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How To Determine A Food-Friendly Wine

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The language of wine can be romantic, mystifying, or nonsensical — sometimes all at once. Experts share their experience and research for some wines and winery in answering the question: “What makes a wine food-friendly?”. Some people are dependent on wine names and might seem self-evident, but frequently, they get deceived. 

“Food-friendly” is a common description that should seem obvious, but what does it mean?

Most people would say that wine is meant to be consumed with food. However, we usually drink wines as cocktails, or on their own, without thinking about what we eat to match the wine mood. Sometimes, people also enjoy them as trophies, for the experience of tasting a rare, expensive wine. In these contexts, food doesn’t matter. Wine is the highlight.

The concept of a “food wine” became a derogatory — a wine that didn’t taste good on its own and needed food as a counterbalance for its flaws. That’s not what we mean today by describing a wine as “food-friendly.”

  • Every good wine will be friendly with at least some food. A positively food-friendly wine plays nicely with a broad category of foods, from sweet to savory to spicy, from meat to fish to veggies.

“I’ve had A-plus perfect pairings, where every note in the wine and dish sync and amplify each other, but those are rare experiences, and I don’t think they are the point most of the time,” says Matt Stamp, a master sommelier who used to try to orchestrate such pairings at the French Laundry in Yountville, in Napa Valley.

  • Along with Rosé, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Barbera are wines noted for their acidity and versatility with food. This can result in surprising pairings. Beef braised in Riesling is a traditional German dish, and pinot noir makes an exciting partner to sushi, roast chicken, pork, or grilled salmon. 
  • When in doubt at home or in a restaurant, look for these types of wines for challenging food pairings or find some bubbles, the second characteristic that defines food-friendly wines. Bubbles go with everything. The sparkling wine’s enthusiasm effectively cleanses your mouth and prepares you for the next bite of food or a sip of wine. Sparkling wines also manage to be refreshingly acidic. We do ourselves an offense by relegating champagne and other bubblies drinks, such as Italian prosecco or Spanish cava.

“Champagne can be had throughout a meal, even with the right steak,” says Nadine Brown, former sommelier at Charlie Palmer Steak in D.C. “Fried chicken and potato chips with grower champagne is hot right now,” Brown says, pointing to the ultimate combo of extravagant wine and poor vittles.

I usually don’t agree with the “drink the wine you like with the food you like” school of view because it can be lazy. But if you pay attention to the wines you drink and the foods you pair them with, you’ll develop your group of wine styles to draw on when wondering, “What on earth should I drink with this?”

And as Brown advises, “Stay curious.” You might find something unique and surprising.

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2021 Will Be a Year of Vaccines, Says a Feng Shui Expert

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The coming year will be the Year of the Metal Ox, according to the Chinese calendar. Consequently, experts speculate that 2021 will be a year filled with massive inoculation as the world comes head-to-head against the dreaded novel coronavirus that has already claimed more than a million lives. COVID-19 vaccines will be provided for many, finally allowing people to reclaim a semblance of pre-COVID-19 life.

“It’s a ‘metal’ year, so it’s a year of vaccination because of the metal element. The metal aspect is the needle (used in syringes to administer the vaccine),” explains Marites Allen, a feng shui guru who is popularly called the “Queen of Feng Shui,” in a recent virtual meeting with various writers hailing from different countries. Allen conducted the said meet-up from London where she and her family are currently based. During the digital gathering, she provided the participants with several predictions for the coming year.

In line with Allen’s forecast, the United Kingdom and the United States have already launched their vaccination campaigns. Other countries are following suit as many of them are also slowly rolling out COVID-19 vaccines among their citizens.  

As regards the economy, Allen predicts that investors will turn to technology-based businesses. “Those that have something to do with earth, such as real estate, may also expect a good year,” she shares.

Nevertheless, she mentions that not everyone will be going all-out in terms of investments and other life-changing decisions. This will be due to the fact that 2021 will lack the element of Fire, a major factor that provides optimism to all.

“Some have doubts in their hearts and minds. Trust will not be there in full swing,” Allen adds as she reiterates the need to save up and only spend money on things that are absolutely necessary.

Aside from finances and COVID-19 vaccines, she also mentions several Chinese zodiac signs that will be lucky next year. People who were born in the years of the tiger, ox, rooster, horse, and rabbit may experience a better year ahead, Allen says. Those, however, who were born during the years of the dog, rat, sheep, boar, snake, and dragon must be prepared to face the different challenges that will arrive.

Nevertheless, Allen points out that she, like other feng shui practitioners, does not do fortune telling. “We are just offering them guides on what the general atmosphere may bring,” she shares. She is scheduled to provide a more in-depth look into the different things that 2021 may bring.

Allen mentions that she is trying to embrace the challenges of the New Normal, adjusting to the demands of the new way of life. She claims that it is important for people to do so, as well. Despite the hopeful promise of COVID-19 vaccines next year, she reminds others to continue being careful so as to prevent the still rapid spread of the deadly disease. Furthermore, those who may want to read more about her predictions can find her via her different social media handles.

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The Truth About Covid-19 Vaccines

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It is noted that the Covid-19 vaccines were created in a short limited time. The technology Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have already gone through the US regulatory process and have been in the pipeline for more than a decade, and was made precisely for pandemic events. 

The developed technology works as a plug-and-play technology that requires the virus’s genetic code and is already available after the new coronavirus was identified and isolated. 

Vaccines usually take time to develop because production must be considered to gain a guaranteed market. In this light, the US government has shelled out billions for companies to secure and create vaccines that will undergo clinical trials that would last for months. 

Where can you get the Covid-19 vaccine? 

The trials were done immediately as the pandemic affected so many lives worldwide. Also, academic laboratories and hospitals did their own testing to speed up the trial. The US Food and Drug Administration scientists who probed the data worked non-stop to double-check the information to formulate a vaccine. 

Conversely, the FDA submitted all results to an independent entity called Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. With this, they voted that both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are effective and safe. For curious individuals, you can quickly review these results as they were posted online and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

People with allergies cannot get the vaccines

People who have an allergic reaction to the vaccines’ ingredients are not allowed to get them. However, its listed ingredients are short and might only include polyethylene glycol. 

Flu vaccines grown in eggs are not allowed for people who have egg allergies and are warned not to get such vaccinations. Consequently, flu vaccines have been developed and reformulated over the years, making it egg-free. Additionally, the Covid-19 vaccines did not maximize eggs and did not contain preservatives that might trigger allergies. 

According to Dr. Elissa Malkin, an assistant research professor of Medicine at the George Washington University and a co-investigator on the Moderna vaccine clinical trials stated that anaphylaxis and other adverse allergic reactions are always considered a potential risk for every licensed vaccine. 

She also stated that it is expected that more people will show allergic reactions to the newly developed vaccines as more people get vaccinated. 

During Pfizer and Moderna’s clinical trials, 80,000 people were involved, and no allergic reactions were seen. However, it is most likely that allergic reactions to the vaccine will appear as it would roll out to millions of people. 

A health worker who experienced an allergic reaction in Fairbanks said that she wanted to get vaccinated again because anaphylaxis is rare and an expected side effect that is treatable and has no long term health implications Covid-19.  

“I’ve seen firsthand the suffering and death of COVID patients, and my adverse reaction to the vaccine pales to what Covid infection can do to people.”

Rumors about the Covid-19 vaccine

There are speculations that the vaccine will permanently alter your DNA. However, this is not true because the vaccines used RNA, which does not stay long in the body. 

Former US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden came up with this analogy:

“An mRNA vaccine doesn’t actually contain the virus itself. Think of it as an email sent to your immune system that shows what the virus looks like, instructions to kill it, and then—like a Snapchat message—it disappears. Amazing technology. ” 

The vaccines are also far safer than getting Covid-19 because they only impose minor temporary side effects. 

Lastly, the coronavirus is not a myth. If it were a conspiracy, then thousands of nurses and doctors, along with every nation, should be against this lie. Unfortunately, it is evident as many people have posted and attested their sufferings because of Covid-19. 

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Best Charities To Donate to To Help Animals

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A lot of people want to donate to charities that help take animals away from situations that hurt them. If you’re not sure which charity to donate to, Animal Charity Evaluators has your back. 

ACE is a California-based nonprofit company that releases annual lists of top recommended animal charity foundations, and they offered assistance by funding some of Future Perfect’s work for 2020.

Most of the charities featured in the list are focused on strategies that can get around factory farming by enforcing the transition to plant-based diets, or at the very least, by improving the conditions in factory farms. 

Focusing on factory farms makes the most sense because this is usually the site of suffering on a large scale. Unfortunately, death is not the only unpleasant process that happens on these farms, but a lot of the animals suffer a lot before they are killed. 

In these farms you’ll notice that pigs, calves, and hens are put into extremely small spaces where they have little to no wiggle room, and that the things they undergo are so horrific that there are ag-gag laws which are used to hide the details of the cruelty from the masses. 

ACE looks and promotes the most effective way to help animals, and have three main criteria when it comes to choosing and recommending certain organizations:

  • Charities must be able to produce greatest gains for animals
  • Charities should evaluate and improve their programs actively
  • Charities must present a demonstrated need for funding

With these three evaluating criteria in mind, ACE chose these organizations that you can donate to.

Wild Animal Initiative

This is a new entry compared to the other charities listed, and the goal of this charity is to research and advocate ways to assist free-range animals.

The Humane League

This charity runs campaigns that urge corporations to adhere to higher animal welfare rules, and also promotes grassroots legislative advocates.

The Good Food Institute

This charity focuses on the development of plant-based substitutes to meat, eggs, and dairy. They believe that developing plant-based options is an effective way to weaken animal agriculture.

Albert Schweitzer Foundation

This charity group has outreached corporations to promote the use of humanely raised products and they also offer legal services. They are also one of the first animal charity groups that prioritized corporate outreach for farmed fish.

If you are looking for the best animal charity group to donate to, you should check out ACE’s list so that you can look into the different charities and their advocacies and determine whether your values align with theirs.

Being able to donate to charities that help prevent animal suffering, and while it may not be you going to these farms to stop the horrors, supporting charities is an easy way to help. 

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