Wednesday, December 21, 2011

South African Red Wines

South Africa has a history of wine dating back to 1659. Production of South African Red Wines & White Wines are centered around Cape Town and there are major vineyards and wine production centres in Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

The modern day Cape Town was established by the Dutch East Indian Company. Kan Van Riebeeck, a Dutch surgeon, planted vineyards to produce wines and grapes which were intended to prevent scurvy among the sailors.

South African red wine is generally made in very small quantities, but comes at excellent prices. There has been some controversy about the pricing of wine in South Africa as the locals fine them to be far too expensive. South African wines, when bought from UK supermarkets are unlikely to impress, but there is a large selection of wine created in South Africa that are more than worth a try and often surprise with their outstanding quality.

These good quality South African red wines can be very difficult to find in the UK, especially with our supermarkets and pubs filled up with masses of not-so-good stuff.

It iss easy to be put off buying certain types of wine if you have a bad experience, for example, Pinotage is a South African hybrid of Pinot Noir and Hermitage that can be very bad tasting if done wrong, but can make an amazing wine when done correctly.

Ordering South African Red Wines that have been properly sampled is a great way to avoid wasting money in supermarkets.

Italian Red wines

Some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world are found in Italy. Italy is one of the world’s largest wine producers, and is responsible for around a fifth of worldwide wine production.

Italy is a country that would seem specially designed for producing wine. The country has a long latitudinal range, from the Alps in the North to the close to Africa in the South; Italy is also a peninsula and has extensive mountain ranges, providing many different altitudes for grape growing. All of these factors provide Italy with a huge variety of climate and soil conditions.

Italian Red Wines are largely exported to other parts of the world, but is also very popular in the country itself, having the highest wine consumption per capita in the world.

There are around one million vineyards in the country with grapes being grown in almost every region.

Italy has a love for good wine but it can extremely difficult for consumers in the UK to pick out the best from looking at the bottles. You’ll be better off buying Italian red wine online, by people who have sampled a multitude of Italy’s many different brands.

Italy typically has a large range of red wines which differentiate around the country; all regions have fantastic wines available. Some of the more famous and favourite Italian wines include Barolo, Amarone, Chianti, Sagrantino, Conero Rosso, Primitivo and Nero D’Avola.

French Wines


France offers some excellent wine, both red and white. French Wine is produced in many regions throughout France, and in large quantities; as much as 8 billion bottles per year.

France has one of the largest vineyard areas, second only to Spain, and is the world’s largest producer. French wine can be traced back to the sixth century BC; the wines produced today range from expensive high end wines sold internationally to modest wines sold only in France.

France is home to many different grape varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Many of these grapes originated in France and are now grown all over the world, many well known wine making practices and styles also originated in France.

Good quality French wine is reasonably priced, France has traditionally been the largest consumer of its own wine, but this has slowly been dropping over the past forty years, in the 90s the amount of wine consumed by the French dropped by twenty percent.

French wine producers now rely heavily on foreign buyers, but consumption in other leading wine countries has also been dropping, like in Italy and Spain.

France offers fair prices on their wines to help encourage sales, but prices have recently been increasing due to economic downturn.

The quality of French wine is brilliant, especially if you know which bottles to buy. They are all worth a try at some point or another as the kind of wine you buy in UK supermarkets doesn’t really compare to a good import from France.

Corporate Awards

Dragoncraft offer a design and layout service using some of the latest software, helping ensure you get the design you want. All of the work is done on site, from the initial layouts to the production of the completed design.

Some of their most popular products include Corporate Awards, they have a great selection of designs with prices as low as £28.00, which come with custom engraving, perfect for any event.

They can reproduce company logos and crests on to crystal and glass, with fine detail in the presentation of all products.

One of the main symbols of success is to receive an reward, whether or not it is sporting related or for long service, all the best achievements deserve a reward. A great way to reward staff members in employment is to give them a personalised corporate award with inscription.

An award is always the ideal way to acknowledge someone for an outstanding achievement, whether it is to recognise a member of a club, or someone who has done something great for your local community.

Corporate awards are often perceived to represent a far greater success and value than giving a gift or reward like a bottle of wine or flowers, especially when they have been personalised.

With lots of experience, Dragoncraft offer a high quality service and provide Corporate Awards that always impress.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Murano Glass Jewellery

Murano glass jewellery is a well known product of Murano, a Venetian island. The island is located off the shore of Venice. Since the 10th century the city has been well known for its glassmakers, since then Murano glass is produced in many different places around the world.

There are many places online to find Murano glass jewellery. The jewellery features many different eye catching designs, different to other jewellery and at an affordable price.

Murano glass jewellery is the perfect gift for a loved one or if you feel like treating yourself to something different.

There are many different designs on Murano glass jewellery, which can often depend on what look the glassmaker wants to achieve. Special tools are used in the making of Murano glass jewellery, such as borselle, which are tongs used to hand form the glass, canna da soffio, which is the blowing pipe for manipulating the glass and pontello, an iron rod used to add the final touches to the object).

Tedora Charm Bracelets

Tedora charm bracelets make ideal birthday and Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones; you can personalise bracelets depending on the beads that you choose for them. Tedora charm bracelets have many different types of charms and beads, each with a symbol and a story to tell; usually inspired by mythology and they can represent passions and interests.

Tedora charm bracelets are created from silver charms and beads; but can also include a large variation of materials like glass, onyx, bronze, gold and even pearls. Tedora charm bracelets have a mixture of colours and materials which can easily be changed, offering a range of variation, combinations and originality.

Tedora jewellery originated in Italy, but has since spread to many other parts of the world, including Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. Tedora charm bracelets make the perfect fashion accessory with a combination of design, precious materials, high quality and individuality.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Natural Wines Shop

The Natural Wines Shop is a new website designed to help people find good quality natural wines online. Natural wines are made from grapes with as little chemical and mechanical intervention as possible.

The Good Wine Online website was set up in 2007 to offer good quality low sulphite wines and natural wine at competitive prices.

The Natural Wines Shop has a list of products showcasing some of the best natural wines on offer, as well as lots of information about them that you wouldn’t find in any supermarkets. There is a lot of confusion about what natural wine actually is and The Natural Wines Shop helps to clarify this with its about page.

These wines are ideal for those who want to enjoy a good tasting wine, but suffer from sulphite intolerance. Natural wines are made from organically or biodynamically grown grapes which are dry farmed and hand picked, they have no added sugars, no foreign yeasts or bacteria, no adjustments to acidity, no additives for colour, minerality or texture, no external flavours and have minimal fining or filtration.

It is difficult to produce wine that is low in sulphites and would take a lot of extra measures to make it available on a large scale commercially. If you are trying to find a safe wine the best place to look is online. The Natural Wines Shop specialises in just that, spending time to review wine and make sure it is safe for everyone to enjoy.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Masquerade Masks

Venetian Carnivals are associated with Catholic religious festivals of lent and is believed to have started as early as the 12th century.
Originally there was a public festival celebrating sacrificial slaughter of animals in the streets which over time turned into much more elaborate affairs with the introduction of costumes and masks being worn. This created a high demand for masks. The carnival in Venice is the most internationally recognised and it brings in hundreds of thousands of tourist to the city
This tradition has since seen numerous masquerade themed parties and balls throughout the UK.
For those who have a date in their diary or are thinking about hosting one of these events you will no doubly want to stand out from the crowd with a high quality masquerade or Venetian mask.
Italian World stock a wide selection of Masquerade Masks and Venetian Masks each one individually designed and imported directly from Italy. Their masks are made from ceramics or paper mache and each one is made to the highest finish from renowned craftsmen who have been making these fancy, decorative masks for many years.
The complete range of Masquerade and Venetian Masks are light and comfortable to wear and extremely glamorous so that you stand out from the other s at the Ball.
Masquerade Masks will certainly get you in the mood for the colourful carnival ahead.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Capodimonte Porcelain

Capodimonte porcelain is porcelain that has been made by the Capodimonte porcelain group, which was established in Naples, Italy in 1743. Capodimonte porcelain was made as a response and copy of Meissen porcelain (developed some thirty five years earlier in Meissen near Dresden, Germany by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus). Capodimonte Porcelain  is famous for its moulded figurines and its decorative shaped flowers applied to cups and vases.

Nowadays Capodimonte Porcelain is made in a variety of factories and workshops in southern Italy in and around Naples. Notably the Majello factory which was founded in 1867. There is an official mark that is applied to all Capodimonte Porcelain to show it has been created using the proper methods and buy craftsmen who have been trained in the correct way at official schools.

Capodimonte Porcelain is charicterized by its lightness, usually matt finish, attention to detail. Common subjects are flowers, figurines, plates, lamps and vases, reproduction of sculptures from the classical period.

Check out some other unique Italian Goods such as Venetian Masks and Murano Glass Jewellery.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Motorhome Rental


Our Great British Summer is slowly drawing to an end. For those of you who haven’t managed to get away yet, how about trying something different like a Motorhome Rental. If you have never hired a Motorhome or tried this type of holiday before then you will surely not be disappointed.

Motorhome Holidays give you the freedom to do what you want when you want. You can explore places in luxury and stop and start when you like. If you feel like changing route half way through your trip and heading off in a different direction then you can do exactly that, you are not tied to hotels bookings, or organised trips.

Go Explore Motorhome Rentals have a fleet of modern Motorhomes available to hire all year round. There modern range of Motorhomes comes fully equipped with all the mod cons including gas and electric blower air heating. 2, 4 and 6 berths Motorhome are available.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cigar Humidor

Proper cigar storage is a very important aspect of cigars. If you store them somewhere dry, they will dry out, and naturally if you store them somewhere moist, they will become too moist. To get the best and intended experience from cigars, it is advised that cigars are kept at the desired 12-14% of total weight in moisture and at a level of 55-65% humidity.

This is where the very useful storage tool called a Cigar Humidor comes in. A humidor is an essential to a cigar smoker as it looks after the cigars placed inside, meaning that cigars can be enjoyed how they should be every time. Cigar Humidors can be bought in many different sizes, shapes, designs and quality levels and the quality level as well as size is often reflected in terms of the price of the humidor.

A good cigar humidor can be relatively pricey, ranging from around fifty pounds to several hundred. It also often depends what size and capacity humidor you are after, as they can range from small travel humidors that can store 2-10 cigars, to cabinet humidors which often store 1000-5000 thousand cigars, even to an entire room humidor, which are common in stores and cigar bars which can store several thousand cigars.

When buying a cigar humidor, you should consider the type of material/wood it is made from; often a high quality mahogany humidor is viewed as the best type of humidor. Spanish cedar lining is also viewed as the best possible lining to a humidor as they provide absorbency, rather than other woods which often alter the taste of cigars. You should ensure that the thickness of the humidor is at least 5 to 8 inches and that there is a tight seal on the lid. It should also be solid, sturdy and of a good build to avoid warping from the humidifying that will take place.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nauticat 38


The Nauticat 38 has been cherished by its current owner and the upkeep of the boat has been updated on a regular basis. The Nauticat 38 has quite an impressive history with the commander of the royal yacht ‘Britannia’, being one of her previous owners who I’m sure knew a thing or two about boat maintenance. She has acres of lush teak on deck and the feel of a small ship both below and upper deck.

She sleeps up to 7 people, in three doubles, 1 single including the salon. She has classic mahogany interior joinery, blue fabric upholstery, spacious wheelhouse with sliding skylight and blue covered bench seating.

She was built by Siltala Yachts Finland in 1978 to Lloyds specifications.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Natural Wines - Hangover Free

First there was Organic, then Biodynamic now Natural wines, what does it all means you may be asking??

Well let me explain, yes it can be confusing with all these new wine terms popping up all the time but let me explain the main difference to you in a nut shell.

Organic status wines basically mean that ‘only the grapes’ for these wine are organic, it is not widely known that during the actual wine making process chemicals are permitted which can have detrimental affects to somebody who is sulphite intolerant. Biodynamic wines on the other hand may also add sulphur to their wines, as it is permitted by law that that the wine maker can add up to 90 mg/l of sulphur to wines.

When in doubt go for sulphite free natural wines and avoid the hangover blues the next day!! These wines are totally healthy with the most minimal amount of sulphur in them and best of all there are some fantastic tasting natural wines on the market.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

French Red Wine

French Red Wine like all red wine has a distinctly different taste to white wine, and the colour typically depends on whether the juice is fermented while in grape form or squeezed first, if it is squeezed then the juice will create white wine, if left as a grape it will create red. Red wine typically has a heavier colour then that of white.
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Red Wine is a much more popular choice over the world than white wine. Red wine variants include Barolo and Barbaresco, Beaujolais Nouveau, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cotes du Rhone, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Shiraz, Zinfandel and many more, all these are grown all over the world, in countries such as France, Germany, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Croatia, Argebtina, Mexico, and many more.

Red wine can also be used in certain food dishes, and to make ‘Red Wine Sauce’. Wine colour is a big part of wine tasting, a practiced taster can tell a lot from the colour of a wine. France is responsible for the largest production of wine, with 69.9% of its production being red.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Low Sulphite Wine

Many of us love drinking wine; however there are a lot of people that cannot bear the hangover the next day so have stopped drinking their favourite tipple and had to comprise with another beverage.

However the cause of feeling a bit under the weather the following day is not necessarily a hangover and could actually be due to an intolerance to sulphites.

Sulphites are added to wine for a variety of reasons; mainly as a preservative and anti-oxidant. Sulphites used in moderation can be beneficial to a wine, however used in excess can cause some people fatal reactions.

It is hard to find a wine that has no sulphites in, most wines are categorised as Low Sulphite Wine instead.

So-Lo SO2 is a brand new wine on the market, designed specially for people looking for a decent wine with minimal sulphites. So-Lo SO2 is the product of many top wineries around the world who have partnered up to produce quality boutique wines, made as naturally as possible, with a miniscule amount of sulphites. In fact this wine contains such small amounts of sulphur that it has actually been classed as sulphite free as the traces of sulphur are that small that even the laboratory couldn’t track them.

So-Lo SO2 is a blend of 5 different grapes, predominantly Merlot and Mouverdre 30% each, also 20% Cabernet and a little Marselan and Caladoc. It is aged in a tank for 12 months after blending.

A truly enjoyable Wine!!