Archive for January, 2010

A drink a day…

January 29, 2010

A drink a day keeps the shrink away.
Edward Abbey


Pairing wine and people

January 27, 2010

Picking out the right wine for someone (like your boss) 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,  there are other hints to follow.

Coffee clues
How they drink their coffee could be a telltale sign. 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).
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. 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. Same goes for folks who gravitate to sweet cocktails such as mojitos and pina coladas.

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? Hani 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,  Shiraz, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay. For an artistic woman, go for something sweet, like a fruit wine.
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.

Read more of Hani’s suggestion on

Lower alcohol wine reduces cancer risk

January 25, 2010

Cancer charities are advising wine drinkers  to drink lower alcohol varieties in order to cut the risk of cancer.

Lower alcohol drinks also contain fewer calories which make it also a better wine option for people on a balanced diet.

One of these charities is  The World Cancer Research Fund. This charity is urging wine drinkers to consider trying 10 per cent alcohol by volume wine instead of the usual 12 per cent to 14 per cent.

People who drink a large glass of wine a day could reduce their risk of developing bowel cancer or breast cancer by seven per cent just by switching from a 14 per cent wine to a 10 per cent one, they said.

Hundreds of cases of cancer could be prevented if everyone switched to lower alcohol drinks, they said.

For every 100 people who switched, five would develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives, instead of six.

Switching would also reduce the risk of other cancers affected by alcohol such as breast, liver, throat, mouth and voicebox by a similar amount.

The World Cancer Research Fund suggests a lower recommended daily limit that the government due to the links. The charity has said that to reduce cancer risk it is best not to drink alcohol at all but because small amounts have been shown to benefit the heart they recommend drinking no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women.

The recommended daily limit is three to four units for men and two to three for women with at least two alcohol free days a week.

Read more

Quote of the day

January 21, 2010

We come into this world head first and go out feet first; in between, it is all a matter of balance. – Paul Boese

Wine, chocolate and tea can help beat memory loss

January 20, 2010

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 festive 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.


Elephant jokes

January 14, 2010

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a budgie?
A messy cage.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a bus-driver?
A trunk an’ driver.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a cactus?
The biggest porcupine in the world.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a canary?
I don’t know, but when it sings, it makes a terrible noise!

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a caretaker?
A 2-ton corridor sweeper.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a cat?
Very scared mice.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a chicken?
Enough feathers to fill a duvet.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a cockerel?
An animal that wakes people living in the next town.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a computer?
A 4-ton know-all.

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a cow?
I don’t know; but you have to stand up to milk it!

For more elephant jokes visit

Quote of the day

January 12, 2010

Next to love, balance is the most important thing.  John Wooden

From Hemingway to Homer Simpson, everyone has an opinion on wine

January 11, 2010

Wine has fascinated people over the centuries. Here is few wine quotes from prominent persons. From Hemingway to Homer Simpson, everyone has an opinion on wine.

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.
Ernest Hemingway

Wino Forever
Johnny Depp
(The tattoo once read ‘Winona Forever’!)

What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?
Isak Dinesen

Wine is bottled poetry.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.
Louis Pasteur

“Alcohol – the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems”
Homer Simpson