Red Wine for Beginners

Red wine is in the news everywhere you look as the new health miracle worker. Breakthrough studies on mice have shown that drinking red wine can help you live longer. Scientists discovered the French paradox several years ago, which is that people in France have very few incidents of heart problems despite eating foods high in fats. The contributor to the good heart health was the fact that the French drink so much red wine. Red wine has been found to decrease the bad cholesterol levels in people, and increase the good cholesterol levels. It also decreases blood pressure and stimulates the immune system. The polypohenols in red wine are antioxidants that help to decrease the chances of stroke and heart attacks.

Not only is red wine good for you, it is enjoyable once you figure out the types of red wine you most enjoy. The most popular red wines in the United States are made on the west coast, and you can go to some great wineries in California, Washington State, and Oregon. However, wineries are popping up all over the United States, and once you taste some of the better West Coast wines, you will notice a difference in the wine tastes in other states. Once you go into a winery and start tasting wine, you will soon learn which type of reds you prefer.

Many wineries charge a tasting fee of $5 or more for a few tastings, and some of these will give you the tasting fee amount back if you buy one of their bottles of wine. When you taste wine, the wine pourer will generally start you off with the lighter reds first, then move to the bolder reds, and then possibly into the Ports and other dessert wines, which are a rich, sweet, after dinner drink. You should first inhale the smell of the wine to see if you can pick up different flavor notes. Next, it is important to swirl the wine in the glass, looking for color and clarity. Also, by swirling the wine, you are adding air to it, which will bring out the richer flavors. You should then sip the wine and hold it on your tongue for a few seconds, and then slowly swallow it. By taking a slow sip like this, your taste buds will be able to process each distinct flavor. Then you want to take another sip. If you do not like the wine, it is acceptable to pour it out, as each winery has a vase to poor wine into. You may also want to eat a cracker or pretzel, which most tasting rooms make available, between tasting each type of wine. This helps to cleanse your palate so that the taste of the previous wine will not affect how you interpret the one you’re currently tasting.

Before you take a trip to go wine tasting, it is important to know a little bit about the more popular reds. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz are some of the red wine types, and within these wines, you may also taste various blends. In the past few years, blends have become more and more popular, where vineyards will combine two or more reds to make a new flavor. Port is in its own category, and is higher in alcohol content. Most people will drink a port with chocolate, or with a dessert.

Red wine is good for you in moderation, and can be extremely enjoyable to drink as well. By understanding the ins and outs of red wine, you can make what is already a good culinary experience into a great one.


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