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Posts tagged ‘New Year’

Anti-alcohol posters in the Soviet Union-Οι σύντροφοι είχαν δίκιο ο αλκοολισμός είναι αρρώστεια το αλκοόλ με μέτρο είναι αναγκαίο, τουλάχιστον για τον βάρβαρο καπιταλισμό που ζούμε.

Από  http://www.wineterroirs.com

Soviet_anti-alcohol-just_say_noJust say noHere comes New Year, a time of unrestrained excesses worldwide and I thought it might be well timed to have a visual reminder of the dangers we face when we raise our glass or grab a bottle.
These posters remind us of the Soviet Union’s and Russia’s long-running struggle with a national plague, chronic drunkenness among a sizeable part of its male population. This fight took many forms including a total prohibition try during the Gorbatchev years, and state-employed artists provided dozens of images to move workers away from disastrous overdrinking habits.
This problem never really went away and a couple years ago, a new Russian law restricted the sales of alcohol after certain hours, thus closing off the access to the wine and vodka aisles in supermarkets. The St Petersburg government recently added amendments to widen the hours during which alcohol couldn’t be purchased.
With the growing prosperity and travel capacity, airlines are also faced with an increasing number of unruly passengers getting into brawls during flights after excessive drinking, and the authorities consider forbidding in-flight booze sales. I noticed myself when I flew on Aeroflot earlier this year that the flight attendants didn’t offer vodka anymore, you had to pay for it. Russia is not Russia anymore…
Soviet_anti-alcohol_prisonners_of_drinkingPrisonners of drinkingSoviet_alcohol_exchangedSad exchangeSoviet_anti-alcohol_riche_culture_interieureDiverse inner lifeSoviet_anti-alcohol_and_they_call_us_pigsAnd they’re calling us pigs…Soviet_anti-alcohol_dont_buy_counterfeit_boozeThe worst ennemy of the black-marketeerSoviet_anti-alcohol_down_with_drinkers-say_it_loud1929Down with drinkers – Say it Loud ! 1929Soviet_anti-alcohol_ennemy_of_reasonThe ennemy of reasonSoviet_anti-alcohol_have_mercy_for_unborn_childHave mercy for the unborn childSoviet_anti-alcohol_clean-upClean up !Soviet_antialcohol_calendar_leavesToo lateSoviet_anti-alcohol_dont_drink_dad_1929Dad, don’t drink !Soviet_anti-alcohol_eradicate_this_evil1959Eradicate this evil (1959)Soviet_anti-alcohol_na_zdrovye_1969Na Zdrovye… (1969)Soviet_anti-alcohol_no_drunk_workers1966No drunk workers (1966)Soviet_anti-alcohol_not_a_drop1961Not a drop ! (1961)Soviet_anti-alcohol_overcomeOvercomeSoviet_anti-alcohol_party_hangoverRemember you need to wake up early tomorrow morningSoviet_anti-alcohol_cultural_revolution1930Cultural revolution (1930)Soviet_anti-alcohol-sexual_failureCollateral casualtySoviet_anti-alcohol-russian_fieldRussian fieldSoviet_anti-alcohol-hangalcOholSoviet_anti-alcohol-drunks_outDrunkards out !Soviet_anti-alcohol-change_for_the_betterChange for the betterSoviet_anti-alcohol-dont_be_drunkDon’t be drunk !Soviet_anti-alcohol-crime_accompliceCrime accompliceSoviet_anti-alcohol-behind_vodka_barsBehind vodka barsSoviet_anti-alcohol-ennemy_of_cultural_revolutionEnnemy of the cultural revolutionSoviet_anti-alcohol_stop_1929Stop ! (1929)Soviet_anti-alcohol-slippery_behaviourSlippery behaviourSoviet_anti-alcohol_shameShame !Soviet_anti-alcohol-dont_dare1989Don’t dare ! (1989)Soviet_anti-alcohol-chooseSwappedSoviet_anti-alcohol_you_drink-your_family_is_hungry1930You drink, your family is hungry (1930)Soviet_anti-alcohol-where_is_the_family_moneyWhere is the family money ?Soviet_anti-alcohol-was_given_wine-became_crazyWas given wine, lost his mindSoviet_anti-alcohol-vodka_bad_for_your_heartBad for your heartSoviet_anti-alcohol-vodka_bad_for_productionVodka bad for productionSoviet_anti-alcohol-the_fallKeep your headSoviet_anti-alcohol-the_river_starts_with_a_creekThe river starts with a trickleSoviet_anti-alcohol-stop_samogonStop samogon ! [samogon is moonshine]Soviet_anti-alcohol-time_to_stop_collective_madnessTime to stop this collective madnessSoviet_anti-alcohol-why_not_change_labelJust switch labels [fruit juice in the place of 19%-strong white wine]Russian_advertising_on_dangers_for_drinking_womenModern anti-alcohol ad targeting womenOriginal text :Чрезмерное потребление пива влияет на женственность. Это приводит к ростуволос на лице и резкому запаху тела за счет увеличения мужских гормоновExcessive consumption of beer affects feminity. It leads to an increase infacial hair and body odor because of an increase in male hormonesSoviet_happy_family_1956Healthy family :Children : happiness of the family and the nation’s future (1950)

It's That Time of Year: Everything You Need To Know About Champagne and Sparkling Wine



Photo by Jeremy Parzen.
Some of the greatest and most coveted Champagnes are rosés, like this Bollinger Non-Vintage Champagne Rosé, one of my favorite wines of all time.

In the wine trade, they call it “OND”: October-November-December, the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar and the 92 days of the year during which more wine is sold than in any other period of the year.

And from the romantic dinner for two to the whole mispucha blowout, from the company holiday party to the Christmas eve family get-together, more sparkling wine is served this time of year than in the other months combined.


And, of course, it wouldn’t be New Year‘s Eve unless we tickled our noses and palates with some fine bubbles.

For many of you, the trip to the wine shop or supermarket to pick up that bottle of “Champagne” might be the only time you buy a bottle of sparkling this year. Therefore, I’ve created the following list to help you navigate the do’s-and-don’ts of sparkling wine (and so that you won’t feel like an idiot on your way to popping that cork).



Photo by Jeremy Parzen.
Just because it sparkles doesn’t mean that it’s “Champagne.”

1. Know How to Use the Word “Champagne” Correctly.

Technically, I should have called this post “Sparkling Wine: 10 Things You Need to Know.” But sparkling wine just doesn’t sound as sexy as Champagne, does it?


For a wine to be called “Champagne,” it must come from the region of Champagne in France and it needs to be made using the proper grapes and technique.


There are myriad kinds of sparkling wines out there: Prosecco, Franciacorta, Cava, Vouvray, Saumur, Sekt… Don’t call it Champagne unless it’s Champagne.


Only the French can write méthode champenoise on their sparkling wine (when it’s made in Champagne). Other appellations can make wine using the same technique. But then it can only be called “classic method” or “traditional method.”


Note that many unscrupulous American winemakers write Champagne on their labels. They are not bound by European Union regulation and so Champagne producers have no way of stopping them.


2. Most Champagne and many other sparkling wines are made from red grapes, not white.


Although some are made from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes (Champagne’s blanc de blancs or white from white [grape]s), most Champagnes are made from Pinot Noir as the primary grape.


Wine gets its color from the skins of the grapes. For the production of most Champagne, the grapes and skins are separated after pressing. As a result, the wine is “white.”


Many sparkling wines from France‘s Loire valley are also made from red grapes, like Saumur, which is produced using Cabernet Franc.


3. Don’t take anyone’s eye out when opening a bottle of sparkling wine.


Sparkling wine is pressurized, and it’s very easy to let a cork slip and fly when opening it. It’s a whole barrel of fun until someone loses an eye, as the saying goes.


Remove the foil from the cork. Holding your thumb on the cork, remove the wire cage by twisting it six times (it’s always six times). Immediately place your thumb back on the cork after removing the cage. Hold the bottle at a 45° angle, and with your palm securely over the cork, turn the bottle, very slowly, from its base (you don’t need to turn the cork). You’ll find that the cork will gently pop out.


4. Always have a nice kitchen towel or napkin on hand when opening sparkling wine.


If the wine has been agitated, it might overflow when opened. The towel will also come in handy to wipe the bottle down if it’s been in ice. And if you’re having trouble turning the bottle when attempting to open it, wrap the towel around the cork and hold it tightly. This will give you some traction.


5. Don’t serve sparkling wine too cold.


There’s nothing Americans love more than refrigeration. But sometimes we tend to over-chill our wines. Especially when serving expensive, fine Champagne, you don’t want to mask its nuance and complexity by serving it too cold.


If it’s on ice, let it sit on the table for 10-15 minutes so its not freezing cold.


We often open sparkling wine in company, and it’s consumed relatively quickly. You and your guests will enjoy it more if you serve it at a decent temperature.



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