5 Fun and Unique Ways to Share Wine With Friends and Loved Ones

No beverage can stir up the senses, curiosity and imagination as wine. Unlike beer or many distilled spirits, a particular wine will smell and taste different every year it’s released. That’s because wine is mostly an expression of soil, weather, place — what the French refer to as terroir. It’s a reflection of what happened during a particular growing season, as well as the decisions the vineyard manager and winemaker made that year.All these factors can make tasting wine a very exciting and rewarding experience, especially in a group setting. It’s always interesting to hear others’ opinions on a wine: what they smelled, what they tasted, what they felt.If you’ve always wanted to host a wine tasting in your home — or maybe are just interested in finding ways to learn more about wine — then read on. Below are six creative ways to learn more about (and enjoy!) this magical beverage with friends and loved ones.Basic Wine TastingA basic wine tasting can be a unique and fun way to entertain guests. However, they are more enjoyable and rewarding when you limit the size of the group to no more than about 12 guests. Once you get much bigger than this it’s difficult to manage this format.Keep it simple by deciding on a theme (say, Australian Shiraz, Red wines from the Rhone region of France, or whatever suits you). Set a price floor and a ceiling and have each guest bring one or two bottles that fit the theme.Make sure to first number each bottle. That will help those taking notes keep track of what they’re tasting. Pour only one wine at a time and give your guests a chance to fully appreciate each one. Before moving on to the next one, try to create some discussion about the wine and even consider handing out scoring sheets (or at least pen and paper). This will allow everyone to record their impressions, along with each wine’s region, grape varietals, price and so on. Move to the next bottle only when everyone has had a chance to appreciate and discuss the previous one.Blind Wine TastingThis type of tasting follows the same steps as the basic tasting described above, except that the identity of each wine is not revealed until after everyone has tasted and evaluated all the wines. To do this right, you’ll have to open each bottle first and also fully remove the foil cap (to prevent it from revealing its identity). Then, put each bottle inside a brown paper bag and tie it at the end with a heavy-duty rubber band.When you’re ready to start tasting, take the wines to the dinner table and number each bag clearly with a marker. Follow each step in the basic wine tasting description above — but again, don’t reveal the identity of any wine until ALL wines have been evaluated.I find this to be the most intriguing and most challenging format — but also the most fun! It’s amazing how much our prejudices and preconceptions (including the look of a bottle’s label bottle or the price paid) have on our evaluation and perception of a wine. Blind tasting is the only truly objective way to judge.Wine PartyAgain, the formats above work very well with groups of 4 – 12 people. Once your group gets much larger, a basic tasting becomes too difficult to manage. So what can you do if you’d like to have a wine tasting but have too many guests to make it work? Simple: Have a “wine party.”The best wine parties are the kind where you keep things casual and laid back, yet still ask your guests to follow certain rules. For example, you could set a theme such as “wines from Spain,” and have every individual bring a wine from that country (each couple should bring 2 wines; better to have too much than not enough!). As with the other tastings, set a floor and a ceiling: $15 to $30, for example.For those that won’t know how to pick a good selection in this price range, suggest they go to a merchant and let an experienced sales clerk know what the wine is for. With this kind of guidance (country or varietal, as well as a specific price range), most merchants will do a good job recommending a wine for the occasion.As the guests arrive, line up the bottles so that duplicate wines are together (invariably, there will be some duplicates. But that’s OK; more wine for everyone!). You can provide your guest with a tasting sheet if you’d like and use the scoring suggestions outlined earlier. If you’d like to keep it even more informal, skip the score sheet.”Around the World” Wine PartyAnother variation on this theme is to host an “Around the World” wine party. This is typically the way to go if you’re looking to host a party with 30 or more guests — and a terrific idea if you’re having a “house warming” party with a lot of guests (you’ll see why in a moment). Follow the same guidelines recommended here, but have your guests bring a wine from any country outside of the U.S.Then, set up different tables around your living area, each of them “hosting” a different country and its wines. Have a stack of wine scoring sheets and pens available on each table, and as an option, number the wines with Post-it-Notes for better tracking on the scoring sheets.If it’s a house warming party, set up a tasting area in each room. That way, your guests can check out every room in your new home.By opening up the theme to ANY wine from ANY country outside of the U.S., you lower your chances of having duplicate wines, which is the main reason I like to suggest this format when the guest list is large.Wine Tasting DinnerAnother variation of the traditional wine tasting discussed earlier is to have a 3-course (or 4- or 5-course) dinner and serve a different wine with each course.You can ask each guest to bring a specific type of wine to match each of your courses. For example, you can ask one couple to bring a Pinot Grigio to have as an aperitif, another couple to bring a Sauvignon Blanc to pair with the first course, another to bring a wine from Rioja to have with the main course, and lastly someone to bring a dessert wine to have with, of course, dessert.A nice touch would be to have a final cheese course (after dessert) and provide the cheeses and wine(s) yourself.Tasting wine with friends and family can be fun and educational. Fortunately, there’s really no right or wrong way to conduct one. So whatever you do, keep things lively and relaxed. Keep some structure to the event without getting too serious and you’ll be sure to create a memorable event for all your guests.

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Get More Than Cheap Group Health Insurance Quotes in Dallas Texas From Your Health Insurance Broker

Dallas group health insurance quotes are easy for any business to get. Just call one or two group health insurance broker in Dallas and request quote. You will be presented with affordable health insurance quotes, and not so affordable health insurance quotes within a few days.If you have not checked rates for a few years, then you may be shocked at the cost of group health insurance in Dallas, Texas. The rates have more than doubled what they cost in the year 2000.If you have never requested Texas group health insurance quotes before, then you may not know that the quotes that you receive are the same, no matter who is the group health insurance broker. And you should also know that the Dallas group health insurance quotes you receive are subject to change by the group health insurance carriers. Group health insurance carriers in Texas base their final rates on the underwriting of your employees’ health insurance applications.By Texas law, the final rates for group health insurance plans for small businesses in Texas with less than fifty employees could increase by as much as 66%. As a business owner, you may be unaware that you have an employee or a dependent spouse or child with a serious health condition that could have a major impact on your final Texas group health insurance rates.This is why a business should not necessarily be interested in working with a Dallas group health insurance broker who promises to give your company the most affordable group health insurance quotes in Texas. A business should be more interested in working with a knowledgeable group health insurance agent in Dallas who can be trusted to give them good advice.Since Texas group health insurance rates are the same regardless of the broker, this is truly a situation where a business owner can get valuable advice for free throughout the year by selecting the right Dallas group medical insurance broker.In fact, a business deserves and should expect valuable advice and service from their Dallas group health insurance broker throughout the year. A good group health insurance agent can help a company control their medical insurance expense inflation by helping the company institute an employee wellness plan that can educate and encourage and motivate employees to adapt healthier lifestyles. Employees and dependents who exercise, maintain their weight, and refrain from tobacco have been shown to have lower absenteeism. And they are much less likely to contract cancer, diabetes, heart disease or strokes, so their medical insurance claims are less.A good Dallas group health insurance agent will also be able to recommend consumer-driven health plan designs for the company that can give employees monetary and tax favored incentives to control their health health care expenditures. And a good group medical insurance agent in Dallas can also help educate employees and give them tips on how they can spend less money to get quality health care by being careful shoppers.A good Dallas group health insurance broker will also help communicate the value of the company’s entire employee benefit plan to employees. Employees must be continuously reminded of the value and cost of the non-paycheck benefits offered by the company. A group health insurance broker is often perceived by employees as more credible than if this information was communicated directly company management. And this employee benefits communications is a free service that saves time and makes the job easier for the human resources department.And most importantly, a good Dallas group health insurance broker can help their client businesses by being available and accessible throughout the year. If your business is not getting good advice and service throughout the year from your medical insurance broker in Texas, or if you only see your broker at renewal time, then you are missing an opportunity to add a valuable and trusted advisor to your business.

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Buying Do-It-Yourself Automotive Equipment

Everyone is getting into do-it-yourself (DIY) projects these days, and that even includes fixing your car. Without proper training there are certain aspects of automotive repair that you shouldn’t attempt yourself since there may be safety issues involved. However, more and more people are finding that with the right automotive equipment there are many things you can repair yourself at a fraction of what a mechanic would charge you.If you are new to DIY auto repair, you may want to read your car’s manual to become familiar with the various parts of your car. You may want to start off with a simple job such as changing a tire or changing your oil. There is very little equipment associated with these two tasks so you won’t have to worry about spending a large amount of money if things don’t work out.If you’re looking to start a more involved project, such as replacing your brake pads, you’ll want to make sure you get the proper equipment since this isn’t a job you want to botch up. Before you head to your local automotive equipment and tools supply shop you may want to check online for details. For instance, there may be certain tips and tricks that may make things run more smoothly, or recommendations on brands. There are plenty of websites and car repair communities that can offer advice.Getting the Best DealThere are plenty of places you can go to for the necessary equipment. Many major box stores carry a huge variety of auto products, as well as chain supply stores, and even mom and pop shops. Buying online is also a great opportunity to get some amazing deals, but make sure you know what you’re buying since returns can be costly in terms of shipping.The most important things to remember is take your time and never cut corners on any auto repair job. Safety is key and you should always follow manufacturer’s recommendations.

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E-currency Trading – An Alternative to Futures & Forex Trading

I find it amazing that nearly everyday I receive something online or offline that is the greatest break-through in Trading. You know the stuff. This ‘system´ or that ‘method´ has been thoroughly tested and back-tested in every conceivable fashion and is wildly successful. Some work for a period of time but most do not. The decades old statistical fact still remains, 90+% of Futures Traders will lose all of their trading capital within their first year of trading. Now there is a new and promising alternative.Enter e-Currency Trading. In simple terms e-currency is Internet Money. E-Currency allows the purchase of Internet goods and services at lightning speed and most importantly with a high level of security. Much higher than credit cards, bank transfer etc. The demand for e-currency should only grow as Internet Commerce grows.So what does this have to do with trading? There are literally hundreds of different e-currencies. Each is backed by an underlying Currency or a precious metal. The need arises to exchange between these e-currencies or convert an e-currency to hard cash. Much like the Euro is to the European Union. We can profit from the exchanging process and profit from the fluctuation of the underlying currency value.The same basic strategies apply to e-currency trading as with futures trading. Supply and demand dictates price primarily. You could buy e-currency that has historically performed well (buying the trend) or go the opposite way and buy those that are under-performing, looking for a turn-around. You can even chart them if you like.Leverage, that double-edged sword that Futures Traders are so familiar with is also present in e-Currency Trading. You can borrow against your portfolio to buy more e-currency. The compounding affect is almost outrageous. Some would argue that you never have to pay back the leverage. I contend that it is paid back if you closed your e-Currency account, because your final balance would be less the amount leveraged. The point here is the leverage in futures trading is often times the demise of a well intended trader versus the leverage afforded an e-currency trader combined with the daily compounding affect creates portfolio growth at a phenomenal rate. It is not uncommon to see portfolio growth of 20 – 40% per month.Futures Trading and e-Currency Trading have a common downside. The learning curve is huge and can be frustrating and costly. Each has unique terminology, which is impossible to work around until you have a good understanding of the meaning. Thankfully in this world of information, we are able to find resources online and offline that shorten that curve. How much it is shortened is dependent on how much time you want to dedicate.Industry experts have debated for years the optimum amount one should fund their futures trading account with. The obvious moving target is enough capital to withstand the drawdown periods. Many factors go into this but I´ve seen numbers range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 and up. If this is the case then there is little doubt why most futures traders lose as most are willing to fund only the amount required to cover Margin or the Brokers account minimum usually a few thousand dollars. One of the biggest reasons for small business failure is being under capitalized, the same holds true in futures trading.E-Currency Trading is different in that the experts recommend starting with a few hundred dollars and let the system build your account. Whatever route you choose, only trade with risk capital.E-Currency Trading certainly has advantages over traditional futures trading and may well be worth your serious consideration.

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A Guide to Help You Pick the Best Air Purifier for Your Loved Ones

Holidays are around the corner. This is the time of year when people start purchasing gifts for their loved ones. If you are going to purchase an air purifier for someone you love, we have some helpful tips for you. If you want to purchase the best unit, you may be able to use this guide to your advantage. Read on to find out more.

1: Set Your Budget

Just like anything you purchase, make sure you have set your budget first. The price of the unit will vary based on a lot of factors, such as the capacity, filter type, features, and brand of the unit. If you don’t have a flexible budget, we suggest that you go for a product that is available to purchase for less than $300.

2: Consider the Needs of the Recipient

Your next move is to consider the needs of your recipient. If you are going to purchase this unit for everyday use, we suggest that you go for a unit that comes with a HEPA filter. On the other hand, if your loved one has a specific need, we suggest that you consider a specialized unit.

For example, if they are more prone to respiratory issues, such as allergies and infections, we suggest that you get a UV purifier for them. The devices are designed to neutralize viruses and bacteria.

3: Think About the Available Space

Another primary factor is to consider the available space in the office or house of the recipient. For example, if they need a general-purpose unit for a small apartment, you may want to consider a filterless unit.

On the other hand, if they have plenty of free space, you may consider a bigger unit that features a higher airflow rating. These units are powerful enough to cover a large face.

4: Consider Extra Features

Lastly, we suggest that you consider additional features that they will just love. For example, some units come with an indicator that turns on when the filter needs to be replaced. This will allow the user to change the filter so that the device continues to work properly.

So, you may want to consider these features before you place your order. These features may not be important to you, but your friend may just be over the moon.

Long story short, we suggest that you consider these four tips if you are going to purchase a gift for your loved one on these holidays. Since the air is full of pollution during winter days, nothing can make a better gift than an air purifier. Therefore, you should consider these tips before looking for an online or physical store to make your purchase decision.

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