I’m not a big alcohol drinker, but I do love wine. I have really enjoyed wine for quite a number of years now, and have begun to really appreciate it not only as a drink with good taste, but also for its nutritional value. Red wine, for example, contains polyphenols, flavonoids, and the well-known resveratrol, which studies have shown to be good for your health. Red wine is a known antioxidant, and many studies have linked red wine consumption to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and to lower rates of inflammation in the body. But which are the best wines to drink?
I have several favorite wines that I reach for during the summer. The white wine that I really enjoy is Riesling. The Riesling grape originated in Germany and has a very fruity, flowery, and aromatic fragrance. It is grown throughout the world, but I prefer German and Canadian brands. The taste depends upon how it was aged and where it was grown; however, Riesling always has a very fruity, crisp taste of apples, pears, and oak. I prefer the younger Riesling, with less sugar and a higher acid content. Consumed ice-cold, it is phenomenal on its own or with food. The ice wines or late harvest varieties commonly produced in the Niagara region all use the Riesling grape. You can also use Riesling to make a wine spritzer, which is a very popular way to enjoy white wine. There is really no fixed type of menu to have with Riesling; I like it with fish or meat, and I also really enjoy it with cheese and smoked salmon! That’s why I call the Riesling one of the best wines out there!
What about the best red wines? The red wine I prefer to drink is the Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is one of the most common of the red wines available today and is grown across the globe. This grape was first grown in France, and today, great brands of this wine can be found in Chile, Australia, the U.S., Europe, Argentina, and Canada. It has a great deep red color, with a characteristic vibrant bouquet of currants, oak, and chocolate. It has a great deal of body and, depending upon where it is produced, can have a very rich and distinctive flavor of vanilla, nutmeg, currents, and oak. Some folks don’t seem to like this wine because it is a bit “earthy” and can have a smoky tone, but a great, lingering finish. I love this wine with any food entrée or Mediterranean fare. My favorite brands are manufactured from Chile, Argentina, and Australia, as these places have the perfect soil and environmental conditions for this type of grape.
Cabernet Sauvignon contains a large quantity of polyphenolic compounds, which confer some very important health benefits, like a reduction of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Although I like to drink this wine because of the culinary experience, I also appreciate the health benefits associated with its consumption!
De Nisco, M., et al., “Nutraceutical properties and polyphenolic profile of berry skin and wine of Vitis vinifera L. (cv. Aglianico),” Food Chem. October 15, 2013; 140(4): 623-9.
“Riesling;” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riesling, last accessed May 28, 2013.
“Cabernet Sauvignon;” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabernet_Sauvignon, last accessed May 28, 2013.