Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Wine Cellar

Did you know that drinking red wine may help men prevent prostrate cancer? That's what researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham say. More specifically, their studies show that mice fed resveratrol, a compound prominent in red wine, were 87 percent less likely to develop prostrate cancer. I don;t know about you, byut I love when researchers make this kind of find. Men fill that wine glass each night!

Now here's good news for each of us. Scientists at Italy's University of Pavia say that daily wine consumption helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and sore throats. Or as one researcher put it, "Our findings indicate that wine can act as an effective antimicrobial agent agaisnt the tested pathogenic oral streptococci and might be active in caries and upper respiatory tract pathologies prevention." Love these researchers. I will have a glass of VJB Barbera please............


In case you've wondered what gives Shiraz/Syrah based wines that unique peppery quality it's a compound called rotundone, say Australian wine Research Institute scientist, who discovered the ingredient in 2006 but kept it secret until they could secure a patent. They say this discovery promises to revolutionize the way wine is made -- that "producers who previously relied on luck and traditional frementing techniques will be able to manipulate environmental conditions such as shade and moisture levels to control the pepper flavors in Shiraz/Syrah." Love that peppery taste myself.

I didn't know this one, did you? In January E&J Gallo launched a line of $15-per-bottle "Martha Stewart Vintage" wines. They released a 2006 Sonoma County Chardonnay, a 2005 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2006 Sonoma County Merlot. They went on sale in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina, Denver, Phonenix and Portland, Oregon. Anyone ever seen or tasted any? Martha has her name on just about everything to do with household and kitchen items and food and wine. What next? I think I shouldn't have asked that..........

Wow. Last month Buena Vista Winery celebrated 151 years. It was founded California wine pioneer Agoston Haraszthy and now part of Beam Estates, Buena Vista is my Golden State's oldest continuously operating winery. Happy Anniversray. Wow!

Following are some wines that are my favorites and others I have enjoyed so I thought I would hare them with you:
While on a get-a-way trip to Truckee we stopped into a wine bar and gallery called Bacchus & Venus to do some tasting. This Pinto Grigio was a favorite of mine and my daughter Jen's; 2007 Cold Crteek Pinot Grigio $19-per-bottle. Very clean, smooth and delightful in the mouth. A perfect sipping wine for the summer or anytime of the year.

Raymond 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Price $35.00 a bottle

91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot with rich aromas of blackberry, black plum, black cherry, currant and chocolate followed by ripe cherry, raspberry, dark chocolate, currant and pepper spice flavors. This is a complex, well structured wine highlighted by lush fruit, concentrated flavors and a long, smooth finish.

This is a perfect match for grilled filet mignon, garlic marinated prime rib, braised beef short ribs, lamb chops, wild game, roast pork tenderloin, hearty pasta dishes, rich stews such as duck and sausage gumbo or dark, bittersweet chocolate desserts like flourless chocolate cake or souffle.
2004 Lancaster Estate Nicole's, Alexander Valley, $100-per-bottle. This one needs time. If you opne it in the immediate future decant. Patience is rewarded because when the wine starts to yield, it offers enormous black cherry flavors, with spice ( oh yum!), oak, cigar tones, and medium chewy tanins. On the palate, the flavors ate soft, juicy, rich, complex and deep, in keeping with superior red blends. Given still more time, a complexity of layered flavors emerge with rich chocolate/mocha notes, followed by a terrific texture offering more spice, oak and richness, with a long finish. This ones for the wine cellar. Age until 2010 and beyond.

VJB VINEYARD AND CELLARS is my favorite winery located in Kenwood, California. On the scale of low, medium and high priced wines, they are medium priced. This is one of those rare wineries where everything they bottle is worth purchasing. This charming Italian family has remained consistent and are truly the most gracious people I have yet to meet. Their Pledge: "Our family is dedicated to a meritage of two passions; the making of extraordinary wines and unforgettable memories." Though all their wines are exceptional, be sure to try the Barbara. It is their most awarded wine to date. Past vintages have been recognized in the Wall Street Journal and Wine Enthusiast Their latest vintage is full of boysenberry, blackberry and cherry flavor. It's intense and lush! Priced at $34.00. Their annual case production of just 4,000 cases is sold exclusively at their winery and or through membership of Club Enoteca. You can also shop online.


Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is both consistent in quality and value. The wine has aromas of nectarines and honeydew; flavors of pear and lime compliment the soft, smokey finish. It has won many gold medals at Wine and State Fairs. Barefoot recommends you serve this wine with mild cheeses, poultry, seafood, white sauce pastas, and fresh vegetables. It's plain good every day sipping wine. I even enjoy a glass over ice in the summertime. I purchase it at Trader Joe's for $3.99 a bottle. You can't beat the value.

Jordan 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml $50.00-per-bottle.The fruit of the Jordan estate hillside adds concentration and complexity to this Cab. A combination of Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (2%), Petit Verdot (4%), and Cabernet Sauvignon(76%) creates well-integrated flavors, deep color and balance. The bouquet offers distinct notes of cassis, black cherry, and cocoa. The aromatic qualities of the Petit Verdot marry well with the soft, alluring flavors of Merlot and compliment the masculine tannins of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cab has a rich texture and opulent flavors, complimented by a restrained framework of oak that leads to a lingering finish of violet, earth, smoke, and cola. The ideal serving temperature for this wine is 60 to 65 degrees F.

While I am speaking of Jordan I want to mention their stellar Olive Oil! Some 26 acres of hillside have ben planted with four different varieties of olive trees; Frantoio,Pendolino,Leccino and Cipressino. About 3 or 4 years must elapse before olive trees start producing enough fruit to press; they reach full maturity at eight years. These varieties are the main source of fine Tuscan oils. Their first harvest was in November 1999. The olives were hand picked and cold pressed the same day, using a stone mill and three-phase centrifuge separator. The extra-virgin olive oil is of very high quality, with good fruit and pungency. This is the EVOO choice in my kitchen. It is excellent as a dip with crusty bread, with pasta dishes, brushed over grilled foods, sprinkled on Caprese salad, and as a spicy accent note for lightly cooked vegetables.

1 comment:

JJ said...

"...drinking red wine may help men prevent prostrate ..."

Actually I think you'll find that red wine or any wine of that manner will CAUSE lots of "prostration" problems. ;) [Sorry - couldn't resist.]

JJ