Archive for June 2012

Health and Beauty Benefits of Red Wine

The health and beauty benefits of red wine have been well known for many years. This beverage has been produced and consumed since the early stages of mankind and has been the favorite drink of all civilizations that have existed on the planet. You have also surely heard about the French paradox and what it means. In this article, we will explain you the health and beauty benefits of this magical drink.

Health Benefits of Red Wine

The health benefits of wine can only be felt by moderate consumption of wine. One thing is certain, red wine can prevent many diseases before they occur, while drinking large quantities of wine will in no case cure your diseases. That is why, doctors recommend moderate consumption of wine as a means of prevention, not as a means of curing a certain disease. Health benefits of wine are numerous and have long been known to people. They have used this beverage for thousands of years, both for its health and beauty benefits. The health benefits of wine, notably of red wines are due to the presence of grape skins in the process of fermentation of the grape. Grape skin contains resveratrol, which is considered to be the magical compound of red wines, so the concentration of resveratrol is higher in red wines, precisely due to the presence of grape skin in the fermentation process. The antioxidants and the resveratrol contained in red wines are what make them beneficial for human health. So, let us start with the short presentation of the health benefits of red wines. The resveratrol has potent cancer fighting properties. Moderate consumption of red wines can significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. As to the other health benefits, red wines can prevent heart diseases and diseases of the cardiovascular system. These properties are due to several reasons. Firstly, the high level of antioxidants. The antioxidants are very important for human health, so doctors recommend consumption of foods containing high levels of antioxidants. Namely, the antioxidants fight the free radicals in our bodies which are byproduct of the metabolism. Such free radicals are the main cause of the aging process of our bodies, which is the main reason for clogging of arteries, weakening of the heart muscle and reducing of the performances of the entire organism. The melatonin, another ingredient of red wines also has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system, due to its antioxidant properties. The melatonin regulates the internal clock of the body, so it can help you relax and sleep better. The relaxation and the well-being that red wines stimulate can also help reduce high blood pressure. The longevity is one of the health benefits of red wine, which can be attributed to the all aforementioned properties. In addition, due to the presence of saponins in red wines, they can help reduce the level of bad LDL cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol in blood. Red wines also have an important impact on the preservation of brain health, notably preventing the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other degenerative diseases. For many years, wine has been used as cold medicament, due its anti-inflammatory properties that help the body recover from flu and cold.

Beauty Benefits of Red Wine

As we already mentioned, the potent health benefits of red wine are attributed to the high percentage of antioxidants. It is precisely these antioxidants that have enormous beauty benefits. The antioxidants prevent premature aging, which also includes the premature aging of the skin. Due to the presence of resveratrol, red wines have excellent weight loss properties. Many clinical studies have shown that the resveratrol stimulates the SiRT1 gene, which is responsible for burning excess fat that has been stored in the body. Due to its antioxidant and antibiotic properties, the resveratrol cleans the skin from the inside from all pollutants and contaminants, making it elastic, soft and most importantly, youthful. The high presence of polyphenols protects the skin of the harmful UV lights and improve the linking of collagen cell, thus improving the elasticity of the skin. Moderate consumption of red wines can also prevent the occurrence of skin cancers and stimulate the healing of skin lesions. Many celebrities are aware of the beauty benefits of red wine, so they have started using it for skin treatments. Not only they enjoy drinking red wine, they also apply it on the skin. The next time you see you favorite celebrity looking stunning of the red carpet, do not be amazed, now you know their secret.

Moderate Consumption of Red Wine

The only way to feel the enormous health benefits of red wine is only trough moderate consumption. Moderate is the magical word. You should know that doctors recommend moderate consumption to all those who already drink alcohol, but they strongly oppose to start drinking just with the purpose of feeling the health benefits of any type of alcohol. What is moderate consumption? According to the doctors, the moderate consumption of red wines means that women are advised to drink one glass of wine a day, or two glasses of wine if you are man. The excessive consumption of any type of alcohol, including red and white wines will surely not have any beneficial effect on your health, but it will surely lead to many negative consequences. In addition, doctors recommend drinking one glass of wine as a relaxation and stress relief therapy, however, people who already suffer from any type of heart or cardiovascular condition should strictly limit their consumption of alcohol and follow the advice of their doctors. The resveratrol can also be found in grapes and grapes juice, so these products are excellent alternative to red wines. In addition, due to its powerful antioxidant properties, the resveratrol can also be found as a diet supplement. However, be careful with such diet supplement pills, because the body simply will not absorb the excess quantities of resveratrol, so you will not get the results you have been expecting. The best way to include the resveratrol in your diet is trough healthy food and one or two glasses of wine here and there. Cheers!

The Perfect Combination of Food and Wine

We all know that wine and food are a perfect couple, but when it comes to paring the right food with the right wine, we don’t always know what to choose. Every type of food has a different wine that complements its taste, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you find that your favorite wine doesn’t go that well with your favorite cheese. It seems complicated, and it really is if you approach it in details and consider it to be a philosophy of life, like many hedonists and professional food tasters approach to the Food and Wine. However, if you simply want to find the wine that will go well with the lunch you are cooking today, you can follow a few of our tips and you’ll do just fine. Not all of us are food philosophers and hedonists, but we can all learn a few rules that will make our meals a lot better. Humans have made wine that goes with certain type of food for over 5000 years, but there are wines that go nicely with most meals. You should know that it’s easy to combine right and in reality it’s hard to go wrong because there are just a few wine and food combinations that totally don’t work. With the help of the Internet today, you can easily find the food match of wine with any food you intend to prepare. This article will be very helpful for you to learn the basics.

Food and Wine: Cheeses

The cheese and wine combination actually requires some serious analytical session if you want to get in to it completely. I would have to write an entire book if I wanted to explain everything in this food philosophy, but I don’t think you would be in the mood for it and I already said that this article will clear out only the basics of combining Food and Wine. However, don’t forget to taste different combinations on your own because cheese and wine make a wonderful pair and it would be shameful not to experiment and have fun with it. This combination creates a true explosion of tastes. In general, I would have a few broad categories to propose for you if you are searching for the perfect pair between a particular cheese and a specific wine. The first of them is the category of cheddar and other similar cheeses that are sharp (also called English cheeses). They go well with dry red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Gruyere and Swiss cheese will create the perfect pair with Pinot Noir. Blue cheeses make a traditional pair with fine, sweet dessert wines such as Sauterner, but you should also try different red wines with them. They go surprisingly well with very dry Sherries. When you’re combining blue cheese with wine, you should be careful with tannic reds such as Cabernets because that pair will create an unusual metallic taste that you probably won’t like. Creamy cheeses like Brie and Camembert are complemented the best with buttery, rich Chardonnay or Champagne. If you want to find the perfect wine for hard cheeses like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, you should go for Italian dry reds. The goat’s milk cheese is perfectly complemented with sauvignon blanc.

Food and Wine: Barbecue

I am sure that everyone has tasted a barbecue-wine combination that didn’t work so fine. That’s probably the reason why most people prefer to combine their barbecue with beer. It is true that the spice, smoke and sweet sauce that make the barbecue so special are not so friendly to your fine wines, however, if you want to make your barbecue dinner a little more special and combine it with wine, it’s time to go for simpler, quaffable and fruity wines. Zinfandel is a great match for your barbecue. If you are looking for something more interesting than that, you can try Beaujolais and Petite Sirah. Grenashe (Australian Shiraz) makes an outstanding Food and Wine combination with barbecue. It’s fruity and almost sweet tasting, which makes it a great complement to your favorite barbecue sauce. Sometimes you may feel that the barbecue and wine combination is a little too much, especially on hot summer days. Not everyone likes this combination, so if you feel that you don’t want to waste good wine and good barbecue – you don’t have to combine two tastes you like individually in order to create a combination of tastes that doesn’t feel right. As I said, there are wines that go perfectly well with barbecue and can make it more special, but if you don’t like it – just open a beer and enjoy.

Other popular Food and Wine pairings

Artichokes are known to be “wine killers”, but this is also a barricade you can work past. We’ll take an example: Italians love to eat artichokes, and they also love wine. We should learn from them and serve the artichokes before the main meal, because they create a sweet taste to whatever follows, or at least it is believed that they do so. You can lean the artichoke dish toward balance with Italian white wines like Greco di Tufo or Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The asparagus is another distinctive flavor which makes an odd Food and Wine pairing, but you would be surprised of the good combination with Sauvignon Blanc in herbaceous style. Always serve beef with tannic, dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux. Caviar lovers usually mix that luxury with Vodka, but you should really respect this fine food with the spectacular Champagnes you can get. Caviar and Champagne create a combination that is simply indulgent. The tiny bubbles of this fine wine will create a textural comparison with the nature of the grainy fine caviar, and the tart, crisp nature of the Champagne will balance nicely with the fishy saltiness of the caviar. When it comes to chicken, you can never go wrong with the old rule: red meat with red wine, white meat with white wine! However, roast chicken goes perfectly fine with red wine too. Burgundy, Bordeaux, Dolcetto and Beaujolais will be a nice complement to this versatile meal; but Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling would be great choices too.