Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quini Releases Wine Tasting Tips for Vancouver International Wine Festival Enthusiasts

Five Recommendations Help Attendees to Expand Wine Tasting Experience

Vancouver, Canada – February 25, 2014 – Quini, the interactive wine tasting, rating and personalized recommendations application and data solutions provider ( today published wine tasting recommendations designed to help Vancouver International Wine festival enthusiasts gain the most out of their attendance at the event ( taking place at the Vancouver .
“The Vancouver International Wine Festival is a great opportunity for wine enthusiasts of all levels to truly expand their wine tasting experience,” said Roger Noujeim, chief executive officer for Quini. “By taking time, notes and paying attention, you can taste more, learn more and discover more about the wines but more importantly, about your palate and personal preferences. This is where deeper, richer learning about wine tasting happens.”

Wine Festival Tip #1: Taste Judiciously – Try not to race to taste as many wines as you can. That’s a wholesale wine buyer’s mission. Even a professional wine tasting judge’s palate can tire at 60 wines or so. Take your time and judiciously taste fewer wines. It’s not about the numbers. Great wines do something great for you. They give you pleasure, evoke or create memories, and expand your knowledge and appreciation for life and the art of wine.
Wine Festival Tip #2: Be Selective – You are your own judge. As a wine enthusiast, you have surely bought wines based on a store clerk’s or friend’s recommendation. You may have asked them for something ‘exotic or unique’, only to regret it after the first sip. Your disappointment was your mistake, and you recognized it. Think of wines you have tried in the past. What you liked and did not like about them. Always realizing that your palate is unique, tell the representative at the table what you’re looking for, or trying to avoid. A wine is more likely to satisfy your palate if you let the rep know what you like.
Wine Festival Tip #3: Take Tasting Notes – If you’ve ever taken mental note of a wine only to forget it later, you’re not alone. This is especially guaranteed when you taste many wines in a row. Take a moment to write down your impressions of your favourites as you work the room, and snap a picture of the label if you can. Writing down things like “the lady wearing blue gave me that wine” can be great memory triggers as well. If you have a smartphone, use it to take notes and pictures.
Wine Festival Tip #4: Mark Peaks and Valleys – Set personal expectations for wine experiences you want to remember. Criteria that mean something to you and are bound to make you take notice, and with that, more easily remember the wine in the future. Extreme sweetness or dryness perhaps, or a strong acidic flavour that awakens the senses.

Wine Festival Tip #5: Break It Down – In wine tasting, judgment is more accurate when you break down the experience into components. Unless the different aspects are rated separately, and carefully, one can easily slip into a judgment call, unintentionally discarding or diluting other key pieces. Follow and rate these five aspects of a wine when taking notes, taken from the Quini wine app. Eye for appearance, Nose for aroma, Mouth for taste, Finish for aftertaste and duration in the mouth, and Opinion for an overall impression.

A good app developed with experts can be the perfect aid. Use it to evaluate stand-out wines, scoring the five key areas before moving on to the next wine. If you’re pressed for time, plug in your initial impressions and set each wine review to be completed later on with more details and notes.
The wines destined for serving at the event are in the Quini app database. Festival attendees can rate the wines by going to the TASTE function on the app.
Quini for iPhone and iPad is available from the Appstore. Users can also sign up to use Quini directly on their computer, at

About Quini

Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Quini is an interactive wine tasting, rating and recommendations application, and data solutions provider. Quini is co-funded by its original founding team and CMF (Canada Media Fund). The Quini mobile App is available for iPhone and iPad through the Apple App Store. A Web-based version for desktop and laptop computers is also available at More information about Quini can be obtained at:

Twitter: @quiniwine
Facebook: QuiniWine

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grandma's Apple Crisp

Grandma's Apple Crisp

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Place half of crumb mixture in pan. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and top with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Cinnamon Polenta Pancakes

Using polenta (cornmeal) in addition to white flour in these pancakes makes them especially satisfying, as the ground whole grain delivers lots of fiber and a good amount of protein.

  • 1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup(s) cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs, olive oil, and water. Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, leaving small lumps.
  2. Set a griddle or skillet over moderate high heat and spray it with vegetable oil spray. When the pan is hot, spoon in 1/4-cup mounds of batter and spread to form 4-inch rounds. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are browned and bubbles appear on the surface, 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve the pancakes warm.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Leek-Stuffed Squash Recipe

This hearty leek-stuffed squash recipe makes a satisfying vegetarian meal.
By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 

leek-stuffed squash recipe

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon English mustard
• 1/4 cup crème fraîche
• About 4 ounces Gruyère or other hard cheese, finely grated
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 to 4 small squash (1-1/2 to 2 pounds each)
• A handful of thyme sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add leeks. As soon as they begin to sizzle, turn heat down and cover pan.
2. Sweat leeks gently for about 10 minutes, until very soft. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, crème fraîche and cheese. Season mixture well with salt and pepper, as it will be surrounded by a good amount of unseasoned squash.
3. Cut a small slice off the base of each squash so it will stand up on a baking sheet without wobbling. Carefully slice a “lid” off the top of each one and set aside. With a small, sharp knife, cut into the center of each squash, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and fibers.
4. Fill squash cavities with leek mixture—they should be about 2/3 full. Tuck a few thyme sprigs into the center of each.
5. Put lids back on top and stand squash on a large baking sheet. There should be plenty of room for hot air to circulate around them.
6. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (possibly longer if the squash are large) until the squash flesh feels very tender inside. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Natural Detox Bath

Once a week for 20 minutes, sit in a hot bath that contains a handful of Epsom or sea salts, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and a half cup of baking soda. 
This combo draws out toxins, lowers stress-related hormones, and balances your pH levels.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mother Earth Living

Each and every person needs a reminder of his or her importance. 

Share your thoughts and your heart with hand-made herbed cards.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Apple Dumplings with Caramel Sauce

Can't decide between cinnamon rolls or apple dumplings? Combine the two and you have one delicious dessert!

Ingredients are as follows:

6 small apples, peeled and cored
1 (8 count)  can of cinnamon rolls
1/4 C butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 

1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C maple syrup
1/4 C cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a baking dish.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla; set aside.

For recipe...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Farm-Favourite Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe

Check out this Farm-Favourite Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe. Which fruits will you add?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why You Should Eat More Spinach-

Spinach is extremely rich in potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine and cobalt.