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Tips On How to Properly Store Wine

Tips On How to Properly Store Wine

Not everyone has the luxury of owning a wine fridge. Whether this is due to the expense or a lack of space, most casual wine drinkers choose not to invest in specific storage just for their wine. However, that does not mean that there are not steps that you can take to help store your wine properly before it is consumed.

If you are not familiar with wine storage techniques, consider the following tips to help guide you along the way.

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Store Unopened Wine on its Side

One of the easiest wine storage tips to implement is to store the bottles simply laying on their side instead of upright. The reason for this is simple, as it allows the wine to come in contact with the cork. If the cork becomes too dry, it can be difficult to come out and may even break apart. If it does break and goes unnoticed, this could expose the wine to air and dust and will quickly ruin the wine.

That being said, if the bottle is sealed with a screw-top cap or a plastic cork, it can be stored upright. Additionally, all sparkling wines can be stored upright as the internal pressure helps keep enough moisture in the cork to prevent any issues.

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Ageing Wine

If you are planning to keep some wine long enough to age it, it is often best to invest in professional wine storage if you do not have a cellar or basement with the proper climate conditions. Additionally, you will need to determine how long the wine should be aged to reach its optimum flavour.

Most inexpensive wines are not designed to be aged, but more expensive versions may recommend a minimum amount of ageing before opening. For example, a port may not reach full maturity for at least ten years, but a Merlot may be ready in as little as two years. Also, not all wine is designed to be aged indefinitely, so you will want to consider any maximum recommended ageing times to ensure that you can enjoy the bottle once it is at its peak.

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Before you begin the process, you will want to label the wine according to when it should be considered mature enough for consumption. This can be done with a simple tag hung around the neck of the bottle, as this avoids actually marking on the bottle or label. You will also want to organise your wine to ensure that when you do begin to consume it, that you are starting with the proper bottle.

If you do regularly age your wine or serve wine of older vintages, you will want to invest in a wine decanter in order to separate the wine from any sediment that was acquired over time, especially with an older port or Bordeaux.

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Find a Space with Optimal Conditions

There are a variety of factors to consider for storing wine. First, you want to find a space that is at the right temperature. The space should be cool, normally in the realm of 13℃, and the bottles should be kept out of the sunlight. Ideal humidity is often around 50 to 80 percent.

Wine that is stored at too high of a temperature will experience changes to its flavour and may not last as long. In comparison, an environment that is too cold or too dry may dry out the cork, allowing air into the bottle. It there is too much humidity, your wine may even mould.

Since storing bottles on their side is best, you may need to ensure that your selected location has a method for keeping the bottles in place. Simple wine racks are often sufficient and can allow you to access all of your bottles fairly easily. If you are looking for longer-term storage, you may consider a shelving system that is designed specifically to carry the weight of multiple bottles for periods of up to twenty years, depending on the strain of grape.

Featured photo credit: ttps://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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