Lifestyle 20 April 2020
I have seen so many blogs, tweets, Instagram posts, and even memes that have extolled the opportunities we have now that we have no choice but to stay in. I've even written my own. It is enticing to think that a global pandemic might actually give us the chance to achieve our dreams!
Unfortunately, this attitude fails to take into account the circumstances of our isolation. This is not a period of quiet we have chosen to write a novel or start painting. It is a terrifying situation, fraught with uncertainty about our very existence. Chances are you feel less motivated than ever to get anything done. It is important to know that this is perfectly okay.
Personally, I still intend to pursue a few of my "when I have the time" dreams. However, I'm trying not to be hard on myself. Self-care has become a crucial part of every single day. Self-care means something different for everyone. For me, it means yoga, warm baths, and wine. Lots and lots of wine.
The good news is that I've come across the ideal way to turn this self-care habit into something more productive. Online wine clubs are a relatively new phenomenon. With a monthly subscription, you get wines delivered to you to try. You get to use the opportunity to cultivate your palate, so that you're actually in the process of becoming a connoisseur rather than just drinking in isolation.
These delivery services are perfect, considering it is not ideal to leave the house to stock up. Furthermore, by choosing the best affordable wine clubs you can save money. You don't have to be rich to know the difference between varieties of wine.
You can choose wine clubs that provide specific types of wine. Being an avid wine drinker and aspiring connoisseur, I thought I'd share some tips on how you can choose between red, white, and rosé wine clubs.
Red Wine Clubs
Not long ago, if you had asked me what my favorite wine was, I would have simply answered red! I would not have been able to distinguish between a Cabernet-Sauvignon and a Merlot. Yes, I now understand that they are vastly different, but at that point it all seemed like the same thing.
If you join a red wine club, you will begin to understand the difference between varieties of wines, as well as characteristics of different Cabernets, Merlots, Pinot Noirs, and so on. You will start to understand the importance of tannins and whether or not they're a good thing (spoiler: they can be good or bad!).
White Wine Clubs
We all know the basic characteristics that differentiate white wine from red wine. They tend to be dryer, best served chilled, and paired with fish. You can get sweet dessert wines and bitter white wines best enjoyed on their own. Of course, the characteristics go far beyond these simplistic descriptions.
When you join a white wine club, you will begin to learn about Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Grigios, Rieslings, and more. If you struggle to enjoy dry white wines, you will start to acquire a taste for them, appreciating them in their own right and opting for them at the right moments. You will understand why Chardonnay is sometimes looked down upon and why it can be a very cultivated choice.
Rosé Wine Clubs
Do you know what a rosé is? Chances are, your understanding is limited to the fact that it is a pinkish color, has a light taste, and is looked down upon by men suffering from fragile masculinity.
The reality is that rosé wine is a delightful variety in its own right. Yes, it is sometimes easier drinking, but that does not detract from its subtleties and delicious taste. Rosé wine is made by soaking the skins of the red grapes in the liquid for a short period of time, infusing it with that light color and taste.
There are as wide a variety of rosé wines as anything else, as all red grapes can be made into a rosé. You're not missing out on any of the cultivation and subtle experience by choosing a rosé wine club. On the contrary, you are likely choosing something you know you'll enjoy, before learning to appreciate it even more.
Affordable wine in isolation
We do not know when we will be able to move on from social distancing. For now, we have to wait and hope. The good news is that it is easy to get wines delivered to your door at an affordable price, giving you the opportunity to cultivate your taste and experience a wide variety of grapes.
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.