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Archive for April 27, 2014

Για τον Θόδωρο Αγγελόπουλο – Σημειώσεις από ένα ημερολόγιο | dimart

Για τον Θόδωρο Αγγελόπουλο – Σημειώσεις από ένα ημερολόγιο | dimart.

How to Stage a Wine Tasting-…A final word of advice: do not be intimidated by the ‘wine snobs’. The best wine in the world is the one that you like, no matter what it costs or how anyone else rates it.

by Trevor Coates,  Farmington Woods Executive Chef
by Trevor Coates, Farmington Woods Executive Chef

We were so pleased that Farmington Woods was chosen as the venue for the April Wine Tasting Fundraiser for the Noah Wallace Elementary School.  Diane Hacker, a co-chair of the event, was glowing in her summary of the evening:  “People raved about the professionalism of the Farmington Woods service.  We had over 100 attendees, and over 100 silent auction items mixed in with about a dozen tables of wine and spirits distributors, yet the flow of their presentation allowed us to enjoy the wine, chat with friends, and make our bids seamlessly.   From the beginning of our planning in February, Trevor Coates and Cristin Cooke were fantastic to work with – flexible, accessible and full of good ideas.”

I know that many of you in the community are also interested in inviting friends to your homes for smaller tastings, so I thought it might be useful to give you some simple tips on how ‘staging’ can enhance the sampling experience.

The Décor:  This is not the time for lavish decoration – the wine is the star.  Avoid flowers, scented candles and potpourri – anything with an aroma that might interfere with the tasting experience.  Cover your table with a white tablecloth, so that guests can appreciate the depth of color of each wine.

The Bottles:  Remove or hide the label on each bottle.  You would be amazed how much a kooky name can affect a taster’s opinion.  Vineyards like ‘Cupcake’ and ‘Mad Housewife’ can both produce very acceptable wines.  Conversely, a classy-sounding French name like Chateau de Neuf Poissons can still be swill.

The Glasses:  Red wine glasses typically have a wider, deeper bowl than white, because most red wines need more exposure to oxygen to bring out their best taste.  The glasses for white (usually younger) wines have narrower openings to allow the bouquet to gather and accentuate the tasting experience.  Champagne and sparkling whites are served in tall, tapered glasses, or flutes, so that the bubbles can be directed to the top and last longer.  These are designed for a full portion of wine – 4/5oz. per serving.  For a tasting, a 2oz.portion is the guideline, and a single all-purpose wine glass will be fine for all but the most discriminating tasters.

The Wines – You can pick your own theme here – reds, whites, local vineyards, regional, imported – whatever.  At a small party, four to six varieties should be plenty to challenge your guests without numbing their palates.  At a larger event, there is more opportunity for variety.

Temperature:  Chill dry whites to between 50 and 55 degrees, and reds to between 60 and 65 degrees.  With the exception of sparkling whites, over-chilling white wine can stunt the flavors and aroma.  Serving red wines too warm may dull their flavor.

Breathing:  Another big topic, but generally speaking, you should know that ‘tannin’ is an element that makes wine taste dry.  Wines are most tannic when they are young (under 2/3 years).  ‘Breathing’ will diffuse the tannins.  ‘Breathing’ means exposing the wine to oxygen, allowing the flavors to soften and release their aromas.  Simply uncorking the bottle and letting it sit for a period of time does not do the trick, as the air does not reach more than the surface of the wine inside.  You get a much better aeration by pouring the wine, and then taking a minute or two to swirl it around in your glass.

Decanting (optional):  For those Downton Abbey fans among you, this is why Carson is frequently pouring wine from the original bottle, into a new crystal container.  Not only is he giving the air a chance to help release the wine’s maximum flavor; but also this very slow and careful transfer allows the wine (particularly older wine) to separate from its sediment, which can impart a very noticeable bitter flavor.  He does not pour all of it – the settled sediment remains in the bottle.

Palate Cleansers – It’s a treat to combine a wine tasting with tasty hors d’oeuvres; but just before you sample a new wine, neutralize your palate with a bite of crunchy French bread or a bland cracker.  Lightly salted mozzarella is also excellent for ridding the mouth of strong tastes.

Spit or Swallow.  At a winery or at any presentation where you may be standing and drinking for an extended period, the less you swallow, the longer you will be able to maintain your ability to discern the wine’s subtle features.

Notecards and pencils:  Your guests have come to learn about wines and perhaps find a new favorite – so it’s a thoughtful idea to provide them with materials to write down the details.

A final word of advice: do not be intimidated by the ‘wine snobs’.  The best wine in the world is the one that you like, no matter what it costs or how anyone else rates it.

Ρωτήστε έναν Sommelier: Είναι τα κρασιά με το ποτήρι μια καλή συμφωνία; | oinos

Ρωτήστε έναν Sommelier: Είναι τα κρασιά με το ποτήρι μια καλή συμφωνία; | oinos.

The Fascinating Sound of Afro-Latin Roots Reggae

 Rebel Tumbao

RebelTumbao (2013)The musicians behind Rebel Tumbao (Rebel “Groove”) have taken two of the most exciting musical styles from the Caribbean and interweaved them. The band describes its sound as ‘AfroLatinRootsReggae,’ a tasty mix of Cuban son and roots reggae.

The creative force behind this project is pianist, singer, composer and educator, Matt Jenson; and prominent percussionist and composer, José Claussell. The band mingles Bob Marley’s message of love, truth, social justice, and economic equality with their mission to inspire all people to be more aware of the social, economic and ecological effect of their actions.

The musical pieces include original compositions as well as Cubanized arrangements of classic Bob Marley songs and a great medley of (john coltrane’s Love Supreme and Bob Marley’s Exodus..

The lineup on Rebel Tumbao includes José Claussell on percussion (co-leader), Matt Jenson on piano, keyboards, vocals (co-leader), Chris Kazarian on lead vocals, Orlando Vega on congas, Mark Lopez on percussion, Danny Torres on bass, Shelby Sykes on backing vocals, Tesia Kwarteng on backing vocals, Dacia Kings on backing vocals, Natalie Cressman on backing vocals, keyboards; Matt Plummer on trombone, and Raul Navarrete on trombone.








1. The Story (Matt Jenson)
2. Natural Mystic (Bob Marley)
3. Love Supreme/Exodus (John Coltrane / Bob Marley)
4. Them Belly Full / el Refugio / la Protesta (Bob Marley / Rebel Tumbao)
5. Masters of Greed (Matt Jenson)
6. Spare a Nickel (Matt Jenson)
7. Turn Your Lights Down Low (Bob Marley)
8. Your First Million (Matt Jenson)
9. Muse (Matt Jenson)
10. Sun is Shining (Bob Marley)

Buy the album from the band: rebeltumbao.com

Here comes the story of the Hurricane

852154-7c8123ce-c8a3-11e3-b520-1a79dc9db4b9—της Μαργαρίτας Ζαχαριάδου—

Κάθε εμμονή είναι λίγο δίκοπο μαχαίρι, ιδίως για τον έχοντα την εμμονή. Το ίδιο και αν είσαι μεγαλοφυία και έχεις αποφασίσει πως ένας συγκεκριμένος κατάδικος βρίσκεται αδίκως στη φυλακή και πρέπει πάση θυσία να στρέψεις το ενδιαφέρον του κοινού επάνω του ώστε κάτι να αλλάξει. Οι εμμονές είναι δίκοπο μαχαίρι ακόμα και για τον Ντύλαν. Μόνο που στην περίπτωσή του, οι εμμονές μπορούν να χαρίζουν στον κόσμο και μεγάλα –από κάθε άποψη– τραγούδια όπως το Hurricane.

Βρισκόμαστε στο 1975 και ο Ντύλαν βγάζει ξανά δίσκο. Το Blood on the tracks είναι ένα άλμπουμ βαρύ, εξομολογητικό, σαφώς επηρεασμένο από το χωρισμό του Ντύλαν με τη Σάρα, με στιγμές μεγαλειώδεις. Δείχνει ότι ο Ντύλαν βρίσκεται σε καινούργιο τροπικό δημιουργικότητας. Μια μέρα, φτάνει ταχυδρομικώς στα χέρια του ένα βιβλίο με τίτλο The 16th Round. Είναι η αυτοβιογραφία του Ρούμπιν Κάρτερ, γνωστού και ως Hurricane, που εδώ και οκτώ χρόνια βρίσκεται στη φυλακή καταδικασμένος σε τρις ισόβια για ισάριθμους φόνους λευκών σε ένα μπαρ στο Νιου Τζέρζι. Ο Κάρτερ ήταν πασίγνωστος πυγμάχος μεσαίων βαρών τη δεκαετία του ’60, ίσως όχι το πρώτο όνομα αλλά πολύ κοντά στην κορυφή. Και από τη στιγμή της σύλληψής του, στις 17 Ιουνίου του 1966, μέχρι τότε, δεν είχε πάψει να διακηρύττει πως είναι αθώος και πως η σύλληψή του ήταν άδικη και ρατσιστικά υποκινημένη. Σε μια ύστατη προσπάθεια να ακουστεί η φωνή του, ο Κάρτερ έστειλε την αυτοβιογραφία του σε πλήθος διάσημους καλλιτέχνες – μεταξύ αυτών και στον Ντύλαν.


Ο οποίος διάβασε το βιβλίο τον Απρίλιο του 1975 στη διάρκεια ενός ταξιδιού στη Γαλλία. Και επέστρεψε με τη νέα του εμμονή στις αποσκευές του: να βοηθήσει στην απελευθέρωση του αδίκως φυλακισθέντα Κάρτερ.

Η πρώτη του δουλειά ήταν να επισκεφτεί τον κατάδικο στις φυλακές. Μιλώντας μαζί του, η πεποίθησή του σχετικά με την αθωότητα του Κάρτερ ενισχύθηκε ακόμα περισσότερο. Οι δυο τους κατασυμπαθήθηκαν. Ο Ντύλαν, εξάλλου, ήταν και παραμένει μέγας φαν του μποξ. Το ερώτημα, με ποιον τρόπο μπορούσε ο Ντύλαν να βοηθήσει είχε προφανή απάντηση: να γράψει ένα τραγούδι για τον Κάρτερ.


Εξ ορισμού, θα επρόκειτο για ένα είδος τραγουδιού διαμαρτυρίας, κάτι που ο Ντύλαν είχε να ακουμπήσει από το 1964. Το μεγάλο πρόβλημα όμως ήταν η μορφή που θα είχε στιχουργικά. Εκείνη την περίοδο ο Ντύλαν ήδη ετοίμαζε το καινούργιο του άλμπουμ, το Desire, σε συνεργασία με τον Ζακ Λέβι. Μετά από μήνες αδυναμίας, ο Ντύλαν και ο Λέβι κατέληξαν στο πώς έπρεπε να διηγηθούν την ιστορία: κινηματογραφικά. «Here comes the story of the Hurricane…» Το λέει και το εννοεί.

Η ιδέα δεν είναι καινούργια. Για την ακρίβεια, θυμίζει ως θεματική το δικό του «The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol» αλλά ακόμα περισσότερο, ως ύφος, το «Tom Joad» του «δασκάλου» του Ντύλαν, Γούντι Γκάθρι, που αφηγείται την ιστορία από τα Σταφύλια της Οργής του Στάινμπεκ. Στο «Hurricane» ο Ντύλαν επέλεξε μια αντίστοιχη προσέγγιση: να αφηγηθεί τα γεγονότα με τη σειρά, με την απαραίτητη καλλιτεχνική άδεια, φυσικά, και διανθισμένα με τη γνωστή ντυλανική ειρωνεία («I was only robbing the register, I hope you understand»). Το αποτέλεσμα ήταν ένα από τα μακροσκελέστερα τραγούδια του, διάρκειας οκτώμισι λεπτών – και ένα από τα πιο αγαπημένα των απανταχού οπαδών του.






Ο Ντύλαν δεν σταμάτησε, βέβαια, εκεί. Κατ’ αρχάς, έβγαλε το τραγούδι ως single το Οκτώβριο του 1975 και εν συνεχεία το συμπεριέλαβε και στις 31 συναυλίες που έδωσε στη διάρκεια της περιοδείας του «Rolling Thunder» (οπότε όργωσε την Ανατολική Ακτή και μέρος του Καναδά με το λεωφορείο του Ζάππα, το επονομαζόμενο «Phydeaux» – Fido). Η περιοδεία κατέληξε στο Madison Square Garden της Νέας Υόρκης στις 8 Δεκεμβρίου, με μια συναυλία αφιερωμένη στον Κάρτερ, όπου ο Μοχάμεντ Άλι τηλεφώνησε επί σκηνής στον Κάρτερ στο κελί του.

Στις 25 Ιανουαρίου το event επαναλήφθηκε στο Χιούστον, μπροστά σε ένα κοινό 70.000 ανθρώπων. Ο Ντύλαν είχε καταφέρει να περάσει το μήνυμα.

Ίσως ήταν σύμπτωση, ίσως όμως και όχι, ότι πολύ σύντομα, το Μάρτιο του 1976, αποφασίστηκε να εκδικαστεί εκ νέου η υπόθεση του Κάρτερ. Μόνο που στις 26 Δεκεμβρίου του ίδιου χρόνου κηρύχθηκε και πάλι ένοχος. Χρειάστηκε να περάσουν άλλα δώδεκα χρόνια μέχρι να ξανανοίξει η υπόθεση και να κριθεί, επιτέλους, αθώος.

Ο Ντύλαν δεν ήταν παρών στη δίκη του 1976. Επίσης, από τότε δεν ξανάπαιξε ποτέ live το «Hurricane». Μένει να δούμε αν τώρα, στις επικείμενες συναυλίες του και με δεδομένο το θάνατο του Κάρτερ, θα επιχειρήσει, προς χάριν των φαν του, να ξανατραγουδήσει τους 99 στίχους της παλιάς του εμμονής.

rubin.hurricane.carterRubin “HurricaneCarter (6 Μαΐου 1937 – 20 Απριλίου 2014)

Pistols shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out “My God they killed them all”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world. Three bodies lying there does Patty see
And another man named Bello moving around mysteriously
“I didn’t do it” he says and he throws up his hands
“I was only robbing the register I hope you understand
I saw them leaving” he says and he stops
“One of us had better call up the cops”
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing
In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are driving around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Patterson that’s just the way things go
If you’re black you might as well not shown up on the street
‘Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the corps
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowling around
He said “I saw two men running out they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates”
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said “Wait a minute boys this one’s not dead”
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the morning and they haul Rubin in
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dying eye
Says “Wha’d you bring him in here for ? He ain’t the guy !”
Yes here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done
Put in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later the ghettos are in flame
Rubin’s in South America fighting for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are putting the screws to him looking for somebody to blame
“Remember that murder that happened in a bar ?”
“Remember you said you saw the getaway car?”
“You think you’d like to play ball with the law ?”
“Think it might-a been that fighter you saw running that night ?”
“Don’t forget that you are white”.

Arthur Dexter Bradley said “I’m really not sure”
Cops said “A boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talking to your friend Bello
Now you don’t wanta have to go back to jail be a nice fellow
You’ll be doing society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and getting braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim”.

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It’s my work he’d say and I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The DA said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder ‘one’ guess who testified
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand ? 
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land 
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

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