Posted in Life & Happiness


Good food.

Good wine.

Good coffee.

Good dessert.

Good song.

Good show.

Good laugh.

Good company.

The simpler your demands, the easier life can fulfil them and give you happiness.


Posted in Science & Nature

Wine Aging

One of the (many) defining features of a “great wine” is the aging of the wine. The complex chemical reactions between the wine’s sugars, acids and tannins can produce a much deeper, sophisticated aroma and taste that stays in the mouth for longer. For example, the tannins break down to give a softer mouthfeel. Acids and alcohols combine in the wine to form esters – chemical compounds that produce very unique smells. This also reduces the perceived acidic taste of the wine, making it less sour. The longer the wine has aged, the more of these chemical reactions occurs and the wine typically improves in quality.

Of course, the problem with wine of excellent quality is the price and the time required to age the wine. Is there any way to artificially “age” wine? The solution lies in something that sounds like science fiction: irradiating the wine.

If you expose a bottle of wine to radiation (about 500 rads) for an hour, it can greatly improve its maturity. In a simple experiment, blind-tasted sommeliers could not believe that the two glasses of wine – one before irradiation and one after – were exactly the same. In fact, they valued the irradiated wine at almost five times the market price of the original bottle. The reason for this is that radiation accelerates the esterification process of the acids in the wine, producing a much deeper and smoother taste.
There are also other experiments that have shown that magnetism, ultra-sonic waves and high-voltage electricity can all be used to artificially age wine.

Although radiation does not turn people into superheroes, it turns out it can for wine.

Posted in Psychology & Medicine


On May 24, 1976, a British wine merchant called Steven Spurrier organised a wine competition to determine the top wine from different areas of France and California. The panel of French judges were all wine connoisseurs who would blind taste the wines to give an objective rating. The event, which would later be called the Judgement of Paris, was a turning point in wine history and also shows a fascinating point regarding the arts.

It was predicted by every judge (including Spurrier himself) that the French wine would trump the Californian wine in every field. For how could Californian wine – with only a history of a century or so – beat top-quality, traditional wine from France, famous for its wine since 6th century BC? Even after the tastings, the judges were confident that the wine that they gave the top rating was indubitably French. Unfortunately, they were wrong.

Californian wine were rated best for both red and white wine, critically damaging the reputation of French wine and the validity of wine tasting (even after several complaints, adjustments and re-testing, Californian wine still came out top).

People believed that French wine would be better quality because of the stereotype that French wine is the best. The experiment  showed that there is no real basis for such a stereotype. Therefore, the real reason people pay more for wine from French vineyards is not because it tastes better, but because they want to appear classy and well-cultured. It is possible this also applies to the price of the wine – where people buy more expensive wine believing that it must be better than the wine that is $5 cheaper.

Another experiment highlights how the taste of wine can be affected by classiness. It has been scientifically shown that people buy more expensive wine in supermarkets if there is classical music playing compared to any other genre. The classical music gives an air of high class, leading the person to make their wine choice accordingly.

The same phenomenon is found with art. There have been numerous cases where art critics acclaimed a piece of abstract art, believing the artist to be the next Jackson Pollock, until they found out it was drawn by a 2-year old child or an elephant.

In short, high class is a completely subjective term with absolutely no practical value – other than giving the person a false, pompous feeling of superiority. What matters in art is not whether it is “good” or not, but whether you enjoy it or not.

Posted in Philosophy


  • An appropriate amount improves the quality of life and induce happiness.
  • Excess use can harm both the user and those around him or her.
  • There is a large variety, and each person prefers a certain type.
  • It is highly addictive, and progressively takes up a larger portion of life.
  • The history of its use by people stretches far into ancient times.
  • It destroys many people’s rationality.
  • It can provide hope to those who have none.
  • Removing it from the world is probably for the better, but it is impossible to.

These are the common points between religion and alcohol.