By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 133 - Vintage


6 Dec 2016

Hi everyone,

Here it is - Issue 133! This is the 12th year of KaTsZoNe which I started on December 10th, 2004. 

Thank you all who have stuck around month after month, and nowadays, every two months, and be my dedicated group of friends and family who read about my life in a blog.  Sometimes, I do not meet up with a friend for months or longer.  But, you all know about my road trips, restaurant experiences, sightseeing, and personal journeys.  I wish I can share more personal experiences, however, my blog is public. 
Anyone on the internet can come across it.  So, I can be personal to a certain level. 

It has not been easy to write on a regular basis.  Each month seems to go by very swiftly!  I still cannot believe I've kept it up for all these years!  But, one thing is for sure.  I continually look forward to new experiences, meeting new people, see new places, just to have good writing material!  When things turned out negative or disappointing in my life, my friend, Tracy, use to  listen to me and say, "It's good writing material!"  That always cheered me up!  Well, the positive and good stuff can also be good writing material!

As I turn 50 this year (OMG! OMG!), I intend to be like vintage wine!  I thought I would try and amuse you in this episode of KaTsZoNe by sharing ways which wine can age well, and learn how we could do the same. 

Being Vintage

When my dad was alive, there were suggestions that he join a seniors group or take part in activities for seniors.  He said, that was a bad idea!  He did not want to join seniors and do what old people did.  He wanted to be around young people, so that he would feel younger!  He would never turn down family gatherings or outings with his grandchildren.  He loved speaking to young people.  He enjoyed walking and being active.  All the neighbours recognized him because he had a route in our neighbourhood -- walking in the sun, rain, and snow -- a man of all seasons!  I hope that I could age well like my dad.


From the website, "Wine Folly", I discovered that there are 4 traits of wines that age well:  Acidity, Tannin, Alcohol Level, Residual Sugar.

Acidity

Wines with higher acidity tend to last longer.  A wine which starts out with higher acidity will age well.  Aging wine will lose its acidity and flattens out.  If a wine started out with lower acidity, it is less likely to age well.

Have you seen or met people in their 90s or older who have a sense humour, likes chatting with people, and celebrate their birthdays and eat cake?  They may seem to have a lively personality, but, I think their attitude also counts!  Adversity did not flatten them!  They grieved for a time and then went on with life!  Through the ups and downs in life, those who aged well did not stop enjoying life -- going to tea parties, attending ball games, and living out their dreams!  By the way, I just had an awesome afternoon at a Victorian tea party with my friends at Grannys and Friends in Newcastle, ON.  It is not my first tea party -- as many of you may know, it's been a tradition to have Christmas tea with friends for the past 18 years! 

The "acid" in people may be their attitude and determination which helps them age well. 

Tannin

Tannins are "naturally occurring compounds [polyphenols] that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems."  Red wines have stronger tannins than white wines. 

A wine with well-balanced  tannins (where there is a balance between 'grape tannin' and 'wood tannin') will slowly "smooth out" over time as the tannins break down.  Tannins can help wine age age well, however, if the wine is not well-balanced to begin with, it well never improve over time.

Some people enjoy the benefits of drinking red wine because of tannins.  There are also tannins in dark chocolate and strong black tea.  But, if we all lived on red wine, dark chocolate and strong black tea, without a good balance of other foods, it will not help us to age well.  I am really blessed that my mom raised me on a good, balanced diet.  Fast food was a treat, not an everyday meal.  I never saw pop and chips in my house until I was a teenager.  I think that if we started out with a well-balanced dietary regimen, it will help us when we age.  Unlike wine, I believe things can improve over time even if we change our food habits as adults.  If you wait too long before you make good changes, then you might not enjoy the benefits for as long.

Alcohol Level

Alcohol is volatile in non-fortified wines and causes them to turn to vinegar more quickly.  Generally, the lower the level of alcohol in non-fortified wine, the longer it will last.  There are exceptions to the rule which I will not go into here. 

We can enjoy alcohol sometimes but it would not be good to drink alcohol in excess.  There have been premature deaths and accidents caused by those who drank too much alcohol, ending in tragedy -- which were all preventable.  We will live longer, age better, if we can avoid drinking too much alcohol.  I am not an expert and cannot say what is too much alcohol.  But, I will say that, you don't need to prove to anyone that you're having a good time by drinking lots of alcohol.  You don't need to drown your sorrows with alcohol.  It is a very sour note in our society, when we lose so many people because of an excess of alcohol. 

Residual Sugar

Sweet wines, such as port, sherry, Sauternes and riesling tend to last the longest.

Those who are not constantly complaining, have a sense of humour, enjoy spending time with people, and are positive about life will likely age well.  There is sweetness in their life that enables them to go through hard times and still enjoy it!  Finding something sweet and enjoyable in life, like food, entertainment, and people, can help us age well. Cherish the special, sweet moments -- enjoy them! 

We are now prepared to move forward to live our vintage years! 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays!  I'll be back in February, 2017!


Peace and good health,

Katherine


www.katszone.com
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Refs.  http://winefolly.com/tutorial/4-traits-of-wines-that-age-well/
http://vinepair.com/wine-101/guide-to-tannins/