Vitality weekly column : 5 secret tips to drink wine like a french at home !

Vitality weekly column : 5 secret tips to drink wine like a french at home !

Why not doing a wine tour in quarantine ? This week I am gonna share with you all my french secrets and knowlegde to drink wine like a professional sommelier, where the wine come from and how to impress your futur guest with few tips easy to remember ! Enjoy, but with moderation!

Like baguette, cheese, fashion, perfum, and luxury, french wine have admirers all over the world. In fact, wine is integral to french culture and production in quantities are between 50 and 60 million hecto litres per year, so around 8 billion bottles !

Even in quarantine, we can smell and feel from the windows that summer is coming back soon ! The early bird are singing, the temparatures gets warmer, flowers and cherry blossoms tree are growing, to resume, everything to make us happy and free, except, we are again and again in quarantine ! Personaly, it make me feel a bit nostalgic of a time where we are supposed to enjoy night dinner with friends and family outside and, as a parisian girl, trust me I do miss my terrasse time with a glass of wine ! Here is few tips to make your homade wine testing like a professionnal !

Know where it comes from

1) Know where it come from

Nowadays nearly every region of France produces wine with the exception of the far northern regions. Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire Valley, and the Rhone Valley are the amongst the top areas. Top French wines command some of the highest prices in the world today from collectors with deep pockets, but even with lower budget, wherever you go in France, rest assured that a fabulous meal and equally wonderful wine are waiting to be enjoyed.
Historical records can trace the origin of viniculture in France to the 6th century BC when the Phoenicians cultivated vineyards in the south of France near Marseilles. Soon winemaking spread from France to other European countries such as Spain, Italy, and Germany. Wine soon came to be regarded as a fashionable drink, which complemented rich food.  Around the 5th century, eith the rise of Catholicism, wine grew in importance and medieval religious orders had a strong influence on winemaking. While the church frowned on over indulgence, it also was responsible for perfecting wines such as Champagne, widely attributed to the famous French monk, Dom Perignon.

2) Talk about French wine Appellation classification
In 1855, emperor Napoleon III suggested the development of a classification system to identify the best wines in Bordeaux. In the 1930s appellation d’origine côntrollee (AOC)  was introduced in France. The distinctive characteristics of each region’s produce are protected and able to maintain their quality and prevent fraud. For instance Champagne can only be called Champagne, if it’s grown in the region of Champagne. Strict rules govern wine classification to this day. 

The lowest level is AOC related to a large place of origin, e.g. Appellation + Bordeaux + Controlee
The second lowest level is AOC related to a smaller place of origin, e.g. Appellation + Medoc + Controlee
The second highest level is AOC related to the name of a village, e.g. Appellation + Margaux Village + Controlee
The highest level is AOC related to the name of a chateau, e.g. Appellation + Chateau Lascombes + Controlee

An appellation may be defined with a place of origin only. For example, Bordeaux is not only a place of origin, but also an appellation. The place of origin may be large or small, ranging in order of region (e.g. Bordeaux and Bourgogne), community or village (e.g. Pauillac and Nuits St. Georges), and grapery (e.g. Romanee Conti). In the same area, higher-level AOC requires unit yield different from lower-level AOC and higher sugar content of harvested grapes, so the quality is generally higher.

Learn the basic

3) Learn basics to speak like a professional

The acidity, body, aromas, and flavors of wine are all factors to consider when searching for one to match a specific dish. These attributes mean different thing to different palates.

Acid: Sour and sharp notes of the wine will determine the acidity level. This is much like biting into a super sour apple feels on the palate as it hits your tongue with a sharp sensation.
Body: The body of the wine is established by the weight and mouthfeel when you taste it. It can be light, also called thin, or it can be heavy, creamy even oily. As with all wine attributes, the body is an opinion of the taster.
Aroma: The aroma, or bouquet, of wine, is about the smell. The nose of wine can be one or two notes or a complex mix of aromas that blend and change as the wine is swirled and exposed to air. Try to identify earthy, floral, fruity, and nutty notes, among many others.
Flavor: The flavor of the wine is mostly determined by its aromas; what we smell is what we taste which will be unrelated to the smell. For example, a wine may have a light, fruity bouquet, or deep, earthy flavors.

4) Pair your wine with food properly
The rule of thumb is to pair wine with food that equals its intensity.
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– The wine should be more acidic than the food.
– The wine should be sweeter than the food.
– The wine should have the same flavor intensity as the food.
– Red wines pair best with bold flavored meats (e.g. red meat).
– White wines pair best with light-intensity meats (e.g. fish or chicken).
– Bitter wines (e.g. red wines) are best balanced with fat.
– It is better to match the wine with the sauce than with the meat.
– More often than not, White, Sparkling and Rosé wines create contrasting pairings.
– More often than not, Red wines will create congruent pairings.
Suggestions for Excellent Food and Wine Pairings
• Sauternes with bleu cheese.
• Chardonnay with chicken, scallops, lobster, and brie.
• Sauvignon Blanc with shrimp, acidic pork, oysters, and whitefish.
• Pinot Noir with salmon, fatty fish, and duck.
• Zinfandel or red/white Burgundy with turkey, pheasant, and quail.
• Red Bordeaux with lamb.
• Beaujolais with traditional pork.
• Cabernet Sauvignon with beef, venison, and grilled meat.
• Burgundy with braised meat and game.
• White wine served with skate wing with brown butter.
Updated by Elaine Lemm]

The etiquette

5) Follow the Etiquette and good manners

– Never drink wine without food
For the French, wine and food go hand in hand which is why you will very rarely see a French person drinking wine on its own – in particular red wine. Even if you’re having champagne or roséas an aperitif before dinner, which is the norm, you enjoy it with some olives, canapés or baguette.
– Always toast with every guest individually
Raising your glasses for a toast is very important in France, but it’s important to do it the proper way, otherwise it could bring bad luck. The right way to do it is to wait for all of your guests to arrive. Instead of doing a big group toast, you raise your glass,“À ta santé” (to your good health) answered by “à la tienne” (to yours) – matching a “tu”or “à votre santé” (to your good health) answered by “à la vôtre” (to yours) – matching a “vous”or even just “tchin-tchin” (cheers), while you lock eyes with the person next to you and clink glasses, before you do the same ritual with every single guest. Never ever cross arms though.
– If you’re a guest, bring a bottle to your host. 75% of French people drink wine on a regular basis, so your wine will not be wasted. Wine is easier to put aside when you arrive, rather than flowers that need to be put in a vase and can create a bit of a panic for the host.
– Don’t assume the bottle you bring will be consumed in your presence. The host has often picked special wines to accompany the meal. Maybe they are serving fish and your full-bodied red won’t cut it. If you’re dying to try a certain wine, buy it for yourself and not for your host as you’re not sure to get to try the one you will bring.
– Don’t pour your own wine
If you’re a guest at someone’s house and find your wine glass is empty, don’t even think about grabbing the bottle and topping yourself up – it’s considered incredibly rude. Instead, wait for your host to ask if you would like some more, and she will pour you a refill.

– Don’t ask for a full glass
If your host is pouring you a glass of wine, chances are they will only fill it half way. If you ask your host to fill your glass to the brim, not only is that considered rude but you will be considered a lush. On the other hand, if you stop them when they’ve just poured a dash of wine into your glass, that will come across as rude and your host will think you don’t appreciate their wine. In other words, just gracefully accept what – and how much – the host is serving you.
– Don’t buy the cheapest wine in the store
If you are invited to dinner at a French person’s home, it’s customary to bring a bottle of wine or some chocolate. However, don’t buy the cheapest bottle in the store. Wine often becomes part of the conversation, so make sure you bring a wine you particularly enjoy and that you know something about. If you are feeling unsure of what to bring, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Champagne.
– For the girls, never leave lipstick stains on your wine glass
It’s considered rude even in restaurants to leave lipstick stains on your wine glass, so make sure you wear a smudge proof, long lasting lipstick !

Vitality weekly column : Quarantine and communication change

Vitality weekly column : Quarantine and communication change

It’s been few weeks now that most of the people in the world are in quarantine, waiting and trying to find a way to wait for the horrible storm to pass. I will show you this week how much communication is been a huge part of the human growing recently and that it is actually the best time to socialize while we are scoial distancing but most of all, for growing as a person.

Why social distancing bring even more people closer from each others ?

Abraham Maslow said : “The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s backyard.” I figured the past few days, how much it is important for me to have contact with people on a daily basis. I love to interact with others just cause, you never know, someone can change your life by a smile, a good conversation, or bright your day with a compliment or a nice advice. Quarantine is not normal for anyone. We are wondering how we gonna live our best life, work, take care of our general business with the distance. The question is, in dramatic situation, what do you typically do? Who do you typically call? We crave connection, and chances are, you have someone who supports and encourages you when you feel overwhelmed. In order to avoid problems such as anxiety, depression, or loneliness, we all need to feel accepted and supported by others. When we are able to develop strong connections with others such as friends, family, team members, and lovers, we are able to cope with distressing situations. Since everybody is not allowed to see each other, we can observe a lot communication change. We can actually say, that people take more time to communicate, take news of each other and share moment together. We can see in the news that lot of people are doing video call, for a friendly , job or school purpose but still very paradoxal considering the fact when people can actually have real human contact, nobody have the time due to job, life duty in general. The situation show that the human, need attention, need contact from each others, but why exactly ?

The impact of quarantine on the human being

Quarantine is of course, an unpleasant experience and can create dramatic effects. The american journal The Lancet, published a study case about it from the authors, doctors and professors Samantha K Brooks, Rebecca K Webster, Louise E Smith, Simon Wessely, Neil Greenberg, and Gideon James Rubin. The study prove that having a working mobile phone is now a necessity, not a luxury. The ability to communicate with one’s family and friends is essential. Particularly, social media could play an important part in communication with those far away, allowing people who are quarantined to update their loved ones about their situation and reassure them that they are well. There is also evidence to suggest that support groups specifically for people who were quarantined at home during disease outbreaks can be helpful. One other study  found that having such a group and feeling connected to others who had been through the same situation could be a validating, empowering experience and can provide people with the support they might find they are not receiving from other people.

For explanation, Abraham Maslow developed five stages of needs that motivate human behavior. The five stages in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in order from lowest to highest level include physiological, safety, social (love and belonging), esteem, and self-actualization. Each need must be met from lowest (physiological) to highest (self-actualization). The first two levels of need are considered basic needs, which are based on the need for survival and safety. The third stage is the social stage, not based on basic needs but instead on psychological or emotional needs. The primary source of behavior at this stage of development is the need for emotional connections such as friendships, family, social organizations, romantic attachments, or other situations involving interactions with others. If Maslow is right, if we’re right, if in order to be healthy, happy, and fully human we have to meet all our needs, then only the truth and nothing but the truth, discovered in warm, safe, loving environments that nurture self-esteem, encourage self-actualization, and support transcendence/connection, will do.

Vitality weekly column : COVID19, when sport doesn’t rhyme with sedentarity

Vitality weekly column : COVID19, when sport doesn’t rhyme with sedentarity

Par Sarah Barreiros Rédigé le 25/03/2020 (dernière modification le 24/03/2020)

In our quarantine situation, lot of politics around the world are talking about the fact that everyone have to stay healthy. This week, I am gonna talk about the benefits of sport activities at home and how you can do it everyday, with the help of a personal coach, Nicholas Fernandez.

Take the opportunity to start

Nicholas Fernandez, personal coach. (c) Nicholas Fernandez.

Winston Churchill said : ‘’ The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’’ You probably know what I mean when I talk about this feeling of accomplissement and happiness after a good workout session. After 30 minutes of intense workout, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Raising your levels of serotonin boosts your mood and overall sense of well-being. It can also help improve your appetite and sleep cycles, which are often negatively affected by depression. Regular exercise also helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones, such as adrenaline. Adrenaline plays a crucial role in your fight-or-flight response, but too much of it can damage your health. To be clear, you get the feeling to become Superman everyday when you pratcice. And nothing is better than that when you are in quarantine ! The only problem is to find the motivation ! Even if being in quarantine is not the best life, it is an opportinity to take, so you can finally take time for yourself, focus on what is important, breathe from the stressfull life we all have nowadays.

Procrastination

As a professional figure skater, I can say that the fact to workout is a big part of my life. It is very difficult for me to not doing it everyday. Thru the years, I saw my body change, improve and getting stronger. I think sport is a big part of personal development in life. But nowadays, sport are not very an option due to a lot of lifestyle factors. In fact, most people living a sedentary lifestyle are unlikely to be meeting the national physical activity guidelines. Research suggests that only 21 percent of adults are meeting the physical activity guidelines, while less than 5 percent perform 30 minutes of physical activity per day. So why is it that we are more sedentary now than we were just 50 years ago? The main contributing factor to our increased sedentary lifestyles is technology. Technology has brought about more inactive modes of transit, caused an increase in sedentary desk jobs and has developed more activities that can be done while sitting (i.e. watching TV, surfing the web, playing video games). Overall, sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950 and physically active jobs now make up only about 25% of our workforce, which is 50% less than in 1950. Additionally, our average work week is longer. Americans now work 47 hours a week–164 more hours a year than 20 years ago. In a world where everything goes to fast, having time for ouself is a priceless gift. And it take just 3% of a journey so no excuse to procrastinate !

Nicholas Fernandez, personal coach.

What we purpose to you, with the help of the personal coach, Nicholas fernandez, is a way to do sport, even if you are stuck at home without gym and gym equipment. The best to practice without any pressure and keep the motivation up during those hard day !



- Can you present yourself and what are the benefits for you of working out at home particularly
with the current situation and COVID19?

My name is Nicholas Fernandez from Sydney, Australia & am a figure skater & a personal trainer.
As most of us are sitting at home in quarantine wondering “I wish I could be at a gym” or “how can I do my workouts at home without any gym equipment’s” etc.
Easy! Some of the greatest benefits of working out at home during this time are:

1. Convenience – Once you have a little gym set out at home, you will never want to leave your place again. Remember that one of the most important aspects of working out is consistency, never missing your workouts & it will never lead you to anymore excuses to not going to the gym such as timing, weather, feeling lazy and so fourth.

2. Saving Time & Money – This also links up with convenience too. Think about how long it takes you from once you prepare yourself to the gym until you step foot back in the house (5 mins to get dressed, the drive to the gym, situate yourself, workout, drive back home and etc) & all of this saves money too such as petrol for your car, paying for weekly gym fee’s etc.
So think about the money you save and the extra time you get to extend your workouts.

3. Freedom – This is the best time to be in your own zone without anyone around you distracting you during your workouts. Also, not having to wait in line for the next equipment that someone is using, especially those that love to be on there phones during rest periods & get side tracked. You can blast your own music in the house because you know nothing is greater then listening to your on tunes that gets you motivated to push that last rep and you get your own privacy and no judgemental zone. We don’t like to do a certain exercises next to someone who you are intimidated by because you don’t want to look weak or feel embarrassed as I imagine a lot us do at times. You never want to feel self-conscious about trying a new workout.

4. Hygiene – We all know the gym is germ paradise. We all know that one person who doesn’t wipe down there equipment after an exercise, sweat left on the bench (even though wipes and towels are provided and signs all over the gym to inform people to clean after yourself), guys lifting weights way to heavy then they can actually lift and cutting there hands leaving potential blood stains and so on. Being at home means you are in the cleanest environment keeping you away from all the germs and not spreading it to anyone around you.


– Do you have some tips to motivate people to start working out in their place
while most of them think that you can’t work outside of a gun environment?

Of course! Use this time in particular to work on yourself mentally & physically.
Remembering that some of keys of working out is building your own physical strength, core stability, flexibly & mental rest/relaxation. So if you can’t do fundamental exercises with your own body weight, how will you try to lift weights that are too heavy for you leaving to injuries that can set you back, therefore, leaving you unmotivated to work out again.


– Can you give us few exercise to do and where we can follow you for more?

Definitely, I will give you an exercise to work on each body part.

Chest – Push Up
Back – Superman Towel Row
Shoulders – Pike Push Up
Biceps – Doorframe Rows
Triceps – Triceps Dips
Abs – Sits Ups
Glutes – Squats
Quads – Lunges
Hamstring – Bridges
Calf – Standing Calf Raises

Vitality weekly column : COVID19, the end of the world, or almost !

Vitality weekly column : COVID19, the end of the world, or almost !

Par Sarah Barreiros Rédigé le 18/03/2020 (dernière modification le 19/03/2020)

As most of us around the world are currently stuck in quarantine ,in order to protect and prevent the virus spread for the safety and health of everyone which is the top priority right now and for the next couple of weeks, I purpose to to you my weekly section. I am gonna talk about this problem around the world, different point of views, my experience in France and how to deal with it in a fresh, light and sympathetic way !

Creating joy for others but with safe comportments.

Sarah Barreiros in Seville. (c) Sarah Barreiros.

Leo Buscaglia said ‘’It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of person, kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely’’. Watching the news this week, my country, France is slowly getting in a home quarantine situation for an undetermined time. I am not really sure what to think about everything. First of all, everything seems so unreal just like when you woke up from a dream and you are like wait what’s happened tonight ? When you are touring like me as a professional figure skater around the world, most of the time you can get stuck in such a bubble that you can’t really realize seriously what’s happening outside. Basically, the only concerned is to see what is to do in the next country you gonna travel and I’m privileged to live this amazing life. Also, Lucky me as I choose to be a journalist,  I could keep a step outside but even tho, I couldn’t understand fully the situation till it’s happened to the group of people I skate and travel with, the cast, my family and me. As any problem in the world. But anyway, I was really concerned to see that the people and most of the population had a very unconscious, and dangerous way to deal with the problem. The government clearly ask for a minimum contact between everyone and closed most of the stores and restaurants. After this announcement, people run to those places in order to celebrate ‘’the last moment together’’ like the virus gonna give them a break during this lovely time. Well, not true. My only hope then, was to see everybody take care of themselves and stay safe, caring and supportive.

A ‘jungle’ grocery store experience.

Unfortunately a day after, I figured that lack of civisme is spreading faster than any virus. I went to the grocery store, obviously preparing for the tonight government announcement of our 45 days quarantine. It was quite a jungle and a funny time, at least for me because I was laughing at the non sense, non respect, non education of most of the people. It was like watching a TV show. To resume, arriving there, I had a hard time finding a food cart, found one in the middle of the parking stuck between two others that, was disgusting. Enter the store, hundreds of people, got rolled on my foot and bumped on my hips 3 times. I also went to the rice, water and toilet paper section, empty section. So, people make food reserve like it is the end of the world without thinking that it will be actually smarter to do every week grocery like, normal (because we are allowed to do that) than being monster fighting over a box of food. We all experience many freakish and unexpected events  like the virus  today. The philosopher Schopenhauer talked about how out of the randomness, there is an apparent intention in the fate of an individual that can be glimpsed later on. Sometimes, we’ll be down on our luck and need some help such as, a chance, or an opportunity. Sometimes, we just need someone to show us compassion and kindness. If you’ve ever had someone help you in your life, remember how it felt and keep that feeling in mind when the opportunity for you to help someone else comes up.

L’élixir d’immortalité

L’élixir d’immortalité

Par Sarah Barreiros Rédigé le 21/07/2018 (dernière modification le 20/07/2018)

Surnommée par les Chinois “élixir de vie éternelle”, le kombucha est la boisson en vogue dans le monde entier. Aperçu de ses bienfaits surprenants pour la santé. 

Kombucha. Photo prise par l’auteur.

Originaire d’Extrême-Orient et datant d’il y a environ 2000 ans, le kombucha tire sa popularité de ses propriétés médicinales presque magiques, qui s’étendent au cœur, au cerveau, puis à l’intestin, et de sa réputation de boisson non calorique, détoxifiante et énergisante. Au fur et à mesure que les routes commerciales se développaient, le kombucha se dirigea vers la Russie, puis vers d’autres régions d’Europe de l’Est. Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le kombucha a été introduit en Allemagne et, dans les années 1950, il est devenu populaire en France et en Afrique du Nord. Dans les années 1960, les scientifiques suisses ont affirmé que le kombucha était bénéfique pour l’intestin, de la même manière que le yaourt. Au niveau des bienfaits, le kombucha est en premier lieu, bon pour vos os: il renforce votre cartilage, ce qui est recommandé pour les personnes souffrant d’arthrite. Ensuite, il améliore votre digestion et d’autres problèmes gastro-intestinaux, car il stimule votre métabolisme. Il détoxifie votre corps en raison de sa teneur en acide organique, ce qui contribue également à votre circulation. Cette boisson est riche en vitamines et en minéraux essentiels au bon fonctionnement du système nerveux et à la santé des muscles. Comme il est fabriqué à partir de thé noir, il contient de petites quantités de caféine, stimulant ainsi votre système nerveux central. En outre, il renforce votre système immunitaire et régule votre taux de cholestérol. Mais pourquoi? 

Composition du kombucha

Le kombucha est donc une boisson faite à partir de thé, de sucre et de SCOBY (colonie symbiotique de bactéries et de levure). Essentiellement, les bactéries et la levure dans le SCOBY sont fermentés avec du sucre dans le thé, ce qui rend la boisson légèrement pétillante et lui donne un goût funky, presque vinaigré. Si le sucre dans les ingrédients déclenche un “drapeau rouge” chez la plupart des gens, il n’y a pas besoin de le craindre dans le kombucha qui est composé uniquement de sucre naturel tel que la Stevia. Le goût de la kombucha change au cours de la fermentation, passant d’une saveur pétillante aigre et agréablement fruitée à un goût de vinaigre doux après une longue période d’incubation. Le SCOBY est un type de “champignon du thé”. Il transforme les polyphénols, composés normalement présents dans le thé, les fruits et les légumes, en d’autres composés organiques. Cela augmente l’acidité, ce qui empêche la croissance d’autres micro-organismes. Ce sont ces nouveaux composés organiques qui sont censés fournir des avantages pour la santé au-delà de ceux déjà trouvés dans le thé vert ou noir. Le processus de fermentation prolonge la durée de conservation du kombucha, comme il le fait avec d’autres aliments et boissons historiquement populaires tels que le fromage, le yaourt, la choucroute, le kimchi, le vin et la bière. La bière et le vin deviennent alcooliques pendant le processus de fermentation, alors que le kombucha contient généralement moins de 0,5% d’alcool. L’éthanol, l’alcool que vous pouvez boire, est produit lorsque les levures et les bactéries du SCOBY interagissent via un processus appelé glycolyse. 

Les probiotiques

Les prébiotiques aident à nourrir les probiotiques, alors boire un kombucha, c’est comme boire la partie la plus exclusive des bactéries intestinales. Les aliments légèrement fermentés, fabriqués à partir de bactéries, contiennent des bactéries saines. La théorie est que ces bactéries aident à coloniser notre intestin, qui, selon des recherches, pourrait améliorer une gamme de fonctions corporelles, de notre humeur et de nos niveaux de stress, à notre poids et à nos envies de nourriture. Mais l’ingestion de bactéries saines n’entraînera pas nécessairement la présence ou la colonisation permanente de ces bactéries dans l’intestin. Pour obtenir des avantages à long terme pour la santé des aliments contenant des bactéries vivantes, connues sous le nom de probiotiques, la recherche actuelle suggère que vous auriez besoin de les prendre continuellement. Les probiotiques suivants composent cet élixir de santé: gluconacetobacter (85% dans la plupart des échantillons), acétobacter (<2%), lactobacillus (jusqu’à 30% dans certains échantillons), et zygosaccharomyces (95%). En raison du processus de fermentation impliqué dans la création de kombucha, il contient un grand nombre de probiotiques. Ces bactéries tapissent votre système digestif et soutiennent votre système immunitaire, car elles absorbent les nutriments et combattent les infections et les maladies. Puisque 80% de votre système immunitaire est situé dans votre intestin, et que le système digestif est la deuxième plus grande partie de votre système neurologique, il n’est pas surprenant que l’intestin soit considéré comme le “deuxième cerveau”.