Archive for July, 2009

chocolate and wine

A modest amount of wine could help to beat memory loss and delay the onset of dementia, claim researchers, who added that the same goes for a few squares of chocolate and cups of tea.

However, if anyone thinks that they have got the licence to over-indulge during the winter season, should beware. According to scientists, the benefits wear off dramatically if people take more than half a glass of wine, four squares of chocolate or five cups of tea.

To reach the conclusion, Oxford University researchers examined more than 2,000 elderly people to measure cognitive performance.

They found that chocolate, wine and tea boosted the brainpower of those aged 70 to 74, reports the Daily Express.

Wine was most effective, with better performances after just a tipple.

It has long been claimed that people who consume a lot of flavonoids – present in the food and drinks studied – show lower signs of dementia.

Source: indiatimes


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red wine stains remove

It’s happened to you and it’s happened to me… why does there always seem to be a white shirt, carpet or couch involved? Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded red wine stain!

So what exactly is the best way to remove a red wine stain? When push comes to shove, everyone seems to have a different remedy and no one seems to know whether their remedy actually works! Well, I have decided to give some of the popular “quick fixes” (and some unusual ones) a try, to see which works the best.

My testing procedure began by pouring some red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon to be exact) on white fabric and then applying each remedy immediately. I also tried each remedy after a few hours, once the stain had dried. Here are the results, in no particular order (see “after” pictures of the fresh stains below):

Water: This seemed to fade the “fresh” stain only slightly more than the “old” stain, with both leaving a very noticeable mark on the fabric. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 4/10

White wine:
I found that the white wine didn’t work much better than the water, in fact the water did a better job with the “old” stain. So, instead of wasting your white wine, rather use water to treat a red wine stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 2/10

Salt: Salt didn’t make much of a difference to either of the two stains (fresh and old). In fact, it just made more of a mess than any of the other methods tested. Score: Fresh stain: 2/10; Old stain: 1/10

Milk: Being white and packed with goodness, I thought milk would do the trick, but yet again I was disappointed. The milk faded the fresh stain a fair amount, but hardly made any difference to the old stain. Score: Fresh stain: 6/10; Old stain: 1/10

Cleen Green:
This common cleaning agent worked wonders, removing the fresh stain COMPLETELY in no time. The old stain however turned to an ugly green/grey colour after being treated with the Cleen Green. Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 1/10

Hydrogen Peroxide: This might just be the answer to the world’s red wine stain problems… Mix equal parts of Hydrogen Peroxide (available from any chemist) and dish washing liquid. After a few seconds of rubbing.voila.fresh stain GONE! The old stain required a bit more elbow grease, but in the end it was reduced by approximately 80%. However, as this is a bleaching agent I would not recommend using it on coloured fabrics or carpets! Score: Fresh stain: 10/10; Old stain: 8/10

Source: SA Wine Advocate

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Good news for white wine lovers. New research shows that white wine is just as good for your heart as red.

Here is a great video about the health benefits of wine.

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Douglas-Green- Jul09 comp

For more info visit Competition Details

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alzheimers women wine

According to a recent study moderate consumption of wine could reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.

Excessive consumption, on the other hand, can increase the risk, researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina found.

Kaycee Sink, one of the authors of the report, said they monitored 3,069 people of 75 and upwards over six years, asking them to note their alcohol consumption.

Among those who restricted themselves to one or two glasses a day, especially of wine, the risk of Alzheimer’s was reduced by 37 percent.

For those already suffering minor memory problems who drank more than two glasses a day, the risk was twice that of non-drinkers with similar impairment.

Another study released by researchers at a California medical centre for war veterans showed that those who had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder were twice as likely to contract Alzheimer’s than other ex-soldiers.

The study covered 181,093 veterans aged 55 and over, who were monitored between 2001 and 2007.

Characterized by forgetfulness, agitation and dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by a massive loss of cells in several regions of the brain. The disease occurs most frequently in old age.

An estimated 37 million people worldwide live with dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease causing the majority of cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the aging of populations, this figure is projected to increase rapidly over the next decades, rising from 7.1 million in 2000 to 16.2 million in 2050 in Europe alone.

Source: AFP

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Women winemaker

Six dynamic winemakers are through to the final round of this year’s ‘Landbouweekblad’ Woman Winemaker of the Year Award.   South Africa’s only competition for woman winemakers, now in it’s sixth year, are sponsored by leading South African agricultural magazine, Landbouweekblad.

This year’s competition saw 64 entries from 28 winemakers across the country. According to Lorraine Immelman-Steyn, organiser of this competition, the growing entries shows that women are now firmly settled into and impressing the wine industry. “Not only in South Africa, but also in other parts of the wine world there are an increasing number of women entering the wine industry,” she said. “Across the world there is a growing awareness of woman winemakers, even through similar international competitions. Just think about the National Woman’s Wine Competition, as well as the Women Winemakers Challenge.”

This year’s finalists include well-known names, as well as newcomers. Danelle van Rensburg of Van Loveren in Robertson are in the final round with a 2009 Colombar, Ntsiki Biyela of Stellekaya in Stellenbosch are now part of the top six with her 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmen Stevens of Amani, also in Stellenbosch, went through with her 2008 Amani Kamili Chardonnay/Viognier blend.

The other three finalists are Corlea Fourie of Bosman Family Vineyards in Wellington with her 2008 Chenin Blanc, Corrien Geleijnse of Swartland Wine Cellar in Malmesbury with her 2008 Shiraz and last, but not least is Nomonde Kubheka of KWV in Paarl with her 2007 red blend named Triptych.

The winner will be announced on July 30 at a gala ceremony at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset-West.

According to Marilyn Cooper, Managing Director of the Cape Wine Academy and president of the judging panel, this year’s competition is known for diverse and innovative entries. “For the first time ever a port was entered into the competition, as well as interesting single variety wines such as Malbec. The panel was surprised with a selection of different and exciting wines,” she said.

The Landbouweekblad Woman Winemaker of the Year must, however, do more than only creating exceptional wines. The winner is judged according to her overall personality, her view of the wine industry and her career goals. After the top wines are chosen through a blind tasting, a choice panel of judges interviewed the six finalists.

Apart from Cooper, the panel include Erika Obermeyer, last year’s winner and winemaker at Graham Beck Wines; Jo-Anne Mettler, wine judge and PRO at L’Ormarins; Cathy Marston, wine writer from the UK and wine consultant Nicolette Waterford.

According to Landbouweekblad, the main sponsor of this event, interest is growing in this competition where an ambassador to the wine industry for the next year is chosen. It now is a highlight on the South African wine calendar.

“The number of entries is growing each year and the competition sees entries from winemakers from big, well-established cellars, as well as smaller cellars from upcoming wine regions,” says Immelman-Steyn. “I am delighted about how this competition has evolved, especially because this competition shows that women across cultural borders are choosing winemaking as a career. The number of entries shows that the title of Woman Winemaker of the Year is getting increasingly important to our woman winemakers. In the current economic climate, I feel any positive publicity where the focus is on wine, is of great advantage when we want to make wine the chosen lifestyle product of the whole of our nation.

“Woman in the wine industry enjoys more and more acknowledgement throughout the world and I hope this award ceremony plays an important role in motivating al woman, not only those wanting to enter the wine industry. This just shows that woman can enter any career with success and if they have the necessary perseverance, knowledge and skills the sky is the limit, even in this so called man’s world.”

These wine ambassadors lead to the promotion of the versatile nature of the wine industry and follows in the footsteps of the Champagne Lanson Woman in Wine Award presented annually at the International Wine and Spirits Fair in London, as well as the Shoprite-Checkers Woman of the Year Award.

Each finalist will receive a pamper pack from Lanzerac Wellness Centre and Spa, as well as a gift pack from Distinctive Brands’ with Spiegelau crystal ware. A new sponsor came to the party this year and the winning label, as well as the finalists’ labels will be sponsored by Collotype, the internationally recognised label printing company.

This year’s winner will receive a cash prize of R20,000.

Source: wine.co.za

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lose weight

Red wine may contain chemicals that help control weight gain, new research suggests.

Experiments at the University of Porto show that animals given red wine gained significantly less weight over an eight week period than animals kept under the same conditions, but given no red wine.

The key may be a chemical that occurs naturally in red wine that increases levels of oestrogen in the body. Oestrogen plays a role in the metabolism of fat, and also fat distribution.

Resveratrol, a substance abundant in red grape skins, is a form of oestrogen, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The problem is that after a few glasses of red wine, my diet goes out the window and I start to nibble on snacks and ‘forbidden’. It is these sin snacks that are killing my diet.

Source: Marie Claire

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