Real Life Experiences

Archive for February, 2015

Current Wine Trends in California

California, the largest wine region in USA, with its diverse topography and climate conditions offers bewildering choices in wines. Even though the state’s viticulture history dates back to 18th century when missionaries brought mission grapes with them, California wine became globally renowned in past few decades. Today, California produces more than 90% of wine in America and meets more than 60% of demand in the country. The principal wine grapes produced in California are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, and Bordeaux, which produce world class collection of wine that serves every palate in the world.

With improvement in the US economy, dollar is getting stronger and employment outlook is also improving. Apart from brighter economy, heavy yields and high quality harvest in Californian vines is also likely to affect the Californian wine industry. Today, California produces unprecedented amount of wine, which is likely to increase in coming year. Consumption of wine is also expected to grow in the coming year. However, cheap wines priced less than $9 a bottle are going to be less in demand. Today, fine wines priced $20 and up a bottle are gaining popularity among the consumers.

Some of the new and hot trends in California wine are listed here.

Three tier system of wine distribution is going to face some challenges due to growing influence of the web. Now, consumers can directly order wine on the Internet. More than 30% consumers use wine apps on their mobile devices to check the price and reviews before buying wine. Consumers are more concerned about finding the best quality wine at the best price.

Environmentally conscious wine consumers go for eco wines that are produced using sustainable farming and wine making. There is an increased demand for organic and biodynamic wines for a unique drinking experience. Wine enthusiasts are willing to try out different taste and creative blends. Wines from Paso Robles in California offers different taste experience in wines. Syrah, zinfandel, viognier, grenache, and roussanne are some creative blends in wines from Paso Robles. They are available at less than $15 a bottle and taste different than wines from better known regions such as Sonoma or Napa.

Alternative packaging and exotic varieties in wine are also gaining attention among the consumers. Cabernet, chardonnay and sauvignon are great quality wines, but some lesser known varieties in grapes from lesser known regions also produce fine quality wines. Consumers are willing to experiment with obscure verities in wines. Tetra packs and 3 L boxes are selling well, while premium wines charged by glass are preferred in restaurants. Wine cocktails are becoming popular with the millennials, which has created a new trend of wine mixology.

Urban winery is a recent trend that is gaining popularity in the California wine making industry. These wineries source grapes from their preferred vineyards and make wine in the urban set up. Thanks to the latest technology and transport facilities, wine enthusiasts can learn everything about wine making and attend wine tasting events in their friendly neighborhood. Consumers can purchase wine directly from the urban winery and store it properly. Tasting lounge and full service restaurants at urban wineries attract hip, urban crowd to tantalize their palates.

Finally, sparkling wines and red blends are popular as ever. People do not mind spending for high end red wines such as Apothic or Menage. Some wineries are planning to market high end sweet red wine blends to lure upscale consumers. With advancement in technology, wineries produce different flavors in wines and wine enthusiasts are willing to try out new blends and different tastes.


Rise and Fall of Bitcoins

In spite of being declared as the worst investment of the year 2014, bitcoin has not lost its momentum as technology and movement. It has attracted large amounts of venture capital and bitcoin related start ups have boomed. A number of reputed organizations and institutes accept payments in bitcoins. It is likely that bitcoins will convert more skeptics in the years to come.

There are some serious security issues associated with the digital currency bitcoin. Incidents such as 2011 collapse of the Mt Gox bitcoin exchange based in Japan and recent security breach of the Bitstamp exchange based in Slovenia have created turmoil in the bitcoin market. However, the underlying concept and technology behind bitcoins attract not only miners and developers, but also big time entrepreneurs like Marc Andreessen. Bitcoin’s block chain, which allows peer to peer secure exchange of the digital currency, is the foundational backbone of the digital currency. Potential applications of bitcoins as a mode of payment excite today’s startups and entrepreneurs.

According to Ryan Selkis, director of investments at the Digital Currency Group, the bitcoin’s block chain can decentralize some essential services such as Uber, Facebook, Dropbox and such. The block chain can be utilized for title transfers, smart contracts, share issuance and storage of secure documents. Based on the block chain, a number of innovative applications of the bitcoins can be conceived and implemented. Bitcoins as a digital currency can reshape and reinvent the internet.

At present, bitcoin is treated as a speculative asset and is traded on bitcoin exchanges. As a result, it is highly volatile. The value of one bitcoin has gone through major ups and downs. Looking at the bitcoin market price chart, we can observe that the value of one bitcoin has fallen as much as 67% in past one year. However, over the past two years, the value of one bitcoin is up 1879%. This indicates the volatility involved in trading bitcoins. The good news is, in the year 2014, the number of bitcoin related startups has gone up. Bitcoins are accepted as a mode of payment to buy goods and service and daily bitcoin transactions are all time high.

A number of mainstream businesses such as Microsoft, Dell, Dish Network and Paypal accept bitcoins. Online retailers such as Overstock and Target accept bitcoins as a mode of payment on its website. This year Overstock has announced that its employees can opt to receive payments in bitcoins. Some reputed publishers such as Time and Fortune accept crypto currency bitcoin as subscriptions. Google Finance and Yahoo Finance have added bitcoin to their tracking sites. In spite of its volatility, the year 2014 has witnessed the growth and applications of bitcoins in various fields ranging from academia to entrepreneurship. Occasional hacks and vulnerability issues are being addressed by the huge community of the people. Developer activities are also all time high.

According to bitcoin developers and investors, bitcoin ecosystem is going through a major transition. It is likely that, in coming five years, consumers will understand and adapt to the digital currencies. It is also possible that main stream banking system will accept bitcoins.

Funny Animal Videos

According to a study, more people prefer to watch funny videos online than daily news. Pew Research Center conducted a survey about people’s preferences in watching online videos. The results indicate that news was the second most popular category, while funny videos top the list.

People are looking for something that refreshes their spirit and take them away from the negativity of news. Besides they like to share these happy moments with their family and friends. Ease of uploading and sharing has made funny videos more popular in recent years. Video sharing site You Tube is one of the best sites to upload funny vides and social networking sites like facebook are great to share them.

Among the funny videos category, funny animal videos are huge favorite of the viewers. Animal world is never short of funny moments, and you do not have to go far to look for such moments. If you observe your pets carefully, you may capture plenty of clumsy moments that can be hilarious for the onlookers. Some animals have occasional awkward moments, while some of them are naturally entertaining; and provide great humor through their daily activities.

You may browse through the You Tube and come up with thousands of funny animal videos listed in front of you. You can choose from a variety of funny video clips that ignite laughter. You can select from funny animal babies, funny animal activities, clumsy animals, funny animal dances, funny animal encounters, animals making funny faces and displays. Funny animal videos are not limited to the dogs and cats, you can also find cheeky gorillas, grizzly bear cubs, giraffes, magpies, emus and many more wild animals engaged in humorous activities.

Have you ever wondered why animals are funny? One of the reasons is they are spontaneous and behave without any restrain. Another reason could be because we humans consider ourselves more evolved than animals. So, we laugh at animals since they are not civilized and cannot crack witty jokes. Animals are driven by their impulses and needs. They do not analyze or rationalize before they act.

Even though we have evolved significantly and we are able to regulate our urges and behavior, we carry some animal aspect within us. Some popular terms confirming this notion are animal urges, being beastly, party animals, silly cow or chauvinist pig. So when we notice this hidden animal aspect of our selves in other animals, we laugh.

Animals have their own behavior patterns. When they do not follow these patterns and behave differently, they look hilarious. For example, if they behave like humans, make funny faces, roll their eyes or gaze contemplatively, they generate laughter. If you notice on You Tube, videos about talking animals are the most viewed funny animal videos. Animals acting like human are the most funny.

Some other funny activities animals can be engaged into are doing yoga, having bath, playing with kids, dancing, and making funny noises. Sticking their tongue out or licking can be a symbol of affection for the animals. Some animals lick themselves as a part of grooming. These simple gestures can also be hilarious, if captured at the right moment. During sleep, nobody has control over their body parts. Animals sleeping in awkward position can be funny.

Here are some suggestions for not-to-be missed funny animal videos: dog singing and playing piano, cat eating with a fork, waving bears in Seattle game farm, dog on skateboard, seal screaming like a man, funny animal attacks, head banging horses, dog and parrot fighting, and goose performing happy dance.

Funny animal videos are awesome to watch. They entertain and refresh your mind and spirit.

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