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Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010 11:26PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM


Wines and Vines

Thanksgiving is an American tradition of the year’s harvest and a time to be thankful for all the great blessings that surround us. As you plan your holiday menu remember that great wine can be found in all 50 states. As you select wines to be part of your celebration, I suggest you create a lineup of “All-American” wines. My plan is to use wines from the bounty found in my own backyard—Maryland wines. Maryland is especially blessed, with over 30 wineries—each with its own story, personality, and specialty.

Hoppy Pils

Get your prescription at these Chesapeake breweries

Wines and Vines

Legendary guitarist Robert Fripp once said, “Wine is the music that fills the cup of silence.” Music video producer Scott Palazzo has made it his mission to make sure our cups are full of red wine with power, finesse, and harmony. And what better time of the year to pair a delicious red with grilled meats than in summer?

Crazy for Cacao

Judging by its popularity, chocolate is a gift we love to give. On Valentine’s Day, chocolate shouts romance, indulgence, and passion. This is nothing new; chocolate lovers can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerica, when sharing a chocolate drink was part of the marriage ritual in the 1100s. And remember the Aztec king Montezuma? He believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac and drank 50 golden goblets of a chocolaty brew each day before entering his harem.

Port is the Perfect Holiday Wine

If you are looking to add a new tradition to your next holiday dinner or get together I have one suggestion for you—Port. It is the perfect way to end a meal as we linger over dessert and talk about the New Year to come. Here’s what you need to know about port before you plan your next party.

Thanksgiving and Wine

For people who love food, wine, and spending time with loved ones, Thanksgiving just might be the perfect holiday. It is the one time of year we assemble for a holiday that is all about dining, and thankfully no major gift giving is involved.

Food and Beer

Beer is no longer relegated as the libation of TV sports and frat parties requiring chugging from pop-top cans. American beer drinkers are becoming connoisseurs, embracing craft beers and premium imports. Like cerebral wine lovers, the new beer enthusiasts are respectful and inquisitive about their brew, how they drink it, and what they drink it with.

A Toast to Your Health

For most wine lovers, no evening is complete without a glass of wine. Whether pizza or an elaborate three-course menu, pairing your meal with wine makes it more special and satisfying. Many may consider this an indulgence, but a growing mountain of research shows moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine, provides health benefits. The key is moderate consumption defined as four ounces of wine for women and eight for men.

A Toast to Your Health

For most wine lovers, no evening is complete without a glass of wine. Whether pizza or an elaborate three-course menu, pairing your meal with wine makes it more special and satisfying. Many may consider this an indulgence, but a growing mountain of research shows moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine, provides health benefits. The key is moderate consumption defined as four ounces of wine for women and eight for men. Here are some of the reasons why you should feel good about sipping your next glass of vino. One of the first studies to uncover a link between wine consumption and possible health benefits revealed what is called the “French Paradox.” A “60 Minutes” interview in 1992 with French researcher Serge Renaud discussed groundbreaking findings from his study. Even though the French population studied had diets high in fat, they lived longer than their American counterparts due to the presence of wine in their daily diet. In the same interview, Professor R. Curtis Ellison of Boston, Massachusetts, verified Renaud’s findings based on his work on the Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948. When Ellison published the Framingham studies, his findings about the benefits of wine were left out for fear it would be perceived as promoting alcohol use. Understanding wine’s heart healthy effects are especially important since heart disease is the number one killer in the world as well as the number one killer of women in the U.S. There are several benefits from drinking wine that account for the “French Paradox.” One reason is that moderate consumption of wine (or any alcohol) increases our high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol. The only other things shown to increase HDL are a healthy low fat diet and exercise. Of these three, moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to be the most effective in raising good cholesterol, clearing fat from arterial walls. Like aspirin, alcohol acts as a blood thinner, reducing clotting along with risks of heart attack and stroke. Another reason why wine is beneficial to our hearts is a result of the antioxidants found in the grape skins and seeds These antioxidants fight free radicals, which cause damage to our hearts and bodies overall. Antioxidants prevent low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, from attaching to arterial walls and have also been shown to prevent dementia. Red wine is far superior to white in its antioxidant capabilities; white wine has about 40 mg of polyphenols per glass as compared to reds, which are closer to 200 mg. This is a result of a difference in winemaking techniques. Red wine ferments with its grape skins but white wine does not. Other foods such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries also have healthy antioxidants. Turns out it isn’t only our hearts that benefit. A recent study found that one particular antioxidant found in grape skins called resveratrol can have beneficial effects on the brain, gastric, and cardiovascular systems. This antioxidant is being studied for its ability to ward off development of tumors and cancer. Some grape varieties like Pinot Noir have higher levels than others, and even berries and nuts contain resveratrol. This study was not done on humans so more research will be needed. One last benefit of drinking wine with a meal is that it tends to slow down eating allowing many people to feel full sooner. If you take time to sip your wine in between bites, rather than speed eating, the dining process slows down allowing your stomach time to recognize it is full (rather than stuffed). When time is taken to think about the interplay of food and wine, a more leisurely (and enjoyable) dining experience can be had by all. These are just a few highlights of the positive research regarding the health benefits of wine. To benefit from the positive side effects of wine you need to remember to limit your consumption to one glass of wine each night with dinner. Sharing a quality glass of wine with great food and the people we care about is a wonderful source of joy for people all over the world. Though unscientific, I’d like to think that happier people are healthier people in the end. Cheers! NOTE — There is an exception to every rule about wine. There are studies that dispute the findings discussed above or show negative effects of even moderate wine consumption. Please consult with your doctor to determine what is appropriate for you. Wine is a delicate beverage that, like our bodies, requires proper care to ensure its well-being. Here are a few tips to keep your wine optimal and tasty: Avoid the chill. Do not store wine in a refrigerator unless it will be consumed within a few days. Most refrigerators constantly vibrate and maintain temperatures around 35–39°F with low humidity—not ideal conditions for wine. Smells in the refrigerator can also permeate the cork. Cool & even! Optimal temperature for wine storage is 52–57°F. Avoiding fluctuations of temperature is the most important thing so if you have a space that is consistently 60°F, that’s great! These tips were taken from Forster’s new book, The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine. Professional wine educator, Laurie Forster, studied with the American Sommelier Association in Manhattan and earned a certificate in Viticulture and Vinification. For more information about wine consumption and your health, click here.

New Trends in Wine Packaging

Wine and bottle go together like milk and carton but wine industry innovators might change that. Makers of higher-priced wines are finding new economical and environmental packaging options to be a good fit.

 

 

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