Archive for December, 2011
All wine connoisseurs know that drinking wine isn’t simply an activity done for the purpose of rehydration – it is a pleasure and an activity meant to stimulate the taste buds. This means that there is an art to appreciating good wine and to being able to enjoy the different, yet subtle, variations and flavors that each individual bottle of wine should offer. In fact, tasting wine is closer to eating fine food than taking a drink of any other beverage.
The art of wine tasting is a massive factor in the enjoyment of this drink. Not only will it allow one to properly appreciate the different nuances and complexities of every bottle, but will also lead to a greater understanding of the craftsmanship and skill that goes into creating the world’s best wines. Only once one has gained a true respect and affinity with the wine making process can one truly declare that they are a wine expert.
There are four essential steps when tasting wine – four steps that everyone has probably seen various wine experts go through on television or at wine shows. But why are these four steps so important and how should they be carried out?
The first step that any good wine taster will go through involves simply looking at the wine after it has been poured; something that will reveal a lot about the taste that is shortly going to hit the palette. Holding it up against the light and looking at the different colors and the depth of the wine will give an insight into the process that has gone into the production and will also provide information about the wine’s ingredients and quality. Look especially for streaks of color or subtle variations in the depth, before moving on to the second step…
The second step still doesn’t see the taster actually being allowed to let the wine touch their lips! It is though perhaps the most recognizable feature of a wine expert – the swirling of the wine around the glass and therefore getting the wine to coat the inside of the glass in a thin veneer of liquid. After this is done, one should look at the wine closely again. Should it have changed color or lost some of the subtle dashes of color, it means that the bottle of wine being tasted is a more complex one. No change lends itself to the conclusion that a more basic wine is being drunk. Swirling allows oxygen to get into the wine and truly release the aroma of the wine.
Next up is the opportunity to smell the wine and allow the beautiful intermingling aromas to float up the nostrils. Most wine experts try to pick out familiar smells, such as the strong smell of cinnamon, so that they can have a good idea of what they are about to taste. As their knowledge of wine becomes greater, people will be able to seek out more and more exotic smells in their glass.
The final step means that the taster finally gets to taste the wine – which is undoubtedly the most eagerly anticipated moment of the whole process! It is important that one doesn’t simply drink it down though – instead it should be swilled around the mouth, engulfing the different taste buds and setting off a number of flavorsome sensations. During this process it should be possible to taste the ingredients that have already been identified when smelling, as well as some other components too. After swallowing ensure that the aftertaste is considered as well.
I’ve included a link to a site that suggests 7 great wine blogs. All seven offer great specifics to accompany the basics offered in this article. The other link is a great site for wine storage products. Enjoy!
In the famous movie “Casablanca,” Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman, “We’ll always have Paris” to look back on for their romance. At the time, he meant a lively city famous for romance and its social life. Not anymore. It seems that even Parisians are jealous of London nightlife, so making new friends in the English capital ought to be a walk in the park.
In fact, making new friends in London may very well start with a walk in the park!
The city has several wide open spaces where you can take a stroll, walk your dog or sit and read a book. All of these provide opportunities for making new friends in London. All you have to do is strike up a conversation and if you hit it off, get their mobile phone number. You can call or text them later to arrange to meet for coffee later.
Battersea Park and Hyde Park are probably among the most famous green areas in London but if you live elsewhere in the capital, don’t forget Finsbury Park, Holland Park etc. Check out what is near you and start making new friends!
Just apply a few basic safety rules. Don’t give out your address. Meet in public places and don’t meet them alone until you get to know the other person.
After making new friends in a London park, a good second meeting would be one of the many pubs and bars in the City. They are vibrant, fun places where you can enjoy a nice alcoholic or soft drink and listen to good music. Many London pubs have live music nights. Going to a gig of a band you like is also a good way of making new friends who are mutual followers of the same kind of music you like.
You won’t find this so much in Paris where anti-noise legislation has cut down on the opportunities to hear live music or even visit a decent club open beyond 11pm.
London has a wide range of bars from spit-and-sawdust pubs to trendy clubs. The city never sleeps, which is one reason it has taken over from Paris as the social capital of the world. Even the pavements are good places for making new friends if you don’t mind a smoker, banished from internal social places. Smokers gathering outside London pubs, bars and restaurants are likely to be a cheery bunch, in contrast to their Gallic cousins who are more likely to complain about the imposition of having their civil liberties infringed!
London has a global reputation. Therefore, the English capital city offers you opportunities of making new friends from all over the world. Even if they are just here on holiday, keeping in touch via email, IM and Skype is easy.
Just think of the holiday opportunities as you are invited back to their country! With a trusted travelling companion and proper travel arrangements the world could be your oyster, all from your efforts from making friends in London!
By day, London may be an industrious, Anglo-Saxon centre of commerce, but by night it is becoming increasingly well known as an all night party venue. The perception of London clubs as too expensive for all but celebrities, royals and footballers’ wives is changing too.
True, nightclubs like Chinawhite are still popular with the rich and famous. But London has become a cosmopolitan party city where international gatherings take place in most areas of the city, and not just at the weekends. Covent Garden is more than just a place for toffs. Its night-life is now legendary!
Typically these days, a night out meeting new people in London starts with friends gathering at their local pub for a draught beer or a few glasses of wine. Then it’s time to choose from the vast array of night clubs available to you in London. Whatever music you like, there is a London club that specialises in it. Once you’ve danced the night away you can hit the fast food joints to stave of the munchies before heading home.
The kitchen is the one room in the house that you just cannot seem to get enough storage space in no matter how many cabinets, pot racks, or other organizational devices you install! When things are really bad, the lack of space can actually begin to affect your culinary masterpieces. After all, cooking is all about timing and if you are wasting time cleaning and up and making more room for food prep space–what is happening with the soufflé in the oven? For the added space and convenience, few things can compare with magnificent kitchen carts when it comes to making your life easier in the kitchen!
Basically, a kitchen cart is a rolling work station for your kitchen. For anyone who loves doing a lot of baking, these “rolling butcher blocks” can be used to keep and store all of your essential supplies. Plus, by providing you with an additional work space, you can keep the baking and cooking duties separate and thus cut down on prep time as well.
If you happen to be someone that likes hosting social gatherings, then a cart can be invaluable as it can be used as a mobile serving station. Why make everyone come inside to get their plates and other utensils when you can simply roll everything out to them!! Awesome kitchen carts are the perfect solution to children’s birthday parties and gatherings because you can keep the cooking area clear of traffic and confine the mess to one area–absolutely brilliant for this purpose!
Finally, if you are someone that has simply run out of room in the kitchen and there just is no way to add in any more cabinets or space in the near future–grand kitchen carts are the perfect solution! Because you can roll a cart in from other rooms in the house, it is actually possible to import work space for large meals while not adding to the clutter of the kitchen when not in use.
Now there are some carts that are also made with wine racks and other useful features so you need to do a little homework before making a purchase. Online merchants are actually great resources for information as they tend to know their product lines inside and out while normal retailers merely hire staff who barely know how to work the cash register! Thus, if you are in need of space in your cooking area, try hopping on the Internet and start shopping around for the best kitchen cart for your home and needs.
To: Honourable Shadow Cabinet Minister of Foreign Affairs
Prime Minister Paul Martin, in his speech yesterday at the UN, promised Canada’s financial aid package to, and diplomatic support for the Palestinians, to aid in the expedition of the formation of a Palestinian State, now that Israel has disengaged from Gaza.
Although this gesture by the Canadian Government would, on the surface, appear to be both generous and timely, I wonder if there are factors that have not been considered, simply because our understanding of the situation has been based upon trust in conclusions and statements purported as factual by the mass media?
Yes, the Palestinian Arab people are impoverished, and it would be wonderful to know that Canadian aid is reaching them and caring for their needs.
But, the premise of the formation of a Palestinian State carved out of territory formerly referred to as “Palestine” under the Ottoman Turks, and subsequently under the Syrian auspices, and formerly administered through the British Mandate, is not clearly understood by most folk in the West.
First of all, there never EVER has been a sovereign nation of Palestine, let alone an Arab-only Palestine. Even the Palestine under the Romans was considered to be Jewish! This Jewish connection to the entire area referred to as The Holy Land of Palestine, has been the reality right up until the formation of the current nation of Israel, and in fact, the formation of a homeland for the Jews, mandated and recognized by the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations, was in its entirety to be given to the Jews. The United nations also officially recognized the right for
Israeli sovereignty over the entire geographical (not nation) area formerly known as “Palestine.”
Although this has never been legally rescinded or changed, the UN obviously operates now under the facade that it was revamped. Therefore, to state Israel “illegally occupied” Gaza since 1967, or continues to “illegally occupy” any portion geographically west of the Jordan River, and therefore to intimate such land has been wrested from a national sovereign Arab Palestine, is not only deceptive, but patently dangerous when it comes to international relations. Applying the term “Palestinian” solely to Arabs who have lived in, or have come to live in the area, is only a recent development by the Arabs themselves since Israel became a nation.
For a succinctly summarized explanation related to the sovereignty over the lands in what was considered to be the Holy Land, please go to http://www.mythsandfacts.com. and follow the links. This information is not hidden in a box, but is readily available from many reliable sources. This particular site condenses much of the information, with documentation and direct official quotes from the Balfour Declaration, the League of Nations, the United Nations, and gives documentation regarding the British Mandate.
I’m afraid the politicians of the Western nations are being led around by the nose, and milked by the Arab world for massive amounts of funds, all collected under the guise of aid, much of which is being channeled into supporting terrorism. Massive relief grants have been sent to alleviate the poverty of the Palestinians, but still they live in squaller, and the population is no better off. Before promising more funds, should there not be an open accountability as to where such funding has gone, instead of throwing more money at the problem?
I know our politicians are doing a wonderful job, spending hours of time in drafting appropriate decisions. But, it is necessary that those currently in positions of power be able to trust those who have been in office before them, or who currently sit in institutions such as the UN. Because, even within the UN, recent corruption has been brought to light. The latest example being the Oil for Food Program debacle. Therefore, it would do well for everyone to take time out to do some homework relative to the entire Middle East scenario before continuing to jump on the
international band-wagon of popular political trends, decisions, declarations and funding.
There are a number of questions which must be clarified:
1. Who are the Palestinians? Is the commonly understood equation “Palestinians” are Arab citizens of a former nation called “Palestine,” which was wrested from their
jurisdiction by the presence and aggression of Britain, then Israel, actually true?
2. And, is the conclusion being fed to us nightly by our media that the Withdrawal of Israel from Gaza has “returned” rightful ownership of Gaza to these “Palestinians” true?
3. Will the push by the international community to form a sovereign Arab nation called Palestine, to co-exist alongside Israel in peace and security, carved out of the so-called “illegally occupied territories” literally lead to peace in the Middle East? Who is able to give us such a guarantee?
4. How did the designation “illegally occupied territories” come to be acceptable terminology? What is so “illegal” about Israel’s claim to the land, and who exactly has determined their presence is “illegal?”
5. What geographical area was supposed to be given to the Jews for a homeland, and how was this mandated, and why is everyone now ignoring the internationally agreed upon declaration, which has never formally been reversed?
6. Is it not possible that the rush to form a Palestinians State for the so-called Palestinians is based upon misunderstandings and outright lies? Therefore, would not such a State be patently “illegal?”
7. Do the so-called Palestinians really desire a State of their own to co-exist along-side Israel, or do they have a more aggressive agenda? What is their real goal? Has anyone taken note of their rendition of a Middle East map? They do not show, or even name, Israel! The entire area is labeled “Palestine!”
I am merely requesting, for the sake of Canada’s reputation, that you check the historical record.
Please also take note of what the Arab Palestinian leadership, along with the terrorist organizations, are stating. Read the translations from the Arab media. If we are a nation actively waging the War on Terror along with the United States, Britain, and others, then we had best understand our enemy! What everyone fails to comprehend, or refuses to believe, is that the Palestinians are actively on the front lines to deceive the West! And, they are doing a masterful job, because we are letting them get away with it!
Would a Palestinian State be a nation of peace? If we are to take what they themselves are saying seriously within their own ranks, not a chance! So, why is Canada assisting in the effort toward the formation of what will likely become another terrorist State? Why, since Hamas is a terrorist organization, is PA Chairman Mamoud Abbas taking steps to include Hamas in the up-coming Palestinian elections, thus making room for them in his administration, while hoodwinking the West, declaring his opposition to their deadly shenanigans?
Do our Canadian politicians understand the dangerous dichotomy, and that we are being played for fools?
Is it not time our elected Government representatives took steps to honestly seek for the balanced truth, and then decisively stop the bed-time stories being fed by our media to the Canadian population? After-all, our hard-earned tax dollars are being played-with here!!
Canadians are entitled to know the truth.
It is incumbent upon our politicians to know and understand the truth before drawing up Canadian international policy. Don’t go by what others before you have said or believed. They obviously have not done their homework. Don’t let that be said of you also.
The facts are easily found simply by reading the documented political history of the Middle East over the past 100 years, and by paying attention to the news coming directly out of Israel, or published by the Arab press, and reading the statements being made by their politicians. Also read the commentaries and editorials published by many highly respected Middle East analysts. Little of this information is being reported by the CBC, CNN, or the BBC, et al.
We are, whether we recognize it or not, engaged in a war, which the terrorists are now calling World War III. In times of war, propaganda is effectively used. What propaganda is being fed to the vast majority of the Canadian public, and influencing our Canadian politicians?
Stockwell, I know you have a strong faith and believe in the authority of Scripture. I also understand the policy of our Canadian Government is to separate Church from State, much to our own hurt, as has been recently illustrated by the passing of the Marriage Definition Bill.
But there are times when we must look beyond the politically-correct status quo, and recognize God has a say in world affairs.
The very existence of the nation of Israel is a fulfillment of prophecy. The geographical extent over which this sovereign nation is to dwell is clearly spelled-out in Scripture, and it includes Gaza, and the entire area of what we refer to as the West Bank, not because the nations say so, but because God has declared so. Anyone coercing Israel to part with land God has declared is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant regarding the Land of Canaan, will ultimately run into loggerheads with God Himself. I doubt Canada would like to find itself in this position!
Read Psalm 105 carefully!
Psa 105:7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
Psa 105:8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Psa 105:9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
Psa 105:10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
Psa 105:11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
Psa 105:12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
Psa 105:13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
Psa 105:14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
Psa 105:15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Israel has been promised, by divine Everlasting Covenant, all the Land of Canaan. This Covenant has not yet been fulfilled! No one is going to be able to contest this Covenant without dire ramifications, because it is an Everlasting Covenant!
Joe 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
Joe 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
Joe 3:3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
Joe 3:4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;
Why will the LORD gather the nations into the Middle East? According to Joel, because they have “parted” the Land, and attempted to again “scatter” the Israelis. Who is at the forefront of this travesty against God’s Chosen People? Those who have “cast lots” for His people, or in other words have used Israeli citizens and the Land of inheritance as bargaining chips! Why would they gamble on Israeli territory? Because they believe peace will be achieved in the Middle East by Israel giving-up Land. Land for Peace!!
Who is at the forefront of this bargaining? Those who are willing to “give a boy for a harlot, and sell a girl for wine” Who among the nations is willing to sacrifice their sons as shahids in their cause, promising them they will enjoy a paradise of harlots as reward for their death in the name of Allah? And who is willing to sacrifice their young women for the promise of the indulgence of wine in the after-life? The Muslims!! What is their stated goal? To annihilate Israel, and remove all Jews from “Palestine” either through death, or through scattering them again among
These are only two of many passages written by the Prophets in warning regarding what is even now transpiring in the Middle East, and what the nations will endure as a result!
Does Canada really want to face the discipline of the LORD regarding partitioning- off portions of the Land of Promise, calling it Palestine, in order to accommodate a Muslim Palestinian State?
The Song of Moses makes a prophetic reference which we ought to note. Certainly, it is mostly about the miraculous deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egypt through the Red Sea. But the last few verses have not yet been fulfilled! And that is precisely why the Song of Moses will again be sung before the Throne and before the Lamb as mentioned by John the Revelator.
Exo 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
Exo 15:14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.
Exo 15:15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.
Exo 15:16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
Exo 15:17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the
Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
Exo 15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
The name “Palestina” is mentioned in this passage. Philistia existed when the Hebrew Children first went into the Land. But this reference is not regarding Philistia. It is about Palestina,” which is a terminology currently used by Palestinian Arabs in reference to what we translate as “Palestine,” and is not even an Arabic language word. Rather, it is a Roman term that was used regarding the Holy Land of the Jews. This term is also mentioned by Isaiah regarding prophecies that are soon to unfold.
So, will there be a Palestinian State according to Scripture? Apparently. But it is going to be a rogue State, and God will judge its people severely, along with all who support such a State. They will be afraid and sorrow will overtake them. Those of Edom and Moab (southern Jordan,) where even now dwell many relatives of the so-called Palestinians) will tremble and be amazed! Why? Because the people who the LORD has purchased (redeemed) will He bring in, and plant upon the mountains of His inheritance, in the place God has prepared for them to dwell. Israel will be redeemed! And over them, Messiah will reign for ever and ever! Has this been fulfilled? Not yet!
The formation of a Palestinian State carved out of Israel as Land for Peace, will thrust the entire world into a period of God’s judgment, because Israel is to forever inherit the Land, and the LORD Himself is to rule forever over them from Jerusalem! All nations will need to be brought up short on this!
Should Canada be promoting the Palestinian cause? Should we be encouraging Israel to give up more Land for Peace? Does Canada desire to be one of the nations God calls into the Middle East to discuss this situation with Him!!??
I guess politicians like yourself will decide!
Wines For Your Super Bowl Party
A lot of people have heard that more wine is consumed every year in the United States now then beer. It’s surprising to a lot of people and I don’t expect a large number of people switch to serving wine at their Super Bowl parties, but if you are interested in serving wine I thought I’d make some suggestions.
I’ve taken into account that most super bowl parties are going to include some combination of the following foods: Buffalo wings, potato skins, nachos, some type of fruit/vegetable platter that no one actually eats as well as burgers and hot dogs.
We also need to remember that super bowl parties typically run 4+ hours so it is essential to have wine that matches well with the food that you’re serving at specific times.
Burgers/Hot Dogs: A good pairing is typically a big California Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. An affordable, drinkable Zinfandel is Gnarley Head. It runs about $10 a bottle and is widely commercially available, you should be able to find it at your local grocery store. If you’re picking a zinfandel you typically want to select an old vine zinfandel because the flavors will be much more intense.
Buffalo Wings: Perhaps the ultimate wine pairing test, these should work OK with your Zin but you also have a couple of other choices. You can pair it with a Syrah, take a Copain Tous Ensambles Syrah for example at about $20 and it’ll work well. You’ll have to go to your local wine store for that one. Personally, I prefer to either use my zin, or even better a glass of champagne!
Veggie Platter: This is an easy pairing for anyone, champagne. Not only does the champagne work well with the veggies, the women in attendance (your guests most likely to be eating the veggies) usually love champagne. Add an orange juice or pomegranate juice to create a nice variety of choices.
Potato Skins/Nachos: The zin works well here as well as does the Syrah but I like a slightly different idea here as I have lived in California for 25 years so the most important part of nachos is definitely the guacamole….so I choose a California Chardonnay. Some good choices include Mt. Eden as well as Chateau Montelena(about $17 retail) which is always a fun choice because the wine is great and you get to tell the story about bottle shock in 1976 when this small California winery won the tasting contest in Paris.
Best of luck with your pairing, thinking outside the beer box on Superbowl Sunday can definitely lead to an enjoyable meal!