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Learn the Basics of Wine Tasting!

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Maybe you're new to the world of wine and you want to dive in taste buds first. Or perhaps you're a veteran tippler looking to brush up on your skills. Either way, learning the basics of wine tasting is a great way to get started!

When it comes to tasting wine, there are several key components that you should keep in mind. Let's go through all of them so that you can have the best experience.

Understanding Wine Varieties

The first thing you need to do when tasting wine is familiarize yourself with the wide varieties and styles of wines. Each type has its own unique characteristics, like color, flavor, and aroma. Familiarizing yourself with the different varieties will help you better understand what you are tasting to better identify notes and make assessments.

A few of the most popular wine varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.

Preparing for a Wine Tasting

You must prepare your pallet and senses for a wine tasting. Make sure you are well hydrated and have something light to eat beforehand so your palate is not overwhelmed. Your nose should also be prepped, so consider having some unscented soap or sanitizer nearby in case you need it.

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The Best of the UK: A Foodie’s Guide to Restaurants and Bars

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The United Kingdom is known for many things—its rich history, its stunning architecture, its world-renowned universities. But what about its food? While British cuisine has gotten a bad rap over the years, there are actually a number of delicious dishes worth trying when you visit the UK. And luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants and bars in the country, so you can make the most of your trip. Bon appetit!

Sensation – Liverpool

With its stunning views of the city skyline, Sensation is one of the most popular rooftop bars in Liverpool. Located on the top floor of a tall building in the heart of the city, Sensation offers guests a unique and stylish setting in which to enjoy a drink or two. The bar is open late into the night and often has a live DJ playing music, making it the perfect place to party the night away. Whether you're looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic evening out or just want to let your hair down and have some fun, Sensation is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Tia Maria – Vauxhall, London

Looking for a taste of Brazil in Vauxhall? Look no further than Tia Maria Brazilian Bar & Restaurant! This family-friendly spot offers a delicious array of Brazilian classics, from hearty stews to fresh seafood dishes. And of course, no meal is complete without a caipirinha - the national cocktail of Brazil! Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Tia Maria has something for everyone. So come on down and enjoy the flavors of Brazil today!

The Mitre – Richmond, London

The Mitre is a historic pub located in Richmond, London. Dating back to the 18th century, the pub is renowned for its beautiful architecture and cozy atmosphere. The Mitre boasts a number of fireplaces, exposed brick walls, and wooden beams, lending the pub a warm and inviting ambiance. In addition to its charming interior, the pub also has an expansive beer garden that overlooks the River Thames. Visitors can enjoy a pint of beer or cider while watching the boats go by. The Mitre is the perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of London life. Whether you're looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a pint by the fire or a sunny spot to watch the boats go by, the Mitre is sure to offer something for everyone.

The Fat Duck – Bray, Berkshire

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, look no further than The Fat Duck. Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-starred restaurant is located in the quaint town of Bray, just outside London. Blumenthal is known for his inventive dishes, which often incorporate molecular gastronomy techniques. Standout menu items include snail porridge and nitro-scrambled egg and bacon. Reservations are required and can be made up to three months in advance.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Type of Whiskies

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Whisky is a hop-less version of the beer that may be brewed from maize, rye, wheat, barley, or oats. It is a beverage that is liked by a large number of people. But you probably didn't realize there are six distinct kinds of whiskey, did you? It is made from various grains, each of which has its unique sugar content.

The greater the sugar content of the grains used to make it, the sweeter the whiskey will taste. Whisky will always have an alcohol content of at least 40%, regardless of the grain used to make it. Also, diluting your dram might make it taste better.

So, let's go through the various kinds. The following is a list of the distinct types of whiskies:

#1. Scotch 

At least three years must pass for Scotch whiskey to mature in wood barrels. It is typically prepared from 100% malted barley. However, maize and wheat are two other grains that may be used in their production.

Scotch lovers are always scouting for the brands that have become increasingly popular. According to Cookout News, "The whisky will serve as the official U.S. Scotch partner of the Big Green Egg." If you want a unique flavored Scotch whiskey, you might want to try it.

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Another Popular Pub Bites The Dust But Newbury Owners Promise To Return

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With the ongoing cost of living crisis, added to the problems associated with further rises in the energy market this month, there are also inflationary issues hitting both businesses and individual households across the country.  For the hospitality sector, this obviously offers up different and more unique problems for landlords to cope with.

Their own costs are going up dramatically, and at some point those rises will have to be passed on (at least in part) to customers and punters who have already seen their surplus income fall given the pressures they are under.  This is going to be a tough balance to strike, a business needs to turn a profit and there are going to be plenty who find themselves unable to do that - one of the latest being The Spare Wheel who have confirmed they will be pulling the pumps for the final time next weekend given the struggles they face.

The popular Newbury pub on Market Street announced their decision to close on their Facebook page on October 1 and cited both the current difficulties in the labour market, as well as recent rises in their cost base as being behind the decision.  Sadly for the pub trade, they are unlikely to be the last to close their doors as the next few months are going to be a proverbial roulette wheel at the likes of Novibet casino, bigger venues could well capitalise with greater foot traffic, but smaller venues with tighter margins will definitely struggle and probably feel that their chances of success truly is a gamble with unfavourable odds.

"Hi all, sad news alert! As you will have noticed our doors are closed at the moment. The current cost of living crisis resulting in increased costs (including energy, beer and food ingredients) together with an increasingly difficult labour market has made running two venues in town very difficult. We are also coming to the end of our current lease. So for now, while we decided what to do going forward, we have decided to concentrate our efforts on making sure that the Catherine Wheel continues to be the great place it is and will be making improvements to make it even better (if that's possible) including the addition of the Spare Wheel craft beer fridge! We will be open for one final time next weekend so you can come and drink us dry and enjoy the best draught craft beer experience in Newbury. Keep an eye out for details. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your fantastic support over the last couple of years and also thank the fantastic team (who you will still find at The Catherine Wheel) for all of their hard work and devotion to the cause. While The Spare Wheel in its current format is coming to a close, this will not be the end and just like James Bond, The Spare Wheel will return."

The Spare Wheel originally opened back in 2020 as a restaurant and micropub and was definitely a fresh addition to the area and even though it successfully capitalised on lockdown restrictions easing as the country managed to get more of a grip on the Coronavirus pandemic and life began to get back to normal, the current state of the economy and the more immediate future has been one hurdle too far for their owners.

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A Perfect Storm Of Complications For The Hospitality Sector

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It has been a tough old time for the hospitality sector in recent years.  Many Public Houses up and down the country have fallen by the wayside and been forced to shut, and of course, the recent pandemic and lockdown issues have not helped either.

With pubs, bars and restaurants looking to bounce back in 2022 and play catch up in the search for profits, mainly to drive down the debt many were forced into taking on simply to survive through 2021, the last thing they needed was a cost of living crisis and a crisis in the energy sector.

With the Government taking steps to try and protect households and the unit price being capped from the beginning of October, businesses have additional concerns and will have to wait a little longer for some help to filter through.

The Conservatives have announced most of the details of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, and business owners know that the wholesale energy price will be capped for six months from October 1 - 21.2p per kilowatt hours for electricity and 7.5p per kilowatt hours for gas.

Organisations already on a fixed price contract will be eligible for this scene, as long as that deal started after April 1 of this year, and in short, those on variable tariffs will automatically receive a discount for each unit of energy used - however importantly, it must be remembered these savings will not appear on bills until November and then it will be backdated to account for October.  With the winter World Cup out in Qatar beginning in late November, for some, that will work wonders as they try and attract the football crowd in through their doors and some pubs, in particular, may want to look into providing free, or low charge wifi to encourage their cliental to stay longer whilst enjoying the likes of Betstation sports betting sites as the matches, and the tournament progresses, given how many fans enjoy spicing up their football with a bit of a flutter.

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4 Tips to Help You Organize Your Bar

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A bar station can be set up in many ways to increase efficiency and cleanliness. Those performing more bespoke services use different tricks and techniques than those serving high volumes of customers. However, some principles are universal. When your staff is busy trying to fulfill orders from your servers or customers, they don't want to search for the supplies they need. Having an organized bar space is about more than just efficiency.

A well-organized bar will reflect positively on your business. Not only will your bar look more professional, but your service time will be reduced. You will have an easier time restocking and answering questions like 'does bourbon go bad?’ Here are some tips to help you organize your bar.

Design for the Space

When designing your design space, it is important to weigh the importance of convenience and efficiency. One of the best ways to design your allowable space is to have various trial runs. Bring in your family and friends and experiment on the workings of your bar. Create a design that is not only efficient but that makes life easier for your bartenders and servers. Your workers and customers will thank you.

Make a Map

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The Secret to Delicious Tacos at Home Is Fresh Made Tortillas

If everyone in your house loves tacos, then you're probably constantly looking for ways to make them even better. And while there are many great store-bought options out there, there's nothing quite like making your own tortillas at home.

Homemade tortillas are the key to delicious tacos at home

Store-bought tortillas just don't compare to the flavor and texture of homemade tortillas. The process of making tortillas is simple, and the ingredients are inexpensive. All you need is water, flour, salt, and a little oil. The key is to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the gluten has a chance to develop. The result is a tender tortilla yet firm enough to hold all your favorite taco toppings.

If you're looking for a little extra flavor, you can try adding some whole wheat flour to the dough or using a different type of oil, like olive oil. Once you've mastered the basic recipe, there are endless possibilities for how to flavor your tortillas.

Get inspiration from your local taqueria

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10 Simple Lunch Ideas for Healthy Eating

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For most people, lunch is the most challenging meal prep job. We can easily make overnight oats or baked muffins for breakfast the next day. These recipes help save time in the kitchen on busy weekdays when you only have time to heat up dinner. But lunch? What is that? Meetings and deadlines are often obstacles to sitting down to lunch, so we eat lunch instead. The key to brown bagging is to use simple, low-irritant ingredients so the habit sticks. These delicious soups, sandwiches, and salads are so easy to make and full of flavor you'll be looking forward to enjoying. From pesto pasta to buffalo tempeh rolls, these tabletop snacks are creative, delicious, and super quick to make.

First easy and healthy lunch idea is kale walnut pesto pasta with blistered tomatoes

If you have 20 minutes at home, the best option is pasta for lunch! To make a delicious kale walnut pesto, simply combine some kale leaves, fresh basil, walnuts, grated Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor. Roasted grape tomatoes add a sweet smoky flavor to delicious pasta.

Second is Asian noodle bowl with ginger peanut dressing

This recipe is so quick you don't even have to cook the sauce. Peanut butter has an umami flavor that ranges from salty soy sauce to sweet peanut butter and spicy ginger. Rice noodles add rich flavor to the green onions, carrots, and tofu.

Best combo: cucumber avocado sandwich

Swap your cucumber and cream cheese sauce for these avocado and goat cheese piles. Garlic powder, smoked paprika, basil, and oregano enhance the goat cheese's smooth, buttery flavor. Plus, a chunk of chèvre is half the fat of a tub of full-fat cream cheese.

Healthy option is vegetarian spring rolls

Takeout has nothing to do with these colorful vegan spring rolls. These vegetarian spring rolls are a lifesaver from one session to the next. Crispy carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and lettuce nestle perfectly in the thin rice paper. Sprinkle with mashed nori flakes and sesame seeds for extra fiber and flavor. Do you need something to recover from your lunch break? Mustard garlic soy sauce will do just fine.

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Benefits of Eco-Friendly Packaging

Biopolymers like cellulose and proteins obtained from living organisms produce eco-friendly packaging. Biopolymers are biodegradable, which means they are safely consumed and degrade quickly and can be obtained from dead plants. Nonbiodegradable products damage the environment severely. So the world today is shifting toward green packaging. Various companies like Pakplast provide sustainable and reliable eco-friendly packaging for your products. Some of the benefits of eco-friendly packaging are:

 

1.   The Carbon Foot Print:

Companies high-ups have to make sure that they meet environmental compliance standards, and using biodegradable packaging is one way to make sure of that. Eco-friendly packaging is produced from recycled materials, which ease the consumption stress on current energy resources, decreasing the carbon footprint. The packaging made from plastic is harmful to the environment because it takes many years to decompose.

 

2.   Easily Disposed:

Eco-friendly packaging provides more options for disposal and better and environmentally friendly ones. Consumers can recycle, compost, or biodegrade eco-friendly products.

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Canned Rosé Wine

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For some years now, online shopping has been popular in many countries around the world. The convenience of being able to receive your purchases at home, with all the comforts and in just one click is one of the most popular and successful businesses on the internet, where a good service together with a good marketing campaign can be the big difference between internet users.

This fact can be extrapolated to all kinds of products, from clothing to furniture, food and, of course, drink. Have you ever thought about how satisfying it would be to have a bottle of your favourite wine delivered to your home? This is now possible thanks to companies like Born Rosé Barcelona, a digitally native brand that operates in several places in Spain and also in Portugal.

The main characteristic of Born Rosé wine is that it was born in 2019, in Barcelona, under the premise of entrepreneurial ideas and inspired by the modern lifestyle of the people of Barcelona. This group of entrepreneurs who founded this digital company have managed to turn a drink as old as wine into a drink of its own in which the freshness and naturalness of the organic grapes make the fermentation process something unique and characteristic. According to many opinions from customers from all over Spain, it is probably the best rosé in Spain.

KW Canned Rosé Wine

First of all, it is important to make clear what rose wine pink is, as it is not a colour thing that has such a name. The main characteristic of rosé is that it is strictly regulated in Europe, so it is not a mixture of white and red wine. Rose wine pink is made only from red grapes and its pink colour is due to the elaborate and meticulous process of maceration of the grapes. At Born Rosé Barcelona the wine is made from 100% organic grapes.

Therefore, one of Born Rosé's main products is Canned Rosé Wine. You can choose between two types: Canned Rosé Wine or Canned Rose Wine bubbles. The last one, the most original, is currently on sale in a pack of 12 can of 250ml each, for the moderate price of 44 €. This new format makes the wine drinking experience unique, original and something you can share with friends and family. Its essence is fresh and Mediterranean and its aroma is very versatile to accompany any light meal. It is recommended to be consumed at 6-8ºC. For lovers of grapefruit, passion fruit and mango along with menthol aromas and hints of aniseed, this wine is perfect.

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Tips to Choose Liquor

Those who love liquor may find it tough choosing which one to get. There are many alcoholic drinks present. Getting the right alcohol for an occasion can make the occasion pleasant for some. There are a variety of options of alcoholic beverages present in the market which you can choose from. Read on to learn more:

Whisky

You can find three basic kinds of Scotch whisky that are produced in Scotland. This includes grain, malt as well as blended. Globally, a popular kind of whisky includes a blend that is made by mixing whiskies from different malt as well as grain distillers. Whiskies made in Scotland are known as Scotch. Nearly 90% of single malt whiskies are said to come from Scotland. These need to be distilled as well as matured in oak casks for at least three years and one day.

Scotch tends to be hard and is a good choice when one is graduating from college. It can be a drink that brings you to adulthood. You can get bulk whiskey to celebrate your college graduation.

Gin

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Get your favourite drink & food in TCM Gourmet en casa

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You may have been tempted to eat or drink something that was not available in any supermarket or grocery shop, but for this very reason, you have not been able to indulge yourself. Now this is possible, even if the reason is to surprise your friends and family at a meeting or a party where you want to be the best host. TCM Gourmet at Home is the best option for these situations. Whatever the reason, you no longer have to waste time looking for a specific shop where you can buy gourmet products.

To be more specific, this is an online beverages and drinks shop with a long and reputable tradition. It offers its customers more than 6,000 food products to choose from, which will be delivered safely to your home. More than 60,000 customers have already experienced this experience, regardless of where they come from, as TCM Gourmet en casa ships all over Europe, and has secure payment services and a money-back guarantee for any possible problems that may occur.

The quality of its products ranges from iconic drinks such as Moët champagne to the finest assortments of cured meats such as the well-known Iberian brand of 5 Jotas. We encourage anyone who wants to indulge their palate to explore the wide variety of luxury products offered on the aforementioned web platform. The founding team that works for TCM Gourmet en casa offers the maximum exclusivity to its customers and wants them to buy quality products that make a difference.

They will be at your disposal for any questions about your purchase wherever you are, and you can always get your orders in perfect condition as they have special security measures against breakage. At least, it will be an unforgettable experience that you will want to repeat on more than one occasion when you want to enjoy luxury food and drink products.

Some of the most popular products are caviar, high quality reserve wines, alcoholic bottles of Vodka and Gin with spectacular designs, drinks to make irresistible and original cocktails, as well as typical products of certain countries such as the Iberian ham so popular in Spain. With a wide and select selection of food and drink, TCM Gourmet en Casa is a brand that works to offer the highest quality, even reaching 10,000 orders per month behind which there are repeat customers.

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The Recipe To Step Into the World of Latte Art

In every barista’s life – whether a professional or a self-proclaimed – there comes the day when he feels artsy and wants to use latte paint. If that day has come, this is the article that will walk you through the first and the most critical steps. But before pushing you off the nest, we want to make sure you know the things you need to keep the motivation alive.  

Beware, Be Aware

First things first, latte art is not just art; it’s art with a brewed beverage. Even the pros can get a little shaky at it unless they have reached the level of mastery. Now, of course, this sounds like the most demotivating fact to read, but its purpose is to convey the message that you might fail at it numerous times, and that’s not because you’re bad at it, but because it’s normal. So the key is to stick to it and be stubborn till you finally nail a crappy-yet-distinguishable picture. 

Things You’ll Need

It isn’t rocket science; you might find almost all of the things in your kitchen cabinets: 

  • A regular cup 
  • A medium-sized pitcher 
  • Skimmed milk
  • Coffee supplies — ideally from some of the best The Coffee Factory
  • Prepared crema 
  • Creativity (don’t look in the cabinets) 

Setup – How To Get Started

  • Fill a cup with the ready-to-go crema. 
  • Prepare a pitcher of skimmed milk. 
  • Feel like an artist. 

Action!

  1. Use your dominant hand to hold the pitcher while using the other to grab the cup. 
  2. Tilt the cup towards the pitcher; this lets you pour milk out of the pitcher with negligible hand movement. 
  3. Bring down the pitcher close to the cup – a distance of 1 inch between both would suffice. 
  4. Now simply pour the milk, begin from the center of your canvas (center of the crema). Be confident, but be steady and slow as well.  
  5. Start moving the flow from the center to the bottom-end, and gradually increase the pouring speed by tipping the pitcher with your thumb; a gentle thumb pressure is the magic trick. 
  6. Design: This is a tricky part. Each design requires a barista to move the pitcher in a specific motion; however, you may want to start with the basic zigzag action. This should be done as the milk is poured from the center to the bottom. 

Focused Practice

Now that you know about how the process is handled and other general details, it is time to learn the correct way to practice. 

Latte art is all about coordination. As you have read above, the pouring process takes place in several seconds, but within this short period, a barista has to deal with multiple elements, such as: 

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Best Coffee In Australia

There are many secrets to a good coffee. Ensuring that the beans are roasted correctly, the coarseness of which they are ground to, and ensuring the water is at the correct temperature. To differentiate from chains, local shops buy wholesale coffee from reputable suppliers who provide high-quality well-sourced beans. This makes all the difference to the taste of the espresso you have in your morning espresso.

Baristas in Australia know better than most that espresso needs to be prepared correctly for it to be enjoyed straight. With the high-quality espresso available, many Australians do not have additives such as sweeteners, syrups, or milk in their espresso. If they do though, it is typical in smaller quantities. Drinks such as the flat white were created in Australia to help select the perfect milk to espresso ratio, with the goal of not overpowering the espresso in the drink. This is why there are so few chain coffee shops in the country.

The coffee produced in Australia is typically a medium or dark roast, while for many in North America and Europe this may mean a more bitter drink, it is actually the opposite for Australians. As baristas have perfected the process the medium roast coffee is actually lighter than the typical American filter coffee.

However, not all coffee in Australia is locally grown. Australia imports massive amounts of green coffee beans every year. Local shops will then roast these beans and create their own blends for your morning espresso. This process allows many smaller cafes and shops to tailor the taste of the coffee and provide a unique experience for their customer.

Below are some of the top Australian coffee shops:

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How to Store Drawings and Plans

Making sure your drawings and plans are preserved can be a hassle. Whether you are a painter, an architect or you deal with industrial types of plans, it is a good idea to consider how to store your drawings and plans so they do not get damaged and remain in optimal condition. Here is our guide to storage for drawings and plans.

Flat print storage

If you prefer, however, to keep everything flat, there are storage options to suit. Here are some flat storage options:

  • Drawing plan wall racks – space saving, they are vertical, easy and safe to use. Great for organising your work, you can add clips to your wall rack to store as many items as you need. These are a great option where you need to store your drawings flat but have limited space.
  • Storage carts – work the same way as the wall racks. However, they come on a mobile cart with wheels giving you more flexibility about where to keep your items.
  • Flat print racks and cabinets – you can also invest in a tall rack with shelves to store your prints flat or a cabinet with drawers.

Rolled blueprint storage

Rolled blueprint storage options are Ideal for large drawings that need to be kept safe. Rolling storage has compartments so each drawing, blueprint or plan can be safely stored without getting wrinkles and creases. Here are a few roller storage options:

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Tips When Going for a Night Out With Friends for a Drink

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Going out for a drink with friends is a great feeling. You will get to interact and make your relationships grow. After spending a lot of time working in a week, there is that one day when you would like to go out and relax with friends. Some friends would like to taste fine wine and whisky. Enjoy yourself but remember you need to drink responsibly. Don't be the one that passes out from drinking too much. You want to make it home safely and get some sleep.

Speaking of sleep, some people prefer using CBD. Does CBD help sleep? CBD can help deal with different types of sleep disorders. It is an effective way to manage insomnia and other sleep deprivation issues. After your busy week, a weekend of good sleep is so important.

Before you plan an outing with friends to enjoy alcohol, here are some of the tips to make it more relaxing.

1. Plan for a taxi before starting the party

Before you start drinking, you should have a designated driver. Avoid drunk driving because it will land you in trouble. It is against the law to drink and drive. You may be charged under DUI. To enjoy your time out without stress, look for someone who will not drink to drive you around. The person will be ready to make you enjoy driving around easily. Ensure the person is experienced to drive. You can, as well, use online taxi booking apps to get someone who will drive you home safely after taking alcohol.

2. Always stay together in case of trouble

Trouble can develop after you have taken a few bottles of beer. You need to take care of each other. Book the same table where you will get to enjoy yourself with your friends. In case one of your friends is in trouble, you can always give a helping hand. Keep eyes on each other to avoid cases where you will be expected to trouble. People who stick together when outdoors tend to enjoy their free time. Ensure you take necessary measures and stick together to help each other, if necessary.

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2021 Grand Tastings: The Persistence of Wine

A woman pouring from a bottle of Taylor Fladgate 40 Year Old Tawny Port into a glass
California vintners Mark and Teresa Aubert
Four guest enjoying the 2021 Grand Tasting
Bodega Garzón founder Alejandro Bulgheroni, managing director Christian Wylie pour the 2017 Balasto red blend from Uruguay for Italian vintner Francesco Zonin.
Laura Catena holding a glass of red wine
Hugh Davies holding a bottle of Schramsberg sparkling wine
The 40th Anniversary Wine Experience Grand Tasting book next to bottles of red wine
Laurent and Beatrice Drouhin holding a bottle of white Joseph Drouhin wine
Grace Evenstad holding a bottle of Domaine Serene Pinot Noir
Golfer-vintner Cristie Kerr and husband Erik Stevens holding a bottle of Kerr Cellars wine
Bottles of San Benedetto water on ice.
Sommelier Erik Segelbaum and Ryann Deering
Deborah and Bill Harlan at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience Grand Tasting.
Rupert Symington and his son Hugh at the table for Dow's Port
Paul Hobbs holding a bottle of his Cabernet Sauvignon
Demeine Estates managing partner Carlton McCoy, Jr., and president Philana Bouvier
Alberto Medina Moro of Emilio Moro opening a bottle of red wine
Gina Gallo, glass of red wine in hand, checks out the map of the Grand Tastings
Domaine des Sénéchaux's Sara Hachemian holding a glass of red wine

Many of the world's greatest winemakers could be found Thursday night in New York's Times Square. They had not gathered to grab a show at the recently reopened theaters of Broadway. Rather, they came to lift glasses and toast being together again. After skipping 2020, the New York Wine Experience returned to the Marriott Marquis Times Square, celebrating the event's 40th anniversary. The three-day event kicked off with the first of two Grand Tastings, as 210 wineries poured some of the world's most coveted wines for consumers, all of them rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator’s editors.

The unspoken toast as glasses of Champagne were raised? We're back.

"It's so good to be here in person, to see everyone together," said Italian wine icon Piero Antinori, who presented his 1997 Solaia as a Wine Star during the weekend's seminars. Over the past 19 months, many vintners have struggled to travel and meet with longtime clients and potential new ones. They've learned to host virtual tastings. They've also learned that there is no substitute for giving someone a fist bump and telling wine lovers face-to-face what makes their wine unique.

One of the best things about the Wine Experience is that winemakers from different parts of the world get to meet: Italian vintner Piero Antinori (left) and Antinori winemaker Renzo Cotarella caught up with California vintner Naoko Dalla Valle and her daughter and winemaker Maya Dalla Valle (right). (Daphne Youree)

There was electricity in the air as attendees headed into two ballrooms. There were also new procedures to navigate, with a strict COVID vaccine mandate in place for large events.

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Copyright

© ©2016 Wine Spectator Online. All rights reserved.

Seven Steps for Planning an Amazing Party

Some people don't naturally know what to do in party situations, and this could make throwing a party intimidating. Like most things in life, a party can be great if you take some time to plan and prepare. Whether you feel at home in the role of a host or not, you can throw a memorable celebratory event if you use the following seven steps for planning.

1. Food planning

Food can become much more complicated than you might think if this detail is left to the last minute. Make some notes about people's dietary needs when there are people who don't eat meat or if some people have allergies. For more formal or upscale-themed parties, a good selection of wines is essential. Paso Robles Winery can help you stock the wines for your event.

2. Create a theme

Most memorable parties are designed with a theme in mind. The theme can be the type of party you're having, such as a sleepover or a dance. It can also be an idea that enables you to design the look and atmosphere of the decor and music. For example,  you could have a theme that is designed around a particular decade or a genre of movies that encourages people to dress in the themed style.

3. Have a financial plan

Before you start buying any supplies or booking venues, you need to figure out the budget that you're comfortable spending for the event. If there are other people involved in the planning, make sure to agree on the budget before getting into the other details and purchasing steps.

4. Pick the ideal time

Considering what type of party you're throwing and the people whom you're inviting, choose the ideal time where everyone will be able to attend and people will be able to spend enough time to enjoy the festivities. Contact key individuals who are involved in hosting or planning to find out about their availability if necessary.

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Danny Meyer and Chef Hillary Sterling’s Ci Siamo Has Arrived

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Chef Rogelio Garcia plating a dish at Luce

Seasoned Italian chef Hillary Sterling’s Ci Siamo is now open in New York. Backed by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, the restaurant debuted Oct. 12 at Manhattan West, a new development project adjacent to Hudson Yards. The Italian name translates to “here we are” or “we’ve arrived,” which the team notes is particularly fitting for New York’s post-pandemic revival.

Sterling, who previously worked at Vic's, the Beatrice Inn and A Voce, is focusing on classic dishes including homemade pastas as well as smaller bites like gnocco fritto and entrées from a wood-burning oven like whole trout with pine nuts and raisins.

“Her cooking is just incredible because it is so simply delicious,” said beverage director Robin Wright, who most recently served as a sommelier at Wine Spectator Grand Award winner Daniel. Wright worked closely with USHG's Jenni Guizio to build Ci Siamo’s wine list, now at 400-plus selections and growing.

About 75 percent of the list is Italian, covering 20 regions around the boot. The remainder of the list hails from other major international winegrowing regions, including a strong collection of grower Champagnes “marked up as little as possible.” Overall, the list highlights smaller family-owned wineries, female winemakers and winemakers practicing mostly organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices.

While there are a few exceptions from top-notch producers, the Italian side of the bottle list is heavily skewed toward native grape varieties. So is the by-the-glass program, with more than 20 selections. “It might look kind of niche, but really it's just honest. It’s the varieties of Italy that people don’t know because they were drinking Sauvignon Blanc from Northern Italy or Chardonnay from Piedmont,” Wright said. “So instead of having those wines, we want to focus on having Greco and Fiano and Prié Blanc from Valle d’Aosta, for example.”

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Sotheby's Goes to France, Opening Offices and Beginning Auctions in Burgundy and Bordeaux

Sotheby's is going to France. The longtime auctioneer, one of the leading players in collectible wine and spirits sales, announced it will soon open new offices in Beaune and Bordeaux to meet European demand and increase efficiency. The French offices will be the fourth major wine hub for the auction house, which already hosts sales in London, New York and Hong Kong.

"We believe there is a significant opportunity to grow our business in continental Europe by hosting sales in France, with inventory stored in Beaune and Bordeaux," Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s wine, told Wine Spectator. "There is a large community of wine lovers and collectors in France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain that would like greater access to global markets when selling wines and equally will appreciate a wider selection of wines to buy."

The new location will open later this fall. For Ritchie, the move simply makes sense. He says that 85 percent of the wines Sotheby's sells come from France, and the company has a strong presence there, with about 130 employees to help support this new chapter. Amayès Aouli, a former executive at J.P. Morgan, will become the head of auction sales for the region.

From 1970 to 2014, Bordeaux wines claimed over 60 percent of Sotheby's auction sales, says Ritchie. Recently, Burgundy has seen a sharp increase, growing from 26 percent of Sotheby's sales in 2014 to 50 percent in 2019 (a record-shattering bottle of DRC might've helped). However, Bordeaux sales have declined from 60 percent to 26 percent in that same time period. Ritchie credits Burgundy's rising prices and the introduction and growth of spirits in their auctions (1 percent of sales in 2016 to 19 percent in 2020).

Having Burgundy and Bordeaux auction sites should also smooth some logistical headaches. "If wines are located within continental Europe and they will achieve the same price as New York, Hong Kong and London, it will be faster and more efficient with the least regulation and shipping to offer them in France," Ritchie said. "We also believe that clients around the world will want to store wines with us in Beaune and Bordeaux."

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