Parsons Vineyard and Winery

End your day with a glass of wine

Decisions, decisions…

March 22nd, 2014

I haven’t seen Monica for a long time. Our friendship can be traced back to our early years as our moms are best friends so whenever they hangout, they also brought us and it made Monica and I very close friends. She’s been pretty busy with managing her landscaping business. It’s a good thing that she’s free today so I invited her over to the vineyard. She also brought her only daughter named Cristy. She’s already 7 years of age. She has blonde curly hair, freckled cheeks and a smile that lights up a room. She’s on the stage where she often asks questions and very talkative.

In the vineyard, we have a dog named Dom. He’s a very large dog as he’s of a pure Doberman pinscher breed. He is colored black with some rusts, muscular, has cropped ears and tail, and his stature reflects courage and intelligence. He may seem look threatening but if he sees that they’re my friends, he won’t hurt them. Cristy took an interest on him since she’s fond of dogs. She has a pet poodle in their home. She asked me can dogs eats bananas. I didn’t know the answer so I told her to try feeding Dom bananas. I asked some of our workers if we bananas but to no avail. I told Christy we’ll try it next time or maybe she can try feeding her pet at home. She smiled and told me that it was a good idea. She also showed me a picture of her pet named Cookie. She’s well groomed, has a pink ribbon around her neck and a shiny white coat of hair. She added that they only feed her hypoallergenic dog food as he is sensitive with other brands of dog foods, you can learn more about that type of dog food here. Monica agreed and told me that it’s really pricey but if that pet is making her daughter happy, then it’s okay.

Monica also told me about the problem she was facing with her landscaping business as she was having a hard time monitoring the money in and outs and now she is almost in bankruptcy. She suspects that her supervisor, her right hand man, must have been scamming money from her in a long time because recent reports on paper and the actual money in receipts have lots of discrepancies when she checked. It’s sad that it happened because she really worked hard for it. She used to work for an advertising company where she saved up for a couple of years and then decided to resign to pursue a different path, a landscaping business, where she has a passion in.

Monica’s mom taught her to plant ornamental plants and herbs in their backyard when she was young. Since then, every summer, they both worked on their backyard to enhance its appearance then they even tried working on their front lawn. Their neighbours were impressed that they were just the two who worked on them. Too bad her mom lost the battle with cancer last year. I asked her about what were her plans but she still doesn’t have a clue on what to do. I know she can help Monica with the problem she’s dealing with now.

Choosing Wine for Different Occasions

January 23rd, 2014

Wine makes a great complement for meals served during special occasions. It helps to strengthen the flavors in food as well as create a lively environment where people can chat and make merry. For most people planning a get together during a special occasion, selecting the wine to serve is harder than deciding which meal to serve. However, there aren’t any fixed rules in wine selection. The only thing to remember is that the wine and food flavor should simply complement each other. None should override the others flavor. Most people will generally select wines according to the type of meats if any, which will be served during meal time. Red wines go best with red meat and white wine with chicken and fish.

That said there are a few things you might want to consider when selecting the wine to serve during special occasions. They include the following.

The first thing to consider when selecting wine to serve is possible flavor interactions. Since wine will be served alongside food, consider what will be overall flavor felt after pairing several spoons of a meal and a sip of wine. As mentioned earlier, one flavor shouldn’t override the other. The wines flavor should complement or even strengthen the food flavor. For example, if you are serving a sweet wine paired with an even sweeter meal will complement the food, taste sweeter or, make the food taste even sweeter.

Second in your consideration is the nature of the meals to be served. Meals consisting red meat tend to be heavier and are best served with the fuller and heavier red wines. Lighter meals do well with the drier white wines. This is perhaps the reason why most people simply pair red meat with red wine and vise versa.

Your third consideration is the stage at which to introduce the wine. For most people, special occasions call for different types of wine. Each wine is served as a specific point during the meals. If this is your case, timing is important. Here’s a simple tip. Serve crisp wines before meals. These tend to be drier and, promote salivation and increased appetite. During meals, serve either red or white wine depending on the type of meal served. If you are serving dessert, sweet wines will work best.

Fourth in your consideration is the age of the wine. Many people believe that aged wine is best. But this isn’t the case when it comes to pairing your wine with food. White, fruity and crisp wines are best served when they are young. The reason for this is that they tend to lose their flavor as they age. Red wines on the other hand are best when they mature.

You should also consider the different flavors available beyond red and white. This will give you an idea about which wine can be best paired with the meal you want to serve. These flavors include crisp, dry, fruity and sweet. Crisp wines are acidic and go well with meals with acidic flavors. Dry wines have little sugar in them while sweet wines have a lot of sugar in them. Fruity wines have a fruity smell in them.

How to Make Wine At Home

February 11th, 2014

Winemaking at home is allowed in the US and some parts of the world. However, the wine shouldn’t be sold and there is a specific allowed limit per year. Making your own wine has its advantages including having cheap wine in the house in case you have surprise visitors and, you can create your special recipe. Winemaking shouldn’t be hard if you have the right tools and know how. However, it can be potentially dangerous if you don’t have all that’s necessary. The following is a short guide in the home brewing process.

Wine making equipment

  • Glass or plastic container. If plastic go for 1 or 2 recyclable plastic
  • Rubber stopper into which you will drill a hole to attach to the airlock.
  • Airlock- can be commercial airlock, balloon or pvc pipe attached to vinyl bag
  • Funnel
  • Bottles
  • Stirrer
  • Sanitizer
  • Siphon

Ingredients

Many people believe that wine is made from grapes only. Although the world’s best wines are made from wine, you can make wine from almost any type of fruit provided it contains juice. You can decide to blend fruits for juice or, buy juice from the local store. A rule here is that the amount of wine you want to make is directly proportional to the amount of juice you use.

Sugar is the next ingredient. Yeast needs sugar to become active. You can use any type of sugar including brown sugar and corn sugar. You can also use honey but this takes longer to ferment.

Yeast is another important ingredient. It’s the active ingredient in the wine making process. There are different types of yeast available. Wine and champagne yeast is the best for your project.

A selection of chemicals including yeast nutrient, potassium or sodium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate.

Sanitizing

This step involves getting rid of any bacteria and microbes that make the wine making equipment home. The reason why this step is so important is that such microbes might interfere with the fermentation process spoiling the wine. The potassium metabisulfite mixed with water will act as a great sanitizer.

Mixing the ingredients

For 10 gallons of wine, you will need

  • 10 gallons of your preferred juice
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons yeast nutrient
  • 200ml solution of 2.5% potassium or sodium metabisulfite

Procedure

  1. Pour in the 10 gallons juice into a container and add the 4 pounds sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the potassium metabisulfite and yeast nutrient and stir to mix.
  3. Stir to remove any dissolved gasses in the solution
  4. Pour half the solution into the fermenting container and add yeast before adding the remaining half of the solution.
  5. Cork the fermenter with the rubber stopper and attach the airlock.
  6. Place the wine in a cool place. 65⁰F to 75⁰F is recommended. Keep checking the wine and ensure the airlock is tight and let the wine stand for at least four weeks. It’s usually ready once it clears up.
  7. Once the wine has cleared its time for bottling. Sanitize the siphon and bottles.
  8. Remove the airlock and replace it with the siphon tubing. Insert it such that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the container where yeast has settled.
  9. Place the container on a high surface.
  10. Suck on the tubing allowing the wine to flow into the bottles. Cap the bottles and label them if necessary.

Personality Type Indicator

February 22nd, 2014

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a sort of psychoanalytic assessment questionnaire that is designed to quantify a person’s preferences with regards to his or her perception of the world as a whole and the decisions he make because of it. Studies have shown that people really are governed by such classifications and abide by set rules of convention, even if they had no prior notice that they belong to either one of the groups in the first place.

The way we experience the world outside may be described into four distinct ways. We experience the world through Sensations, Intuitions, Feelings, and through Thinking. According to scientific literatures, every one of us is guided by one dominant feature among the four. There are also subtypes which identifies more clearly, the functioning of a particular person based on his preference on how he views things.

The population of the world may be subdivided into sixteen personality types namely: ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ENTJ, wherein the individual letters of each type means: Extraversion (E), Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Intuition (I), Thinking (T), Feeling (F), Judging (J), and Perception (P). These four letter type dynamics further delves into a person’s inclinations and partiality with regards to how things really work.

The importance of identifying what types of personalities are therein a person has many uses. One of them is fining their seemingly proper fit to various aspects of society. One personality may be more conducive to work than another, one personality may be more submissive to orders, one may be more open to suggestions, or more aggressive to commands or to any given stimulus, whatever they may be. These things are very important to know on the onset to be able to foresee if the person on hand is apt for whatever the task at hand is.

Another implication of personality types is its perceived role in human relationships. For example, INFJ relationships may be more on the quiet side and more to themselves than ENFJ relationships which are typically outspoken and are wont to profess their love to anyone, any chance they get. It also delves on what results may be acquired or expected if a relationship pairing is on opposite sides of the spectrum and the consequences that may ensue in the union of the two.

As for me, I already took the test and found myself to be an ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging) type of person. I don’t know if it is really good for me or something but it was only used to describe what I am made of, my personality that is, and it is up to anyone’s interpretation what that could really mean. ESFJ’s are described to be always focused outwardly and deal with things in their own way, and based on their own value system. ESFJ’s are a people’s person and they love to know more about other people. They are also known to go out of their way and try very hard to bring out the best of whomever they are with. Wow, mostly good stuff huh.

Somehow I think I really am that way but unfortunately I have no way of knowing exactly. Of course I am biased with regards to myself and see myself as only good, so it is eventually up to other people to describe me on what I really am with regards to what kind of personality I have. Good thing there is that test which kind of makes things a bit easier for us. So what type of personality do you have?

Irritatingly Painful Bunion

March 4th, 2014

I would have gone and performed my rounds much earlier if it weren’t for this bunion that is giving me a hard time lately. I was supposed to have inspected the vineyard as the grapes were very close to maturing, which may also mean that harvest time is just around the corner, a most hectic time for us here at the farm. It is imperative that I go there myself as it is me who is in charge of identifying the correct ripeness of the grapes needed for our class of wines.

Wine making is no easy thing as you have to consider very many variables and processes with the grapes, which are all needed to be perfectly grown and precisely timed, to even produce one bottle of good wine. The grapes being ripe do not necessarily mean that they are already right for the wine making process as different classes of wine require different stages of the grapes ripeness. Besides, it is my very own vineyard so I like to be very hands on with all the things happening there.

I would have gone there barefooted if not for my father imploring me to rest a bit, as he said that I might aggravate my bunion further if I go there on my present condition. So after struggling a bit with my thoughts, I relented and stayed at home. I propped my feet up on the coffee table, put some ice over the offending area, popped some analgesics for the pain, and I drifted off to meet Peter Pan in Never-never Land. Of course with my thoughts still on the eagerly ripening grapes on the field.

I seemed to have overslept and woke up with a start. I forgot to set my alarm and my father never thought of waking me up as, according to him, I was sleeping like a baby the last time he saw me. I got up to put on my work clothes and off to the field I went, never really putting any attention to the bunion which grounded me in the first place.

Thankfully the grapes were still a week away from the desired ripeness and I was not late for anything yet. After talking with some people, I went home thoroughly relieved that I did not fail in my duties and it was during my drive back that my left foot began to ache again as the bunion was being pressed upon by my ill-fitting shoes.

Bunions seem to run in my family and are hereditary creatures, as both my father and grandfather have them. Mine is of the Tailors bunion variety and it grows on the side of my foot where my pinky finger is and not on the side of the big toe, where bunions normally grow on. It’s like the bones of the pinky finger is trying mightily hard to stick to the bone next to it, causing the anchor bones on the toe base to protrude and form a bump on the side of the foot.

I’ve been meaning to buy the best shoes for bunions but haven’t really had the time for it though, get some recommendations here. Maybe this is its own way of telling me to better act on it soon, or else suffer from excruciating pain in the near future. Anyways I got some time on my hands, one week exactly, and I will buy my bunion shoes as soon as possible.

How relationships work?

March 22nd, 2014

I’ve always felt that relationships can make or break people. A relationship doesn’t have to be with someone, it can also be with family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances. Relationships are always complicated because we make it one. When we are asked a yes or no question, some answer it with a long, whole rant instead of answering it simply with a yes or no. As I’ve said before, why complicate things if it’s already complicated.

It feels good to have someone special in your life as you will always have someone to rely on, to be your rock whenever you feel you can’t embrace the pain no more. I’ve had my fair share of relationships, some good, some bad that I thought were meant to be forgotten, but what I’ve learned in life was the bad things that happened to you happened for a reason. The reason being is making us aware of all the mistakes we’ve done in the past and avoid them in the future.

Think about it, those people who haven’t failed and fell down are those who don’t have a clue on how to rise above it all. Remember that everything that happens in our lifetime are all opportunities to learn, stand tall and grow as a person. Those battle scars will enable us to be better human beings.

I lost my grandmother to thyroid cancer 10 years ago. I grew up with her so she was like my mom. I’ve never felt the only child syndrome, like the ones describe here, as I have 7 brothers and sisters. I’d like to think that between her eight grandchildren, I was one of her favorites as I’ve always spent my summer vacation in her home. We used to do things together like cooking and gardening and I enjoyed it greatly. I was really devastated when I learned that she has cancer. She has stage 4cancer and I didn’t know what to do.   All I did was cry and pray. I sometimes even tried to stay away from her to make her passing a little lighter but I was wrong. I couldn’t stay away from someone who loves and cares for me whatever I do. Instead, I tried spending all my time with her whenever I’m not busy with school. I’m glad my friends understood what I was going through, as I wasn’t able to hang out with them the way we used to. My grandmother and I never talked about her illness; instead we talked and reminisced about the good times.

Day by day, little by little, I started to accept that she was dying. She had a good life and she needed to rest with our Creator.   The whole family was there when she died. We all felt sad that she was gone, but we should accept the fact that it’s the cycle of life. We will all go through the process. It’s just that she was born earlier. We called her death the celebration of grandma’s life. I’m glad that I changed my mind not spending my time with her. If I didn’t, I couldn’t forgive myself. It was one of the best times of my life. A friend of mine asked me how to get over someone, I just tell this same exact story or refer them to this site www.simplerelationships.net. We should learn to treasure the happy memories in life and learn from the bad.

Thing that I will miss

April 3rd, 2014

Running has always been my routine every weekend. I run from 1-2 hours depending on the weather and my mood. It’s not that I’m a health buff, but it makes me happy as it makes me forget about other things. I really enjoy running until I suffered sprains and now, sinus tarsi syndrome. I have been dealing with it for a while now. I’ve consulted doctors about my case and most of them told me that I developed it because of the repetitive actions of my ankle and feet when I run. They advised me to try other sports like swimming and cycling as it has lesser tensions or no tensions at all on my legs and feet.   They also told me that I’m prone to sprains and later on, sinus tarsitis because I have flat feet. I’ve been using a specialized shoe for over-pronated feet, but I still get injured often.

When I think of it, I always have sprained foot ever since I was young. I’ve always wanted to try and play new sports but I often ended up spraining my feet. My friends think I’m wimpy, but then I think that’s not the case. My podiatrist instructed me to have an MRI scan to determine the cause of my constant spraining. The result was unfortunate because it showed inflammations on the fibrosis area, therefore making me positive for sinus tarsitis. It was sad and breaking news for me because running is already a part of me. He advised me to rest my feet, ice the area and take non-steroidal inflammatory medicines like Ibuprofen whenever I can’t tolerate the pain since there will be more consequences if I abuse the drug. He also told me that I can undergo rehabilitation once the pain goes away if I choose to do so. The most complicated treatment would be surgery which could remove any chronic synovitis or inflammation and scar tissue and the reconstruction of the ligaments of the foot. The surgery option is way too complicated for me so I chose to rest my feet and take it from there. He reminded me to be patient as the recovery needs time. I listened to him as I don’t want to aggravate and make it worse than it already is. He also informed me that I can still walk but I can’t run over a mile.

I’ve been resting my feet for months and I feel great now. There are no more constant pains whenever I walk. Instead of running every weekend, I tried to relive my old passions like cooking and photography. I used to enjoy them while I was in college. My mom is so happy that I have more time to spend with her because she’s my cooking buddy. I bought a new lens for my old DSLR. I also bought a new pair of shoes that my podiatrist recommended. I still need another form of exercise so I’ll probably try cycling since I can always borrow my brother’s bike as opposed to traveling hours to get to the nearest pool because I live outside the city.