Business Insider put together a list of basic etiquette rules to follow on your next flight. Keep them in mind to keep traveling a pleasant experience for everyone involved.
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Business Insider put together a list of basic etiquette rules to follow on your next flight. Keep them in mind to keep traveling a pleasant experience for everyone involved.
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The Prohibition Era left a gap in America's knowledge of whiskey, leading to a slew of myths and misconceptions.
Whiskey and spirits enthusiast Noah Rothbaum debunks some of these myths in his new book, "The Art of American Whiskey," which uses 100 vintage and modern labels to help tell the story of whiskey in America.
Here, he clears up a few lingering myths that won't seem to go away.
"We've been trained in America to think that older is better and a marker of quality. But in fact, there's a finite number of years that you can age whiskey, otherwise you get too much wood from the barrel and they wind up tasting too woody.
There are a number of very fine, extra old American whiskeys on the market that are 18, 20 years old, but those are really big exceptions. There are many excellent whiskeys that are far younger than 20 years old."
"By law, bourbon has to be made in America — it doesn't have to be made in Kentucky. We've seen people from New York, California, and everywhere in between making bourbon. The majority of bourbon is still made in Kentucky because the biggest companies are there, but it doesn't have to be made there — it just has to be made inside the U.S.
Just as Champagne can only be made in Champagne or Cognac can only be made in Cognac, bourbon can only be made in America."
"There are a lot of excellent American whiskeys that don't break the bank that you can find for $25. One of the best rye whiskeys is Rittenhouse Rye, which sells for about $25 — far less than a lot of other rye whiskeys on the market."
"For so long that was such a prevailing idea, but it's obviously ridiculous ... There's nothing that should stop a woman from drinking whiskey. In fact, according to science, women are better tasters of flavor, so they actually have a better palate than men do. So if anybody should be appreciating a rich spirit ... it should be women."
"If you're making a cocktail, you want to use the best ingredients that you have. You may not want to use your absolute rarest, best whiskey in a cocktail, but that doesn't mean you should skimp on the spirit. Great whiskeys will make great cocktails.
Some of the whiskeys that people prize are ones that are high proof and have bigger flavors, which work perfectly in cocktails because they stand up to other mixers. [And] even with the dilution from the ice ... they're able to still have a lot of flavor."
"You can drink it year-round, even in the heart of summer. Whether you're mixing it with club soda or you're mixing it with ginger ale or ginger beer, it's a very refreshing drink when it's hot and humid outside. You can also add a squeeze of lime juice to either concoction if you like."
"A lot of people are worried about adding water or ice. But adding a little water actually opens up the whiskey to release more flavors and aromas.
If it's hot out and the whiskey is a big whiskey and high proof [90+], definitely feel free to add ice — and the bigger the ice cube, the better.
I think you should definitely feel free to experiment a little bit; whiskey is not that delicate. There are some very rare or exceptional whiskeys that you're not going to want to add ice or water to, but most whiskeys on the shelf may taste good with ice, or water, or club soda if that's what you like."
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A fully functioning bar, even a small at-home one, has more than liquor, mixers, and glassware on hand. Bar tools, like muddlers, jiggers, and zesters, are needed to craft cocktails that require more technical savvy than pouring a double shot of rum into a glass of Coke.
Quench’s 10-in-1 bartending tool— the Swiss Army knife of bartending tools, if you will — has everything you’ll need to make mint juleps, caipirinhas, and so on. The tool includes a muddler, knife and channel knife, reamer, stirrer, strainer, jigger, corkscrew, zester, and bottle opener.
Any quality bartender will tell you presentation and taste are everything. In this vein, mojitos are not mojitos without muddled mint and margaritas are not quality without fresh juice reamed from limes. (Channel knives and zesters are to blame for those fancy-looking finishing garnishes.)
If you're looking to step-up your cocktail-making game, Quench’s 10-in-1 tool is significantly cheaper than buying each tool individually. You can purchase the blue and red versions for a paltry $20. That’s something to drink to this weekend.
Gluten-free diets are all the rage.
But is eating gluten, the protein found in wheat that gives our bread dough that stretchy feeling, really making us any less healthy?
For a little less than the 1% of the population who have celiac disease, an underdiagnosed autoimmune disorder where eating gluten damages the small intestine, ditching gluten is necessary.
Another 0.63% to 6% of people may be sensitive to gluten without having celiac, meaning that when they eat gluten, they get many of the symptoms that people with celiac disease do. (This condition, called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is a bit controversial, however, with severalstudies suggesting it's either overblown or doesn't exist.)
If you're considering going gluten-free and not changing any other dietary habits because it seems like the best way to lose a few pounds, here's why that really isn't the best idea:
To be truly gluten-free requires a lot more than taking the buns off your burger.
Gluten is found in lots of things, from salad dressings and creamy soups (where it's used as a thickening agent) to soy sauce. And, of course, beer has gluten because it's made with wheat or barley.
If you quit gluten without changing any other aspects of your diet, you may be at risk of not getting enough of two key ingredients: fiber and vitamin B.
The eight B vitamins assist our bodies in siphoning energy from our food we eat. They also help us make red blood cells, which deliver oxygen. One in particular, called folic acid, is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent birth defects. While vitamin B is plentiful in lots of other types of food, from fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products to leafy greens, peas, and beans, it's also found in a lot of cereals and bread products. If your diet is already lacking in these areas and you go gluten-free, you could be at risk of a deficiency.
Fiber, another ingredient that's prevalent in bread and grains, is important for helping us control blood sugar levels, keep us feeling full after a meal, and regulating our bowel movements.
Compared with people who have celiac disease or a gluten allergy, people who shun gluten for "health reasons" get to be a little more relaxed about what counts as going gluten free. For example, they don't have to worry about cross-contamination (when gluten-full products touch gluten-free foods), and the occasional "cheat day" is permissible.
But many who actually can't eat gluten say the craze has created an unwanted stigma around their very real health problem. "Waiters, thinking I am just another ankle-boot wearing Gwyneth wannabe, no longer take me seriously," writes Elissa Strauss, who has celiac disease, in Jezebel. "It is actually harder for me to eat out now than it was a few years ago because a little dusting of flour on a piece of flounder equals a few days in bed for me."
When you cut out gluten, you cut out a lot of junk food, which research suggests could be the real reason some people suddenly feel better when they go gluten-free.
Instead of cutting gluten, try just cutting junk food instead.
The only way to test for celiac is when you have gluten in your system. So, if you think you might have a sensitivity or even celiac, it's best to go to the doctor before changing your eating habits. That way, they can run the tests and let you know for sure exactly what's making you feel funky.
The moral of the story? We've been eating gluten for at least 10,000 years. For the vast majority of us, cutting it out now — unless medically necessary — isn't our best bet for a healthy lifestyle.
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Sure, riding around is usually more fun than trudging through another jog, but it’s also, for the most part, reliant on sunlight. The less visibility you have when speeding around, the more likely you are to get clipped by an unassuming truck driver. But since people have lives, it can be difficult to find a consistent riding time during the day.
The solution, if you’re currently tethered to nighttime rides, is a bike light. There have been plenty of versions created over the years, but if you want a more stylish brand of bike lights that’ll keep you noticeable in the dark, the Revolights are worth a look.
These things have been making the rounds for a few years now, but they continue to be an eye-catching and effective way to keep your bicycle seen. Basically, they’re a set of smart LEDs that attach to both wheels and track how fast you’re moving. From there, they automatically figure out which lights to set off, always making it so its light is only behind and in front of you — not in your face. When you stop, all of the lights spin in a blinking safety cycle.
There are similar solutions out there, but this setup is adept at solving the common problem of keeping your sides just as visible as your front and rear. You can’t go on autopilot with them, but they help. The lights last for about 4 hours on a charge, and are resistant to wetter weather as well.
There are a few things to know before you go Tron-ifying your bike, though. The Revolights can be a little complicated to set up, for one — here’s a good walkthrough — and they’re really only designed for the kind of thinner commuter bikes you’d ride on the streets.
At $200, the Revolights are also a bit pricey. But if you take your cycling seriously and are willing to invest in some extra safety and style, they’ll do the job.
Summer is in full swing, which means it's prime beach time.
To make sure that you fully enjoy your beach day, we've compiled a list of essential items that should always be in your beach bag.
There's nothing worse than coming home from spending a day at the beach, looking in the mirror and discovering that what you thought would be a nice even tan is actually a bright red splotchy sunburn.
To avoid this, make sure you always have plenty of sunscreen in your bag. It's also a good idea to lather up before you get to beach, and to re-apply every hour and half.
Most dermatologists recommend getting a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk is a bit of a splurge, but there's a reason it's called melt-in sunscreen milk. It's smooth and easily soaks into your skin, while also providing effective protection. Because it's so lightweight, this sunscreen can also be used for your face.
While not everyone's lips are sensitive to the sun, it's always a good idea to protect them just in case, and it's common to get chapped lips at the beach anyway. You can either go for a regular lip balm that has a small SPF, or you can use one with a higher SPF, such as ChapStick's Ultra SPF 25.
Just to make sure you've covered all your sun protection bases, you might want to bring a hat along. Even if you don't start the day out with it, it can provide some much needed shade later in the day if you're feeling crispy. A straw hat is a stylish option for women, and a sporty baseball cap is perfect for men.
Instead of spending upwards of $2 for a bottle of water that someone is selling at the beach, bring your own. It's free and will prevent you from becoming dehydrated, which is easy to do after laying in the sun for hours.
Better yet, try a water bottle that will keep your water cool — because we all know that warm water is anything but refreshing when you're sweating it out in the sun. Klean Kanteen makes a 20 ounce insulated stainless steel bottle.
Sitting or laying directly in the sand is something that usually only kids enjoy. An absorbent beach towel will keep you dry and help you fend off (at least some of) the sand.
Aurorae primarily makes yoga mats, but they also make beach towels that are large and absorbent, but still lightweight.
If you don't want to be squinting into the sun all day, make sure to bring a good pair of sunglasses to shade your eyes. Ray Bays are a classic brand and the Wayfarer is an iconic style that's been around for decades.
Paperback books and magazines can be tough at the beach; there's always the chance that they get wet, or that it's too windy. Hard cover books, on the other hand, will weigh down your bag.
If you bring a Kindle, though, you'll have multiple books at your fingertips and you won't have to deal with heaviness or pages flying in the wind.
Amazon's newest Kindle has a six inch high resolution display, a built in light, and wi-fi.
Paddleball is a great way to combat boredom at the beach — and to get some exercise in. It's like ping pong at the beach minus the table and net. Plus, the paddles and ball are small enough that they won't take up too much space in your bag, like a volleyball would.
Hopefully your beach day won't call for any bandaids, but on the off chance it does, it never hurts to have a small first aid kit on hand just in case.
SEE ALSO: The 23 best beaches in America
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Chile offers terrific experiences that should be on every traveler's list. Here are our top picks for a memorable trip.
In the heart of the Atacama Desert, San Pedro is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Explore erupting geyser fields and blue alpine lakes and watch multihued sunsets across lunar-like landscapes.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the port town of Valparaíso charms with its candy-colored metal houses, dramatic hills overlooking the Pacific, and wooden funiculars.
Surrounded by the Andes, Chile’s vibrant capital is filled with top-notch museums, colorful crafts markets, colonial buildings, and trendy restaurants.
Sample flavorful reds and crisp whites at the vineyards that line Chile’s Central Valley. The often-stunning settings and generous tasting sessions are added bonuses.
Chile’s ecosystems support a variety of wildlife. Expect to see penguins and guanacos in Patagonia and alpacas and flamingos in the Atacama Desert.
You’re never far from the ocean in Chile. Local restaurants serve delicious seafood throughout the country, from Patagonian king crab to mouthwatering stews.
Wandering among the mysterious moai, the colossal stone statues that keep watch over the most isolated island in the world, is truly awe-inspiring.
Everyone seems to be renting these days — even celebrities.
For $10,000 a night, Mariah Carey is relaxing in a $30 million, oceanfront Mediterranean villa before she jets off to Israel for a late August concert, according to Page Six and the singer's Instagram. She's joined by her billionaire boyfriend, James Packer.
The rental villa is located on Carbon Beach (aka "Billionaires' Beach"), where Carey could run into residents like Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, Irving Azoff, and Larry Ellison. Carey is renting the villa through Airbnb, an online marketplace that connects travelers and homeowners.
Keep scrolling for an inside-out tour and check out the listing if you want to be next in line.
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Lots of married couples with kids run into the same problem: their children run into the bedroom and want to hop into bed with them. This can definitely take a negative toll on the sex lives of people who work all day and spend their remaining time with the kids.
Psychotherapist and author M. Gary Neuman has a simple piece of advice that could fix this problem.
Business Insider readers get a 20% discount on Neuman's products for a limited time by using the promo code "businessinsider." Click here to visit his website.
Produced by Graham Flanagan
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child together. But they're not the only ones who will be welcoming a new baby this year.
We found the most powerful babies who have either been born recently or will be born this year.
These babies might still be drooling and crawling, but they're already poised to become major players who will one day rule the world.
Parents: Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky
Presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton and her husband, hedge-funder Marc Mezvinsky, gave birth to their first child, Charlotte, in September 2014.
If this baby is anything like his or her grandparents, a former U.S. President (Bill Clinton) and a potential U.S. President (Hillary Clinton), she has a good shot at being president, too.
Parents: Kate Middleton and Prince William
Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who just turned two, is third in line to the British throne. Little sister Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was born in May to great fanfare.
Parents: Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager
The former First Daughter and husband Henry Hager welcomed their baby girl in April 2013.
As the first grandchild of a former U.S. President (George W. Bush) and the great grandchild of another former U.S. President (George HW Bush), this baby will have some serious political clout.
This spring, Bush Hager, a special correspondent for Today, announced that the couple was expecting a second child.
A Manhattan man is reportedly having a rough time with his $10 million "dream penthouse" loft. But it has nothing to do with the 7,364-square-foot home itself, which was recently featured in HGTV's “Selling New York.’’
Rocco Vogel is reportedly suing the Soho building's ground floor tenant, a Mediterranean restaurant called Pera Soho, for allegedly making a portion of the rooftop common area a bar, according to the New York Post.
Vogel claims that the restaurant's alleged illegal use of the building is keeping him up. The revelers reportedly enjoy the bar's loud music and smoke on the roof — both tobacco and marijuana — way late into the night, making it hard for him and his family to catch some shut-eye.
He told the Post that these "intoxicated" bar goers — on their way to and from the rooftop — have almost gotten off the elevator that leads into his apartment, causing him "fear and apprehension." He also claims they spill drinks and leave refuse in the elevator.
Vogel is asking for damages to the tune of $1.5 million and has named the building's management in the suit.
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Marie Kondo is a lifestyle celebrity in Japan known for helping people decrease clutter and straighten up their homes for good.
But her de-cluttering methods aren't limited to homes — they can be used to tidy up any space, including offices.
Kondo's book — "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" — is full of tips on discarding clutter and storing what's left. In it, she encourages readers to clean everything in one fell swoop and only keep the things they truly love.
"Even in the workspace, at your job, your things should still spark joy," Kondo told Fast Company in May.
Earlier this year she told Business Insider that you can tell when something sparks joy when you "feel your body go upward." If something doesn't make you happy when you touch it, Kondo said you should "thank it for its service" and get rid of it.
"When you choose things based on your real feeling, you can choose the right amount of items to totally fit [in your space]," Kondo said. "That is surprising for everyone — this is part of the magic of tidying up."
Her book became a top seller this year and even earned her a spot on Time's 2015 "Top 100 Influential People" list.
And she's developed a fan base so huge, her followers are flooding Instagram with photos of their "kondo-ed" spaces.
Bellow you'll see inspiring images of so-called "kondo-ed" offices that people posted on Instagram and instructions on how to conquer your own workspace.
Ever wished there was a way to cleanse your body of those last few months of subsisting on greasy takeout and leftovers?
No, you don't need to spend the next four days juicing and declining invites to dinner.
Meet your liver and kidneys.
Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a super-efficient system for filtering out most of the harmful substances we eat and drink.
While our kidneys filter our blood and remove any waste from our diet, our liver processes medications and detoxifies any chemicals we ingest. Paired together, these organs make our bodies natural cleansing powerhouses.
"Unless there's a blockage in one of these organs that [cleanse our bodies] day and night, there's absolutely no need to help the body get rid of toxins," family physician Ranit Mishori of the Georgetown University School of Medicine told NPR. Mishori has spent years reviewing the medical literature on cleanses.
The original detox diet, called "The Master Cleanse," was thought up in the 1940s by Stanley Burroughs as a "natural" way to treat stomach ulcers. The method was never substantiated by any research.
He published a book describing it called "The Master Cleanser." The cleanse consists of a daily regimen of six to 12 glasses of water mixed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup, plus a laxative at bedtime. Yum.
Cleanse proponents like Peter Glickman, who helped resurrect the cleanse in 2004 with a book called "Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse," say dieters begin to feel "euphoric" and "serene" after about a week of not eating. We could think of better words to describe the sensations of incipient starvation.
Perhaps you don't want to do a cleanse — you just want to get one of the alleged toxins you eat every day (like sugar) out of your system.
There's a basic principle that explains why you don't need to completely eliminate anything from your diet — aside from things you're allergic to, of course.
It's called dose-sensitivity, it's a basic tenet of toxicology, a branch of science that focuses on potentially harmful effects of things we encounter in our environment. As author Alan Levinovitz explains in his recent book "The Gluten Lie," this principle explains why consuming low and high doses of something — like water, for example — can have entirely opposite effects. Have enough to keep you hydrated, and you function like a normal person. Have six liters in one sitting, and you could die.
The same idea can often apply to sugar and many of the other "toxins" we seek to rid our bodies of.
Small amounts of sugar, like would be found in a serving of fresh fruit or a cookie after lunch, are likely far from harmful; huge amounts, like would be found in six cans of Coke or several bags of M&Ms, are probably harmful. (Overconsumption of sugar has been linked with serious health problems, from cavities and weight gain to insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.)
Rather than cutting sugar completely or trying to finagle another way to rid your body of the "bad" foods you eat, a better alternative would be to eat them in moderation.
NOW WATCH: Here's why eggs are so good for you
Most health-conscious people are familiar with the saying, "You are what you eat."
Here's the good news: That's likely not true.
As Alan Levinovitz writes in a new book, "The Gluten Lie," the real principle we should be following has little to do with what types of foods we eat. All we really need to pay attention to is how much we're eating.
Nevertheless, the ancient idea that we are what we eat continues to inform our eating and dieting habits. Many of us still believe, at some level, that eating fat will make us fat; that eating cholesterol will give us high cholesterol.
It's one of the biggest motivators of fad diets: That cutting gluten, dodging carbs, or avoiding fatty foods will translate into weight loss. But unless you're eating less overall, that's unlikely. Here's Levinovitz:
"Low fat, low carb, low whatever:for successful dieting,the common denominator is lower consumption across the board."
A recent look at the studies behind our current fat guidelines, for example — which state that we should restrict saturated fat to under 10% of all the calories we eat and that we shouldn't get more than 20% to 35% of our daily calories from fats — find that there wasn't evidence to support those rules in the first place.
After looking at the research on fat consumption that existed at the time, the authors of the new study write that the "dietary advice not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced."
In other words, eating some fat doesn't make us fat. Eating some cholesterol doesn't necessarily give us high cholesterol.
We all know that consuming too much of anything will result in health problems. Eating too much sugar gives you cavities. Drinking too much alcohol makes you drowsy and can give you a hangover. But research shows that eating small amounts of any food — be it in the form of rich avocados, cholesterol-laden eggs, or even butter — doesn't result in problems.
Yet we're still compelled to think that eating fat — any of it at all — will make us fat.
Levinovitz cites some psychological research, including a 2009 study by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Paul Rozin and University of Southern Maine psychologist Carol Nemeroff, to help explain why.
For their study, the researchers wrote two descriptions of a tribal society whom they called the Chandorans. Both descriptions were the same except for one aspect: their diet. While one group of Chandorans hunted boar and turtle and ate only boar, the other group hunted boar and turtle and ate only turtle.
Then, the researchers had 167 volunteers rate the Chandoran society in terms of their speed and average lifespan.
The volunteers were consistently more likely to say they thought the turtle-eating people lived longer but were slow, while they tended to say the boar-eating people were heavyset and aggressive.
In other words, Rozin wrote in his paper, the results "are clearly consistent with the hypothesis that…subjects 'believe 'that 'you are what you eat.'"
Rather than focusing on cutting out any specific food group — from fat to carbs — the research suggests we might be better off simply being a little more mindful about how much of everything we eat.
Of course, there are always some foods to keep an eye out for, like those with high concentrations of a few specific ingredients. A 20-ounce bottle of soda, for example, has roughly 65 grams (just about 16 teaspoons) of sugar.
The Associated Press and partner British Movietone have made 120 years of historical news footage available online for the first time ever by uploading 550,000 YouTube videos.
That adds up to over one million minutes of footage.
On the AP's new Youtube Channel and the British Movietone Channel, people now have instant access to footage of some of the most pivotal moments in modern history, including news footage of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as videos of the Titanic leaving an Irish port, the stock market crash of 1929, and the the bombing of Hiroshima.
The Washington Post reports that before putting this footage on Youtube, most of it was only available to be seen in historical archives or museums.
Here are 17 of the best videos released by the AP:
What's not to love about drinking wine in stunning locales with friends and loved ones?
In the past 25 years, wine tourism has exploded and millions of people a year seek out wineries of all types and sizes from Napa Valley to South Africa. Keep reading for some tips on how to get the most out of your next day of wine tourism.
1. Design your trip around a goal.
I'm not talking about hours of research, but a simple game plan eliminates a lot of indecision as you head out. Some people want to visit a very specific winery that makes a wine they love. If that is the case, budget more time there, and start or end your trip there. Others will look to discover wineries and enjoy a few beautiful locations. These are very different trips. Set your plan and then fill in as needed.
2. Limit your visits and extend each stay.
Some people will squeeze in 10 or more wineries in a single day. I recommend a more leisurely pace. In general, plan on an hour or more per winery. My general rule is to take the number of wineries you feel up to visiting and subtract two from the list. Trust me.
3. Make reservations.
Some of my favorite wineries limit the number of people they allow on their grounds per day. The quality of the visit directly corresponds to the serenity of the location. Visiting wineries that require reservations is a great way to maximize that experience. Compare a visit to this type of winery with the spot down the road that has designated parking lots for buses and tell me which one you want to go back to if you were to return!
4. If possible, go during the week.
I realize that can be a challenge but, again, the smaller crowds will really enhance your experience.
5. Hire a driver.
There is tremendous comfort knowing you don’t have to worry about driving. Also, many drivers will know the area well and provide suggestions based on your tastes. Beware of tours that have predetermined wineries on their list. These are often the biggest, most crowded, and least personal wineries, and they may provide incentives for the tour bus companies. Of course, a designated driver works great as well.
6. Explore less well-known wine regions.
Napa and Sonoma are great. But so are the Finger Lakes of New York, the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Paso Robles in California. Champagne is amazing, but equally amazing is the Loire Valley in France. The further off the beaten trail you go, the more intimate and enjoyable the experiences tend to be.
7. Ask questions!
Most people who work at wineries love to answer questions. They love wine and want to share their passion. But regardless of where you are, don’t treat the winery employees like bartenders — engage them in conversation. Some questions to get you started: Why do they grow the types of grapes they are selling? What about the land makes this winery special? Who founded this winery? How do they age their wines? What’s drinking really well right now? What do they sell exclusively at the winery? What makes their top-of-the-line wines so special? You get the idea.
Often, in quieter settings you can meet the winemakers and owners and hear from them (again, make those reservations!).
8. Take the tour.
Visitors can often chose between taking a tour and just doing a tasting. Take the tour! You can really learn a great deal about how wine is made and why a specific wine tastes the way it does.
9. Don’t buy the most popular wines at the winery.
Winemakers are happy to sell you their wines, but you typically can buy their most popular wines for a lower price in other places. If you want to buy from that winery, focus on the more limited wines available only at the winery. By all means support your favorite winemakers, but avoid that feeling of buyer’s remorse that comes when you see their wines for 30% less (and that is before shipping charges!) at your local liquor store. Most wineries also have wine clubs that can be great opportunities to keep a supply of your favorite wines refreshed throughout the year.
10. Pack a picnic.
There are wonderful spots to sit and relax outside of most tasting rooms. My family often buys some bread, cheese, dips and spreads, etc. and enjoys that scenery (sometimes with a bottle of nice wine purchased in the tasting room moments before). It can be a really wonderful way to enjoy the day. A word of warning: some areas have strict laws about opening bottles on the premises. Ask around if you’re unsure.
11. Plan around special events or offerings.
Many wineries will offer special dinners, events centered on the harvest or crush, or bring in musicians or artists from time to time. This can be a fantastic centerpiece to your trip. Again, focus on the wineries that limit attendance to maximize your enjoyment.
Finally, a word of warning about what I like to call the “bliss palate mask.” Essentially, when you’re happy, wine tastes better. Picture this: You’ve spent the past 2-3 hours on the property of an incredible winery. The setting is beautiful, you are relaxed, and, most importantly, you are with people you love (or at least really like) and you drink a glass made from grapes grown right there.
OF COURSE THE WINE TASTES AMAZING! So when you buy a case and drink a glass of the same wine at home after a tough day at work and a sink full of dirty dishes, it stands to reason it won’t taste quite as nice. No worries. At least you have your memories. One of my favorite glasses of wine ever? The Clos du Val Sauvignon Blanc opened at the vineyard as a part of a picnic with my wife and daughter. With all respect to Clos du Val (it is a very nice Sauvignon Blanc,) this wine isn’t in my top 50 wines on any other day. But it is still my one of my all-time favorite glasses.
According to the OECD, the meat industry has a detrimental effect on the environment and our health, despite the employment and revenue it generates.
Increasing meat consumption across the globe is linked to urbanization, a trend that is resulting in changing lifestyles and consumer habits.
The following table is created using 2013 OECD data on kilograms of meat consumed per person. The figures include values for beef and veal, poultry, pork and sheep.
Australia tops the list, with each resident consuming on average nearly 100kg of meat a year – or around 250g a day. Second place goes to the United States, despite a very low value for sheep meat; they eat, on average, 8.5kg less than Australians.
This data is taken from the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014. Meat consumption per capita is based on kilograms of retail weight, the weight at which the meat is sold.
Editor's note: We sent John LeFevre, aka @GSElevator, a list of questions about his new book, "Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals." Here are his answers.
John LeFevre: Stories of bankers behaving badly are certainly nothing new. But I am capturing an entire culture of pervasive deviance and corruption from a vantage point that has never been revealed – the bond syndicate desk. Michael Lewis described syndicate managers as the “omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous presence” on every trading floor.
It’s like being the catcher in a baseball game — in on every play and the only player who can see the entire field. I worked with M&A bankers and traders, buy-side and sell-side clients, and led deals all over the world with every bank on Wall Street.
More important, it’s not just about deviance, excess, and bankers behaving badly. I’m highlighting some substantive issues and questionable practices at all the big banks. Wall Street apologists can attempt to frame the conversation around lazy stereotypes or a few rotten apples. But that’s simply not the case.
To me, the cliché would be to write about redemption and epiphany. So I chose to be unapologetic and let readers draw their own conclusions. I can’t help it if some people aren’t smart enough to get it.
Even Bloomberg’s mostly great Matt Levine accuses me of bragging and glamorizing degeneracy, when in fact my intention is the complete opposite. Forget that I’m highlighting a culture of pervasive deviance with outrageous and often illegal exploits. The entire premise of the Twitter account started as a way to criticize and satirize banking culture.
As per my last answer, we did some crazy things. We regularly colluded on fees, and, in particular, what we charged sovereign borrowers like Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. We often laughed at the misfortune of some of our clients.
I once punished a spivvy hedge fund manager for inflating his order on an illiquid deal by giving him a full allocation and then refusing to buy the bonds back when the market softened. He got fired two weeks later, and other bankers thanked me for getting rid of “that pain in the a--.”
We frequently put our own interests ahead of our clients. One of my coverage bankers begged me to tell his client to delay a bond deal — forgoing favorable market conditions and taking on months of headline and market risk — so that we could count the revenue toward next year’s bonus.
We traded allocations on hot deals for steak dinners, nonpublic information, and all kinds of favors from hedge funds. And if we didn’t participate in these antics, we’d lose our edge. If I didn’t give a big client a heads-up on deal, we’d lose business to the bank that did.
If I didn’t let my own trading desk know that we were announcing a deal that would move markets, god help me if they got picked off by a customer who got that information from another bank working on the same deal. That’s the culture.
Well-educated, bright, ambitious, respected in society… until you get them on an Asia roadshow. Then all bets are off.
In the book, I try to be thoughtful, with my boarding-school recollections, and consider if I always had a bit of a felonious mentality or if banking turned me that way.
My conclusion is that Wall Street attracts a certain mentality and then builds them into a person with a set of values that deviates significantly from societal norms and, quite often, basic human decency.
My first boss referred to the hiring of women as the “Office Beautification Project.” My first mentor bullied me into spending my entire first-year bonus in five days in Saint Tropez. My second boss introduced me to FBTs [fake business trips], which facilitated him cheating on his wife. After that, I noticed a correlation between my performance reviews and my ability to binge-drink, play golf, and keep secrets.
There are exceptions obviously, and the M&A culture is very different to the trading floor, but I found most of the people to be similarly-minded, where we all embraced the culture that had been passed down to us.
The Twitter account was a joke. Quite clearly, it’s always been about satirizing banking culture. If any person sincerely thought these tweets were literally about conversations overheard in the elevators of Goldman Sachs, they’re an idiot.
Matt Levine attempted to hit at my credibility by saying he “never heard things like this in an elevator” because “an elevator is a dumb place to say vile things.” Dear god, I wonder how someone so smart can say something so stupid.
And for the record, despite the fact that I was hired by Goldman Sachs, when it comes to fixed income, Salomon is far more prestigious than Goldman.
Editor's note: Matt Levine said "cool, cool" when asked to respond to LeFevre's description of him. LeFevre asserts that he was offered a job at Goldman Sachs, but later had the offer revoked because of a legal issue with a former employer.
The purpose of the account was always to illuminate an amplified reflection of the banker/frat/bro/douche mentality. And in my experience, having done countless deals with Goldman Sachs, I found their culture to be an amplified version of broader Wall Street culture.
Also, it was more interesting to appeal to Main Street’s fascination with the great “vampire squid.”
Editor's note: A Goldman Sachs spokesman said of LeFevre's description, “Mr. LeFevre’s lack of knowledge of the real culture @GoldmanSachs could fill a book.”
It’s definitely changed a great deal. As compensation structures, balance sheets, and risk appetite have evolved postcrisis, so has the culture.
Many of the more colorful characters of the trading floor have left for the buy side or the beach. But many of the antics I describe still go on today. People are just a bit more low-key about it. And most of the characters in the book are still in senior positions at big banks.
Certainly, the systemic conflicts of interest and the quid pro quo nature by which banks allocate deals remains the same – totally corrupt.
Banking in the US is far more commoditized than it is in Asia, so our attitudes and behaviors reflect the way business gets done in the emerging markets. Oftentimes, it was our clients who would dictate the pace. I’ve seen a Chinese CEO threaten a senior banker with the loss of future business unless he joined us for after-hours karaoke.
But these stories are more about banking culture than they are a reflection of Asia. The craziest nights I’ve ever had were always with the bankers visiting from New York and London. The walking Ralph Lauren catalogues were the most deviant.
I don’t think of Gordon Gekko as a party animal. He was trading Deutschmarks before the sun came up, right?
But generally it’s well known that bankers often embrace the tired “work hard, play hard” cliché. I think it’s a function of getting sucked into a fast-paced world where you make a lot of money and the deals you work on end up in The Wall Street Journal.
This can give people a distorted sense of reality, and self. That’s part of it, and so is the stress. Going out and having fun can be a good release. And in my experience, it was also a great way to bond with colleagues and clients.
The worst kind of banker is the guy who takes himself too seriously and defines himself as a person by the fact that he works on Wall Street.
The best kind of bankers are the same as the best kind of people — the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously, like to laugh and have fun, and have interests outside of their professional lives.
Someone once argued that Michael Milken has done more for humanity than Mother Teresa. And I think there’s some truth to that. We helped companies raise billions of dollars, albeit with a few causalities along the way.
The problem comes when bankers interpret those accomplishments to mean that the world owes them something, in addition to a seven-figure bonus.
There are too many to count. I have a collection of stories about hosting big US financial institutions and GSEs [government sponsored enterprises] on Asian roadshows. They were insistent on coming out to Asia every year, and investors really had no interest in meeting them. So quite frequently, I’d have to set up fake meetings where some of our junior salespeople would pose as investors. These guys didn’t even really care. The after-hours itinerary was far more important.
We also had a group treasurer of a large GSE get so drunk that he missed his keynote speech at our Tokyo investors’ conference.
Having a Bloomberg terminal and infinite resources at my fingertips. It was also great being surrounded by smart, capable, and ambitious people. One lap around Walmart is an easy reminder that the real world operates at a much slower pace and level of efficiency.
Every night is Friday night and every weekend is a vacation.
Although now that I have kids, I look back on it as a bit of a soulless existence. So I would have to say I miss my once-a-day foot-massage addiction, and the fact that a live-in maid only costs $600 a month.
They’re all good, but a couple of my favorites would be, “Every time my wife gives me a BJ, I know it’s time to check my American Express statement.”
Or maybe, “The fact that most people are too stupid to know how dumb they really are is the fabric holding our society together.”
Custom suits and shirts, even though I don’t wear them very often anymore. The air miles were also nice, but I don’t travel much now with two young kids. So I guess the lesson is there aren’t really any material things that I can’t live without.
Life is short, probably too short to spend 12 hours a day looking at a Bloomberg screen, emailing your way through dinner, or listening in on pedantic conference calls, mostly on mute.
My kids are both under the age of 2, so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. But my wife enjoyed the book. I think she sees the antics more as a reflection of a culture and an industry than of me as a person. But that’s not my way trying to deflect accountability for all of the things I’ve done. I really don’t care.
John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator on Twitter and the author of a new book and New York Times bestseller, "Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals."
SEE ALSO: 99 rules all men should live by
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For the most part, you can tell how senior a banker is just by looking at them.
But you need to know what to look for.
"Banking is such a particular and exclusive culture that it's very common to spot fashion trends within the industry — especially within the larger banks," says Jessica Cadmus, founder of The Wardrobe Whisperer, a company that curates closets for high-powered professionals.
"But timing is everything. It's very important not to be too showy or too aggressive at a junior level when the goal is to demonstrate a polished humility in both attitude and dress."
In other words, newbies can't dress like their bosses. If a junior person wears something a little above their pay grade at their firm, you can bet that they're going to catch some classic Wall Street ribbing.
For example: It used to be that if a junior banker wore a pair of Gucci bit loafers, he (sorry, we're just addressing the men today) could expect to be called out for it — subtly and with a side of embarrassment.
And in Michael Lewis' classic Wall Street book, "Liar's Poker," Lewis explains that no one under a certain rank, under any circumstances, could wear suspenders on the Salomon Brothers trading floor.
As for the rest of us civilians, there are a few brands and styles that can tip you off to a person's rank. You can check them out below.
Every single bulleted brand isn't going to hold true for every single Wall Street man, of course — as some people will never care about looking fresh as much as they should, sadly — but this will give you a good idea of how the system works once guys have a decent wardrobe foundation.
To get that foundation, Cadmus first evaluates her customers' closet needs and personal style, then takes them shopping for the basics.
"To start from scratch and get the basics including 3 suits, 15 shirts, 2 blazers, 3 shoes, 2 belts, 3 trousers, 10 socks, 5 ties it costs approx $15,000-$20,000 inclusive of my discounts. Add 30% exclusive of my discounts. It can cost a lot more if we need to do bespoke but most of my clients can wear off the rack," she said.
You have to pay the cost to look like a boss.