Aug 23

Best of Seattle – Best Wine Shop from Seattle Weekly

Best Wine Shop

Wine World & Spirits was awarded the Best Wine Shop in Seattle for the 2014 edition of the Best of Seattle from Seattle Weekly. Thank you for voting for us! As a locally owned and operated store, we love being part of the Seattle community.

Wine Staff - Wine World & Spirits

 

Aug 23

Labor Day Selections and Events

glass 2Labor Day is right around the corner! At Wine World, we have a huge selection for Labor Day Weekend celebrations. Check out what we have going on this week:

Beer Wednesdays
Come in from 6-8pm on Wednesday night to taste some fantastic beers at our growler bar.

Two Vintners

Join us for this Think Local Thursday wine tasting with Two Vintners Winery. Morgon from Two Vintners will be pouring wines at the Wine World & Spirits tasting bar from  6-8pm Thursday, August 28th

Raft Syrups
Raft Syrups from Portland, Oregon will be at Wine World to taste through some of their syrups that were featured in Portland Monthly Magazine’s Trophy Case. You can get an idea of what they’re all about at raftsyrups.com6-8pm Thursday, August 28th
Swede Hill Distillery
Swede Hill Distillery will be pouring a the Wine World & Spirits tasting bar for this special Friday night Spirits Tasting. Join us from 6-8pm Friday, August 29th and taste through this awesome lineup.
Friday Night Flights
Come taste wines from around the world with us at Wine World & Spirits! Every Friday night from 6-8pm we will be hosting a special tasting from different locations around the world. For $10, you can come in and sit down with our wine experts and learn about the different regions we will be tasting from.
Upcoming Tastings:
Chardonnay from Around the world 8-22-14
South America – Why Altitude plays such a big role in the world of Wine! 8-29-14
International Cabernet Day
International Cabernet Day is Saturday August 30th! We have an awesome selection of cabernets to taste at the Wine World & Spirits tasting bar. This is going to be a wonderful event where we taste some great cabernets from 2-5pm.

Aug 22

The Truth About “Proof”

Alcohol ProofIt’s a good thing we no longer have to “proof” our own alcohol. I find that my alcohol abundance greatly exceeds my supply of gunpowder.

If that first line doesn’t make any sense, then keep reading. The history of the word “proof” in relation to alcohol is pretty fun. It dates all the way back as early as the 16th century and is still used colloquially today, though the precise definition has changed slightly. In the 16th century, the British Royal Navy was one of the largest military forces in the world and sailed persistently around Atlantic and Indian oceans. At the time, it was commonplace for sailors to drink throughout the day, so alcohol was kept on board ships. By the 17th century, the standard alcohol ration for a single sailor was a gallon of beer per day. As you might imagine, it became problematic to store that much liquid on board ships. This caused many ships around the Caribbean to start substituting rum in place of beer since it didn’t take up nearly as much space. By 1655, a pint of rum was officially made the equivalent of one gallon of beer as a sailors ration. This eventually became problematic as rum could be consumed much faster than beer, and drunkenness ensued. By 1740, Admiral Edward Vernon mandated that a sailor’s rum ration be mixed with water in 4:1 water to rum ratio and split into two servings per day. This rationing became known as a sailor’s “daily tot” or rum.

So what does that have to do with the word “proof?” Needless to say, sailors of the time did not like their rations to be diluted or tampered with. Especially when acquiring rum barrels from around the Caribbean, it became commonplace to mix a bit of the rum with gunpowder and try to ignite it. If the gunpowder flamed, then the rum was considered to be of proper strength and accepted. If the powder would not ignite, then the rum was too diluted down and considered “under proof.”

Eventually, science came into play and more precise methods were established for determined the concentration of alcohol in a liquid. It turns out that the required percentage of alcohol by volume to ignite gunpowder is 57.15%. So a 100° proved spirit would be 57.15% alcohol by volume (ABV). To equate it to common ABV percentages today, 40% = 70 proof and 50% = 87.5 proof.

By the time the United States came to start defining their own rules, measuring alcohol percentage was already a common practice. The US Code of Federal Regulations mandated that ABV be used on all liquor labels. It allowed for a statement of proof to be given, so long as it was printed near the ABV. To simplify things, the US defined proof as simply twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. That means that 40% = 80 proof and 50% = 100 proof.

Starting in 1973, the International Organization of Legal Metrology provided an official European standard for measuring the ABV of alcohol and mandated that such measurements be taken at 20 °C (68 °F). This method was adopted across Europe and finally the United Kingdom as of January 1st 1980.

Today, the term “proof” is not officially used, as it has been officially replaced by the ABV measurement. However, it still comes up in colloquial speech quite often and is still printed on most US liquor. The history still shows up from time to time too. For instance, “Navy Strength” gin is a gin bottled at least 57% ABV. The scotch producer Glenfarclas also has an offering called the Glenfarclas 105 in reference to being 105 proof. The whisky itself is actually 60% ABV, which would be 120 proof by US standards.

So that’s the story. Savvy sailors of yesteryear are the reason why there are two numbers on most US liquor bottles. So the next time you talk about the proof of a bottle of liquor or a cocktail etc., just remember that you’re talking like a sailor.

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