Vin og promille – hvordan ser regnestykket ud? I fredags gik Aida Hadzialic af grundet 0,2 promille

Aida Hadzialic gik af i fredags grundet 0,2 promille kørsel i forbindelse med indtagelse af to glas vin fire timer inden hun blev stoppet – er det egentlig fair, det vil sige, var så hård en sanktion nødvendig? Og kan historien virkelig passe, var der vitterlig blot tale om to glas vin? Og hvordan regner du egentlig selv, på hurtig og effektiv vis, din egen alkoholpromille ud efter et par glas eller fire?

Den svenske gymnasieminister Aida Hadzialic blev i fredags stoppet på vej fra København til Malmø med en promille på 0,2 og har, i samråd med sin chef, den svenske statsminister Stefan Löfven, valgt at trække sig fra sin stilling. Hun skulle ifølge eget udsagn have drukket et glas rødvin og et glas champagne, fire timer inden hun satte sig bag rettet. Men er det overhovedet sandsynligt at Aida kun drak to glas vin? Hazialic er en spinkel pige, og jo mindre fedt man har på kroppen, jo højere bliver alkoholpromillen. Vi forbrænder alle ca 0,15 promille i timen. Så hvis den afgående minister vejer omkring 50 kg kan det faktisk godt passe, at der vitterlig blot var tale om indtagelse af to glas vin, fire timer inden hun valgte at køre tilbage til Malmø.

Hvordan regnes BAC (alkoholprocent i blodet) ud – og hvordan kan du i øvrigt selv være så sikker som mulig på lovligt at kunne køre bil, hvis du vælger at sætte dig bag rettet, når du har fået et par glas vin?

Først er det godt at vide, at:

Mængden af BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) hos den enkelte, er det der afgør promillen.

Kvinder kan som udgangspunkt tåle mindre end mænd, dette hænger sammen med kropsbygning, vægt og enzymaktivitet

Når man taler om en ‘genstand’, regner man med at der er mellem 8-14 gram alkohol i.

En genstand kan være enhver alkoholisk drik; øl, vin, spiritus, likør.

I en standardflaske på 0,75 l er der typisk 6 glas vin à 12,5 cl

Hvert glas i en sådan flaske med 14% abv (alcohol by volume) svarer til ca 12 gr alkohol pr glas.

Som hovedregel regnes med at alkohol forbrændes med 0,15 promille i timen (dog ikke hvis du drikker mere end én genstand i timen. Jo flere genstande i timen, jo højere promille) (Kilde: Sundhed.dk)

Alkoholen fordeler sig gennemsnitligt i 60% af kropsvægten hos kvinder, og 70% hos mænd (kilde: Sundhed.dk)

1 glas vin à 12,5 cl  / 12 gr alkohol

Regn din egen – cirka – promille ud når der er gået en time efter at du har drukket et enkelt glas med ca. 12 gr alkohol i (eksempelvis rødvin med 14% abv):

For kvinder der vejer 65 kg: 12 gr (1 glas) / 39 (kropsvægt x 60%) – 0,15 (de 0,15 der forbrænder den første time efter indtagelse af glasset) = 0,158 ~ 0,16 (næsten 0,2 som ministeren blev stoppet med)

Når der er gået to timer er promillen ca: 12 / 39 – (2 x 0,15=0,3) = 0,00769 ~ 0,008

I Hadzialics tilfælde, med en mulig kropsvægt på ca 50 kg, vil regnestykket se således ud:

24 gr (2 glas) / 30 – 0,6 (4 timer x 0,15 promille) = 0,2

Umiddelbart burde promillen dog have været lidt lavere, da det ene glas var champagne. I champagne er der typisk 12 – 12,5% abv og således bliver promillen jo lavere:

22/22,5 / 30 – 0,6 (4 timer x 0,15 promille= 0,13/0,15. En højere promille i denne sammenhæng kan også betyde at Hadzialic måske har lav enzymaktivitet i mavesækken, som kan ‘forsinke’ alkolforbrændingen.

 

Er man ude til en god middag hvor der eksempelvis serveres fire retter, akkompagneres disse typisk af fire glas vin

Indtages 4 glas vin på blot en time, af en kvinde på ca 65 kg, ser promillen således ud:

48 / 39 – 0,15 = 1,08

 

For mænd der vejer 85 kg:

4 glas på en time:

48 / 59,5 – 0,15= 0,66 promille

 

For at kunne køre lovligt hjem i bil efter indtagelse af 4 glas, skal der altså for kvinder på ca 65 kgs vedkommende gå hele fem timer (48/39 – 0,75 = 0,481), og nok snare seks for at være på den sikre side. Og for mænd på ca 85 kgs vedkommende skal der gå ca. 3 timer (48 / 59,5 – 0,45 = 0,36)

 

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Barolo -Conterno 1998- what a gem

To have the privilege of tasting age worthy Brunellos and Barolos from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s has for some decades already been a very great privilege. Today, we’re at the upper site of the late twenties. Millenium twenties, that is. And yesterday evening I just had the honour of tasting a trio of great Italian wines.

The first two, absolutely splendid ones. But what I’m in to write about tonight are the last 3 glasses of wines in that 1998 bottle of Barolo from legendary Giacomo Conterno in Serralunga d’Alba, Piedmont, that we ended up with at home. Yesterday, guys -it was fabulous. But tonight, maybe it was even better. It was opened at 5 pm some 27-28 hours ago, just waiting to be thoroughly and merciless  -but caringly- assessed once again approximately 2 hours after dinner tonight, on a random quiet Sunday evening. This is what I got;

A clear garnet-ruby, light coloured red with a clean, not to noisy, nose although insistently  talking about tobacco, coffee, cherries and… good old freshness. The wine is of course dry and acidity is not what it most expectedly used to be, but still perfectly present. Tannins are high!, so much on their toes, even after all of these years – like a young handsome man grown old meeting his high school sweetheart again. Alcohol and flavour intensity medium – but what a mediumness; coffee, coffee, coffe – and more coffee, so bitter chocolate it feels like chewing it, leather, tar, liquorice and embracing minerality (earthiness) – all tertiary flavours and right there among them, there she is, the mature but still so impressive beautiful cherry-lady looking for her tannin-guy confident she’ll find him, with a slight, slight crispness and great freshness. Yes, it’s a developed wine and should be drunk now, but my best experienced guess is -despite the less fortunate vintage of 1998- that this one will still do for another half a decade or two or three in the bottle……………

Wine lovers, a wine like this is hard to find. Hard to afford. And might be hard to understand. You should want to taste thousands of wines before you get here, before you ‘get’ a wine like this. And recognise the fantasticness you’re blessed with when you have it – be it presented to you with you knowing it’s origin or be it presented to you blindly. I aim I’ll be able to recognise this greatness when someone’ll serve me a glass of pearl drops like the ones in this league, without my prior knowledge.

Do remember to seek authenticity in the wines you taste, in the wines you enjoy and the wines you drink -no matter where they come from in the world.

Aim vs Warmth in Tuscany, Fanti shines

 

Know your 2011 vintage Brunello di Montalcino from Fanti

  • Brunello di Montalcino: Rumour has it, 2011 was a very warm year
  • Filippo Fanti is one of these
  • Today opinions have changed
  • The wines we tasted 

 

Brunello di Montalcino: Rumour has it, 2011 was a very warm year

With the abundant range of Brunello styles available today it can easily become a challenge to decide in what to invest in, indeed for business but absolutely for pleasure too. ’Difficult’ years, as the latest released 2011 vintage, doesn’t make things any less rocky. Therefore it was an even greater experience to visit the charismatic Filippo Fanti for lunch a couple of weeks ago and witness the elegance & authenticity of his wine efforts from this exact year, despite increased sugar ripeness and high contents of alcohol. Rumour has that 2011 was a very, very warm year and rumour is right. This has resulted in much too baked or marmellated brunellos what goes for many of the producers’ wines. However, some producers are fortunated enough to have both devotion and expertise as well as location and aim to maintain the authentic expressions, styles and qualities of Brunello despite of climatic hazards, like 2011’s excess of heat.

 

Filippo Fanti is one of these

– one of these with that kind of fortune. Around 40 years ago, in the early 1970s, he took over the lead of the 300 hectares of family estate when the production was all about olive oil and cereals. This became a turning point in the family owned company’s history because Filippo dared to plant Sangiovese vines in a terroir not previously thought to be suitable to these plantings and the production of Brunello. In fact, the land, located close to the captivating Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, in the splendid corner with the southern aspect of Castelnuovo dell’Abate (to the South East of the town of Montalcino), was judged the accurate opposite; not suitable for the production of Brunello.

 

However, today opinions have changed

Fanti, who sat different periods as president for the Consorzio di Brunello (a free association of brunello winemakers), a man with an ongoing important and consisting voice in the Montalcino community stressing the need for Brunello producers to remain true to their wine producing origins paired with adequate modern wine making technologies, is, together with his wines, considered one of the important benchmarks to which terroir authentic brunello is measured up against.

_____________________________________________________

The Brunellos we tasted

– from different parcels, are all worth every penny. Here they are in descending order (do note the Rosso di Montalcino 2013 mentioned in the middle) together with the estate’s Sant’Antimo and a white & rosé:

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011, Riserva Vigna le Macchiarelle

Oh boy, what was that? Fermented, aged and bottled 35-year old Macchiarelle vine juice, now deeply ruby red with pronounced nose of baked red fruits, oak and vanilla but on the palate, despite it’s high alcohol, gorgeously balanced, dry with sufficient acidity, tannins, mouthcoating full-bodiness and primary flavours of raspberries and strawberries finished with a velvoutly roundness of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. It was excellent.

 

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011, Vallocchio

Deep ruby red from 25-year old Valocchio vines, baked aromas of strawberry, dry with good acidity, tannins and well-balanced alcohol. Full-bodied with flavours of red cherries, sweet spices, coco nut, chocolate and tar. Long finish, very pleasant.

 

Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011

Lovely ’basic’ deep ruby coloured brunello with pronounced aromas of baked red berries, chocolate and farmyard. Medium acidity and tannins, high alcohol, full-bodied with primary wild cherries, vanilla toasted oak and nuts and long finish.

 

Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2013

Beautifully fresh, pure and neat pronounced aromas of red berries, eucalyptus, toasted oak and vanilla. Dry with medium (+) acidity, well integrated tannins and alcohol, pronounced flavours of violets, red berries and medium-long finish. Great ’little brother’ glass

 

Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC 2013, Sassomagno

Deep ruby red with rich aromas of red currant, vanilla, oak, farmyard, cherries and pronounced, thick flavours of red and black berries, chocolate, violets, high alcohol, tannins, medium acidity and long finish. Very good, pronounced international style.

 

Sant’Antimo Bianco DOC

Fresh and dry with high acidity, medium alcohol and pronounced flavours of lemon, grass and leafiness.

 

Soralisa and Rosato Toscana IGT

Medium-bodied rosé with crisp acidity, lemon and leafiness.

 

 

 

Italy’s Native Grapes – by far the largest number in the World

Italian Wine Nerds, here’s a great book recommendation

I’m on to Ian D’Agata and his masterpiece “Native Wine Grapes of Italy”. The summa of 30 years spent in the world of wine and 13 years of research has left him counting more than 500 native examples (latest count by Robinson, for instance, were 377) and let me already now quote Ian for the glory of native Italian Grapes and wine making : “Italy has by far the largest number of grape varieties from which to make wine. Even more than the blessing of ideal microclimates and geologically diverse soils, this rich biodiversity is the single greatest winemaking asset Italian producers share”. There we are! Another important fact when writing and reading about wine is of course to remember that latest news become old very fast due to the rapid changes and new discoveries occurring in the wine business all the time. In the preface Ian writes this about his own book: “In some respects this book, once published, will already be old. However, it represents by far the most thouroughly researched, in-depth, and accurate book on Italy’s native grapes and wines available today”. Amen

Macedonian wines – inspiring story and great potential

Last week I had the privilege of sitting through a Master Class on Macedonian wines, held by Wine Journalist Darrel Joseph from the Decanter. I was up for some quite interesting informations on the lands wine history as well as on the core quality of some of the wines from what may be referred to as the country’s best producers. ‘Best producers’ seen from a, wonderfully, very enthusiastic Wine Journalist’s point of view (Darrel), as well as some internationally heavy tongues such as Robert Parker/Wine Advocate.

First of all, I knew absolutely nothing about macedonian wines and I have to admit, that I hadn’t even tasted some until this joined Master Class and tasting. I don’t know how many out there are like me, but considering that Macedonia until recently was practically only known within Macedonia itself and Yugoslavia (until the breakup of the state in 1990) for its big volumes of bulk production with high yields and no investments in quality and/or branding, it’s possible that the wines from this country might also be very new, if not unknown, to you as well. If so, this is where you are in for some great news.

Cool facts

Macedonian wines have a lot to offer. Leading producers and wine makers have invested intensively in developing the grape growing and wine making from the late 1990’s. New wineries have been build while old ones have been restructured. This effort has with the establishment of the NGO Wines of Macedonia (WOM) in 2010 been backed up. WOM provides strategic support to the Macedonian wine sector, they do advocating and they do branding. Macedonian wines have a great and growing potential but unfortunately – at least for now – a much too heavy use of wood. I truly hope that Macedonian producers will soon realise this. The country, a landlocked republic in the heart of the Balkans, situated with an altitude of 110-650 meters above sea level. It borders Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece and has a population of 2 million people, an annual harvest of up to 300.000 tons of grapes and 120 million liters of wine production. 3 wine regions and 16 districts within, a few handfuls of indigenous grapes (28; 50% red and 50% white), the country’s second biggest agricultural export product right after tobacco, a transitional climate (mediterranean to continental), 270 sunny days, rich alluvial soils (mineral, clay and limestone). And the largest winery in Southeastern Europe with almost 225.000 ha within a total vineyard area of 33.500 representing 0,4% of the world’s vineyard total. Macedonia enters as the 25th country in world wine production. 60% is still sold in bulk and the remaining 40% in bottles.

The tasting

We had 10 different wines, one rosé and nine reds, almost all reds made on the country’s #1 grape pride; Vranec. No whites. I didn’t have time to do the open wine tasting that followed the seminar with Darrel, so while still there I never found out why there were no whites at the Master Class. In the meantime I’ve passed by the homepage http://www.winesofmacedonia.mk to try to get wiser. Out of the approximately 14 indigenous green grape varieties Macedonia is blessed with, three of them are explained on winesofmacedonia.mk. The first; “Smederevka” (which again is supposed to originate from Serbia) should give high yield and wines with fruity aromas & low alcohol to be drunk young. The other two listed in there; “Zhilavka” and “Temjanika” on the other hand should leave top quality wines what goes for Zhilavka and for Temjanika, intense flavours of thymes and aromas of Muscat. Temjanika also comes in a dark, and rare edition, leaving top quality wines as the Zhilavka. I look forward to taste some of these ones and more in near future.

Recommendations

“Vranec” is the absolute king of grapes in Macedonia. I understand why. It has got a fantastic potential. Unfortunately, from practically all the producers we tasted it the wines were overloaded with oak. That’s to bad. I’m convinced that Vranec can do much more ‘on its own’ and become much more elegant and by default much more high-quality segment and thus with what it takes to compete internationally. IF applied with more delicate wine making techniques. Looking forward to follow Vranec on its journey. When it comes to the characteristics, aroma and flavours of red and black berries were very intense and very pleasant in most of the wines we had. A bit to much jammyness in some but an interesting diversity in others, particularly one; Dissan Barrique 2012 from Bovin Winery. The wine had stored six months on new Macedonian oak barrels and both nose and palate left me with doubts of faultiness due to cork. However, it was not cork. The characteristic taste and smell of cork fault slowly disappeared. It left me something ‘different’ that I find very difficult to explain.

The best Vranic-based wine we had at this tasting was with no doubt the : Vranec Barrique 2011 from Ezimit Vino. A ruby red with pronounced aromas of red berries, sweet spices, wet leaves, savoury elements and an intense well structured body with pronounced flavours of oak, vanilla, red and black berries, chocolate, floral notes and a pleasantly long finish. 13,5% abv. Great glass.

N. 2

Vranec Veritas 2011 from Stoby Winery. A purple youngster with intense aromas of red and black berries and sweet spices, in particular cinnamon. On the palate; full bodied and pronounced flavours of red berries, oak, vanilla, sweet spices and bitter chocolate. Long finish.

N. 3 left me thinking. A wine with a lot to say. And yet not as balanced as you’d expect. Vranec Terroir Grand Reserva 2012 from Chateau Kamnik. A heavy purple fellow with intense aromas of red fruits, sweet spices, vanilla, oak, coco and … volatile acidity (nail varnish remover). Which is normally judged as an aroma fault. However, on the palate it didn’t show. Instead it had high levels of tannins, burning alcohol (too much), pronounced flavours of coco, red fruits, oak, vanilla, chocolate, sweet spices and resinous. Long finish and purchasable at Skovgaardvine.dk in Denmark at 650 dkk. Interesting in it’s own way.

Macedonian wines have inspired me with their story and potential.

Wines from Cortona – Leuta & Dionisio are grasping D’Alessandro & Calabresi at their heels

Only few years ago I did not know a lot of people who believed in Cortona as a wine zone that would enter the league of nearby neighbours like Montepulciano and Montalcino. Of course, Montalcino is with no doubt still king but Cortona has developed impressively and seems to continue to enjoy more and more prestige for every year that passes by. Due to this it would be easy to assume that house prices might have risen, they probably also have a little, but compared to other Tuscan zones it’s not that much. The wine prices on the other hand have started to scale. Which of course is very good for business but less for the consumer. So here are some good advices if you’re in to Cortona wines.

Since the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) was received back in 1999 a board of Cortonesian producers have been established (il Consorzio DOC Cortona), just as we see they have it in Montalcino. All the leading wine producers are here, some have been around for decades others are newcomers. This is where we meet two that really stands out: Leuta and Fabrizio Dionisio. Until these guys arrived in the late 90s and started making noise by the the end of the 10s all the credit went to Tenimenti d’Alessandro. Many of his wines have been generously awarded by heavy tongues such as Wine Spectator, Il Gambero Rosso, Parker, Suckling and more. Today the former owner has sold his winery to multi millionaire Calabresi who’s family made a fortune on waste. The Calabresi have invested hugely in the estate turning the originally 40 acres of vineyards into an amazing joy for the eye when you pass by (today counting 124 acres of Syrah vineyards) and as well extended the originally 100 acres of land Tenimenti started out with in 1967 into a 272 acres kind of village on which they’ve build a little town in the fraction of Cortona; a luxury Golf Resort, private appartmenst & villas for wealthy buyers.

Leuta, meaning Denis & Enzo, came across in 1998 and spend all the money they had earned as brokers on the stock exchange in Milan on 25 acres of land in the heart of the land of Syrah: Cortona. Despite of a very low budget and approximately three pairs of hands to do the hard work (wine producing and marketing), they have managed to stand out and make outstanding, remarkable wines. Their portfolio counts no more than 10 different labels among which the very best ones are

#1 Solitario di Leuta Sangiovese DOC, 2009

Tasting notes: Deep ruby red, full bodied, intense nose of spices, berries and stable, long finish and flavours of liquorice, bitter sweet cherries and sweet spices

#2 Leuta 0,618 Syrah DOC Cortona 2008

Tasting notes: Intense ruby red, medium bodied and nose of freshly grinded pepper, black berries and coffea. Long finish and complex flavours of strawberry, pepper and coffee.

I still haven’t had the chance to taste the Nautilus Single Barrel Select IGT but am looking forward to the adventure.

Fabrizio Dionisio, a lawyer operating from Rome decided to get serious with the Cortonesian family estate, bought by his father in the 70s, and has since early millenium reached the stars at record speed. He runs the wine business with his wife Alessandra, and they have chosen to concentrate 100% on syrah in their wine making and put all the effort into four different labels, one rosé and three reds.

The three reds go from really good to outstanding – here are a few words on the first two:

Tasting notes: Il Castagnino 2012 (the little brother) started out as a purple youngster with complex tannins which with the years became a beautiful ruby red guy with juicy tannins, red berries and great pepper all while it is still folding out its wings and getting closer to the velvety bodyness of it’s older brothers Il Castagno and Cuculaia.

Il Castagno 2010: Intense and deep ruby red, full bodied, very long finish, dark berries,  pepper and liquorice. Great glass of wine and 3 of them also in Il Gambero Rosso

All the wines both from Leuta and Dionisio, have very good ageing potential.

The World’s Top 10 most Influential Enologists

Here’s a little info for the ones of you who would love to know a little more about the front figures when it comes to wine making – the wine producers? Of course. But many of those with a little more money in the pocket buy consultancy services from various enologists based on what kind of wine they wish to end up with in the end.

According to legendary Brunello Wine Producer Mrs. Donatella Cinelli Colombini the 10 enologists that have changed the world -I’ve chosen to call them the Worlds Top 10 most influential Enologist- are as follows

#10: Sam Harrop (samharropwine.com), especially known for his engagement with Loire wines and New Zealand syrah and chardonnays

#9: Demei Li, China’s most influential wine maker. Known in the world for his training at Chateau Palmer followed up by his position as Chief Winemaker and technique director of the French-Chinese governmental joint venture; Sino-French Demonstration Vineyards and Winery (a winery and research center situated on the verges of the Great Wall, north of Beijing)

#8:  Kym Milne, Australian wine maker, most known for his “Flying Winemaker” activities (an expression coined by winemaker and retailer Tony Laithwate). The expression covers for a winemaker crossing continents in his work as wine consultant / winemaker.

#7: The Laithwaites; Tony & Barbara Laithwaite and sons

#6: Denis Dubourdieu, professor at the University of Bordeaux. Specially known for his quality adding to whites

#5: Alberto Antonini (finally an Italian, however located in Chile). Amongst others winemaker for E & J Gallo and previous senior winemaker for Antinori and Frescobaldi

#4: Self-made Stephane Derenoncourt, world known winemaker working with numerous estates in Bordeaux

#3: Paul Hobbs, the Opus One Guy (paulhobbswinery.com) He has had great succes with malbec and rumour want’s that he is now up to something in India. A few years ago Forbes named him “The Steve Jobs of Wine”.

#2: Michel Rolland might be the most famous & successful of this list with around 150 clients in the world. He’s quoted to have said that he refuses to keep a certain line. However critics want that a such statement can seem peculiar since he keeps making wines very pleasable to the taste buds of Robert Parker

#1: The absolute two most influential enologists remain from the French Boissenot family. Father and son, Jacques and Eric Boissenot, are keeping a very low profile but it is widely known in the wine business that they are behind some of the World’s most prestigious wines such as Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Rothschild, Rauzan Ségla, Signals Rabaud and more.

Are no two bottles of wine the same and do we interpret flavours and aromas differently?

If its the same wine, producer and vintage you would expect two bottles to be quite similar to each other, pretty much ‘the same’. Imagine rating an important wine as the Brunello di Montalcino 2007 from *Poggio di Sotto professionally

Vino Poggio di sotto

– and so become able to give this producer’s vintage a fair score and critic, you’d have to have a decent number of bottles, at least 20-25 if you ask Parker (should the rating for some reason serve scientific matters it would require at least 100 bottles, thus obtain critical mass) to build your criticism on. The premium wines with more than 90 point out of a 100 are among other parameters given their high score for their recognisability -a sign of great quality. Should the 90+wines for some reason not be ‘the same’, my best guess would be that it would be due to storage. I would probably shut out the possibility of faults or lack of correct hygiene during production the status of the 90+points already given (by a guy like eg. Parker, Suckling or Jancis (above 16/17 out of 20)) taken into consideration.

Might two people experience different interpretations when describing the same wine? Absolutely. Describing a wine’s aromas and flavours is highly dependent on where and what the individual that tastes comes from. There are by all means indeed some general flavours and aromas characteristic for a certain grape/wine subject to where in the world it has been produced, but for the rest; what an individual sense or perceive corresponds hermetically to that persons background and culture.

*Poggio di Sotto is no longer owned by Piero Palmucci and his swedish wife. In 2007/2008 they sold to Collemassari

Learn by sleeping…

I simply love neure science. I can’t help it! So here is some brainy stuff that I want to share with you guys.

By know – at least if you’re a woman – you probably know that you loose weight while sleeping. But did you also know that you learn sleeping, or resting? You practically wake up with an ‘update’, as professor Terry Sejnowski puts it. Technically speaking what happens is that many new synapses (connections in our brains) on our dendrites (again, in our brains) are formed when sleeping.

Dendrites and synapses

The picture shown above is from an animal. It illustrates the same dendrite; the upper one before sleep and the lower one, after sleep. The white arrows indicate where the new synapses have occurred. This means that we pick up what we have learned during the day, when we sleep. When waking up again the learning has been integrated by the core functionality of our brain.

Why is this so? Have a look at the picture below Illustrated in colors

Colors

The blue parts on the brain illustrated on the left shows the activity when we are communicating with the world. The zones are defined as the ones we use when we’re focusing on something; something we have to learn, understand or likewise. Things can be easy to learn. But sometimes they can also be very hard to pick up. And that is, among others, when it becomes crucial to rest. When we rest, we move into what can be defined as the ‘diffused’ mode (have a look at whats illustrated on the brain to the right. The orange-yellow zones show the activity in our brains when we move into this mode. Its here we  wander off). A very good example of what actually happens is considering how Salvador Dali got some of his great ideas. After a day with a lot of ‘focus mode’, he’d be sitting on a chair, relaxing, with a bunch of keys in his hand. Finally he’d start to fall to sleep and all the same his mind would start to wander off from the focus mode and into the diffuse mode allowing his brain to catch up important informations and understandings of new ideas, learnings and similar accumulated during the day. When the key dropped to the floor because he’d practically been falling to sleep, he’d wake up but now able to concretize what he’d learned.

This is an important understanding of how much we get out of sleeping but indeed too of power napping and meditating.

You might want to consider how you best relax in general as well. Could be power napping, ironing, walking, swimming, sitting in a chair, running, meditating, standing, you name it…

Source: UC San Diego University through Coursera: “Learning how to learn”