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How-to: Be a Savvy Wine Shopper: Wine Knowledge

Choosing a bottle of wine can be a daunting decision. There are so many labels, bottles, styles, and regions to wade through. If you familiarize yourself with all of the different things you will come across when shopping for wine, you will soon be a savvy wine shopper! Also, your experience with wine shopping will be much easier and will make it easy to share your expertise with friends.

How-to: Be a Savvy Wine Shopper: Wine Knowledge

Taste

The taste of a wine can differ based on acidity and sweetness levels. Wine labels often use the terms “sweet,” “semi-sweet” or “dry.” A dry wine will not be sweet at all. Wines with high acidity will be more tart. On the other hand, low-acidity wines will taste rounder or richer.

Wines have unique flavors. A savvy wine shopper will pick a wine that has similar flavors, or notes, like other things that you like. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, you will likely prefer a sweeter wine. On the other hand, if you love the taste of bitter, black coffee, you may like a more acidic wine.

Tannins

Tannins are phenolic compounds in the skins of grapes. They give the wine a more bitter taste. Tannins also tend to dry out your mouth, but they do not actually relate to the ‘dryness’, or sweetness level, of the wine. Some tannins develop as part of the wine-making process and other times they could be added in. Red wine has more tannins, giving it its uniquely dry and bitter finish. Knowing this will help you be a savvy wine shopper.

Age

While many people get hung up on the age of the wine, it is not that important. It is common for people to think that the older the wine is, the better it tastes. This is only true for some wines. For example, some types of wine will get better with age based on the region it comes from, or the number of tannins, sugars, and acids it has. Typically, red wines age better than white ones. A savvy wine shopper knows that most wines should be consumed within 5 years of purchase.

Region

Wines produced in different regions will have different characteristics and qualities. Wine from areas where wine was originally made is called Old World Wines. These are typically more dry and bitter. Examples of these countries are France, Italy, or Spain. On the other hand, New World wines are the counties that are newer to winemaking. These countries include the US, South Africa, and Australia. These wines are going to tend to be sweeter. Knowing this will let everyone know that you are a savvy wine shopper.

Body

Another thing to know as a savvy wine shopper is the term body. Wines can be described as having a light body, full-body, or somewhere in the middle. This refers to how heavy or light the wine feels in your mouth. Generally, red wines have a fuller body than whites. In the same way, heavy body applies to wines made from grapes that are grown in warmer regions, rather than cooler ones.

How-to: Host a Holiday Gathering During Covid

The holidays are coming, and that means visiting friends and family, attending parties, and indulging in festive foods and drinks. There are parades, crowded stores filled with holiday shoppers, and indoor gatherings. However, with the pandemic this year, is any of that even possible? This year, there are more things to consider for these gatherings than just drunk drivers after a holiday party. Before you invite all of your friends and family over, it is important to know how to safely host a holiday gathering during Covid.

How-to: Safely Host a Holiday Gathering During Covid: Be Wise and Considerate

Reconsider

The only guaranteed way to safely host a holiday gathering during COVID is to reconsider having a get-together this year at all. COVID is certainly not a holiday gift that anyone wants to receive. The more people you are around, the higher your risk is for getting COVID. While it is not replacing gathering in-person, many medical professionals recommend finding virtual substitutes for family holiday traditions. While masks and social distancing can help, the only way to completely reduce the risk of infections is to remain separated.

Testing and Precautions

If you do choose to host a holiday gathering during COVID, there are some added precautions you can take. For example, your guests can agree to quarantine before the event. This will reduce the risk that they will contract the virus from someone else who has it, then bring it to you. You do run the risk that your attendees may break the quarantine or not be as diligent as you would like.

Another option would be for you to have your guests take a COVID test as close to the event as possible. Then, they should quarantine up until your event. This may be easier to ask for a family gathering than it would be for friends attending a party. Neither of these options is guaranteed to prevent COVID, but they can lower the risk.

Meals and Logistics

You may need to rethink the menu options you have at your holiday gathering during COVID. Instead of a buffet-style set up, a better option would be to serve individual plates of food. This keeps the number of people coming into contact with the food to a minimum. The person plating the food should be wearing a mask. When possible, use touchless garbage cans during cleanup.

Instead of opting for an indoor gathering, hold your event outdoors. However, this is not always possible depending on where you live. If your event has to be indoors, invite fewer guests. Also, have your guests wear masks when they are not eating.

While there is no perfect way to have a holiday gathering during COVID, these tips can help keep you and your guests safer. However, it’s good to remember that the best way to reduce your risk of COVID at a holiday gathering is to make it a virtual gathering instead.

Recovery Relationships: Build Healthy Bonds

When you begin your road to recovery, it can be tough to go it alone. As such, it’s helpful to build up recovery relationships. These bonds can go a long way in giving you the extra support you need during this time…

Recovery Relationships: Helpful Support

Value of relationships

Recovery relationships are quite helpful for those who are seeking to get sober. If you try and do things alone, it can be hard to resist things such as cravings. You could also start to feel rather discouraged and lose your enthusiasm as you begin to face some difficulties.

However, having people to support you can make things different. Here, you’ll have people who can encourage you to keep sober and help to hold you accountable. Not just that, but you’ll also have people who you can trust and be honest with. Knowing you have people in your corner goes far in giving you the strength you may need to get and stay sober.

Unhealthy relationships

If there are recovery relationships you don’t want, it’s any unhealthy ones. These toxic relationships will serve to hurt your efforts to get sober. Instead of support, these people may tear you down instead. Or, it could be the case that they are a bad influence and try to encourage you to relapse back into drug use.

These kinds of relationships can be hard to cut off, as they may be people you know or did drugs with. Still, you have to understand that it’s what’s best for your well-being. Being around these kinds of people will just add a lot of unneeded stress during an already-stressful time.

Creating new bonds

Building recovery relationships can be done in a number of ways. For starters, it’s good to turn to existing friends and family. Those who show that they’ll still help and support you are great to keep around. It’s only those who won’t that you’ll want to cut off.

As for new friends, many people create new bonds when they go through treatment. Meeting people at these facilities is great for making new friends that know exactly what kind of situation you’re in. You can also find new friends at group therapy or treatment sessions. It’s easy to form new connections as you share stories about your experiences.  

How-to Reduce Alcohol Intake: Using Moderation

Drinking in moderation can be a good way to relax and enjoy yourself. However, if you notice that you’ve been drinking more and more than usual, it could be the sign of some dangerous behavior developing. That’s why it’s good to know what you can do to cut down on your alcohol intake. This can help you keep healthy while still enjoying your favorite drinks…

How-to Reduce Alcohol Intake: Important Techniques

Set a limit

One good way to lower your alcohol intake is by setting a hard limit. Usually, before someone start drinking, they’ll have a basic idea of how much they want to drink. Yet, once they begin drinking, it’s easy for them to drink way more than they expected.

By setting a hard limit, you know exactly how much you want to drink. That way, when you start drinking, you know when to stop. Plus, it’s good to let any friends with you know what your limit is as well. This will help them not pressure you into drinking past this limit, and instead help you stick to it.

Eat beforehand

Some people try to not eat much before they drink. In their eyes, they try to balance the empty calories that comes with drinking by limiting what they eat. In reality, it’s not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, especially if you want to limit your alcohol intake.

By drinking on an empty stomach, you’re setting yourself up to drink way more than you should. It’s pretty simple, as the more space there is in your stomach, the more you can drink before feeling full. By eating beforehand, you’ll be able to better limit your alcohol intake. This will also help you avoid feeling sick or nauseous after a few drinks.

Choose healthier options

Picking healthier choices is also good for when you want to cut down on your alcohol intake. Of course, the most apparent choice is water. Drinking water will help keep you hydrated after drinking alcohol. Plus, it’ll also help you feel full without needing to drink any alcohol. You can also try out some non-alcoholic drinks. Many of these drinks will taste similar to their alcoholic ones, just without the alcohol in them. Choosing these drinks can be good if you want to watch your intake, but still want to experience some unique flavors.  

Youth Addiction: Parental Support

Addiction is not just something which affects adults. In fact, youth addiction is a serious problem as well. As such, it’s important for parents to know what they can do to help their kids avoid these substances, or help them get clean…

Youth Addiction: Offering Help

Addiction factors

There’s a lot of factors behind youth addiction. For instance, it could be a result of things such as social influences. Their friends may try and convince them to take these substances because it’s “cool” or “adult-like.” This sort of peer pressure causes many youths to go overboard and end up with an addiction.

However, psychological factors can also contribute to an addiction. If a kid is struggling with something like depression, then they may turn to drugs to try and cope. Other times, it may even be family members or friends whose behavior encourages kids to use these drugs and become addicted because they think it’s okay to do so.

Abused substances

Like with the factors, there’s also many different substances which are involved in youth addiction. Alcohol is probably to most common kind. This is because it’s relatively easier for younger people to get their hands on it. Plus, with how it’s more accepted in adult society, kids don’t fully understand just how dangerous it can be.

In recent times, many younger people have also been developing addictions to opioids. In particular, stimulants and sedatives have been growing in popularity. The former is used mainly by students to try and improve their study and test-taking abilities. The latter is more used in a party context to help them relax, and is frequently taken with alcohol, which is a very dangerous combination.

Providing help

The best way to curb youth addiction is for parents to talk to their kids. Sitting down with them and letting them know about the dangerous is key. Many times, kids simply just don’t know how dangerous or addictive these substances are. By informing them, you can better encourage them to make smarter decisions.

At the same time, parents should also show that they still love and support their kids if they are struggling with an addiction. Odds are, they already feel like they have let you down. By showing you are willing to support them getting clean, this can help encourage them to get the treatment they need.  

Hand Sanitizer: Global Problems & Local Solutions

In desperate times, people around the world are rushing out in search of essential items such as food, water, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. However, as people head out in mass to secure these items— we find ourselves facing a shortage. For people at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, the lack of available hand sanitizer in particular is threatening. From empty shelves, to a shockingly out-of-stock Amazon, and greedy price gougers— there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. However, a group of unlikely heroes is coming to the rescue: brewers and distillers. 

Hand Sanitizer Shortage: Alcohol Industry to the Rescue

International Efforts

Many makers are stepping up to finds way they can fight the hand sanitizer shortage around the world. One of the first companies to take this step was Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard is a French drinks group that specializes primarily in whiskeys and vodkas, among other types of alcohol. In fact, they are the company behind some well-known favorites— such as Jameson and Absolut. 

Last week, the TTB decided to allow for ethanol-based hand sanitizers. After they were given the green light companies such as Pernod Ricard and Diageo got to work. Diageo supplies Guinness, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, as well as other popular alcohol options. Now that the gate is open, brewers and distillers are getting to work from Arkansas to Sweden and many other places in between. Many of these companies are making sanitizer on a larger scale to supply hospitals. However, many smaller businesses are focusing in on their local communities.

Statewide Efforts

Take Broad Branch Distiller in Winston Salem for example. Broad Branch has created ‘Whiskey Wash’. Whiskey Wash is a spray hand sanitizer made with a 65% alcohol solution. It is available for free in their tasting room where you can also pick up to-go’s. They are offering the product for free while asking for donations to the WS/FC School Buddy Fund. 

Local Efforts

Furthermore, Mecklenburg Co. faces the highest concentration of Coronavirus in the state. Because of this, Unknown Brewing is stepping up to the plate and using their facility to produce hand sanitizer. With 65% ethyl alcohol and essential oils, Good Hands hand sanitizer is available as of today in the taproom for free. Go pick up your Good Hands, your Over The Edge, and a pizza from their resident food truck Passport Dough & Co. They’re even offering combo deals for $20.

Communities coming together 

While this virus has not been kind to our community— it is giving us a valuable lesson in what it means to be a community. This time that has shown us the undesirable true colors of some (I’m looking at you, toilet paper hoarder). However, it has also shown us the many ways that local businesses and Charlotteans come together to support one another. From take out orders with 25% tips, to free delivery services, and employee relief funds… We are learning quickly how much Charlotte cares about the people who choose to spend their lives there. 

The people here at the Law Offices of Robert J. Reeves P.C. are asking you to stay home when possible. Furthermore, we ask that you sanitize your home, hands, and practice social distancing. The sooner we all listen to the CDC, the sooner life will get back to normal.

Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll see you on the other side.