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wine

Life
10 Ways To Cure A Hangover
May 21, 2010 at 11:23 am 0
It's getting warmer, everyone is feeling social, the patios are packed, and the cocktails are flowing ever so freely! Sounds like a great time, but the next morning you will be feeling anything but great! Here Are 10 Sure Fire (And Fun!) Ways To Cure A Hangover: 1. Eat a bacon and egg sandwich. Salad will not help, you need to go for the heavy stuff! 2. Wear sunglasses. They will hide your bags and sleepy eyes, and will save you from getting a headache from the bright sun. 3. Stay horizontal. Sit on a lawn chair by the pool, lay in bed watching movies or plant yourself on the sofa and chat with your man. Don't try to be too active, you'll stir everything up, which is a baaaad thing when you have a hangover! 4. Don't make plans. Who wants to go for a run, eat a fancy brunch or go shopping when you feel awful. Don't commit to something if you need to be energized and feeling great to do it. 5. Drink lots of water before bed, when you wake up and throughout the day. You'll get hydrated and recover much faster. 6. Advil is your friend. Take 2 before bed, or right when you wake up. Actually, when you have a hangover Advil is your best friend! 7. Drink fresh squeezed juice or eat a few oranges. They have lots of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fluids that will make you feel fantastic! 8. Go swimming! Surfers swear that a quick dip cures any hangover - trust the experts! 9. Take a nap. Rest up, relax and rest some more. You need a little time to recover so drifting in and out of sleep when you are hung over is a great thing! 10. Watch feel good movies! When you are hung over you feel slow, and sluggish - so play your favourite movies that will make you laugh, smile and feel all giddy...you'll forget your hangover in no time!
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Life
How To Taste Wine Like A Pro
April 14, 2010 at 11:33 am 1


Put your palette to the test with a wine tasting

Put your palette to the test with a wine tasting

Ever tasted a wine and have no idea if it’s the fanciest Chateaux Margaux or the dregs of a home brew? Not to worry, here’s some easy advice on how to taste wine and have fun while doing it! There are three basic senses that are used in tasting wine. 1. Sight 2. Smell 3. Taste That’s right, it’s not just the guzzle, guzzle that you use to figure out if a wine is a five star! First, you are supposed to look at the wine. Check out the Colour and Clarity (so similar to diamonds…no wonder girls love wine!) Pour a glass of wine into a wine glass and have a good look at it. Tilt the glass away from you and check out the colour of the wine from the rim edges to the middle of the glass (it's helpful to have a white background like a white napkin or tablecloth). Look beyond red, white or blush. If it's a red wine is the color maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red, brick or even brownish? If it's a white wine is it clear, pale yellow, straw-like, light green, golden, amber or brown? Next look at the wine's opacity. Is the wine watery or dark, translucent or opaque, dull or brilliant, cloudy or clear? An older red wine will often have more orange tinges on the edges of color than younger red wines. Older white wines are darker than younger white wines when comparing the same grape at different ages. Next it’s time to smell the wine – seriously, this is like a wine seduction…so take your time! To get a good impression of your wine's aroma, swirl your glass for about 10-12 seconds. Some people say it matters which way you swirl your wine, so if you want to look super sophisticated hold you wine between your index and middle finger of your right hand, and swirl your glass counter clockwise. Swirling helps vaporize some of the wine's alcohol and release more of its natural aromas so it’s important not to skip this step. Now stick your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose – this may sounds silly, but it’s interesting to see what you smell when you really get in there! Do you smell oak, berry, flowers, vanilla or citrus? A wine's aroma is an excellent indicator of its quality and unique characteristics. Swirl the wine and let the aromas mix and mingle, and sniff again. Entertain whatever comes to mind. There’s even a smell referred to as “barnyard” so don’t be shy trying to figure out what’s in your glass! Finally, take a taste – you’ve been so patient thus far now you finally get to try it! Start with a small sip and let it roll around your mouth. There are three stages of taste: 1. the Attack phase 2. the Evolution phase 3. the Finish The Attack Phase is the initial impression that the wine makes and does not display a specific flavour. Instead the flavours meld together to offer impressions in intensity and complexity – is it soft or firm, light or heavy, crisp or creamy, sweet or dry? The Evolution Phase is the wine’s actual taste on the palate. In this phase you are looking to discern the flavour profile of the wine. For red wine you may notice fruit, like berry, plum, prune or fig or spice like pepper, clove, cinnamon, or maybe a woody flavour like oak, cedar, or hickory (smokey). For white wines you might notice apple, pear, tropical or citrus fruits, or florals like honey, butter, herbs or a bit of earthiness. The Finish is the final phase. The wine's finish is how long the flavour lasts after it is swallowed. Did it last several seconds? Was it light-bodied (like the weight of water), medium-bodied (similar in weight to milk) or full-bodied (like the consistency of cream)? Did you like the taste and want to drink more, or was it bitter and you want to rid your mouth of the taste? All of these things combined create a “proper” wine tasting. So next time you’re opening a bottle of wine make sure you look, smell and taste the wine. And have fun with it – invite your friends over, make some score cards and have a tasting party. Who said wine tasting needs to be serious and stuffy?
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Life
Pinot And A Patio Make A Perfect Pair!
April 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm 0


Today it's gorgeous and hot in the city. This never happens in Toronto in April! To celebrate a glass of Pinot on a Patio is our immediate future. It's the perfect way to welcome Spring!
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Life
How to Host a Great Holiday Party
December 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm 0


As the holiday season approaches there’s no better time to get together with friends and family and celebrate together. Here are some simple holiday tips to help you host a great holiday party. Pick a theme. Holiday parties don’t just have to be about Christmas. Pick a fun theme to boost your party this year. Think Bad Santa and come up with games and activities where your guests can play, laugh and get to know each other better. Your party will be the hit of the season. Invite a wide mix of people. A fun mix of people from different backgrounds with different interests can add some serious spice to your party. Instead of inviting the same six people why not make it ten, and add some new people to really stir things up? Stock up on liquor and spirits. Deviate from the everyday and come up with unique cocktail combinations to serve your guests, or have a wine or beer tasting party where your guests have to guess which is which. The more creative you get, the better your results. Provide some light and tasty snacks. When your guests are sipping and chatting make sure you’ve provided a fuel up station for them. Some nice, light, tasty snacks will go a long way. Try not to go with the super heavy and complicated snacks that will be hard for you to make, and leave your guests feeling bloated and sleepy. Decorate. Some festive ornaments and funky decorations will go far. Show that you put some effort into your party and add holiday accents – such as silver cocktail glasses and table decorations. Just add music. Before your guests arrive put the final touches on your soiree and put on some music. Have a few choices nearby that can help to elevate, or slow things down if needed. Since you’re setting a whole scene for your party make sure the music compliments the vibe you are trying to set with all the decorating, games and cocktail mixes. Go with the flow. Instead of forcing games and seating plans on your guests let them set the pace for the night. If your guests aren’t interested in your games drop it and move onto something else – and if they seem like they are ready for something different bring out the wine tasting. As long as things flow nicely it’ll be a great party.
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Travel
Weekend Warrior: The Perfect Romantic Getaway
September 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm 1
A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a last minute weekend getaway to Langdon Hall, a country house outside of Toronto. I wasn’t sure what to expect…it was a pretty pricey place and I was worried that it would be a bit stuffy. But when we pulled up to this country house, which really is a country mansion, I realized I was dead wrong. Instead, Langdon Hall is a beautifully manicured property with lovely gardens and an outstanding restaurant. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and were upgraded to a split level suite – quite nice indeed! After settling in we had a relaxing glass of wine in our room, got ready, and then we went for dinner at the restaurant. It was lovely. I had truffle and asaparagus salad and a wonderful steak, and of course, a few glasses of wine that the in house sommelier picked out for me. It was so nice to get to dress up for dinner and go to the formal dining room. And best of all, the crowd in the restaurant was mixed – some young families, couples celebrating their anniversaries, a few older ladies who lunch types. The next day we completely missed breakfast, but instead went down for an early lunch. And since we were at a fancy country house, why not start the day with champagne! After having a lovely lunch on the outside patio we just lounged around, took little walks, read outside in the garden, watched the fish in the pond, and relaxed. It was wonderful. It turns out my worries that it was going to be a stuffy place were totally unfounded. Everyone was lovely, the service was great, the restaurant was outstanding and the country mansion was beautiful. My only caution - my boyfriends dinner, a kobe beef steak, was very pricey at $60, and not amazing. We didn't want to be restaurant complainers, so we didn't say anything, but it was nothing short of highway robbery for a mediocre main.
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Travel
Seven Italian Lessons
August 14, 2009 at 12:12 pm 0
1. With the right travel partner touring in unkown lands is a delight. I went with my boyfriend, and we spent every minute together for 11 days. Even in stressful situations we laughed about it later. With the wrong travel partner you could spend a painful two weeks stressed out of your mind. 2. Tuscan wines are to be enjoyed in excess. Wine with lunch, afternoon wines, wine with dinner, after dinner drinks, nightcaps…….. it was all so amazing that I couldn’t resist. 3. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. It happened on day six, when my pants didn’t fit…..I realized that a steady diet of cheese, wine and salami are not slimming. 4. Shopping in Italy is a serious activity. Everybody dresses up and looks their very best to go to the shops and be waited on. And, there is a definite etiquette to be followed….I don’t know what it is, but I know that I don’t know it. 5. There are no Italians…..in tourist areas anyways. I was amazed that after travelling through Florence, Rome, Amalfi and Siena that there were almost no Italians……I found them on the last day in the outskirts of Florence. I can’t blame them, I’d go crazy too if I had millions of tourists in my town every year. 6. Italians are not that friendly. French people have a bad reputation from tourists because they let you know they don’t like you, whereas Italians just ignore you. I was expecting them to be warmer and more inviting. 7. Sometimes you just need to sit back. Let the driver wiz you around - even if you are two inches from all the other cars, flying around sharp corners and going through dark tunnels at 140km/hour, just go with it! Otherwise you’ll be stressed your ENTIRE vacation, and that’s just not fun.
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Travel
Tuscany: Italian Dream Part Two
July 17, 2009 at 9:15 am 2
The Tuscan Countryside After two exhausting days in Florence it was so nice to escape to the countryside. By chance we made a hotel reservation to a modest looking hotel, the Borgo di Fontebussi, which turned out to be a luxury retreat. The pictures on Expedia do not do justice, and the price was amazing for what you got. As we drove up to the gated retreat I just wanted to sit inside and take a nap…until I saw the place we were staying….and then I felt like a princess who just landed in heaven. There were many different buildings, a lovely pool, two restaurants and many seating/park areas. The views from the hotel were outstanding and it was filled entirely with Europeans that wanted a little getaway. Everyone was just relaxing and having lovely slow meals, drinking wine together, sitting on the grass and enjoying life. It was bliss! After spending our first day in the retreat it was time to check out and go to Cinque Terre, but I just couldn’t leave. My very accommodating boyfriend had no problem with losing money on our other hotel reservation and staying on one more night….he’s so lovely about these things. Since we had an extra day we decided to peel ourselves away from the heaven retreat and visit the Chianti route. We drove around all day and visited many different towns, cafes, restaurants and vineyards. It was nice to just chit chat away driving down the country roads, getting lost and seeing amazing views at every turn. Throughout the entire day I was concocting plans in my head figuring out how I would take a six month sabbatical in Tuscany, living in a farm house, eating glorious food at every meal, and drinking the best wines I could imagine. Tuscany is a place to lose yourself in fantasy….and indeed I did. I felt so relaxed, blissful and in love with everything, and I’d go back tomorrow if I could. Stay Tuned: The crazy city of Rome is next! For more Italian travel journals see posts on Florence and Rome
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