Archive for August, 2009

sweet or dry wines

Your preference in wine (and other tastes) can reveal aspects of your personality. This is according to recent research which for instance found that a preference for sweet wine was linked to a higher level of impulsiveness.

Scientists say your preference for sweet or salty tastes could also reveal an aspect of your personality.

Their results revealed that a preference for sweet wine was linked to a higher level of impulsiveness and a lower level of openness compared with a preference for dry white wine.

The researchers observed that people who prefer dry wine may be less likely to consume high-sugar products and their greater openness tends to result in a healthier diet.

However, with regard to other personality traits, there was not a significant difference in reported levels of risk-taking, empathy, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism.

Source: saga.co.uk


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CT Wine

Wine is like revenge. Both are best served cold. But just how cold?How cold the wine should be depends on type -red, white or pink – plus grape variety, flavour profile, quality level and even where it was made.

Americans and South Africans are generally faulted for serving red wine too warm and white wine too cold. I think there are two basic reasons for this: central heating and modern refrigeration.

Reds are supposed to be served at “room temperature.” That standard applies to a drafty old French chateau, not the well-heated, airtight houses found across US and SA today.

Whites and rosés are supposed to be chilled. Most folks plop these bottles in the refrigerator and serve directly from there. Trouble is, refrigerators are too cold, usually 2 to 3 °C, and the coldest recommended serving temperature for any wine is 4 °C.

So what should you do?

Bigger red wines are generally served between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius, according to “The New Wine Lover’s Companion,” while lighter reds can go as low as 10 °C. Chilling down a red tamps the aroma and the fruit flavour, which is why fruit bombs such as Beaujolais nouveau are always served cold. Otherwise, they’d be ready to rocket out of the glass.

Whites can be served at 4 -10 °C , while rich, full-bodied whites can be as warm as 10 to 13 degrees C.

In hot months, pop that red wine in the refrigerator or drop it in an ice bucket. At the very least, you can always plop an ice cube or two into your glass if you’re impatient or don’t care what others think. (And should you care, really? It’s your life and your wine.)

If your white or rosé is too cold, simply cup the glass in the palms of your hands. The heat of your palms will begin warming the wine.

Warming a wine allows the flavour and bouquet to bloom. Think high-quality chardonnays, which are served warmer than their less prestigious cousins to show off all their glorious nuance.

The fact is, a wine served at its optimal temperature will taste best.

Source: chicagotribune.com

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different drinks different hunger

According to a recent study the type of alcohol you consume may determine how hungry you feel afterwards. In other words, the intensity of your “munchies” is different for wine, beer or spirits.

A recent study shows that while alcohol has a specific effect on the body, the additional nutritional content of white wine, red wine and beer also affects how our body responds to alcohol.

Research psychologist and lead author Dr Anna Kokavec, says to understand the effect of different alcoholic beverages her team measured the influence they have on the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis.

The HPA axis regulates fluctuations in the body, and is responsible for the synthesis of the steroid hormones cortisol and dehyrdoepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), says Kokavec.

“The HPA axis is a system that has an input into nearly everything in the body.”

Kokavec says DHEAS and cortisol, commonly known as a stress hormone, influence our appetite and are associated with learning and memory formation.

“We need a sufficient release of cortisol to make us feel hungry,” she says

According to the study both hormones are affected when we drink alcohol, and that low levels “could lead to specific cognitive impairment if alcohol is consumed on a regular basis.”

Fluctuating levels

The researchers divided participants into four groups. Each drank either red wine, white wine, light beer or regular beer.

Kokavec says the levels of cortisol decreased in all participants upon consuming alcohol. This reduced their desire for food, despite having fasted for half a day.

“One of the biggest problems we have with alcohol is that appetite is reduced, and most alcoholics present with malnutrition,” she says.

But Kokavec was surprised to find that DHEAS levels fluctuated, depending on what type of alcohol the participant consumed.

In the participants who drank beer the levels of DHEAS initially dropped, but then went up.

According to Kokavec, this is because beer contains carbohydrates, which increases the level of insulin in the blood.

She says insulin has an antagonistic relationship with DHEAS – as insulin increases so does DHEAS. The result is an eventual increase in hunger.

“Beer completely confuses the system.”

Kokavec says red wine has a slightly different effect on the body.

“Red wine fools the body into thinking it’s eating, so cortisol and DHEAS levels go down.”

But she says the body starts to recognise that red wine isn’t a food and DHEAS and cortisol levels rise, increasing appetite.

Kokavec says, unlike beer and red wine, white wine completely shuts down the HPA axis, meaning DHEAS levels don’t recover and hunger remains low.


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Celebrity bad hair days

We all have bad hair days, but some of these celebrities take it to a whole new level. We give them credit for being brave enough to sport completely unnatural hair colors and wacky haircuts — but at the same time we wonder what they were thinking.

Check out their worst hairstyles to date … then think how much worse your hair could look next time you have a bad hair day.



For more bad hair days visit : totalbeauty.com

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music wine

Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes, research by psychologists suggests.

The Heriot Watt University study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60% depending on the melody heard.

The researchers said cabernet sauvignon was most affected by “powerful and heavy” music, and chardonnay by “zingy and refreshing” sounds.

Professor Adrian North said the study could lead retailers to put music recommendations on their wine bottles.

The research involved 250 students at the university who were offered a free glass of wine in exchange for their views.

Brain theory

Four types of music were played – Carmina Burana by Orff (”powerful and heavy”), Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky (”subtle and refined”), Just Can’t Get Enough by Nouvelle Vague (”zingy and refreshing”) and Slow Breakdown by Michael Brook (”mellow and soft”)

The white wine was rated 40% more zingy and refreshing when that music was played, but only 26% more mellow and soft when music in that category was heard.

The red was altered 25% by mellow and fresh music, yet 60% by powerful and heavy music.

The results were put down to “cognitive priming theory”, where the music sets up the brain to respond to the wine in a certain way.

“Wine manufacturers could recommend that while drinking a certain wine, you should listen to a certain sort of music,” Prof North said.

Here are some music and wine pairings suggestions

Cabernet Sauvignon: All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix), Honky Tonk Woman (Rolling Stones), Live And Let Die (Paul McCartney and Wings), Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who)

Chardonnay: Atomic (Blondie), Rock DJ (Robbie Williams), What’s Love Got To Do With It (Tina Turner), Spinning Around (Kylie Minogue)

Syrah: Nessun Dorma (Puccini), Orinoco Flow (Enya), Chariots Of Fire (Vangelis), Canon (Johann Pachelbel)

Merlot: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding), Easy (Lionel Ritchie), Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy), Heartbeats (Jose Gonzalez)

Source: BBC

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Retail Therapy

We may be willing to spend more when we’re feeling down, new research suggests.

It’s a practice so common it has come to be called retail therapy. And in a recent study, researchers uncovered evidence of what shopaholics have known for years — that people may be willing to spend more on themselves when they’re feeling sad.

The study of 33 volunteers, to be published in the June 2008 edition of Psychological Science, found that feeling sad leads to self-centered thinking — and this, in turn, can lead to a greater likelihood of dropping extra cash on something to make you feel better.

To reach their conclusions, a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pittsburgh showed volunteers either a video clip that showed grief following a tragic death or a neutral clip from a nature show. Afterward, participants had the chance to purchase an ordinary item — a sporty water bottle. They found that people who’d watched the sad video clip offered an average of 300 percent more money for the item than those who had viewed the neutral clip.

Other psychological experts not directly involved with the research agree that the findings are interesting.

This is not the first study to show a sadness-spending link.

“The two are related because they both deal with a way of filling up the emptiness inside that focuses on making their outside more attractive,” says Beverly Hills-based psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, whose research on compulsive shopping goes back to the mid-1980s. She has since appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss the phenomenon and penned the entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica explaining the behavior.

“The way I discovered it was because I was treating a lot of eating disordered patients at the time, and found that after I cured their eating disorder, they developed a compulsive shopping disorder,” she said.

Source: abcnews.com

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holywood divorce

Who says that Hollywood marriages are always short? After looking over the celebrity divorces that were either filed or finalized in 2008 the average were calculated and compared to the American average. Divorcing celebrities stayed together longer than the national US average.

It’s easy to say that actors, sports stars, and musicians are vacuous, self-centered egotists who don’t value commitment and family. But in fact, last year’s divorces reveal that many didn’t consider marriage as disposable as Bic pens and maybe it’s time to rewrite this perception.

Statistically speaking, the median U.S. marriage ending in divorce lasted 7.8 years. The median length of marriage for the 40 celebrities FWW (www.firstwivesworld.com) reported on this year was more than 9 years.

Sure, comedian Chris Kattan and Sunshine Tutt held this year’s record for the shortest marriage, only 16 weeks and “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh and TV exec Andrew Young lasted 15 months.

But many of those who split were together for more than 20 years. Those couples include Morgan Freeman, 24 years, Hulk and Linda Hogan, 24 years, and Ronnie and Jo Wood, 23 years.

Couples who lasted longer than 10 years included Dylan McDermott and Shiva Rose – 13 years;
Marg Helgenberger and Alan Rosenberg -19 years; Tea Leoni and David Duchovny – 11 years; and Robin and Marsha Williams – 19 years.

Here is the list of the break-ups we covered as well as a collection of the most interesting, touching, annoying, inspiring stories about the splits, the fits, the emotional pits and the couples who called it quits.

Celebrity Break-Ups

• Chris Kattan and Sunshine Tutt – 4 months (divorced)
• Jodie Sweetin and Cody Herpin – 1.3 years (separated)
• Kate Walsh and Alex Young – 1.5 years (separated)
• Pink and Corey Hunt – 2 years (separated)
• Tate Donovan and Corinne Kingsbury – 2 years (divorced)
• Star Jones and Al Reynolds – .3.5 years (divorced)
• Anna Faris and Benjamin Indra – 4 years (divorced)
• Donnie Wahlberg and Kim Fey – 4 year (divorced)
• Heather Mills and Paul McCartney – 4 years (divorced)
• Swizz Beatz and Mashonda – 4 years (separated)
• Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler – 4 years (divorced)
• Alex and Cynthia Rodriguez – 5 years (divorced)
• Debbie Matenopoulos and Jay Faires – 5 years (separated)
• Liv Tyler and Royston Langdon – 5 years (separated)
• Anne Heche and Coley Lafoon – 6 years (divorced)
• Terence Stamp and Elizabeth O’Rourke – 6 years (divorced)
• Madonna and Guy Ritchie – 8 years (divorced)
• Emily and Charlie Robison – 9 years (divorced)
• Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey – 9 years (divorced)
• Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe – 9 years (divorced)
• Wayne Brady and Mandie Taketa – 9 years (divorced)
• Brendan and Afton Fraser – 10 years (divorced)
• Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook — 10 years (divorced)
• Dwayne and Dany Johnson – 10 years (divorced)
• Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons – 10 years (separated)
• Bill and Jennifer Murray – 11 years (divorced)
• Téa Leoni and David Duchovny – 11 years (separated)
• Kiefer and Elizabeth Sutherland – 12 years (divorced)
• Dylan McDermott and Shiva Rose – 13 years (separated)
• Johnny Knoxville and Melanie Lynn Cates – 13 years (divorced)
• Shania Twain and Robert Lange – 15 years (separated)
• John Cleese and Alyce Faye Eichelberger – 15 years (divorced)
• Danny and Gretchen Bonaduce – 16 years (divorced)
• George Lazenby and Pam Shriver – 16 years (divorced)
• Robin and Masha Williams – 19 years (divorced)
• Marg Helgenberger and Alan Rosenberg – 19 years (separated)
• Tracy and Sabina Morgan – 22 years (divorced)
• Ronnie and Jo Wood – 23 years (separated)
• Hulk and Linda Hogan – 24 years (divorced)
• Morgan Freeman and Myrna Colley-Lee – 24 years (separated)

Source: huffingtonpost.com

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