“In 1812, the USS Constitution met and defeated the British frigate named Guerriere in a twenty-minute battle. The British were astonished to see their shot seemed to rebound harmlessly off Constitution’s hull – giving her the nickname “Old Ironsides’.
In that same year, Hunter John built the McHenry Distillery in Benton, PA and started making whisky with the family recipe. Bourbon was on the path to becoming “America’s National Spirit”.
Two uniquely American points in history, seemingly unrelated. Both built on a uniquely American resource - Quercus Alba, more commonly known as American White Oak.
The USS Constitution incorporated a new and revolutionary design – something the world had never seen. More importantly, the wood utilized for the hull was the strongest wood in the world – American White Oak. Imagine choosing trees to match the size and shape of a part needed for a ship. The harvesting was painstaking.
And as you know, an integral component of bourbon is single-use, charred, Quercus Alba – American White Oak.
Bourbon is an American Spirit. The longest active-duty Naval vessel, the USS Constitution is an American Icon.
Both surrounded by White Oak.
**NOMINATIONS OPEN UNTIL NOVEMBER 11th - Nominate Here: https://www.oconomowoc.org/awards**
When taking 2020 at face value, most would say this been a year of bad news cycles, extreme trials and languishing negativity. However, if you look just beyond the surface, you will see a year of resilience, community, collaboration and innovation! We want to celebrate this part of 2020!
So please mark your calendar to join us for quite possibly the most POSITIVE 30 minutes of 2020 - where we will be "virtually" presenting the 2020 awards for our Large and Small Businesses of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Non-Profit of Year and Woman in Business Leadership Award!
Click "Interested" or "Going" for this event to receive updates and more FUN details as we get closer to the date.
In the meantime, NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN until Nov 11th for YOU to nominate those you feel are most deserving of these awards in our communities.
March, 2020. Jeff McCarthy and Becky Miller sit down with Greg Walters, Bourbon and Talent Manager of Vino, Etc… in Oconomowoc. Hear about the unmatched atmosphere and offerings of this local hot spot.
The viticultural libation is as timeless as love and life. The Romans did it. Indeed, Roman soldiers were required to drink a minimum of one liter of wine per day. The Greeks invented the god of wine, Dionysus and Jesus made wine from water.
Like water, wine is a global constant and the altered consciousness achieved by consumption has been considered religious since its origin. I think the mass consumption of wine traces back to medieval urban areas and the lack of clean water.
Wine is safe.
Enter Galileo Galilei. That’s right, the guy who placed Earth around the Sun vs. the center of the universe, was known for referring to wine as “sunlight, held together by water.” Indeed, he told us that "while physical attributes of the planet are present, they are perceptually nonexistent until they have been interpreted by our senses”(The Neuroscience of Wine, by Ian Tattersall & Rob DeSale, Nautilus).
The axiom applies to wine.
As the scientific rebel remarked, “A wine's good taste does not belong to the objective determinations of the wine and hence of an object, even of an object considered as appearance, but belongs to the special character of the sense in the subject who is enjoying this taste.” - a fancy way of saying taste is subjective to the taster and the influences on the taster.
So the eternal question - What makes one person like a wine when another may not? Well, science once again, steps in. Researchers at the Stockholm School of Economics and Yale University as well as a follow up study by the California Institute of Technology revealed some heady results.
One experiment involved placing subjects in an MRi machine, connected to a hose that five separate Cabernet Sauvignon would be administered. Each subject was told the price of the wine before each tasting. The experiment proved that perceived cost is a factor in choosing preferences.
What is more interesting is that a regional of the brain called the medial orbitofrontal cortex was hyperactive in every subject while making a choice - it seems we use the same area of our brains when deciding about wine. The experiment revealed that preferences for wines are influenced by what we believe the wine costs and that the assessment takes place in a specific part of our brains.
Additionally, neuroeconomists discovered our perception of 'good' or 'bad' tasing wine is HEAVILY influenced by all sensory input, sight, taste, smell, touch, etc. But suggestion has the most influence - when you taste 'dirt' and a wine person says, "that's mineral", your perception can be persuaded to the positive.
And there's more, although we already know this: Studies show that our perception of the quality of wine is influenced by the label.
Galileo's theory is apropos. We apply our opinion based on subtle and not so subtle, sensory input - for wine, life and the way we interact with the world around us.
The next time you're at a wine tasting, try the experiment for yourself by tasting BEFORE the profile is described and without over examining the label.
Jefferson Ocean, bourbon aged at sea.
Visit Vino Etc., in downtown Oconomowoc(a.k.a, The Five O’s, O to the 5th, Ocondomowoc) and you’ll find more than an unpretentious selection of wine. You’ll discover over 45 different bourbons.
Top left is Jefferson Ocean - bourbon aged at sea. I know you might be thinking, ‘aging bourbon on a ship is a marketing ploy.' But it's not, it isn’t even original. The folks at Jefferson take bourbon aged for 8 years and roll them on ships to travel the world for three years. The idea sparked when the team was drinking bourbon onboard a ship back in the day. They noticed how the liquid sloshed back and forth in glasses; how would this work while in barrels?
In 2012, five barrels of Jefferson's were placed on a vessel for a three year voyage, crossing through the Panama Canal six times.
The resulting juice was incredible - “toasted, caramel, popcorn”. The variance in temperature - arctic to tropic - and the motion of the ocean - back and forth - helped the liquid expand and contract into the charred oak barrels producing a unique, dark and flavorful nectar.
Today, ships carry 8 year old bourbon bound for 30 ports, five continents, and traversing the equator five times. There are 180 barrels on the ocean at all time.
Placing bourbon on barges and ships is nothing new.
Originally, when bourbon produced in Kentucky was distributed to the rest of the country, barrels were loaded on barges and ships, sent down the Ohio and Mississippi river to New Orleans. Once there, either opened and consumed or shipped around Florida, ending up in where the majority of the US populace resided. Indeed, the founder of Jefferson’s bourbon, Trey Zoeller, believes what made whiskey so popular in Kentucky was the added taste acquired during the trip from New Orleans.
Whiskey picks up more flavor from the wood, and the salt air is breathed in by the barrel, giving a slight salty taste. Additionally, each voyage turns out a unique taste profile - imagine the difference in weather, ocean motion, and overall environmental influence from trip to trip. The current 17th journey is different from voyage two or three.
Neat, whiskey rocks or a cube, bourbon is to be enjoyed over good conversation with new acquaintances and lifetime friends. Visit Vino, Etc. and explore one of the over 45 different bourbons, including Jefferson's Ocean - check out Voyage 17.
The Jefferson’s Ocean tale could stop with the story about a boys trip in Costa Rica - but it doesn’t end there. The first, three year, experimental voyage was conducted on an oceanic research vessel, the MV OCRECH. Today, four barrels traverse the worlds oceans, while the MV OCRECH collects data and increases the sample size of Great White Shark research.
"Research expeditions are conducted aboard the M/V OCEARCH, which serves as an at-sea laboratory. The M/V OCEARCH is powered by Caterpillar engines and offers a 75,000 lb. capacity hydraulic platform designed to safely lift mature sharks out of the ocean for access by a multi-disciplined research team to conduct 12 studies in 15 minutes. OCEARCH has partnered with 157 researchers from 83 regional and international institutions.” - Jefferson’s Ocean webpage.