MEAD

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There is a nice new wine trend that is about to happen. Some say it is more like wine, others like beer, but in looking at the chemical synthesis, I would say it should be classified as a wine. Honey Wine. MEAD.

Mead is mentioned in a lot of Norse Mythology, which is very interesting. Its origin was definitely from the Germanic roots. As a lover of mythology, knowing Zeus and other gods were sipping on some Mead is pretty cool! (Greek Mythology is littered with Mead references, honey Nectar of the gods for sure.)

The Fermentation process is pretty standard at this point in time. Honey being the fermentable sugar, it can ferment from 8-20% ABV. It has a taste of wine and beer at the same time with a neutral honey flavor. A pale yellow color, some can be unfiltered and some not. You can get strong notes of honey on the nose the minute you open a bottle.

Utica, NY has seen a very large growth of local farms, breweries and restaurants join this clean living, farm-to-table lifestyle. One farm in particular, Heartsease Hill, honey and honey product producers have gotten into the Mead industry. Sue and Joe have become close personal friends of mine, and their product of Mead is high quality and evolving everyday for the best. You might even be able to find this Mead on tap at Nail Creek in the near future. Playing with different styles and flavors, this style of wine has become my favorite after dinner Digestif! Sweet, but not sugary. As a fan of dry wine, I think everyone should give it an opportunity.

As the NYS Craft Beer and Wine industry begins to expand, you should be seeing a lot more high quality and unique products from very talented people.

Keep an eye out, wine lovers!

XOXO, Cheers!

KAVA

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KAVA
This weekend I discovered another herbal anti-anxiety that I believe works really well! It is called Kava (sometimes, Kava-Kava). It is a plant found and used by many Pacific Island states.

Some say it has holistic properties and some use it for anxiety. The thing to remember about Essential Oils ad Extracts are the same for any type of substance. Every person has a different tolerance so some people can really feel the effects and some people can hardly feel them at all.

The Genus and Species is Piper methysticum. The root of the plant is pulverized to make drinks or teas that can ease a person’s mind while maintaining clarity. It’s used for temporary relief from anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Kavalactones are the API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) that are in many anti-depressants and anxiety medications and can provide a similar state of mind but all natural!

If you have trouble with anxiety, I would check this out for sure.

Cheers!

(I find it funny I declared this a wine blog but….. we can intertwine a few subjects now and again!)

Vino First!

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Recently I have been so busy. Working for the restaurant and bakery. Wine tastings for the restaurant. Idea sessions with my boss for business ideas, plans and wine. WE LOVE to talk about wine.

Trying to find time for my friends isn’t so hard. I work with some great people and we have so much fun in the late hours of the evening. All my boys can keep me laughing until about 3 am on a weekly basis. I couldn’t be luckier. I love that they are winos also and love me to teach them.

In lieu of my recent profession and fondness of wine, a fondness that grows everyday, I will be starting to focus on wines, spirits & sometimes food for pairing on this blog. Learning about viticulture is very complex and takes a lot of time and practice. It is a wonderful life.

Every two weeks I am hosting a session of Wine Regions to further my education and everyone who wants to learn also! I will keep my blog up to date using this schedule and informing the social media world all about wine from the standpoint of a chemist, a server, and obviously a certified Wine student.

Being a server at a very upscale restaurant has helped me learn so much and begin my journey in this profession as well as keep up with classes for my Master’s Degree. My boss and co-workers are wonderful and very educated. They are teaching me so much!! He says working for him is like a semester at culinary school of knowledge. It is not easy and expectations are high. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This week in wines I started Italy. So stay tuned for my post all about Italy!!

Drink up.

Cheers!

Farm to Table

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Recently I have taken a position with two delightful establishments run by the most amazing people I have met in a long time. Utica Bread and The Tailor & The Cook. We take much pride in our service and quality of product. Both places use local NY State local farms for produce and all other products we use to make you your delicious foods!

Utica Bread is a brand new bakery with such delicious treats for a quick on the go, healthy and local meal. We do have a case of pastries to die for that aren’t healthy per say but a treat once in a while is never a bad thing. The bakery uses no preservatives and there is always a wonderful happy face there to greet you and inform you of all the lovely products we offer. From cheeses, breads, pastries and deli salads, you will never walk away without a smile on your face. It’s a lovely place in Baggs Square, Utica. We want you to stop by and support the local community!!

UB EarlyUB Later The Tailor & The Cook has just been rated one of the top 100 restaurants in America. THAT IS AMAZING. I am so proud to be apart of all of this we some of the most talented and beautiful people I have been around in a while. The menu is to die for and changes based on availability of products and the season. The servers are all so wonderful and smiling all of the time. You will enter and leave with a smile on your face. As I learn more and more, so will you!

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The Power of Lavender

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Recently I have been trying to turn to more natural substitutes for stress and anxiety. My conclusion has been to turn to everything Lavender.

Lavender Essential Oil has been allowing me to sleep, relax my muscles and have a great scent around me at all times. Mixed in with my Chanel No. 19, a strange amount of people have told me that I smell very delightful.

There are many uses and benefits to using this oil and turning away from Prescriptions or harsher solutions so frequently. Don’t take me wrong, I love my Xanax and Valium, but it is best to stay non-reliant on Benzodiazapenes. (Comment on this post if anyone wants a lengthy post on Benzos!)

At bed time I rub the oil on my temples, my wrists and the soles of my feet. These are the most porous parts that allow the oil to enter the bloodstream. It allows you to release tension and stress. Inhaling the scent in three deep breaths also allows for the mind to calm quickly.

Other Uses:

1. Sleep Aide

2. Cuts/Scrapes

3. Insect Bites & Stings

4. Motion Sickness

5. Dry & Chapped Sunburn Skin

… There is a whole list of things it could be used for. My sister is currently with child and she has been using it for various aches and pains in her pregnancy. I won’t write up on it more because it is not my experience but there are a few great posts on the topic throughout the Blogosphere.

Now as I pour myself a glass of Moët, I’ll add a few drops of Lavender Oil as it is very okay to ingest. Adds a great floral taste. One of my favorite Liquors is actually Lavender based. Similar to Creme de Violette.

Cheers!

Let’s Talk Spain

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Spanish Wines is something I have recently started to get into. They have been making some great wines and blends recently with some very native and global grapes. Some of their main grapes, mostly indigenous of Spain are:

Red Grapes:

  • Cariñena
  • Garnacha
  • Monastrell
  • Tempranillo

White Grapes:

  • Albariño
  • Godello
  • Torrontes

There wines are fruity, bold and smokey, with the exception of some more neutral grapes for dinner wines and summer days. The Albarino grape is a very light grape with a resemblance to Vermentino and Verdelho white grapes of the world.

There are three different levels of quality you find in Spain that law has required for labelling it’s designation.

  • Crianza red wines are aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in oak. Crianza whites and rosés must be aged for at least 1 year with at least 6 months in oak.
  • Reserva red wines are aged for at least 3 years with at least 1 year in oak. Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at least 2 years with at least 6 months in oak.
  • Gran Reserva wines typically appear in above average vintages with the red wines requiring at least 5 years aging, 18 months of which in oak and a minimum of 36 months in the bottle. Gran Reserva whites and rosés must be aged for at least 4 years with at least 6 months in oak.

I URGE everyone to try some Gran Reserva and a Spanish Rose in the near future.

2010 Un Paso Mas Red Blend

Cheers everyone!

Why I Don’t Know What To Do With My Life

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Everyone has passions, hobbies, careers, etc…. a slew of a whole broad field of things that make a person decide what they want to do and how to live their lives. I am about to graduate from college with a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and the concentrations of Philosophy, Wine, Pharmaceuticals and Programming quite under my belt (concentrations/strengths). I have worked a year for Johnson and Johnson doing programming and strategic operations. I have been an office administrator and a research assistant in a Nanomaterials Spectroscopy Lab. I love the wine and food industry, and I am a people person that lives for the outdoors and the good life. So in my point of view at the moment…. WHAT THE HELL am I supposed to do with my life. I could have taken my job offer and slowly gotten my master’s and worked, but I had a funny feeling that wasn’t what I should do recently. I could go to Master’s/PhD programs and spend another many years of my life locked up in a lab programming and doing chemistry. I could start my path towards a career in the wine industry building my way up to opening a vineyard some day. There is so much in my brain I feel I could do. I have created this path and worked my ass off endlessly to reach the place I need to get to. But I am lost. So what do you do… People keep telling me that my life is easy but it is not. I would love for people to understand what goes on in my brain, but that can never happen and no one will see these inner conflictions I have on a daily basis with myself. So how do I go about dealing with this? I get it. I shouldn’t be troubled and maybe people think my life is easy, but I guarantee you it is not.

Within all this struggle I do know what I need to do. I need to go to PhD school and finish my research and work towards my life as a computational chemist. I don’t want to go to school for 5-6 more years but my life would be meaningless if I didn’t in my eyes. People have always told me everything comes easy for me, yes, but that also piles a weight on your shoulders that is very heavy to handle. My parents tell me they will support me whatever I do, but I know they would be very disappointed if I didn’t follow through with my original plan.

Everyone always says to do what you love, and I do love being a chemist. I guess there is that inner something inside of me that needs to see the light. Needs to see that even though I’d love to keep an easier path and a less demanding life, that I cannot. And I will get past this. Sometimes it is just hard to see the end of the road when it takes so much work. But I will not give up on what I started. I will stay strong and do whatever it takes because even though I feel broken, and tired and rundown, I will become the person I set out to be.

Everyone should always stay strong and never give up. There will always be no’s and times when you are turned down, sometimes there are reasons for these things. Sometimes you need to learn new life lessons to realize what you need. Never take the easy way out. And never back down.

So I leave with this message of my venting session. Cheers, and never give up. Anyone can do ANYTHING they put their mind to.