Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for November, 2006

Red wine prolongs your life

As if wine could be more of a super food, scientists have discovered that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine and grape skins, allows obese mice to live longer, healthy lives than they should. Scientists at Harvard and other universities fed the mice high-fat, high-calorie diets. The compound activated genes that protect against aging, essentially neutralizing the bad effects of a poor diet. Great, just what we need, an excuse to eat MORE! Please don’t run out and eat five Big Macs because you had a glass of wine last night. You’d need to take tons of resveratrol in its supplement form, or drink 100 bottles of vino a day (I don’t care if it’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape, that’s gross), to experience what the mice did. That said, it does explain why French people get fewer heart attacks and may someday be used to delay the diseases of aging. The fountain of youth? Sorta sounds like it to me. The use of resveratrol extended the life span of every single organism the scientists tested it on, including worms and flies. Trouble is, like everything else, our bodies probably cannot handle it.

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
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Halloween candy and wine

What a great Halloween. Went over to Jenny’s and did a few candy and wine pairings. Confused? You shouldn’t be. The flavors in candy — caramel, butterscotch, fruit, and chocolate, of course — are the same ones that pop up in fancy desserts. So why not have fun? Our favorite combo is a big red with Reese’s pieces. We also thought Sauternes and candy corn would be good, though we didn’t try it.

My curiosity for French biodynamics got the best of me and we went with Marc Kreydenweiss’ 2003 Perrieres for dinner and candy. The Southern Rhone blend is 50 percent carignane (which is all vanilla and caramel itself) and equal parts syrah and grenache. This wine was unbelievable. So much structure and not that much alcohol, just over 12%. It only costs $14 and it’s a gorgeous wine. The wine went really well with our mushroom and spinach stuffed pizza from Zachary’s.

For dessert, we had a pumpkin ice cream pie (Michaela made the ice cream) and Jenny folded it into an Oreo cookie crust and topped it with Cool Whip and Hershey’s syprup. For this, we put the Perrieres to the side and paired the pie with Schramsberg’s Cremant, a demi sec sparkling from one of my favorite Napa wineries. It was sweet enough to be considered a dessert wine, but not over the top for those, like me, who hate cloying wines.

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
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