Tag Archives: Rodney Strong Vineyards

Different Insect Bites And What To Do About Them

Vine Vera Insect Bite

Here’s the news folks: We are all minority. Yes, no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation we identify with, there is a species that far outnumbers us, relegating us to minority status, despite our relatively large number. That is the insect. Insects are the most diverse group of animals on this planet including over a million described species and comprising more than half of all known living organisms on the planet. So, when it comes to the attack, how are we to know which one of these antennae bearing, joint-legged, googly-eyed life forms bit us? Here is a short guide to determining which of these hexapod invertebrates sank their teeth into our skin, and what we can do about it.

Mosquito Bites
Probably the most common and most annoying of insect bites, the mosquito bite is characterized by the signature itchy round pink or red bump. Although it is usually harmless, it can cause serious illnesses such as malaria and the Zika virus, which can be the cause microcephaly in infants of infected women. Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using an insect repellant containing DEET will help to protect from most bug bites. Antihistamines can be taken before going outside to decrease allergic negative reactions.

Biting Flies
Biting flies are a motley crew consisting of deer flies, horseflies, blackflies, no see ums and sandflies. Bites from this gang of pests tend to be more painful and irritating than those of mosquitoes and can sometimes cause allergic reactions.

Red and Black Fire Ants
Found mostly in the South, red and black fire ants give bites, which form a small blister, or pustule that usually appears a day or two after receiving the bite itself and tends to go away within a few days.

Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Bees and Wasps
Causing fear among children and grown men alike, these winged buzzers almost never attack unless provoked. Never swing or swat at them, and don’t smash them, as this can trigger an alarm scent that may stimulate others to attack. If you feel threatened by a bee, cover your face and keep still or walk away slowly; resist the urge to run.

Vine Vera itching hand


Normal Reaction
When most insects bite or sting, they inject a small amount of venom under the skin, usually causing a small area of swelling redness, itching and /or pain. These symptoms should resolve relatively quickly and can be eased by taking over the counter pain medicines, applying cold compresses or ice, and using calamine lotion to control itching.

Large Reactions
Dramatic immune responses can cause significant pain and swelling over a large area of the body. These often require prescription medication, such as pednisone, an oral steroid, to fight inflammation. Seek medical health if the swelling does not get better after a few hours, or if it affects more than one-third of your leg or arm.

Life-Threatening Reactions
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that spreads through the entire body. It is characterized by itching that commonly occurs far from the bite or sting, and trouble breathing. Antihistamines can slow the process, but urgent medical attention is urgent and should be sought immediately.

How are you dealing with insect bites this summer? Let us know which of these critters bit you and for family and how you handled it.


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Our Favorite Merlots

One of the best things about Merlot, besides its combination of robustness and approachability, and its ability to be paired with almost any food, is its incredible amount of variety that exists within the scope of various Merlot wines. Different climates and regions can produce very different tastes in this particular varietal—Merlot often referred to as a “chameleon” among wines because of this, since Merlot grown in various climates can mimic other varietals’ flavor profiles—meaning it’s quite versatile, and just because you’ve had a couple Merlots doesn’t mean you’ve anywhere near experienced all the wine has to offer.

On that note, Vine Vera has elected to, today, share with you some of our own favorite Merlots with you, so you yourself can experience everything the varietal has to offer.

Wine bottles in a row

From California
Beringer Vineyards: Beringer’s Napa Valley is above average in quality, giving you the usual taste profile of a rich Merlot with character. They also make a Merlot called Founders Estate that’s much simpler and more approachable, but still quite tasty.

Chateau St. Jean: This winery’s Merlot Sonoma County is very bold and well-rounded, with cherry notes being prominent, in addition to hints of more unusual flavors including herbs and even leather.

Rodney Strong Vineyards: Rodney Strong is world-class, and spans a great number of vineyards. Their Sonoma County Merlot boasts rather soft tannins, easy drinkability, and a very fruity profile.

From Washington
Chateau Ste. Michelle: Considered one of the top wineries in the stat of Washington, their Columbia Valley Merlot is produced from a blend of grapes from vineyards all over the valley. It’s light and fruity, making it very easy to drink, while still having the richness of any good Merlot.

Hogue Cellars: Incredibly inexpensive while maintaining quality, and managing to be above-average, Hogue’s Merlot is supple, well-defined, fruity, and a deep, balanced character overall.

From Toscana, Italy
Masseto: This 17-acre vineyard produces a merlot that has especially powerful fruit flavors, with blackberry and cherry featuring quite prominently. You’re also likely to pick up strong notes of chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Tannins are quite soft and smooth, and the finish is smooth yet powerful and satisfying.

Messorio: This Merlot is very much characteristic of the varietal, and boasts all the hallmarks in strong, robust capacity. Soft but rich with a hugely complex flavor profile, this Merlot is not a wine you’re likely to soon forget.

From Bordeaux, France
92 Chateau Nenin Pomerol: Light in Character, yet still retains the opulence associated with a quality Merlot. Very fresh, with blackberry notes being the strongest here by far, with an overall very powerful, yet smooth flavor.

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