Category Archives: Outdoors

The Ultimate Guide to Wines that Everyone must know

What is wine?  General - 250x250 - Bottles Start at $13

As a dapper man knowing your wine is essential although it doesn’t necessarily means it must be your alcoholic beverage of choice at all times or even the one you enjoy the most, but every dapper man knows the importance of having an extensive knowledge of wine to impress everyone as it is a valuable trait to have.

This fermented grape juice beverage is great to enjoy at small doses with dinner and to relax at the end of the day. Besides the several brands, manufacturers, and grape types, there are a lot more to learn when it comes to becoming a wine connoisseur, and it is imperative that you are, as to better enjoy this drink you must know how to pair it nicely for the greatest experience.

 

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” ― Paulo Coelho

 

Wine’s Biggest Misconception

Commonly, wine is made of grapes, but that is not a rule, as it can be made of any fruit, and even know it is not as common, wine made of different fruits have been getting a bigger space in the market with brands investing more in the novelty. This kind of regular wine "spin-offs" are worth trying, as being a dapper man you enjoy new experiences.

 

 

Grapes

Several individual grape types make up the world of wine. There exist about four thousand distinct wine grape varietals in the world, even though the vast majority of wines consumed are from the species Vitis Vinifera. Some of these wine grapes varietal names like Muscat (muscato) Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot… are very common while the others may only be known by wine experts and bartenders. To learn more about wine grape varietals, visit www.winemonthclub

Cabernet Sauvignon, also known as the king of red wines is also from the Vitis Vinifera family.

 

 

Wine Production

Wine grapes take a whole season to be good enough to produce wine and the product only happens once a year, making the wine making process not only a long but a very meticulous one from start to finish.

 

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.” ― Andre Simon

 

 

Label

In order to find out the year of production and harvest of the wine you intend to purchase check the label for the vintage (what the year in the bottle is called). If you find a bottle that doesn’t contain one, it is because grapes from different harvest were mixed in the production of it.

 

 

Grape Usage Categories

There are 2 types of categories given to wines which depend solely on the amount of the primary grape used in its production.

 

–          Single-Veritable Wine

This kind of wine, as the name suggests, is made of primarily one type of grape. How much of the same grape it takes to get this title varies from country to country, being at least 75% in most of the continent of the United States, with Oregon being the only exception, with a demand of 90% of the primary grape in its production being necessary to get the title.

 

–          Blended Wine

When a wine doesn’t belong in the single-veritable category it is a part of the blended one. This category has two variations in itself, divided by rather the wine blends are mixed together before or after the aging and fermentation process. The first being called field blending but the second being the most popular method to date.

 

 

Decanting Wine

When it comes to decanting wine, one must always remember never to do so with white wine and old red ones, other than those decanting it won’t have any negative effects, either sparkling ones. The best results are achieved with red wine and in order, to decant it just pour it into the decanter for about 40 minutes before consuming it.

 

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” ― Ernest Hemingway

 

Wine Glasses Etiquette

When it comes to the glass you pour your wine into, it has a significant impact on how it tastes. This was discovered by a glassmaker called Georg Riedel back in 1986.

 

 

–          Red Wine Glasses

Out of all style made for this type of wine, 3 stands out. The smaller cup one is the best choice for the most alcoholic kinds and the deeper ones the best for the full-bodied ones.

 

 

–          White Wine Glasses

There are 2 popular styles used for the consumption of this type of wine, both of which follow a small bowler-like pattern. For the full-bodied versions of this type of wine choose to use the wider style.

 

 

–          Sparkling Wine

This type of white is best consumed from a flute wine glass, as it is the most bubble preserver there is due to its length. – A common practice with champagnes

 

 

–          Puddling Wine

Due to the high alcohol it contains, the small and narrowed mouthed glasses are the best option to reduce evaporation.

 

"If you ask me, something sinister lurks in men who avoid wine, games, the company of lovely women, and dinnertime conversation. Such people are either gravely ill or secretly detest everyone around them.” ― Mikhail Bulgakov

 

 

Pairing Wine with Dishes

A dapper man must know how to order the perfect wine to enhance every meal experience, not ever depending on the waiter knowledge to do so. Each type of dish is better paired with a certain type of wine, so don’t just order your favorite or believe the oldest one to be the best for your dish.

 

–  White Wine

The best option when having a creamy dish such as soup, lasagna, and risotto. When it comes to meat it works great with poultry dishes, such as chicken, turkey and more.

 

–  Sweet White Wine

This type of wine is the best option to pair with spicy food, oily fish, and chicken.

 

–  Dry White Wine 

This type of wine is the best complementary one for vegetable dishes, flaky fish and also works great with chicken.

 

–  Rosé Wine 

Rosé wine is great to pair with strongly flavored dishes such as Indian Mediterranean and more. It also works with spicy food.

 

–  Sparkling Wine

This type of wine is best paired with salty food such as sushi, caviar and potato dishes.

 

–  Light Red Wine

Also known as the light-bodied red is a great option to pair with pastry, pasta, pizza and French dishes in general.

 

–  Medium Red Wine

This type of wine is also known as medium-bodied red and goes great with roasted dishes, as well as with Italian and Spanish cuisine. It also works with pizza.

 

–  Dark Red Wine

Also known as bold red and full-bodied red wine, the dark-colored wine is great to pair with rich flavored meats, such as bovine in general, rather it is barbecued, roasted or smoked.

 

–  Puddling Wine

This is the dessert wine, it works great with sweets, fruits, and soft cheeses.

 

 

How to Properly handle Wine Glass

The right way to hold a wine glass is by the stem, closer to the base side of it, as holding it by the cup will heat up your wine.

 

“Wine is like many of the fine experiences in life which take time and experience to extract their full pleasure and meaning.” ― Douglas Preston

 

 

Keeping it Fresh

Once a bottle of wine is open it starts to deteriorate, the best way to ensure it keeps fresh is by using a wine preserver and putting it in the fridge.

 

Important/Fun Facts

– Only the primary aroma of a wine is called aroma, from the second on it is called bouquet.

– Wine tastes better when served slightly cool

– White wine gets darker with age while red wine gets lighter.

– The most expensive wines are still made by foot treading.

– The difference between organic wine and wine made with organic grape is the latter contains over 20 parts per million of a natural substance from fermentation called “sulfites”.

– Greeks and Romans used a layer of Olive oil to seal their wine, not corks, as it was only invented in 1780.

Sparkling wine was first produced by the English, not the French.

– Champagne is a sparkling wine from the Champagne Region in France, hence all champagnes are sparkling wines but not all sparkling wines are champagnes.

– Younger wines are better for our health, while a few aged ones taste better.

– Red wine gets its color from the pigmentation of the grape skin.

– Red wine grapes can be used to make white wine.

– Good wine has a more lasting aftertaste.

– Wine must be stored laying down or the cork could end up falling inside the bottle from drying out.

– Oenophobia is the name given to the fear of wine.

– Wine is a great antioxidant.

– Swirling the wine glass release its aroma.

 

If you are looking for handrafted wine, you should try out the California Wine Club. To get wine in the comfort of your home, I reccomend Winc, wines delivered to your door steps!

 

What do you think of this article? Did it make you consider getting a sommelier certificate? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top 20 Summer Tips for Dapper Men to stay Classy

Summertime is right around the corner, the temperature is rising and every dapper man is looking to completely change his closet to a summer-appropriate one. When looking between options it can be hard to find a summer dapper appropriate attire, unlike winter, aka dapper moment to shine, everyone’s appearance in summer can easily get sloppy because of the warm weather.

Transpiration is normal, it happens, but if the outfit isn’t appropriate, transpiration can become an alarming amount of swear no dapper man wants to be seeing experiencing. A dapper man must always analyze his choice of fabric during shopping sprees at summertime to make sure it is not only of good quality but isn’t made of a heavy and not breathable material.

As to untangle summer’s fashion, to a dapper appropriate style, here are a few tips to help you look your best for the next 3 months.

 

    

1.    Short Sleeve Shirts Polo Shirts Starting at $19.99

Summer is the unofficial fitted polo shirt season, from colorful to solid color shirts, the season is when a dapper man take on the golf course for a good time most often, and of course, the item is the most obvious choice for such occasions. It can also be used during casual lunches and is a good item to pack if you are going on a tropical vacation. A good tip is to stick with the light color ones seeing the darker the clothing, the more sunlight it absorbs, making you feel warmer.

 

2.    Bet on Linen

Linen is the best option for summer, it is an elegant and breathable material that can be used in many occasions, but as all good things in life it comes with a price, in linen’s case, it is wrinkles, so make sure to iron it, steam it or spray it with water and smooth it using your hands.

 

3.    Athletic Wear

A dapper man won’t be the one to use athletic wear all day every day, but as this kind of fabric is known from detracting moisture, it is a good option when exercising, rather you are working out hard at the gym or just going for a light jog at the beach. One piece of athletic wear can also be worn on casual occasions during the humid weather as the only sporty piece of an outfit. For those men who are huge fan of sports, summertime may just be perfect to rock your favourite team's jersey or track suit.

 

4.    Shorts

Shorts is the staple bottom of summer, and a dapper man knows the worth of a well fitted one. The idea is to have 7 to 9 inches for the in-seam, and remember, comfort is key with this item. When you finally find your perfect pair, make sure to buy it in different colors, as it will most likely be your go-to item for the next 3 months.

 

5.    Cotton

A dapper man may not be the biggest fans of cotton, but for beach vacations and a few casual summer outings, it is likely a cotton t-shirt or polo may be the easiest and bearable thing to wear, as it is a great breathable material, but a dapper man must always look for high-quality items as quality is the one thing that can be seen from miles away. Boys' Polo Shirts Starting at $9.99

 

6.    Hats 

Hats are a must have in summer since they provide shield to the scalp, hair, eyes, and skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. A hat also help give added coverage for the skin area around the ears and neck. As a dapper man, you always try to have a couple of hats for different outfits or dress code since there exists casual and dressy hats.

 

7.    Pleats and multi color

A Pleated bottom sometimes can be enough to make yourself look well dressed without really trying. In case of a casual summer occasion, you really don’t have time to prepare as you would like to, bet on pleats to make your job easier. Multicolor shoes, shirts, trousers or blazers sometimes is just what you need to make your presence felt at a cocktail or at a soirée.

 

8.    Boat shoes and secret socks

The boat shoe design is a comfortable and stylish designed classic that shine brightly during summer days, great to compose a casual look with either chinos or shorts. As the piece isn’t just a season wonder, it is a good idea to invest in a high-quality pair, as you will be able to wear it next summer, and during tropical vacations. Once the length of your clothes decreases, also should your socks. A dapper man won’t be seen with long socks while wearing shorts, it is just not elegant and makes you look like a slop. During the summer months, make sure to put your long socks away so you won’t reach for them, even by accident.

9.     Sunglasses or Shades

As explained in the guide-to-sunglasses article, sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, even though they do a great job at it, they are a necessity to every human being on the planet, but also a simple accessory that can make a man’s outfit go from normal everyday boring clothes, to a full elegantly executed look. Sunglasses also help in driving in sun as they provide a better eye protection and driving vision clarity than the car's shield, hence they should be an additional glove box accessory when stepping out with your car in summer.

 

10.     Sneakers and Sandals

With the exception of being on the beach, a dapper man won’t be seen wearing rubber flip flops, especially in public. It doesn’t matter if every brand is selling them, it is not elegant and is merely a beach shoe. In a casual setting, choose to use sneakers instead, and for a complete dressed down look, a good quality sandal can be used sporadically during daylight and never paired with socks, as it would make your carefully picked outfit look silly.

 

11.    Pedicure

As mentioned in our grooming essentials article, a dapper man should get a pedicure year around. This gets a much stronger emphasis during summer months, as you will be more susceptive to having your feet out, and no one wants to have the unpleasant experience at looking at an uncared for feet, neither you should feel comfortable presenting yourself in this situation to the world. During this summer months, make an appointment and get a pedicure (plus a manicure while you are at it).

 

12.    Smell

As a dapper man, you must wish to smell good at all times. This can be specifically trick during summer months as you transpirate more, but a trick to make a nice smell last, unlike most people believe, is not to use a bigger amount of perfume but to find scents that work with one another in different products, such as perfumes, moisturizers and more. Research your usual fragrance to find if the brand you love makes a long-lasting version. You will find most brands do, which makes it easier to have the scent last the whole day without reapplying it. This kind of long-lasting scents are usually a part of an exclusive collection, which makes it a bit pricey, but investing on your image is one of the best investments you can make and the real dapper man knows the worth of it.

 

13.     Miniature or Travel size perfume 

An option to not run out of your signature smell during summer days is to carry a mini version of it with you when possible. The miniature versions are great not only for the summer while you are staying in your town, but the size is also more likely to be allowed on a plane, so it’s a win-win situation.

 

 

14.     Product Placement

Each person have their own prefered perfume area in the body, even between dapper men this varies, but to make it last longer, apply it to the coolest part of your body (such as your hands), as it will take you longer to sweat it out and the conditions of evaporation decreases.

 

15.    Deodorant

Your trusty deodorant may work great during any other season, but when summer comes around is a good idea to look for a stronger one for better results.

 

16.    Lightweight moisturizer

Summer also affects a dapper man’s grooming routine, as his everyday moisturizer feels thicker than usual. Once this happens, it’s good to look for a lightweight moisturizer that works for your skin type. Products you may also need to trade during the summer months include sunscreen (as most people usually go for a higher SPF one) and serums (as skin changes drastically).

 

17.    Shave

A dapper man is always well shaved at the armpits and pubic area. If you have been lacking on this during the cold months, summer and the warmth it brings is the perfect reason to shave. Caveman needed body hair to stay warm, we have stylish clothes that do the job even better.

 

18.    Change More Often

A dapped man never uses the same outfit for a whole day, especially if he leaves the house, but during summer months is a good idea to not reuse any piece as you transpire the entire day at a much higher level, so once you get home do make sure to put your clothes in the laundry room and put on fresh clothes before stepping out again. Even pajamas or whatever clothing item you wear to sleep must be changed daily, as everyone tends to sweat more in their sleep.

 

19.    Change sheets more often

As you sweat more in your sleep at any season, you as a dapper man know the importance not to amount dead skin cells in your bedding, especially pillowcases, as it is specifically bad for your facial skin, as it is thinner than the rest of your body skin. During summer it is important to change your bedding even more often. The smell of the sheets is also an important aspect and reason to do so.

 

20.    Bright Colors

Warm weather is the ideal time when everyone feels bold and delighted from within. It's the time when you should replace your darker colors with brighter ones. Whether you are stepping out for a casual hangout or attending private party, you should feel confident ditching that grey, black, and navy for pink, turqouise, cognac, plum or bright blue. If the saying that "Real Men Wear Pink" is true, then Summertime is the Ideal time.

What are your tricks to survive summer without sacrificing your personal style? Leave us a comment below!

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Guide to Sunglasses, a major key to Dapper Looks

As a dapper man, you know sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, even though they do a great job at it, they are a necessity to every human being on the planet, but also a simple accessory that can make a man’s outfit go from normal everyday boring clothes, to a full elegantly executed look. Keep reading this article to make sure to be both informed of the benefits of such product, the best type for your face shape and the most fashionable one you can find today, and let it guide you through the land of perfectly picked sunglasses.

 

Importance of Sunglasses

When sunglasses were created, it was to improve one’s vision, not their outfit, so its use has many benefits, both that remains from its creation time to new ones our society deem important today. As a dapper man myself, I believe this kind of knowledge must be propagated.

 

1.    UVA/UVB

You have always heard of this two acronyms and you know it is connected to the subject of sunglasses, so here is what you may not know: The UV (ultraviolet) radiation we all know are overwhelmingly powerful. If not properly repelled, in your late life it can cause your sensitive eyes to have diseases such as cataracts, and increase risks of macular degeneration. Make sure to only purchase ones which specifically say “100% UVA/UVB” for the best protection at all times.

 

2.    Squinting

As a dapper man you take great pride in your skin, especially your facial skin, and as you must know, squinting cause wrinkles, and no one wants that, so do your future self a favor and put on sunglasses before heading out.

3.    Lighting Change

If you have ever been comfortably indoors and suddenly go outside, you know you felt blinded for a few seconds, until your eyes go used to the sudden illumination change. The same happens when you are turning off all of the lights in our home before heading to bed. Wearing sunglasses make this not happen, as it is easier on the eyes, and even know I’m not suggesting you wear sunglasses before bed, I certainly advise you to use it while you are driving.

 

4.    Vision

There’s a reason we squint when not wearing sunglasses during the daytime, wrinkles aside, the biggest problem is we can’t see, wearing sunglasses will improve your vision during outdoor activities.

 

5.    Headaches

If you suffer from headaches, you know bright lights directly into your eyes can even cause migraines. Sunglasses help with this problem being a big pro, as no dapper man likes to feel bad, especially in a “not being even able to work” scale.

 

6.    Style-wise

Sunglasses help you improve your style game, you can check this fact by googling David Beckham’s royal outfit (even know his outfit itself was amazing). Most man only accessory at the most time are sunglasses and no one even notice their lack of jewelry, even know as a dapper man, you wouldn’t pass on jewelry, sunglasses complement your outfit even more.

7. Maintaining Class.

If you notice very well most celebrities have a class of their own and an almost perfect lifestyle to live up to, thus a pair of shades is a must have at all times. Celerbitity sunglasses are very stybollic to their style and it serves them many purposes such as paparazzi camera flashes, avoid getting noticed, conceal tiredness from public notice etc. Cameroon's Afro RnB/Soul Singer, Song Writer and Performing Artist and maker of a special women apprecation hit single Woman Crush Tzy Panchak (pictured below ) is one conspicous example for his dapper signature appearance in Versace Sunglasses

8. Overcoming Shyness 

Did you know that besides wearing sunglasses for the various health benefits above, some men are actually too shy that they hide behind shades to look bold? While there are the type of gentlemen who cannot look into the eyes of a charismatic woman to talk to them ;), there equally those who cannot walk pass a croud not to even mention stand to talk infront of a group of people but can try to overcome their timidity with the help of shades.

 

How to Match Sunglasses and Outfit

Rather you choose a solid color or patterned outfit, you can always match your colors to a more stylish look. Sunglasses-wise, you can match either the frame or the lenses to your clothes. Don’t believe in the misconception that the sunglasses must match a big key piece such as your shirt. Any details such as a similar pattern or small details in your outfit do  the job just fine.

 

Lenses Color Choice

When it comes to picking sunglasses lenses color, frame-wise, you can choose any color you want, but when it comes to the lenses, there are a few more appropriate than others.

 

1.    Grey lenses

The perfect day to day color. It is chic and elegant, but not too much as to be inappropriate or seem like you are trying too hard to look cool.

 

2.    Green lenses

Green lenses are the best for any sport related activities. Keep in mind polarized lenses are often better for this kind of activity as they block out sun glares.

 

3.    Brown lenses

Brown lenses are perfect for the countryside, so rather you live in it, or is planning a trip to, make sure to pack your brown lenses sunglasses.

 

4.    Graduated lenses

As a dapper man you love to read, to make sure you can read at any situation outdoor, such as at a park, the beach or even at your own backyard, make sure to buy graduated lenses (the one with darker color on top and lighter color on the bottom) to keep you protected and able to enjoy your book.

 

Picking Sunglasses for Your Face Shape

Your face shape should always be taken into consideration when purchasing sunglasses, the right one will be the ones looking better on your face embracing and highlighting your features. To help you figure out your face shape and the best sunglasses for it, here is a quick guide:

 

1.    Triangle Face Shape

This face shape has the format of an inverted triangle, meaning your face starts larger (in the forehead) and ends with a smaller bottom (at the jaw), the cheekbones being the medium size between both extremes.  Triangle faces usually have pretty hard straight lines, to make the lines seem more natural, opt for rounded sunglasses.

 

2.    Square Face Shape

This shape of face has a square jaw with length and width almost exact the same from top to bottom. Rounded is the word when it comes to it, not only rounded glasses, but different shapes with rounded edges do the trick, but do choose it with precaution to not take it to an extreme.

 

3.    Round Face Shape

If you have a round face shape you can basically wear any type of sunglasses and it will look good, but be careful with circular ones (such as John Lennon’s famously one) as it be too much.

4.    Rectangular Face Shape

This type of face shape is long with rounded cheekbones and jaw. They are the one that can pull off basically any shape sunglasses, the only exception being the teardrop ones as it will bring too much attention to your jaw which may be negative to your look.

 

5.    Diamond Face Shape

Well defined jaw the same size, or almost the same size of the forehead with bigger cheekbones are what make this face shape. Rectangular and rounded styles are the best bet not to come out looking too strong.

 

6.    Heart Face Shape

Heart face shape is basically a rounded version of the triangle face shape. The best sunglasses for this type of face shape are the tear-drop ones (also know as aviators), they even help your jaw look a little bigger.

 

7.    Oval Face Shape

This face is longer than wider, with a little bit rounded jaw and cheekbones. This face shape can wear any type of sunglasses, so enjoy to play around with every different sunglasses shape. Gucci might just be the answer for a dapper look witn a Sunglass statement. Another promising DMV based RnB Song writer, Recording and Performing Artist O2udor (pictured below), maker of the hit song  My Girl is a perfect portrait of Gucci Sunglasses on an Oval face shape. 

8.    Neutral Sunglasses

There is one type of sunglasses that work as chameleons and work on every single face shape, the wayfarer. You may remember a few years ago the biggest trend in fashion was this Ray-Ban coined shape, and besides being cool and available in every color, especially nowadays as many other brands have been producing them (just not under the wayfarer name), this is the key choice to go to if you don’t know your face shape, or is trying to pick one different from the above stated rules, in this case, this are the ones you want to reach for next time you are shopping.

As there is nothing like the original, in wayfarer’s case, we recommend you choose a Ray-Ban. To get one such as this picture below, theck here one such as click here to checkout this Ray-Ban collection.

As a Dapper man, you are one to look for both high quality and brand tags, if you also happen to be an avid online shopper, once a new model comes out it may automaticly have your heart and you may feel tempted to purchase it as fast as you can, without trying it on first. Trying sunglasses on before buying it is just as important as tailoring your clothes, knowing your cigar and being clean at all times. Therefore, before clicking the “buy now” button,  go to the store to try it on because as we all know having a huge collection of sunglasses you either not like or is not sure about is a waste when there's always someone outhere who actually wants the pair so bad. So help a fellow dapper man and yourself, and always endeavor to try them on before you buy, since unlike clothes, sunglasses can’t be easily modified to fit you better.

If you are currently looking to buy designers sunglasses for the lowest price, we reccomend United Shades.

Have you found your face shape and perfect sunglasses match in this article?

Leave us a comment below letting us know, we would love to hear your opinions!

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Cigars, the art of smoking in style. The “bad guys” compliment

                                                                            The Ultimate Guide to Cigars

If we made a list of everything that brings a dapper man joy, cigars would be on top. The burning product and its unique taste bring as much joy as the elegance of such act. It is also something we are proudly knowledgeable being a topic of conversation that can last a nice few hours. As no one is born knowing it all, we had our own little way to learn everything about it. Here is an article with every information you need to find and enjoy the best premium cigars available in the market.

Shape and Size

There’s no pattern when it comes to the size of a cigar, every brand has their own, so knowing to differentiate is necessary. There are 2 factors that measure a cigar, its length (in inches) and its ring gauge (the cigar’s diameter broken into 1/64 of an inch). Keep in mind size doesn’t mean strength, the tobacco in it do. Also, the thinner the cigar the hotter it burns.

Fillers

Filler is the name given to the tobacco leaf on the cigar. There are only 2 types of it, long and short fillers. The first is made with the entire leaf of the tobacco (which burn slower and have a more consistent flavor), and the latter is made from broken pieces of the leaf (which burn faster and hotter due to the air between the leaves and is usually put together in search of a complex final product). Each person has their own personal choice when it comes to it, but as short fillers are made from broken leaves they are usually seen as low-grade.

Binder

Binders are a part of every hand-made premium cigar, being used to both hold the filler in place and burn the cigar evenly. Not premium cigar does not always have a binder but as a dapper man, you know the worth of restricting your cigar shopping to premiums only, as the value is worth it considering its superior quality.

Hand-made vs Machine-made

The hand-made cigars are as the name suggest hand-rolled cigars known for its high quality. Usually made with long filter. This is the category all premium cigars are made of.

The machine-made cigars are usually made with short fillers and have lowered price as it is a mass-produced product.

Panejos

Both panejos and figurados are the names of the different types of cigar’s formats. The most popular one, panejo, is the name of straight-sided cigars with rounded caps and open bottom.

 

1.    Corona

The benchmark for all other cigars. This panejo type cigar size varies from 5.5 to 6 inches with a 42 to 44 ring gauge.

2.    Petit Corona

The miniature version of the corona type cigars. Its size is usually 4.5 inches and its ring gauge varies between 40 to 42.

3.    Corona Gorda

This size corona follow a 5.5/8 to 6 inches pattern and 46 to 50 ring gauge.

4.    Double Corona

A larger but not actually double corona cigar with approximately 7.5 to 8.5 inches and 49 to 62 ring gauge.

5.    Robusto

The short and thick kind of cigar. It is usually 4.3/4 to 5.5 inches and has a 48 to 52 ring gauge.

6.    Short Robusto

The shorty of the robusto category varying between 4.5 to 5 inches and a ring gauge of 48 to 52.

7.    Robusto Grande

This robusto variation is usually 5.5 inches and its ring gauge varies between 56 to 58.

8.    Robusto Gordo

The fattest robusto that can have up to 5 inches and an incredible 60 ring gauge.

9.    Lancero

A long and thin cigar made between 6.5 to 7 inches and a ring gauge of 38 to 42.

10.     Cigarrilo

This cigar is usually the size of a cigarette.

Figurados

Within’ the recent years, cigar companies have been getting creative with the product shape and all of the shapes that don’t belong in the panejo category are called figurado. A few examples of figurado cigars are Churchill (named after Winston Churchill, a former British Prime Minister), Culebra (an exotic cigar made out of 3 panetela cigars tied together, but smoked separately), and many others.

When it comes to cigar wrappers there are 7 basic colors and wide array of shades in between them. The colors vary due to methods of processing tobacco and the variety of strains being used, plus the more exposed the wrapper is to sunlight when it is growing the darker it gets. The 7 basic shades are:

1.    Claro

Claro wrapper has a light tan shade, its flavor is very mild allowing the tobacco to shine.

2.    Double Claro

Also known as candela, the double claro wrapper is light green and the flavor even weaker than the Claro.

3.    Colorado

This wrapper has a reddish dark brown color, soft aromatic smell, and rich flavor.

4.    Colorado Claro

With a mid brown color, the Colorado claro taste is found in the fine line between weak and strong, being closer to the strong side of flavors.

5.    Colorado Maduro

The wrapper has a dark brown color and strong flavor.

6.    Maduro

Maduro is the wrapper of extremes, being known for having a darker brown color and the second strongest of the 7 basic kinds in flavor. Grab this Arturo Fuente Royal Salute Maduro & Make your Dad Smile on Father's Day

7.    Oscuro

Oscuro wrappers are black and known for having the strongest taste of all 7 wrappers.

High-Quality Cigars

As a dapper man you are picky when it comes to your cigar, to make sure you only smoke top quality cigars is important to check for this red flags:

1.    Tobacco packed too tight

A too tightly packed cigar not only will be hard to smoke but it will have less flavor.

2.    Tobacco packed too loose

A loosely packed one will be easier to smoke, but it will taste harsh and burn hotter (and faster).

3.    Uneven burn

A cigar must burn evenly from the top to the bottom, if you come across an uneven burn the cigar was rolled wrong.

4.    Short Ash

Cigars must reach an at least 1-inch ash before falling if you aren’t making too many abrupt movements (which as a dapper man, you won’t be, as you are one to actually appreciate a cigar, not just smoke it).

5.    Consistency

In a box of cigars, all cigars must taste and burn the same, or they are irregular, either by taste (meaning the tobacco leaf wasn’t consistently aged) or by burn (meaning they were rolled differently).

Location

As a dapper man, you must know where your cigars are coming from and be able to differentiate tobacco from different countries. In case you are a beginner in the wonderful world of cigars, here are tips to differentiate them:

1.    Cuba

Cuban cigars are the most talked about ones, know for its very specific taste and the high standards behind the making of it.

2.    Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic’s cigars are known for having a smooth and light flavor.

3.    Nicaragua

Cigars from Nicaragua are known for its strong and spicy flavor.

4.    Brazil

Brazilian cigars are known for being dark and strong.

5.    USA

The country is known for producing creamy and soft wrappers.

6.    Ecuador

One of the newest countries to integrate the cigar world, their flavor is known for being spicy and tasty.

7.    Jamaica

The country of Jamaica is known for producing the sweetest and softest cigar in the scene.

8.    Honduras

Honduras’ cigars are known for its distinct earthy flavor.

9.    Cameroon

Cameroon’s cigars are known for being the hardest one to obtain. The nation may be small but the cigar grown there is the biggest desire of every cigar aficionado.

Cigar Etiquette

There are etiquette rules when it comes to smoking cigars and as a dapper man, you must follow them strictly.

1.    Remove the cigar band.

Once the cigar is warm it becomes easy to remove the band and it is something that must be done.

2.    Warm the bottom

Place your finger in the bottom of the cigar for a few seconds before lighting it.

3.    Take your time

A cigar must be enjoyed not just smoked, take your time while you are smoking it to appreciate its flavor.

4.    Hold it right

A cigar is not a cigarette, it must be held appropriately between your thumb and index finger.

5.    Know when to stop

Cigars weren’t made to be smoked until the bottom. The right time to stop is around the middle as more than that will result in a harsher smoke.

6.    No teeth clenching

It is not polite to clench your cigar between your teeth, smoking it is a beautifully elegante exhibition, don’t ruin it!

7.    Use your hand to relight

Always hold the cigar in your hand when relighting it, don’t ever hold it in your mouth, there’s a reason only the bad guys in movies do that, it has a negative connotative and is simply rude.

8.    Don’t use a cigar holder

You are not an Audrey Hepburn character, it doesn’t matter how much you enjoy gadgets, it is not ok to do so!

 

If you are looking to buy cigars with a fair price, we recommend Stogie Boys.

 

Share some cigar knowledge with us by leaving a comment below!

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The Different Types of Liquor demystified “Liquor 101”

 

The Different Types of Liquor demystified

Want a shot of liquor? Or would you like a bottle instead? If you have ever answered this question affirmatively at a liquor bar then the next question would obviously either be what kind of liquor or what kind of shot do you want?
 

Well, this question as direct as it may seem might not be easily answered by some people when they find themselves at a bar or at a party. Sometimes the situation becomes jumps from complication to embarrassment when the subject tries to play smart by asking “what do you have?” Uhm… but there are many bottles of liquor in front of you, can you identify and pick exactly what suits your taste? Sometimes you can be given time to figure out what you want while the bartender or event host serve others. But does that help? Are you bold enough to ask for assistance? Do you even enjoy the drink after finally making a choice from either guidance from a friend or guesswork? Well, today you will be freed from such future embarrassments after reading this article about different types of liquor and how they taste, where they are made and a little history of their existence… Basically, Whisky/Whiskey, Brandy, Liqueur, Vodka, Gin, Rum, and Tequila are the most common liquor type that you are most likely consuming either at home or at the commercial entertainment spot. There are several laws governing the production and distributions of whiskies but for the purpose of this blog, we will not go into those details. Anyone interested in becoming a liquor merchant can refer to several resources available online.

Liqueur often confused with liquor, is a type of sweet alcoholic drink made from flowers, nuts, spices, herbs and some type of alcohol. Basically, liqueurs are sweetened liquors. They are bold enough to stand on their own but also make great mixers, examples include grand manner, baileys etc..

Before we delve into the science that differentiates these liquor types, it is imperative that we define what liquor is. Hence the definition goes thus; Liquor is alcohol beverage that is derived from fermentation of sugars through distillation. Now that is verbiage huh? True because most of you reading me either didn’t pay attention to your elementary chemistry teacher or must have forgotten since it’s been long or didn’t attend chemistry classes at all or probably didn’t formerly attend school. Fermentation and Distillation are the two boss words here and basically, these two terms would feature in the production of other types of alcohol. Fermentation is simply the breaking down of sugar to produce alcohol while distillation purifies the alcohol by eliminating the water content through heating and cooling. Since this isn’t a chemistry class, I will limit the definition and derivation of liquor at this level for the sake of simplicity.

 
To start with the different types of liquor let’s start with the giant in this industry – Whisky/Whiskey

Whisky is the liquor derived from distilled grains and allowed to mature in wooden barrels. Now, what the heck does that mean? This means grains such as corn, barley, oats, malt, wheat etc can be used to produce whisky. Every country due to climate and vegetation has a different kind of grain that they use to produce their own whisky. Malt, for example, is the grain used in Scotland (top whisky producer in the world) while Rye and Corn are used in America (Second largest producer of whisky). Now that whisky has been defined, what the heck then is whiskey? Well, the answer is whisky. In case you still don’t get it, whisky is whiskey, it’s just a spelling difference from Ireland. Ireland decided they will spell whisky whiskey don’t ask me why you may want to ask why the USA spells Flavour "Flavor". It is worth noting that the whisky family is very broad. The reason is that different countries grow different grains, hence – the whiskies differences. The most commonly drunk whiskies being distributed around the world are Scotch (from Scotland), Bourbon, Rye (from America) and Irish (from Ireland).

  • Scotch is the powerhouse in the world of whisky. It is produced from malted barley grains in Scotland, hence the name Scottish Malt as commonly written on Scotch whisky bottles. The prerequisite for scotch production and distribution is that it must be stored and allowed to mature for at least 3 years in wooden casks/barrels, the reason why Scotch whiskies must be accompanied with an age statement. These barrels are sometimes imported from other countries like the Spain and United States. They may be recycled barrels that previously held bourbon or sherry which help in the aromatization and smoothness of the whisky.

For Scotch to be called Scotch the aging must be done in Scotland. What this implies is that barley and other grains used in the production of this type of liquor can be grown and malted anywhere in the world but the aging in oak barrels must occur in Scotland. Scotch comes in 5 categories and is produced in 6 different regions across Scotland. Each region makes a great impact on the taste, flavor, aroma, texture, and color of the Scotch. A post solely dedicated to Scotch in which we will get into the granularity of Scotch styles and categories will be made in the days ahead… Some popular Scotch whiskies include; Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Johny Walker, Shivas Regal etc

  • Bourbon is directly behind Scotch in the whiskey world and it’s made in America. Unlike scotch which is made from barley, bourbon is primarily made from Corn. Also worthy of note here is the fact that bourbon can be made of a mixture of multiple grains like corn, wheat, rye, barley etc also called Mash but corn remains the dominant grain which must be 51% for the whisky to be called bourbon. Generally, bourbon is sweeter than Scotch because of the dominance of corn in the mash which sometimes makes it difficult for bourbon lovers to cope with Scotch. Popular bourbon whiskies are; Four Roses, Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, Colonel E.H. Taylor etc

  • Irish whiskey comes from Ireland and it can be made from malted and unmalted barley. Compared to Scotch, Irish whiskey contains much more barley and does not have that Smokey, burnt-rubber taste that peat provides to Scotch. Unlike Scotch which is distilled twice, Irish whiskey goes through three rounds of distillation before reaching the final bottling stage. Most common Irish Whiskey is Jameson, other brands you should know are Midleton, Green Spot and, Tullamore Dew

Fun fact: The Irish are widely acknowledged as being the first country to distill whiskey, although this's absolutely contested by the Scots. The Bushmills distillery, for instance, is actually the world's oldest qualified distillery, founded in 1608. Legally, Irish whiskey must be aged in Ireland for at least three years in wooden casks to be considered Irish whiskey!

 

  • Canadian Whisky must be fermented, distilled and aged in Canada. That’s it. And just like bourbon, Canadian whisky is usually made from several different grains even though corn is often most prevalent. For a while, rye was a popular addition, hence the name interchangeability in Canada. However, unlike bourbon, in Canada each grain is usually fermented, distilled and aged separately. The blending occurs at the very end, which means the amount of rye added to each combination varies widely. Canada's Food and Drugs Act require that whisky labeled as "Canadian Whisky", "Canadian Rye Whisky" or "Rye Whisky" be mashed, distilled and aged at least three years in Canada. Popular Canadian whiskies you should know are; Canadian Mist, Crown Royal, Canadian Club etc.

  • Brandy is actually a distilled fermented fruit beverage. Technically any distilled fermented fresh fruits are actually brandies, though most often, brandy is made by distilling grapes that are fermented (it's like distilling wine in other words).

     

     

     

     

     

    Brandy is often aged in solid wood barrels to give the spirit taste, feel, and aroma. And those brandies are typically accompanied by an age statement with several of the greatest being aged for a handful of years! Unlike whisky which has its age statement in years printed on the bottles, brandies bear a distinct type of age statement categorized as vs, vsop, and xo. VS or Very Special indicates the liquor is aged 2years, VSOP or Very Superior Old Pale represents an aging of at least 4years while XO or Extra Old implies the spirit is aged for at least 6years.

    The French are actually probably the best known for their brandy production and distribution worldwide labeled – Cognac (e.g Hennessy, Remy Martin, Courvoisier etc). The French poetically refer to their brandies as "eau de vie," or "water of life," and the best of them are priced higher than other spirits with some going for thousands of dollars. Cognac (made from grapes) is by far the most popular brandy that comes from the Cognac region in France. Armagnac (also produced from grapes) is actually another high-quality French brandy also from the Armagnac region. Cognac and brandy are often confused or lets me say both terms are used interchangeably, but technically speaking, all cognacs are brandies but not all brandies are Cognacs. Cognac is a French brandy symbolically referencing the region where the brandy is made. Brandies are also made in the US, for example, E&G and Paul Mason.

It is worth making the difference here very clear. A brandy is not a whisky! If you ever approach a bartender or liquor sales person and demand a bottle of whisky and they ask you "what type ?" Please in the name of liquor; do not respond "Hennessy"! It's like walking into a fastfood restaurant and ordering a pizza and they ask u what kind, and you respond "quarter pounder "smiley. In essence, whiskies are made from grains while brandies are made from grapes!!!

  • Vodka is identified as a neutral flavored, clear spirit. Which essentially means that vodka ought to be tasteless, odorless, as well as colorless (like water). But vodka does have really faint flavors which are distinguishable between brands. Some are actually peppery, while others are creamy, and some have hints of grain or citrus. That said, it is difficult to distinguish these illusive flavors even when you are consuming vodka straight, except for gents with the very best predictive tongues. And of all of the liquors within the world, vodka is actually the most 'pure' with the least flavor.

Due to vodka's flavorlessness, it is incredibly versatile in cocktails. Its capacity to showcase various other ingredients flavors and aromas is compared to none since it has little or no flavor! Whereas various other spirits that have a lot more unique flavors do not usually blend well with various other products when it comes to making cocktails.

Vodka is frequently made from grains or potatoes (mostly cereals). But technically, vodka can be manufactured from whatever. For instance, Ciroc vodka is actually made from grapes. So long as the spirit is actually a neutral flavored (flavorless as well as odorless), distinct spirit and is actually bottled at around forty % ABV, it can be vodka.

  • Gin has always been an extremely popular spirit. But lately, it has become much more fashionable. It likely has a thing to do with the quantity of distilleries which have begun experimenting with various botanicals.

Like vodka, gin is actually a sure spirit and it mixes nicely with various other products. But the thing that makes gin different is actually it is flavored with different botanicals to offer gin its unique taste. For gin to be gin, it must be a spirit that is distilled from malt or grains and must be flavored with the infamous Juniper Berry. When individuals try as well as smell gin, the juniper berry is regarded as the prominent aroma and flavor. Other botanicals are usually added to the mix (lemon peel, etc), anise, fennel, grapefruit, though you cannot have gin without the Juniper Berry. That is the thing that makes gin, gin!

The most popular style of gin is actually London Dry Gin with brands like Tanqueray, Beefeater, as well as Bombay are actually many examples of London Dry Gins and it is regarded as to be probably the best quality. But that is not always true. There are several great quality gins available that do not fall under the' London Dry Gin' classification.

For instance, Hendricks is actually a high-quality gin which does not fall under the' London Dry Gin' classification. All types of gin have to be bottled at a minimum of 37.5 % ABV, but you'll find stronger gins out there. The navy strength gins on the market are actually a good example.

  • Tequila is liquor made from distilling fermented blue agave (a plant native to Mexico) juice and for tequila to be known as tequila, it Must come from one of the five tequila producing states in Mexico. Those states are Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan, and Jalisco. Jalisco is the largest producer of Tequila and that is exactly where it initially came from. Funnily enough, its city of origin is rightly named Tequila.

You will find two primary groups of tequila, Mixto as well as hundred % Blue Agave.

Mixto Tequila

Mixto tequila is the cheapest in terms of quality. It is made from a mash with at least 51 % of the blue agave plant. The majority of the mash is able to come from other sources of high sugar. Mixto tequila isn't necessarily' bad quality,' but its creation is not given anywhere near the exact same quality of care as the hundred % Blue Agave Tequila. It is also well worth noting that mixto tequila will not always be labeled' mixto.' It'll merely be named tequila.

100% Blue Agave Tequila is actually the greatest quality tequila on the marketplace and it is made of 100% blue agave plant. It's five distinct categories, blanco, joven (means younger in Spanish) or maybe gold, reposado (means rested in Spanish), anejo, and additional anejo.

These categories indicate just how long the tequila has been aged in wood. Like rum, tequila is actually aged in a warm climate, therefore it matures much faster in the barrel. three years is actually sufficient to make an amazing spirit.

Blanco is actually aged for under sixty days and is actually white in color.

Joven (means younger in Spanish), or maybe gold tequila, is actually akin to Blanco tequila in it is not actually aged. Its golden color typically will come from the inclusion of caramel instead of any barrel aging.

Reposado is aged between sixty days to one year and is yellowish in color. Caramel could be added, though they are still regarded as superior quality tequilas than joven.

Anejo should be aged for a minimum of one year (often more) and is actually gold in color. Caramel might additionally be added, but several of the colors of it is going to come from the barrel it is aged in.

 

Extra-anejo is actually regarded as the very best quality tequila, they should be aged for a minimum of three years, and once more, they are yellow in color. These're the tequilas that are sometimes compared to fine French Cognac… Both in quality and cost!

 

El Jimador, Patron, and Don Julio are actually all recognized models of hundred % blue agave tequila you are more likely to see behind the bar.

  • Rum is actually a spirit distilled from molasses or sugarcane (thick deep brown juice received from raw sugar, many rums are produced from molasses). It is usually aged in wooden barrels, but because rum is predominantly made in the Caribbean, rum laws are not as stringent as whisk(e)y laws.

 

Because rum is normally made aged in tropical climates, it matures much faster in the barrel. Which suggests that a rum aged 12years should theoretically be a better-quality spirit than a scotch (matured in a cold climate) aged twelve years. Clearly, that is only in case you are judging the spirit by its age declaration.

But the exact same would be accurate in case you aged whisk(e)y in tropical climates. Liquor matures/ages much faster in the barrel in warmer climates. There exist four kinds of rum; White rum, medium bodied dark rum, full-bodied dark rum, and spiced rum.

White rums are actually clear in color and typically have probably the least flavor among the various kinds of rum. That is what makes them outstanding base spirits in cocktails (think the mojito). That said, white rums do not have to be probably the least flavorful. Actually, some are loaded with flavor! Bacardi Blanca and Havana Club 3 are examples of white rum.

 

Medium-bodied dark rums are actually fuller in taste and are usually gold in color. Sometimes that is because of aging. But the majority of the time, it is because caramel or maybe molasses has been added to dye the spirit. Havana Club Anejo is a good example of a medium bodied dark rum.

 

Full-bodied dark rums are usually darker compared to medium bodied rums. Majority of the time, full-bodied black rums are actually darker in color since they've been well aged in the barrel. But caramel or molasses may be included. These're the very best quality runs among the four different kinds listed here. Appleton Estate twelve years and Diplomatico are actually both excellent examples of sound full-bodied dark rums.

 

And lastly, spiced rums are actually rums which have been flavored with different spices as cinnamon, anise, pepper, etc. Sailor Jerry's and Captain Morgans are actually by far the most widely used spiced rums out there.

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  • Vermouth is a fortified wine—wine spiked with distilled alcohol to raise the proof—that’s flavored with herbs and spices, often including wormwood. (The name comes from Wermut, the German word for wormwood). There are two main varieties of vermouth: sweet, which is reddish-brown in color, sweetened with sugar and sometimes called Italian vermouth; and dry, which is straw-colored, typically more bitter and sometimes called French vermouth. Interestingly, nearly all vermouth actually starts as white wine: The color of sweet vermouth comes from the botanicals used, plus caramelized sugar. Thanks to the resurgence of cocktails, we’ve seen the selection of vermouth explode in liquor stores and at bars. Most brands are still made in France and Italy, but several American upstarts have gotten into the vermouth game in recent years. Vermouth is not a liquor per se, but I thought to include it here since it’s often used in making cocktails just like vodka or gin. Most popular vermouth you will find behind bars or you will need for your cocktail are Antica Formula, Martini, Punt e Mes, Cocchi, Vya etc

There are a whole host of other liquors/spirits that get used behind more sophisticated bars or liquor stores like Total wine. Pisco, cachaca rum, mezcal, grappa, absinthe, and ouzo are all great examples. But the aforementioned types are easily the most common. I hope this article has helped you understand the different types and their subtypes available across the globe. With a huge number of spirit or liquor brands on the market, I hope this article has given you insides on where to start your journey in:

– Stocking up your personal bar

– Becoming a bartender

– Exploring different liquors from other countries

– Participate in a liquor conversation at bar comfortably

– etc etc

Feel satisfied or otherwise by this article?

Please leave a comment

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