Author: martaburgues

Easter traditions in Europe

There comes one of the most beautiful traditions of the year. Easter or Holy Week, depending on the country in which it is celebrated, always coincides with spring. It is a time of landscape splendour, which allows you to have a getaway for a few days. Easter is celebrated differently in the different countries of Europe. We will tell you why.

From the “mona” for children to the Holy Week processions in Spain

In Spain, Easter traditions have a lot to do with Christianity. On the one hand, processions are usually held to remember the passion and resurrection of Christ. It is a tradition spread by literally every town, but where it is held with greater fervour is in Andalusia. Eating sweets is one of the other customs of these days: in Catalonia, they usually eat the “monas”, cakes which initially had an egg in its central part, but over time they have been transformed into chocolate figures that godparents give to their godchildren.

Easter eggs in England and other European areas

In general, Easter eggs usually go through most of the European countries. In England, for example, Easter Week lasts from Holy Thursday to Easter Monday. The eggs, as in other places, are painted, decorated and given as gifts. Rabbits are also tradition during these days: they are the ones who carry baskets with candy and coloured eggs to houses where there are children. While the egg means fertility, rabbits start having their breeding in the spring, hence the two concepts were unified.

“Explosion of the cart” in Florence

Florentines celebrate Easter with an event that attracts many tourists. It is the Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the cart”, in Italian), which takes place on Easter Sunday. And what does it consist of? A cart, dating from 1679, is loaded with fireworks, and escorted by a hundred musicians and soldiers. It leaves from the church of the Holy Apostles to the Cathedral of Florence. There the cart is lit up and the pyrotechnics start. Its origin is totally religious.

Bells do not ring in France

The tradition of Easter eggs, in this case made with chocolate, is also important in France. But what stands out in this tradition is that the bells are no longer heard throughout the country from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday. It is the silence of the mourning marked by the death of Jesus. There are also processions and “mysteries”, representations of the scenes of the Passion of Christ.

 TAGS:La Jaglerie Rose d'Anjou 2017

La Jaglerie Rose d’Anjou 2017

Marcel Martin elaborates this La Jaglerie Rose d’Anjou 2017 .

 TAGS:Pazo Señorans 2017

Pazo Señorans 2017

Uvinum users evaluate this white wine with 4,3 out of 5 points.

Vodka is not just for drinking

We all know vodka as a drink, so it serves to combine with many other ingredients to get the best cocktails. But surely you did not know the different uses of vodka beyond drinking. Let’s know what vodka is for in the most everyday uses.

Preventing deterioration of the colour of the garments

Surely we have already used several tricks when washing clothes and colour continues to vanish. To avoid this, we will mix a part of vodka and another part of water, and sprinkle the mixture on the garments before washing them. In this way the colour will take longer to leave.

Window cleaning

There are many products to clean the windows. But maybe we will get better results if we apply this drink on the cloth to get rid, in a simple way, of the grease that usually accumulates in the kitchen windows.

Against the bite of insects

In summer, insect bites can cause several problems. On the one hand, the “tiger” mosquito damages our skin and produces really important bites, some of which end up in the emergency room. To avoid being bitten by bugs in general we can apply a mixture of vodka and water on our legs and arms. They surely will think it twice before biting us again.

Less smell of feet

If your feet tend to smell more than normal, there are some products to mitigate it, but you can always make a home-made mix and soak the feet in this drink and thus eliminate the smell of feet.

Lengthen the life of cut flowers

We already know that when we cut flowers to decorate our living room they tend to last rather little. Well, apparently if we add a few drops of vodka to the vase then we can make them last a little longer.

Get a brighter hair

If you usually have rather rough and dry hair, conditioner and mask are just fine, but another use of vodka is brightening hair. Just wash it with a little vodka, that you can apply with the shampoo.

More shine to silver

Not only the hair will be brighter. Vodka can also be an excellent remedy to polish the pieces of old silver that we have and seem spoiled when they are really not.

 TAGS:Smirnoff 1L

Smirnoff 1L

The Smirnoff Red Label Vodka is one of the world’s smoothest vodkas.

 TAGS:Purity Vodka

Purity Vodka

Purity Vodka is the finest and purest Ultra Premium Vodka in the world. It illustrates the perfect combination of tradition and innovation.

Does the socio-economic level affect the health benefits of wine?

wine and socio-economic level

Studies that state the benefits of wine for health are innumerable. Now, in addition, there are other investigations that could relate those benefits, like protection against heart diseases, with having a good socio-economic level.

Studies on the benefits of wine and economic level

Specifically, the PLOS Medicine study deepens the relationship between wine and health through a socio-economic vision. The researchers state that economic differences regarding health are a great challenge for the public health system, and especially in the investigation on alcohol, several previous studies have observed a paradox. Although individuals with a low socio-economic status drink less, on average, compared to those with a higher position, they tend to end up in the hospital more frequently due to alcohol-related illnesses.

Keys of the research

The researchers analysed consumption habits and economic level, according to the household conditions, the household income and the education levels of more than 207,000 Norwegian adults from 1987 to 2003. They classified the data according to the frequency of alcohol consumption, and three classifications of socio-economic position were created: low, medium or high. Then they calculated the risk of cardiovascular disease for each group.

The researchers focused on the frequency with which each person drank, and less on the amount consumed per session of drinking, although the study differentiates between drinking in excess (five or more drinks per occasion) and not in excess. They concluded that excessive alcohol consumption and a higher frequency of consumption were linked.

Moderately frequent consumption (drinking alcohol two or three times per week) was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than lower consumption (less than once per month). This benefit was significantly more important among those with a higher socio-economic status.

Previous studies

But these are not the only studies that relate economic level with health benefits of wine. In 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analysed the relationship between income and life expectancy, based on the income data of 1.4 billion US tax records. It was concluded that a higher income was associated with a longer life at all levels of wealth.

wine and wealth

Lifestyle differences among socio-economic classes

In short, the Norwegian study analyses lifestyle differences between socio-economic classes as a possible explanation: those who occupy a higher position may be more likely to consume their alcohol with a meal, which is believed to be healthier than drinking without eating. In addition, this includes a greater knowledge about healthy living and access to better medical care for wealthier people.

Regardless of the socio-economic status, it seems that wine lovers should be able to keep this risk to a minimum, and possibly enjoy some protection benefits, if they practice moderation and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Love is also shared in drinks

wine and love

They say that two who live together end up having the same tastes, even in drinks. In a study, published in the behavioural science journal Appetite, researchers from the University of Wrocław in Poland and the University of Dresden in Germany tested the aroma and flavour preferences of 100 heterosexual couples whose relationships ranged from three months to 45 years . They discovered that the longer the couples had been together, the more similar their preferences were.

Organization of the study

The study was based on each participant smelling 38 aroma samples, which included fragrances such as eucalyptus, butanol, orange, smoked meat and caramel. The researchers also dissolved samples of each of the five basic flavours: sweetness (10 grams of D-sucrose), sourness (5 grams of citric acid), saltiness (7.5 grams of NaCl), bitterness (0.05 grams of quinine hydrochloride) and umami (10 g of sodium glutamate). The participants were asked to rate each aroma and flavour sample from 1 (“I like it a lot”) to 5 (“I do not like it at all”).

The more time together, the more similarity in taste

The study examined not only how preferences might be affected by the longevity of a relationship, but also how they might be influenced by how happy the couple was. Happy couples did not have more similar preferences compared to those that were less satisfied. However, greater satisfaction in the relationships had a slightly negative correlation with similar smell preferences.

It is logical that the more years (and bottles of wine) a couple has shared, the preferences end up adapting to each other. The study concluded that even in an unhappy relationship, especially if the couple lives together, it is likely that the couples still smell and eat the same things out of habit, need or convenience.

wine and love

Couples who drink together are happier

But there is more, because a new study from the University of Michigan states that couples who drink together are happier. Researchers have interviewed 2,700 married couples and analysed how much and how they drink. The conclusions were that the 2 members were more likely to consider themselves happy in their relationship when they shared these habits than those who remained sober while the other consumed alcohol, and vice-versa.

There are still many studies to be conducted to fully understand why the tastes of couples are aligned, but for now, why not use it as another great reason to spend time with our partner and our favourite bottle of wine?

 TAGS:Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017 is the product of the fertile vineyards from Alenquero and Cadaval.

 TAGS:Borba 2016

Borba 2016

With the Borba 2016, Adega Borba presents a classic red wine of the brand’s product line.

Esters, the substance responsible for the pleasant taste of wine

Wine has many flavours and the esters are responsible for them by being substances that are formed by the combination of an organic acid and an alcohol. Therefore, they give pleasant smells and flavours to wine. Let’s learn a little more about esters.

What are the esters of wine and how do they form?

Such flavours and aromas are associated with fruity and delicate flavours, such as banana, raspberry and pineapple, for example, among many others, and they are detected in fruity wines. In total, more than 160 esters have been identified in wine, and many of them are produced in concentrations below our sensory threshold. When they are together, some esters can create a totally different aroma than the one they possess individually, while the presence of one can greatly affect the intensity of another.

wine esters

It should be noted that a large majority of esters produced in wine are created during fermentation. Esters tend to be much less stable than these other aromas and reach their intensity at the end of the fermentation, when they dominate the character of a wine, but they degrade almost completely during the first year of the wine’s life and do not leave a long term mark.

Esters, in addition, tend to be more aromatic than alcohols, acids and aldehydes. During fermentation, yeasts produce fruity esters or short-chain esters, and heavier esters, which are the long-chain esters. The first ones are produced in low temperature fermentations and some examples are the Riesling and Chardonnay wines.

Formation of esters is quite complex because it depends on numerous reactions between multiple compounds. In general, esters are formed from reactions between alcohols (mainly superior alcohols) created by yeasts and components (usually fatty or organic acids) from grapes.

wine esters

In addition to using aromatic yeasts, winemakers can also use carbonic maceration to achieve high levels of esters during fermentation. In addition to the yeast, the fermentation temperature is another important factor in the amount and type of esters produced, as well as the degree of retention in the wine.

For example, a winemaker who wants to create wines with high ester content will usually use an aromatic yeast, clear the must and then ferment the wine at a temperature as cold as the yeast can tolerate. It is not surprising that wine professionals discuss the impact of wild and commercial strains on fermentation.

Water that tastes like wine (and doesn’t get you drunk)

A company from Cerdedo-Cotobade, in the province of Pontevedra, has developed a water that tastes like wine. It can be amazing and almost miraculous (like when Jesus turned the jars of water into wine), but it is a matter of biology. Let’s learn more about the water that tastes like wine.

Vida Gallaecia, water with a wine flavour

This company, called Líquido Gallaecia, has counted, to elaborate this water, with the collaboration of Misión Biológica de Salcedo, and the result is an enriched water, with a wine flavour, that doesn’t get you drunk (it doesn’t carry alcohol) and doesn’t get you fat (it almost don’t have calories because it is water). Its name is Vida Gallaecia.

wine flavoured water

This product is a novelty that will be talked about a lot and that marks a before and after in this kind of beverages. In addition, it has been presented together with the State Agency of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), because this drink has been made thanks to years of study, commitment and research.

The basis of this study, which began in 2016, was to find ways to enrich the water with the flavonols present in the grape, and also with waste from the wine making of the Godello variety. Although they have specified that later they want to expand this water with other varieties of grapes, their commercial formula has not been revealed. The water, as if it were wine, comes in both white and red varieties, and can be made with or without gas. Its creators have given hints of its development: totally natural and without the intervention of chemical solvents. And this is because its base comes from Galician springs.

wine flavoured water

A healthy drink

We can say that it is a healthy water because flavonols provide a diversity of properties, such as antioxidants, the protection of the heart, the improvement of the skin… and it prevents some diseases such as diabetes. And it is also a pioneer beverage since it is the first wine flavoured water.

This water, which is increasingly gaining popularity, was presented in Madrid and has also travelled to Japan, at the Foodex fair. And for now, a Japanese airline is interested in distributing it on its flights. To call this hybrid, they have named it flavoured water. At the moment we can not test the water because it has not been yet released, but everything is ready for it to be. In the meantime, we can always enjoy good wines…

Exotic wines are on the rise

Global wine market is constantly changing. In addition to the usual grapes, there seems to be a tendency to consume rather unknown grapes, which therefore produce exotic wines. These are more authentic grapes and have not been heavily manipulated in the production process.

Why exotic wines are fashionable

Millennial current

Apparently, millennials are strong consumers of wine. This generation, always hyperconnected, shows the wines they drink on the social media, and what they want, in part, is to differentiate themselves from their parents, who opt for more classic grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Being different

Another reason is because “different” is a trend. And for this reason, they prefer rather rare and indigenous grapes, and also historical varieties that at some point were almost forgotten, but that have resurfaced again.

exotic wines

Experimentation of the wineries

As “different” is fashionable, more and more wineries dare to experiment with new varieties, many of them brought from different countries. Then some producers are responsible for the exotic wines being increasingly on the rise.

Some examples

Some exotic varieties that we can find on the market are Petit Verdot, which comes from Bordeaux, cradle of wine. It is a variety that gives an aromatic profile and offers colour and spicy notes. We are also hearing a lot about Bonarda, an autochthonous grape from Savoy, France, which brings a very dark colour to the wines. It also offers aromas of red fruits, with soft tannins.

It should be noted that Italy is a country where several hundred indigenous varieties are grown. Abruzzo is the most frequent region, with varieties such as Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola increasingly sought after. In many areas they focus on the organic production of grapes, so the flavours of dry lemon and mineral are the most prominent.

exotic wines

There is also California, where Mourvédre stands out, and here the customers are not so much millennials but middle-aged (47 years average). Georgia is another rising market in this type of exotic wines, followed by Greece, Sicily, Austria and there are also increasingly “rare” varieties in Spain. The good thing is that all kinds of grapes can coexist, from the classic ones to the ones that maybe one day will become more known.

 TAGS:Trapiche Estacion 1883 Bonarda 2017

Trapiche Estacion 1883 Bonarda 2017

Trapiche Estacion 1883 Bonarda 2017 is a unique red wine from Argentina

Wine & Yoga: a rising trend

And yoga and beer, and Pilates and many other drinks. Although it may seem like an eccentric idea, it is a reality and more and more centres and lessons aim at the fashion of wine & yoga, since both concepts are very healthy.

The benefits of yoga are well known, but wine also brings a world of sensations and advantages to take care of the body. So if we unite one thing and the other, the result is magical.

Yoga in the vineyards

It is a new trend that can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, places where you can practice yoga and then you drink a glass of relaxedly, and on the other hand, there are several wineries to which health is a main concern where, in addition to enjoying the environment and the vineyards, we can also practice yoga.

Exercise with a glass of wine

It seems that the trend will continue to grow: what is fashionable is not only to go to wineries and relax but also the way of doing exercises and postures (asanas as they are called in the world of yoga) with a glass of wine in hand. This is styled in many places in New York, for example, and as we already said, this also extends to other beverages such as beer.

yoga and beer

https://www.flickr.com/photos/moritzbarcelona/28468105968

In fact, those who love yoga consider it a strange thing, because little yoga can be done while we try to hold the cup and drink at the same time. It’s about doing something different, original and fun. It really serves to socialize with others, and to say that you are doing sports while drinking a glass of wine or a pint of beer.

Benefits of yoga

It is interesting to see how a session of this type is carried out, and even some people say that they are not able to perform some rather complicated postures of yoga if it is not with a sip of wine.

Improving mind and body in a single discipline. It could be a definition of yoga, since among its benefits, we find cardiovascular ones, besides knowing how to handle stress and anxiety thanks to meditation and knowing how to breathe correctly. A study by the American College of Cardiology in Dubai showed that patients with heart disease who practice yoga in addition to aerobic exercise reduce blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels up to twice as much.

 TAGS:Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017 is a delicious Portuguese red wine

 TAGS:Pruno 2015

Pruno 2015

The most wanted red wine at Uvinum also come at the market’s best price.

Pairings with Arabic food

Arabic food is characterized by its somewhat spicy and powerful flavour. Unlike other foods, it is not light, but some dishes can reduce this effect of heaviness. Of course, if we eat in excess, we can have digestive problems. Let’s see what are the best pairings with Arabic food.

How to pair Arabic food

It is necessary to counteract the bittersweet, salty, sugary and spicy flavours of this type of recipes with wines that mitigate these flavours, but do not erase them, because they really offer a great richness to the palate. It should also be noted that, traditionally, this food is not accompanied with wine in origin for religious reasons.

White wines

When it comes to pairing some sauces and creams, like the traditional hummus, then it is better to opt for a white wine, because the freshness will lighten the dish, which is usually eaten accompanied by a special bread. In this case, a Chardonnay white wine is recommended.

Another type of white wine to combine with this king of food is the Sauvignon Blanc. It is the choice for shawarma, rice, bulgur, tabouleh or salads with spices. But they are not the only whites that go well with both first and second courses, fruity Verdejo and Rueda are also good choices.

Red wine

This type of wine would be the best choice for meats. And the best ones to pair with Arabic food are the Merlot, Malbec or Rioja wine. They are clear alternatives for this cuisine, since they do not remove that characteristic and appreciated spicy touch. Red wines are also a sure bet for lamb dishes.

The Carménère wine, of French strain, for example, features a fine aroma of herbs, hints of fruit, and notes of green and red paprika. This is why it is recommended by many specialists to bring out that spices are clear protagonists of such dishes. Thus, both young and aged reds are recommended, with flavours and aromas of nuts or cherries and nuances of vanilla.

Rosé wine

For some rices, especially those made with vegetables, it is a good choice to opt for a young rosé.

Sherry

This wine offers an optimal counterpoint to many oriental dishes, especially from the Arabic cuisine. It goes well for chicken curry, as well as for the traditional tajine that usually comes with vegetables, fish, chicken, rice and many other ingredients.

Beer

Some dishes like kebab are not usually combined with wine. For this and other dishes, somewhat faster to cook and eat, beer could be the best choice, because its freshness provides a variety of nuances to the palate.

 TAGS:Valle Delle Rose Brachetto d'Acqui 2017

Valle Delle Rose Brachetto d’Acqui 2017

The taste presented on the palate is sweet, fresh and in perfect harmony with tasty red fruit notes and a pleasant tingling in the end.

 TAGS:El Coto Crianza 2014

El Coto Crianza 2014

The Coto Crianza 2014 is a red wine elaborated by El Coto de Rioja, a relatively your winery in the appellation D.O.Ca. Rioja that chinks glasses with us with a wine of a pleasant price-value-ratio.

Chocolate and wine delay ageing

Two of the most precious pleasures of this life, chocolate and wine, can preserve us from ageing. A research published in the journal BMC Cell Biology shows that human cells can be rejuvenated, if we eat and drink both (always in moderation). Let’s discover why.

Resveratrol, an antioxidant against ageing

Although studies have already emerged pointing to this claim, this recent research shows that chemicals similar to resveratrol, which is an antioxidant found in several plants and some foods, such as cocoa or grapes, bring youth to the skin.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton (UK), and led by professors of molecular genetics, found that by adding resveratrol-like substances to the ageing of human cells, it not only made older cells look younger, but they also began to divide again, as young cells would.

chocolate ageing

The researchers explained that they repeated the experiments several times and, in each case, the cells were rejuvenated. So the research reaffirms that both cocoa and wine, are powerful antioxidants that regenerate our cells and slow down the ageing of skin.

Benefits of chocolate

As we see, then, thanks to antioxidants, chocolate transforms the skin and leaves it younger and smoother. It is therefore known that aesthetic treatments of “chocotherapy” for the body allow to leave the epidermis in much better shape.

But, in addition, chocolate is good for the heart, since the Spanish Society of Dietetics and Food Sciences, SEDCA, tells us that dark chocolate is what gives us the most nutrients and lowers blood pressure.

At a psychological level, doctors establish that a normal portion of chocolate has a high psychopharmacological activity. Therefore it is recommended to combat depression or sadness because it activates the “hormone of happiness”, while giving us energy and well-being. As we say, dark cocoa is the best for health, although we can not abuse it either.

Properties of wine

Especially red wine has a lot of properties. On the one hand, as grapes contain antioxidant polyphenols, they bring youth to our skin. But it also helps fighting against free radicals, increases good cholesterol, protects the heart, and relaxes us. Like chocolate, it even provides energy by releasing endorphins.

wine ageing

Wine should be consumed in moderation, although the Mediterranean diet includes it and it is advisable to have a glass of wine per day.

 TAGS:Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017

Porta 6 2017 is the product of the fertile vineyards from Alenquero and Cadaval, in the mountains in the North of Lisbon. This region strongly benefits from the wind of the ocean and the land’s fertility.

 TAGS:Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

Flor de Lis Reserva 2016 is a wine made to please. Born from the blend of 3 grape varieties: the Aragonez variety brings the spicy side, the Touriga Nacional the red fruits and the Syrah the sweet and velvety tannins.