Allergies, Cold, or the Flu?

This time of year, with the temperature changing from one extreme to another day by day, it is hard to keep from getting sick. But is it a cold, the flu, or allergies that you’re experiencing?

Here’s a helpful chart to show you how the symptoms of cold and allergies intersect:

There’s good news here: the medication for cold or allergies is exactly the same! You’re going to get relief from either section of your pharmacy, just read the label.

Now the chart below goes into way more detail about whether you have a common cold, seasonal flu, or H1N1. Match your symptom to the ailment, and do a little self-diagnosis.

Caution: Use this chart as a reference only! Please see your doctor if you experience severe discomfort or extended symptoms. And, as my mother always says, take your vitamins!



How Can You Pick Out A Good Watermelon?

Tip 1: The first giveaway is how the watermelon feels when you pick it up. This grocer says it should feel “heavy for its size,” which basically means that it should be a little heavier than expected (even if it’s a smaller melon) when you pick it up. Tip 2: The next thing to do…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Coppola Sofia Rosé

On a hot summer day, enjoying a heavy red wine gets a little harder. Admittedly, on days like this, I will often crank up the AC and still pour myself a nice Cabernet! But there’s something about sitting outside, feeling a warm summer breeze, and lifting a glass of crisp, chilled Rosé to your lips.…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Petite Petit 2013

I admit, I looked at the colorful, rather bizarre label with cartoon elephants on it and thought to myself, Petite Petit couldn’t be a serious wine. Then I pulled the cork. Wow! Here is a powerful purple concoction from Michael David Wines! First, the color: an inky purple hue. Then the aroma: spicy orange, blueberry…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc

Once the weather gets warmer, I like a nice Sauvignon Blanc. What I have found, however, is that many have no flavor or character whatsoever. The Crossings is a delicious exception, and delivers tons of flavor at a very reasonable price. If you’re going to try Sauvignon Blanc, make it one from New Zealand. This…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: The Count Red Blend

In the colorful history of California, “The Count of Buena Vista” could be considered the founder of California wine. Agoston Haraszthy emigrated from Europe in 1840 in pursuit of opportunity and freedom in America. Following the forty-niners in search of gold in the hills of Northern California, he sought “purple gold” instead, and ultimately settled in Sonoma,…MORE


Gauge Brain Health: Stand On One Foot!

What if I told you that trying to stand on one leg for 20 seconds (or more) could help you gauge the health of your brain? That’s exactly what a new study published in the journal Stroke suggests. Researchers asked about 1,400 people (average age 67) to stand with one leg raised and their eyes…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon

The curse of the humble wine enthusiast is this: as your appreciation for good wine grows, the cost to obtain “good” wine rises. As much as I would enjoy drinking fine Napa Cabernet or French Bordeaux every night, I am more than likely drinking a solid bargain wine instead. And that, in a nutshell, is why…MORE


How you eat a chocolate Easter bunny says a lot about you!

Chances are you have a chocolate Easter bunny, maybe several, ready to be devoured this weekend. Did you know that the WAY you eat it reveals something about your personality? Ears First If you’re go for the ears first (like 75% of Americans do) you’re a practical, organized, and traditional person who values security. You…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Black Stallion Chardonnay

Generally I am not a fan of California Chardonnay, because for such a long time every one I tasted from California was over-oaked. It was literally all I could taste, and I didn’t like it, so I basically wrote it off completely. This week’s featured wine is definitely NOT your typical oaky Chardonnay. The 2013…MORE

Little Girl REALLY Likes Zebras

I think every family with more than one child has stories to tell about what one sibling did to the other. I famously cut my little brother’s hair with safety scissors, and the results were not good. But I’m willing to bet nothing you or I did compares to this. If your child didn’t put…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola

There are grapes we all recognize: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, etc. Then there are grapes that may not be at all familiar. Many have never heard of Nero D’Avola, so let me introduce you. Nero D’Avola translated means “Black of Avola,” referring to the color of the grape and the town in Sicily where…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Klinker Brick Zinfandel

Ah, Zinfandel! The quintessential California grape, but so often misunderstood. One of the biggest successes of the California wine industry in the 1970s was taking the red Zinfandel grape and making it into a spritzy, sweet white wine. To this day that’s what many people think of when they see the word “Zinfandel,” but it’s…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Seghesio Zinfandel = YUM | Lite Rock 105

Finding wines that you like can often be a challenge. Parting with $10 – $20 to bring a bottle home that you end up not liking is hard! That simple fact inspired me to do this blog in the first place. Consider me your personal wine-taster! The best wines I have tried have most often resulted…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Kung Fu Girl Riesling

I am a big fan of German Riesling, from the Mosel River Valley. It is, in my opinion, the best example of what Riesling should be: bracing acidity, with a clarity of flavor that is unmatched. Usually, the “New World” Rieslings I have tried just don’t stack up; they are either way too sweet, or…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay | Lite Rock 105

Lots of pressure to review another white wine, so this week I picked a Chardonnay from one of the most innovative winemakers in France, Louis Latour. If the grapes for this were sourced from Burgundy, it would probably cost about $70 a bottle. Since the grapes were grown instead in the valley of the Ardèche…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Velvet Devil Merlot

I’m not always a fan of Merlot, but this little devil enticed me. The Velvet Devil is a rich, fruit-forward red wine, with a nose of strawberry and tobacco. This is almost entirely Merlot (99%) with a little Cabernet (1%) added to it, and like most Charles Smith wines, they are developed for how people…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 19 Crimes Red Wine | Lite Rock 105

If you read these reviews, you have probably noticed that I love a bargain. It’s easy to spend a lot of money and score a great wine. It’s harder to find a pleasant, drinkable wine for $7 a bottle, so when I find one, I’m always excited to tell you about it. This is one…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: H3 Cabernet | Lite Rock 105

The more Washington State wines I try, the more I realize what a tremendous value they are. This week my wife and I tasted a series of California Cabs thinking we’d find another favorite. None came close to this week’s feature, the H3 Cabernet from Columbia Crest winery, one of the best Cabernet values I have…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Meiomi Pinot Noir

I am pleased to talk about one of my favorite go-to wines, the Meiomi Pinot Noir. If you have seen this on a restaurant wine list but haven’t tried it yet, let me encourage you to do so. It’s popular for a reason! Produced by the Wagner Family, who knows how to make quality, approachable wines, Meiomi…MORE

Avalon Cab

Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2013 Avalon Cabernet

This week Rudy (pictured, left) wanted to be included in my Wine Wednesday review. He’s a fan of big, juicy reds. (Just kidding.) The 2013 Avalon Cab is a remarkable wine for the money. It reminds me of one of my other favorites, the Bogle Essential Red, in that it tastes like a much more…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Banfi Centine Toscana

Back in February I reviewed the Centine Toscana from Banfi. At the time I was just discovering Italian wines, and coming to terms with how a Chianti made with the Sangiovese grape can taste completely different than a Super Tuscan made with mostly Sangiovese, or a Brunello which is also Sangiovese! Since then, I have tried…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Grifone Primitivo

Navigating the Trader Joe’s wine section is a hit or miss proposition. There are some great values, to be sure, but many clunkers, so when I uncover a real bargain, it is like finding a gold coin on the ground. I found a really nice Amarone for less than $16 there, which is now one of…MORE


Brian’s Hallo-Wine Wednesday: Three Spooky Reds

A lot of us have Halloween parties to attend this week, and what better gift to bring to a party than wine? So here are three delicious “Hallowines” that taste good, and are reasonably priced. I don’t recommend pairing them with candy. #1 – Apothic Dark, California Red Blend, 2013 ($9) One of my go-to…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Drops Of Jupiter Red Wine | Lite Rock 105

A few years back I was introduced to Pat Monahan and Jimmy Stafford of Train. Before that time I had no idea that Jimmy, guitarist and founding member, loved wine as much as he did. We put together a wine tasting and a “meet and greet” at a local winery for our listeners, and as…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Centine Toscana Rose

The more I drink Rosé the more I like it. Rosé is one of the fastest-growing wines in the world, and has been described as a white wine that red wine drinkers appreciate. How come? As Sommelier Stephen Lydon explains, “Rosé has that best-of-both-worlds thing going on. It has white wine structure and red wine flavors,…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Hob Nob Wicked Red

OK, I admit it. The label drew me in. I am one of those people. Often a cool label results in me buying a bottle of swill, but in the case of Hob Nob Wicked Red, I think I found another “go to” bottle, and a very appropriate wine for that spooky Halloween party to which…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Balbas Rioja

There are so many great wines from Spain of late! I have had some excellent Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cava, but no spanish wine I have had comes close to this week’s featured review, the 2001 Balbas Rioja. This was intense. Fourteen years in the bottle, this is one of those rare wines that makes you…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay

I remember my first taste of Chardonnay. It was early in my wine-tasting career, and it was a typical over-oaked California version, and I hated it. I tried another one not long after that, with the same result, and decided Chardonnay was not for me. I was young and immature then. The fact is, you…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2014 Tavel Rose

For years I stayed away from Rosé because I thought anything pink was going to be cheap and sugary sweet. Plus, most of the time I’d rather have a red anyway, even on crazy hot 100 degree days! I’m weird that way. My opinion changed slightly when I kept seeing the words “dry” and “complex”…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2012 BV Rutherford Cabernet

This week’s feature is the 2012 BV Rutherford Cabernet. I love the story of BV, or Beaulieu Vineyard. In 1900, when founder Georges de Latour’s wife, Fernande, first laid eyes on the land that would become their original Rutherford vineyard, she named it “beau lieu,” or “beautiful place.” The four-acre ranch was purchased, and founded with…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2013 Selbach Riesling

This week’s feature is the 2013 Selbach Riesling. Whenever possible, I like to try a wine from regions that are known for that wine. For example, you can’t beat Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa or Bordeaux. Burgundy and Oregon’s Willamette Valley consistently produce top quality Pinot Noir, and there are no better Rieslings in the world…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2011 Breca

When you ask yourself what country devotes the most land to vineyards, which comes to mind? France, certainly, possibly the United States, but the fact is the country with the most land devoted to vineyards is Spain, and it’s really not even close. Spain has over 10,000 square miles of vineyards, nearly 3 million acres!…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Sakonnet Vineyard Prana

One of the nice surprises when I moved to New England was the delightful discovery that there are some very good wines being made here! It’s taken too long to review a local wine, and first on the list is a delicious white blend from Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard called PRANA. Sakonnet is one of the…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Conte di Bregonzo Amarone

Sometimes you find a wine that is such an absurdly good value, you can’t believe it. Thanks to this blog, I can tell you when I come across one. This week, you MUST try the ridiculously good Conte di Bregonzo Amarone della Valpolicella. I have a love/hate relationship with Amarone. It’s mostly love. The good…MORE


Choosing The Right Sunglasses For Your Face

Style experts say the following are good rules to follow: 1) SUNGLASS SIZE The size of your sunglasses should be in proportion with your face size. This means that smaller sunglasses are best for smaller faces; larger sunglasses for larger faces. The frame shape is different: this should contrast with, that is, be the opposite…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Aveleda Vinho Verde | Lite Rock 105 WWLI-FM

It’s summertime and if you’re anything like me, you’re eating a lot more salad and fruit this time of year. If you’re JUST having a salad, or even a fruit salad, what do you drink with it? A heavy red won’t do. You need something crisp and refreshing. Enter: Vinho Verde. The Aveleda Vinho Verde…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Castello del Poggio Moscato

You have no idea how many requests I have received from listeners and readers to review a Moscato. People have come up to me at events and told me how much they love Moscato. Honestly, I have tried to like Moscato, but every single one has been too sweet, too syrupy, one-note, just not good.…MORE


5 Diet Cheats That Taste Great

You have probably heard the phrase “lifestyle change” when people talk about weight loss. Unless you are blessed with an incredibly high metabolism, you can’t subsist on pasta, pizza, pancakes, and burgers and not gain weight! But if you LOVE those foods (like I do) there are alternatives. My wife and I have lost a…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: MacMurray Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

In 1941 actor Fred MacMurray (he of My Three Sons fame) bought some land north of San Francisco, and raised cattle. After he passed, his children knew what valuable property the “MacMurray Ranch” had become, smack-dab in California’s famed Russian River Valley, so daughter Kate started MacMurray Estate Vineyards, which now makes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris,…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: St. Francis 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel

Over the years I have grown very fond of Zinfandel. Let me be clear: I’m talking about “real” Zinfandel, not the awful “White Zin” you see in boxes, jugs, and on many grocery store shelves. Zinfandel is also called Primitivo in Italy, and is supposed to be a hearty, robust red wine that can often…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva

I have been writing about wine for nearly 10 years now. It’s been interesting to read today some of those early reviews, because my tastes have changed…a lot. Back then I was all about Yellow Tail, Rosemount, and sweeter red blends. Today, I am more discerning, while still seeking a good value. When I find a…MORE


How to fix that home button/google glitch on Galaxy phones

Has this happened to you? You press the HOME button on your Galaxy phone but instead of exiting to your home screen, you end up at the Google App instead. No matter how many times you press the HOME button, you stay on Google. This issue plagued my S5 for weeks, and I couldn’t find the…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday | 2010 Jordan Vineyards Cabernet

My wife and I are in the middle of a diet, so our wine consumption has been somewhat limited lately. We decided since we can’t drink as often as we used to, we’d ramp up the quality of the wines for a more fulfilling experience. Better tasting wine that lasts a few days is a great…MORE

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Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Razor’s Edge Shiraz Grenache

I have said it before, and I will say it again: when in doubt, go with an Australian Shiraz. It’s a crowd pleaser, which is why store shelves are stocked with giant bottles of Yellow Tail, Rosemount, and Yellow Cake. I will admit to liking these brands early in my wine tasting career, because they…MORE

Mionetto Hor

Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Mionetto Brut Prosecco

Most of us refer to all bubbly as “champagne,” but the term officially only refers to sparkling wine from a specific region in France. Likewise, Spain produces its own sparkler, called Cava, and Italy calls theirs Prosecco. This week’s feature is a beautifully dry Prosecco from Mionetto, a well-regarded winery in Northeast Italy. Like Champagne, Prosecco…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: 2012 Francis Ford Coppola Claret

Years ago, there was a restaurant where I would always take out-of-town guests. Aside from reliably good food, one of the reasons it always impressed everyone was the wine list, and the wine we always seemed to settle on was the Francis Ford Coppola Claret. Claret, by the way, is a term originally coined by…MORE

Koonunga Hill

Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

When you think of Australian wines, you have probably heard of Yellow Tail, a huge brand that made Australian Shiraz very popular to the rest of the world. That is a very simple, inexpensive, but drinkable wine. This Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet from Penfolds, Australia’s most iconic winery, is a big step up. Penfolds is an…MORE


Brian’s Wine Wednesday: Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Cava

First, a little translation. “Cava” means cellar, and “Tresor” means treasure. This delicious Cava is basically Spain’s version of Champagne. The Pere Ventura wine tradition dates back to the 19th century, and they’ve been perfecting it ever since. Grapes for this Cava come from old vines grown on chalky, high elevation soils, and the result…MORE


How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter?

The average hourly rate for a babysitter nationwide is $13.50, according to UrbanSitter, an online babysitting resource. Every year they publish a report that shows average hourly rates across the country, based on recent transactions made by their users. Here is UrbanSitter’s infographic:MORE

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