Pairing Champagne with Top Movies for 2010 [83rd Annual Academy Awards]

The Oscars are synonymous with class, beauty and celebration, which is why Champagne is the drink of this month’s Hollywood parties. As you pick your favorite to win Best Picture, remember to choose just as wisely when selecting your wine. Champagne only comes from Champagne, France.

In anticipation of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards show on February 27, the Champagne Bureau looks at the past year’s best movies and suggests the best Champagne’s to toast them with.

Black Swan (5 nominations): Natalie Portman plays a shy but fanatically devoted ballerina who loses herself in the lead role of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” A full-bodied Blanc de Noir is the perfect complement as this film’s combination of music, dancing and stunning cinematography updates a famous ballet for the modern big screen.

The Fighter (7 nominations): They may call boxing the ‘sweet science’, but this gritty film is best enjoyed with a dry Brut Champagne. Enjoy it with hearty foods like steak or a hamburger, and with good companions, as you watch Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams star in this true story of a boxer’s hard-scrabble fight for glory.

The Social Network (8 nominations): Whether watching the awards at a party or just with a few close friends, a light Blanc de Blanc is perfect for any social occasion. This Chardonnay-only wine will go down smooth as you marvel at this film about one of our generation’s greatest innovators.

Inception (8 nominations): Follow Leonardo DiCaprio’s mind-blowing journey into the human mind through dream invasion. This thriller is rich in mystery and layers of meaning, so toast to it with a non-vintage Champagne. The subtle mix of grapes from several harvests pairs well with Inception’s complex plotline (and with a bag of popcorn!).

The King’s Speech (12 nominations): There’s something for everyone in this true story of an English King’s struggle to overcome his lifelong stammer and inspire his people. It’s a moving tale of friendship, loyalty and courage, all set against the backdrop of World War II. It’s hard to imagine a better fit for a vintage Champagne than a movie about European Royalty.

The glamour of the red carpet can’t be duplicated, and neither can the uniqueness of true Champagne.

TOP CHAMPAGNES IN BUSINESS AND FIRST CLASS – announced last week at The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards have been running since 1985. This year a record number of 36 airlines participated. Blind tastings were held in November on November 4 and 5 at the Grosvenor House, in London.  The five judges include:

•    Charles Metcalfe, TV wine presenter and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge

•   Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and winemaking consultant

•  Derek Smedley, Master of Wine for more than 40 years, consultant and co-chairman of the               International Wine Challenge

•  Peter McCombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and        consultant, and

•  John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development consultant


Business Class Champagne/Sparkling

1. Qatar Airways – Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle 1996

2. Etihad – Henriot Blanc Souverain

3. (JOINT) British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines – Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve  AND        LAN – Louis Roederer Brut Premier

5. Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002

First Class Champagne/Sparkling

1. Qantas – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1999

2. United Airlines – Henriot Brut Millésimé 1996

3. (JOINT) Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific – Krug Grande Cuvée

4. Thai Airways – Bollinger 1999

5. Malaysia Airlines and Jet Airways – Dom Pérignon 2002

Participating Airlines:

Aer Lingus, Aegean Airlines, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, American Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, El Al, Etihad, Emirates, Finnair, Gulf Air, Iberia, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Korean Air, LAN, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, South African Airways, TAM, Thai Airways and United Airlines.

Want washboard abs, toned legs? Climb stairs say experts

Pity the poor stepper!

While gym lines form for treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bicycles, the stair climbing machine is all too often the neglected wallflower of the cardio room.

Maybe that’s because whether you call it a stepper, stair climber or stair mill, it evokes the drudgery of Sisyphus, the character in Greek mythology condemned to push a boulder uphill for eternity.

But experts say if you master the stairs, you’ll reap dividends in tight abs, butt and thighs.

“It’s the intensity,” said Kerri O’Brien of Life Fitness, which designs and manufactures exercise equipment.

“There’s a vertical component. You’re going to be working harder because you’re going against gravity,” she explained. “Also you’ll have isolated muscle soreness because you’re using muscles you’re not used to using,” O’Brien, an exercise physiologist, added.

But if done regularly, O’Brien promises it will become more enjoyable. It is also a great workout for the muscles that make up the buttocks.

Staircases have been around almost from the beginnings of civilization. In 2004, archaeologists found a stair case in Austria believed to be at least 7,000 years old.

O’Brien said modern steppers evolved from so-called Jacobs Ladders, climbers prevalent in high school gyms of the 1950’s.

“And ever since the 1950’s, football and track teams have used running up stadium stairs to work out. People also use step climbers to train for mountain climbing and hiking,” she said.

It’s also an effective low-impact cardio choice. One study of 10,269 Harvard alumni found that those who climbed at least 55 flights of stairs a week had a 33 percent lower death rate.

A British study found that daily stair climbing among sedentary young women resulted in a rise in HDL, or good cholesterol.

Dr. Hank Williford, of the American College of Sports Medicine, thinks steppers are a good fit for women.

“They’re not bouncing around like with a treadmill and still they can increase their bone marrow density and prevent osteoporosis,” he said.

Michael Karlin, a lawyer in New York City, started using a stair climbing machine to lose weight and wound up scaling all 1,576 stairs of the Empire State Building.

Stair climbing races are held worldwide. The American Lung Association alone holds 57 in stadiums and skyscrapers throughout the United States.

“I competed in the Empire State Building climb last year, finishing in 16 minutes, 3 seconds,” said Karlin, who has also raced up the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago and the US Bank (formerly Library) Tower in Los Angeles.

“I have derived tremendous benefit,” the 38-year-old said.

“My legs are really strong, my sprinting has improved, and my lung capacity is much greater,” he said. “Competitive stair climbing pounds my legs and knees substantially less than running.”

So how would Karlin feel about French writer Albert Camus’ essay suggesting that Sisyphus was happy in his uphill struggle?

“I love preparing for a race, finishing the race, and talking about it!” Karlin said. “Doing the race itself, though, well, that really hurts.”

GCEngineers & The Inventors College

GCEngineers has gone through a major update in which embodies the new “Do it Your Self Inventors Course”. Through the hard work put in by the team of programmers, officials, and marketers GCE has taken a path into business with the Inventor’s College.

The Inventors course has been offered previously to approximately 100 people. This number includes students, professionals, engineers, teachers, tinkerers, and university & college students. It has proven to work in a way where the invention created can be exposed to the market in a very precise manner. The course also offers documents as to how to create your invention, how to market your idea, what documents to sign, the knowledge you need in 2011 to succeed with what you’re creating, and patent information.  Proven to work in Canada and the leading institute in gathering inventor’s under one roof, the Inventors College has grown to be a sustainable institute that provides the best for inventors. “The Great Canadian Inventions Show” is a show that is organized by the Inventors College in which they bring members that have taken the course and started their inventions. They then show case what they have invented to companies and business individuals that are interested in new business ventures. This show occurs once a year in different areas to allow the vast of inventors ease of access. Multiple organizations and business professionals attend this show and view what’s being created today.

GCEngineers has improved its sustainability by improving the network itself. This is provided by the expansion of bandwidth, faster loading of applications, and more precise features for the engineers of tomorrow. The team of programmers has also expanded to encompass two new freshmen from George Brown College. With the help of the community and the Inventors College, GCEngineers has proven its presence in the Colleges in Canada.  GCEngineers offers the Course online to help you get started on the road to inventions. Along with offering the course online, GCEngineers gives you the opportunity to access our free online directory of PDFs and engineering books. The idea of expansion is quickly growing within the team of GCE officials as GCEngineers is opening up an office in the Middle East where Engineers are needed. The Emirates is a place where engineers from all around the world are located.

Read more about Engineering in the Middle East within out next week article.

Petition to Re-Instate the CN Tower Endurance Climb

Hi StairClimb Fanatics!

Back in 1981 a record was set by Robert C. Jezequel who climbed up the CN Tower 17 times in 11 hours and 17 minutes. Each time he descended by lift.

We are going to break this record, by not only completing more then 17 times up the CN Tower but by also descending down the stairs of the CN Tower as well.We would like to complete this amazing physical challenge in support of children’s hospitals across Canada.

Unfortunately the record was rested in the late 1980’s but showed up in an edition of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1991.

We need your help! We have a petition going around that states to re-instate the CN Tower Endurance Climb set in 1981.

We are aiming for 100,000 signatures to take to the Guinness Book of World Records so that they see that this human endurance feat is being done for a great cause!

Please help us in getting this world record re-instated once and for all!

We thank you for supporting our cause and hope you can make it out to the CN Tower when we break this 30 year old record!

Trevor Folgering
The Canada StairClimbing Association


Liz Palmer,
Wine and Travel Writer

There are some key points of similarity between chocolate and wine. Both chocolate and wine are made from fruit (chocolate from the cacao pod) and (wine from grapes).  The flavor and aroma yielded by both the cacao pod and the grape are a function of their rootstock, soil, climate, and weather conditions.  And both chocolate and wine are both made from a blend of beans or grapes, each with distinct flavor profiles.

There is some skill involved in pairing the right chocolate with the right wine.  And yes chocolate and wine do complement each other! Follow these strategies and you will be able to engage your palate to the fullest –  just think of pairing the most exotic chocolate truffle with a glass of vintage Bordeaux!

White Chocolate

White chocolate tends to be mellow and buttery in flavor, making it ideal for Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Fruity Chardonnay, Orange Muscat or Sherry. These styles of wine will pick up on the buttery, fatty tones in the chocolate.

Milk Chocolate

The classic milk chocolate pairing is Port; other considerations are lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Muscat, Desert Wines, Brut Champagnes or Sparkling Wines.  Watch out for the high sugar levels in milk chocolate as these can cancel out the fruitiness in reds.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (50% to 70%) needs a wine that offers a slightly robust flavor such as Cabernet Sauvignon and intense, in-your-face, Zinfandel this dark chocolate match results in an unparalleled tasting combination.  Other choices are Pinot Noir and Merlot.  Champagne and sparkling wine can handle dark chocolate around the 55% cocoa mark. Tawny or Vintage Port also offers a well-balanced pairing approach to dark chocolate.  Note: some reds have their own chocolate notes – in taste and nosing.

Bittersweet Chocolate

Bittersweet chocolate (70% to 100%) enters the bitter range with deep intensity. Chocolate gourmands adore this range of taste, so the wine should live up to it. Excellent choices are Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Shiraz, Orange Muscat, Port, Malbec, and Zinfandel.


Champagne generally works well across the chocolate spectrum yet some Champagne are high in acid and can react poorly with your chocolate choice.

The perfect pairing balances sweetness, fruitiness, and acidity—and your own flavor preferences!

While it creates a challenge to find the perfect suitor for a box of assorted truffles; it also makes it fun to seek your favorite pairings.



  • First take a sip of the wine
  • Then take a piece of the chocolate and let the heat
    from your tongue melt the chocolate – avoid biting
  • Followed by another sip of wine
  • Engage your palate to the fullest, and
  • Indulge in your senses

New Discussion Forums for The Canada StairClimbing Association

We now have a new forum for discussions on StairClimbing and health related topics like weight loss and nutritional supplementation.

This is a great place to discuss the hot topics of stairclimbing and really help us create a global community. Please feel to add you own topics and reply to other posts. Even if you are new stairclimbing please feel ask questions to others and really get as much information as you can. This forum is a place where we can all share training tips, information about races, competitive strategies and share the latest news and views of stairclimbing.

This forum is also a great place to share ideas on how you would like to see the sport progress. Our goal is to have stairclimbing become a global phenomenon. We need your help! This is your chance to help grow this sport by becoming part of the community. It is really important that we grow the community of stairclimbers, which means adding your own thoughts and opinions on what YOU think is important.

Please post and respond to topics here

Orthomolecular Medicine…Help and Hope for Mental Illness

Launch of Mindful Campaign, Nov. 15, 2012 – A Better Future for Children’s Mental Health! Visit and see the bold and exciting plan sponsored by the ISF, to transform the way children are diagnosed and treated. We can all make a difference.

Most of us know at least one person who has been treated for mental illness. While treatment of the mentally ill has come a long way, there are many pathways yet to be uncovered. Due to mental illness in our family, and having seen the suffering of too many people, in the late ’80’s, I decided to search for alternative/complementary methods that would enhance outcomes. I was intrigued when I learned about Orthomolecular Medicine and glad I found the health professionals that use it in their practice.

I discovered from the Canadian Society of Orthomolecular Medicine (CSOM) and the International Schizophrenia  Foundation, (ISF),, that a diagnoses of mental illness doesn’t have to mean the end of a patient’s life as he or she knew it. It was good news.

What is Orthomolecular Medicine?

Orthomolecular medicine, a term coined by Linus Pauling, double Nobel Laureate involves treatment by optimizing health and treating disease by providing correct amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids and other substances which are natural and essential to the human body.

Your body is powered by your dietary intake – nutrients. We can get these nutrients though high quality food and through supplementation. The brain is living tissue and must receive nutrients to do its work. The brain is a ‘nutrient hog’ taking 25% of all nutrients you eat to sustain itself.  The brain is 60% fat and it needs quality fats, vitamins and minerals to thrive. The quality of your food will influence the quality of your brain and its functioning. For example rancid fats from French fries on a repeated basis can get lodged in our bodies in places where healthy fats should be to power the body – especially the brain.

Why Don’t You Know About Mental Health and Nutrition?

Vitamins, minerals or other natural substances can’t be patented. No vitamin sales people knock on physicians’ doors with free samples. Also, nutrition is low on the list of subjects in medical schools. However, those who practice orthomolecular medicine – evidence based medicine, check for nutrient deficiencies as possible causes for mental disturbances. Every other branch of medicine does lab testing, why not psychiatry?

What Physical Problems can Affect Mental Illnesses?

  • High or low blood sugar levels cause mental symptoms to peak.
  • Vitamin B12  deficiency causes confusion, fatigue, weakness and severe mental symptoms. Other B vitamin deficiencies including folic acid can contribute to many forms of mental disorders.
  • Anemia (low iron levels) is sometimes confused with dementia.
  • Low thyroid has been shown to be common for those with schizophrenia.
  • Low levels of Vitamin D stores directly relate to depression.
  • Those with mental illness often have food allergies or digestive problems.

Orthomolecular psychiatrists also use medications since they were traditionally trained psychiatrists. They found that adding nutrients to patients’ protocols reduced medication side effects and enhanced both mental and physical health. Many medical doctors, naturopaths, registered nutritional consultants or other health professionals use these adjunct orthomolecular treatments for both mental health and physical problems. Abundant Information is available about nutrition health benefits.

Are Vitamins/Minerals Safe?

Some fear that vitamins in high dosages are “not safe”. View testimony before the Government of Canada, House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, regarding nutritional supplement product safety (Ottawa, May 12, 2005) by Andrew Saul PhD, at:

Ignorance abounds on the subject of vitamins. Using orthomolecular treatments can help people recover, enjoy life and become productive members of society. Other therapies that are helpful include: exercise, relaxation techniques, having adequate housing, social support. Like all people, those with mental illness cannot spend endless time alone unattended. Stigma of mental illness still abounds and must be countered.

CSOM provides peer to peer doctor and other health professional training programs on this subject of therapeutic nutrition. ISF promotes the wide use of orthomolecular medicine and provides public seminars, hosts an annual professional conference, publishes the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine and a quarterly newsletter.

If you suffer from mental illness or know someone who does, check out You can call or email the office for a practitioner’s list in your area. Ph. 416.733.2117, or email: You’ll be glad you did.

Rosalie Moscoe, Vice Chair, International Schizophrenia Foundation, , Chair of Mindful Campaign – A better future for children’s mental health,

The Downside of Bicycle and Transit City

During the warm summer months it was easy for Miller to advocate a Bicycle city.  Many Torontonians were pointing out that bicycles aren’t a practical way to run a city.  Miller and his bicyclists supporters were ignoring that feedback.

So what do we have to show for it this year?  Yesterday’s snow storm shows that bicycles are useless in the snow. But, it also shows how bicycles have been abandoned and in the process are blocking designated handi-capped spots.  In fact, this is an example of how bicycles are hurting traffic and accessibility not helping it.

Where have the riders gone?  They’re taking the TTC or hitching rides with car drivers of course.  Where do you think they’re going?  If it weren’t for the drivers during this storm and reaching out to those without cars, many people wouldn’t have been able to get home, at least not without walking in the snow for hours.

Then there is the whole situation with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and its drivers.  Based on 2011 numbers to date, you are more likely to die by being hit by a bus than you are by being hit by a car in Toronto.  If you consider the TTC as a community on its own, it’s driver’s probably have the highest accident rate. 

I seriously wonder what is going on with the TTC drivers.  In the past there is a track record of TTC driver’s being rude to passengers, but I don’t recall a time where it seemed that they were launching what could be a gang war on Torontonians.  What I mean by this is that if cab drivers from a certain taxi company were to have these kinds of numbers, the police would be all over them investigating and trying to figure what’s going on.  What are the consequences to the TTC drivers?

In the past we’ve seen TTC employees sleeping on the job, accused of being drunk or on drugs, even texting while driving a bus.  But, I have never seen such a horrible track record whereby pedestrians have been killed in different accidents in such a short period of time.  There have been incidences such as the 1995 subway crash that was brutal (check it out on YouTube) and in which cause was suspisciously not determined.  This year’s numbers seem like a systematic consequence.

The sad thing is that ex-Toronto Mayor Miller had rewarded these drivers with significant pay increases and unionized benefits that are unheard of in private companies.  I find it difficult to take the bus knowing that the bus driver may only have a grade 12 education (if they were even educated in Canada), making more money than me and able at any moment to run over someone on the street that I may know.

Maybe we should privatize the TTC and get rid of the union.

Eating for Vitality at Conferences (and to Stay Awake!)

It’s conference time – time off from work, no household chores, great food and it’s free. Expect to feel exhilarated by all the new information you will take in, yet, wonder why by the end of the trip you feel like you’ve been run over by a steam roller. You may have trouble keeping awake during the long days inside, with no windows in conference rooms and many speakers to listen to. Don’t be surprised if at the end of the conference you end up with a bad case of jet lag. You may feel bloated and irregular. So what can you do to get the most out of conferences and still feel half human?

Being aware of your meals and snacks might help to ease the upset in schedule and to your system. You can be sure that meals will include rich desserts and often there will be plenty of muffins or chocolate chip cookies for snacks. So you think, “a little won’t hurt”. And it’s true a little won’t hurt – if you can stop at ‘a little’. Too much sugar may result is a dip in energy, and mental fog.

A large dose of dense carbohydrates (sugar, bread, desserts, cakes), with its brand of empty calories, can temporarily raise your blood sugar (as can caffeine), so that you feel a high, lots of energy – but not for long. An hour or two later, your blood sugar may plunge and you begin feeling lethargic, not able to concentrate. You begin thinking, “if only I could have a little nap!”

Remember that food alters your mood, and good wholesome foods such as fruit and vegetables nourishes the mind and body along with aiding regularity. Most conferences now include yogurt or fruit for snacks. It would be a good idea to reach for these high energy snacks. If there’s a grocery store near the conference centre, the following is a list of healthful snacks that will feed your brain and body and keep you alert! Some items such as power bars, you can bring with you.

Perfect snacks for high energy include:

×    fresh fruit – apples, peaches, plums, grapes etc. along with nuts or seeds

×    dried fruit; dates, figs, cranberries

×    power bars that contain protein

×    vegetables (baby carrots or cherry tomatoes) and nuts

×    nuts (raw almonds and walnuts) sunflower or pumpkin seeds

×    yogurt and fruit

×    cheese and fruit (or whole grain crackers)

These high powered snacks provide you with the needed protein and complex carbohydrates that your mind and body loves. In small amounts, they won’t make you fat, yet provides your body with needed nutrients. If your concentration is getting low, you just might be thirsty. Carry bottled water around with you and drink often. Water helps prevent dehydration, jet lag and boosts energy.  Some form of exercise – even walking around the block before the conference starts or at breaks will give your muscles an oxygen boost. You’ll feel revived, especially if the sun is shining outside.

Regarding desserts, on a scale of one to ten, have a taste and if it’s a ten, don’t feel too guilty and enjoy, or take a few bites. Otherwise, if the dessert isn’t great, the sugar content may not be worth it.  If it’s a dessert that contains fruit, remember that fruit supplies the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

Enjoy the conference; enjoy the meals. However, a few small changes may just help in your overall mood and concentration level so you can be fully aware, energetic and vital.