5 Examples of Beautiful Chinese Wine Packaging

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We love wine. We know that a beautifully-made glass will enhance the enjoyment of wine. But what about the beauty of the wine bottle? Imitating the style of Chinese wine packaging – which looks rather more like ornate perfume packaging – could perhaps make wine drinking infinitely more elegant and exciting than it already is…
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Source: Wine Packaging Of The World

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5 Things You Didn’t Realise Could Be Stylish In Your Bathroom

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We all want a beautiful bathroom: an oasis for long hot showers and de-stressing bubble baths; a room you can be proud of when you have guests; a room just as comfortable, inviting and stylish as the rest of your home. The devil is in the detail, they say, and here are 5 bathroom accessories you need to trade in for more attractive models, for the perfect finishing touches to your bathroom oasis.

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  1. A Soap Dispenser
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The Etna White & Silver Glitter Soap Dispenser

Every time you and your guests wash your hands can be a little more stylish when you have a beautifully crafted soap dispenser: an attractive model, like above, can help to make your bathroom look clean and hygienic.

2. A Tooth Mug

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The Fjord Tumbler

It’s just a cup to hold your toothbrushes and toothpaste right? Wrong! Tooth mugs don’t have to be dull and just necessary: they can be stylish, pretty, elegant… whatever your theme is for your bathroom, make sure your tooth mug matches!

3. A Soap Dish

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The Darwin Pebble Soap Dish

Maybe you opt for a bar of soap rather than liquid soap, or maybe you opt for having both to suit preferences in your house. Either way, there are stylish accessories out there to look after your soap and make washing your hands a rather elegant affair.

4. A Toilet Brush

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The Graffito Toilet Brush

Forget toilet brushes being an eyesore in your bathroom with a beautifully crafted toilet brush holder. Rather than being something you wish you could hide, a toilet brush holder like this one can be an added ornament to your bathroom: subtly hiding the dreaded toilet brush!

5. A Shower Curtain

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The Spirella Poppy Shower Curtain

A detailed shower curtain can be a beautiful centre-piece of a bathroom and should not be over-looked on the quest for your bathroom oasis! Why stick to a plain and dull design when you can have all kinds of pieces of art in its place, like the poppies above, which can really bring together whichever theme or style you’re trying to create.

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Find more beautiful bathroom accessories from Spirella at smedson.com.

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The Spiegelau Stout Glass

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After the success of the IPA glass, last year saw the launch of another specialised craft beer glass: the Spiegelau Stout Glass. Not only an endeavour of glass-makers Spiegelau, the stout glass was designed in association with expert craft brewers, Left Hand Brewing Company and Rogue Ales, specifically with the enhancement of the stout drinking experience in mind.

If you’re not familiar with their beer glass projects, Spiegelau and many craft beer connoisseurs will tell you that glassware can make all the difference to drinking beer: the quality and shape of the glass will affect the balance of flavours and aromas of the beer, as well as their longevity in your drinking session.

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In other words, you may find that when you normally drink a beer, after a few minutes the foamy head has disappeared, the aromas have flattened and the beer has warmed. You may find that while your beer bottle declares hints of coffee or chocolate, you struggle to experience these within other overwhelming qualities, like the bitterness.

A well-made glass can revolutionise these disheartening beer experiences. The stout glass balances a stout, so that all the subtle flavours lovingly crafted into your beer can be enjoyed. The array of chocolate, mocha, oatmeal, nutmeg, coffee, peanut butter, and other delicious hints found in stout can be identified more easily when the bitterness is balanced.

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But how does this work? A combination of the quality of glass and the shape of the glass is the key. The glass is made from pure raw materials and is sleek and thin, meaning less intrusion between drinker and drink. It also means that the beer is kept deliciously cool for longer. The narrowing aperture acts like a scent cannon: delivering the full spectrum of aromas straight to your nose. It also helps to support head retention, as does the angled shelf as the beer flows over it, with every tip of the glass.

The stout glass is a hit at beer-tasting sessions, as it reveals the delicious layers to craft beers that have been present all along. Try it out with your friends, especially those who may not normally choose stout and you will likely hear the magic words: ‘I’m not a stout person, but I like that.

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The stout glass won’t fundamentally change a beer, but it will capture and showcase all the flavour and aroma details that were always present in it, and prolong your enjoyment of them. If you’re a beer fan, you definitely owe it to yourself to try it out. Try your own glass comparison, and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. Once you see the incredible contrast, you’ll never go back.

Grab your own Stout Glass here.

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Find more fantastic glassware at at smedson.com.

 

 

 

The World’s Oldest Beer

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Beer fans can now sample a taste of the world’s oldest beer with Stallhagen Historic Beer 1842, the recipe of which has been scientifically matched to that found in a shipwreck dating back to the 1840s.

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In summer 2010, four bottles of beer from 1842 were salvaged from a shipwreck in the Åland archipelago, southwest of Finland. The bottles, which lay 50 metres below on the seabed, offered a tangible glimpse of what beer-drinkers enjoyed around 170 years ago.

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Using scientific analysis of the beer, Stallhagen Brewery (given the right by Åland’s Provincial Government) were able to recreate the original recipe and produce an authentic replica.

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Based on analysis of the micro-organisms in the bottle, scientists were able to find out the type of yeast and bacteria used all those years ago to brew the beer. According to the Stallhagen CEO, the recreated beer is very similar to champagne with soft bubbles and a golden colour. As the original beer contained very little hops, there is a lack of bitterness and hops aroma, with a taste that is said to be more similar to wine than beer.

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For info on how to get your hands on one of these amazing beers, see the Stallhagen website.

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Find great gifts for beerlovers this Christmas at smedson.com.

16 Amazing Wine Ideas

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Get ready for these 16 pretty amazing ideas that will thrill all the red-wine-blooded people out there. Watch out for some ideas that will work as excellent Christmas gifts for the wine lovers in your life…

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#1 Never be without your beloved wine again with a glass holder…

… in the shower…

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… in the park…

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Tovolo Steady Sticks

… in the garden…

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… on the beach.

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Tovolo Steady Sticks

#2 Always know whose wine is whose with mildly amusing glass tags.

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#3 Show your love for the great wine gods with wine decorations lit throughout the house (or wine bottles with fairy lights inside).

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#4 Game of Thrones wine is a thing.

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#5 Warm wine? Never again with this decanter that has a removable ice pack.

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#6 Festive wine holders that look like penguins and reindeer.

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#7 A rainbow wine rack.

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#8 Just another Friday in the office.

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#9 How to fit five bottles of wine into one wine glass…

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#10 Wine is a way of life. You can even use it as a rolling pin for baking.

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#11 Halloween chillin’.

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#12 Wine ice-cream.

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#13 Wine jelly. (Serve with #12)

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From our Baking Bad blog

 

#14 Wine won’t solve your problems, but the same can be said for other things too.

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#15 Whimsical wine stoppers.

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#16 Because who wants a normal boring Christmas tree?

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I think it may be wine o’clock! Cheers! :)

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Find great gifts for winelovers this Christmas at smedson.com.

 

The Spiegelau Lager Glass Blog

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Consider yourself someone who knows good beer when they taste it? Have you got high standards when it comes to beer? Did you know that the glass you drink your favourite brew from may be hindering its taste? The purest raw materials used in the Spiegelau Lager Glass, along with a lager friendly shape, could enhance the aroma and taste of your favourite lager like you’ve never experienced.

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The Spiegelau Lager Glass was first created to bring out all the subtleties of pale lagers, but has proven to be excellent for many British ales too. As with each Spiegelau glass, the lager glass is individually designed in a way which accentuates the characteristics of these drinks. If you were to put it next to an ordinary glass and compare the two when they are filled, you will find a huge difference in the appearance, aroma and taste (give it a try, we dare you).

The lager glass is designed to preserve the refreshing character of your lager and ales. The shape of the glass will maintain a frothy head for longer and showcase the spectrum of flavours present in the beer (even subtle hints that may be over-powered in other glasses). It will release delicate aromas that you may never have experienced before, as other glasses fail to preserve these qualities because of their poor shape and quality.

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The thinness of the rim means that the beer freely hits the right regions of your tongue for a deliciously improved taste experience. The thinness of the Spiegelau glass will keep the beer refreshingly cool for longer, and its perfect clarity will make your beer look brighter and more appealing: the carbonation will be like watching your drink bubble in HD!

These features mean that you can finally enjoy the full spectrum of flavours of your beer and enjoy the taste the brewers lovingly crafted and intended you to experience.

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You might assume that such high quality glass is quite delicate, but it actually has a surprisingly fantastic breakage resistance and is certified ‘extremely dishwasher safe.’ In research by an independent laboratory, Spiegelau glass underwent 1500 dishwasher cycles and received no scratching, markings, loss of brilliance, foggy shadows, change in colour or brilliance, or build-up of water chemicals and residue.

Don’t waste your time, your money, or your favourite drink on a glass that won’t do it justice.

Lager not your thing? There’s also the IPA, StoutWheat Beer, Pilsner and Tulip glasses.

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Remembrance Day Poppy Curtain

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In honour of Remembrance Day this month, you can now find this lovely Poppy Shower Curtain on our website. All proceeds from sales of the poppy shower curtain will go to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

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The red poppy has been used to commemorate fallen soldiers of war since 1921. It is used as a symbol as it grows wild in fields in northern France and Belgium, where many soldiers died in World War I. The idea of using the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

Red is not the only colour of poppy that can be worn in remembrance. White poppies are a symbol of remembrance of fallen soldiers, but also of pacifism and objection to further war. Purple poppies are worn to remember the animals who have also served in war.

Find the Poppy Shower Curtain here.

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The Big 2000 Competition

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*PLEASE NOTE THE TWITTER COMPETITION IS NOW FINISHED. THE FACEBOOK COMPETITION IS STILL ONGOING AND WILL FINISH WHEN WE REACH 2000 LIKES.

The Big 2000 Competition is taking place on both our Facebook and Twitter!

To enter on Facebook, make sure you like our page and the competition post. To enter on Twitter, make sure you follow us and RT one of our competition tweets.

Applicants are able to enter on both our Twitter and Facebook pages.

A winner will be chosen from those who have entered on Twitter when our Smedson Twitter page reaches 2000 followers. A winner will be chosen from those who have entered on Facebook when our Smedson Facebook page reaches 2000 likes.

The winners can choose one ‘Set of 2’ item from our Beer Classics range or our Vino Grande range, of value £17.50 each, as their prize. This means that winners can choose one of the following sets:

Beer Classics IPA Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Lager Glass – Set of 2

 

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Beer Classics Stout Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Tall Pilsner Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Tulip Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Wheat Beer Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Bordeaux Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Brandy Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Burgundy Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Champagne Flute – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Martini Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Red Wine Glass/Water Goblet – Set of 2

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Vino Grande White Wine Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande White Wine Small Glass – Set of 2

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A prize must be claimed by messaging us with your prize choice and address. If the prize is not claimed within four weeks of announcement of the winner, the winner’s entitlement to the prize will be void.

Please note only UK residents are eligible for this competition.

Read more about the prizes at smedson.com.

The Ultimate Guide To Cheese Pairings

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Wine lovers! Beer lovers! Cheese lovers! Cast your eyes upon this ultimate guide of handy charts for cheese pairings: matches made in delicious cheese heaven.

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1. Make a great cheeseboard

First you need to know how to make a great cheese board (matching cheese with cheese if you will). If you’re hosting, you need a great and simple cheese plate that’s guaranteed to press everyone’s buttons. To do this, make sure you include all these cheese categories: creamy, nutty, sharp, fresh, and funky. An example of a balanced cheeseboard like this may include: brie, gouda, cheddar, goat cheese, and blue cheese.

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If you’re unsure of a wine that will go nicely with your cheeseboard variety, a rich, full-bodied chardonnay is a safe bet and will pair well with most cheeses.

2. Pairing cheese with wine

Now, for those of you who want to get a little more technical, you may want to know which cheeses pair specifically well with which wines rather than just using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ chardonnay. For a more perfectly paired experience, take a look below.

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There are so many options for enjoying wine and cheese together. This can be brilliant for variety but also perhaps overwhelming for beginners. Want a few more specific suggestions to start you off? Here are some particularly popular pairings (including a few extra for your parmesan, ricotta, or mozarella dishes) to guide you.

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3. Pairing cheese and beer

Pssh. Pairing wine and cheese? So over-done. If you’re looking for something a bit different, treat yourself/your guests to a fantastic beer and cheese pairing experience. Just as delicious, and something many people may not have thought of trying!

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A few more matches to try: an IPA should also go nicely with blue cheese, a saison with chèvre, a bock with aged Swiss cheese, and a brown ale with mild cheddar or sheep’s milk cheese.

4. Which cheese with which biscuits?

Not happy unless your pairings are absolutely perfect? In your cheese and biscuit/cracker selection there are complimentary pairings you may not have realised work really well together. Try them out!

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These are all suggestions that the experts recommend for maximum enjoyment when enjoying cheese. Of course each idea is subjective and you may have your own perfect pairings you’ve stumbled across that you use every time. Care to share? Let us know in a comment below!

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Psst! Another tip for your cheeseboard: a slate board like the one above from Jamie Oliver will stop your cheese getting too warm, keeping it at the right temperature for delicious cheese all night long!

Find what you need for all things wine, beer and food at smedson.com

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The Beautiful Match: Pairing Beer With Fine Food

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Contrary to popular belief, wine is not the only beverage that can be paired fantastically with food. Beer fans, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get in on the action too!

During this year’s London Beer City, we were lucky enough to attend one event hosted by the Brewers’ Association at Club Gascon, demonstrating how to match craft beer with fine dining for a delicious result.

As a general rule: start light and progress to darker, richer beers. Begin with refreshing, crisp wheat beers and pale ales, progressing to lagers and brown ales of matched intensity to your dish, finishing with full-flavoured stouts or porters to balance the sweetness of dessert.

Not only were they paired perfectly with food in this meal, but the beers were also matched to their uniquely designed glassware from Spiegelau, for maximum enhancement of the taste, aroma and appearance. Delicious!

1ST COURSE

For the first course, starting light with fish and wheat ale: Bells Brewery Oarsman (4.0%) in the Wheat Beer Glass, paired with Gillardeau oysters, apple crush, seaweed tartare and black tea tuile.

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2ND COURSE

Second course was a silky duck flan, ginger and hay jus, served with two complimentary pale ales in the Spiegelau Pilsner Glass.

The first match was a crisp Deschutes Brewery, Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5%).

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Followed by a light Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused American Pale Ale (4.8%).

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3RD COURSE

A third course of capuccino of black pudding, lobster and asparagus was paired with two IPAs in the unique Spiegelau IPA glass.

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First pour was Founders Centennial (7.2%), below, and second pour was Lagunitas (6.2%).

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4TH COURSE

Fourth course was gorgeous wood pigeon, orange, barigoule and glazed kumquat. Here we see a transition before dessert to stronger tastes with darker beers.

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First pour was Stevens Point Amber Lager (4.7%) in the Spiegelau Lager Glass.

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Second pour was Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale (6.7%) in a Spiegelau Tulip Glass: a darker beer in preparation for the rich and full-flavoured dessert stouts and porters.

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5TH COURSE

For dessert: The Millionaire, coffee, pink praline and frosted Worcestershire ice cream. As you can guess, very chocolatey and rich to match the beers.

First pour was North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout (9%) in a Spiegelau Stout Glass, below. Finishing with a Heretic Chocolate Hazelnut Porter (7%) in a Spiegelau Tulip Glass.

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Aaaand then lay down and nap in a delicious food coma.

This epic meal is only one example of craft beer and fine dining complimenting each other just as well as fine food and wine. Yet, similarly to wine, beer can be matched with all sorts of other food too, not just fine dining. Here’s a great little guide from the Brewer’s Association to matching all kinds of meals, meats, cheeses, and desserts with beer.

Got any of your own favourite combinations you think everyone should try? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook

Want your own specialised Spiegelau glassware to enhance your beer? Take a look here.

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