May 20, 2010
Moderate wine drinkers have a healthier lifestyle than teetotallers, according to a surprising new study.
This is because those who enjoyed a few glasses of wine a day tended to take more exercise, have a higher social status and suffer from less stress, according to researchers
Researchers from the Public Assistance Hospitals in Paris looked at nearly 150,000 people and concluded those who enjoyed low or moderate intake of alcohol tended to exercise more, have higher social status and suffer from less stress compared to people who never touched a drop or drank to excess.
The volunteers included more than 97,000 men and 52,000 women. Researchers split them up into five groups that consisted of no alcohol consumption, low alcohol consumption, moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers and former drinkers.
The results showed those who drank moderately were more likely to have lower cardiovascular disease risk, heart rate, stress, depression and body mass index (BMI).
“Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status, and this could be a key reason for improved health in these subjects,” study author, Dr. Boris Hansel said.
Moderate drinkers also scored higher on health measures such as respiratory function and physical activity.
Read more on www.dailymail.co.uk
May 17, 2010
Two separate research groups have released findings that might confirm what you may know: Laughter and 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
May 10, 2010
The main rule to remember about pairing wine with food is that there are no rules: you should drink the wines you like with the foods you like. That being said, there are some basic guidelines that can help you maximize your enjoyment of wine-food pairing.
Match the weight & texture of the food to the weight & texture of the wine
Example: A light-bodied fish like sole works best with a light-bodied white wine like pinot grigio, while a heavier-bodied fish like salmon calls for a richer, fuller-bodied white like chardonnay.
Balance the intensity of flavours in the food and wine
Example: A mildly flavoured food like roast turkey pairs well with light-bodied white and red wines like sauvignon blanc and Beaujolais, but in the context of a Thanksgiving dinner featuring stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other strongly flavoured side dishes, an intensely flavoured white like gewürztraminer or a rich, fruity red like syrah or zinfandel would be preferable.
The five basic tastes are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami (the recently discovered fifth taste found in savory foods like mushrooms, tomatoes, soy sauce, and aged cheeses and meats). Salty and sour tastes in food make wines taste milder (fruitier and less acidic), while sweet and savory (umami) tastes make wines taste stronger (drier and more astringent).
Flavours are combinations of tastes and aromas, and there are an infinite number of them. You can fine-tune food and wine pairings by matching flavours in the food and the wine.
Sometimes, the best choice is to counterpoint flavours rather than matching them.
Read more on drinkwine.com
May 6, 2010
London will be invaded by a herd of colourful Elephants in a conservation campaign.
Elephant Parade is a conservation campaign that shines a multi-coloured spotlight on the urgent crisis endangered Asian elephant. The elephantfamily.org has organized this venture and the event sees over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants located over central London this summer.
Here is one of the exhibitions.
A herd of ‘baby elephants’ hand-painted by artists and designers including Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Williamson are setting London ablaze with colour.
May 4, 2010
Traditional Oriental medicine believes balancing flavours in your food promotes physical and mental well-being. Certainly a main dish that includes sweet, spicy, sour and salty flavours is more enjoyable than one that concentrates only one or two flavours.
Bring more pleasure to your meals by following these steps.
Step1: Assess how salty the ingredients of your dish are without adding any salt. Buy unsalted foods when you can so you can balance flavours more easily.
Step 2: Consider using other salty ingredients besides table salt to add more flavour to your dish. Soy sauce isn’t just for Asian cuisine. Garlic Salt or bouillon adds something extra to your plain white and brown rice. A little Parmesan or cheddar cheese goes a long way in a salad.
Step 3: Stock your pantry with different types of vinegar. Pickled vegetables can add a sour zing to your salads. Lemons and limes have vitamin C in addition to their pleasant sour taste.
Step 4: Balance the sourness in your dish with something sweet. Experiment with different sweeteners. Honey is better than sugar in salad dressings. Use brown sugar in a teriyaki sauce. Even the acidity of tomatoes in Italian dishes is enhanced by adding sugar.
Step 5: Be careful when adding spicy ingredients to your dish. Know what your guests can tolerate. Consider adding a slight amount to perk up the dish and leaving powdered spices in plain site for those who like to set their tongue on fire.
Step 6: Use freshly ground rather than pre-ground black pepper. You’ll notice the difference right away when you swirl the pepper mill and catch a whiff of quality pepper.
Step 7: Add dry spicy ingredients at the beginning of the cooking to balance the flavours better. Consider substituting your basic black pepper with curry, chili powder, hot paprika and mustard.
Read more on ehow.com
April 29, 2010
Balance for life is like an old family recipe handed down from generation to generation, yet it was never written down.
Balance for life takes some “eye balling.” It takes trying different things, building upon successes and learning from mistakes. It takes a few, standard, ingredients like self-confidence, assertiveness, delegation, and personal insight. Each of these individual ingredients relies upon the other and improves itself as well as the others the more you work on each individual one.
Sounds confusing doesn’t it? It just implies that to create balance for life you need some self-confidence to be assertive, you need assertiveness skills to delegate, and personal insight to know when to stand up for yourself, and when to delegate, in doing all of that you begin to feel more self-confident which in the end creates a more balanced life.
Read more on mylifecoachtara.com
April 26, 2010
All opened wines will oxidise and this is the process which turns wine to vinegar. This process is influenced by a few factors and here is a few tips to take into account with regards to wine “going bad”.
After opening a bottle of wine it just takes a few days for the wines to “go bad”. The time which it will “stay good” depends on a few factors.
Both red and white wines will oxidise once exposed to the elements and will eventually convert into vinegar. Essentially, the only wines that keep for any length of time after removing the closure are fortified ones (ports and sherries).
Typically, white wines will turn sour faster than reds and the process is accelerated by higher temperatures; by replacing the cork or screwcap and keeping the wine in the fridge, oxidation is inhibited but not avoided.
A rule-of-thumb says that letting an open bottle of wine stand on the counter accelerates the ageing process by one year for each day opened.
If this is the case, a red wine intended to age for a few years may be propelled to age in this rather crude fashion. The counter is that in opening a bottle of wine and not finishing it in one sitting, there is the opportunity to drink it up to several days later.
A white wine does not usually last longer than two days after opening and being stored in the fridge.
April 23, 2010
The 2010 SA Cheese Festival will once again provide all the aspects for a fun-filled day out in the country with family and friends.
There will be live music and ample seating under the big old oak trees, umbrellas and tents to relax and enjoy your day; different breeds of dairy animals in the Milk Factory; cheese, wine and related food products in the Checkers Cheese Emporium, Cheese Market, the Mall, the Gourmet Lane and the Diary Square; demos, fun and recipes of new ways to enjoy cheese in the Cooking Pot with celebrities like Nataniël.
The cheese festival will be open Saturday to Monday from 10h00 to 18h00, and Tuesday from 10h00 to 17h00. No tickets will be sold at the gates! All tickets are sold through Computicket and Checkers stores before the event. There are only a number of tickets available, so please get yours as soon as possible.
Come and try our new Balance Light Rosé. This wine is a masterfully blended light wine (50% Shiraz /50% Pinotage).
April 21, 2010
The countdown to the country’s most loved foodie festival has begun!
This weekend is the amazing SA Cheese Festival at Bien Donne near Franschhoek.
For loads of fun, fabulous food and wine and the most exhilarating cheese adventure, put the SA Cheese Festival at the top of your to-do-list for the long weekend of 24-27 April.
Balance Wines will be there so please join us for a glass or two of wine at this lovely festival.
For more info visit www.cheesefestival.co.za