Bordeaux The Beautiful!

Bordeaux. This single word conjures up thoughts of some of the most prestigious wine known. Both the business side and the romantic side of wine meet seamlessly in Bordeaux where the largest amount of fine wine in the world is produced.

The Bordeaux wine region is located in southwest France and surrounds the bordeauxmappicmonkeycity of Bordeaux. Near the city, two rivers, the Garonne and Dordogne, meet to form the Gironde, which flows into the Atlantic. These rivers divide the Bordeaux region into three areas: the Left Bank, the Right Bank and Entre-Deux-Mers in the middle.

The main red grapes for the region are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. To be a “Bordeaux” the wine must have at least two of these grapes blended together. Generally, a blend from the Right Bank will lead with Merlot while the Left Bank showcases Cabernet Sauvignon. Entre-Deux-Mers produces mostly everyday drinking wines featuring Merlot.

Today, Bordeaux style blends are made worldwide. Among the best regions to produce this style is Napa Valley, California. Napa Valley is also home to “Meritage” (pronounced like heritage), which is similar to a Left Bank Bordeaux with Cabernet Sauvignon being the prominent grape. If you have a hefty wine allowance and want a superior Bordeaux style from Napa Valley, splurge on Opus One, a collaborative effort between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

If Opus One isn’t in your budget not to worry. It is fairly easy to find Bordeaux style wine. Most will use the typical Bordeaux grapes and generally Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will be the predominant varietals. And now you have an excuse to go wine shopping!

 

Is Red Wine Healthy?

I have read plenty about the health benefits of red wine. In fact, I planned on declaring the praises in this post however, in doing research, it seems most of the testing has been done on mice and pigs. I don’t know about you, but animal research does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  The positive findings are vast though so you be the judge.

In a nutshell, researchers say red wine is good for your heart – more accurately, the nutrients found in the red grape skins used to make red wine. Red wine has antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which can prevent heart disease. Specifically, the polyphenol known as resveratrol has a laundry list of potential benefits including, but not limited to, protecting the heart’s blood vessels, increasing high-density lipoprotein (or HDL, the good cholesterol), decreasing low-density lipoprotein (or LDL, the bad cholesterol), preventing blood clots, reducing the risk of dementia and preventing certain cancer cells from dividing. Resveratrol can also be found in other foods like blueberries, peanut butter, and dark chocolate.

Additional studies (on mice) found that red wine burns fat and can aid in storing less of it by delaying the growth of fat cells and slowing the growth of new ones. Sounds enticing but unfortunately, I don’t think that is a free pass to skip the gym.

Keep in mind, moderation is important. What is moderation? Well that depends on a person’s size, age, sex, etc. Women absorb alcohol more rapidly than men.  A moderate amount for women is roughly 5 ounces and for men, 8 ounces.

With all these studies, you may think red wine sounds like a pretty awesome health partner; it is your decision. As for me, I am going to assume some validity and keep on sipping because, in my book, life without wine is quite simply not very fun.

 

Sources: www.mayoclinic.org, www.medicalnewstoday.com, www.medicaldaily.com