Wine 101: Older Isn’t Always Better

January 5, 2011

When it comes to wine, an older bottle is not necessarily better. Rather — like the ripening of a fruit — it’s about waiting for each bottle to reach the perfect age.

Drink your wines too “green” and it may taste harsh — with overpowering tannins, strong alcohol and flavors that are unbalanced, much like when a dish is cooked with too much pepper or salt. Wait too long to drink it and the wine may have lost its vibrant fruit flavors and seem dead or flat on the palate, like stale food.

Unfortunately, there’s no science to how long you should wait before popping the cork on your bottle. A short-aging time can last anywhere from two to five years of the vintage date; longer-aging wines can sit for a decade. Only a small percentage of rare and fine wines warrant aging for many decades.

Don’t know where to start? Follow these rules of thumb:

Use the grape, region and price point as indicators. Certain wines made from robust and bold grapes, like a Shiraz, can age for longer — five to 20 years — than those made from lighter-bodied grapes like Merlot — two to 10 years.

An Old World region, such as France, tends to produce wines that can be aged for longer than New World producers, such as those in California, where there are more ready-to-drink wines. For instance, a Grand Cru Burgundy — the highest classification for this kind of wine — can be aged for half a century; a New Zealand Pinot Noir, on the other hand, needs only two or three years in the bottle. And a $1,000 bottle of wine will probably need to age longer than a $10 bottle — price isn’t always the best indicator of quality, but fine wines, which are pricey, tend to have more aging potential.

Don’t forget white wines. White wines have traditionally been known to age for less time than red wines. Certain wine varietals, such as Sauvignon Blancs, can typically be consumed within five or six years to retain their fruity characteristics and fresh aromas. But some whites, such as Chardonnays (especially Old World bottles from Burgundy), are heavier in body and acidity. Thus certain bottles can age for many decades.

And let’s not overlook Champagnes. Most Champagnes are not meant to be aged, but vintage Champagnes, or those made with grapes only from the same year, can benefit from a few years of aging. (Vintage Champagnes are rare; most Champagnes are a blend of grapes from different vintages.) These bubbly wines can remain incredibly complex even after the bubbles have dissipated. There have been vintage Champagnes more than a century old, for instance, that remained flavorful when opened, even though the bubbles were long gone.

Fortified and dessert wines can be good for aging. Because these types of wine often have added alcohol, they are designed to be bold in taste. Over time, the flavors blend together and soften. Although aging isn’t necessary — most fortified and dessert wines are designed to be ready-to-drink — certain ports and sherries are great candidates for aging.

When in doubt, drink young. Wines that are young in age, despite being occasionally a little rough around the edges, are still a better bet than wines that have passed their prime, which can be almost undrinkable. (Some taste like watered-down wine; with others, the tastes have gone off — wine, like all food, is perishable.)

Storage conditions. The condition of your cellar (low temperature, high humidity and darkness) can also affect the aging potential of your wines. The more heat and movement a bottle endures, the less it is capable of aging.

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BaBa Vanga

November 16, 2010

Baba Vanga was a Bulgarian alleged clairvoyant. She convinced many followers that she possessed paranormal abilities.
Predictions:
2010 – World War III. War will begin in November 2010 and end in October 2014. Will begin as usual, then nuclear will be used initially, and then chemical weapons.
2011 – As a result of the fallout of nuclear fallout in the northern hemisphere will not be any animals or vegetation. Then Muslims will wage war against chemical surviving Europeans.
2014 – Most people will suffer skin cancer and other skin diseases (a consequence of chemical warfare).
2016 – Europe almost lonely (empty).
2018 – New China becomes a world power. Developing countries in turn operated from exploiters.
2023 – A little bit of change in the Earth’s orbit.
2025 – Europe still little settled.
2028 – Creating a new energy source (probably a controlled thermonuclear reaction). Hunger is gradually being overcome. Launched a manned spacecraft to Venus.
2033 – The polar ice are melting. Greater levels of the oceans.
2043 – The world economy is thriving. In Europe, Muslims rule.
2046 – any bodies (organs) can be manufactured (cloning?). Replacing the bodies is becoming one of the best methods of treatment.
2066 – During the attack on the Muslim Rome, the United States used a new kind of weapon – the climate. The sharp cooling (instant freezing).
2076 – Classless Society (communism).
2084 – The restoration of nature.
2088 – A new disease – aging for a few seconds!
2097 – The rapid aging defeated.
2100 – Artificial sun illuminates the dark side of the Earth.
2111 – People become living robots.
2123 – The war between small nations. Big nations do not intervene.
2125 – Hungary will receive signals from space.
2130 – Colony under water (with the help of sympathetic councils).
2164 – Animals turn half-human.
2167 – A new religion.
2170 – Major drought.
2183 – A colony on Mars becomes a nuclear power, and demands independence from the Earth (like when – the United States from England).
2187 – Will stop 2 large eruption of volcanoes.
2195 – Sea Colony fully developed, abundant energy and food.
2196 – Complete mixing of Asians and Europeans.
2201 – At the Sun slowing thermonuclear processes. Temperature drops.
2221 – In the search for extraterrestrial life, humanity comes into contact with what – something terrible.
2256 – Spacecraft forgotten to Earth terrible new disease.
2262 – Planets gradually changing planetary orbit. Mars is threatened by comets.
2271 – Restart physical constants are changed. (Laws of physics changed?)
2273 – Mixing yellow, white and black races. New race.
2279 – Power from nothing (probably from a vacuum or a black hole).
2288 – Travel back in time (Time Travel invented?). New contacts with aliens.
2291 – The sun cools. Attempts were being made to light it again.
2296 – Powerful eruption on the Sun. Changing the force of gravity. Beginning to fall old space stations and satellites.
2299 – In France, guerrilla movement against Islam.
2302 – New important laws and secrets of the universe revealed.
2304 – Secrets of the Moon revealed.
2341 – Something terrible is approaching Earth from space.
2354 – An accident in one of the artificial Sun leads to drought.
2371 – The great famine.
2378 – A new fast-growing race.
2480 – 2 artificial Suns collide. Land in the twilight.
3005 -The war on Mars. Violated the trajectory of the planet.
3010 – Comet hits Moon. Around the Earth – ring/zone of the stones and dust.
3797 – By this time on Earth killed all life, but mankind will be able to lay the foundations for a new life in another stellar system.
3803 – A new planet is populated by little. Fewer contacts between people. Climate new planet affects the organisms of people – they mutate.
3805 – The war between humans for resources. More than half of people dying out.
3815 – The war is over.
3854 – The development of civilization virtually stops. People live flocks as beasts.
3871 – New prophet tells people about moral values, religion.
3874 – New prophet receives support from all segments of the population. Organized a new church.
3878 – along with the Church to re-train new people forgotten sciences.
4302 – New cities are growing in the world. New Church encourages the development of new technology and science.
4302 – The development of science. Scientists discovered in the overall impact of all diseases in organism behavior.
4304 – Found a way to win any disease.
4308 – Due to mutation people at last beginning to use their brains more than 34%. Completely lost the notion of evil and hatred.
4509 – Getting to Know God. The man has finally been reached such a level of development that can communicate with God.
4599 – People achieve immortality.
4674 – The development of civilization has reached its peak. The number of people living on different planets is about 340 billion. Assimilation begins with aliens.
5076 – A boundary universe. With it, no one knows.
5078 – The decision to leave the boundaries of the universe. While about 40 percent of the population is against it.
5079 – End of the World.

Biograph of BaBa Vanga

Vanga (Bulgarian: Ванга) (31 January 1911 – 11 August 1996), born Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova (Вангелия Пандева Димитрова), after marriage Vangelia Gushterova (Вангелия Гущерова) was a blind Bulgarian[2] prophet, mystic, clairvoyant and herbalist who spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains, Bulgaria. Her followers were convinced that she possessed paranormal abilities.


Clairvoyant and healer

Life

Vanga was born in Strumica, then in the Ottoman Empire, later consecutively in Kingdom of BulgariaKingdom of Yugoslavia, again in Bulgaria, SFR Yugoslavia and today in the Republic of Macedonia. During the second Bulgarian annexation of the region (1941–1944) she moved to Petrich, (then and now in Bulgaria). She was a premature baby who suffered from health complications. In accordance with local tradition, the baby was not given a name until it was deemed likely to survive. When the baby first cried out, a midwife went into the street and asked a stranger for a name. The stranger proposed Andromaha (Andromache), but this was rejected as “too Greek”, so the second stranger’s proposal, Vangelia (VangelisGreek: Βαγγελία, short for Ευαγγελία, “herald of the good news“, from the components ευ- meaning “good” and άγγελος which means “messenger”), was accepted–also a Greek name, but popular in the region.

In her childhood, Vangelia was an ordinary girl. Her father was conscripted into the Bulgarian Army during World War I, and her mother died when Vanga was quite young, which meant the girl depended on the neighbors for a long time. Vanga was intelligent, with blue eyes and blond hair. Her inclinations started to show up when she herself thought out games and loved playing “healing”–she prescribed some herbs to her friends, who pretended to be ill. Her father, being a widower, eventually married a good woman, thus providing a stepmother to his daughter.

A turning point in her life was a storm which lifted Vanga up and threw her in the field (this claim has not been verified with meteorological records or other accounts from that time). She was found after a long search–very frightened, and her eyes were covered with sand and dust, so she couldn’t open them because of the pain. No healing gave results. There was money only for a partial operation,[3] so her eyesight was failing.

In 1925 Vanga was brought to a school for the blind in the city of Zemun (Serbia), where she spent three years, and was taught to read Braille, play the piano, as well as do knitting, cooking, and cleaning.[4] After the death of her stepmother she had to go back home to take care of her younger siblings. Her family was very poor, and she had to work all day.

In 1939 Vanga caught pleurisy, although she had been quite healthy in the previous years. The doctor’s opinion was that she would soon die but she recovered quickly.

During World War II Vanga attracted more believers–a number of people visited her, hoping to get a hint about whether their relatives were alive, or seeking for the place where they died. On 8 April 1942 the Bulgarian tzar Boris III visited her.

On 10 May 1942 Vanga married Dimitar Gushterov, a man from a village near Petrich, who had come asking for the killers of his brother, but had to promise her not to seek revenge. Shortly before marriage, Dimitar and Vanga moved to Petrich, where she soon became well-known. Dimitar was later conscripted in Bulgarian Army and had to spend some time in then Bulgaria annexed Northern Greece. He got another illness in 1947, fell into alcoholism, and eventually died on 1 April 1962.[5]

Vanga died on 11 August 1996. Her funeral attracted large crowds, including many dignitaries.

Fulfilling Vanga’s last will and testament, her Petrich house has turned into a museum, which opened its doors on 5 May 2008.[6]

The house of Vanga in Petrich

Work

Vanga was illiterate or semi-literate. She did not write any books herself. Her speech was difficult to distinguish and she spoke a heavy dialect – recent TV recordings used subtitles for the Bulgarian audience. What she said or allegedly said had been captured by staff members. Later numerous esoteric books on Vanga’s life and predictions were written.

Vanga claimed that her extraordinary abilities had something to do with the presence of invisible creatures, but she couldn’t clearly explain their origin. She said that those creatures gave her information about people, which she could not transmit to them, because distance and time didn’t matter. According to Vanga, the life of everyone standing in front of her, was like a film to her, from birth till death. But changing “what was written on the generation” was beyond her power.

She is said to have foretold the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Chernobyl disasterBoris Yeltsin‘s electoral victory, the date of Stalin‘s death, the sinking of the Russian submarineKursk, the September 11 attacks and Topalov‘s victory in the world chess tournament.[7]

Vanga attempted prophesies of newborn or unborn children. She said that she was “seeing” and “talking” to people, who had died hundreds of years ago. Vanga talked about the future, although she did not like to. In her words, in 200 years man will make contact with brothers in mind from other worlds. She said that many aliens have been living on the earth for years. They came from the planet, which in their language is called Vamfim, and is the third planet from the Earth.

Followers of Vanga believe that she knew the precise date of her own death, and shortly before that she had said that a 10-year-old blind girl living in France was to inherit her gift, and that people would soon hear about her.[citation needed]

According to the Russian website Pravda.ru, Vanga has predicted that a World War III will start in 2010.[8]

The last prediction of Vanga concerning Romania concealed for a decade

[9]

Just before her death, Vanga recorded on a tape a prediction that she entrusted to one of her grand-daughters. Her desire was that this prediction reaches a certain person, on a certain time that has the mission to acknowledge it to all Romanians. Her explanation was that the Romanians are special people but they no longer trust their own values and if the message comes from a foreigner it will be better seen than if from one of theirs.”

Here is the text of this prediction:

“I am too small for him to come to me, so I bring this news that I was conveyed from Above. Let it be disclosed in January, day 25, year 2005 and within a month let it be taken to the one I will refer herein. If he cannot be reached, give it to people around him. So help you God! To the joy of this world, the one promised to the world will come in Romania. The whole world will rejoice at his birth. God will protect him in a place faraway from the place where his ancients lay until his time comes. Power from above he shall have. The Earth, Water and Fire will help him. When he comes out in this world, everything that is lie will fall apart. This will happen in 2005. He will be the foundation brick for humankind. The first who will recognize him will be his people, that he was born in. As a reward, he will lead this people to the height of accomplishment in the entire world. This people will be a real example for all peoples on earth. He shall not ride a real horse, but an iron one that he will drive on his own.”

Healing

Apart from prophesying, Vanga was believed to be a healer, but only through herbal medicines. According to her, people had to heal themselves only with herbs from the country they live in. She prescribed washing with an infusion of herbs and spices, claiming some beneficial effect on the skin. Vanga did not oppose mainstream medicine, although she thought that taking too much medicines is bad, because “they close the doors, through which nature restores the balance in the body with herbs.”.

Controversy

Vanga was widely known to be close to the government of Todor Zhivkov and, on several occasions, she appeared on public TV with him and other high officials of the Communist Party. It has been alleged that Vanga used data gathered by the secret services to win the trust of her visitors. To date, this is yet to be investigated.[citation needed]



Schoolboy builds suction climbing machine

June 29, 2010

Interesting Invention

Trapped drunk driver opens another beer as awaits rescue

June 29, 2010

(Reuters) – A drunk driver trapped after overturning his car cracked open another can of beer while he waited for emergency crews to rescue him, a New Zealand court was told.

ODDLY ENOUGH

Paul Nigel Sneddon, 47, pleaded guilty to careless driving and drunken driving after being nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit in a district court in the city of Palmerston North, the Dominion Post newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Police found Sneddon, a former baker, trapped in his overturned Ford Laser on June 1, drinking a can of beer after he failed to take a corner properly and crashed through a wooden barrier, flipping his vehicle.

Defense lawyer Peter Young said that when Sneddon found he could not open the doors, "he had nothing else to do at that point, so he had another beer."

When asked by police how much he had consumed, Sneddon replied: "Plenty, I’ve been drinking for four days straight."

Sneddon, who is estranged from his wife, told the Wellington- based newspaper that he went on a drinking binge after losing his job at a bakery on the same day that he heard his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Judge Gregory Ross fined him NZ$1,100 (US$780) and disqualified him from driving for 10 months. It was his first offence.

McDonald’s heir robbed of 250,000 at his French villa

June 29, 2010

The heir to the McDonald’s fast food empire was violently attacked in a 15-minute ordeal and robbed of £250,000 at his villa in Provence, southern France.

Henry Samuel in Paris
Published: 5:37PM BST 29 Jun 2010

Geoffrey McDonald, 60, and his 58-year-old wife were violently attacked Photo: AFP / GETTY

Geoffrey McDonald, 60, and his 58-year-old wife were left "severely shocked and bruised" after the burglary at their eight-bedroom home in Eygalieres, near Avignon a small, picturesque village where many celebrities have second homes.

Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently bought a £10-million chateau in the same village in a region that attracts thousands of British tourists every year.

The masked robbers managed to circumvent the villa’s burglar alarm and break into Mr McDonald’s home on the night of June 18.

Police said they stumbled on the sleeping couple at 3am while searching the house for valuables, and "violently beat" Mr McDonald before making off with between 300,000 and 400,000 in jewellery and cash, as well as passports.

It is understood they were subjected to "15 minutes of anguish, violence and terror".

The couple’s children and other friends, sleeping in guest bungalows in the domain’s grounds, were not woken by the robbers.

Their lawyer Gilles-Jean Portejoie said the pair were "severely shocked" by the burglary and had flown home to the US after giving statements to police on Monday.

Local judicial officials said it was the latest in a string of robberies targeting wealthy residents in the region. "We’ve had a big series (in the region), around a dozen acts since the start of the year. So we’re clearly dealing with quite a professional team targeting wealthy people," said Christian Pasta, the local public prosecutor.

Located on the outskirts of the village, the McDonald’s villa has two guest bungalows and a swimming pool on six acres of grounds, and olive groves.

Locals said the fast food heir was known as "Monsieur McDonald" in the village, where he and his wife were much appreciated.

France has a love-hate relationship with McDonald’s as a company.

Anti-fast food crusaders led by Jos Bov trashed a McDonald’s store in 1999 and there was uproar when it announced it would open a branch next to the Louvre this year. But France is the group’s second most profitable country after the US and it has just celebrated its 30 anniversary here. Its Champs Elyses store is the most frequented in the world.

Eggs by the dozen will be allowed, EU says

June 29, 2010

Shoppers will be allowed to by eggs by the dozen, or half dozen, politicians at the European Parliament insisted yesterday, after fears Brussels was trying to ban the practice.

By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor
Published: 6:59PM BST 29 Jun 2010

The EU said eggs could still be sold by the dozen Photo: GETTY

Reports had suggested that the EU was planning to ban shops from selling eggs by the traditional measure and instead rule that they be sold solely by weight.

Renate Sommer, the German MEP in charge of steering the new food labelling rules through the EU Parliament, was forced to intervene to quash fears that shoppers would have to change the habit of a lifetime.

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"Labels will still be able to indicate the number of food items in a pack, whether of eggs, bread rolls or fish fingers," she said in a statement. However, the weight will also have to be included on the box, which has led to fears that retailers and producers will have to incur extra costs, which will be passed on to shoppers.

The fears of the ban came about because new rules, which have been in discussion for 18 months, made no explicit declaration that goods could continue to be sold by number.

Amendments tabled to make it clear that they could were rejected.

That prompted speculation that the rules as drafted would prevent food being sold by number.

Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, said the EU should allow shoppers to "buy eggs by the dozen".

"We know what customers want. They want to buy eggs by the dozen and they should be allowed to – a point I shall be making clear to our partners in Europe," said UK

Conservative MEP Syed Kamall warned that "millions of pounds could be wasted by shops and bakers having to change packaging just to comply" with the new legislation.

The Grocer trade magazine warned that the legislation "could even see special unit-based promotional packs offering ‘eight chocolate bars for the price of six’ banned".

Ms Sommer said: "Reports that claim the new rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed are also wrong. There are four official sizes of eggs – very large (73 grams and over); large (63-73g); medium (53-63g) and small (under 53g). This will not change."

Google Will Stop Redirecting Chinese Searchers to Hong Kong

June 29, 2010

For the last three months, Google has found a clever way to overcome its ethical objections to self-censoring search results on its Web site for mainland China, google.cn. It has automatically redirected Chinese users to an uncensored search site, google.com.hk, maintained on the company’s servers in Hong Kong.

There was only one problem with this solution: as we reported in March: the Chinese government objected to it.

On Monday night, Google acknowledged those objections in a blog postwritten by David Drummond, its chief legal officer. Mr. Drummond wrote that the Chinese government was ready to reject Google’s application for renewal of its Internet Content Provider license, which would effectively mean the company would have to shut down its Web site in the country entirely. The license renewal application is due on Wednesday.

Mr. Drummond wrote that in an effort to continue to serve Google’s Chinese users while placating the government, the company is proposing a compromise. In the next few days, it will stop automatically redirecting users to its Hong Kong site. Instead, Chinese users will see a page at google.cn which offers a single link to the Hong Kong site, where they can conduct searches or use other Google services, like translation and music, that require no filtering.

The company said it had resubmitted its content provider license based on this approach and hopes the Chinese government will find it more palatable. If the government continues to object, Google would lose its ability to operate a Web site in China altogether.

“This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page,” Mr. Drummond wrote. “We are therefore hopeful that our license will be renewed on this basis so we can continue to offer our Chinese users services via google.cn.”

Reuters reported that China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday declined comment on Google’s decision to end automatic rerouting.