The Beverages of Brobdingnag

Repetitive stress injury from opening 200 bottles in 3, 2, 1 . . . 

I'm a big fan of Jonathan Swift, although I sometimes think if he were alive today he'd be at a loss as to where to apply his sarcasm first. I was really thinking of him this week, when it seemed that gigantic beverages and bottles have become all the rage. It was as though one of the citizens of Brobdingnag was getting careless with the contents of their booze cupboard. 

First came the news that the Cuban bar where Ernest Hemingway used to corrode his synapses made the world's largest daiquiri: more

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Headaches, Allergies, GMO's and Recycled News

That's what I call an epic headache!

One of the things I hear frequently from people who find out I'm a technical guy for winemaking is, "I'm allergic to the sulphites in wine. What can I do?" Twenty years ago, after approximately the hundredth time I heard this, I started to get a little short with my answers. In my justification, sulphite allergies are such an all-pervasive myth that it seems like an endless tide of misinformation to stand against, and even some of the people who should know better (like wine educators and salesfolk) sometimes give the impression that there's some validity to the idea that sulphites are in some way contributory to allergic responses or headaches from wine. 

Fortunately for my continued work as a wine guy, I realised that if I didn't give the good information, it was my own darn fault if people didn't learn the truth. To whit: human beings can't be 'allergic' to sulphite. An allergy is an inappropriate immune-system response. Sufferers have excessively active white blood cells: when an allergen binds to the mast cells or basophils they produce antibodies that cause an inflammatory response, which can range from mildly annoying to lethal. more

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Canada Day: Fête du Canada

Long may she fly

Happy Canada day to all! Today marks the 145th anniversary of the formation of the Confederation of Canada, when the four British North American colonies of Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec joined together. The country added more territories and provinces as time passed, but it wasn't until the Dominion of Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) joined that the country took it's final shape. 

Canada hasn't always been it's own country: all of our external affairs were controlled by Great Britain until the 1930's, and it wasn't until 1982 that we repatriated our constitution (fancy way of saying we went to Britain and asked nicely for it back). With that we got the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a very proud document indeed. more

Posted by Captain Canucklehead AT 10:16AM 0 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email
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