mardi 30 juin 2015

How to Get the Hiccups

The diaphragm at the base of your chest is usually helpful, pushing the lungs or letting them expand as you breathe. For reasons that are not always obvious, it sometimes betrays your body and spasms jerkily, closing the back of your throat and unleashing a characteristic -hic- sound. No one enjoys this sensation — except, apparently, you.


Getting Hiccups from Eating or Drinking

  1. Drink something fizzy. Sparkling water, soda, and other carbonated beverages can all cause hiccups.[1] Drinking quickly might increase the odds of "success," if you can stand the painful prickling sensation.

    Get the Hiccups Step 1.jpg
  2. Eat spicy food. Eating food spicier than you're used to might irritate the nerves around your throat and stomach, which can cause hiccups.[2] Try two or three spoonfuls of bland food covered in hot sauce, then cross your fingers. Giving yourself an upset stomach by overdoing this might also lead to hiccups, but the regret is probably not worth the small chance of success.

    Get the Hiccups Step 2.jpg
  3. Drink hot and cold beverages in the same sitting. Drink a hot drink, then follow it immediately with an icy one. Sudden temperature changes in the stomach sometimes cause hiccups.[3] This method might also work with hot and cold foods eaten in rapid succession.

    Get the Hiccups Step 3.jpg
    • Permanent tooth damage is a possibility with this method, as the enamel on your tooth can fracture. Do not make a habit of this activity, and never try it if you have porcelain tooth implants, or if your teeth feel painful or sensitive to heat or cold.[4]

Trying Other Methods

  1. Swallow a large mouthful of air. Suck in a mouthful of air, close your mouth, and swallow. This is one of the only methods successfully used by a research team, who believe that hiccups might be a reaction designed to dislodge large pieces of food from the esophagus.[5]

    Get the Hiccups Step 4.jpg
    • You could instead try chewing and swallowing a moderately large mouthful of bread. Trying this with other foods, especially un-chewed foods, is not recommended, due to the risk of choking.
    • Trying this too many times is likely to lead to an unpleasant, bloated sensation.
  2. Force yourself to burp. If you know how to burp on command, try this repeatedly until a hiccuping fit starts. If you can't, try sucking in air rapidly to the back of your throat. Pay attention to your glottis, or flap at the back of your throat, closing and reopening again rapidly.[6] This is the motion that occurs when you hiccup, so stimulating it intentionally may trigger the automatic sensation.

    Get the Hiccups Step 5.jpg
  3. Take a shower with abrupt temperature changes. Sudden temperature changes may stimulate certain nerves that can trigger a hiccuping session. If you're desperate for a chance at a hiccuping fit, jump in a cold shower, then switch to warm water after ten seconds.

    Get the Hiccups Step 6.jpg
    • If the temperature inside and outside is significantly different, try walking outside and inside repeatedly.
    • Temperature changes can also cause hives or swollen, itchy skin.
  4. Trigger sudden emotions. Nervousness and excitement are likely the emotions most likely to trigger hiccups.[7] Still, this is probably the least reliable method, as most people hiccup only occasionally despite daily mood shifts. Still, if there is a movie, video game, sport, or other activity that makes you excited, scared, or nervous, have a go at it right after trying one of the other methods.

    Get the Hiccups Step 7.jpg



  • Many of these methods cause unpleasant sensations if attempted repeatedly. You may not wish to try them if you have an upset stomach, suffer from acid reflux, or feel ill.

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Sources and Citations

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source How to of the Day

How to Hollow Out a Coconut

A hollow coconut makes a great house for a hermit crab, and can also be used as a birdhouse. It can also be used as a festive decoration for any party, or for just clapping the empty halves together, and pretending to ride on a horse! You can even use it as a bowl or cup!


Draining the Coconut

  1. Find the eyes of the coconut. Sort of like a bowling ball, the coconut will have three "eyes." They're really just spots on one end. Two will be side-by-side, and one will be the odd one out – it's this odd one that is the soft spot, which you can tap into to drain.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 1.jpg
    • Sometimes you'll need to remove strands from the husk to really get at the eyes. This is easy enough to do with your hands or a small knife. The area around the eye should be clean.
  2. Poke into the eye with a knife, a drill bit, or a screwdriver. If your knife is small enough, you may be able just to poke right through the eye, through the meat, and into the liquid with your knife. If not, find a screwdriver or a drill bit that is small enough to force an opening.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 2.jpg
    • You may need to tap the end of the screwdriver or drill bit with a hammer. Just a few light taps ought to do it.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 2Bullet1.jpg
    • If you experience a hissing sound once you break through to the meat, that's good – it means the coconut is depressurizing. If you don't (or if you experience air going out instead of in, it's possible your coconut has gone bad.
  3. Drain the water into a bowl, jar or cup. Coconut water is delicious, so save it! However, make sure it's good before you combine it with other coconut water – you don't want to tarnish the whole batch. Here's how to know if it's good:

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 3.jpg
    • It should be fairly clear, almost like water.
    • There should be no clouds.
    • It should not be slimy.

Cutting It in Half

  1. Locate the thin line along the middle of the coconut. Every coconut has a natural "center point" that is marked by a thin line, sort of like an equator. This is where it will be easiest to break the coconut cleanly in half. Locate this line before you begin tapping.[1]

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 4.jpg
    • To hold the coconut properly, hold it in your non-dominant hand. The eyes should be facing down and the ends should be facing out to the sides.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 4Bullet1.jpg
  2. Smack the coconut against the line with the back side of a large knife or meat cleaver. Never use the sharp blade of a knife to hit a coconut! Not only could you hurt yourself, but this could force the coconut to break in a dozen pieces. Using the blunt, back side of a heavy blade to slowly break it cleanly in half.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 5.jpg
    • A meat cleaver is great as there is a natural curve to the back side of the blade. This matches the curve of the coconut, applying pressure evenly. Again, the 3 eyes of the coconut should be facing away from your hand.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 5Bullet1.jpg
  3. Rotate the coconut about a quarter of a turn with each rap. Crack the knife against the line a second time. Keep making slight rotations, always rapping against the line. Keep going in this manner until you hear a cracking sound. Once it starts cracking, use less and less force to keep it in two large pieces.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 6.jpg
    • For some coconuts, this will take a few smacks. For others, it will take a few full rotations. You're not doing anything wrong – some coconuts are simply easier to split than others.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 6Bullet1.jpg
    • Keep rapping and turning until the crack has gone all the way around the coconut and it splits cleanly apart.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 6Bullet2.jpg

Cleaning It Out

  1. Pry the meat away from the shell. Grab a spoon and position it between the meat and the shell with the back of the spoon facing the shell. The meat will come off in chunks as it breaks loose. You may not be able to get all the meat out (coconuts can be finicky), which is when the next step comes in handy.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 7.jpg
    • Spoon not working too great? Some coconut meat is more difficult than others. In this case, grab a small paring-like knife to shred at the meat. Make a cut into the meat and drive the knife along the edge, much like you would peel an orange.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 7Bullet1.jpg
    • Before you toss the coconut meat, consider keeping it. It's delicious, especially when cold or turned into a smoothie!

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 7Bullet2.jpg
  2. Place the 2 coconut halves on a cookie sheet in the oven at 150°C (300°F) for 1-2 hours. The amount of time you need depends on the size of the coconut and the thickness of the meat. Once it's finished, the meat will have shrunk and you'll be able to pull out the meat in one piece.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 8.jpg
    • People in the Micronesian islands of Palau, Ponape, Chuuk, the Caroline's, etc., will lay coconut halves face up in the sunshine for a number of days till the meat separates from the shell.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 8Bullet1.jpg
  3. Place the coconuts shell-side down in a well-ventilated area. Give them a few days (or up to a week) to fully dry and harden. Giving them this extra drying-out period will make them easier to use for crafts or as a cup or bowl.

    Hollow Out a Coconut Step 9.jpg
    • They make great decorations in the interim! And if there's even a shred of meat left, it will shrink up and dry during this time period, too.

      Hollow Out a Coconut Step 9Bullet1.jpg


  • Using a 3' bench or heavy stool, attach the coconut shredder by drilling two holes through the chisels handle. Place one hole close to the beginning of the head and one at the rear of the handle. You want this chisel coconut shredder to be tight! Use 1/4" diameter or larger hex headed bolts and place a split (lock) washer under the bolt head then pass the bolt through the chisel and into the hole you made in the bench or stool. Again, using a split washer and a lock nut, tighten the bolt. If you can't find a lock nut you can use two nuts. Tighten the first then tighten the second behind it to act as a lock.
  • To make a coconut grater, buy a heavy duty concrete chisel about 2" wide at one of the home improvement centers. Use a file or grinder to gently round the corners. Place the chisel in a vise and using a hacksaw, cut notches about an 1/8th of an inch wide all along the front edge. This includes the corners you just rounded. Make the with of these "tines" look similar to the spacing of a fork. Note you only need to go about 1/4" deep as you will only be scraping the coconut against the outside edge of these sharpened tines. Take a small file and file each side of the tine to a point. You now have a nice scraper.
  • Hacksaws are another method of cutting into the coconut. However, it is not simple and can be dangerous as the hacksaw usually slips off the rounded nut. Simply work in short sections all the way around the coconut. Do not try to cut through in one large line, just a small line until you reach the meat, then rotate and continue, kind of like opening a can with a ratchet-style can opener.
  • When shredding a coconut half start gently! Start at a 22 degree angle on the outer edge of a coconut and gently begin to scrape. Let the succulent white meat fall into a bowl. The idea is to scrape one or two strokes downward (never upward) and rotate the nut and continue scraping from the outside inward.


  • Exercise caution when using sharp instruments, such as knives.

Things You'll Need

  • Large knife
  • Small knife, screwdriver, or drill bit
  • Bowl (for draining)
  • Cookie sheet (if baking)
  • Spoon

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Sources & Citations

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source How to of the Day

lundi 29 juin 2015

How to Identify a Ford Motor

The Ford Motor Company has put identification number tags on some of its motors since the mid 1950s and on all of its motors since January of 1964. Included on these tags is such information as the month and year of production, the model year, the change level number and the CID (cubic inch displacement). Reading Ford motor tags should hopefully be easier for even a novice by following the guide below.


Finding the tag on a 6 cylinder engine

  1. Locate the tag under coil attaching bolts.

Finding the tag on an 8 cylinder Engine

  1. Locate the tag for most standard 8 cylinder Ford motors under coil attaching bolts.
  2. Locate the tag for 8 cylinder 352 Ford motors under the dipstick-tube.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 2.jpg
  3. Locate the tag for 8 cylinder 330, 361 and 391 Ford motors under the heat indicator bulb.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 3.jpg
  4. Locate the tag for 8 cylinder 401, 477 and 534 Ford motors under the carburetor attaching stud.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 4.jpg

Reading the tag

  1. Read the 1st digit in the identification tag. This will be a letter. If the letter is a "B," it means that the engine was built in the 1950s. Each decade after that has its own succeeding letter; "C" designates the 1960s, "D" designates the 1970s and so on.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  2. Read the 2nd digit in the Ford motor tag. It will be any numeral from "0" to "9," and it designates the year in the decade it was built.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 6.jpg
  3. Read the 3rd digit in the Ford engine number. This will be a letter, and it signifies the basic design of the vehicle as shown below.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 7.jpg
    • "A" - Generic full size engine
    • "D" - Falcon
    • "E" - Truck
    • "F" - Foreign Trans-Am racing
    • "G" - 1961 to 1967 Comet/1968 to 1976 Montenegro
    • "H" - 1966 to 1982 Heavy truck
    • "J" - Industrial Ford
    • "L" - Lincoln
    • "M" - Mercury
    • "O" - 1967 to 1976 Ford Torino/all Ford Fairlane
    • "S" - Thunderbird
    • "T" - Truck
    • "W" - Cougar
    • "Y" - Meteor
    • "Z" - Mustang
    • "6" - Pantera
  4. Read the 4th digit in the Ford engine number. It will always be an "E" to designate that it was designed by the Ford engine team.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 8.jpg
  5. Read the next 4 digits, which are the last digits in the motor number. These 4 numbers will always be between 6000 and 6898, which describes the part numbering of the generic engine assembly.
    Identify a Ford Motor Step 9.jpg


  • You may need to clean sections of the motor to find the tag, so take a bottle of degreaser, a wire brush and a rag with you on your search.

Things You'll Need

  • Degreaser
  • Wire brush
  • Rags

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Sources and Citations

source How to of the Day

How to Be More Approachable

Easy changes in body language can make you more approachable, especially when trying to attract the attention of strangers or acquaintances. People who already know you will want to approach you for more serious conversation if you demonstrate humility, trustworthiness, and confidence. It can take effort to change your behavior this way, but the effort is well worth the deeper, more fruitful relationships.


Using Approachable Body Language

  1. Adopt an open posture. Keep your head up and your shoulders square, not slumped forward. While sitting, lean back slightly and make yourself comfortable. This posture leaves your face confidently exposed to the world, rather than closed off and unwelcoming.
    Be More Approachable Step 1 Version 2.jpeg
  2. Keep your arms in a welcoming position. Place your arms at your side or on your lap. If you are holding something or making gestures, keep your hands slightly to the side or near your lower torso.[1] Avoid unwelcoming positions, such as crossed arms or hands raised in front of your chest. Enthusiastic postures with hands raised above your head may make you harder to approach, although psychology studies are divided on this point.[2][3]
    Be More Approachable Step 2 Version 2.jpeg
  3. Smile. Simply smiling can make you seem much more approachable and inviting. A fake or forced smile isn't nearly as effective, though.[4] Think of a happy memory, or a funny joke, to trigger a genuine smile.
    Be More Approachable Step 3 Version 4.jpg
  4. Make eye contact. People are much more likely to approach someone who is looking directly at them, than someone who turns away or avoids their gaze. Prolonged eye contact and a smile can make all the difference. If you want to try something more flirtatious, here are a couple alternatives geared towards women:
    Be More Approachable Step 4 Version 2.jpeg
    • For a bold flirt, make eye contact for a few seconds, smile slightly, then slowly turn head away to look at something else.[5]
    • To act cute and coy, briefly make eye contact with someone looking in your direction, then immediately look down or in another direction and smile.[6]

Looking More Approachable through Other Methods

  1. Avoid items that block your face. Sunglasses, hats, and scarves can all make your face harder to see. Even if they are not directly obscuring you, the psychological effect may make you seem more isolated and difficult to approach.[7]
    Be More Approachable Step 5 Version 2.jpeg
  2. Put down distracting items. If you're checking your phone or reading a book, other people may not want to interrupt you. You could even be missing out on glances, smiles, and other cues that could otherwise lead to a conversation.
    Be More Approachable Step 6 Version 2.jpeg
  3. Cultivate your appearance. It may seem shallow, but people who put effort into their appearance may end up looking more inviting. Consider ironing your clothes, learn how to dress well, or even embarking on a makeover.
    Be More Approachable Step 7 Version 4.jpg
  4. Pay attention to personal hygiene. Wash your body and hair regularly, brush your teeth, and keep your nails trimmed. Wear clean clothing, and remove mold from your house that may contribute to a persistent, unpleasant smell in clothing or accessories.
    Be More Approachable Step 8 Version 2.jpeg

Approaching Others and Building Relationships

  1. Take an interest in others. When talking to another person, ask the occasional question about his life, and try to spend more time listening than talking. If he wants to open up, he may start a more in-depth conversation, and feel thankful for your interest. Make a habit of this to earn a reputation as an empathetic, approachable person.
    Be More Approachable Step 9 Version 2.jpeg
  2. Practice "drive-by compliments". These are pleasant, endearing surprises for other people in your life. Compliment someone's appearance, recent actions, or personality as you walk past. You can boost her mood, bolster your reputation as a pleasant person, and maybe even start a complimenting trend.
    Be More Approachable Step 10 Version 2.jpeg
  3. Come up with conversation topics. If you are trying to meet new people, being approachable is only half the battle. You'll have to convince them to stick around as well. Before you go to an event, come up with conversation topics to talk about. Stick with subjects you're interested in, but try to include at least one that is more "popular," such as a recent movie or piece of sports news, since you'll be more likely to meet someone who shares that interest.
    Be More Approachable Step 11 Version 2.jpeg
    • Tailor your conversations to the type of event or location you're in. If most of the crowd is made up of students, you can talk about recent news on campus or an academic topic. At concerts and many other events, you can talk about the band, person, or art you've all gathered to watch.
  4. Prepare answers to common questions. Someone asks you, "How's it going?" You answer: "Fine." Well, that conversation didn't go anywhere. Be ready for common questions like this and tell the other person something interesting that's happened in your life.[8] This can lead to an actual conversation, instead of awkward silence.
    Be More Approachable Step 12 Version 4.jpg
  5. Know how to respond to cultural biases. Stereotypes, workplace politics, and even fashion opinions can make someone less likely to approach you. Make an effort to ask about the etiquette of a new town, workplace or other community. Many biases, such as those based on gender, age, and ethnicity, are impossible to avoid. However, recognize that many knee-jerk reactions are based on "implicit bias," meaning an unconscious and automatic response that may not reflect the other person's views.[9] If you make the effort to start a conversation or build a friendship, you may notice a very different reaction.
    Be More Approachable Step 13 Version 4.jpg
  6. Avoid rude comments and gossip. Even if said as a joke, mean comments can upset others and make you seem rude an ungenerous. Try not to get involved in gossip, either, as it can earn you a reputation for spreading secrets or working behind people's backs.
    Be More Approachable Step 14 Version 2.jpeg
  7. Make an effort to include people in conversations. Make room for a newcomer joining a conversation, introduce him, or ask his name. Let someone in on an inside joke if he looks confused. Don't assume that someone wants to be left alone because he doesn't join in conversations or get invited to social events, Make an effort to approach people, and you may earn more and deeper friendships.
    Be More Approachable Step 15 Version 2.jpeg
  8. When you learn a secret, treat it seriously. Show other people that they can trust you. If you keep your promises and avoid betraying someone's trust, even someone you actively dislike, people around you may take note of your trustworthy behavior. Even if you find out the secret secondhand, don't help spread it around.
    Be More Approachable Step 16 Version 2.jpeg



  • In informal situations, or with people you know well, do not be afraid to slightly touch someone on his or her shoulder or arm. This creates a warm presence and adds a deeper connection.

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Sources and Citations

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source How to of the Day

How to Become a Wine Connoisseur

If you're an oenophile (a lover of wine), you're probably wondering what's keeping you from becoming a true connoisseur. Luckily, you don't have to be a wine-maker or have a basement cellar in order to appreciate fine wine. With a notebook and a few bottles handy, you'll be well on your way.


Building Your Wine Know-How

  1. Drink wine with the 4 S's in mind. Even if you don't know much about wine, you probably know that there's a certain way you're supposed to drink it. Truly, you can drink it however you want – but to get the most out of its aroma and taste, a legitimate art has been formed. Here are the basics in four steps:[1]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • See it. Examine the color. If it's older, a white will be darker and a red will be lighter (by and large). The color can also tell you a bit about the aging processed use. A Chardonnay, for example, will be more golden if aged in oak barrels.
    • Swirl it. Coat the sides of the glass by swirling the wine around gently. This releases the aroma, helping you truly taste what's in front of you.
    • Smell it. If it's white, look for citrus-y or tropical notes, like lemon and lime, or even melon. You may also be able to detect vanilla or oak. Generally speaking, cooler places produce more citrus-y, tangy wines. If it's red, look for berry or plum scents. Cooler places will fall on the red berry side of the spectrum (like strawberry and cherry), while warmer places will showcase darker scents, like blackberry or plum. You'll also find coffee, smoke, and chocolate as major contenders.
    • Sip it. This will be a combination of taste and smell. As you sip it, simply ask yourself whether or not you like it. Then you can move onto why.
  2. Know your tannins and terroir. Oenophiles and connoisseurs will throw around the term "tannin." This is a textural element of wine that makes it "dry." Try a very "dry" wine, and you'll get the sense for what this word means (obviously any liquid isn't actually dry). Tannins are naturally occurring in grapes (and bark and wood and leaves, actually) and they add a bitterness, astringency, and complexity to a wine's flavor. For the record, this applies mostly to red wines.[2]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • "Terroir" is basically the wine's background – the climate and soil type of where it was grown, the topography, and what other plants were growing in the area. This largely influences the grapes. After all, some wines (American) are bottled by grape, sure, but others (European) are bottled just by region. Terroir is what makes a wine, well, itself.
  3. Get your temperatures right. Each type of wine should be served at a slightly different temperature for its best taste to surface. Here's what you should know before you throw that wine-tasting gala and invite all your friends over to your house:[3]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Red wine should be served at room temperature, or about 68°-77°F (20-25° C)
    • Pink or rosé wines should be served slightly chilled around 44°-55°F (7-13° C)
    • White wine and sparkling wine should be kept in the fridge below 40°F (5°C)
    • After that wonderful wine-tasting party, make sure to drink light wines (less alcohol, around 11%) 3 days after opening. Bolder wines are fine for consumption up to 10 days.[4]
  4. Use the right glass. Each type of wine does best in a certain size and shape of glass to open up their aroma to the fullest. To do your wine justice, put it in the right glass:[5]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • A standard wine glass will do well for most reds. A Cabernet Sauvignon should have a slightly taller, narrower bowl, and make sure your Pinot Noir pour is just an ounce or two.
    • White wines are also good in standard glasses – but Chardonnay needs a slightly wider brim.
    • A Port needs to be in a large flute; Madeira should be in a large hock glass; Sherry is best in a narrow martini-esque glass.
    • Vintage sparkling wines are best in a coupe, tulip, or flute.
  5. Know how to hold the glass, too. You will never be mistaken for a wine connoisseur if you're holding your glass incorrectly. To look like an expert, holding and swilling wine like it's your job, make sure to hold the glass by its stem. This goes double for white wines that are chilled – you don't want the heat of your hands warming the bowl, altering the taste.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • To swirl the wine around the bowl, rotate at your wrist, not your entire arm.[6] The smell of the wine will then fill the bowl of the glass, opening up its flavor profile.
  6. Familiarize yourself with how to describe a wine's aroma. Being a wine connoisseur is mainly about being able to describe what you're tasting and recognize what's happening on your palette. To get at a wine's aroma, there are generally five categories: fruity, mineral, dairy and nutty, sweet and wooden, and spicy and savory. Here's what "flavors" fall under each:[7]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Fruity. Pretty much any fruit, including the aroma of jam
    • Mineral. Flint, stones, earthen, gasoline
    • Dairy and nutty. Butter, cream, yeast, bread, toast, grilled nuts, biscuits, almonds
    • Sweet and wooden. Chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, honey, vanilla, oak, and cedar
    • Spicy and savory. Tobacco, smoke, licorice, pepper, truffles, bacon, coffee, cinnamon

Cultivating a Taste

  1. Go to a wine shop and ask the staff for recommendations. Look for bottles of wine with write-ups near them, award citations and high magazine ratings. Try to go when you know the store is holding a tasting with samples – for many, this is on Saturday mornings. Pick the staff's brains – what are their favorites and why?

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Come in with a meal plan in mind. That way you can buy wines that match the taste of the food you're serving and start exploring combinations. As a general rule of thumb, red wines go with red meat; white wines go with white meat. And champagne goes with just about everything, but master the basics first.
  2. Attend a local wine tasting or a wine appreciation class. These are held at adult schools, wine-making schools, wineries, and fine restaurants. Don't feel intimidated – many people who think they can distinguish between a $2 bottle of dirt and a nice vintage often can't.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • If you visit a winery, make time to go in for more than just the tasting. You'll learn how wine is made, see how the grapes are grown and be taught the proper procedure for drinking wine.
  3. Join a wine group. Wine is trendy. There are wine bars, wine stores, wine newsletters, and even wine podcasts. Finding a group of wine-lovers in your area is probably much easier than you think it is. Finding like-minded people who have connections and know what's going on in the area is the first step to developing your expertise.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Most groups have individuals at all levels – from those that want to buy their own winery to those who just like drinking wine. There will be a place for you in yours.
  4. Have an informal tasting at home, a friend's house, or a BYOB restaurant where each person brings a different bottle of wine. This way you can taste a bunch of different things without spending a lot of money. And, not to mention, you get a great deal of wine experience (and wine!).

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure you have palette cleansers to munch on or drink between sips. Stick to bland crackers (like water crackers) or bread (a plain french loaf; nothing grainy) and water. Graber olives and rare roast beef are also sometimes used. Stay away from cheeses and fruits that are normally served with wines, as those will mask the true flavor of each.
  5. Buy a notebook (or get the app for that). Now that you're about to be fully immersed in the wide world of wines, get something to remember your experiences with. This could be as simple as a notebook and pen or an app on your phone (search for "wine diary" or something similar). This way you remember which bottles you love, which you hate, and the characteristics of each wine you run across.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Some websites like Cellartracker are community based.[8] You can then share and compare notes with other oenophiles and dive head-first into the cyber wine-loving community, too.

Developing Your Palette

  1. Start exploring wine varieties. Many people start with a fruity white white that is subtle in flavor and some happen to stop there. You probably have a couple of wines that you know are safe – so start branching out! Move onto rose wines, and start busting into reds with a vengeance. Even if you don't like it, now you know if you like it or not.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • Not only should you switch up varieties, but switch up brands and years, too. Just because you dislike one producer's Chardonnay doesn't mean you won't like another's. Every wine is unique – and it can depend on your mood, too.
  2. Find your "Aha!" wine. Plenty of people spend years in the realm of, "Oh, I don't really care for robust reds," or "Moscato is just too sweet," and their expertise and understanding stops there. And then bam – an "aha" wine hits. It's that wine where you can actually taste the cedar, or the smoke, or the chocolate. All of a sudden, you get it. And how do you find your "aha" wine? Trial and error.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 13.jpg
    • And an "aha" wine doesn't have to be good or, rather, one you enjoy. It simply has to be one where all of a sudden your palette gets it. It can sort out the variety of aromas in a single glass and knows what it likes and dislikes and better yet, why.
  3. Start researching. Now that you've got your feet wet, start going outside of your own circle for information. Read books and blogs on wine. Try The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson or, where you can even take quizzes on your growing wine knowledge.[9] Purchase wine guides. Subscribe to wine magazines. The possibilities are almost endless.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 14.jpg
    • Subscribe to free, informative online wine newsletters. Do a quick Google search for reputable websites that are devoted to building a community of wine lovers.
    • GrapeRadio is a podcast devoted to wine – even in the midst of rush hour, you could be honing your skills.
  4. Get bolder and bolder. So you've got the taste of a Pinot Grigio down. You know the difference between a good Merlot and a good Cabernet. But there's so much more to it than that. You've done the basics, so let's get bold. Here's a few to try:

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 15.jpg
    • Syrah / Shiraz
    • Malbec
    • Petite Sirah
    • Mourvedre / Monastrell
    • Touriga Nacional
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Petit Verdot

Becoming a True Connoisseur

  1. Start widening your "wine-describing" vocabulary. The difference between someone who loves wine and someone who is a wine connoisseur is largely the fact that they can confidently talk about it to others (and accurately, to boot). Here's a few goals to hit when describing your next few glasses: [10]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 16.jpg
    • You can name more than 2 fruits as flavors in the wine
    • You can name more than 3 other characteristics such as cinnamon, oregano, roses, chalk or baking spices
    • The palate of the wine changes from the moment you taste it to the moment you swallow, and you can identify how
  2. Try sparkling wines, ice wines and dessert wines. You've gone bold, now let's go a bit off the main path: try other wines, like sparkling, dessert, and ice wines (ice wines are made from grapes that have experienced a frost). They're not the wines you'll be experiencing with a main course at a 5-star restaurant, but they're important nonetheless.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 17.jpg
    • Experience wines from a variety of countries and various locales, such as a New Zealand and British wines, or wines from South Dakota and Idaho. Don't just stick to Californian wines or European wines – even when it comes to sweet, dessert wines.
  3. Learn about different grape varieties. Traditionally fine wine was made from mainly French grape varieties, but now a much wider range of grape varieties are being used. Wineries are popping up all over the place, and the "terroir" of your average grape is changing. How do you feel about each region and variety?

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 18.jpg
    • France, Italy, Spain, China,Turkey, and the US are the main producers of wine (though they are by no means the only), and each have specific varieties of grapes that are able to grown in their respective regions.[11] Because of this, wines from different areas of the world will taste different. What's your take on them?
  4. Go back to the basics. Now that you're a world traveler when it comes to wine, go back to the very first wines you tried. There will be such difference you'll wonder who the person was that tasted it originally, or how it's possible the wine has completely morphed – but it's undeniable that it has. Take that basic Chardonnay that's been sitting in your cupboard and take a sip, basking in your progress.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 19.jpg
    • It'll become evident to you how much your palette has changed. It'll also become evident which wines you love and which you won't even bother trying anymore. For a real challenge, get blind taste-testing glasses and see if you remain consistent.
  5. Look for a wine school in your area. Most host courses or tastings, offering you some sort of "certificate" or "accreditation" upon finishing. Local adult schools and restaurants also hold wine appreciation classes. When people ask if you know wine, you can mention that you've even studied it.

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 20.jpg
    • Though, for the record, just like anything else, you don't need school to become a connoisseur. It's just an easy way to prove that you know your stuff.
  6. Take the Court of Masters test. In America, to be a master sommelier, you need to take the Court of Masters test. There's a course you can take (you have to apply), though you can take the test without taking the course. This is as high as you can get in the wine world – and it comes with quite the badge of respect.[12]

    Become a Wine Connoisseur Step 21.jpg
    • They also offer international courses. Currently there are only 140 Master Sommeliers in North America. Ready to be the next?



  • If you get the chance, spend time in a region well known for its wine, such as the Bordeaux region of France. You will find excellent wines at low prices and benefit from the local culture of wine appreciation.
  • Pair wine with a meal, while tasting the wine and eating your meal be aware of the experience and write down the greatest pairing
  • Make wine inexpensively at home. There are starter kits at home brew supply stores or online; you learn about gravity, yeast, fermentation stages, clarification, and adjust yeast and flavorings such as oak. Wine's taste changes most quickly in the first few months of fermentation.


  • Don't be afraid to get started. No one was born knowing all about wine; jump right in and get your feet wet.

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Sources and Citations

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