Good news for vino lovers: moderate consumption of wine is beneficial for both health and beauty! Read on to learn about its benefits, how to differentiate flavors, and how to pair it with meals.
Benefits of Wine
Non-alcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as flavanoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body. Wines, particularly red wines, contain antioxidants and free-radical fighters such as resveratrol and flavanoids. Resveratrol is mainly found in grape skins, and give grapes its wonderfully bright hue. Resveratrol has been shown to prevent blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries, as well as fighting off cancer by reducing tumor incidence. Recent studies have also found that red wine may boost the effects of omega-3-fatty acids. From a beauty perspective, antioxidants sop up aging free radicals that play an integral role in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
Drink Wine Like an Expert
Bordeax? Riesling? Malbec? Shiraz, or Syrah? I have to admit that when it came to wine, all I knew was that red wine was red and white was white. A recent wine class at Shecky’s Toasts and Tastings taught me how to enjoy the properties of wine, instead of mindlessly guzzling down. Enlightened by new perspectives, I developed an awareness and appreciation for the color, aroma, and different varieties of wine. Wine expert, Laura Corrigan, gives us the the Cliff Notes version of how to enjoy wine like a sommelier.
* There’s definitely more than meets the mouth when it comes to wine. Incorporating your entire senses allows you to discover hidden flavors and learn which types tingle your tastebuds. Just remember the the five S’s as your guide to sampling wine.
SEE: Tilt a half-full glass downwards over a white tablecloth and notice the richness in hue. This clues you in on the style, quality, and age of the wine. Pale straw colored white wines are younger, while a more golden color is older and sweeter. For red wine, superior quality is suggested or a brick-red or tawny rim color extends to the very edge of the glass; pink or watery edges hints at its youth.
SWIRL: As you swirl, check out the tiny streaks ( termed “legs”) of wine that climb down the side of the glass. The more viscous the wine, the larger the “legs” will be. More viscous wines have higher sugar and alcohol content, which affects the overall “body” of the wine. Swirling also oxygenates the wine, which allows it to release its beautiful aroma.
SNIFF: Why sniff when you could taste? It’s a well-known fact that flavor is first registered through the sense of smell, which strongly influences your sense of taste. Take in the scent of the wine through both the nose and mouth for a tease as to how the wine will taste.
SIP & SAVOR: Gulping down may be the first instinct, but before you do, hold a sip of wine on the tongue and notice the different flavors you pick up as it hits the different parts of the palate. Notice if the wine you taste is full-bodied or light, how smoothly it goes down, or whether it’s acidic, watery, or syrupy.
*Don’t neglect the $15 bottles! Wine price doesn’t always necessarily equal quality. Several factors affect the price of wine, such as its origin, they type of grapes used, type of labor used, as well as processing.
* Before refilling your glass of vino, consider this: We tend to pour at least an ounce more than the recommended 5 ounces for a single serving. Here’s what 5 ounces really looks like:
A Perfect Pair!
So you’re hitting the town for a night out with that special someone at a nice restaurant. You order your favorite entree, but have no idea which type of wine would accentuate the flavors to create palatable harmony. Here are some ideas of perfect pairings for that special dinner out.
Seafood: Many wines may overpower the delicate flavor of fish and seafood, so choose something light and fresh like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc.
Red Meat: Heavier meat calls for full-bodied wines. For steak, Cabernet Sauvignon is its classic partner. Lamb traditionally pairs well with Shiraz/Syrah, Bordeaux, or Rioja
Poultry: Chardonnay or Pinot Noir are safe bets for most chicken dishes
Vegetarian: Zinfandels and Chardonnays match well to these lighter selections.*
Salud to beauty and health! How do you enjoy your red or white?