) pronunciation
n. Informal
  1. A living creature.
  2. A domestic animal, especially a cow, horse, or mule.
  3. A person.

[Alteration of CREATURE.]

REGIONAL NOTE Critter, a pronunciation spelling of creature, actually reflects a pronunciation that would have been very familiar to Shakespeare: 16th- and 17th-century English had not yet begun to pronounce the -ture suffix with its modern (ch) sound. This archaic pronunciation still exists in American critter and in Irish creature, pronounced (krā'tŭr) and used in the same senses as the American word. The most common meaning of critter is "a living creature," whether wild or domestic; it also can mean "a child" when used as a term of sympathetic endearment, or it can mean "an unfortunate person." In old-fashioned speech, critter and beast denoted a large domestic animal. The more restricted senses "a cow," "a horse," or "a mule" are still characteristic of the speech in specific regions of the United States. The use of critter among younger speakers almost always carries with it a jocular or informal connotation.

2011年2月24日 星期四

In Search Of Alcoholism Genes 尋找酗酒基因

2011年 02月 21日 07:28
尋找酗酒基因


百萬美國人都痛苦地瞭解到﹐酗酒會在家族中遺傳。

如果父母酗酒﹐他們的孩子產生酗酒問題的可能性將是普通人的四倍。如果父親酗酒﹐兒子酗酒的風險將高達普通人的九倍。研究顯示﹐酗酒者的後代即使從小就被不喝酒的家庭收養﹐其今後產生酗酒問題的可能性也很大﹐基本上同跟生物學父母一起生活差不多。

但 要破解哪種基因攜帶了誘發酗酒問題的遺傳物質是極其困難的——這主要是由於酗酒過程本身非常複雜。影響肝臟代謝酒精速度的基因、影響大腦對壓力、獎勵和快 樂的反應機制的基因均對酗酒有影響﹐影響焦慮和抑鬱的基因也與此有關。某些與酗酒相關的基因還與影響尼古丁癮、可卡因癮和其他成癮症的基因部分重疊。

大約十分之一的美國人在某些時間點﹐符合酒精依賴症的標準——其標準主要是無法戒酒。這其中環境影響和社會壓力也起到了複雜的作用。

印 第安那大學(Indiana University)醫學院的生物化學與分子生物學教授霍華德•J•埃登貝里(Howard J. Edenberg)說﹐你經常會看到有文章說他們找到了與這有關的基因或與那有關的基因﹐但事情很少會這麼簡單。我們並不指望為每種症狀找到一個相應的基 因。埃登貝里博士是美國政府資助的酗酒遺傳學合作研究專案(Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism﹐COGA)的四位首席研究員之一﹐該專案從1989年起就開始跟蹤家庭中的酗酒問題。迄今為止﹐COGA的研究人員已經採訪了 14,000多人﹐並取得了262個家庭的DNA樣本。他們發現了證明幾種基因與酒精有關的證據——並越來越確信﹐不同類型的酗酒對應不同的基因變異。

這 樣的進展讓我們看到了在一個領域中取得成功的希望:找出能根據個人DNA圖譜説明治療酗酒的藥物。目前﹐市場上的多數藥物都是為了幫助酗酒者戒掉酒癮﹐但 並不是對每個人都管用﹐而且病人能否配合治療也是一個問題。專家稱﹐如果藥物能針對特定酗酒類型的病人﹐那麼這種情況將會改觀。

《美國精 神病學雜誌》(American Journal of Psychiatry)上個月報導了最早的一項此類研究﹐這項研究發現﹐帶有兩種與神經遞質羥色胺有關的特定變異基因的酗酒者服用昂丹司瓊 (onadansetron)後戒酒效果顯著。這種止吐藥也被稱為樞複寧(Zofran)﹐通常用於輔助癌症治療﹐它可以阻斷羥色胺受體﹐且似乎可以降低 某些酗酒者飲酒後的興奮情緒。

相比之下﹐帶有其他羥色胺受體基因的受試者和服用安慰劑的受試者成功戒酒的幾率較小。

迄今 為止﹐人們發現的與酗酒相關性最強的基因是所謂的“亞洲紅”(Asian flush)。約40%的東亞裔人都攜帶一、兩種可以將酒精迅速轉化為化學物乙醛的變異基因﹐這種物質會導致噁心、心跳加速和大紅臉﹐是一種強力抑制飲酒 物﹐很像戒酒硫(disulfiram)(也稱為安塔布司(Antabuse))這種藥。美國國家防止酒精濫用與酒精中毒研究所(National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)神經遺傳學實驗室主任大衛•戈德曼(David Goldman)說﹐你甚至不用進行基因測試就能檢測出它。如果你去赴晚宴﹐宴會上的某個人有這種變異基因﹐那麼他喝下一杯酒後就會臉紅。

北卡羅來納大學教堂山分校(University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)的研究人員初步識別出一種類似的“醉酒基因”﹐帶有這種基因的人只要喝下一、兩杯酒就會感到醉意。10%至20%的人帶有這種變異基因﹐它也被 認為能保護人們免於染上酒精依賴症。

也有些人在喝酒時感覺特別愉快——這可能是由於大腦獎勵回路中神經遞質多巴胺的變異。在許多酗酒者、吸毒者和吸煙者身上都發現了一種DRD2多巴胺受體變異基因。不過後來的研究得出的結論並不一致。

單獨地看﹐約四分之一的人身上都普遍帶有神經遞質神經肽Y受體的兩種與壓力和嚴重戒酒症狀相關的變異基因。很顯然﹐這些人並不都是嚴重的酗酒者。

由於許多情況仍不清楚﹐多數專家並不建議消費者利用基因測試瞭解他們染上酗酒等複雜病症的可能性。

戈德曼博士說﹐即使你知道自己攜帶有某種保護性基因﹐也仍然可能由於一種我們尚未發現的基因而容易酗酒。他還說﹐任何有酗酒家族史的人接觸酒類時都絕對應該謹慎。

埃登貝里博士說﹐查看家族史更簡單、更省錢﹐而且目前它能給你比基因測試更多的資訊。他還強調﹐當涉及到人類行為時﹐DNA決不是決定性因素。他說﹐你可能攜帶有各種導致酗酒的基因﹐但如果你設法推開酒杯或酒瓶﹐那麼就不會染上酗酒問題。

酗酒者的特徵

如果你有以下七條症狀中的任何三條﹐那麼你就符合酒精依賴症的標準:

——比最初設想的喝得更多或更久
——無法停止喝酒或無法戒酒
——跟他人相比﹐需要喝更多的酒才能產生相同的效果
——不喝酒時有戒酒症狀
——喝酒或恢復清醒所花的時間越來越長
——由於喝酒忽視了其他活動
——繼續喝酒而不顧負面後果

美國國家防止酒精濫用與酒精中毒研究所(National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)稱﹐現在約5%的美國人符合該標準﹐超過10%的美國人在某些時間點符合該標準。

資料來源:《精神疾病診斷與統計手冊》(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

Melinda Beck

In Search Of Alcoholism Genes

Millions of Americans know all too painfully that alcoholism runs in families.

Children of alcoholic parents are four times as likely to develop drinking problems as the general population. Sons of alcoholic fathers face up to nine times the usual risk. Even babies of alcoholics adopted into non-drinking homes have nearly the same risk of alcoholism as they would if they'd stayed with their biological parents, studies have shown.

But untangling just which genes pass along the predisposition for problem drinking is devilishly difficult -- largely because alcoholism itself is so complex. Genes that affect how fast the liver metabolizes alcohol and how the brain reacts to stress, reward and pleasure have all been implicated, as have genes for anxiety and depression. Some overlap with genes for nicotine, cocaine and other addictions.

About one in 10 Americans fit the criteria for alcohol dependence -- mainly the inability to cut down -- at some point in their lives. Environmental influences and social pressures also play complicated roles.

'All too often, you read that they've found a gene for this and a gene for that, and it's very rarely that simple. We don't expect to find a single gene in everyone,' says Howard J. Edenberg, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Edenberg is one of four principal investigators in the government-funded Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), which has been tracking alcoholism in families since 1989. To date, COGA researchers have interviewed more than 14,000 people and sampled the DNA of 262 families. They've found evidence for several alcohol-related genes -- and are increasingly convinced that different types of alcoholics reflect many genetic variations.

That idea is already showing promise in one area: identifying drugs that can help treat alcoholics based on their individual DNA profile. Most of the drugs currently on the market aim to cut alcohol cravings but don't work on everyone and compliance is a problem. That could change, experts say, if drugs could be targeted to patients with specific types of alcoholism.

In one of the first such studies, reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry last month, alcoholics with two specific variations of a gene related to the neurotransmitter serotonin were able to cut their alcohol consumption significantly using the drug onadansetron. The anti-nausea drug often used with cancer treatments, also known as Zofran, blocks serotonin receptors and seems to diminish the buzz some alcoholics get from drinking.

Subjects with different versions of the serotonin-receptor genes and those taking a placebo had less success cutting down.

The strongest gene associations found to date involve the so-called Asian flush. Roughly 40% of people of East Asian descent carry one or two gene variations that rapidly convert alcohol into the chemical acetaldehyde, which causes nausea, rapid heart beat and a severe flush. It's a strong deterrent to drinking, much like the drug disulfiram, or Antabuse. 'You don't even need a genetic test to detect it,' says David Goldman, chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. 'If you have a dinner party and somebody has this variation, they'll turn red when they drink a glass of wine.'

Researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have tentatively identified a similar 'tipsy gene' that makes carriers feel inebriated after just one or two drinks. Between 10% and 20% of the population has this variation, which is also thought to protect against becoming alcohol-dependent.

Other people feel especially euphoric when they drink -- probably due to variations in the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain's reward circuits. A variation in the DRD2 dopamine receptor gene was found in a large number of alcoholics as well as drug addicts and smokers, although later studies have been mixed.

Separately, variations in two genes for receptor to neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y, associated with stress and severe withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, are common to about one-quarter of the population. Clearly, not all those people are severe alcoholics.

So much is still unknown that most experts don't advise consumers to use genetic-testing services to try to understand their risk for complex conditions like alcoholism.

'Even if you learn you have a protective version of some gene, you could still be vulnerable due to a gene we haven't discovered yet,' says Dr. Goldman, who adds that anyone with a family history of alcoholism should definitely approach alcohol with caution.

'Looking at your family history is simpler, cheaper and at the moment, gives you more information than a genetic test,' says Dr. Edenberg. He also stresses that DNA is never destiny when human behavior is involved. 'You can carry all kinds of genes, and if you manage to push away the glass or the bottle, you won't have an alcoholism problem.'

Who Is an Alcoholic?

If you've done any three of these seven, you meet the criteria for alcohol-dependent:

-- Drunk more or longer than you intended
-- Been unable to stop or cut down
-- Needed more alcohol to get the same effect
-- Had withdrawal symptoms without it
-- Spent an increasing amount of time drinking or recovering
-- Neglected other activities due to drinking
-- Continued to drink despite negative consequences

About 5% of Americans currently meet the criteria, and more than 10% do at some time in their lives, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Source: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Melinda Beck

2011年2月4日 星期五

中粮收购波尔多酒庄 法国人忧心忡忡

媒体看中国 | 2011.02.04


实力雄厚的中国公司开始深入西方人引以为骄傲的传统领地,中粮集团最近收购法国波尔多的葡萄酒庄就是一例,这引起了法国人的担忧……

《南德意志报》的评论写道:"葡萄酒在法国不是什么随便享用的饮料,而是国饮和文化资产。法国人自认为是具有数千年悠久历史的葡萄种植传统 的继承者,有时将它维护到过分的地步。这就说明,对于一家中国的国有集团公司在波尔多(Bordeaux)地区购买一个酒庄,法国人为什么现在会如此的不 快。波尔多在全球已成为法兰西酒文化的代名词。


"此外,所涉及的一块种植园叫拉蓝-德-波美侯(den Lalande-de-Pomerol),不仅名字好听,而且出产公认的好酒。……中国的中粮集团,一个年营业额超过210亿美元的综合体,收购了那里的 老河城堡(Château de Viaud)。议定的售价没有公开,私下传说是1000万欧元。对这家国有康采恩来说这并不多,但对一个20公顷大小的葡萄园来说可是很多的钱了。"


波尔多是法国酒文化的代名词Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 波尔多是法国酒文化的代名词评 论接着写道:"于是,嗜好葡萄酒的自豪的法国人纳闷,中国人在打什么主意。从2008年以来,他们已经收购了3个葡萄酒庄。这以往一直都是超级富豪的私人 消遣,现在第一次由一家国有康采恩出手,也就引起怀疑。为什么付出如此昂贵的价格?答案引起一种复杂的感觉,一方面出于满意的自我证明:即波尔多出产卓越 的葡萄酒,当然有其价值。另一方面还有一种怀疑,认为中国人只想获取葡萄种植的技艺,仿佛对这种人们自公元前6000年就已开始从事的手艺还有什么秘密可 言。"

对大甩卖的恐惧

评论指出:"这个反应本身也体现了法国人整体上对全球化的顾虑,具体而言则表明他们对中国的影响在全球不断增长的不满。法国人还不知道应该如何应付 日益强大的中国人,有时导致可笑的后果。法国年初指责中国,称其刺探汽车制造商雷诺(Renault),以获得制造电动汽车的技术,现已证实完全没有根 据。"


"另一方面,有买家也就总有卖家,这个卖家是法国人。菲利普·拉乌(Pierre Raoux)有足够的理由相信,做了一笔好生意,不仅因为谣传的售价,而且也还因为购买合同规定了与中国的长期销售合作。拉乌还拥有其它葡萄酒庄园,生产 能力为数万瓶,他想尽可能多地向中国供货。拉乌不得不与中国人苦苦谈了两年,直到中国人接受这个条款,现在他有良好的出口前景。"

文章最 后写道:"中国现在已经是除了欧洲之外波尔多葡萄酒的最大买主,尽管那里的人均消费每年还不到半升。与法国人平均每人每年喝50升相比,往上还大有余地。 就这一点而言,亦可明白中国公司对法国葡萄庄园的兴趣,以及法国人对大甩卖的恐惧。要是中国人有朝一日象如今的法国人那样尽情享用的话,波尔多(葡萄酒) 会出现紧缺。"

摘译:林泉

责编:叶宣

以上内容摘自或摘译自其它媒体,不代表德国之声观点

2011年2月2日 星期三

醪/清酒濁酒/日本清酒

醪/清酒濁酒


日本清酒

维基百科,自由的百科全书
跳转到: 导航, 搜索
日本酒酒樽

清酒是在日本米麴發酵而成的一種的傳統類,在日本又稱之為日本酒にほんしゅ)或是直稱為さけ)。酒精濃度平均在15%左右。

在日本的酒稅法中,日本酒的正式名稱為「清酒」,而一般日本人在指稱日本酒時,則直接稱「酒」,而使用片假名時所指稱的則是洋酒。而日本的佛教僧侶在稱呼酒時,則將其用「般若湯」代稱。

世界上的酒類有其適合的飲用溫度,最適合飲用清酒的溫度介於攝氏五度到攝氏六十度間,是世界上飲用溫度範圍最大的酒類。而另外一方面,清酒亦可以應用在料理上。最常見的使用方法便是利用日本酒來除去魚類的腥臭味。

清酒近來在日本的銷售狀況有低落的傾向,主要是因為日本與國際接軌後洋酒大舉進入日本,在日本的酒類市場取得了不少的佔有率。而在這樣的態勢之下, 反而是歐美地區逐漸出現了飲用日本酒的風潮,主因是壽司與生魚片等日式料理在流行至西方國家後,食用時常會配上同樣來自日本的清酒之故。


目录

[隐藏]

[编辑] 清酒的釀造

清酒釀造過程中所需的主要原料為水、米、麴,除此之外還需要酵母和乳酸菌。上述的幾種原料為清酒的主原料,在主原料之外還需使用調整酒類酸度的副原料才能產出完美的清酒。

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經過科學的分析,可以得知水大約佔了清酒內容物的百分之八十。一般在釀造清酒時主要使用地下水,但在水質良好之地區亦有直接使用自來水的現象。而釀酒時所使用的水可謂左右了清酒的品質,甚至有建於都市地區的釀酒廠為了造出美味的日本酒而從水源區運水至廠房。

判定水質優劣的一個條件為水的硬度。一般日本所使用的硬度標準採用美制,然而在釀酒界所採用的標準卻是德國制,但近年因國際勢力消長之故,逐漸有往美制傾斜的趨勢。若單單只進行粗略地分類,使用硬水釀造的酒口感較烈,而使用軟水釀造的酒則口感較甘。原因是在硬水的環境之下,酵母的活性較使用軟水時高,酒精發酵(亦即糖分的分解)速度加快;反之在使用軟水時,酵母活性低落,發酵的程度便低於硬水。

從江戶時代開始,生產日本美酒的灘五鄉便使用被稱為「宮水」的硬水。然而在十九世紀時,廣島縣的三浦仙三郎開發出了軟水釀酒法。以往主要是以硬水做為釀酒用水,但因為軟水釀出的酒類較合現代人的胃口,因此釀酒用水有逐漸往軟水傾斜的趨勢。

從古至今,日本生產名酒之處皆離河川不遠。釀酒所用的水大多是由河川直接取得或是抽取地下水。雖然水是生產清酒的主要原料之一,但廠商並沒有標示水 質及水源地的義務。然而這並不意味著廠商在這方面不需要受到監督,事實上在建廠開始生產清酒之前,廠商需將水源地的水送交地方的釀造試驗所與食品試驗所接 受測試。

在此值得一提的是,與中國大陸相較之下,日本各地的水質基本上差異並不會太大。在太平洋戰爭爆發之時,居住於滿州的日本人為了釀造品質優良的日本酒,在尋找優質的水源時可說是吃足了苦頭。

另外,除了釀造酒類時所使用的原料水需要受到規範,用來清洗酒瓶及廠房設備的水亦須受到監督。因為若使用劣質水清洗酒瓶和機具,殘留下來的水滴會影響酒的純度及品質。

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主条目:酒米

在優良的水質之外,釀造優良的日本酒亦需要高品質的米。米為穀類的一種,最大的特點為富含澱粉,而澱粉是酵母發酵時所需要的能量來源,故原料米的品質亦左右了酒的品質。

在發酵這一點上,東亞文化圈西方文化最 大的不同在於西方文化主要使用水果類作為發酵物;而東方文化圈如日本與中國等主要是使用米類作為發酵物。而在正式名稱的界定之上,我們將西洋文化圈的釀造 方式訂為單發酵文化圈,而東亞文化圈所採用的釀造方式則稱為複發酵文化圈。值得一提的是,東亞文化圈除了酒類之外,亦利用發酵技術製造醬油、納豆等調味料 與食品。

以用途而言,釀酒時所用的米有麴米和掛米。麴米通常使用釀酒專用的酒米(又稱酒造好適米);掛米則較常使用一般的食用米。

[编辑] 酵母

在釀酒過程中另外一項值得注意的必需品為酵母。酵母在生物學上是屬於真菌類單細胞生物。而在自然界中有超過十萬種的酵母存在,而彼此又各具有不同的特性。而酵母可謂決定酒類的口感、香氣與品質的最大關鍵,而專用來釀造日本酒的酵母稱為「清酒酵母」。

在製造日本酒的過程當中,發酵是一個相當重要的步驟。日本酒與洋酒最大的不同之處在於日本酒的原料穀類本身不含糖分,需要經過糖化的步驟才能產生糖分。因此日本酒最大的特性便是同時進行發酵與糖化的製造過程,我們將之稱為「並行複發酵」。

在尚未進入科學時代之前,古人們的釀酒方式為將米與水混合,使原本就存在於空氣之中的酵母自然增生,尤其是使用酒窖中大量存在的酵母。主因是酒窖中 存在的酵母通常是以該酒窖中所存放的酒類佔多數。然而這樣缺乏科學化管理的製造技術有許多的缺點,因為製造者無法控制該次發酵會取得何種酵母。也因為如 此,因此能否釀造出品質優良的酒類只能仰賴運氣,造成了酒類品質的低落與原料的浪費。

而在明治時代之後由於西學東漸,日本在引進了微生物學後, 也掌握了分離菌株而後培養的技術,日本人則透過此技術欲提升釀酒成品的品質。西元1911年(明治44年),日本釀造協會進行了大規模的酵母採集,並在專 家評鑑之後訂出了第一名的酵母。在評鑑之後大量培養並分散至全國,這類酵母則稱為「協會N號」(視其品種不同,N為不同的數字)。而外界則將此類酵母統稱 為協會系酵母或協會酵母。

傳統的日本酒只有米類的香味,而不似洋酒有果類的香味。而使日本酒具有濃烈香氣的最大功臣乃是吟釀酒的誕生。而吟釀酒的酵母則為協會7號與協會9號。

而在1980年代時,由於吟釀酒在消費者間受到廣大的歡迎,因此在協會系酵母之外,亦研發了少酸性酵母、蘋果酵母等新一代的酵母。目前各大學及研究機構也持續進行著新酵母的研究。

然而吟釀酒濃烈的香氣也並非沒有缺點,如香水般過度濃烈的香氣事實上是有損於酒類的口感的。也因為這個原因,在存放時需要特別處理。

[编辑] 分類方式

根據原材料和製作方法,清酒可分為普通酒和特定名稱酒兩種。而根據日本國稅局公告之《清酒釀造品質的表示基準》,特定名稱酒又可分為吟釀酒、純米酒、本釀造酒三種:

  • 本釀造酒—加入少量釀造酒精來調節香氣和味道。適合加熱後飲用。
  • 純米酒—單用米與米麴製造的酒,完全不添加釀造酒精。飲用時冷、熱皆宜。
  • 吟釀酒—使用特別酵母,進行長期低溫發酵的酒,有獨特的香氣與味道。一般不加熱飲用。

如果再細分,共可分為八種:

特定名稱 使用原料 精米含量 要件
吟釀酒 純米大吟釀酒 米、米麴 50%以下 吟釀製作;特有的香味、色澤極為良好。
大吟釀酒 米、米麴、釀造酒精 50%以下 吟釀製作;特有的香味、色澤極為良好。
純米吟釀酒 米、米麴 60%以下 吟釀製作;特有的香味、色澤極為良好。
吟釀酒 米、米麴、釀造酒精 60%以下 吟釀製作;特有的香味、色澤極為良好。
純米酒 特別純米酒 米、米麴 60%以下 香味、色澤極為良好。
純米酒 米、米麴 70%以下 香味、色澤極為良好。
本釀造酒 特別本釀造酒 米、米麴、釀造酒精 60%以下 香味、色澤極為良好。
本釀造酒 米、米麴、釀造酒精 70%以下 香味、色澤極為良好。


[编辑] 參考文獻

  • 貝塚英元。日本酒極品精選205。臺北:人人,2003。ISBN 986-7916-27-1
  • 日本酒商品標籤用語詞典。東京:獨立行政法人酒類總合研究所,2007。

2011年1月20日 星期四

U.S. Starbucks to one-up Venti with new, larger size: the ‘Trenta’


January 17, 2011 – 7:33 am

Glenn Baglo / Vancouver Sun

The Trenta is 7 ounces larger than Starbucks’ “Venti” (shown here) for iced drinks, which currently is its largest size on offer

LOS ANGELES — Starbucks Corp will roll out its biggest drink size yet — the 31-ounce ”Trenta” — in all of its U.S. coffee shops by May 3, the company said Sunday

The new size will be available only for iced coffee, iced tea and iced tea lemonade drinks in the United States. The Trenta is 7 ounces larger than Starbucks’ “Venti” cup for iced drinks, which currently is its largest size on offer.

Drinks in the Trenta size will cost 50 cents more than similar Venti-sized iced drinks, the company said.

Seattle-based Starbucks tested the new size in several U.S. markets last year, saying it was responding to customer demand for larger cold beverages.

The Trenta size will debut in 14 states, including Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Hawaii and Arizona, on Jan. 18 and in California on Feb. 1.

The world’s biggest coffee chain said unsweetened drinks in the new size will have fewer than 90 calories and that sweetened versions will have less than 230 calories.

Is Coffee in Paris Improving?


Ristretto | Is Coffee in Paris Improving?

Frog Fight is a monthly throwdown for baristas in Paris.Zoe KinganFrog Fight is a monthly throwdown for baristas in Paris.

Last year, I wrote a column that wondered why Paris doesn’t have better coffee. Or, to quote Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, “Why does the coffee in Paris suck so bad?”

The flurry of comments that followed was split between agreement and outrage. (“Is this article a bit of cultural imperialism?” asked one. “A better question is why America sucks so bad,” wrote another.) Since then, I’ve been back to Paris and I can report that the coffee is improving. Little by little.

To be clear, most of the coffee in Paris is still rote. The beans are still old and over-roasted, the machines are still second-rate and poorly maintained, and the person behind the bar is still more concerned with continuing his or her conversation than pulling a good shot. Robusta is still popular, as is ultra-pasteurized milk.

But there are some new developments changing things for the better.

Last spring, Café Lomi, a small-batch roaster, opened in the 17th Arrondissement. Then in August it hosted the first Frog Fight, a throwdown that, in its own words, is “organisé par des baristas pour des baristas.” The winner competes for the right to baby-sit the trophy, pictured above, until the following Frog Fight. (The next one will be held at Café Lomi on Thursday, Jan. 13.) The throwdowns are lively, good-natured, a breath of indie air in a city where massive corporations dominate the coffee industry.

Frog Fight is organized by Thomas Lehoux and David Flynn, who met when working at le Cafeotheque (52, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 011-33-1-53-01-83-84), an artisanal roaster and cafe in the Cité des Arts. Lehoux is currently training for the French Barista Championship, to be held in Lyon later this month, while Flynn works at Le Bal (6 Impasse de la Défense, 011-33-1-44-70-75-51; www.le-bal.fr), a casual, spare restaurant in the front of a converted 1920s dance hall just off the Place de Clichy. After going on a few coffee crawls in Paris, it became clear that le Bal stands apart. In fact, in my opinion, Le Bal has the best coffee in Paris.

Le Bal is actually an arts institute. There are cavernous exhibition spaces and an excellent bookstore, with a cinema right around the corner. The building is tucked away on a dead-end cobblestone street in what was once a working-class area.

The restaurant opened in the fall with Alice Quillet and Anna Trattles in the kitchen. The two chefs spent time at Rose Bakery (on the nearby rue des Martyrs) and St. John (in London), and the food they cook is confident, flavorful — whole lamb kidneys with toast, meaty hunks of oxtail in rich broth. Lunch and dinner are popular, while weekend brunches are a madhouse. Go early, or prepare to stand in line.

The restaurant doesn’t open until 10 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday (it’s closed Monday and Tuesday), which is a little late for the morning’s first coffee. But it’s worth the wait. Flynn once worked at Murky Coffee, the almost-legendary Washington, D.C. coffee shop that closed in 2009, and he has the poise and authority of an expert barista. The espresso, made with Café Lomi coffee, is tight and bright; the cappuccino is rich and satisfying. In what might be a first for Paris, Chemex coffee is brewed to order.

Oliver Strand David Flynn of Le Bal in Paris.

Le Bal is just the most exceptional of a new crop of Paris cafes. Recently,the stalwart Le Cafeotheque was joined by Merce and the Muse (1 bis rue Dupuis; 011-33-9-53-14-53-04), which opened in the fashionable northern end of the Marais. Soon Coutume Café (47 rue de Babylone) will be roasting beans in a storefront a short, brisk walk from the Bon Marché. Until construction is completed, there’s a la Marzocco FB-80 set up on a cart in front of a tarp next to the sidewalk.

For the most part, coffee in Paris still sucks so bad, but it’s getting better, and the scene forming around the monthly Frog Fight is a peek into what might be the city’s future. Now, a handful of Paris cafes have good coffee. Depending on who’s behind the bar, the coffee can be great.