LET’S TALK WINE
September 19, 2020
WINE GRAPES VS TABLE GRAPES
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder if I could try making wine? I’ll buy some grapes at the grocer’s, go online and search HOW TO MAKE WINE, and then try to make a small batch. If it comes out fairly decent, maybe I could continue making a small bottle or two at home…maybe for Christmas.”
Well if you’re like me, you wouldn’t get far, because I would have eaten all the grapes before even venturing to wine making…especially since I could just buy a bottle, open and enjoy…a lot less work and quicker to the delight of a charming merlot. I say, leave it to the experts.
But even if I was that adventurous, would I even achieve my goal? I mean, I love grapes. I love wine. This should be a no-brainer. Actually, I would have been the “no-brain-er.”
Apparently there are many differences between the grapes we eat and the grapes used for wine making.
I thought about describing the differences in short paragraphs, to provide as much detail as I found. But I decided that most of us just love to have that glass in our hand, swirling our choice of red or white and sip, or drink or guzzle (whatever your preference). We want to learn more, but we don’t want to get lost in the words. So I figured that a table identifying the main differences would be easier to digest and remember.
It is quite interesting that wine grapes, even though they’re smaller and have thicker skins, are sweeter. This is an excellent characteristic as the higher sugar content is quite necessary in the process of changing yeast into alcohol. Also, the thick skin of the wine grape, with its dense colouration, is what accounts for the tannins and deep red colour of red wines. The thinner table grape skin makes it easier for us to eat.
So I shall continue to enjoy my wine from the wine grapes, with a cheese plate, where my table grapes are usually featured. Best of both worlds, I say.
August 29, 2020
RED WINE ON MY FACE
Ok Marsh, you’ve officially launched your blog. EEEKKKK!!!! I’m putting my whole self out there. What have I done? Well I’m in it now. Too late to back down. Topics, topics, think of topics. I NEED A GLASS OF WINE.
So I pulled out a bottle I had purchased a week before from one of my favourite wine suppliers…more on that in the future…and poured a glass. Now, I really shouldn’t have, as I had prosecco for my Dad’s birthday on Thursday and a 2012 pinot noir at a friend’s house on Saturday. But I was home and had been eyeing some blue cheese and pepper jelly, so grabbed my crackers and wine and took in the rest of the Sex in the City marathon…AGAIN.
The cheese finished, but the wine still had a ways to go. Two glasses are enough for tonight…but I’m now bored. I mean, I had already taken in the marathon last week. This is when things got DIFFERENT.
So I was looking at my second glass of wine for inspiration. I decided to take the glass with me up to my room to finish enjoying it whilst I carry out my Sunday night pamper routine. THEN IT HITS ME!!!
Hmmmm, I wonder. If I could drink it, it could go on my body…what about a red wine facial? YESSSSS!!!! Let’s try it!!!!
So I soaked a cotton ball in the remainder of my wine and started applying it to my face (after washing it of course), basically thinking to use it like a toner. I left it on my face for about 15-20 minutes and then decided that whilst I was waiting, I would do some research as to whether this is a “done” thing.
WELLLLLL, why didn’t anybody tell me this before? I got some great information, and I have to share it with you.
Firstly, maybe there isn’t a fountain of youth, but rather a bottle of youth….unless there’s a red wine fountain somewhere, then that would just seal the deal. It seems that red wine may just be the secret to younger looking skin.
“A glass a day keeps the doctor away?”
Whilst drinking a glass a day is great for the body internally, as it can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke because the tannins present in it protect against heart disease, while resveratrol is responsible for a healthy heart and helps to remove the chemicals responsible for blood clots, it is actually good for the face as well.
Red wine is packed with antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol and tannin. Tannin is that brownish bitter-tasting organic substance consisting of gallic acid, which comes from fermented grapes. It is one of the components that adds bitterness, complexity and astringency to the wine. These antioxidents in the wine can help to fight aging by restoring collagen and elastic fibers. Red wine actually gives a boost to sagging skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Acne Prone Skin
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, applying red wine topically on the face helps to clear pores, fight acne and prevent future breakouts.
Naturally Beautiful Skin
Red wine can help transform a dull complexion and give the glow you’ve always wanted as it contains polyphenols, which are the nutrients we get through certain plant-based foods and contain antioxidants.
Red Wine Facials
Soak a cotton ball with red wine, (don’t worry, I’m sure you can give up one sip) and apply to the face and neck in an upward motion. Alternatively, you could put 1-2oz in a small spray bottle, spray the face and neck and gently rub in an upward motion. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and wash off with clean water. Pat your face dry and admire your beauty.
Another good one which I will try tonight is to add 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt to 1 teaspoon of honey and 1-2oz of red wine and mix together. You can add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal, if you want to give the facial some texture, and would work as a great scrub before washing off. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse off, first with warm water then a splash of ice cold water, which closes the pores.
“If I go missing, please put my face on wine bottles so my friends would know.”
WHO KNEW? And if you knew, why didn’t you tell me? It’s now Saturday morning, almost a week since I’ve started doing these facial wine applications. I’ll admit, I’ve never really had problems with my face since my teenage years. But as I’m approaching 50, I’ve noticed a few changes. The fine lines on my forehead and laugh lines, the beginning of wrinkles, the complexity of my skin…all things that I expect as I age. However, I do try to take care of my skin as much as I can. I can honestly say, that within ONE WEEK I have noticed a change in the complexity and elasticity of the skin on my face, and MOST IMPORTANTLY my laugh lines seem to have diminished slightly. I admit it could be mind over matter….but hey…I feel great about my face and myself. I’ll be doing the wine, yogurt, honey combination tonight, to end the week, but I do see myself making these wine facials, part of my routine. Everyday? I’m not sure…gotta have something to drink. Then again, I could sacrifice a glass a week for my beauty hahaaaaaaaa.
August 22, 2020
THE LOCKDOWN, WINE AND ME
So here I am, my very first blog, thinking how should I begin this newest adventure of mine? Well it’s effectively the night before our second lockdown in Trinidad and Tobago….ok…I GOT IT!!!! What happened during the first lockdown?
As I was unsure of how the next few days, weeks or months would pan out, I immediately packed a bag of clothing, and went to stay at my parents’ house, as all I could think of was the coup of 1990, and there was NO WAY that I was riding this out home alone.
WELL, I’m sure many of you probably went through similar experiences as I did. Initially the first few days were relatively quiet. You know, the odd few Covid cases popping up day by day, spending quality time with your families, etc. It was almost like a mini stay home vacation. That first week, I prayed like I had never prayed in my life before. A novena in the morning, saying the rosary with some girlfriends via an online chat room, another rosary said with my family in the evening, and whatever other prayers that came to me during the day. I was as worried about this as everyone else, watching the news reports of what was happening in other countries, wondering if the same would come to our shores.
“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” ~ Bette Davis
However, as the ever social typical Trini, I missed calling any of my friends to go for a glass of wine on any given evening. So instead of calling a friend, I had my sister. She’s primarily a beer drinker…wait no, let me be truthful…she’s a STAG drinker (she may not forgive me for just saying beer), and I had my wine. Sometimes she would have a glass or two with me, but STAG would eventually win her over. But I always had my wine. This quickly turned into a nightly affair.
Eventually, I think we had enough of each other. BUT ALAS, WE HAVE ONLINE CHATS. The first one I remember, was set up by my sister and some of our friends from a group chat. OMG – THAT WAS NOISE….but hey, we had a bottle of wine. Uhhhh NOPE…that quickly turned into TWO bottles….and so my love affair with my wine got to a brand new level of our relationship.
Like me, I’m pretty sure that many of you, who consider yourselves social drinkers, suddenly realised that the grocery runs became more about the wine, than your daily sustenance. Yes that’s right, your nightly wine had a new role in your life. You no longer went to the grocery to buy foodstuff, and oh pick up a bottle. Oh nooooo, I need wine, so maybe I should pick up some food as well.
Well food lists became more about which cheeses and crackers I should try that day. Don’t forget the olives, grapes and pepper jelly. That’s it!!! My evenings were now online chats with girlfriends (or whoever else would indulge my new “extra” lifestyle). Who needs to go out to a bar? NOT ME!!! I had everything I needed. Things got serious when I started dressing for the occasion. Sometimes my sister would ask, “what are we wearing today?” I mean, we were accustomed to going out for a drink. The least we could do, is dress up.
“Wine is the answer…I forgot the question.” ~ Anonymous
By the end of the first month of the lockdown, when we realised that this covid situation would be here for some time, I thought to myself that this buying 2 bottles every few days, really made no sense. My reason for purchasing only 2 bottles was a futile attempt to manage my consumption. One bottle for today and the other for tomorrow, with a break of a day or two, seemed reasonable. Except that the chats were so engaging, that usually both bottles would easily be consumed in one night, especially if my sister joined me.
Ok this was getting ridiculous now. I shouldn’t be going to the grocery so often. We were supposed to be staying home as much as possible. Venturing to the groceries and pharmacies (which also sell wines by the way) was to purchase ESSENTIALS….of course wine is essential, duuhhhh.
And then God, who is ah Trini, sent his angels. WINE DELIVERY???!!!!! Covid-19, you have nothing on me now. PROSECCO!!!!! Oh boy, so now we were having bellinis with breakfast and wine by night. Lockdown during Covid-19?……I SURVIVED!!!!!! Oh wait, I’M STILL SURVIVING!!!!!!! And I’m sure you are too.
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