Archive for March, 2009


Some food and wine connoisseurs have made food and wine pairing so rigid that they are missing the point completely. Traditionally, certain wines are recommended to be served with certain dishes. The “rules” state that red wine will complement red meat, while white wine is recommended with fish or fowl.

Some people who are not huge fans of white wine, instead, prefer a Pinot Noir – which is a light-bodied red wine – with salmon or fish. If someone does not particularly enjoy red wine, you simply can’t force them to pair a Cabernet with steak.

New food and wine pairings are all about bending the rules to suit your palate. For example, uniquely South African Pinotage with medium body is also delicious served with seafood such as salmon.

The only “rule” to remember is to match the wine intensity or body with the flavour of the food so that the wine does not overpower the food, or vice versa. Even a so-called untrained palate seeks what it likes – trust your tastebuds and mix and match until you find something that you enjoy.

Rules? You know what to do them! Wine is simply something that must be enjoyed – regardless of perfect pairings.

Source: pioneerlocal.com


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Serving wine is sometimes seen as a difficult and a daunting task. But the opposite is actually true. By just planning and getting the right accessories it can make a huge difference to your entertainment efforts.

Wine enhances the flavour of the food, makes the table look nice and can liven up a meal. But many people find it confusing. There are too many choices, it requires a special tool to open, and there’s the whole culture around wine supposedly dictating what goes with which food and what’s cool to drink.

Here’s a quick primer on how to incorporate wine into your social events without hassles and embarrassment, and what basic items you need to present your drink perfectly.

The No. 1 rule is drink what you think tastes good, and have a couple of other offerings available that others might like. Your palate is about as individual as your fingerprints. What you like, someone else might avoid and vice versa, but that doesn’t mean the wine is bad. So serve a couple of wines and keep your bases covered.

Secondly, serve it in decent glasses. The shape of the glass really can affect the taste of a wine. It has to do with how the bowl of the glass channels the aroma – which is a big component of taste – to your nose. This is what wine lovers refer to when they are talking about the bouquet of a wine. Use a clear glass so you can see the wine. It’s worth the second or two to raise the stem toward light and just take a moment to appreciate the color.

Next, get a good corkscrew. A flimsy old corkscrew can be a hassle and an embarrassment. Corkscrews are really not expensive and, ideally, you should have more than one in your home.

If you serve white or Rose wine a decent ice bucket / wine cooler is a must. Apart form keeping the wine (and the host) chilled, it also give a sense of sophistication to your décor.

Now all you need is wine

Source: LA Times

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Why are women better investors?



Recent studies indicated that women are better investors than men. These findings are attributed to certain behavioural traits of both sexes and it seems that the sisters are doing it better.

Studies have been conducted which examine the behavioural traits of men and women, specifically regarding investments, and whilst some of the results have been predictable, others have been most enlightening.

It has been shown that women have higher emotional intelligence than men. This is unlikely to surprise most readers. However, it is the application of this superiority to investing that might be novel. The realisation has struck that investing is as much about human behaviour as it is about analysis – it is as much art as it is science. In fact, a whole field of study called “behavioural finance” has been born of this realisation. Any person having the ability to interpret or, indeed, anticipate human behaviour in the investment markets has an advantage.

Women trade less than men (on average, 45% less according to an American study). This sounds innocuous enough until one considers that trading incurs costs, and costs erode returns. As a result, men earn almost 1% less per annum on their portfolios than women. Whilst apparently paltry, this translates into a 22% wealth advantage over a 20 year investment term. Single women have an even more profound advantage over single men: bachelors trade 67% more than their fairer counterparts, and earn returns almost 1.5% per annum less for it!

Men are overconfident in their own abilities. They have a tendency to take too much credit for their own successes. They have a belief that returns are more predictable and so they expect higher returns. Women are more conservative, more intuitive and have a greater sense of urgency. Consequently women are less afflicted by inappropriate risks, “analysis paralysis” and bad timing.

Further to this, women are less encumbered by ego and as such they have no need to feign knowledge where they don’t have it. As a result, women free themselves to ask more questions and more questions facilitate better detection of charlatanism. Satisfactory answers to more questions create well-founded expectations and more comprehensive understanding of the role and consequences of a selected course of action.

To read more visit women24.com

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Could drinking red wine prevent you from gaining weight? New research shows that red wine seems to reduce fat storage within the body by increasing levels of oestrogen.

The female sex hormone plays a role in the body’s metabolism of fat. It also controls fat distribution.

Research at the University of Porto in Portugal shows that animals treated with red wine gained significantly less weight than controls who were given no alcohol but did the same amount of exercise over an eight-week period.

Exactly what it is in red wine that increases levels of oestrogen is unknown.

However, previous studies have found that resveratrol, the chemical in red wine believed to reduce the risk of heart disease, is a form of oestrogen.

The substance is highly concentrated in the skin of grapes and is abundant in red wine.

The problem is when I have a glass or two of red, my diet goes out the window. And it is little sin snacks that is the problem.  



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 Banderas, Antonio

Hollywood heartthrob Antonio Banderas has joined a growing number of celebrities whose passion for wine has led to ownership of Spanish vineyards, his winery co-owners say.

Banderas, 48, who has appeared in the “Legend of Zorro” and as the voice of Puss in Boots in several “Shrek” movies, has bought 50 percent of a state-of-the-art winery on the banks of the Duero River in northern Spain, the winery says.

The Spanish actor joins a list of owner-producers that includes American actor Michael Douglas, French star Gerard Depardieu and Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat.

The 230 hectare (570 acre) property, called Anta Banderas, makes red and rose wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and local grape Tempranillo, the winery said Tuesday in a statement.

Source: newschief.com

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Some people believe rigorously in wine and food pairings and advocate that certain mismatches can make a great wine taste like plonk. Others say that a great wine is a great wine and will stood the test of any food pairing.

No matter what your opinion it is good to know what wines goes with what food. Contrary to popular believe pairing wines and food is easier than is perceived.

Pairing the right red wine with a delicious meal is easier than you might think. The beauty of red wine is its versatility. A glass of Cabernet can be robust and heavy, while a serving of Pinot Noir can be light and complementary. Here’s an easy guide for what to pour and when to pour it.

Wine Selections

Step 1

Use Cabernet Sauvignon for big, filling entrees like casseroles, red meats, beef and lamb.

Step 2:

Pair a Merlot with roast beef, barbeque chicken, tuna, or soups and stews. The more fruity taste of this red wine also goes well with red meats.

Step 3

Drink Pinot Noir with pasta. Pinot is a light red wine, which makes it incredibly versatile. Many dishes go with Pinot Noir, such as ham, turkey, fontina cheese, grilled vegetables and salmon.

 Step 4

Order Chinese takeout or prepare duck if you have a bottle of Cabernet Franc to serve.

 Step 5

Spice up your game meat or rack of lamb with a Shiraz. Shiraz is a more peppery red wine. It’s lighter than a Cabernet but has a strong enough structure to be paired with meat.


Pairing instructions

Step 1

Determine the dominant flavor of your meal. This is the flavor you will pair with a red wine. For example, if pepper is the overarching theme, use a Shiraz. The descriptions of the red wines in section 1 can act as a guide for your pairings.

Step 2

 Serve reds based on the time of day. A robust Cabernet can be served at dinner, while a lighter Pinot Noir should be served at lunch. People prefer heavier wines later in the evening.


Step 3

Match region with region. For example, serve a classic Italian pasta dish with a light Italian red wine, like a Bardolino. Chianti is also a typical pairing with tomato sauce.

 Step 4

Avoid competition. Red wines like to be in the limelight; they are heavy, robust and bold. Don’t let your red wine compete with your meal. Instead, go for pairings that compliment one another. A good example of this is a pairing of a Merlot with roast beef. The fruity taste of the red will accent the salty taste of the beef.



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Picking out the right wine for someone could prove as challenging as buying a present for the in-laws who have everything.

Which varietal? How much to spend? Go bold – or delicate? Is a bottle of Sherry the ultimate insult?

These questions become particularly difficult when you don’t know the recipient’s wine taste. Steer clear of giving wine to anyone who you’re not certain drinks alcohol.It could become awkward if the person is a recovering alcoholic or for religious reasons doesn’t drink.

But if they do, the trick is in the pairing. Our experts have a lot of tips, everything from matching personalities to wine to finding clues in the foods and beverages they drink.

Tim Hanni, a master of wine, has his own theories about people’s likes and dislikes based on how many taste buds they have on their tongue. While it might be a little presumptuous, and definitely strange, to ask your boss if you could get a look inside his or her mouth, Hanni says there are other hints to follow.

Coffee clues
“How they drink their coffee could be a telltale sign,” says the wine master. “If they prefer their coffee black and strong, their wine preference will more than likely lean toward intense wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, old-vine Zinfandels and many Meritage wines (usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes).”
Hanni says cream-and-sugar coffee drinkers are more likely to show a preference for moderately sweet wines, such as Muscat and Riesling. Sparkling wines are also an option. He says to look for labels that have 2 to 6 percent residual sugar levels.

People who salt their food heavily are also likely to go for the sweeter wines, according to Hanni. Same goes for folks who gravitate to sweet cocktails such as mojitos and pina coladas. He says Manhattan, martini and classic margarita drinkers would probably appreciate Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Merlot and Chardonnay. For the whisky, Cognac, Tequila and Scotch crowd, try big, bold reds and oaky, expensive Chardonnays.

Don’t have a clue about what kind of cocktails the person you’re buying for likes or how he or she takes coffee? Hanni suggests going with personality traits. A man with a strong personality who is good at math would probably prefer a wine that’s received a high rating from Robert Parker. If he’s more artistic and a little disorganised, go with Pinot Noir, dry Riesling and wines you would describe to your merchant as delicate and expressive.

For a strong woman, Hanni suggests Shiraz, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay. For an artistic woman, go for something sweet, like a fruit wine, he says. “Of course these are all generalisations,” says Hanni. “But in my experience, they tend to work.”
If you don’t know someone well enough to judge their wine taste, get something festive that they can share with other people. Good choices are Champagne, sparkling wine, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc – it goes great with food.


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