Home Blog Page 2

5 Suggestions for Sophisticated After-Dinner Drinks (& Etiquette Tips!)

sophisticated after-dinner drinks include cognac and brandy
Taken by Markus Winkler via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Don’t confuse sophistication with stuffiness.

It’s fun to enjoy an evening of adult drinks with friends, smoking jacket not required (but feel free to encourage it). Perhaps your grown-up palate is longing for more. Maybe a drink that begs for the well-dressed version of yourself and classical music in the background?

Quench that thirst and desire with sophisticated after-dinner drinks.


We don’t aim to shock anyone, but did you know vermouth isn’t a spirit? It’s actually a wine! It’s a fortified wine to be precise—not fortified like our cereals—but fortified with additional alcohol.

The wine gives vermouth those beautiful aromatic notes and has added alcohol to make it stronger. A rather brilliant idea, wouldn’t you agree?

Sip it neatly after dinner with friends and impress them with your knowledge of what vermouth truly is.

Related Read: A Few Different Wine Pairings for Spring Produce


Not to be confused with liquor, liqueur is sophisticated—and, of course, quite French.

This lovely drink which comes in many forms is created using distilled liquors. Sweetness is added using fruits, sugar, and spices. Although the word is French, liqueurs themselves come from a few countries, including Germany and Italy.

They are quite rich and suitable as dessert.

Sherry or Port

Sherry and port are both fortified with brandy. This causes them to be compared to each other often. However, they shouldn’t be confused for one another.

Port is a sweet wine and sherry is dry. While they both hail from Spain, the difference in the timing of fortification and the types of grapes used brings out two distinctly different flavors.

However, both are sophisticated after dinner-drinks with beautiful colors and a warmth only a brandy-fortified wine can bring.

Related Read: The Difference Between Craft Beer and Mass-Produced Beer


Reigning from Cognac, France, Cognac is another form of brandy. Forget what you’ve seen in movies. It’s for everyone of legal age and a cigar is not required.

Cognac is the perfect after-dinner drink if you have suggestions for tweaking the host’s dinner recipes. After a sip or two, they really won’t care what you have to say.


Have you noticed a theme? Brandy is a fabulous after-dinner drink and it comes in a multitude of forms.

A distilled wine, it has long been used to “settle” stomachs after feasting for the evening. If you find yourself a bit bloated after indulging in a four course meal, it’s the perfect choice. 

Related Read: 4 Drink Flavor Trends to Watch in 2020 & Beyond

After-Dinner Drink Etiquette

We aren’t grabbing a beer from the cooler. These are room temperature after-dinner drinks, so in order to fully enjoy them, some etiquette must be followed.

Proper Drinkware

A nice collection contains cordials for liqueurs and port wine, snifters for the many types of brandies, and copita glasses for sherry.

Glassware allows the aromas and flavors to shine through. They also help connoisseurs to sip slowly, which should always be done.

Small Pours

Once dinner is over, drinks are best enjoyed in small doses with engaging conversation (or alone with your own thoughts). Pours are small and the flavors big.

Whether ordering at a fine restaurant or entertaining at home, enjoy expanding your palate and knowledge as you try a few sophisticated after-dinner drinks. 

Related Read: What To Know about Wine Before Attending a Tasting Event

A Few Different Wine Pairings for Spring Produce

wine bottle cabernet sauvignon for pairing in the spring
Taken by Kathy Lee via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

There’s nothing better than seeing the sun peak out after a long winter—except maybe the spring foods that you’ve been missing: fresh greens, fresh berries, and so much more. Say goodbye to roasts and potatoes and hello to salads and light meals!

A new season of fresh foods means it’s time to rethink our wine pairings. Those deep reds might not be the best pick for leafy greens or citrusy dishes. Below, you’ll find some guidelines on wine pairing for spring produce. Check it out!

A quick tip: Generally, the lighter the color of your spring fruit or veg, the lighter your wine’s color should be.

Pairing With Sauvignon Blanc

All those leafy greens of spring want to pair with a refreshing bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s probably the simplest spring pairing; you just want to make sure that you’re choosing a cool-weather Sauvignon Blanc—one that’s drier and makes your mouth tingle.

Top Foods To Pair With:

  • Salmon (cooked with herbs and citrus)
  • Steamed or boiled asparagus
  • Arugula, spinach, or baby lettuces
  • Limes

Related Read: Perfect Pair: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings for Picnics

Pairing With Pinot Noir (or Pinot Noir Rosé)

If you don’t want to part with your winter reds, you can make the step toward spring wines with a lighter Pinot Noir. It will pair well with most of the meats you introduce in the spring, but it also goes well with some of the fruits and veg that are still making the transition. Mushrooms, turnips, beets, and onion are all great ones to pair.

Maybe you want to go the Pinot Noir Rosé route. If that’s the case, you open up your pairing spectrum quite a bit:

  • Fresh fruits: kiwi, oranges, apricots, and strawberries
  • Oysters
  • Caprese salad

Related Read: The Difference Between Craft Beer and Mass-Produced Beer

Pairing With Sauternes

A sweeter wine for your spring dishes, Sauternes is a late-harvest wine with tropical honeyed notes. In fact, it’s one of the best sweet wines for beginners—so it won’t overpower if you don’t end up pairing it the best way. It will work well to complement some of our typical fruity and creamy dessert choices. But that’s not all!

  • Ripe peaches and nectarines
  • French fruit tarts
  • Buttery scallops or grilled lobster
  • Sweet potatoes

Related Read: 4 Important Advantages of Farm-To-Table Restaurants

Pairing With Chardonnay

Another great choice for spring wines is the versatile Chardonnay. It’s such a flexible grape—oaked or unoaked—so you can pair it with a variety of dishes and items. From spring pasta dishes to light vegetable soups, Chardonnay’s got your back.

Spring Foods To Pair:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Pineapple and jackfruit
  • Artichokes

Related Read: Interesting Differences Between Western and Eastern Eating Habits

Pairing With Brut Rosé

Spring means blooming, which means that you need a sparkling Rosé to celebrate with. Another great choice for all your berry eating this spring, a chilled bottle of Brut Rosé will turn into your go-to sipper. Pick up a few bottles because they fly by quickly!

Top Foods To Pair With:

  • A spring charcuterie board
  • A BBQ menu
  • Risotto
  • Berries
  • Citrusy salads

Hopefully, this guide to wine pairings for spring produce gives you a good start for the season. Remember, none of this is set in stone—everyone’s taste buds are different, so if something on this list doesn’t wow you, then try something else. All possibilities are possible when spring has finally sprung!

Related Read: Best Foods To Help Your Body Recover From Illness

Best Foods To Help Your Body Recover From Illness

dark chocolate is one of the best foods to help your body recover from illness
Taken by Dovile Ramoskaite via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Recovering from an illness or surgery can be hard on the body. That’s why it’s extra important you feed your body what it needs to effectively recover.

There are certain foods that can help your body heal no matter the symptoms. Here are some foods that can help with everything from inflammation to wound care.

Learn about these best foods to help your body recover from illness by reading below.

Dark Chocolate

Of course, your immune system needs a good amount of vitamins and minerals to fight off illnesses. One central example is magnesium which can be found in a very special treat – dark chocolate. It contains 15 percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium in one ounce. Magnesium can improve the function of the proteins, antibodies, lymphocytes, and macrophages, which are the components of your immune system.

Leafy Greens

People often say that you should “eat the rainbow,” and your greens—particularly leafy greens—are essential. These include arugula, mustard greens, swiss chard, and spinach. They are rich in vitamin C, manganese, folate, provitamin A, and magnesium, all of which help support your immune system. If you’re fighting to beat a bad virus, eating a healthy number of leafy greens every day can help your immune system gain strength to defeat the rest of the infection.

Related Read: Interesting Differences Between Western and Eastern Eating Habits


One of the all-time best foods to help your body recover from illness is honey. While you may feel tempted to sweeten your dishes with other products, this natural sweetener offers many benefits. For one thing, honey can help heal burns and cuts. Furthermore, it is a natural decongestant perfect for fighting a cold or soothing a sore throat. It can also reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Plus, the antimicrobial properties of honey can fight fungi, bacteria, and certain viruses.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds like sunflower, hemp, and chia seeds are packed with antioxidants. Those antioxidants can fight against cellular damage, as well as help cleanse the rest of your body. The vitamin E in nuts and seeds improves protective immune cells in your body. Your immune cells are crucial for building up your immune system to prevent and fight off illnesses. So, don’t hesitate to add nuts and seeds to your oatmeal, salads, or snack plates.

Related Read: Warm and Tasty: The Best Honey and Tea Combinations


Garlic is incredibly useful for flavoring in many delicious dishes. It also possesses a few surprisingly strong health benefits. Garlic has properties that can improve your health and immune response by producing allicin when it’s been chopped up. This carries antiviral and antibacterial properties. A dish of pasta with some fresh sauce and garlic mixed in will give your body an immune boost, excellent for battling viral illnesses.

Cruciferous Vegetables

If you aren’t necessarily familiar with common cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy are prime examples. These veggies pack a punch, as they contain glucosinolates and plenty of B vitamins which reduce inflammation. This can make them beneficial if you have been suffering from a sore, inflamed throat, which is typical in many bad viruses.

Related Read: Three of the Most Popular Diets for Weight Loss & Health

Interesting Differences Between Western and Eastern Eating Habits

dining on cheeseburgers western and eastern eating habits
Taken by Dan Gold via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Like night and day, the East and the West are distinguishable places of society, environment, perspective, and culture. The East and West are diverse parts of the same world, with a myriad of dissimilitude defined by customs and behaviors. They differ in history, worldviews, and ways of living everyday life.

One fascinating distinction is entwined deeply with food. It’s more than a source of sustenance but also a personal journey of daily habit closely linked to cultural ties, family traditions, and local resource availability. Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between Western and Eastern eating habits.

A Distinction of Utensil Usage

A forking of separate paths between the East and the West begins with eating utensils themselves. Long-held traditions are the root of influence in how we as humans eat, drink, and dine on a daily basis. In Western cultures, the commonplace norm is to eat with a fork, knife, and spoon. This is how a traditional table is usually set. Perhaps you’ve dabbled with a spork as well.

While Eastern cultures do use forks and spoons, people with Asian backgrounds traditionally eat with chopsticks or just their hands. By default, mouthfuls are smaller so each bite is more mindful. These customs are traditionally in line with one’s culture or faith. For example, in India, it can be a sign of respect to physically touch the food that one is eating as a spiritual connection. Eating etiquette is greatly influenced by the assorted use of utensils.

Related Read: What Are the Differences Between Regular and Greek Yogurt?

Dishes: Concept of Sharing Versus Individuality

One of the maindifferences between Western and Eastern eating habitslies in how the food is dished out and served on the table. In many Eastern cultures, main dishes are designed to be shared with other people as a symbol of unity. Communal eating is a virtuous and respectful experience of collectivism. A multitude of dishes is put onto the middle of the table for each member of the meal to share with their dining companions.

Within Western culture, individual dishes are the norm. They’re put right in front of an individual’s table setting to directly consume for themselves. Bigger meals or holiday affairs may call for passing dishes around, but individual portions of a dish are the standard of circadian dining.

Cooking Methods and Meal Variety

An established variety of Western dishes are fried, baked, roasted, or broiled. Raw veggies are popular for salads, without any kind of prep or cooking. Cold drinks and foods such as yogurt and cheese are also notable variances in dietary cuisine.

Comparatively, Eastern dishes are predominantly steamed, stewed, sautéed, boiled, or stir-fried. Raw veggies are rarely consumed but rather fried or stewed with species or oils, as warm/hot dishes are the commonality instead of cold foods and drinks.

Despite these differences in what a meal consists of, there are shared loves of the same foods. Meat is a valued and popular protein around the world, and you can cook such delectable meat as Wagyu beef in an assortment of ways. Food may culturally be part of one’s identity, but it also brings all types of people together.

Related Read: Top Techniques for Cooking Meat Perfectly Each and Every Time

4 Important Advantages of Farm-To-Table Restaurants

healthy food at farm-to-table restaurant advantages
Taken by Heather Ford via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

With the number of working farms decreasing and the population increasing, many people are beginning to view fresh, local farm goods as superior to more distant imports. And well they should.

Nothing beats a vine-ripened tomato picked at its peak and turned into bruschetta within a few days. This is just one of the advantages of farm-to-table restaurants.

Customers want fresh, healthy ingredients, and farm-to-table dining is the answer.

Fresh Ingredients

Farm-to-table doesn’t mean that the chef runs to the farm next door to pick your salad immediately before serving. As wonderful as that would be, many restaurants aren’t in an area where that would be feasible.

Fruits and vegetables often come from a cooperative of several farms. The produce may travel a bit, but it’s nowhere near the distance produce typically travels to get to the larger chain restaurants. Farmers pick foods for these chains extremely early to get them to restaurants all over the country.

Many of the farms in a cooperative are local and relatively small, and restaurants that want to serve organic food will choose organic farms for their produce.

You Know Where Your Food Is Coming From

One of the advantages of farm-to-table restaurants is the ability to know where your food is coming from. With food coming from all over the world, typically from large-scale farms, it is rare for a diner to know where their meal came from in this day and age.

As the general public becomes more knowledgeable about food and what kind of processing it goes through, customers appreciate this part of the farm-to-table restaurant. Chefs will often have the details of where the food comes from and how it is grown or raised printed on the menu for patrons to enjoy.

Related Read: The Difference Between Craft Beer and Mass-Produced Beer

Grass-Fed and Free-Range

As consumers, we have become more aware of and concerned with how the food industry treats the animals that provide our food. Not only that, but we also know that things like our beef contain more nutrients when they feed more naturally.

Of course, fresh beef and poultry require careful handling to avoid contamination, and farm-to-table restaurant owners take a lot of care in this process. Because they get their meat only from local farms, they understand the correct equipment for transporting it in the safest possible way.

It Simply Tastes Better

Fresher ingredients taste better, as do well-grown and humanely raised foods. If health isn’t a concern, taste certainly is.

Farm-to-table means eating what is in season rather than frozen foods. When all its ingredients are crisp and in season, a simple salad thrills the taste buds in a way only freshness can. Once you experience farm-to-table freshness, it’s hard to go back.

Using only what is in season also allows great chefs to use their creativity to develop new menu items. This variety keeps the restaurant exciting and fun.

If you have not yet experienced farm-to-table as a consumer, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how enjoyable it is.

And if you are a restaurant owner or chef considering farm-to-table, keep in mind, supporting farm-to-table not only pleases consumers but supports communities as well.

Related Read: What Are the Differences Between Regular and Greek Yogurt?