Archive for October, 2009

women buy wine

When you buy wine as a gift, wine awards play a bigger role in your purchase decision. This is according to a recent study.

In a recent MBA study Christine von Arnin found that consumers put different emphasis and importance on wine awards when they purchase wine for different reasons. When consumers buy wine for self consuming or for a party less emphasis are put on wine awards. But when consumers buy wines for a gift, wine awards do effect the purchase decision.

The study also found that in general South African wine consumers put more emphasis on cues like Variety, Vintage, Producer, Region than on wine awards. This implies that awards have a lesser effect on the purchase decision than originally expected.

Read full report on the finding of the study:

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guests stay to long

Most people have, at one point or another, found themselves in a situation where they have house guests that stay too long and just don’t want to leave. Whether they have come for a few hours or a few days, it can be awkward to be put in a spot where you have to ask your house guests to leave. Here are a few tips.

Step 1: Discuss the visit with others who live in your house before you make plans for guests. Let each person voice his opinion on how long is too long. If there are extremes in your opinions, agree on an amount of time that falls somewhere in the middle and feels comfortable to everyone.

Step 2: Make it clear to your guests when you are inviting them to come, how long you would like them to stay. There are ways to do this without offending your company. If they are coming for an evening, try something like “I would love to see you Sunday, but I have an early morning on Monday, how about 6 to 9 p.m., does that work for you?” If it is an overnight visit you are planning, say “we would love to have you come for 2 days.” This eliminates the miscommunication that often leads to a house guest that stays too long.

Step 3: Inform your guests about house rules. For example, if there is no smoking inside your home, make sure that this rule is clear to the guest before shy decides to come.

Step 4: Do all that you can to make your house guests feel welcome while they are visiting. You invited them into your home, so it is important they do not feel like they are intruding.

Step 5: Use a sense of humor with house guests that have over-stayed their welcome. Only try this approach if they know you well and understand your sense of humor, or you might offend them. Say something like “Gee, I really have enjoyed your visit, but I didn’t know that I should have made up the guest room for you,” if the hour is getting late and they are showing no signs of leaving.

Step 6: Approach the topic of your house guests leaving by setting up a time in the future to see them again. A good way to do this is to say “I have really enjoyed our visit today, what are your plans for next week? Maybe we can get together again.” Having plans for another visit makes your house guest understand you are just trying to get rid of them for the day, not forever.

Source: ehow.com

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Wine Sold out

An empty store shelf spurs shoppers to buy the closest substitute for the product that isn’t there. This is according to a recent Canadian study which found that “Sold-out products” create a sense of immediacy for customers.

Paul Messinger, a professor at the University of Alberta, found “sold-out” signs create a sense of urgency.

“Sold-out products create a sense of immediacy for customers; they feel that if one product is gone, the next item could also sell out,” Messinger said in a statement.

“Our research shows there’s also an information cascade, where people infer that if a product is sold out, it must have been good and therefore a similar available product will also be desirable.”

A study of merlot wines found 49 percent of consumers would buy a bottle if they had one choice, but if they thought a similar wine had sold out next to it on the shelf, nearly twice the number of shoppers would buy the available bottle.

Source: upi.com

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forget picture

The brain can store a vast number of memories, so why can’t we find these memories when we need to? A new study provides insights into this question.

Our brains are crammed with a massive amount of memories that we have formed over a lifetime of experiences. These memories range from the profound (who am I and how did I get here?) to the most trivial (the license plate of the car at a stoplight).

Furthermore, our memories also vary considerably in their precision. Parents, for instance, often know the perils of a fuzzy memory when shopping for a birthday gift for their child: remembering that their son wanted the G.I. Joe with Kung Fu Grip rather than the regular G.I. Joe could make an enormous difference in how well the gift is received. Thus, the “fuzziness” of our memory can often be just as important in our daily lives as being able to remember lots and lots of information in the first place.

Different Levels of Detail for Different Types of Memory?

In the past several decades, cognitive psychologists have determined that there are two primary memory systems in the human mind: a short-term, or “working,” memory that temporarily holds information about just a few things that we are currently thinking about; and a long-lasting memory that can hold massive amounts of information gained through a lifetime of thoughts and experiences.

These two memory systems are also thought to differ in the level of detail they provide: working memory provides sharp detail about the few things we are presently thinking about, whereas long-term memory provides a much fuzzier picture about lots of different things we have seen or experienced. That is, although we can hold lots of things in long-term memory, the details of the memory aren’t always crystal-clear and are often limited to just the gist of what we saw or what happened.

If It’s Not Fuzzy, Why Do We Still Forget Things?

New research provides compelling evidence that the enormous amount of information we hold in long-term memory is not so uncertain after all. It seems that we actually hold representations of things we’ve seen in a fairly detailed and precise form.

Of course, this finding raises the obvious question: if our memories aren’t all that fuzzy, then why do we often forget the details of things we want to remember? One explanation is that, although the brain contains detailed representations of lots of different events and objects, we can’t always find that information when we want it. As this study reveals, if we’re shown an object, we can often be very accurate and precise at being able to say whether we’ve seen it before.

If we’re in a toy store and trying to remember what it was that our son wanted for his birthday, however, we need to be able to voluntarily search our memory for the right answer—without being prompted by a visual reminder. It seems that it is this voluntary searching mechanism that’s prone to interference and forgetfulness. At least that’s our story when we come home without the Kung Fu Grip G.I. Joe.

Read more: scientificamerican.com

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opeing and pouring wine

The process of opening a bottle of wine is underrated. The sound set the mood, the effort emphasizes the anticipation and then the pour of wine is instant gratification for all your efforts.

Ken Mageau once wrote that “I don’t know how I missed this part of wine enjoyment, but I did: How do you get the wine out of the bottle and into the glass?”

In ancient Greece they used large casks sealed with corks to hold their wine, and the early Romans used cork covered with pitch to get an airtight seal. In the 17th century, people used glass bottles with glass stoppers — like a decanter — but that method proved too expensive. Bottlers eventually went back to corks, but they were only pushed partway in because no one had yet invented the corkscrew.

Most bottles today have a foil covering around the neck, which can be removed with a small, sharp knife or a nifty little gizmo called a foil cutter. Use either to cut the foil so you can see the top of the cork. After wiping the rim of the bottle to remove any debris, it’s time to remove the cork.

There are many kinds of bottle openers. There is the old faithful “Hands-up” bottle opener. This opener s the one which you turn and turn and eventually the “arms” come up and you open the bottle by pressing down on the arms.

wine corkscrew.jpg hands up

Then there is super fancy opener with compressed air etc. This is not my favourite because I believe that some of the fun is taken out of opening a bottle by using the fancy stuff.

My favourite is the go-to guy- in opener. The Waiters friends.  It comes with a small, fold-out knife to cut the foil and is available in one- or two-step models. With practice, the waiter’s friend is the fastest corkscrew available.

waiters friend

Before too long, there are sure to be more and more screw-tops being produced, and corks and inventive openers will be a thing of the past. I sure hope not, though. There’s just something wonderfully romantic about opening that dark bottle and pouring that heavenly nectar.

Source: thebeachsideresident.com

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