Less experienced consumers tend to believe that a DOCG 'Chianti' wine and a DOCG 'Chinati Classico' wine are the same thing.Nothing more wrong than that!Chianti Classico is a wine produced in the Chianti area. You may recognize these wines very easily by the 'black rooster' logo on the neck of the bottles.The 'Chianti Classico Consortium' applies much stricter rules to its producers in comparison to those applied to the producers of 'Chianti'. Let us analyze these differences.Production area: the Chianti Classico wine is produced within the borders of the namesake area only, whereas Chianti producers can implement their production also outside those borders, including some areas of the Tuscan provinces of Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Pisa, Pistoia and Prato.Grapes: while the Chianti Classico uses black grapes only with a minimum basis of 80% of Sangiovese (the typical grape of the Chianti's area) the Chianti wine can use also white grapes such as Malvasia and Trebbiano (in addition to the minimum basis of Sangiovese which is 75% in this case).Quality standard: without going through the details, it is important to know that the rules of the Chianti Classico Consortium are much more rigid and strict on all the aspects which can have an impact on wine's quality. For example, the 'resa massima di uva per ettaro di vigneto' (the maximum amount of grapes for hectare) is 75 quintals for Chianti Classico, while for Chianti the limit gets to 90 quintals.The first version of the DOCG 'disciplinare' (production rules) for Chianti and Chianti Classico dates back to 1984, when Chianti Classico was still considered a sub-category of the omni-comprehensive Chianti DOCG, although with separate regulations that imposed production rules more stringent than those stipulated for the other Chianti wines. Only in 1996 Chianti Classico obtained the definitive consecration of its importance and its precedence: Chianti Classico, in fact, was recognized as an independent appellation, establishing once and for all its diversity and independence of the other Chiantis.Chianti and Chianti Classico are not the only traditional wine made in Tuscany, and sangiovese is usually the base of most red variants like Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, etc.A black rooster was the emblem of the Lega del Chianti during XVII century. Now 2005 the black rooster is the emblem of the Chianti Classico producers association, all Chianti Classico wines have that symbol on the neck of the bottle indicating that the wine is produced in the Classico area and according to the Chianti Classico Consortium rules.In summary, specially in the last years, Chianti Classico Consortium's policy is to safeguard wine's quality to the detriment of quantity, mainly because of the growing number of high quality wine all over the world. Furthermore, there is another aim which is to safeguard the quality aspects specific to the area making the Gallo Nero products unique. In that matters, on top of the Chianti Classico wine, the Vin Santo and the Olive Oil should also be mentioned.
Stressless entertaining is fast becoming an oxymoron. With parties and social gatherings growing more and more elaborate, with everyone trying to outdo each other, hosting a get-together is a difficult task to undertake any time of year. Throw in some holiday chaos and it's downright nerve-wracking.Maybe in our eagerness to impress and bedazzle our guests, we're missing the point entirely. Warm, relaxing, convivial social interaction should be our main concern when rolling out the welcome mat. Here are some strategies, excerpted from my new book "400 Ways to Stop Stress Now...and Forever!", that will help you keep your eye on that objective.Have small intimate get-togethers.Big parties are expensive, time-consuming and a heck of a lot of work. Even if youre lucky enough to talk with everyone, it may only amount to brief, cursory snippets of conversation. A big bash can be fun, sure, if youre not the one throwing it. Smaller parties are easier to arrange, less work, less expensive, and leave lots of time to enjoy your guests, who feel more special, too. Entertain fewer people...more often.Keep the menu simple.There's no need to overwhelm your guests with more choices than necessary. An hors d' oeuvre, a main dish, a couple of side dishes, and dessert is plenty. It will save you time and money, and make entertaining easy enough that you'll want to do it more often. Overdoing it also unfairly raises the stakes for guests who want to reciprocate. Focus on the quality of what you serve, not the quantity, and on making your visitors feel relaxed and comfortable. Your parties can't help but turn out special.Expect people to cancel out on you.Last-minute dropouts and no-shows can be disappointing -- especially when you've gone to a lot of trouble. Blame it on our over-scheduled times, a general slackening of social responsibility, whatever. But this, unfortunately, is the way things are. So be ready for it. If you're planning an event or activity involving several people, expect one or more will almost certainly cancel. Invite or recruit extra people to make up for the inevitable loss. And if everyone does show up (slim chance), you'll enjoy an unanticipated bonus.Invite someone over for coffee.Or tea, or a glass of wine, or a beer, if that's your preference. Somehow this simple, casual way to connect with others during the holiday season has lost ground to more elaborate and expensive forms of entertaining. But informal drop-by visits with friends and neighbors is a great way to catch up, share experiences, vent concerns, and give yourself a needed break from the rat race. Pure, uplifting social interactionwithout all the fuss. Try it.Entertaining is supposed to be fun, remember?When you throw a dinner party or host a gathering, it's not an audition, you're not on trial and your guests aren't judges and juries. Yet that's how you might see it -- something to fret about, even dread. Which, if you're worried things won't go well, will all but assure it. Remember, it's not about you. It's about inviting people into your home and making them feel welcome and comfortable. If you're tense and unsure, that's what they'll pick up on. (How many times have you attended a tautly wound event and had a perfectly lousy time?) So make it fun. Be casual, gracious, spontaneous. You'll be a hit, and so will your party.
The world that we live in is filled with many different technological advances. While most of these advances are beneficial to us there are some which can harm us. One example of this is the use of genetically modified food. The food which is produced in this manner is unnatural and will cause health problems in the long run. For this reason you have groups of people like the organic consumers association which takes the part of the consumer. This group is battling large chemical corporations and governmental procedure to make sure that you have the right to eat whatever food that you want. If this food can be free from harmful pesticides and fertilizers then you can be sure that the organic consumers association will look to this matter. Before any food can be thought of as being organic the organic consumers association will do a background check on the place where the food was grown. In order for a land to be deemed suited for organic food growing there should be no trace of chemical or pesticides being used in that area for more than 2 years. Once the land has recovered from the chemical pollution the organic consumers association will give their go ahead for the land to start producing edible food. To make sure that the produce which are grown here are free from harmful pests the use of friendly bugs and compatible plants will need to be introduced. Now what is meant by these friendly bugs is insects like Ladybugs and spiders. These insects have your plants good health at heart. By this you will see the crop eating bugs being taken as a tasty snack by the aforementioned insects. You will also find that some plants have the ability of repel the plant eating insects before they cause damage to your organic garden.If you arent sure about the type of fertilizers and plant food to place in your garden the organic consumers association will have some helpful tips for you to look at. These will of course have to be natural and organic fertilizers but once you have committed to this course of having organic foods it is only natural to use all natural fertilizing products too.While many of us are still stuck in the same old rut of greasy artery clogging foods, the organic consumers association is taking steps to provide us with a better and very healthy lifestyle. You will find that the many organic foods which are available to be absolutely delicious and 100% organically natural.
Freshly brewed coffee is all the rage today and you have been bit by the bug. You enjoy your quick stop into the local coffee shop to order your special drink as you head to work in the morning. But what should you do on the weekends when you are staying around the house but still want that great cup of coffee without going out to get it.The answer to this is as simple as purchasing a coffee grinder and a coffee pot to use on the weekends. You can purchase one in any coffee shop, retail store and in most hardware stores. The basic concept is simple-the blade style grinder uses a small, universal electrical motor to spin two metal blades at very high speeds. When in contact with the coffee beans, the blades chop and crush the beans into a fine grind. There are many different makes and models and the price can range from under $20 to over $200 depending on whether or not you want special features or a brand named machine.You have decided to purchase your own "coffee grinder" , but what features should you need or want to have available. Some simple questions to consider are:* How much do I want to spend?* How loud is it when grinding?* Is it easy to clean after each use?* Will I have an opportunity to use the machine before I purchase it?Keep all of these questions in mind when you go shopping. Once you start searching, you will find that there are very distinct differences between each and every type of coffee grinder. You know that the more costly the item, the better the quality of the machine-but, there is also the cost factor. You might want to ask yourself the following questions when it comes to the quality of your item.* How much will I use this grinder?* Will I only be grinding one style of coffee or varying the different types of coffee?* Will I use it ever day or only on weekends?* Will I use it for entertaining?If you are just going to be a weekend user and not using it to constantly entertain, you may not want to invest a great deal of money. It might just be cheaper to purchase a lower priced coffee grinder that you can easily replace every year or so or as needed.Now that you have your basic questions down, it is time to go out and start searching for your coffee grinder. You can check the stores or you can just go to the internet and order one and have it shipped to you-saving time and energy on your part.It is now time to start enjoying freshly grounded and brewed coffee at home. Who knows, you might end up liking your homemade coffee more than what you were purchasing at the coffee shop. And, in the end, you might just save yourself hundreds of dollars a year if you make your coffee at home in the morning.
When it comes to fine wine, the regions of Italy might come to mind, with their lush, rolling hills where the finest grapes are still hand-picked. Indeed, Italy is home to some of the best wines in the world.With a population of about 58 million, the country consists of 20 regions subdivided into 103 provinces, each boasting distinctive foods and wines. During ancient times, the Phoenicians introduced the Mediterranean societies to the "nectar of grapes." The tribes of Italy began to thrive as wine growers and makers, and wine became one of the most valuable commodities to trade throughout Italy and Europe. Italy was called "Oenotria," the "Land of Wine," because of the Mediterranean sunshine and mountain air currents that enhanced the growth of vines. Italy's glowing reputation for wine today is due to the fact that it offers the greatest variety of types, ranging through nearly every color, flavor and style. Italian wines derive from native vines, but also from a complete range of international varieties. Sangiovese is Italy's most planted red grape variety, particularly common in central Italy. Trebbiano is the most common name for the Ugni Blanc white grape variety, planted so much that it likely produces more wine than any other grape variety in the world. Understanding Italian wine may seem to be a complex art, but if you're up for a challenge, you can test your Italian wine IQ with a short quiz provided by ItalianMade.com. 1. Spumante in Italian wine nomenclature indicates which of the following types of wine?A) sweet wine; B) dry sparkling wine; C) sweet sparkling wine; D) a wine from Asti; E) sparkling. 2. Nebbiolo is a wine that comes from the Italian word nebbia, which means:A) cloudy; B) fog; C) diabolical; D) nebula.3. True or False? The Dolcetto grape variety produces a sweet dessert wine.