Matching Wine & Food

Sangria


300_192_sangria.com

Sangria is a beverage,
common in Spain and Portugal.


It consists of red wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of brandy. Fruits can be orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwi and mango


Fresh and Fruity Sangria Recipes

Know how to make sangria? The popular Spanish drink is easy to create just by dressing up our simple white and red wine with irresistible mix-ins, such as limoncello, fresh ginger, and blackberry syrup. Each offers something deliciously different! 


Cherry_sangria

California Style Sangria

Ingredients
:
1 Bottle of California Pinot Noir
1 Bottle California Cabernet Sauvignon
8 oz. Oro Pisco
8 oz. St. Germain
6 oz. Agave Nectar
1/2 Pineapple, Roughly Chopped
1 Apple, Roughly Chopped (Any Will Do)
1 Orange Roughly Chopped
1 Grapefruit Roughly Chopped
1 Mango Roughly Chopped
2 Nectarines or Plums, When in Season

Preparation:
Combine ingredients together in a large pitcher, cover and store in a refrigerator overnight before serving.
To serve, fill wine glass with ice. Add 5 oz. of sangria and garnish with seasonal fruit.


cherry_sangria

Cherry Sangria

Ingredients
:
1 bottle red wine, such as Beaujolais or Zinfandel
4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 12 oranges)
2 cups fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved, or frozen cherries
3/4 cup (6 ounces) cherry-flavor syrup (syrup used to flavor beverages)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec Ice cubes
Orange slices and/or sweet cherries, pitted (optional)

Preparation:
In a large pitcher or 64-ounce glass jar slowly stir wine, orange juice, cherries, cherry syrup, and orange liqueur. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours to blend flavors. Serve over ice and garnish with orange slices and/or cherries.


The Best 20 Sangria Recipes.




Wine and Summer Dishes




Summer Wine Makes Me Feel Fine... Wine and BBQs

Summer is almost here and what better way to enjoy this warm season than to organize a fun evening BBQ with family and great friends.
 
from: Food & Wine
 
The number one rule of pairing food and wine is always – drink the wines that you like. However, when matching wines with BBQ and grilled foods use the same principals as any other kind of food and wine pairing.

 

Wine & Food Pairings

 

Complimenting: Matching like characteristics.
Matching weight with weight, acid to acid, intensity of the wine to intensity of the food flavors, sweet to sweet and so forth.

 
Contrasting: contrasting flavors, like sweet and spicy or salty and sweet.
When it comes to barbecuing, the first thing is to not put too much focus on the specific meat, instead concentrate on your rubs, sauces, and glazes to dictate the best wine.

 
Barbera, Chianti, as well as Monastrell from Spain, all work well because of their body and strong levels of acidity. Riesling has plenty of acid to stand up to acidic-based sauces for pork and will compliment the flavors well.
 


 

BBQs Styles



CAROLINA STYLE
The sauce is made of vinegar, a little sugar and crushed black and red peppers. The sauce is quite thin and very, very acidic.

 
Wine Pairings

Pork is laden with flavor and fat, so you will need a wine that has enough acid to stand up to it. Barbera, Chianti (and other Italian reds), as well as Monastrell from Spain, all work well. Riesling has enough acid to stand up to acidic-based sauces for pork and compliment the flavors well.

 


SOUTH CAROLINA
What makes it istinctive is its mustard-laden sauce. Though the sauce may also contain ketchup and either honey or brown sugar, the most dominant flavor is the spice from the mustard.

 
Wine Pairings

Look for something intense and rich, but still with good acid, Syrahs and Zinfandels work well here. Don’t be afraid of using white wine such as Riesling, and Gewürztraminer which both work well. Excellent examples can be found in Germany, France, and Washington State.
 


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
Memphis ribs are seasoned with a rub made of brown sugar, chili powder, pepper, and cumin, and are slow cooked. Though these ribs are known as “dry ribs” the meat remains juicy, tender, and very flavorful.
 
Wine Pairings
Washington State Merlot works nicely here. These Merlots are big, powerful, and fruity yet retain a slight acidity. Also don't hesitate to try a French rosé.
 


KANSAS CITY
What defines Kansas City style of barbecue is these thick sauces that are usually ketchup based.

Wine Pairing

Requires an intense wine showing spicy, juicy, and ripe characteristics. Zinfandel and Syrahs stand up to this mid western style sauce.
 


TEXAS
Now we’re talking beef (brisket is the key). We focus on the smoke, not sauces.

Brisket starts out fatty, but much of that is cooked out during the long smoking process. Brisket is usually served without sauce. This style the focus is on the meat – beef brisket.
 
Wine Pairing

Look at raditional beef pairing — a full-bodied wine with dark berry fruit and strong tannins. Look for a wine that is less of a fruit dominant, and instead is earthy and complex. Cabernet Sauvignon is a good pairing. Rioja will work remarkably well, as does Syrahs.
 


KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER
 
Smoke: can be powerful, and might interfere with the wines, it can overpower many wines, so select powerful wines. Avoid delicate wines when grilling it’s just not fair to the wine.
 
Big bold flavors = big bold wines
 
Number one rule of any kind of food and wine pairing is drink what you like. Our recommendations are just that – recommendations. Suggestions that are meant to help you get the most out of your BBQ experience.
 
Rosé, especially dry rosé, can be paired with anything from summer salads, grilled chicken, to smoked pork, even with smoked beef!
 
Here are some of our favorite BBQ recipes.
 

 
 

Food and Wine Pairings

 

 

Ten rules-of-thumb for food and wine pairing

 
1. Taking wine as a gift to a dinner party. Unless you have enough information as to what is being served to make an informed choice don’t worry about matching the wine to the food, just bring a good wine. Match the quality of food and the wine, remember a formal dinner party with multiple courses of elaborately prepared dishes deserves a better wine than hamburgers on the grill.
 
2. Serving more than one wine at a meal. Always start with lighter wines before full-bodied ones. Lower alcohol wines should be served before higher alcohol wines. Dry wines should be served before sweet wines.
 
3. Balance flavor intensity. Pair light-bodied wines with light food and fuller bodied wines with heavier, more flavorful dishes.
 
4. Consider how the food is prepared. Delicately flavored foods pair best with delicate wines. Pair fuller, flavorful wines with more flavor intense foods such as braised, grilled, roasted or sautŽed dishes. Try to pair the wine with the sauce, seasoning or dominant flavor of the dish.
 
5. Match flavors. An earthy Pinot Noir from a warm region goes well with mushroom soup and the grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blancs goes with white fish for the same reasons that lemon does.
 
6. Balance sweetness. Beware of pairing a wine with food that is sweeter than the wine, with one exception, chocolate goes great with Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
7. Consider pairing opposites. Hot or spicy foods, as an example some Thai dishes work best with sweet desert wines. Opposing flavors can play off each other, creating new flavor sensations and will cleanse the palate.
 
8. Match by geographic location. Very important, regional foods and wines, having developed together over time, often go well with each other.
 
9. Pair wine and cheese. Red wines go well with mild to sharp cheese, and pungent and intensely flavored cheese is better with a sweet wine. Goat Cheeses pair well with dry white wine, while milder cheeses pair best with fruiter red wine such as Sangiovese. Soft cheese like Camembert and Brie, if not over ripe, pair well with just about any red wine including Cabernet, Red Burgundy and Zinfandel.
 
10. Adjust food flavor to better pair with the wine. Sweetness in a food dish will increase the awareness of bitterness and astringency in most wine, making it appear drier, and less fruity. High amounts of acidity in food will in most cases decrease the sourness in wine and making it taste richer and a bit mellower, sweet wine will taste even sweeter.

 

20 Food and Wine Matches you should know.

 

Salad (with creamy dressing) – Chablis or Pinot Blanc.

 

Salad (with vinaigrette) – Sauvignon Blanc or a dry German Riesling.

 

Chicken Soup – Chardonnay, medium bodied, or Pinot Blanc.

 

Soup (creamy and fishy) – Chardonnay, fuller flavoured, Muscadet, or Pinot Grigio.

 

Creamy Chowder – Basic Chardonnay.

 

Chowder (tomato-based) – Italian reds, medium bodied.

 

Crab – Dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Lobster – White Burgundy.

 

Salmon (Grilled) – Unoaked Chardonnay or Alsace Pinot Blanc.

 

Salmon (Poached) – Chablis or a dry white Bordeaux.

 

Salmon (Smoked) – Champagne to Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc to dry Riesling.

 

Barbecued Chicken – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or light red wines such as Beaujolais.

 

Chicken (with cream sauce) – White Bordeaux, Riesling from Alsace or New Zealand , or South African Chenin Blanc.

 

Roasted Chicken – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or soft Merlot.

 

Lamb (casseroles, hotpots and meat stews) – Spicy French reds such as Vin de Pays d'Oc, Coteaux du Languedoc, or Cotes du Rhone.

 

Lamb Chops – Good quality reds from Rioja, Bordeaux , or Chianti, as well as New World Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

 

Lamb Roast – Top quality Bordeaux and Burgundy . Alternatively, Rioja, Chianti and New World Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

 

Mushroom Risotto – Full-bodied Italian wines such as Barolo, Chianti Classico and Brunelo di Montalcino.

 

Pasta (with creamy sauce) – Dry Italian white, Chardonnay (unoaked), Pinot Blanc, or Semillon.

 

Pasta (with tomato-based sauce) – Light Italian reds such as Valpolicella and Chianti.

 

Vegetarian Lasagne (with tofu) – Gewurtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling from Germany or the New World.
 
 
 

Vegan Food & Wine




Pairing Food and Wine for Vegan Diets.

 
Before you choose a wine to pair with your vegan dinner, it is important to take the time to understand how Vegan Wine is processed and to look for a Vegan friendly label on the bottle. Vegan friendly wines undergo a fining process, just as other wines do, but there is a difference in how this process takes place for a Vegan friendly wine.
 
During the fermentation process, fining agents are added to wine, these agents bond with insoluble substances in the wine and carry them to the bottom, thereby giving the wine a distinct (and desired) clarity.
 
Although clarity is the main reason wine is fined there are also others. The process is also used to remove astringency or tannin from wines, or to deliberately change the flavour profile in a positive manner.
 
Typical fining agents are animal based products such as:
 
• Isinglass (from fish bladders)
• Gelatin (from boiled cow or pig body parts)
• Albumin (egg whites)
• Casein (animal milk protein)
 
Vegan friendly wines do not used animal based fining products, instead they use non-animal-based fining agents. Animal-free options include carbon and clay based fining agents. As the natural wine industry picks up steam along with the natural food movement, unfiltered or unfined wine is becoming more popula. Without fining agents, wine will typically become less cloudy on its own, it just takes a little more time. Fining simply speeds up the process that may otherwise take a few months.
 
After choosing a vegan wine, you can move ahead and discover which wine and vegan food pairings combine to create a meal that you will be proud to serve.
 
Creating vegan food and wine pairings is not that difficult. The important things to keep in mind are how tart or sweet a wine is and how its body will pair with whatever food you are preparing.
 
Here are a few points about red and white wine to keep in mind before you move on to the finer points of pairing one with a vegan meal:
 
Pair “delicate with delicate”, “robust with robust”.
 
Consider the body, color types and their flavors when you are pairing vegan foods and wine.
 
Vegetables: Try a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay for a white or Pinot Noir or Chianti for a red. Meals without proteins may taste bitter with most red wines.
 
Pastas, pizzas and casseroles: Are stout enough for medium body reds such as Merlot, Zinfandel or Sangiovese (Chianti). Tomatoes especially go well with Sangiovese, Malbec and Tempranillo.
 
Greens: The softer red wines such as Pinot noir, Merlot do well with greens. Salads go well with dry white wines such as Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Sauvignon Blanc, dry Chenin Blanc.
 
Tofu: Will assume the flavor of what it is cooked with; try Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.
 
Roasted vegetables: Go well with Riesling or Tempranillo or an Alsatian Gewürztraminer.
 
Spicy foods (Thai, Indian): Pair nicely with Riesling.
 
The most important aspect of pairing wine with a vegan meal is to choose flavors that will not overpower the food. Avoid pairing a robust, full-bodied red wine with a simple summer salad or pairing a sweet wine with a tart pesto and lemon dish.
 
While you might make a few errors when you first start pairing wines and vegan dishes, you should never be afraid to experiment and come up with a few interesting combinations of your own.
 

 

Bordeaux Wines


Bordeaux Wines, the best wines in the world.

 
Bordeaux remains the world’s most popular wine for many reasons, starting with the unique taste, character and style found in the wines. There is no denying the fact that the vineyards of Bordeaux produce wines of the highest quality and in greater quantities and also greater variety than any other vineyards in France. Quality is a result of a happy partnership of soil, vines and climate, quantity is a matter of acres and variety is the result of different soils and sub soils of the vineyards as well as differences in the species of the vines.

 

Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of grapes.

 

Red Bordeaux wine from the Medoc is probably what most people think of, when talking about the taste of Bordeaux wine. All Bordeaux wine from the Medoc and Pessac Leognan are blends. Most of those blends utilize Cabernet Sauvignon for the majority of the blend, followed by Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. This is typically referred to as the "Bordeaux Blend." Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the other right bank appellations. These Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are typically 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

White Bordeaux wines are almost always blends, the most common are made of Sémillon and a smaller proportion of Sauvignon blanc. Some other permitted grape varieties are Sauvignon gris, Merlot blanc, Ugni blanc, Colombard, and Mauzac.

 

Wineries from all over the world aspire to make wines in the Bordeaux style. A group of American vintners formed The Meritage Association In 1988, to identify wines made in this way. Most Meritage wines come from California, but there are members of the Meritage Association in 18 different states and five countries, including Argentina, Australia, Israel, Canada, and Mexico.

 

 

Key appellations:

 

Bordeaux is made up of 57 appellations, which makes it the biggest producer of appellation wines in France. Some key Left Bank appellations include Margaux, Pauillac, St Estephe and St Julien in the Medoc, as well as Graves and Pessac Leognan in the south, plus sweet wine appellations of Sauternes and Barsac.

 

The two best known Right Bank appellations are St Emilion, and Pomerol.

 

Key grape varieties:

 

The designated red grape varieties in Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. The Left Bank is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wines and the Right Bank for its Merlot, although with some producers, such as Chateau Angelus in St Emilion, have increased the proportion of Cabernet Franc in the blend in the past few years.

 

The main white grape varieties are Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc, the former being the foundation of Bordeaux’s sweet wine areas of Sauternes and Barsac. Bordeaux is known for producing excellent dry white wines, for example under the AOC Graves or AOC Bordeaux labels, although they are still in the shadow of some of the top red wine appellations. 

 

Reds:

Cabernet:
Filet Mignon. Roasted Beef. Spicy Lamb Stews.

Merlot:
Pork and Winter Vegetable Stew. Roasted Chicken. Shepards Pie.

Cabernet Franc:
Turkey with Cranberry. Blue Cheese Burgers.
 
 

Whites:

Semillon.
Roasted Duck. Baked Ham. Roasted Salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc.
Salads with mixed vegetables. Sea Bass.

Sauvignon Gris.
White Fish. King Crab Legs. Roasted Pork.

Continue Reading

Best Wines for BBQs



Best Wine Matches for BBQs


Zinfandel
– The go-to red wine for all sorts of smoky fare, the ripe, forward-fruit, black pepper spice and food-friendly structure of a fairly full-bodied California Zinfandel make it a must-try wine for backyard barbecues.  The bold flavors of Zinfandel can even handle a little heat and some spice, but really shine in the presence of a sweeter-styled barbecue sauce like the classic, jammy Kansas-City sauce.


Pair with many hearty meats from spare ribs, pork shoulders to burgers and brisket and spicy sausage to grilled chicken.

 

Syrah/Shiraz – Same grape, different places, but always ready to rumble with a little meat from the grill, Syrah’s weightier style combined with its moderate to high levels of acidity, rich velvety textures and mesmerizing combination of smoke and spice.


Pair with gamier meats like lamb, venison or elk.

 

Tempranillo – Spain’s signature red wine grape that brings loads of black currant, blueberry and raspberry fruit alongside earthy, tobacco-induced flavors, Tempranillo has tannins tamed by age and moderate acidity, which works extraordinarily well with grilled fare that leans towards pork themes.


Pair with juicy style barbecued pork chops or the rich flavors of braised pork ribs for your next bottle of Tempranillo.


Red Blends
– The beauty of the red wine blend is the strategic synergy in which the strengths of the wine are bolstered and any palate weaknesses minimized, resulting in a wine built on several different grape varieties that are ready to partner up with a wide variety of foodie favorites, including many warm weather recipes bouncing off the grill.

 

Red blends pair well with everything from burgers and brats to summer sausage and hot dogs or steak, pork and poultry picks.


Rosé Wines
– While not technically a “red wine,” rosés are built on the backs of red wine grapes, promising all of the ripe, red berry flavors of your favorite red sans the tight tannins and higher alcohol levels. Always served well-chilled, these are red wines in their summer suits, ready to refresh and cleanse the palate with vibrant acidity and an exceptionally food-friendly nature. Perfect for pairing with tricky combinations, whether it is heavier marinades, substantial sauce or hard to please palates, rosé wines are remarkably versatile.

 

Reach for a rosé when grilling salmon, chicken or burgers.

 

The smoky, sweet and savory profile of many grilled dishes call for food-savvy red wines that can buffer the variables of heat and sweet in turn. Wines that carry their fruit in a forward fashion with vibrant acidity and easy-going palate versatility are the best bets for making the most of the grill. Whether it’s a rustic red, a bright white or an ever adaptable rosé wine, there are plenty of options for maximizing the full flavors and caramelized character of summer’s grilled bounty.

Wines for Marti Gras

rose_inside

 

Perfect Selection of Wines
for Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesdays

 

 

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a terrific opportunity for chefs to showcase the best of Cajun Cuisine, it is also an excuse for wine lovers to mix and match favorite wines with the hot and spicy flavors of the beloved Bayou region.

 

 

Cajun Cuisine is known for being rich, buttery, spicy and full of flavor. So when you are searching for wines to step up to the pairing challenge, you will want to bypass heavy duty reds that are high in tannins like a Cabernet Sauvignon, as they will taste more metallic and destroy the flavors of the dish. Instead, opt for wines that will be crisp, cool and will not compete with the intensity of the dish's flavors. Open a bottle or Merlot, Rose from Provence, or a classic Pinot Noir from the Rhone region of France.

 

Going for Gumbo?

 
With a sizzling bowl of gumbo you'll need a lively Sauvignon Blanc. It will do its share to balance the heat of this classic Cajun soup. As for red wine selections, opt for a versatile Pinot Noir or a snazzy Shiraz, both are typically low in tannin structure and have an easy-going palate presence that will sustain and complement a sizzling gumbo filled with shrimp, chicken or sausage.

 
Opting For Cajun Catfish, Shrimp Creole or a Crayfish Entree?

 
If you are trying something seafood or shellfish-based, then stick with a white wine that offers both refreshment and maintains a brisk component in its structure. A true Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or a Sauvignon Blanc will work nicely.

 

King Cakes

 
A wine to partake of the King Cake with - look no further than a slightly sweet sparkling wine.

 
Read More about Wine for Marti Gras...written by Stacy Slinkard, Wine Editor

Red Wine and Your Heart

325_red_wine_heart_p2


Does drinking Red Wine 
really protect against heart disease?

 

Studies suggest that moderate amount of red wine (one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men) lowers the risk of heart attack for people in middle age by ~ 30 to 50 percent.

 
It is also suggested that red wine may prevent additional heart attacks if you have already suffered from one. Other studies also indicated that red wine can raise HDL cholesterol (the Good cholesterol) and prevent LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) from forming. Red wine may help prevent blood clots and reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits.

 
Grapes are rich in many antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins
 
Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics, so many studies to uncover a cause for red wine’s effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.
 

Old World produces healthier wine.

 
Old World winemaking techniques that ensure a higher amount of tannins produce wines that are healthier for the heart and may contribute to the longer longevity seen in regions known for producing such wines..
 
Tannins are compounds extracted from the seeds, skins, and stems of grapes that give red wines their characteristic dry, full taste.
 

Since nearly the dawn of mankind, wine has been added to drinking water to kill bacteria, or consumed as a more hygienic alternative. More recently, the antimicrobial properties of wine, especially red wine, are being studied for cavity prevention.

 

Here's a look at how our views on wine have changed over the years.

By Carina Storrs, Special to CNNcnn.com 12.17.2015

 

3000 B.C.: Wine is the best medicine

Millennia before Jesus turned water into wine, the ancient Egyptians turned wine into medicine. Researchers found a jar in the tomb of King Scorpion I dating back to 3150 B.C. that contained traces of wine along with residue from balm, coriander, sage and mint. The finding suggests that ancient Egyptians dissolved herbs in wine, and then drank the cocktail to treat stomach problems, herpes and other ailments.

 

750 B.C.: Wine does not pair well with womanhood

Any wife found drinking wine could be put to death, according to the laws of Romulus, King of Rome. Concerns about the "weaker sex" imbibing wine continued for centuries. By 14 A.D., a Roman writer described how vino could cause women to "slip into some disgrace" and spiral downward "usually towards illicit sex."

 

400 B.C.: Hippocrates prescribes red wine for digestion

The father of medicine agreed with the ancient Egyptians that wine could soothe stomach ills. He specifically prescribed red wine for digestion and white wine for bladder problems. Wine in general could also serve as a disinfectant for wounds, according to Hippocrates, but the beverage was not appropriate for those with nervous system diseases because it could cause headaches.

 

1250: Sip some grog to clear your mental fog

Hundreds of years before studies suggesting that red wine may help protect against the common cold, Arnaldus de Villa Nova, a physician in southern France, detailed how wine can help sinus problems. De Villa Nova was also ahead of his time in writing about the benefit of wine for dementia. Current research supports the possibility that red wine in moderation could reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

 

1850: Don't drink the water, drink the wine instead

Water is now considered the healthiest beverage choice, but it was often contaminated with cholera and typhus in the 1800s. A glass of milk, another healthy favorite, might also serve a helping of tuberculosis. As a result, Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology himself, said that wine was "the most healthful and hygienic of all beverages."

 
Wine can also make other beverages healthier. As far back as ancient Greece, it was used to sanitize water for drinking. Then in the late 1800s a Viennese professor demonstrated scientifically that wine can actually kill cholera and typhoid bacteria -- possibly explaining why Hippocrates concluded that wine could help indigestion! Experts began to recommend mixing red or white wine with water six to 12 hours before drinking, a practice that continued through parts of Europe until at least World War II.

 

1920: Beware the evils of vino

Hard alcohol started to get a bad rap with the temperance movement of the 1820s as religious groups in the United States and Europe spoke out about the threat of drunkenness and alcoholism. Red wine got a pass at least through the 1800s because it was viewed as hygienic, and less toxic than white wine. But then evidence started to pile up that red wine might also cause health problems, such as high blood pressure and organ damage.

 
Over the next few decades, it became clear that red wine, just like white wine, beer and liquor, should be consumed in moderation -- which was the original position of the temperance movement. However, these nuances were lost on the prohibition movements that started cropping up across the United States in the late 1800s.

 

1988: Migraine sufferers, put down your glass

All of you who complain that red wine gives you migraines got some vindication from science. A small 1988 study in London found that nine out of 11 people with this complaint did indeed develop a migraine within a few hours of sipping a Spanish red, whereas another eight people served vodka with lemonade remained migraine free. Both beverages were served chilled and in a dark bottle to disguise their identity. The authors of the study concluded that alcohol on its own is not to blame, and that ingredients in red wine such as flavonoids could precipitate the debilitating headaches.

 

1992: The French secret to heart health? Red wine, bien sûr!

In the early 1990s, the French paradox made headlines, and forever more (at least, so far) put red wine in a healthy light. Doctors described the paradox that the French had lower death rates from heart disease in the 1980s than countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, even though they had similar rates of smoking, blood pressure and other risk factors. The doctors suggested the reason could be that the copious amounts of wine -- in particular, red wine -- protects from heart disease.

 
Many have questioned whether red wine deserved credit back then for lowering heart disease deaths. For one thing, the French actually had less fatty diets in the decades before the 1980s than the UK, which could have been what brought down death rates. But even if the role of red wine in the French paradox was overhyped, other studies in the 1980s and 1990s backed up the link between red wine and increased levels of good cholesterol and antioxidants.

 

1995: Drink to your longevity

Danish researchers found that, among 6,000 men and 7,000 women, those who drank three to five glasses of wine a day had a 49% lower rate of death over a 10-year period. Drinking the same amount of beer was not associated with lower death rate, and three to five glasses of hard alcohol increased the death rate by 34%. The researchers did not look at lifestyle factors, though, so it is possible that wine drinkers live longer because they eat healthier or exercise more, for example

 
Fast forward another few years to 2003 and scientists started getting excited about the possibility that resveratrol, that magic ingredient in red wine and foods such as berries and chocolate, could extend the human life span by 30%. We are still waiting, science.

 

2005: Can red wine put a cork in prostate cancer?

Around the turn of the century, reports started to pour in of links between red wine and cancer risk. A 2005 study is one of the first to find a possible benefit, albeit small, for prostate cancer. It found that each additional glass of red wine that men consumed per week was associated with a 6% decrease in prostate cancer risk. However a larger study of moderate drinkers several years later failed to find a link between red wine and prostate cancer risk, so the jury is still out.

 

2007: Smile: Red wine fights cavities

Although it's been known since the late 1800s that red wine can kill bacteria in contaminated water, it took scientists until 2007 to show that it has a similar effect on the bugs that colonize our mouth. The study found that both red and white wine could block the growth of Streptococcus, a common culprit in cavity formation. Red wine had a stronger effect than white, possibly because of the acids it contains. Researchers used wine in which the alcohol had been removed, but it's possible that the alcohol in the real stuff may make it an even more potent bacteria buster.

 

2013: Men, liquoring up may help your libido but hurt your fertility

It may seem unlikely, but a 2013 study suggests that a component in red wine that acts like estrogen could give sperm a fertility boost. After taking a short bath in this compound, sperm excelled in categories such as moving toward an egg compared with the non-exposed little swimmers. The catch is that higher levels of the compound impaired sperm, and these levels might be closer to the actual dose that the sperm of moderate drinkers are exposed to.

 
A point against alcohol consumption in general comes from a 2014 study that found that men who consumed at least five drinks a week had fewer sperm and lower testosterone levels. On the other hand, a study presented at a scientific conference in 2014 found that men who are moderate drinkers had better erections than teetotalers.

 

2015: Does the next Alzheimer's treatment hang on a vine?

Resveratrol was shown a decade ago to break up amyloid-beta protein, whose buildup has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, at least in cells growing in a Petri dish. In the newest chapter of this research, a 2015 study provided indirect evidence that a resveratrol pill may be able to prevent amyloid-beta accumulation in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. But many questions remain, most importantly, perhaps, whether resveratrol can reverse symptoms of the disease. And there's some bad news for oenophiles: you would have to drink 1,000 bottles of red wine to get the amount of resveratrol used in this study.

 

2015: A closer look at cancer risk

The story of red wine and cancer has been a complicated one, but it took a turn for the worse this year. In the past, studies have suggested that red wine may be able to reduce the risk of prostate, as well as lung and colon cancer, but probably only for light to moderate drinkers. A preponderance of research suggest that heavy drinking, on the other hand, increases the risk of lung, colon, liver, stomach and breast cancers, among others.

 
This year, a large study by Harvard researchers shook the notion that moderate alcohol consumption is probably harmless. Healthy middle-aged women who had about a half a glass to a glass of wine a day, or the equivalent amount of beer or liquor, had a 13% higher risk of certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. For men, drinking a couple glasses of alcohol a day was associated with 26% increased risk of cancers such as liver, colon and esophagus. For both men and women, heavier drinking carried higher risk. Experts reacted to the findings by urging the importance of keeping alcohol consumption in close check.
 
Additional links for more information:  
Medical Daily 
Harvard School of Public Health 
Consumer Healthday
American Heart / Heart and Stroke A-Z Guide

Wine & Food

Pairing Wine with Foods

 
The human mouth can only detect four flavors: Sweetness, Acidity, Bitterness and Saltiness. Salt and acid tend to enhance flavors in your mouth. Bitter and spicy tend to overpower any flavors in your mouth.
 
Here are a few ideas for the next time you pair a wine with your food.
 
Most of what we identify as taste, is a result of our sense of smell.
 
Food recipes can easily be adjusted for a better pairing.
 
If the match is good, each bite of food replaces the taste of the wine
and each sip of wine replaces the taste of the food.
 
White wines with high acid include: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, White Bordeaux and sparkling wines.
 
Sweet White wines include: German wines, Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, and many Rieslings. White Zinfandel is a pink wine the has sweetness and high acidity.
 
Red Wines with high acid include: Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Gamay. These wines are very good with grilled seafood and most red sauces.
 
Sweet foods, compliment sweet wine, otherwise, the wine and food may clash. If your dish has bitterness, like the char on a grilled steak, then a suitable match will be a wine that has bitterness like a full bodied red.
 
If you would consider squeezing lemon on a dish like crab legs, salmon, or veal piccata, then you would want to match that dish with a wine that has higher acid content or citrus style, such as chardonnay.
 
 
Sweet foods
Reds: Zinfandel, Shiraz,
Whites: Riesilngs
 
Spicy foods
Reds: Cabernnet, Zinfandel
Whites: Pinot Gris
 
Hearty Foods
Reds: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel
Whites: Chardonnay
 
Salty Foods
Reds: Cabennet, Zinfandel
Whites: Pinot Gris
 

Scroll to top