Wines have been proven to be an asset to your health simply makes drinking a glass or two with each dinner meal that much tastier. I am dedicated to the premise that fine wine is a feast for all the senses including the mind. And that you don't have to be a snob, or wealthy, to appreciate wine's pleasures.
I host a weekly nationally syndicated radio program every Thursday evening from 7:00-8:00 p.m. (pacific) titled Wines Du Jour. America's First premier radio wine show to have a guest audience to actually taste three wines on-air and pair food with them as well. We taste the food and wines with our audience from an upscale restaurant and discuss taste and pairing information on each program with a professional in the wine field and/or the Chef at the restaurant where we are broadcasting. Check it out.
I've put together a variety of information, I feel, you should know about as you travel through life, in restaurants, wine and spirits stores, and visits with friends and acquaintances down life's path. All the tools and information you need for wine tasting, that you can read and print out, all assembled in one convenient website. Remember Wine is Food.
There's a widespread legislative effort to ban wine sales across state lines in the U.S., including sales by mail and on the Internet. This initiative, part of an ongoing effort by the well-heeled wholesale liquor lobby to protect its profits at the expense of wine lovers' freedom of choice, is now before the House Judiciary Committee. I will attempt to give you updates, when possible, and provide the information you need to draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions. There certainly are several bad laws out there and you should be aware of what might influence you in your specific state. So, today, please contact your Washington D.C. representatives on the House Judiciary Committee and encourage them to NOT include the "Shackle the Wine Lovers" amendment in the House version of the Juvenile Justice Bill.
Toast the Health Benefits in Drinking Wine
A glass or two of red wine each day may be providing you with more than just a little relaxation. For over 14 years, research has indicated that moderate intake of alcohol improves cardiovascular health. In fact, in 1992 Harvard researchers included moderate alcohol consumption as one of the “eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk." However, research has suggested that specifically red wine is the most beneficial to your heart health. The cardio-protective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes.
Scientists believe the antioxidants, called flavonoids, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in three ways:
By reducing production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Good cholesterol is HDL.)
By boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
By reducing blood clotting. Furthermore, consuming a glass of wine along with a meal may favorably influence your lipid profiles following that meal
Recently, several researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may be beneficial to more than just your heart. New research published in the August 2009, not only explains resveratrol’s one-two punch on inflammation, but also show how it—or a derivative—can be used to treat potentially deadly inflammatory disease, such as appendicitis, peritonitis, and systemic sepsis. An older study had discovered that the antioxidant resveratrol may inhibit tumor development in some cancers. And still another reason to toast nature’s powerful antioxidant, resveratrol has been shown to aid in the formation of nerve cells, which experts believe may be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Researchers at the University of California, at Davis tested a variety of wines to determine which types have the highest concentrations of flavonoids. Their results concluded that the flavonoids favorite is Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir. Both Merlot and red Zinfandel have fewer flavonoids than their more potent predecessors. White wine had significantly smaller amounts than the red wine varieties. The bottom line is the sweeter the wine, the fewer the flavonoids. Dryer red wines are your best bet for a flavonoid boost.
A five-ounce glass of wine is equivalent to one serving. Men will benefit from consuming one to two servings per day. This is not to
say that you should start drinking alcohol if you presently do not. Occasional or binge drinkers have higher mortality rates than those who drink moderately on a regular basis In those who consume three or more drinks per day, there is an increased risk for elevated serum triglycerides (fat in the bloodstream). Heavy drinkers are also at risk for malnutrition, as alcohol may substitute for more nutritious foods.
Wine's benefits for the heart and the prevention of stroke and certain cancers have been relayed by newspapers regularly. A major study last year took a look at the benefits to the heart, and found that wine drinkers are aided by wine.
Wine is a way to relax, socialize, and reduce anxiety. Again moderation is the key to how much and when. It does, however, help individuals lose inhibitions, which means reducing fear. Since fear has been known to create additional stress and anxiety, the reduction of it can enhance good health and increase longevity.
Foods taste better with wine, folks say. Some wine advocates stress having the right wine with the right dish. But certain foods, especially fresh food items, the kind that are called best for us by doctors and health scientists, go better with wine. Those who have to restrict diet because of being overweight can have a tasty treat that in moderation can take the place of that chocolate cake more likely to put on the pounds. Remember "Wine Is Food."
The Ten Commonly Used Wine Terms
The intensity and character of the aroma can be assessed with nearly any descriptive adjective. (e.g.: from "appley" to "raisiny", "fresh" to "tired", etc.). Usually refers to the particular smell of the grape variety. The word "bouquet" is usually restricted to describing the aroma of a cellar-aged bottled wine.
Denotes harmonious balance of wine elements - (i.e.: no individual part is dominant). Acid balances the sweetness; fruit balances against oak and tannin content; alcohol is balanced against acidity and flavor. Wine not in balance may be acidic, cloying, flat or harsh etc.
Wine has pronounced but pleasing tartness, acidity. Fresh, young and eager, begs to be drunk. Generally used to describe white wines only, especially those of Muscadet de Sevres et Maine from the Loire region of France.
Term used to describe the taste left in the mouth after swallowing the wine. Both character and length of the aftertaste are part of the total evaluation. May be harsh, hot, soft and lingering, short, smooth, tannic, or nonexistent.
Used for any quality that refers to the body and richness of a wine made from good, ripe grapes. A fruity wine has an "appley", "berrylike" or herbaceous character. "Fruitiness" usually implies a little extra sweetness.
Smooth / Soft (Velvety)
Generally has low acid/tannin content. Also describes wines with low alcohol content. Consequently has little impact on the palate.
Almost a synonym for "peppery". Implies a softer, more rounded flavor nuance however.
The flavor plan, so to speak. Suggests completeness of the wine, all parts there. Term needs a modifier in order to mean something - (e.g.: "brawny" etc).
A naturally occurring substance in grape skins, seeds and stems. Is primarily responsible for the basic "bitter" component in wines. Acts as a natural preservative, helping the development and, in the right proportion, balance of the wine. It is considered a fault when present in excess.
Refers to the basic sensations detectable by the human tongue. Current scientific opinion defines these as "sweet", "salty", "sour", "bitter" and "MSG" (Monosodium Glutamate) flavors all registered by the tongue taste receptors. The traditional view of the tongue having four distinct surface zones to register those tastes has recently been revised by a report of new research discoveries.