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Holiday drinking: vodka subtleties and food pairing

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Food is paired with wine and beer, why not vodka? You needn't be a Polish farmer, Chelsea Handler or a freshly minted 21-year-old to enjoy the subtleties of a good vodka and Chopin Vodka offers potato, rye and wheat vodkas that pair wonderfully with food.

Chopin is a specialty vodka carefully produced in small batches in the Podlasie farmland region of northeast Poland by master distiller Waldemar Durakiewicz and it is one of the world's only vodka brands to offer tours of its distillery.

Unlike most vodka companies, which often use ingredients that come from unknown sources, Chopin controls it's process from farm to bottle by working with local Polish farmers to naturally grow potatoes, rye and wheat. It is one of the only single-ingredient vodkas in the world. Chopin is one of the only major brands of vodka that offer gluten-free options. Chopin practices sustainable farming. The whole process is very natural as even the left-over potato mash is returned to the farm field for fertilizer and the company doesn't use additives or artificial ingredients (such as flavorings) like some vodkas.

Potato vodka: try it with steak and it makes a great Dirty Martini
It takes about 40 potatoes or seven pounds to make just one bottle of Chopin Potato Vodka. Potatoes are hand-picked, cleaned and left unpeeled, then pressure-cooked to create a mash and fermented for three days. The mash is distilled four times and then combined with purified artesian well-water. See if you can sniff notes of vanilla or green apple.

Rye vodka: pair with spicier food like a tangy red sauce
A silky, medium-bodied vodka, Chopin Rye is just that - rye, yeast and purified well water, which are transformed into premium vodka using centuries-old methods. It has very subtle aromas of rye dough.

Wheat vodka: pairs perfectly with roasted chicken or turkey
Chopin Wheat Vodka is made from all natural 100% Polish wheat and offers initial notes of honey on the front palate.

Of course, you needn't pair it with any food, just sip at the end of a great meal and toast, “There are only two absolutes in life: friends and vodka. And the best times usually involve both” – Unknown.

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