Hosting Your Own Wine Tasting A Good Way To Discover New Wines, And Reconnect With Old Friends

Wine lovers can easily find themselves in a drinking rut, meaning they find a bottle they like and it becomes their “house wine,” week after week, month after month.

That’s why hosting a wine tasting party is a great excuse for gathering your favorite friends together. Attendees can explore new varieties otherwise not on their radar, giving everyone an opportunity learn a thing or two about wine at the same time.

 

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Hosting a wine tasting party isn’t difficult, but it starts with choosing a theme. You must decide which kind of wines you want to serve. There’s no right answer that will please all your guests or lead to a perfect party, but here are some suggestions:

  • Sample different wines from one region, such as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, Rioja, New Zealand, the South of France, or dozens of others.
  • Taste varietals produced in different parts of the world, such as drinking only the Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Napa Valley, France, or Argentina.
  • Do a horizontal tasting. For example, taste only 2012 Chardonnays produced all over the world.
  • Feature wines that can be purchased for $10 or under — except one that’s $40 or more. But don’t tell any of the guests ahead of time, just that they are to evaluate each separately. At the end of the tasting reveal the secret and have them guess which bottle was the more expensive one.
  • Do a tasting by one winemaker. If you really like Stag’s Leap, or Duckhorn wine, for example, try several different wines from this one producer.
  • Sample only reds, whites, sparkling wines, or dessert wines. Just remember that dessert wines tend to be sweeter and may be more difficult to taste.
  • Host a progressive wine tasting party, where each host can prepare an appetizer and pair it with wine from different regions. To make each wine tasting special, have each host add a few decorative touches that relate to the wine region or country they’re representing.

Get guests involved

Want a clever way to display the wines for your party? Lay out oversized craft paper onto a table. Place the bottles on the paper and write the name of the wine, region, and any other details. Place pens by each bottle. Guests can write comments about each wine right on the paper, and it’s fun to see what everyone writes about each wine.

How much wine should you serve?

The general rule of thumb is 2 ounces per person for the specific wine you will be tasting. So each bottle will serve about 8 guests. So if you will be having 8 guests present, 1 bottle per category should be enough.

Other important tips

  • Have various types and sizes of wine glasses on hand. For a formal wine tasting, have a minimum of 2 wine goblets per guest.
  • Use dump buckets, glass cups or use plastic cups for those who want to spit. If you will be tasting a lot of wine, the best way is not to swallow, ensuring your palette stays fresh.
  • Have water glasses and water pitchers available. Use bottled water only.
  • Put out crackers or pieces of bread, but they should be plain and not flavored.

Diamonds May Be Forever, But More And More Couples Don’t Go All Out On The Engagement Ring

Through the decades, time-honored wedding traditions have fallen by the wayside, and so to have the many expectations and rituals surrounding the engagement.

And that starts with the ring.

In Western cultures, the engagement ring represents a formal agreement to future marriage. Traditionally it’s placed on the ring finger of here left hand, because at one time it was believed that this finger contained a vein (the vena amoris) that led to the heart.

While this is a time-honored process that kicks off an exciting time in the lives of couples, it’s also becoming a potentially sensitive time given the cost surrounding this major milestone.

 

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It’s long been accepted that men follow the Three Months Gross Salary Rule. This rule stipulates that if a man makes, say, $80,000 a year, he should spend $20,000 on an engagement ring.

Another crazy rule is for the man to buy a quality ring whose size is equivalent to the age of the woman. For example, if the man proposes to a 32 year old woman, he should buy a 3.2 carat diamond engagement ring.

As priorities shift, those rules have fallen out of favor. More and more women do not want or expect their fiancé to spend that much money on a ring. In 2012, the average cost of an engagement ring in United States as reported by the diamond industry was $4,000, much lower than the three-month rule but still a hefty sum.

Today couples are making it a personal decision based on the importance of that ring to the fiancée. Diamonds and a traditional gold or silver band are no longer de rigueur, either. There are several affordable alternatives to pricey gold, platinum or silver. Some couples are using stainless steel, which is very inexpensive. It looks to any novice exactly the same as silver but it doesn’t tarnish and it lasts virtually forever. Plus, you don’t have to have clean it constantly. Mixed metal rings are also gaining favor, since the combination of gold and silver is more versatile and will likely match whatever other jewelry or watches you wear.

Remember a large diamond solitaire may look impressive in the store, but it may not be practical for daily wear, especially if the wearer is active. Plus, a grouping of smaller diamonds is usually cheaper than one big rock.

The popularity of diamond engagement rings grew after the diamond cartel De Beers began a marketing campaign after the Great Depression. One of the first elements of this campaign was to educate the public about the 4 Cs (cut, carats, color, and clarity). Then they introduced the slogan “a diamond is forever.” Ultimately, the De Beers campaign sought to persuade the consumer that an engagement ring is indispensable, and that a diamond is the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring.

Today, more and more couples know better.

 


Protein-Rich, Moisturizing Horse Shampoo Still Showing Up In Human Showers

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First created in 1970, horse shampoo became popular in stables from coast to coast. The special formula would rid the horse’s tail and mane of split ends and make their hair smooth and shiny instead of rough and dull.

Horse shampoo became the rage because it was hypoallergenic, contained no additives in the formula, and was not perfumed. It cleaned while moisturizing, and made horse hair thicker. It worked so well, though, that horse owners decided to try it and see if it would work for their hair as well.

They were pleased to see that it did. In the horse-owner’s world it became a secret to lush, healthy hair — for both man and beast. The secret didn’t last long, though, and horse shampoo for human use became more widespread, with products such as Mane N Tail selling well in mainstream stores.

Human hair and horse hair are not very different. They are both comprised of the same types of proteins. This means they will most likely react to shampoos the same way. The type of hair, though, makes a difference when horse shampoo is used. Not all hair will react the same way to this product.

For individuals with dried out hair, this product may moisturize and bring life back to a dull mess. Those with oily hair, though, may find the product too heavy for their hair type. Almost all individuals will experience a decrease in the daily amount of hair loss.

Many of the ingredients in commercially available horse shampoo marketed to people are the same that were used when it was designed for horses.

Most people who make their own horse shampoo do so to save money and reduce the number of chemicals that would end up on their horses. Horse shampoos made with natural ingredients can clean your horse without exposing him to chemical products. You should check with your veterinarian before using any homemade products on your horse, to prevent potentially negative side effects.

Here’s a simple recipe to concoct your own horse shampoo. Where you use it is up to you:

 

Horse Shampoo

Mix together 1 cup of distilled water, 1 cup of liquid castile soap — an olive oil-based soap — 1 cup of aloe vera gel, 4 tsp. of glycerin and 1 tsp. of avocado oil. If desired, you can also mix in a small amount of essential oil. Essential oils are supposed to provide number of benefits, including pain relief and relaxation.

Alternatively, you can boil 10 bags of chamomile tea in water and allow them to sit covered for an hour after removing it from the heat. Remove the tea bags from water. Mix in ½ T. of glycerin and 1 cup of castile soap. Add essential oils, if desired.

Pour solution into sealable storage container. An empty, clean shampoo-type bottle is ideal. Close the lid tightly.

Place the bottle in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to cool down.

Remove the mixture from your refrigerator, when you are ready to use it. Shake the bottle well, then pour a small amount of the shampoo on a sponge or washcloth. Shampoo your horse (or yourself) as usual.


Holman Ranch Tasting Room Celebrates The Holidays Give the Gift Of Wine This Holiday Season

CARMEL VALLEY, CA  (September 2016)  — A bottle of wine makes a great gift whether it’s for your conservative boss or your bubbly friends.  Whether you are looking to pair wines with Christmas Dinner, share new wines with friends and family at holiday parties or need the perfect wine lover’s gift.   Let Holman Ranch help you spread the cheer this holiday season.

Give The Gift of Membership: The perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list is the Holman Ranch Wine Club! It’s the ticket to unique members-only experiences.  There are two levels of membership that perfectly pair with your preferences.

ESTATE CLUB MEMBERSHIP

2 shipments per year / 1 case total

Estate Membership guarantees access to all of our small production wines and is an excellent way to become familiar with our Holman Ranch Estate mountain vineyards. Many of these wines are exclusive to our tasting room and Wine Club and not available anywhere else. In addition to regular event invitations, Holman Ranch will host preferred events and exclusive Members Only release parties on the Ranch and in our wine cave. We offer a Pinot Noir and White option, as well as a Pinot Noir-only option for those who prefer reds.

GRAND ESTATE CLUB MEMBERSHIP

2 shipments per year / 2 cases total

Enjoy the prestige of being a part of an exclusive, limited membership club! A selection of our limited-production Pinot Noirs and/or White wines in each case – an excellent way to build your cellar through regular install- ments of our finest varietals. As an exclusive benefit to the Grand Membership, each member is entitled to a complimentary two-night stay for two in one of Holman Ranch’s hospitality cottages. In addition, all Wine Club shipping charges are complimentary.* Of course, the Grand Membership makes you eligible for all member only events and special invitations to private dinners and barrel tastings with our winemaker in our wine cave. Choose our Pinot Noir and White option or a Pinot Noir-only option if you prefer reds.

Hostess Gifts:

It’s that time of year, when parties seem to pop up every night. Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Let us help you select the perfect wines for gathering and gifting this holiday season.

The estate wines of Holman Ranch include: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Big Daddy- Port of Pinot Noir and Sweet Love-Late harvest Sauvignon Blanc make the perfect hostess or holiday gifts.

Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery Background:

Located at the northeastern tip of the Carmel Valley Appellation, the family-owned Holman Ranch resides approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Immersed in history and romance, the ranch has not only proven to be an excellent growing location for our vineyards but also for the Tuscan varietal olive trees which have flourished under the temperate climate.

Holman Ranch estate-grown wine varietals are planted on approximately 19 acres of undulating terrain. The wines produced are unfined and crafted to deliver the true varietal of the grape from harvest to bottle. The climate and terroir of the appellation has played a critical part in the success of their wines. The warmth of the inland valley coupled with the cooling marine layer has proven to be an ideal microclimate for the production of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The vineyards’ Burgundy Clones have thrived from the perfect blend of ideal climate, southern exposure and thin rocky soils.

The estate wines of Holman Ranch include: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our trees has a delightfully distinctive flavor.

Stop by Holman Ranch’s Carmel Valley tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley to swirl, sip and savor the different complexities of Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery wines. There is something for everyone, from the full-bodied Pinot Noirs to the light, fruity flavors of our Pinot Gris and lightly oaked Chardonnay. Holman Ranch also offers estate grown and bottled Extra Olive Oil available for tasting and purchase at the Tasting Room.

The Tasting Room showcases the estate wines of Holman Ranch, which includes our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé of Pinot Noir. Carefully hand-harvested, cold pressed and bottled, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil produced from the fruits of our Tuscan trees has a delightful spice followed by a buttery finish.

Tastings are offered daily. For more information, email [email protected] or call (831) 659-2640.

The tasting room is open daily from 11:00 am–6:00 pm and can be reserved for private events. http://www.holmanranch.com/

Holman Ranch Background:

Holman Ranch: Where the past is always present. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning mountain views and serenity, this private estate affords old-world charm while providing modern day conveniences. This stunning property includes a fully restored stone hacienda, overnight guest rooms, vineyards, olive grove, horse stables and more.

About the Wine Caves:

The winery at Holman Ranch, located in The Caves, is completely underground in order to take advantage of the natural cooling and low humidity of the caves. The 3,000-square-foot area maintains a constant temperature of 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit and contains four 750-gallon tanks, four 1,200-gallon tanks, and four open-top tanks that can hold two tons of grapes each. One hundred French oak barrels are maintained year-round. Winery operations such as de-stemming, pressing, fermenting and aging take place in the cool environment of The Caves. Bottling is done directly outside using a mobile bottling line. During harvest, 6 to 8 tons of grapes a day are processed. This may seem a low figure, but harvesting hours are limited to between 7 a.m. to noon on any given day. Grapes are hand picked and loaded into half-ton bins, transferred to the winery by tractor and then moved by forklift to the de-stemmer. White wines take around three weeks to ferment at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and are bottled in February, while red varietals ferment for two weeks and are bottled in early June. All skins, seeds and stems are composted and returned to the fields. Slow months for our winery are June, July and August, with the busiest time being September. The winery produces 3,000-5,000 cases annually.

 Holman Ranch is proud to be SIP Certified

Being SIP Certified means that we are protecting the natural environment, treating our employees and community with care, and having sound business practices with a long-term view.

 

We realize that how we farm winegrapes impacts everything beyond our fence line, so we work hard to protect our community, our workers, and our environment.

 

  • Social Responsibility – We offer competitive wages, medical insurance, training, and education because each worker is a valuable resource
  • Water Conservation – We regularly monitor soils, plants, and weather, irrigating vines only when needed
  • Clean Water – We keep water clean by growing grasses to reduce erosion and filter storm runoff
  • Safe Pest Management– We introduce beneficial insects, attract raptors, and plant enriching cover crops to keep vineyards healthy
  • Energy Efficiency – We minimize tractor use to reduce our carbon footprint, and use alternative fuels and energy sources like solar and wind
  • Habitat – We create wildlife corridors to give animals access to traditional watering holes and food, helping to maintain biodiversity
  • Third Party Audit – We adhere to SIP’s strict Standards through third-party documentation and onsite inspections

Improvement – We annually update our farming Standards as Best Management Practices evolve with new science, technology and research

 

 

The SIP Certified Difference

 

 

SIP Certification goes beyond the USDA Organic process because organic only addresses prohibiting synthetic pesticides and fertilizers without considering other resource concerns. While you’ll find organic wines that are also SIP Certified, the SIP Certification process addresses additional farming methods, looking at sustainable practices on every level, from farm labor to agriculture – from energy conservation to water quality. It is an additional way for consumers to know they’re buying sustainable wines that give back to the land and community on every level:

 

  • Considers the whole farm – verifying the farmer’s commitment to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and business sustainability
  • Contains practice and performance based requirements – every Requirement and Management Enhancement is demonstrable and auditable
  • Prohibits the use of high risk pesticides – (toxic air contaminates, cholinesterase inhibitors, groundwater contaminants, California and federally restricted materials)

 

We are proud to be a part of this wonderful program….experience the difference at Holman Ranch!


Sniff, Sniff: Smelling The Wine, And Lingering Over Its Bouquet, May Be The Key To Preventing Memory Loss

A wine’s real charm can be found in its scent. Swirling and sniffing can help you discern a wine’s primary and secondary aromas — offering a preview of what you might taste, not just initially, but also after the wine has “opened up.”

 

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Smelling wine in the glass is a time-honored tradition among true aficionados who realize the benefits. But now preliminary studies have revealed additional benefits of the sniff test — a healthy brain.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas found that master sommeliers — people who arguably rely on their sense of smell more than anyone else — are less likely to get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than people who don’t soak in delicious smells on a regular basis.

The study compared brain scans of 13 sommeliers and 13 people with much less interesting jobs. The researchers noticed key differences in certain areas of the sommeliers’ brains.

For starters, sections of the sommeliers’ brains that deal with the olfactory network were thicker. Additionally, parts of the brain that deal with memory were thicker. Which makes sense if you think about it, since sommeliers are expected to remember not only how a wine tastes, but the region, history and year of that wine as well.

According to the study, “these differences suggest that specialized expertise and training might result in enhancements in the brain well into adulthood. This is particularly important given the regions involved, which are the first to be impacted by many neurodegenerative diseases.”

The strengthened sections of a wine-sniffer’s brain are the sections that are most sensitive to losing memory function later in life. By that logic: Smell lots of wine, build resistance to memory loss. Then once you’ve smelled it, drink it, because other studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine helps prevent Alzheimer’s as well.

It should be noted that the study is far from conclusive.

“Though we don’t know for sure, there is a possibility that when it comes to the brain, thicker is better,” Sarah Banks, one of the authors in the story, told the New York Post. “It seems like if you have more brain in those areas, it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the disease, but it’s speculation.”

Although it may just be speculation at this point, there seems to be little harm in opening up a few more bottles of wine than usual … and lingering over the bouquet. Who knows, perhaps one day in the future you will remember that moment far more vividly — thanks to the wine.


California Produces 99 Percent Of The Nation’s Olive Oil — Thanks To 18th-Century Franciscan Missionaries

Olive culture has ancient roots, as fossilized remains of the olive tree’s ancestor were found near Livorno, in Italy, dating from 20 million years ago.

Beginning in 5000 B.C. and until 1400 B.C., olive cultivation spread from Crete to Syria, Palestine, and Israel; commercial networking and application of new knowledge then brought it to Southern Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt. Until 1500 B.C., Greece — particularly Mycenae — was the area most heavily cultivated. Olive trees were planted in the entire Mediterranean basin under Roman rule.

Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced olives to the Western Hemisphere during the 15th and 16th centuries. And by the late 18th century, the Franciscan missionaries were establishing groves throughout California.

 

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California’s climate is perfectly suited for growing olives. The state’s generally hot and dry summers are ideal for growing olives with optimal oil and antioxidants. California is home to a wide range of olive varieties. For example, Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley creates a delicate balance of flavor from its six olive varietals grown on property to create its Tuscan-style Holman Ranch Olive Oil. They include: Frantoio (a fruity olive oil with an even balance of pepper and bitterness); Leccino (delicate oil with a mild, fruity flavor); Mission (flavor varies depending on the time of year it is harvested); Coratina (a strong, peppery flavor with a hint of sweetness); Pendolino (a mild, delicately flavored oil that is pleasing to the palate); and Picholine (a delicate, subtle flavor with a touch of saltiness).

Of course, simply having the right climate to grow olives does not translate to quality olive oil. A lot of knowledge and care goes into harvesting, milling and storing artisan olive oil. Generally, olives are harvested between the months of November and January; but knowing when to harvest each varietal to produce the desired flavors takes skill.

For example, younger fruit that is still green will produce a bold, grassy, herbaceous, and peppery or spicy flavor; in contrast to a ripe black fruit that yields a milder, buttery, floral, and only slightly peppery taste.

All together, there are 350 different crops produced in California. Within this demographic, there are more than 100 olive cultivators. These cultivators are spread across the myriad of soil types, climates and microclimates that California has to offer, thus creating a virtually limitless range of flavor possibilities for the olive oil they produce.

 California produces 99 percent of the United States crop, a $34 million industry. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the Golden State’s liquid gold began to win acclaim, after a secular generation of growers realized that the Mediterranean-like landscapes and climate zones that led to quality wines could do the same with olives.

Now sunny, inland spots on the Central Coast such as Carmel Valley, Corral de Tierra, Paso Robles and Edna Valley are blooming with olives as well as grapes, and olive oil tasting rooms have begun to open.

And there is no stopping this oil boom.


The New Cry For Modern Brides: ‘Let them eat … pie … or ice cream!’

Throughout history we’ve celebrated weddings with a special cake.

Ancient Romans finalized their ceremonies by breaking a cake of wheat or barley over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. The newly married couple then ate a few crumbs in a custom known as confarreatio — eating together. Afterwards, the wedding guests gathered up the crumbs as tokens of good luck.

 In short, our present-day wedding traditions remain firmly rooted in the past, but having an elegant, tiered cake is certainly not mandatory. And more and more modern couples have stepped out of the norm.

After all, maybe you adore ice cream, or envision a dessert table tilled with various mini treats, so guests can have a little bit of everything. There is nothing wrong with either replacing or supplementing cake with other desserts and sweets. Here are some fun alternatives to the traditional tiered cake:

1)            Cupcakes: This option provides much more flexibility. You do not have to worry about finding a flavor that pleases everyone. Instead, you can offer an assortment of flavors and fillings to accommodate all tastes. Not only are they delicious, cupcakes also act as great decoration for the reception. The cupcakes can be intricately designed with the colors blending well with the rest of the reception.

 

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2)            Pie: Ask your favorite bakery to help you bake fresh pies, or solicit the help of friends to bake them for you. Not only does the second option involve your friends, but it also may be much cheaper than enlisting outside help. Pies can easily be adjusted to fit with your wedding’s season and theme as well. One idea is to fill the pies up with seasonal fruits. You can even add whipped toppings or ice cream so that your guests can eat their slices in their favorite ways.

3)            A Candy Bar: Arranging a colorful, enticing buffet of candy treats is a trend rising in popularity. You can design the bar exactly to your specifications. You can buy commercial candies in large quantities or go more upscale and have a local chocolatier design custom, bite-sized creations. You can use the candy bar to complement the other decorations in the room because they can be specifically ordered in the colors you want.

4)            Ice Cream: An ice cream bar is a great choice, especially if your wedding is happening in the summer. This cool treat can please all of your guests, as they have the freedom to customize their own dessert. For an extra special treat, find a local creamery that can custom-make your own gourmet ice cream or gelato, perhaps using fresh fruit from your area. Another choice would be to hire an ice cream “bartender” to create ice cream masterpieces for each of your guests.

5)            Mini Bundt Cakes: If you like cake, individual Bundts are a small-but-scrumptious way to fill a dessert table. These can be baked a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container. They require no major decorating — they can be simply finished with powdered sugar or glaze, and sometimes a candied lemon peel. All of which makes them an easy project for a relative (with baking skills) who desperately wants to help.


Dazzle Your Wine-Drinking Friends With These Fun Facts About The World’s Favorite Beverage

Wine is one of those topics people love to discuss. After all, the first wine was discovered, tasted and then deliberately produced about 10,000 years ago — building up quite a bit of history and lore in the process.

 Here are some interesting facts about wine — great conversation fodder for your next dinner party:

  • In California, wine country tours are second only to Disneyland in popularity with tourists. According to the California Wine Institute, more than 14 million people visit California wine regions each year (wine is grown in 48 out of 58 counties in the state).

 

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  • California, by itself, is the world’s fourth largest producer of wine after France, Italy and Spain. Washington, D.C., consumes more wine per capita than any state in the nation.
  • But which country drinks the most wine per capita? The Vatican holds that honor, with 74 liters per capita per year, which is about 99 bottles per year.
  • The alcohol count for a celebration party for the 55 drafters of the Constitution included: 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of Bordeaux, eight bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of port, 8 bottles of hard cider, 12 beers and 7 bowls of alcohol punch.
  • In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson spent $3,000 on wine, 12 percent of his annual salary. To put that in modern context, that would be like President Obama spending $48,000 on wine this year alone.
  • In ancient Greece, the dinner host would take the first sip of wine to ensure it was safe to drink, giving us the phrase to “drink to one’s health.”
  • The tradition of a celebratory “toast” began with the ancient Romans, who would drop a piece of toasted bread in their wine to buffer unpleasant tastes and excessive acidity.
  • The Romans also boiled wine in lead pots and mixed lead with wine to help preserve it and impart a sweet flavor. There is much debate among historians about how much lead poisoning contributed to the decline of the empire.
  • When Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1922, wine jars buried alongside him were labeled with the year, the name of the winemaker and descriptions about the quality of the wine. The labels could actually comply with modern wine label laws of several countries today.
  • The Whistler Tree is the most productive cork oak tree on record. It grows in the Alentejo region of Portugal and is more than 230 years old. Harvested on a 9-year cycle, in 2009, it yielded enough cork for 100,000 bottles. As a comparison, the average cork oak produces material for 4,000 bottles. The tree is in excellent condition and is well on its way to produce a total lifetime production of more than 1 million corks.
  • During Prohibition in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of our lust for alcohol by putting a warning sticker on their product: “After you mix the concentrate with water, please do not keep the mix in a barrel for 20 days — as it will turn into wine.”

Whether You’re A Dog Person, Or A Cat Person, Your Personality Will Probably Give You Away

Humans are profoundly different from each other. It’s what makes life so interesting. We not only have different physical characteristics, we have distinct likes, dislikes and preferences.

There are toilet-paper-over and toilet-paper-under people. Vanilla ice cream people and chocolate people. And, of course, dog people and cat people.

 

cat vs dog

 

Many have tried to identify the different social characteristics of these two camps of animal lovers. Stereotypically, dogs are more social and easy-going, while cats are reserved, independent and unpredictable. Do their owners share similar differences?

Hmmmmm.

About 6 percent more U.S. households own dogs than own cats. In survey after survey, people who say they love dogs outnumber cat-lovers by as much as 5 to 1. Only about a quarter of all respondents say they love both dogs and cats.

Here are the results of several studies on this topic over the years:

  • Dog people are far more sociable and outgoing than cat people. Dog lovers are friendlier and more extroverted than cat lovers, who prefer to be alone. Dog lovers also tend to be more confident and dominant than cat people.
  • Cat people are generally more intelligent than dog people.
  • Cat people are more neurotic than dog people, and they tend to be more prone to anxiety and neurotic disorders.
  • Cat people are more likely to live alone and in apartments than dog people. The most likely individuals to own cats are single women.
  • Dog people are more likely to live in rural areas than cat people. The East and West coasts are much more likely to favor cat owners, while dogs rule the American South. Overall, dog people are 30 percent more likely to live in the country, while cat people are 29 percent more likely to live in the city.
  • Dog people tend to be more conservative than cat people. Owning a dog correlates strongly with having traditional values. Dog owners are also generally more rule-abiding than cat owners.
  • Cat people are more open-minded than dog people, and score higher in imaginativeness, creativity, adventurousness, and holding unconventional beliefs.
  • Dog people tend to tolerate cats while cat people tend to dislike dogs. People who love both dogs and cats — the “bi-petuals” — have personalities almost identical to those of dog owners.
  • Dog owners are more willing to tolerate the idea of owning a cat than cat owners are of owning dogs.
  • Dog people and cat people have a different favorite Beatle. Dog lovers prefer Paul McCartney; cat people prefer George Harrison.

Facebook even got in on the action, studying data from 160,000 members by using facial recognition to determine whether people posted pictures of dogs or cats, then comparing their interests and lifestyles.

According to Facebook, dog people have more social media friends, on average 26 more than cat people. Like their extroverted pets, dog people make more connections online. On the other hand, cat people get invited to more events, so they’re putting their friendships to good use.

What camp do you land in — arff or meow?


The Beautiful Art Of Dressage Can Be Traced Back To The Ancient Battlefield With A Fighting Man And His Horse

Dressage is more than an odd-looking sport with well-dressed men and women prancing around on immaculately groomed horses. It’s a mastery of horsemanship, an equestrian art in which horse and rider perform from memory a series of predetermined movements.

 

 

On international display now at the Olympic Games in Brazil, dressage made its Olympic debut in the 1912 games in Stockholm. At this point in history it was more of an obedience discipline derived from military tests and not as well known as it is today.

By the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the standard rose dramatically to include most of the modern movements seen today. Riders were also predominantly male and in the military. That’s because the seemingly dainty and elegant sport of dressage is from the ancient art of riding and controlling a war-horse.

Throughout most of history, the horse and its rider have been a weapon of war — with speed, power and maneuverability far superior to the common foot soldier. In battle, the ability to move a horse quickly from side to side, or burst into a gallop, or change direction quickly were vital survival skills. The dancing-in-place thing, called “piaffe,” where the hooves paw the ground, may actually have its origins in the need to stomp a fallen enemy.

There is some evidence that many of the maneuvers used in dressage were developed by the ancient Greeks. However, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that dressage flourished. As horsemanship became an art, the first riding school was set up in Naples in 1532 by Federico Grisone, a Neapolitan nobleman. As the horses performed intricate movements, it was from his academy that the modern form of dressage evolved.

 Every time we train our horses to carry us with more ease, and respond to subtle aids, we are training them in basic dressage. After all, dressage is teaching a horse to be supple, balanced and responsive.

The goal of dressage training is to develop a horse’s flexibility, responsiveness to aids and balance. This makes the horse stronger and more pleasurable to ride. If you compete you will always be competing against yourself, as well as others taking the test. The goal in competition is to always improve on your own score.

You don’t need much equipment for dressage:

  • Any sound horse or pony of any breed can be ridden at the lower levels.
  • An English snaffle bit.
  • An English-style saddle.
  • Braiding equipment for your horse’s mane.
  • Gloves, shirt, jacket, breeches, boots and approved helmet.

To find out more about dressage, and how to attend a clinic, visit www.california-dressage.org.