Any hardworking gal knows that kicking back with a girlfriend and a glass of red wine is a fabulous way to de-stress. The best part? Your red-wine habit also happens to come with some happy health benefits, such as protecting your ticker and even slimming your waistline. Check out these eight reasons why winding down with a glass of vino is a good call all around.
Click HERE to read about how to:
1. Lower your cholesterol
2. Protect your heart
3. Control blood sugar
4. Boost your brain
5. Fight off a cold
6. Stop cancer
7. Get slim
8. Jazz up dinner
Touriga grape photo by Ryan Opaz.
Locals has a brand new wine from Treasure Hunter called Bedlam and I always like to see what grapes are in the wine and learn a bit more about them. To my shock and amazement there are actually 7 different varietals in this one! Going through the list some were very familiar like Tempranillo, Carignane, Cabernet Sauvignon; but there were two grapes I did not know anything about. Touriga and Tannat. So I decided to do some digging.
Touriga, or more specifically Touriga Nacional, is the cornerstone of the Portaguese wine world. This distinctive red wine grape has traditionally been a key component in fine ports, and increasingly, it is making its way into dry table wines. Though Port wine can be made up of 20 or more grapes, Touriga Nacional could be argued to be the defining factor in its makeup. Touriga berries are small and dark and have a high skin to pulp ratio which lends itself to intense succulent wines in good vintage years. Typically, wines produced from Touriga Nacional are deeply colored, concentrated, and fruit-filled with ripe to firm tannins. Any of these additions may fit nicely into a wine lacking one or more of these qualities, thus it is a favorable option for blending.
Come taste this grape in the Bedlam now at Locals! I am sure we will also be seeing more of it in the future.
Photo by Darkangels.
The Swedish rendition of mulled wine, glögg, or gløgg, is a keyboard nightmare—so we’re going to call it glogg. Red wine, orange peel, cloves and cardamom are the essential ingredients of this Christmastime drink, though some versions contain additions like sugar, cinnamon sticks, brandy and Port wine. My own preference is for something heavily spiced but on the drier side. Glogg can be purchased ready-made in bottles, but the drink is so easy—and, at the risk sounding cheesy, fun and festive—to make that not stewing up your own would just be silly.
Try this recipe. The wine (it needn’t be expensive) is heated slowly in a cauldron with orange slices, whole cloves and cardamom powder bathing in the drink. These and other ingredients’ flavors leech into the wine, and the warm aromas fill the house. Now, before your company arrives, get the pronunciation down: That funny “o” is, in fact, pronounced like the double “o” in hook, making glogg actually more like “glug.” Which allows you, as host, to look from guest to guest to guest as you take drink orders and suggest, “Glug? Glug? Glug?” Mulled wine just isn’t the same.
2010 Peterson Old School Zifandel
We can read the online reviews, the producers information, the tasting notes, and even consult our friends, but eventually we have to stare down our wine racks and make an educated guess about which bottle will best compliment our meal.
The other night I found myself facing a dilemma. The meal. Two poblano peppers stuffed with chicken, rice and cheese. A healthy dose of home canned salsa and some salty, blue corn tortilla chips. I must have stood looking at my bottles for 20 minutes. This was a dish with loads of flavor. I finally decided on the 2010 Peterson Old School Zinfandel. As I opened the bottle I notice the top of the cork read, “no soulless wine.” I knew I’d need a wine with some serious soul to enhance this meal.
I sad down to eat and began working my way into the peppers. A few bites of the stuffing before cutting up the whole pepper; a little salsa here and the crunch of the chips. Every few bits I’d stop to taste the wine. The initial flavors remained and the finish was peppery, but the middle really fell off. My consideration of the wine continued as I finished eating, but half way through, I realized this bottle was not enhancing the meal. I set the glass aside, finished the meal and retired to the study to grade a few term papers. The glass and the bottle accompanied me.
As a post meal drink, the wine opened back up. The fruit returned and I’d almost say the glass achieved a cooling effect on my palate. The wine had soul and I can think of the other dishes I would pair with the wine. Something less spicy maybe a plate of dry rubbed pork ribs finished on the grill, or grilled strip steak. I was happy I’d opened the bottle. Sometimes we have to miss the mark to discover if the soul of our wine compliments the soul of our dish. Luckily with these mistakes, there is still wine!