There’s a first time for everything, even wine drinking! If you’re a wine admirer and tempted to introduce someone to the awesome world of wine, this can be a daunting task since there are thousands of wines and you have only one mouth. I love wine, and it’s no secret. But how does one get started with wine? And what are the appropriate tasting terms?
Wines are divided into two major styles: one is dry and the other richly sweet. One topic that is particularly confusing is that of wine sweetness. But after a little clarification, you’ll be talking and tasting wine like an expert. After tasting a number of wines, you’ll soon realize that some wines that are regarded as sweet are not as sweet as you expect, and many dry ones are actually sweeter than anticipated.
Thoughts while tasting Sweet Wine as a tyro…
To guide you when choosing sweet wines, here are a few characteristics for beginners to consider.
- Sweetness: Many beginners think that sweet wines are much easier to enjoy. Some also believe sweet wines are of lesser quality than other wines. This is not the case, as many sweet wines are highly regarded and are quite expensive. If your taste buds fall for sweet wines, consider those with higher alcohol content. Wines with high alcohol content are perceived to be sweeter, even when they don’t have as much sugar.
- Tannin: If you’ve had dry red wine you’ve obviously noticed some sticky substance in your teeth and gums after you’ve sipped. This is called tannin. Beginners may find this sensation quite irritating for the first time; therefore, it’s advisable that you start with wines with low tannin levels when introducing newcomers to wine.
- Acidity: Just like most fruits, wine grapes contain acid, making them crisp and refreshing. Different wines have distinctive acidity levels that vary considerably. When you taste new wines, find out whether you like them more or less sour, a sign of acidity. This will help to find your place in wine and to find wines which tickle your fancy.
- Alcohol content: Too much alcohol in any wine makes it unbalanced. My suggestion is for newcomers to start with wines with 14% alcohol content or lower.
- Taste indicators: The back labels on the bottles of many consumer-friendly products can be quite useful, as they carry important information. Look for symbols that show the sweetness level of a wine. For red wines, check how light, medium, or full-bodied they are.
The wine sweetness chart below diagrams the sweetness level of various wines. Note that these will fluctuate due to production variations.
How to taste and enjoy?
There is no official yardstick for measuring the quality of a wine. What you like someone else may dislike. With this in mind, here are some tips on evaluating how sweet wine suits your tongue.
- Always start with a clear wine glass when tasting a sweet wine. Hold your glass at the stem. This is to avoid warming the wine due to heat from your hand when holding the bowl.
- Pour a little wine, an inch or less, into your glass. Always begin with the lightest wine when tasting several wines, moving from sweet sparkling wines, to rosés, then to light whites and to full-bodied whites. Continue to the heaviest – light reds, more full-bodied reds, then lastly dessert wines. This keeps your taste buds sensitive to better enjoy each wine in series. Take sips of water in between wines to preserve your palate.
- Before sipping the wine, swish your glass around for different flavors to be released in the air, then smell the air inside the glass. Put your nose gently over the rim and breathe in. This is important since the aroma can carry more magic than the taste. Most wines aromas are characterized by the grapes they are made from, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel. As time goes by and you gain experience with different wine varietals, it becomes easier to identify different wine aromas. Trust your nose to tell you the aromas; you may pick up hints of vanilla, peaches, berries, and even smoky or grassy aromas.
- Note the color of the wine by holding the glass up against a white background or light. The color usually tells the wine’s age. White wines tend to gain color as they age, while red wines lose color with age. Young red wines are redder, but as they age, they turn burgundy or brown.
- As you finally taste the wine, allow it to linger and touch all the taste buds on your tongue, including those underneath it. This is done by swishing the wine in your mouth.
- The initial taste you will get from the wine will come from your first sip. This awakens your taste buds and keeps them active. You can then swish the wine around the mouth while drawing a little air in.
- Observe the texture of the wine to see whether the body is light or rich. You can relax before taking another sip in order to catch the finish or aftertaste. Consider how long the flavor lasted in your mouth, and your overall experience in tasting the wine.
Describing wine tasting is harder than actually tasting wine. I recommend that you taste as many wines as possible to determine your favorite bottles. Another important factor in wine tasting is pairing your wine with the right meal – which can be like discovering a new recipe. Wine always enhances the dining experience if paired with the right food.
For more tips on wine pairing, visit the SweetWineClub blog and discover new ways to relish wine. Cheers!
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Central Iowa is booming with wineries and vineyards popping up all over – especially in the past few decades. Here are 10 wineries close to Des Moines where you can kick back, relax and sip the day away.
Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register
The founders of Summerset Winery are looking to sell the operation after more than two decades of serving Iowa wine lovers.
The winery, 12-acre vineyard, house and inn on the 65-acre property less than 10 miles from Des Moines has been listed with Iowa Realty for $2.3 million. According to the listing, the house has 4,758 square feet of living space with 10 bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
The sale also includes all of the winery’s production equipment, merchandise, chiller units and other machinery used to maintain the property.
Summerset Winery owner Ron Mark. (Photo: Des Moines Register file photo)
Ron and Linda Mark bought the Summerset land in 1988. Ron Mark, a longtime wine lover, began planting grapes the following year and the winery opened its doors to the public in 1997.
Nicole Eilers, marketing director for the Iowa Wine Growers Association, credited the Marks and Summerset with helping the industry expand throughout the state.
“I would say they’re one of the founding wineries,” Eilers said. “There’s been wineries since before prohibition, but to get our current industry to where we are now, Ron, I would say, is one of the founders.”
Ron Mark said Summerset Winery was able to enjoy success from its start because of its unique nature.
“When we finally got open to the public we were so terribly successful since we were the only estate winery,” he said. “We just couldn’t make enough wine.”
Mark began holding seminars in 2000 to teach others how to grow grapes with the expectation that maybe five or six people would attend.
“The seminar I put on had 157 people show up, and they all went out and planted grapes,” he recalled. “Now we’ve got 300-some vineyards, and five years later, a lot of them decided to start their own wineries. So now we have 100-plus wineries.”
Mark said he later realized that he had, in the process, created his own competition. But his goal of increasing Iowa’s number of vineyards was so successful that he doesn’t have to buy grapes from out of state.
Summerset produces about 150,000 bottles of wine per year, which amounts to around 30,000 gallons. That’s almost 10% of Iowa’s total wine production in 2018, which Eilers said was around 335,000 gallons.
Mark has been making wine since he was 15 years old and living with his parents in Rising Sun, Iowa. His parents grew grapes on their property and Mark would add yeast to the grape juice his mother made.
“And then if I showed up at a high school party with a jug, I was pretty popular,” he said.
Mark’s “experimental wine cellar,” as he called it, was put on hold when he was drafted during the Vietnam War. But his passion for winemaking was rekindled when he was sent to work for a NATO headquarters in southern Italy.
Once discharged from the military, Mark decided to stay in Europe and work with a family that owned a restaurant and winery. After he returned to Iowa, he met his future wife at a wedding and continued to plant grapes everywhere the couple lived.
Mark said he and Linda chose the land near Indianola because it was a rural spot with plenty of space, but still in close proximity to the city. He spent years planting the grapes and building the house there.
Summerset’s wine is now sold in about 200 stores statewide. But Mark has mentored other entrepreneurs and said he is ready to pass the business on to someone new.
“I think someone should keep it as a winery,” Mark said. “It took us a long time to get it to where it’s at, and it’s successful. It’s just a wonderful thing to have, and you can drink for free.”
Linda Mark agreed that it’s time for the couple to retire and do other things like traveling abroad to see their daughter and two grandchildren in France. She said the winery has garnered interest from potential buyers, but no offers have come in yet.
“It could be a new chapter for the winery,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for someone to bring in new ideas and new young people that have more passion and energy to try some new things.”
Eilers said she hasn’t seen many Iowa wineries change hands and she hopes Summerset’s next owners will continue to grow the business.
“If they were to close their doors tomorrow, that would be a huge void in our industry,” she said. “I hope that we can get someone who will be a good addition to the industry.”
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Back to the basics — let’s learn how to apply lipstick! From tips on how to prep your lips for the smoothest lipstick application to how to help lipstick apply better on dry lips to how to get your lipstick to go on evenly, we’ll help you get more out of your favorite lipsticks. As always, you want to give yourself time to play and practice if some of the steps are new to you or seem like they’ll be too time-consuming. You may also find that certain steps are necessary for some formulas but not all or that some formulas are harder (or easier) to apply.
1. How to Prep Your Lips for Lipstick
These are prepping steps that can be beneficial for anyone, but if you have drier lips, check out the next section as well! So here are three ways I prep my lips before applying lipstick to ensure a smoother, more even application of my lip color:
Exfoliate your lips regularly. Like exfoliating the skin, how often, how vigorous, and if it’s necessary at all will depend on your lips. I find that while in the shower, the steam and warmth make it so I can gently rub my lips with my fingertip and get some of the dead skin to come off. It’s extremely gentle manual exfoliation and requires zero tools or products to do. Some also like using a wash cloth, soft toothbrush, or a standalone lip scrub (often sugar-based). I usually rub my fingertip over my lips in the shower two to three times a week, and every week or two–in lieu of one time in the shower–I’ll use a sugar scrub for a bit more vigorous exfoliation.
Recommended Lip Scrubs: sugar and jojoba oil; Fresh Sugar Lip Scrub, $24; Sara Happ The Lip Scrub, $22
Use a more hydrating lip balm at night. I like to use heavier, tackier lip balms at night, as I find that they help keep or restore the hydration and suppleness of my lips while I’m sleeping. If you’re someone who doesn’t wear lip color every day, this could also be done during the day.
Recommended Lip Balms: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26 (hydrating, tacky, long-wearing); Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25, $7.50 (hydrating, long-wearing, less tacky); Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil, $44 (ultra-hydrating, smoothing, less tacky); Sara Happ The Lip Slip, $24 (hydrating, smoothing, long-wearing, tacky).
Use a lip primer to help fill in deeper lip lines and create a smoother canvas. I don’t find that this is a critical step for each person, and it sometimes depends on the formula and finish that you’re applying.
Recommended Lip Primers: MAC Prep + Prime Lip, $18.50 (smooths, softens, minimizes feathering); ColourPop Lippie Primer, $5.50 (smooths, fills lip lines, minimizes feathering); Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer, $22 (smooths, softens, minimizes feathering).
2. How to Apply Lipstick Evenly
I find that at least 60% of how well (or poorly) a lipstick applies is in how good the formula is. The drier, stiffer the formula, the harder it is to get fluid strokes and even coverage out of them. However, if a formula is extremely slippery, it can be hard to keep the color in place, too! These are my tips on how to apply lipstick evenly that I find work well across a lot of formulas:
Use a lip liner to prevent feathering or bleeding color and uneven edges. A lip liner can be a must-have for some and a nice-to-have for others and completely skippable for some! A lip liner’s purpose is to prevent feathering/migration of lip color beyond the lip area, provide more precision/sharpness of the lip lines, improve adherence and coverage out of your lipstick, help your lip color stay on longer, and can sometimes even out the natural lip color or minimize product getting into lip lines.
There are also clear lip liners, which are also called universal lip liners, and these can be applied on the lips but also just outside the natural lip line to prevent feathering and bleeding lip color. (Urban Decay Ozone 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil is one of my favorites.)
Lip primers can also be useful for someone who doesn’t like liner or wants a colorless base. Lip primers do a better job at prepping the actual lips to receive color by often smoothing out lip lines slightly and giving the lip color something to grip onto.
Start at the center of the bottom lip and pull the lipstick fluidly to one corner of the bottom lip, and then go back to the middle and pull the lipstick fluidly across to the other corner of the bottom lip. I like to part my lips slightly (more like relaxing the jaw than anything else).
Next, apply lipstick in a fluid stroke from one side of the cupid’s bow to the outer corner of the upper lip. It’s very similar to the first step, just starting a little left or right of center but using the center of the cupid’s bow as a guide. I like to hold my mouth a little more open than before to start and then actually open my mouth as I move the lipstick past my cupid’s bow and toward the corner of my lips letting the lipstick move gradually as I do so. This stretches the skin on the lips so that lines aren’t apparent and allows the lip color to go on smoothly across a stretched surface (minimizes gaps).
Gently press lips together to softly distribute color more evenly and ensure a smooth, even layer of product. I wouldn’t rub my lips vigorously together to blend unless that was necessary; this is more of a gentle, soft rub/press motion to ensure that the layer isn’t too thick or too thin in any one place while “blending” any faint unevenness.
Reapply more product as needed. If you find that an area did not seem to get enough product, go back to just that area and gently press the lipstick against the area and wiggle–unless you find another layer everywhere is more preferred, then just repeat the process.
Clean up edges with makeup remover or concealer. Concealer is a good trick to sharpen or clean up any blurry edges or wobbles in application. I recommend using a very small, almost “sharp”0edged brush and a tiny amount of concealer to do so. If you haven’t applied your base yet (and usually, lip color is toward the end of most people’s routines), you could also simply remove any color that went beyond where you wanted it.
3. How to Apply Lipstick on Dry Lips
Drier lips need a little extra attention–TLC, if you will–and prep to get the best lipstick application. Lipstick simply goes on more smoothly and sits better on hydrated, more supple lips. So, here’s my recipe on prepping and priming drier lips for better lipstick application:
Apply lip balm prior to applying lipstick. The first step is to apply a thin layer of your favorite lip balm (see above for recommendations) all over the lips. Ideally, you’ll want to do this step in the beginning of your makeup routine so that the lip balm can sit on the lips and nourish them while you’re getting the rest of yourself ready.
You can always leave the lip balm on, but lip balm usually shortens the wear of anything put on top of it, so if you’re hoping for iron-clad lipstick application, you’ll want to gently remove (I like to kiss the back of my hand or blot my lips against a microfiber towel).
Avoid drying formulas. In some ways, it may seem obvious to avoid using formulas that dry out your lips, but sometimes brands spend a lot of time coming out with ultra long-wearing formulas that aren’t adding any hydration (and may, in fact, be drying with extended use). There are more hydrating and, at the very least, less-drying formulas available, at all price points, so if you feel like your lips are painfully raw after wearing a formula all day, you might want to back off. (You can pat on some lip balm or lip gloss to help soothe lips as a fix.)
You might have to sacrifice a bit of longevity for the health of your lips. Most drying formulas tend to be ones that are more matte in finish, so consider a satin or semi-matte finish formula and blotting before you leave, which will take down a good amount of the shine.
Apply lip balm or a nourishing gloss on top throughout the day. A little pat of lip balm and go a long way to refreshing application and helping the lipstick look more smooth and flattering on the lips. A little lip balm won’t make your lip color slide everywhere. Gloss will add more shine but may be easier to apply throughout the day.
Alternate the type of lipsticks you wear. This is particularly key if you’re someone who finds they prefer more drying formulas in spite of the drying aspect of them. For example, some liquid lipsticks dry out my lips more than others, but I don’t feel the consequences too much if I just wear it on Monday, but I would if I wore it for two or three days over and over again.
4. How to Reapply Your Lipstick
Getting longer wear out of your lip color is worth pursuing, but sometimes, what’s more important is how a lipstick fades and how easily it can be reapplied or topped up on-the-go. Longer-wearing formulas can often be drying, so for those willing to sacrifice some wear time for more comfort, learning how to reapply and touch up your lipstick is key.
Use a lipgloss or lip balm on top to soften and allow for a gradual fade of lip color. This is particularly useful if you’re wearing a more matte lipstick to begin with, as it can help to give the underlying color more slip to re-blend and smooth it out, while the gloss or balm will add some natural shine and are more hydrating.
After eating, use the natural oils from whatever you ate to help remove more product to make reapplication easier. It is always easier to reapply color when most of it has faded rather than trying to reapply on top of a very patchy, uneven amount of leftover color!
Carry a lip brush to touch-up color on the go as needed. A lip brush affords you more precision so that you can apply the color as you need it and in thinner layers, which helps the old and new applications merge together for a more seamless effect.
OPTIONAL! Remove your lip color entirely and start fresh by having a makeup remover solution on you. This could take the form of a disposable, pre-moistened makeup wipe (I try to limit use of this type of product, e.g. never at night but only on the go), a reusable microfiber makeup removing cloth (and plastic bag to store it in), or a standalone makeup remover and cotton round (or reusable cotton cloth) to remove.
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AUGUSTA – A group formed to devise what could be sweeping changes to Maine’s mental health system held its first meeting on Friday, discussing ideas on how to reduce the number of people with mental health illness in the state’s jails, prisons and hospital emergency rooms.
“Our community mental health system is really in tatters,” said Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, who is co-chairing the Mental Health Working Group with Rep. Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell. “We want to reverse the trend of re-institutionalization.”
The Legislature this spring approved forming the working group, which is comprised of lawmakers, hospital officials, state officials, nonprofit groups that offer mental health services, law enforcement and others. The group, which met on Friday at Maine Department of Health and Human Services offices in Augusta, will come up with recommendations by December.
Warren and Breen said after delving into a bill this spring by Warren that would have created four “assessment centers” – which would provide temporary care to patients who do not need hospital-level care, but would help keep patients out of Maine’s jails and emergency rooms – they realized the entire system needed to be examined. The assessment center bill was shelved, but a form of it could be revived in January.
The assessment centers could be part of the recommendations, or the working group could come up with entirely different ideas.
About 115,000 Mainers have mental illness, and of those roughly 40,000 have more severe forms of the disease, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Mental health experts have long said that Maine’s patchwork system of community-based mental health programs is insufficient for the demand, but working group members at Friday’s meeting said they needed more data to get a better handle on the scope of the problem.
After a series of scandals and deaths, the Augusta Mental Health Institute closed in 2004 – at its peak capacity AMHI had 1,800 patients. One of AMHI’s much-smaller successors, the 92-bed Riverview Psychiatric Center, has also had numerous problems with patient abuse, and Riverview for several years lost federal certification and funding over failing to meet performance standards.
Meanwhile, the state never developed a satisfactory community-based system for mental health patients, health experts have said.
Warren said it’s clear that with 86 percent of jail inmates receiving medications to treat their mental illness, that Maine uses the correctional system to house mental health patients.
“Folks on the ground are seeing patients cycling in and out of our jails and emergency rooms,” Warren said.
Randall Liberty, Maine’s commissioner of the Department of Corrections, said while it’s difficult to estimate what percentage of prisoners should instead be in community-based programs, there’s no doubt that the jail and prison population would be reduced if more and effective mental health programs would be made available.
He said it takes $44,000 per year to house a prisoner, and if the jail and prison population declined, that money could be re-invested into mental health programs.
Jessica Pollard, who will take over as the Maine’s director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services at the end of September, said there needs to be improved data on waiting lists, how long it takes for patients to get their first appointment, and communication between the Department of Corrections, hospitals, DHHS and the groups that provide mental health services. Pollard said one of the first steps will be to survey what is the actual capacity of the current system. Pollard said the state could set up a system that lets people know “in real time” where and what types of services are available.
“How do we devise a system to better connect people to treatment?” Pollard said. “People end up in jails and emergency departments and it’s not obvious what treatment is readily available.”
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Jumpsuits are a trendy and flattering alternative to yoga pants. They keep everything in one place so you don’t need to worry about accidentally flashing someone. Even better, they’re super cute and sexy. Most jumpsuits are a blend of spandex and other fabrics, which impacts their breathability and flexibility. If you’re trying to find the perfect jumpsuit for your next class, check out our guide to our favorite one-pieces below.
- Most Comfortable: URBAN K Women’s Active Yoga Wear Jumpsuit
- Best for Hot Yoga: LOVESOFT Women’s Sexy Sport Yoga Jumpsuit
- Most Colorful: Amilia Women’s Spaghetti Strap Tank Jumpsuit
- Best for Easy Movement: Sumtory Women Crisscross Bandage Jumpsuit
Most Comfortable: URBAN K Women’s Active Yoga Wear Jumpsuit
If you’re looking for a jumpsuit that is simple and flexible, look no further than URBAN K’s spaghetti strap or scoop neck option. It looks great in class and when you throw a sweater over it on your way home, and the stretchy cotton material is made for comfort. The scoop neck and tight waistline add style to make this utilitarian jumpsuit flattering. Better yet, it’s available in plus sizes! Ding: This jumpsuit may not be as stretchy as others and it’s only available in four colors. Double ding: White and beige may not be the best colors for hot yoga. $8-$27.99; Buy Now
Best for Hot Yoga: LOVESOFT Women’s Sexy Sport Yoga Jumpsuit
This jumpsuit is perfect to wear to all of your hot yoga classes. Many jumpsuits are designed to be backless to allow for easier arm movement during class. This jumpsuit takes it a step further by including a built-in sports bra so you don’t need to worry about restraining bra straps either. Its fabric is a durable nylon and spandex blend, making it light-weight and moisture wicking. Note: this jumpsuit runs small, so check the size chart and consider ordering up a size. Bonus: Check out that back design! $29.99-$39.99; Buy Now
Most Colorful: Amilia Women’s Spaghetti Strap Tank Jumpsuit
Most jumpsuits are available in black and gray, but if you want to make a bold statement in a brightly-colored (or patterned) jumpsuit, this is your pick. Made with spaghetti straps and a low scoop neckline, this jumpsuit is available in 14 fun colors and patterns. It will hug your curves and easily move with you because of its flexible polyester and spandex blend which won’t bunch up (or show sweat) like cotton. Note: This jumpsuit may run a little short, so be sure to check the sizing chart if you’re tall. $14.99-$16.99; Buy Now
Best for Easy Movement: Sumtory Women Crisscross Bandage Jumpsuit
Most jumpsuits fit skin-tight, but if you want an option that’s a little looser, this is the choice for you. The Sumtory jumpsuit loosely hugs your curves for a more modest twist to the fad. The open back allows for easy arm movement and the breathable fabric make this pick perfect for cardio as well as your daily yoga routine. Note: This jumpsuit (especially the camo pattern) runs small, so consider ordering a size up. $20.99-$21:99; Buy Now
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We’re back to the Rhone Valley with an exploration of the wines of Famille Perrin, seven bottlings from low-end table wines to higher-end offerings from some of the region’s finest growing areas. Let’s dive in.
2018 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve (Rose) – A seldom-seen Rhone rose, this grenache, mourvedre, syrah, and cinsault blend is bright, floral, and moderately sweet, with a marshmallow note that builds quite a bit as the palate develops. The finish is flowery, but rather innocuous. B / $11
2018 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve (Blanc) – This blend of grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne, and viognier is classically composed. Aromatic with gentle tropical notes up front, the wine wanders its way into notes of lime leaf, grapefruit, and quince before finishing with hints of white flowers. You’ll find it available for all of 10 bucks. A- / $10
2016 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve – Surprisingly innocuous, this simple GSM blend offers plenty of fruit without ever coming across as sweet or blown out. Gentle blackberry and some strawberry notes meld with a little tea leaf and cola, with some lightly earthy character on the finish. Simple but quite refreshing, and an amazingly good value. A- / $10
2017 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages – Grenache and syrah, soft and supple. A touch of pepper gets into the mix with ample black cherry and blackberry notes and a touch of mint. The finish is chocolaty, with just a bit of balsamic to it. Very approachable and food-friendly, and well-priced to boot. A- / $14
2017 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Cornuds – Hearty but approachable, this grenache-syrah blend is equal parts black berry fruit and fresh red berries, with silky tannin in the undercarriage. Notes of cola and some pepper add a touch of nuance on the finish. B+ / $19
2017 Famille Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards – A GSM blend from relatively young vines. Hearty but quite bitter, this is a complex wine that needs time in glass or decanting to properly appreciate. Bold with green herbs including rosemary and thyme, the wine eventually showcases its classically beefy undercarriage, though it’s laced with ample notes of balsamic and cloves. The twist as that the body is on the whole surprisingly thin, which doesn’t let the savory components shine through nearly as clearly as they should, making for a fairly gamy, vegetal finish. B / $40
2017 Famille Perrin Gigondas La Gille – Grenache and syrah, harvested in one of the Rhone’s most prized villages. Heavy at first with currants and blackberries, this Gigondas bottling settles into a groove that finds a vein of rosemary and sage, mineral-driven graphite, and mild tannins. A pop of pepper and sweet cherries hits on the finish. A great choice for a hearty meal. A- / $35
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As he hustled around a flatbed trailer parked along the road earlier this week, Will Ivancovich was abuzz during the first day of grape picking for this year’s harvest at his Kenwood vineyard.
Clad in a white fedora hat and with an unlit cigar dangling from his mouth, the 71-year-old Ivancovich easily kept up with the workers decades younger. He was operating a forklift to delicately place bins of chardonnay grapes onto the trailer or zooming around in his all-terrain vehicle along the rural road to oversee the start of his 14th wine grape harvest.
“It’s wonderful. … I’m living a great life,” said Ivancovich, who grew up in the Santa Clara area with parents who emigrated from the former Yugoslavia.
This year’s picking is a tale of two harvests for many small growers like Ivancovich, who will ship 75 tons of grapes to Domaine Chandon in Yountville to be made into premium wine. Growing nearby at his vineyard, he has another 50 to 60 tons of grapes still on the vine — fruit that he can’t sell because of an oversupply affecting growers across the North Coast and statewide.
“I’ve called everybody,” Ivancovich said Tuesday. “I would give the grapes away and say you can pay me my money when you sell the wine.”
The plight of Ivancovich and other growers is the result of a combination of factors: last year’s record grape crop; the decline in retail wine sales; and uncertainty over the planned $1.7 billion deal between two of the nation’s biggest wine companies. E. & J. Gallo Winery is acquiring more than 30 budget wine and spirits brands plus six wineries from Constellation Brands Inc. Many of the smaller growers sell their grapes to Gallo or Constellation or both of them.
“This harvest will probably be the toughest harvest that North Coast growers have experienced since 2010,” said Jeff Bitter, president of the Allied Grape Growers of California, a grower-owned marketing association that represents about 150 farmers in the region.
Typically, 85% of the regional grape crop is sold to wineries under multiyear contracts. The remainder of the crop is available to bidders on the spot market. Many sales contracts between growers and wineries were not renewed this year, however. Also, a report last week by Novato wine and grape brokerage Ciatti Co. noted that the bulk wine market has a large reserve that wineries can avail themselves of rather than buying more grapes on the spot market.
“I’m getting calls from people asking if I have deals in my back pocket,” said Glenn Proctor, a partner at Ciatti, noting the 2019 North Coast harvest that started a month ago is roughly 15% complete. “My back pocket is kind of empty right now.”
Bumper crops in recent years are a big reason for that. In 2018, growers sold an all-time high 588,864 tons of grapes crushed across Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties, yielding more than $2 billion. The 2019 crop looks to be around historical averages if not above average, which will provide more fruit for the grape glut, according to brokers.
The retail wine marketplace presents another challenge because revenue growth is only occurring on wines selling at more than $9 a bottle, said Jon Moramarco, a winery consultant with the firm bw 166. Most of the retail sales growth is coming from smaller wineries producing premium wines.
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In Natasha Denona’s holiday 2019 collection, there are two gold-hued products that launched earlier this week, which I’ve swatched and included below. The holiday launch includes a mini, five-pan palette, highlighting duo, and a mega eyeshadow palette.
Natasha Denona Gold Mini Palette ($25.00) is a Sephora-exclusive and contains five, miniature-sized eyeshadows designed to complement the original Gold palette. The mini palette includes two mattes and three shimmers with one of the five shades being a repeat (Dark Sepia).
Natasha Denona Glow Gold Highlighter Duo ($42.00) is a new, ultra sparkly/metallic set of gold-hued highlighters. It features the Diamond Powder and Super Glow highlighting formulas in new, exclusive shades.
If you’re looking for a review (and swatches!) of Natasha Denona’s Metropolis palette, you’ll find that here.
Natasha Denona Holiday 2019
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If you’re rich and famous you’ve probably known about
Jeffrey Epstein for a long time. The rest of us have only recently learned
about him from the barrage of news stories with headlines like these:
- How Jeffrey Epstein’s Death Became a Political
- Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Jennifer Araoz Sues
- Jeffrey Epstein’s Death and Role in “Ponzi
Scheme” Investigated—CBS News
- Conspiracy Theories Swamp Jeffrey Epstein Case
From Fringe to Mainstream—Fox News
- The Day Jeffrey Epstein Said He Had Dirt on
Powerful People—New York Times
- Sasse Demands Barr “Rip Up” 2008 Epstein Deal,
Bring Co-Conspirators to Justice—New York Post
I’m more interested in what Jeffrey Epstein’s life and death
can tell us about men, women, sex, and power, topics I’ve been studying and
writing about for fifty years. I also want to know how it can help men and
women live fuller, more successful, and joyful lives.
From the point of view of an evolutionary psychologist,
Jeffrey Epstein was just doing what men have been doing for the last two
million years—Trying to have sex with as many young, beautiful women as he
could and accumulating enough fame and wealth to attract more young, beautiful
women. To do that he had to have a lot of other people, both male and female,
who shared his values and beliefs.
In his book Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How
Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide, Dr. Hector A.
Garcia, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University
of Texas Health Science Center, describes “how evolution programmed our minds
with mating strategies to help us reproduce amid a fierce field of competition,
how men and women employ different strategies to achieve reproductive fitness.”
I’ve written about these issues in a series of articles
on The Good Men Manifesto. The most recent article “The
One Fact About Men That Drives Men’s Anger and Fear of Women” had a number
of facts that can help us learn from Jeffrey Epstein’s life and death. In the
article, I quote Roy F. Baumeister, one of the world’s leading social
scientists. He has written more than 400 scientific papers and 21 books. In his
book, Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish By
Exploiting Men, he says, “Of all the people who ever reached adulthood, maybe
80% of the women but only 40% of the men reproduced.” He goes on to say,
“That’s a stunning difference. Of all humans ever born, most women became
mothers, but most men did not become fathers. You wouldn’t realize this by
walking through an American suburb today with its tidy couples.” Baumeister
says, “I consider it the single most underappreciated fact about men.”
What are the implications of this one fact? It means that
throughout human history men, like Genghis Khan, the fearsome Mongol warrior of
the 13th century, became rich and famous and had more than his share of young
women and had lots of babies as a result. These practices continue to this day.
The problem for people like Jeffrey Epstein and other “elite
friends and associates” in Epstein’s little black book, which includes Prince
Andrew, Steve Bannon, Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Alan Dershowitz, Sarah Ferguson
(Duchess of York), Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, David Koch, Ghislaine Maxwell,
Charlie Rose, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and many others; the era of powerful
men and women who ignore sexual violence as simply “men doing what men do” is
In fact, it ended a hundred years ago when thousands of
women, with support of hundreds of men, fought for and passed the
19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. It
has continued with the #MeToo movement which has broken the silence of
sexual abuse forever.
According to an article in Time magazine, “The
#MeToo movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, searched for on Google in
196 countries in the past year.” Time named The Silence Breakers as
the 2017 Person of the Year, honoring not one individual, but all of the women
involved – and the cause as a whole.
I recently witnessed the clash of the old and new worlds on
an episode of the Netflix series Outlanders, based on the books by Diana
Gabaldon. In season 1, former World War II nurse Claire Randall and her husband
Frank are visiting Inverness, Scotland, when she is carried back in time to the
18th century from the standing stones at Craigh na Dun. She falls in with a
group of rebel Scottish Highlanders from Clan MacKenzie, who are being pursued
by English redcoats led by Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. She marries a
Highlander, Jamie Fraser, out of necessity, but they quickly fall in love.
In episode 6, titled The Reckoning, the old world where
men were dominant and controlled their women, clashes with the new world of
gender equality and what Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the
Blade, calls the clash between a Dominator system and Partnership
Jamie has told his new wife, Clare, to wait with another clansman
while he takes care of some business. He explained that danger was everywhere
and she should stay just where she was until he returned. She disobeys his
orders, and is captured by Black Jack, taken back to the castle and is about to
be raped when Jamie and his men sneak into the castle and rescue her.
He plans to punish Clare for disobeying his orders and
putting them all in danger. “None of this would have happened if you’d have
just stayed where I told you,” he says. Clare realizes her error had put
everyone in danger and apologizes. But that’s not enough for him and he demands
that she take her punishment, a belt whipping on her bare bottom. She refuses
and, being stronger, he forces the whipping, and assumes things will now be
fine between them. He has asserted his male authority and she has been properly
But he realizes he has damaged the relationship and has a
change of heart. “This is how my father did things, and his father before him,
and on back through the generations,” Jamie says, “But I love you Clare and I
see things will have to be different between you and me.” He swears on his
sword, his God, and his life that if he ever should strike her again that he
would die by this very sword. Clare is moved and there is a touching love
Yet, that’s not the end of the story. The next time they
make love, with him on top of her and both in ecstatic sexual excitement, she
rolls him over on his back, pulls out her own knife and puts it to his throat
and drawing on the power of a modern-day woman looks down into his fearful eyes
and says, “Jamie Fraser, if you ever raise your hand against me again, I will
cut your heart out.” There’s no doubt that she means it. When women have real
power, men learn to change for the better.
What we’re seeing in Jeffrey Epstein saga, is the last gasp
of the Dominator culture. A small group of men and women benefitted from the
old culture represented by Epstein. A much larger group of men and women will
benefit as the Dominator culture gives way to the Partnership culture where we
can all bring into being, in the words of my colleague Charles
Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.
This article first appeared on Jed’s blog.
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
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Gov. Northam meets with local mental health officials to protect our ‘most vulnerable’ WSET
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — Governor Ralph Northam was in Lynchburg Friday for a meeting withHorizon Behavioral Health. He wanted to talk with the …
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