Archive for November, 2010

Pairing wine and food must always be about enjoying the meal (event) and not about obeying the so called rules.

Wine and food pairing has some semi-rigid guidelines and some aspects that is guided by individual preferences. It can be difficult to find a balance between the different pairing approaches but at the end of the day it must work for you.

The old rule of “White wine with white meat and red wine with red meat” can be such a  rigid way of pairing wine and food. The problem is that you only pair the wine with the meat and not with the sauce. The sauce must be taken into account when pairings are done because that is the main taste catalyst of the dish.

A steak with a garlic butter sauce can be complemented by a buttery Chardonnay. And spicy fish dishes can be complemented by peppery Shiraz wines.

On the other hand, food and wine connoisseurs sometimes goes a bit over the top when trying to pair wine with the slightest aspect of one of the ingredients. Like pairing wine with the sort of salt or a minor spice ingredient.

Another thing is;  Where does Rosé wines fit into the old “White with white and Red with red” rule?  Does this mean you only drink Rosé wine with well done steaks or with “pink” fish like salmon? No of course not. Rosé wines are fantastic food partners with lighter examples matching salads, chicken dishes and fish with denser, darker versions standing up to steak and game.

Do not over analyse and remember just enjoy whatever you end up eating and drinking – it’s not an ordeal, it’s an experience.

Source: food24.com


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According to recent studies laughter and moderate red wine is the key to longevity. So having a few laughs with friends and a glass of red wine can be great for your body and soul.

Two separate research groups have released findings that might confirm what you may know: Laughter and moderate red wine and a handful of walnuts or peanuts are the best longevity, disease-fighting and anti-aging secrets out there.

Reports from the Montefiore Einstein Cancerdefine Center at Montefiore Hospital are that they have been using ‘strength through laughter’ therapy to cure patients for the last five years.

During the laughter therapy session, the patients crack each other up and laugh to forget their own illness; they also use good film comedies, books and stand-up specials during the session.

The American Cancer Society and other medical experts say that laughter is the best therapy to reduce tension and relax the body. It lowers the blood pressure, reduces stress hormones define and increases muscle flexion.  Many medical experts laud laughter’s unique internal organ massage benefits.

To add to this, Harvard researchers have made claims they have a critical key to unlock the secret of aging. The Harvard studies showed that resveratrol also found in the crust of peanuts and walnuts, in grapes, peanut butter, pistachios and other foods seemed to ward off the effect of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscles.

Read more on www.monstersandcritics.com

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Snacks and tipple are not deemed to be the healthiest food around but indulging in some of them may do you a whole lot of good. Snacks like are popcorn, chocolate red wine and a few more.

Some of these perceived “no-no’s” can actually be good for you , and even more so when you follow a balanced diet.

Here are some examples of the perceived unhealthy foods which have some health benefits.

It may be the best accompaniment for movies, but popcorn also helps curb the evening snack craving. A bowl of home-made popcorn is even better as it is low on calories and high on antioxidants.

Yes, it is indeed good news especially for people with a sweet tooth. Dark chocolate is proven to be good for the heart and if it is paired with a whole wheat brownie and some nuts, it becomes rich in fibre as well.

Dark chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidants. It helps to lower the blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease as well, if you eat around 100 grams a day.

There are many kinds of whole wheat crackers available, which can be a good and healthy evening munch without the side-effects that other junk foods cause.

The latest in the snack category are baked snacks. They are better than fried chips as they contain no oil. Usually made of whole wheat with a dash of spice, it not only entertains the taste buds but is also healthy for your body.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is found in many meat, milk and cheese products. But a recent study which concentrated specifically on processed cheese found that CLA has anti-carcinogenic properties and it is also an effective antioxidant. The study says processed cheese contains more CLA than natural cheese, such as cheddar.

Experts say that one pint of this thick and creamy dark beer may be as effective as a low dose of aspirin to improve blood circulation, and hence lower the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. It’s proven to be better than aerated drinks and other types of beer.

Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine, effectively decreases life-threatening inflammations. The antioxidants in red wine can help in preventing heart disease and cancer. For non-drinkers, grape juice or even red grapes can be as effective.

Source: timesofindia.com

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According to new scientific studies it seems that moderate wine intake can lead to ‘successful ageing’.

New research suggests that middle-aged women who enjoy a couple of glasses of wine a day have a healthier old age. Scientists suggest that moderate drinking can lead to ‘successful ageing’, and cut the risk of stroke, reports the Daily Mail.

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Do men have shorter attention spans than women?

Men don’t have a shorter attention span; women are just biologically wired to pay attention to different things than men. Researchers have found that male brains tend to be attracted to things that are analytical (sports scores) and visual (Heidi Klum), while female brains focus more on nonverbal and verbal communication (a stimulating conversation).

That said, women deal with attention problems more frequently during their reproductive years because of hormone fluctuations. New research shows that estrogen impacts brain chemistry and that it’s harder to concentrate when levels are low, like during a premenstrual week, perimenopause, and menopause.

Pregnancy is more complicated: Estrogen levels are at their peak, so many women experience an increased ability to concentrate. But because pregnancy can also be a time of fatigue and stress, lots of women find it’s harder than ever to focus.

Source: realsimple

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The dreaded red wine stain can be extremely frustrating so what exactly is the best way to remove a red wine stain?

The Wine advocate investigated this and here are the findings.

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.

The testing procedure began by pouring some red wine  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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South Africa’s beloved Holywood star Charlize Theron was linked to a few possible movies. The gossip is that she is in the inside lane to be in the next Batman movie or maybe play the role of Lady Di.

Charlize is a South African icon and although her movies are followed with interest in SA, unfortunately after her Oscar for Monster in 2004 she has not played in a really big box office hit.

Another role that has been mentioned is the Wicked Queen in a big-budget retelling of the Snow White fairytale, Snow White and the Huntsman. Johnny Depp has already been offered a role. Maybe we will see Charlize and Johnny Depp reuniting onscreen again. Their last movie together was The Astronaut’s Wife in 1999.

But that’s not the only high profile role Charlize has lined up. It seems that the world, or rather Hollywood screenwriters, are still fascinated by the late Princess Diana and have a movie planned that focuses on Diana’s relationship with her former bodyguard Ken Wharfe. Charlize is being eyed for the role of the tragic princess, with Ewan McGregor as the bodyguard whose controversial book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, is to be adapted for the movie.

I would love to see Charlize Theron play the role of Princess Dianna.



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