Monday, 27 October 2014

Pinotage Wine

Pinotage is a red wine grape developed in South Africa in 1925 from a cross of pinot noir, a nice grape for red burgundies, and cinsaut (also known as hermitage), a grape from the French Languedoc region. The first Pinotage wine was, however, only sold in 1961.

The majority of the crop is grown in South Africa's beautiful wine region Stellenbosch, about 30 miles east of Cape Town.

Although originally a South African grape, it is nowadays also grown in the United States, New Zealand and Brazil.

The grapes are used for red wine, often blended, fortified or used for sparkling wines.

There are several styles of Pinotage, ranging from a not too expensive, light-bodied red wine with some unusual aromas to a full-bodied red wine with balance, elegance and fully developed fruit flavours. In general, the taste of Pinotage is a mixture of the following flavours: plum, blackberry, raspberry, black pepper, hoisin, licorice, chocolate, sweet tobacco, smoke, rooibos, tar, bacon, sweet and sour. Because of these strong flavours, Pinotage may not be to everyone's taste.

Answering the question when best to drink Pinotage, will result in a wide range of answers. Like most other good wines, a good Pinotage goes well with most good food.

The medium-bodied Pinotage pairs extremely well with a fish or sushi. The full-bodied Pinotage is better to be served with venison and beef (e.g. boeuf bourguignon), but is also very suited for a barbecue. As Pinotage also has chocolate flavours, it can very well be served with chocolate desserts and cakes.

South Africa even has it's own Pinotage Association, which represents all the Pinotage grape farmers and Pinotage wine producers. Purpose of the association is to increase the knowledge of Pinotage production, research regarding Pinotage and identify problem areas in growing and producing Pinotage.

Furthermore there is the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, located in Stellenbosch.

It aims to help young, disadvantaged South Africans to prepare them for employment within the wine industry and related sectors, like hospitality and tourism.

According to the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS) almost 5% of all the red grapes used for wine-making were Pinotage. It is to be expected that the market share of Pinotage will increase in the next couple of years.

As much as you can write about any wine, the best way is to try it yourself. The proof is in the drinking!

The 4 Basics of Wine Storage

Ah, wine: nectar of the gods, agent of honesty, and reliever of workday stress. Whether you're drinking a rare vintage or filling your tumbler from a cardboard box, vino works the magic that we all need once in a while.

Drinking wine shortly after purchasing is easy enough, but if you're planning on holding off for a while, there are some rules you have to follow so that your godly nectar doesn't spoil. If you're a serious collector, or just someone saving a bottle for that big life event years down the road, here are some basics of wine storage.

Control the Temperature

Temperature is a key factor in the aging process. If you keep wine in a climate over 70 degrees, the heat will ruin the works. Prolonged heat will flatten out the flavor, making your product a disappointment on the big day that you finally pop the cork. A temp of 55 degrees is considered the ideal temperature for wine storage, but anything between 45 and 65 should do. You should avoid keeping your prized bottles in the household fridge, where the temperature is usually in the 30s. This coldness can dry out the cork, which permits air into the bottle and spoils the flavor.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Wine storage needs to take place in a dark area. Your product loves the shadows, because UV light rays can spur chemical reactions, causing the product to degrade and age too quickly. Household lights are less harmful, but incandescent bulbs are preferable to fluorescent ones, which give off a small degree of UV rays. The need for darkness explains the tint of the bottle. Manufacturers do this to soften harmful light.

Get Horizontal

Storing bottles sideways is preferable to keeping them upright. The advantage to this mode of wine storage is that it forces the liquid against the cork, which prevents it from drying out and letting that pesky air inside. If you're planning on popping the bottle soon, positioning isn't too big a factor. But if you're keeping it around for months or years, sideways storage is the name of the game.

Bad Vibrations

If you're keeping an expensive vintage around for the long term, you need to keep it as still as possible. Serious aficionados worry about the slight vibrations given off by household appliances and heating systems. Though we're not all quite so paranoid, bottles often contain sediment, and shaking them around too much can give the liquid an undesirable grainy or gritty quality. Shaking can also speed up the chemistry of aging, which will result in unwanted flavors.

Wine storage is pretty straightforward as soon as you know these basics. Coolness, stillness, darkness, and a horizontal posture - if you treat your prized vintages like vampires, they won't disappoint you once you finally pour that first glass.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Uses And Health Benefits Of Onion Seeds

Onion seeds are basically the seeds from which the onion plant grows. It is quite popular among most of the gardeners and planters. It is considered to be one of the most versatile types of seeds available as it has several beneficial features and uses.

These seeds are black in color and small in size. These seeds are known to sprout well in warmer climatic conditions than cooler ones. However, it is also important to note that it grows well indoors at the initial stage. It can then be planted outdoors.

Onion seeds can be produced at home and it can also be bought from various online and offline markets. It is also known as Nigella Sativa, which means 'black plant' in Latin. It is often used as a substitute for sesame or cumin seeds in various recipes.

There is a large number of health benefits associated with onion seeds. It is known to have originated from the Mediterranean area. Even the early Egyptians use the seed for a wide range of purposes. It was used to treat various ailments.

It is used even today for different types of diseases. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also contains potassium, iron, calcium and fibre. It is known to contain compounds that lower the risk of diabetes.

Allergies: It is considered to be an excellent treatment for all types of allergies. It can be used to prevent asthma, allergic rhinitis and even eczema.

Pain Relief: The oil derived from the seeds are known to relieve pain as it is ingrained with anti inflammatory and anti microbial properties.

Blood Pressure: Another health benefit of consuming this oil is that it helps to reduce high blood pressure.

Cholesterol: It is known to reduce high cholesterol levels and triglyceride in the blood.

Respiration: All types of respiratory diseases can be treated effectively with the use of the oil derived from the seeds of this plant. It includes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Immune System: These seeds help to strengthen the immune system of the body. It is therefore widely used as a supplement in cancer therapies.

Skin Disorders: It can be used for a wide variety of skin disorders such as boils and eczema.

Digestive Disorders: It is used to treat digestive disorders as it contains essential fatty acids that help to enhance the functions of the digestive system of the body.

Haemorrhoids: These seeds are often crushed and added to hot water for a bath as it helps to reduce and cure haemorrhoids.

Teeth And Gum Infection: It can be boiled with vinegar to produce a solution. This solution can be rubbed onto the gum to reduce inflammation. It can also be used to wash the mouth as it helps to prevent teeth and gum infections.

Apart from these health benefits, these seeds also include several other amazing features. It is considered to be an excellent remedy for kidney and gall bladder stones. Regular consumption and use of these seeds are proven to be quite effective in curing several ailments.

Can You Use Sunflower Oil Daily?

Sunflower oil has been building a strong and growing following amongst people all over the world. This popular form of oil is generally thought to be the best oil for cooking. The sunflower is grown in the majority of countries around the world. Therefore the health benefits of one of the world's most popular cooking oils are now seeing it used around the world.

Does that mean that you can use sunflower oil on daily basis? The short answer is yes.

A high quality sunflower oil supplier will make sure that the oil they supply is as pure as possible and meets the health needs of their customers.

Frying oils made from the sunflower are extremely popular and are often seen as a healthier option for commercial and personal users. From takeaways to high-end restaurants, the use of this oil has become fashionable as more and more people see how healthy these cooking oils can be. This oil has a high level of fatty acids within it, which means that the health benefits of this form of oil can be important to all round good health. Omega 6 fatty acids, which this oil is high in are often unfairly known as bad cholesterol, however, the body needs these forms of fatty acids to remain balanced and healthy at all times.

Unlike many frying oils the use of the oil provided by a sunflower the high level of antioxidants found in the oil make this a good source of Vitamin E. Known as a solid way of keeping the skin clear of blemishes, vitamin E can regenerate the cells of the skin and improve the appearance of the surface of the body. The improvement in the quality and appearance of the skin can include the ability of the body to heal cuts and bruises faster than is usually seen.

Sunflower oil is often thought of as the best oil for cooking because it can also provide those who consume it with a higher level of energy and often a small energy boost. Higher levels of energy and a boost in antioxidant level can see a general boost to the immune system as the sunflower oil from an experienced sunflower oil manufacturer can see a reduction in common health issues when added to any healthy, balanced diet and exercise regime.

Due to sunflower oil having positive health benefits, it is considered safe to use on a daily basis.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Family Food Prices in 2014

Climate change, draughts in California, growing ethanol production, higher oil prices reduced soybean yields in South America, the Arab spring and monstrous wildfires in Russia have all come together to drive world prices of those basic foodstuffs drastically higher in the last few years. From coffee to poultry, from grapefruits to that soy based margarine in the refrigerator, almost every food substance Americans has raised an average of 5.2% over the last 12 months. That means a family of four who spent $150 a week on meals now pays an extra $10 a week on food.

Here is my top 10 ways to save those precious food dollars and still provide nutritious, healthy meals for your family in 2014.

10. Stay home to eat. Some internet articles bestow virtue on restaurant dining, saying that the price per meal is cheaper, maybe, but, what about the leftovers? The fact is home prepared meals cost an average of 50% less than eating out. Besides, you control the quality and content of sugars and salts going into your food.

9. Use those coupons judiciously. Don't buy just because you have a coupon. Rather, plan your meals around the coupons you do have. That is part of the beauty of meal planning.

8. Think caveman. Cavemen didn't eat all that much meat, heck, mastodons were not easy game. The Paleo diet has many people thinking meat, try going a little vegetarian once in a while. Mac and cheese, green bean casserole, mushroom soups are all crowd pleasers and remove the stigma of vegetarianism.

7. DO NOT EAT PROCESSED FOOD! A friend of mine gained over 200 pounds, wrecked his knees and contracted diabetes just by consuming 8 cans of soda a day for two years. Think of the added sugar in that! There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in the average soda and can contain as much as 50 milligrams of salt. And that's only a soda, think of soup or frozen pizza or that can of refried beans? Point is, fresh, nutritious, tasty homemade is far superior and cost more than 50% less food dollars.

6. Never shop hungry. Yeah, call it impulse buying. Have an apple or a cheese stick when meal planning, preparing that grocery list or at your grocer can curb those binge buys.

5. Don't shop the middle. Weather it is the middle of the store or the middle shelves, those items are placed there for a reason. Go bargain hunting, shop at the top and bottom shelves and stay out of the middle of the store.

4. Plan leftovers. Most people, when meal planning, forget there may be excess. Turn leftover mac and cheese into a tuna casserole. Turn extra burgers into sloppy joe's or spaghetti sauce. Turn steak into beef stroganoff. Think about the return on investment.

3. Watch for manager specials. Those best used by dates are the manufacturer's suggestions. Fact is food remains palatable and tasty long after without being degraded. Also, as long as a can has not been punctured, most dented cans are a valuable buy.

2. 10 for $10 is a fool's game. Grocers are relying on our greed and ability to hoard. Buy what you need and don't let them get into your head.

1. Check out The One Dollar Cookbook. A savvy new look at meal preparation and cost avoidance that stresses variety, nutrition and cost effectiveness for the average family. Every serving is under a dollar and the book is directed towards limited incomes, fixed incomes, students and anyone suffering from the food cost inflation in 2014.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

How To Add Natural Flavor To Your Water

With the many high end gadgets around you today, it should no longer be new and surprising to you to find one innovation after another. Well, from classroom instruction materials and office technology to your own household items, you can find several advancements that have made your life way easier than before. After all, that is basically what Science is for: to enhance the quality of life.

The most common ones are normally found at home. Imagine how your living room would be without a TV to entertain you. Imagine how a bedroom would be without an air conditioner to make you feel comfortable.

Or perhaps, imagine a kitchen without an oven, a heater, or even just a water bottle to make cooking and dining a pleasurable experience. Yes, you can now find water bottles that are creatively and intelligently designed to innovate the way you quench your thirst.

One really good example is a flavor infuser water bottle.

As simple as it sounds, but having this type of water bottle can make a lot of difference to how you hydrate yourself every day. Surely, you can go on with water alone but that would get boring eventually to the point that you may forget drinking sometimes. Mainly, the bottle allows you to drink in fashion by enabling you to infuse flavor in your water. You do not only stay hydrated but also healthy for having the ability to energize yourself with flavored water.

You can actually choose the naturally flavored water. This is a lot safer than choosing the processed one because the processed flavored water has high sugar content with chemicals and food coloring that are not only safe for you but may also keep you from flattening your belly. Get the right amount of sugar and with your fresh ingredients to refresh you according to your preferences for taste.

With the bottle, personalizing your drink can go crazy but fun as you can create a concoction of flavors, fruity in particular. Choose from the citrusy ones which include oranges, lemon and lime. You may also go with coconut water and kiwi for a more tropical taste. Try mango, limes and mint to get that mojito taste instantly.

You need a water bottle that has BPA-free plastic and leak-proof lid for its features. Double check if it is easy to use and secure. Again, you can be very creative with your mixes and explore different spices and ingredients to add to your water, refreshment and enjoyment.