Friday, September 18, 2009

Antioxidents anyone?

Heart Disease and Stroke

"Studies show that resveratrol has blood-thinning properties. By keeping individual blood cells ("platelets") from sticking to each other, resveratrol** can limit the formation of blood clots. If blood clots form and become lodged in the smaller vessels of the heart or brain, oxygen can be prevented from reaching these vital organs. This lack of oxygen is called ischemia. Severe ischemia in the heart is known as a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Severe ischemia in the brain is called a stroke."

**"Still, doctors do agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart, though it's unclear just exactly what that "something" is. Researchers think antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have promising heart-healthy benefits."

"The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of grapes used to make wine. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than is white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol. Simply eating grapes, or drinking grape juice, has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol. Some studies have suggested that red and purple grape juices have some of the same heart-healthy benefits of red wine."


Okay okay, maybe the prior three paragraphs of facts was a bit dramatic to gain support to form a new habit.  Or maybe the facts are the just the facts.   Besides I'm grown and can have wine if I want to :-)

We have pretty great wineries here in California.  So far I've been to wineries and tasting rooms in 1) Napa Valley, 2) Santa Barbara and 3) Santa Maria. Although I'm no connoisseur of, as they say in church 'the fruit of the vine',  I like what I like.

I've tried several types of red wine over the years but never really liked any.  I found them to be too dry, too bitter and the bitter flavor just lingered on the back of my throat.  There are a few white wines that fancy me but in my research I found no substantial health benefits to drinking it.  I do keep a few bottles in my house for guests; Mascato, Rieslings and Chardonnays.  The occasional Jamaican Rum and Bailey's finds their way to my bar as well from time to time; also great spirits to offer guests.  But I can't seem to get rid of any reds in my collection.  Funny no one ever requests red when they visit me. So I usually have to offer it in such an animated way that they'll try it, unbeknown to them a ploy to save my whites.  Tee Hee.  I am not a fan of many reds so how can I get the antioxidants in resveratrol  to my heart and brain?  Yes blueberries, cranberries, I know.

My palate generally spurns reds: Pino Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, &  Claret.  That is until I tried Syrah varietals.  Some petite Syrah's are nice but I find them [still] too dry and bitter.  I must investigate that .  There is nothing wrong with the occasional Zinfandel.  I tend to like varieties of those as well.

To me the Syrah is smooth;  it has no bitter after taste and if I pick the perfect one for my palate, it won't have a high concentration of alcohol.  It will just taste sweet, velvety, fruity, deep, robust, floral, earthy, spicy.  Now that's the wine for me!  My goal is good health and a nice warm sensation throughout my body.  Inebriation is not my goal.  I want to remember and enjoy because some of these bottles ain't cheap are at price points beyond my budget.  Becoming drunk does not seem like a good time at all.  So I don't do that.  I do however enjoy the occasional glass with friends or sometimes alone.  In either scenario I concentrate on the experience of the flavors, it's just like when I drink anything else.  Flavor and the feeling I receive from the combination of flavors is the fun for me.

I don't know why but I don't purchase my favorites by the case, only by the bottle these days.  And because I live here, I only drink California wine.  I'd like an education on wine from other US regions and from other countries because I want to start collecting my favorites. So at some point I'll invest in a free standing wine refrigerator.

Here is a list of my current favorite Syrah's.  I'm hoping to expand the list at some point:
  1. 2005 Syrah, Star Lane Vineyard from the Concilience vineyard in Los Olivos 
  2. 2006 Syrah, Watch Hill Vinyard from the Andrew Murray Vinyards in Los Olivos 
  3. Any year Offshoot - The classic Rosso from the Coppola Winery in Napa Valley.  This wine is a blend of Syrah, Zefindel and Cabernet.  

I have bottles of reds in my collection that I've received as gifts over the years that are simply collecting dust .  I'm uninterested in them.  I gave a 12 year old single malt bottle of scotch to a plumber because I didn't have the cash to tip him for work he'd done above and beyond what he was hired to do.  I don't know enough about scotch to know if that was a bad move or not.  I do know that age of scotch tends to be valuable.  I'm only glad that the plumber was too happy to take it off my hands.  I never touch the stuff.  At some point I know I'll have to do something with them, but what?  Cooking? Re gifting maybe?  I don't know and I'm wide open to suggestions.

My final thoughts on taking your suggestions is if you want me to give any bottles to you, YOU have to pay for shipping and handling. LOL.  BTW, I'm not parting with my collection so make another suggestion.

Have a great weekend.
Don't drink and drive.
Rather, if you're going to, drink for your health and wellness IN MODERATION with a designated person accompanying you.  (My PSA).


  1. Yeah for wine! Also, blueberries and blackberries have high antioxidants (its in their seeds). I eat these for breakfast almost everyday. Have you heard of the Hippocratic Institute?

  2. have you seen those ads with Meg Ryan - which are mega airbrushed that talk about resveratrol(I wrote a satirical post about it on my blog :D) which is supposedly endorsed by Dr. Oz. Makes me wonder if it comes in the form of a supplement now.

    BTW I meant to mention that your feed still does not appear to be updating..

  3. I have just become a wine drinker myself, it's nice to know that in moderation it is good for you!

    Stopping by from SITS to say hello.

  4. Dale, thanks so much for stopping by for my SITS feature day. I really appreciate it!

  5. I love Los Olivos! I don't drink wine anymore, occasional shot of Tequila for medicinal purposes but that's it. Hmm, maybe I should start again!



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