Drinking Wine: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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As we all know, there are always two sides (sometimes even three or more) to a story. Without knowing the other side, you may not be getting all the facts and the whole truth about something. Imagine someone being tried in a court and all the judge and the jury hear are witnesses against the person being accused. That would be the epitome of something being totally one-sided.

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Image credit: @doug88888 (flickr.com)

When it comes to wine, much has been said about its benefits as well as its ill effects, with one outweighing the other, depending on whom you’re hearing it from. We’ve all heard about the antioxidants in red wine that have health benefits, but have you heard about it partly causing infertility? If your curiosity is now aroused, let’s have a rundown of the good, the bad, and perhaps even the ugly, when it comes to drinking wine.

Let’s start with the negative health risks:

Obesity – Wine contains calories in varying amounts. One large glass of sweet wine can have as much as 200 calories in it. If you’re on a weight-loss regimen, having too many glasses of vino is, needless to say, counterproductive.

Heart disease – As you’ve probably heard it gazillion times, too much of anything is bad for you, and it’s pretty much the case with this inebriating beverage. Excessive drinking can lead to the heart muscle weakening, which then leads to a condition called ‘cardiomyopathy.’

Stroke – Somewhat related to the risk stated above, too much alcohol in our body raises our blood pressure. Certainly, an elevated blood pressure doesn’t bode well for those who have heart conditions and are at risk from strokes.

Fertility – Yes, too much alcohol can be detrimental to our reproductive system. In women, excessive drinking can reduce fertility and is even linked to lower conception rates. On the other hand, in men, the effects include erectile dysfunction, lowered levels of testosterone, and even poor sperm motility.

Now for the good:

Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes – It has been found that moderate drinkers of wine have 30% less risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-drinkers.

Good for the heart – Again, too much of anything can be harmful. However, if you drink wine moderately, the procyanidins in red wine tannins can protect against heart disease.

Lower risk of cataracts – By drinking wine moderately, you’re less likely to develop cataracts. But again, just because you want to have excellent vision doesn’t mean you’ll have more glasses than usual. The operative word is always ‘moderation.’

These are the good and bad about consuming wine. As you’ve read, the key to getting only the good is not to drink beyond a few sips each day. Anything more than 2 glasses a day is setting yourself up for a number of risks (when you’re looking for wine online, always shop from safe and reliable shops).

 

Related articles:

Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart? (mayoclinic.org)

How Is Alcohol Use Linked to Stroke? (stroke.org)

Wine and Heart Health (nlm.nih.gov)

 

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A List of Wines and their Ideal Serving Temperatures

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image credit: Drunken Monkey (Flickr.com)

Here are the details of how cold your wines should be when served. We all know that each type of wine taste their best when served in their ideal temperature. This is because the tannin, acid or alcohol content of the wine will prevail when its temperature is not the ideal one when drunk.

Red Wines                     Ideal Serving Temperature

Bordeaux –                     65 degrees Fahrenheit

Burgundy –                      63 degrees Fahrenheit

Cabernet Sauvignon –     63 degrees Fahrenheit

Red Zinfandel –               59 degrees Fahrenheit

Chianti –                          59 degrees Fahrenheit

Pinot Noir –                      61 degrees Fahrenheit

Shiraz (Syrah) –               64 degrees Fahrenheit

Beaujolais –                     54 degrees Fahrenheit

White Zinfandel –             48 degrees Fahrenheit

 

White Wines                   Ideal Serving Temperature

Riesling –                         54 degrees Fahrenheit

White Bordeaux –              52 degrees Fahrenheit

White Burgundy –             52 degrees Fahrenheit

Chardonnay –                   50 degrees Fahrenheit

Sauvignon Blanc –            53 degrees Fahrenheit

Chablis –                           53 degrees Fahrenheit

Sparkling Wine              Ideal Drinking Temperature

Champagne –                 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Asti –                               41 degrees Fahrenheit

Sweet Sparkling Wines – 41 degrees

 

Dessert Wines              Ideal Drinking Temperature

Vintage Port –                66 degrees Fahrenheit

Tawny –                          54 degrees Fahrenheit

Icewine –                         43 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Rose wines – All rose wines are best served chilled.

What’s the Right Temperature for Serving Wines?

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Not all wines are meant to be served chilled, and not all of them are designed to be drunk at room temperature.

Each type of wine has an ideal temperature that makes it savory when gulped. Here are some rules:

1. The general rule is to serve white wines chilled and red wines served at room temperature.

2. The best temperature for serving Chardonnay is 11 – 12 degrees centigrade. Giving the wine away at 10 degrees and below will likely make it lose its flavor and aroma.

3. Red wine that is served at 25 degrees is likely lacking in finesse and freshness, and you might sense nothing more than the overpowering presence of alcohol. Putting your red in the refrigerator for 20 to 25 minutes is enough to cool it down a bit. If you happen to make your red stay in the ref long enough, it would make sense if you let it out for about 15 minutes before serving time.

3. It is best for white wines to be refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours before serving. But you should see to it that its temperature does not go lower than 5 degrees. A super cool white can make you feel nothing in the palate but its acidity.

4. To avoid over-chilling your white wine, it would be better not to put it in the refrigerator if you leave for work in the morning and drink the wine when you come back in the evening. A good option would be to fill a bucket with ice and water as you get home and drop your white wine in. It will bring your white to the perfect drinking temperature you’ve always wanted.

These are the rules, but they don’t have to prevail over your personal preferences. You might look weird breaking them, but who cares? It’s your own satisfaction that matters. Cheers!

Taking Pictures of Your Food – Is It Okay?

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Photo Credit: Shannon Prickett (Flickr.com)

I believe people taking pictures of their food before devouring them is a strange phenomenon. Nevertheless, I don’t totally think it’s a bad thing, especially if you’re a foodie like me who probably uses the pictures as part of a food blog or any kind of documentary.

If you’re talking about taking pictures of food for the sake of, well, simply taking pictures, I don’t think it’s a sensible thing to do. For one, the resulting photos will probably be just codswallop anyway. It’s also not a good idea to waste several seconds (or minutes) trying to come up with the best shot because by the moment you’re done, your food had already turn cold.

 

Again, I’m not totally against the practice, especially since I also do it. However, I do it only on these conditions:

 

1.)I take the photos and post them online, but only for really close friends or relatives to see – and only for some really, really, really good reason.

 

2.)I post the photos online in public view, but only if it’s going to be part of some sensible article I’m going to create for my food blog.

 

I believe it is only on these strict conditions anybody should take pictures of their food, especially when they’re eating at a public restaurant. If you’re going to take pictures of your food and plan to post it online only so that people will know you’re eating at some expensive diner, forget it, because nobody would really care and you will only make a fool of yourself. Believe me.

 

 

Running Towards a Good Life

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Photo Credit: Toilet (commons.wikimedia.org)

Running is one of the most fun and preferred options in getting fit nowadays. Almost everyone is starting to jog and run. Even companies are leaning towards running for charity, fund-raising or simple company events. Running is indeed one of the most trending activities nowadays.

This is not a surprise because running does have a lot of health benefits with it. You get stronger while running and your always one step away from getting cardiovascular diseases because running keeps your heart healthy. Wine does the same thing to your body as well. What is wine and running can be experienced in a one day event?

Would it be nice to run along the beautiful scenery of vineyards and resorts along Australia’s best vacation venues? Be part of the Winery Marathon, Half Marathon, Coal and Allied 10.3k Vineyard Run and 5.2km Winery Wander. Kids can participate in the 2k Kids Marathon too. Register and join the Winery Running Festival on July 19, 2014 at the Hunter Valley Gardens Village in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

Bring along friends and meet new people with the same interests as you have. Experience the sun and the fun as you run.

Who knows, drink stops may even offer free cabernets. Register and look forward to the fun.

 

How to Truly Enjoy Food and Wine Events

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Photo Credit: LSI Auckland (Flickr.com)

Food and wine events are all the rage these days. In Australia alone, there is an average of six to eight shows held each month. Last February, there was the Grape Grazing Festival 2014, and on April next month, we will be having the Orange F.O.O.D Week 2014 and the Kangaroo Island Seafood ‘FEASTival’. People from different parts of the world attend these events not only to enjoy good food, but to have the opportunity to travel and meet other people as well. I myself see to it that I get the chance to attend some if not all of these events. Obviously, being the wine enthusiast that I am, I enjoy the wine events the most.

How do you get the most out of attending these events, though? Believe it or not, while such events may seem fun and exciting, they can be intimidating, too, particularly the wine events. This is especially true if you’re not used to attending such happenings or if you’re one attending as a tourist and know a very few people or no one at all.

Well, here are tips I can offer you. They are based on my personal experience so don’t just take my word for it. See what will apply for your situation and disregard what you believe is unpractical.

When Attending Food Events…

Take Lots and Lots of Pictures

I placed this as my number one tip because not taking pictures at one of the food festivities I’ve attended a few years back is one of my greatest regrets in life. It’s all about the memories, so don’t hesitate to take as many pictures of the event as you possibly can.

Arrive Early

The early bird gets the worm. You get the point.

Don’t Travel Alone

You may not agree with me on this one, especially if you are the type who loves to travel solo. However, one of the things I’ve learned is that attending such events becomes more exciting when you can share the memory with another individual or a group.

Taste Something New

Attending food and wine events is an opportunity for you to try something you’ve never tried before, so don’t hesitate to taste that dish you’re unfamiliar with. Just make sure you’re not allergic to any of its components.

Be Patient

Patience is really a virtue you must carry when attending food events, especially if you’re attending one that’s very popular and sought-after. You will need it when dealing with long lines and lots of people elbowing or pushing you as you reach for that plate of crab legs.

Stay Safe

Safety should be your number one priority when attending large public events. Make sure your valuables are securely tucked in to prevent them from being lost or stolen. Moreover, don’t forget to wear a pair of sunglasses. Wear lotion with SPF protection to keep your skin safe from the heat of the sun. Finally, don’t forget to bring lots of water to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.

 

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Photo Credit: Bettina Lorenzoni (Flickr.com)

When Attending Wine Tasting Events

Don’t Overindulge

Tasting does not mean drinking. Avoid overindulging and make use of the spit bucket they provide.

Don’t Drink On an Empty Stomach

Unless dinner is going to be served, make sure you eat before going to the event. In most cases, the tidbits of food usually served in wine events are not enough to slow down alcohol absorption, and trusting that they can get the job done will only result to you getting more drunk than expected.

Drink Lots of Water

Alcohol dehydrates, so make sure you drink lots of water before, during, and after the event.

Wear Very Little Perfume

People attending the event are there to enjoy not just the taste, but also the aroma of the wines served. Be courteous by wearing very little perfume or not wearing any perfume at all.

Wear Dark Clothes

You wouldn’t want to get Barossa Shiraz wine stain on your favorite shirt, so try to wear dark clothes as much as possible when attending wine tasting events.

Make Every Minute an Opportunities to Learn

Finally, try to make every moment an opportunity for you to learn about a thing or two more about wine. Wine and wine tasting is largely art, so there is always an opportunity to increase your knowledge about it through the opinion of other wine enthusiasts present in the event.

 

 

 

You might also be interested in these articles:

Attending a Wine Tasting Event (dummies.com)

How to Spit Wine (winefolly.com)

The Dos and Don’ts of Attending Food Festivals (yumsugar.com)