While most people are down to drinking a glass of wine anytime, not all wine drinkers love the sweet-sour taste of wines.
Should the taste deter you from drinking wine? We don’t think it should. As much as wine is a distinct alcohol of repute, you can always switch up the taste to favour your palate.
Here are five (5) simple hacks to change the taste of your wine for the better:
Soda is always welcome
Adding soda to your wine gives it a semi-sangria feeling and makes it taste better. Make sure both the soda and the red wine are of the same quantity, pour on ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Pineapple has magic
A glass of white wine rose wine, or sparkling wine can benefit a great deal from the addition of pineapples. Cut your pineapple into triangular chunks and add them to your glass of wine for that extra hint of sweetness.
You can enjoy your glass of white wine with a twist of lemon by adding equal parts lemonade and wine in a glass over ice. Garnish it with a wedge of lemon for the extra citrusy feeling.
Use the Freezer
Have you ever tried freezing your wine? That is a whole new level of enjoying wine. Simply pour your wine into an ice cube tray, add 2 tablespoons of simple syrup and freeze. Once it’s frozen, you have for yourself a beautiful wine-y dessert to tell your friends about. Don’t shy away from garnishing with citrus or another fruit of your choice.
Bring in the blender
Wines generally taste better when they are well aerated. So where you do not own a traditional wine aerator, bring in the blender. Pour your bottle’s content into a blender, and turn it on. let it blend for a minute or two, then serve. Your wine will come out tasting better than before.
These days, everyone is going natural. We want to be healthier and more chemical-free than ever. The women want to go back to home births and birth their young in the comfort of their own homes as it used to be. They would hold their bedposts and scream out their lungs while the husband paced the hallways, waiting for the shrill cry of the newborn. They want to go back to the hair texture they had at birth. No more relaxers and heat. The only heat they would let in is the natural heat of the Sun. The only curls allowed are the kinky type that declares them Africans and then, of course, the Bantu nuts, twist outs and the likes, not the curls created with tools of intense heat. The only body art everyone wants is the Henna body art made with natural herbs to nourish the skin while beautifying it.
These days, Herbal doctors and treatments are on the rise. Going to the hospital to see medical doctors is no longer the only option. Now, people understand that those drugs from the hospitals are processed herbs and when possible, it is best to get the herb and enjoy better results, many times with fewer side effects. Now, everyone knows that Healthy food is medicine. More and more people are embracing the philosophy of food as medicine, not just body fuel.
Eru, ogiri, okpeyi and other local spices are fast replacing the heavily processed ones. Ofada rice that was once the food of the poor is now the king of the show because Nigerians want healthy food. They do not want to just eat for eating sake, they want food that will work much harder than an ordinary body fuel. People are choosing Honey over sugar, Crayfish over seasoning cubes, unprocessed whole grains over processed, beautiful and empty grains.
It is no wonder that they would choose organic products that are healthy and free of harmful chemicals. If you thought to go healthy means forfeiting red wine, think again. You can still enjoy your favourite red wine, but this time around, it is organic red Italian wine you should be looking for. You need to look no further than Nigeria’s leading online drink store.
If you like the natural things of life that are free from chemicals, you will like Organic red Italian wines. They are healthy and pesticide free. They are produced with organically grown grapes in a manner that will not adversely affect the environment. In order to have organically grown grapes, a vineyard manager must implement an entirely different set of practices to maintain their vines.
Organic wines are also free from additives and do not contain sulfites. Just like regular red wine, the organic version also protects against heart disease and stroke, helps increase good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol and helps prevent blood clots. Best of all, Organic red wines are higher in antioxidants than the regular red wine. In fact, the health benefits of red wines are increased in organic red wine. So drink organic.
It’s International Women’s Day and a lot of Nigerian women will be celebrating with a glass or two of their favourite drink.
In the 80’s and 90’s, our mothers joined our dads to drink beer, especially Guinness stout. But today’s woman is delving into new types of alcohol.
From Baileys to Amarula, Magnum to Strawberry Lips, cream liqueurs is every Nigerian woman’s temptation. There is something between the warmth of the spirit and the sweetness of the cream that resonates with women. You’ll find women having a cream liqueur whether at a wedding, on a date or just relaxing at home.
Be it a still rose wine, a sparkling rose wine or a rose champagne, the pink colour and lovely fruity notes of rose are in sync with the palate of most Nigerian women.
“I am not really particular about brands, but so long it is a rose and it is pink, I am drinking,” said Yewane Rwang-Dung in a recent interview with Spirit Magazine. That is just how much the rose wine has sunk into the DNA of Nigerian women.
Sweet Red Wine
Carlo Rossi Sweet Red and Thomas Barton Merlot are among the favourite choices. Sandeman Port Ruby is also another highly rated wine among Nigerian women. The choice of this has to do with the sweet palate of Nigerian women, and of course, the romantic tendencies that come with red wine.
“Flavoured vodka gives the opportunity to explore with different tastes,” said Funmi, a lady we met at a bar. Flavoured vodka makes for an amazing base for most cocktails, and that is something Nigerian women are certainly in love with.
No mistakes here, Champagne is a wine – a luxurious sparkling wine. In fact, it is the queen of sparkling wines. So why not go premium on a bottle of Moët & Chandon’s Impérial Brut for that special dinner date.
You are not just opening a bottle of sparkly goodness, but you can make a toast and clink glasses to more love. happiness and celebration.
Arguably the best wine brand to come out of France. Red wines thematically blend into Valentine – red roses, red dresses and all forms of reddened romantic gestures. Thomas Barton St Emilion has strong aromas of black cherries, a soft, round structure, and spicy finish. it is a perfect pair for with light spicy fish and poultry dishes, seafood, white meat, blue cheese, tarts, light stir-fries, spicy Indian cuisine and gentle aromatic cuisine.
A glass of white wine is good not just for the date, but can also serve in stating clear and immaculate intentions towards your special one. Coin a line of poetry around the wine, and serve your love a glass of Frontera Late Harvest – late because you waited for the best grapes to mature.
The wine is a golden yellow amber and brilliant. It has complex aromas of dry flowers and notes of honey. The palate is fresh, persistent and pleasant – just as your Valentine’s Day date should be.
Sweet red wines are spectacular on the palate. They are not just lovely food pairs, they also come in handy as desserts or digestifs. The wine has a medium body with flavours of bright red fruits and floral notes with a crisp finish. It pairs well with barbecued or grilled meals.
Valentine’s Day is usually full of red roses, chocolate, and love; for Valentine’s night, the romance of the day should be crowned with a perfect nightcap.
So whether you just returned from that romantic date with your significant other; or you are alone feeding your lines on a late night movie; or maybe that old line: “How would you love to come to my place for a nightcap?” worked for you; you still have to come up with the perfect drink.
What is the best nightcap for Valentine’s Day?
Making the perfect nightcap is not just any activity – it’s an art. For Valentine’s night, that art should be at the peak of creativity. The general rule of thumb is to go for something with the right balance – not so weak (that’s a buzzkill), but not too strong as well (you might become too weak afterward). To make it romantic, play around with candle lights, rose petals and sweet snack.
Here are five options for a nightcap fit for Valentine’s Day:
Gin & Tonic
Simple, quick and classy. It is a perfect fit for those Valentine nights when you can’t wait to hit the bed or put hands on each other.
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
Shake gently for 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a few lavender blossoms.
If you are a ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, you must be smiling right now. Just like Daenerys Targaryen uses the word ‘dracarys’ to get her dragons to breathe fire, this nightcap will make the passion in you burn for that fiery Valentine’s night. The heat builds as you drink and before you know it, it’s a rain of fire breaths.
Slice up 3 large ancho chiles and place them into a jar along with 1 L bourbon. Let sit for 24 hours, then strain out solids. (Do this the night before Valentine)
Pour all the ingredients into a double Old Fashioned glass with ice and stir.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
A Glass of Classic Red
We won’t judge you if you are out of ingredients for cocktails or have never had any. You can still enjoy Valentine night with a glass of sweet red wine. We would prefer white wine, but for the sake of Valentine’s day colours, pick a red on your way home. There is the talk of red wine being an awesome aphrodisiac, so be sure all those fruity flavours will make your night grand.
“Wine is romantic, intoxicating and built on passion that begins in the vineyard and ends in the glass… or perhaps ends in the intoxicating rush you get when you sip a spicy, silky, brooding red with your love… or the object of your affection,” says Ian Devereaux White.
Wines have always been linked to love or classified as a drink that intensifies romance. From romance stories to poems and simple quotes, wines have featured alongside romance or romantic lovers.
In a common setting, if you were to ask a hopeless romantic or even the most unfeeling of persons what the perfect setting for a romantic evening is, wine is bound to be mentioned eight out of ten times.
But why is wine considered as the drink of romance?
We surfed around and found seven (7) reasons why.
It is sweet
Romance is sweet, and so is wine. Whether it is red wine, rose or white wines, or even the recently popular Moscato, wines leave a pleasant feeling on the palate. Notes of fresh fruits and refreshing warmth are enough to set the romantic sides of us on fire.
Wine is beautiful
Be it in a bottle or in a glass, wines look beautiful at all times. Couple all that beauty with petals of flower and boxes of chocolate and you are sure to win over your lover again and again.
Wine affects you the same way love does
Scientists have confirmed that alcohol (wine) has the same effect on the body like love does. When a man and a woman are in love, the body releases Oxytocin also known as “love hormones.” These hormones play a role in making us desire body-to-body contact. Scientists at Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews found out that the same feelings oxytocin gives us is similar to the feeling we get from drinking wine.
Wine names are romantic
Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or whatever other types of wine you introduce to your woman, you will always sound classy; and classy is romantic. Those beautiful wine names open the door to a whole lot of romance, and if your significant other is interested in wines, knowing a little backstory will help you.
Wines are always a good pair
Wines make a good pair of anything you hope to serve or order on your romantic night out. Grilled meat, seafood, fish, barbecued chicken, local or continental dishes – whichever meal you are served, wine pairs well with all of them. You just have to select the right type of wine to suit the occasion.
You have heard how red wine is good for the heart when taken in moderation. Well, not only is the heart the only beneficiary of the goodness of red grapes. The antioxidants in the grapes used in making wines help to even out the skin tone. No wonder Marilyn Monroe decided to take a bath in a tub filled with champagne.
The great sage, Ovid, in his 17 A.D. treatise entitled “The Art of Love” wrote about wine that:
“It warms the blood, adds luster to the eyes, and wine and love have ever been allies.”
It’s and Aphrodisiac
Many believe wine is an aphrodisiac, especially when paired with seafood. The aroma of certain wines is enough to put one’s passion in the speed lane. Talk more about having a sip of the wine running through your system. The pesky little chemical messengers called pheromones that can cause havoc in our minds and bodies.They pass information on to the brain, which may affect one’s state of mind, emotions, or mood. It is the reason behind that special feeling you get after having a glass of sweet wine; that feeling that just eases you into the right mood for a memorable night.
However, having too much of wine to drink may just put you in the mood, but render you incapable. So it is better to take in moderation. Even Shakespeare advises against having too much wine when Porter, in Act III of “Macbeth” proclaims:
“Ah, wine…it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.”
Wine tasting is one of the oldest practices in the world. It is as old as wine production itself and usually involves a systematic procedure in order to properly evaluate the wine.
Tasting of wine usually occurs among connoisseurs, wine enthusiasts and wine makers. However, within the comfort of our homes or on dates in restaurants, each of us is a wine taster. While some of us just take regular sips of our wine, others go through the “five S” steps – see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savour.
Also, some drinkers are attracted to brands, others are drawn to the taste while others will simply drink any type of wine placed before them. The underlining factor in drinking wine usually lies with the palate of the drinker.
A recent study by Tim Hanni MW has shown that there are mainly four types of wine drinkers according to palate differences and genetics. The study reveals the four ‘vinotypes’ to be sweet, hypersensitive, sensitive and tolerant.
So which type of wine drinker are you?
Sweet Wine Drinkers
Women populate this category because their genetically sweet palate. Sweet wine drinkers are highly selective with their wine choices. They usually end up with light and sweet wines of which rose wines are the most frequent of their choices. For the sweet wine drinker, wines that are either harsh or strong in taste are a turn off.
Hypersensitive Wine Drinkers
Hypersensitive wine drinkers go several steps ahead of the ones with sweet palates.These set of wine drinkers tend to be much more adventurous. Usually they are ready to try out new wines, but at the same time love clean styles. It is quite normal for the hypersensitive wine drinker to go for a wine that is not too loud on flavour.
Sensitive Wine Drinkers
According to Hanni’s study, sensitive wine drinkers are at the centre of the sensitivity spectrum. This is the category were majority of wine drinkers fall into.Sensitive wine drinkers are notably flexible, free-spirited, adaptable and adventurous. Whether it is a sweet wine, clean or strongly-flavoured, this category of wine drinkers are ready to have a sip. With these wine drinkers at your event, you do not have to bother about the style of wine you are serving as they go for any wine type on the menu.
Tolerant Wine Drinkers
Tolerant wine drinkers are the ones whose palates are suited to strong-flavoured wine types. These type of wine drinkers never say no to wines with intense and powerful flavours. For the tolerant wine drinker, the more rich and full-bodied a wine is, the more enjoyable it becomes. Tolerant wine drinkers are almost always in complete wonder as to why others settle for ‘wimpy’ wine styles.
A bottle of wine is one of the most pleasurable sights in the world for the avid wine drinker. However, when the aromas have been released and the palate has been seduced, what happens to the wine bottles?
Do you throw them into the bin and let it be carted away with other waste, or do you just leave them in the backyard or store with a pile of other beverage bottles? Letting bottles of wine go to waste might not compare to pouring away a good Merlot wine, but it surely it is something too precious to waste.
How do you recycle old wine bottles?
There are a lot of creative ways to reuse your old wine bottles within your home rather than send it to the recycle company.
We are not talking about the typical Nigerian style of storing groundnuts in them or cooking oil. This has to do with creative recycling, and it requires a bit of work.
Below are some of the creative ways you can recycle your old wine bottles.
Turn it to a cup
You may have a lot of glass cups in your house already, but a glass cup made out of an old wine bottle is rare and special.
To get your glass cup from a wine bottle, all you need is to split the bottle into half. The up part can serve other purposes, but it is the bottom part that is readily available for holding a new liquid ( or liquor as you like it).
All you need to do is soak a piece of yarn in nail polish remover and tie it around the wine bottle. Light up the yarn using a lighter and let it burn all the way round for 10 – 15 seconds. Dip in a bowl of cold water and there you have your perfect split. Go ahead and smoother the edges with a chisel or sand paper and your glass cup is ready for use.
How about a chandelier?
Yes! How about a chandelier of old wine bottles? With the bottom half of your wine bottles already in the glass rack, the top half can serve as chandelier. You will need wires, bulbs, a board and a chain to hold up the board to the ceiling. String your light bulbs through the bottles – make sure the wires have been connected properly to the power source ( you might need an electrician here). Don’t shy away from using different colours of wine bottles as this would add some spice to your chandelier.
Wine bottles can make amazing containers for growing your flowers. You can simply fill up the bottle with water and soil and put your flower into it. In other case, you can also cut your bottles in half and use either half to grow your flowers.
You can as well switch it up and use both halves of the bottle in growing your house plant. While the bottom half stores the soil and water, the upper half hold up the plant. Show your creativity by arranging them beautifully in and out of the house.
Wine bottles come in handy in demarcating your backyard garden from the footpath. All you need is to bury them neatly by the edges of your garden or field to ensure people do not step on the grass or plants while walking through. Ensure that none of the bottles are broken to avoid any injuries. Using different colours of bottles will add ornamental beauty to your footpath as well.
Your wine bottles can become a toothpick holder in the dining. Imagine the beauty of picking out food particles from your teeth after enjoying a meal of roast paired with a lovely Chardonnay wine. Split the mouth of your old wine bottle in a slant, chisel for smoothness and use the cork or cover to seal it. Place your toothpicks in them and it is set for use.
Wine is already considered as the drink of romance. Why not go above the top by having a romantic dinner lit up with candles in old wine bottles? There are several ways to create your candle holder. Simply putting the candle through the mouth of the bottle is the most common. However, you can split your wine bottle in half, use the upper part to hold the candle, while the bottom part (with the base cut open) can protect the candle light from wind.
Wine, particularly red wine, has been studied considerably over many years with interesting findings suggesting it may aid a longer lifespan, guard against certain cancers, foster mental health, and help the heart stay healthy. We will focus on these health benefits by touching on a brief history of wine and explaining what moderate consumption is.
A brief history of wine
Cornell University has explained that archeologists date grape cultivation and wine-making to a time between 6,000 and 4,000 BC in Mesopotamia and the coastal areas of the Caspian Sea. At the time, only aristocrats, royalty, and members of clergy enjoyed wine. The peasants and commoners apparently drank ale, mead and beer.
In “The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition”, Jancis Robertson says that ancient Egyptian Papyri and Sumerian tablets dating back to 2200 BC are the oldest documents mentioning wine as a man-made medicine. The book reveals that wine was also savoured mainly by royalty and the upper classes in Ancient Eygpt.
But eventually, when wine-making became a thing in ancient Greece, it was enjoyed by the whole spectrum of society, and became a popular theme in literature, religion, leisure, medicine and mythology. Hippocrates, often referred to as the “father of western medicine”, acknowledged wine as part of a healthy diet. He also encouraged the use of wine in disinfecting wounds, and promoted as a liquid in which medications could be mixed so patients can consume easily. Hippocrates said wine should be used to alleviate pain during childbirth, for symptoms of diarrhoea, and even lethargy.
Soon, the ancient Romans took vine clippings from Greece back to Rome. From there centers of viticulture spread all over southern Europe, then in Germany and the rest of the continent.
In the Middle Ages, Catholic monks often used wine for a wide range of medical treatments and in the Bible, in his first epistle to Timothy, Paul the Apostle recommended a little wine from time to time to aid digestion. Persian Avicenna in the 11th century AD acknowledged that wine helped digestion, but merely recommended it as a disinfectant while dressing wounds because Islamic laws prohibited the consumption of alcohol.
With time, wine was so linked to medical practice that in the first printed book on wine, Arnaldus de Villa Nova, a physician, wrote at length on wine’s benefits for the treatment of many illnesses and conditions, including sinus problems and dementia. Another reason wine was so popular throughout history is because safe drinking water was often scarce. During the 1892 cholera epidemic in Hamburg, Germany, wine was used to sterilize water.
Between the1800s and early 20th century there was a rapid spread of the Temperance movement, criticising the use of alcoholic beverages and advising reduced consumption. Then, medical establishments started recognising alcoholism as a disease.
When is wine consumption moderate?
Several studies have found that it is the consumers who drink “moderately” who enjoy all the benefit mentioned above, so what is moderate wine consumption? Well, the amount of wine you can drink in one sitting before the health benefits turn into dangers depends on many factors, including your size, age, sex, body stature and general state of health, as well as whether it is being consumed with food or on an empty stomach.
It’s accepted that women absorb alcohol faster than men because of their lower body water content and different levels of stomach enzymes. As a result, moderate wine consumption will be a lower amount for women than for men. The US Department of Agriculture’s publication titled Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends “up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men”.
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service has said men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day. One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. A 250ml (large) glass of 12% red wine has about 3 units of alcohol. A 175ml (medium) glass has about 2 units.
Health Benefits of Wine
Studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine will help with ensuring you enjoy the following benefits:
Reduced risk of depression
Colon cancer prevention
Breast cancer prevention
Blinding diseases prevention
Stroke damage protection
Lung cancer prevention
Raised levels of Omega-3 fatty acids
Liver disease prevention
Prostate cancer prevention
Type 2 diabetes prevention
Most of these health benefits of moderate wine drinking have been linked to the beverage’s resveratrol content. Found in plants, resveratrol is a compound used by them to fight bacteria and fungi and for protection from ultraviolet radiation. Red wine is richest in resveratrol among alcoholic beverages.
Read that again! Yes, you read that exactly right. A study has shown that frequent alcohol drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than those who have never consumed alcohol. The study, published by Time Magazine, says that staying away from alcohol altogether may lead to a shorter life than drinking consistently and moderately.
This tightly-controlled study involved people between the ages of 55 and 65 for a period of over 20 years and accounted for variables ranging from socio-economic statuses to levels of physical activity. Led by Charles Holahan, a psychologist of the University of Texas, the study revealed individuals who never had a sip of an adult beverage had the highest mortality rates, while heavy drinkers had lower mortality rates. Furthermore, the individuals who drank moderately, enjoying one to three drinks per day, had the lowest mortality rate. Most notably, the study found even heavy drinkers fared better than those who abstained from alcohol with a 60 percentile mortality rate!
We all know about the increased risks associated with alcohol consumption including cirrhosis, cancer, accidents, poor judgement and dependency. Despite all these, according to the study, those who take alcohol are less likely to die young than those who stay away from it entirely. Why is this happening? Well, a great explanation for it is the fact that as human beings, building social networks is vital for maintaining physical and mental health, and alcohol is the best social lubricant. Consequently, people who don’t drink demonstrate stronger signs of depression than those who do. Also, let’s not forget the heart health and circulation benefits of moderate drinking, especially for lovers of red wine.
So yes, drink responsibly. But please drink. For a better, longer life, raise a glass every day.