I am only recently emoji-literate. Sure, I am familiar with the smiley-face emoji that annoyingly makes its way to the end of text messages from friends, although I am loathe to understand why every text message now must be accompanied by an emoji.

If you have some fresh cranberries left over from holiday cooking, this would be a good time to use them for a tasty New Year’s dessert. Since fresh cranberries are not indigenous to our area, for many years we had to wait until the holiday season to get them.

Early historical references to wine quality make it abundantly clear that bubbles in wine are undesirable. Ancient man found bubbly wines puzzling if not downright frightening.

Most of our American presidents liked a little tipple. When George Washington ascended to the presidency, he was already a consumer of beer, dark ale and Madeira, a fortified wine from the island of Madeira.

Pumpkin not only adds color to our meals but it also adds nutrition. Keep this in mind when planning your desserts for Thanksgiving. In addition to the large amount of vitamin A in this orange vegetable, it is also low in fat and sodium.

As Halloween approaches and thoughts turn to ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night, wines with sinister labels experience a surge in popularity.

With the myriad array of wine-opening gadgets on the market, it seems unlikely that wine drinkers would ever find themselves without the proper cork extractor. But most of us have occasionally found ourselves corkscrew-deprived.

This has been a milestone year for wine. Robert Mondavi’s namesake winery celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Famous Paris Tasting, in which American wines outscored the best wines France had to offer, celebrated its 40th anniversary.