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Making Wine: More than Meets the Eye

January 31st, 2011

Peter Kitchak and I spent the weekend at his namesake winery in Napa racking wine. Racking wine is the process of removing sediment from the handcrafted oak barrels during the lengthy aging process. First each barrel has the wine drained, then the barrel is cleaned and lastly the wine is delicately pumped back into the barrel.  The characteristic wine-colored stripe on the barrel indicates the barrel has been racked. This was the first year we had multiple vintages to rack, about 50 barrels, each representing 25 cases of bottled wine when the aging is completed.

It is a great hobby to hold me over this winter until gardening resumes in Minnesota.

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Fillers: “off-label” use

January 26th, 2011

Evolence, a relatively new injection material,  is manufactured by  Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,  and received  FDA approved almost a year ago.  Now available in the US, it is another choice to patients for treating wrinkles.   It is currently not approved for use in the lips.

Other injection materials include hyaluronic acid (Restylane ®, Juvéderm ®), hydroxyapitite (Radiesse ®), autologous fat (fat from your own body), and other collagen products (Zyderm ®, Zyplast ®, Hylaform ®, Cosmoplast ®).  Many are FDA approved for injection into the lip area.

The Evolence  collagen is sourced from porcine (pig) tendons.   It is cross-linked using a patented technology using D-Ribose a natural sugar.   It has reportedly been injected for “off-label” use, or use not approved by the FDA.  According to studies, complications of non-approved use when injected into the lips, the results have a higher incidence of nodule (little lumps) formation and although less common, are the complications of necrosis or dead tissue.

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