Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category


Healthy eating choices to get you through the season.

Red or White Wine?

The Better Choice: Red Wine
For that you can thank the skin of the grape. “That’s where the antioxidant resveratrol is found,” says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at
Tufts University, in Boston. Resveratrol, a phytochemical with a structure similar to estrogen’s, has a number of beneficial properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, and cholesterol-improving effects.
But… The grape skins that make red wine healthy are also the source of tannins, which can cause headaches in some people. White wine doesn’t contain tannins, so it’s less likely to trigger headaches.


Mixed Nuts or Olives?

The Better Choice: Olives
Like olive oil, olives are high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol. They’re also low in calories. Each olive has only about five calories and less than a gram of fat, while one pecan, for example, has almost 14 calories and nearly two grams of fat. And though you can toss back numerous nuts almost too easily, olives often require a little more work. And when you’re left with a plateful of pits, you’ll know exactly how many you’ve put away.
But… Nuts are also high in monounsaturated fats, and they’re a good source of fibre and arginine, an amino acid that helps keep blood vessels relaxed and open.

Cheese and Crackers or Crudités and Dip?

The Better Choice: Crudités and Dip
A platter of nutrient-rich vegetables wins over a saturated fat–filled cheese board. But even here some offerings are better than others. “Favour colourful vegetables, like red peppers, carrots, and broccoli,” suggests Kristine Clark, a registered dietician and the director of sports nutrition at
Penn State University, in State College, Pennsylvania. Filling your plate with such a mix guarantees that you’re eating a wide variety of vitamins and antioxidants.
But… If the dip contains sour cream or mayonnaise, you’ll be scooping up lots of extra calories and saturated fat along with every bite. So don’t double-dip.


Roast Beef or Ham?

The Better Choice: Roast Beef
Roast beef is less processed, contains about half as much saturated fat, and has three times as much iron. It’s also rich in B vitamins. Both meats are great sources of protein, but the ham has almost three times as much sodium.
But… Research has linked red-meat consumption with an increased risk of colon cancer. One study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who ate two or more ounces of red meat a day were 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop colon cancer than those who ate little or none. Whichever option you choose, eat it sparingly.


Champagne or a Cocktail?

The Better Choice: Champagne
Bring on the bubbly. From a purely caloric standpoint, Champagne is the clear winner of this contest. A flute has about 75 calories, while a mixed drink, like a whiskey sour, can have up to 240 calories. Some experts say the bubbles may even help fill you up, so you won’t feel as tempted by the endless cocktail-party treats.
But… You can slim down a cocktail by using a sugar-free mixer or club soda instead of fruit juice, tonic, or a sugary mix. And although a screwdriver or a Cosmo does contain juice, the health benefits are probably not worth the extra calories.


Source: realsimple.com


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The health benefits of wine



Moderate consumption of red wine on a regular basis may help to prevent coronary disease and some forms of cancer. The chemical components thought to be responsible are catechins, also known as flavanoids and related to tannins . Catechins are believed to function as anti-oxidants, preventing molecules known as “free-radicals” from doing cellular damage. One particular form of flavinoid, called oligomeric procyanidin, recently proved to prevent hardening of the arteries.

There are also compounds in grapes and wine (especially red wine,grape juice, dark beers and tea, but absent in white wine, light beers and spirits) called resveratrol and quercetin. Clinical and statistical evidence and laboratory studies have shown these may boost the immune system, block cancer formation, and possibly protect against heart disease and even prolong life.

One recent study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, indicates that resveratrol also inhibits formation of a protein that produces a condition called cardio fibrosis, which reduces the heart’s pumping efficiency when it is needed most, at times of stress. More evidence suggests that wine dilates the small blood vessels and helps to prevent angina and clotting. The alcohol in wine additionally helps balance cholesterol towards the good type.

Source: winepros.org

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When entertaining friends and family during the festive season, sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics. Nothing beats this good old-fashioned roast beef recipe, which is guaranteed to have guests asking for seconds!



4 small onions, quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 1.8 kg boneless rib or roast



Heat oven to 190° C. In a roasting pan, toss the onions, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Push the onions to the edges of the pan. Season the beef with 1 teaspoon each and pepper and place in the center of the pan.

 Roast the beef to the desired doneness, 65-80 minutes for medium-rare (remove from oven when the internal temperature registers 50° C).

Transfer the beef to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the onions.

Serves 8 people



This dish goes well with big wines like the Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon. This well-balanced, full-bodied wine has a deep red colour with fruit and berry aromas.


Source: Real Simple Magazine

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The festive season is famous for bringing family and friends together. This will undoubtedly result in more social eating and of course drinking. Here are some principles to apply this season:


Know your limits:

Safe and healthy alcohol intake levels are 30g/day for men and 20g/day for women (women generally have less of the enzyme that helps break down alcohol in the body).

This means that one unit of alcohol a day is considered safe and healthy for an adult female and two units for a male. One unit = 340ml beer, tot (25ml) spirits, 50ml port, sherry or muscadel or 120ml wine.

Moderation is key:

Spread your weekly alcohol allowance as evenly as possible over seven days. Infrequent bingeing on alcohol can bring on attacks of gout or pancreatitis, and may cause abnormalities in heart rhythms and increases your risk of cancer.

 Stretch your intake:

Use plenty of ice, water or soda water in spirit drinks or white wine (to make a spritzer); this dilutes the alcohol while increasing the volume so you drink less. Ensure your first drink is some other liquid e.g. a mineral water or a cooldrink — your alcoholic beverage should not be used as a thirst quencher.

Arrive alive:

On average it will take the liver about an hour to break down one unit of alcohol. So even after a night’s sleep, if you have had six cans of beer or two bottles of wine, you could still be over the legal limit the next day. Remember that, when driving.

Being fitter makes no difference to the rate of absorption. But, the absence or presence of food and the type of fluid that accompanies the alcohol does. Alcohol consumed on an empty stomach is more rapidly absorbed. Water and fruit juices mixed with alcohol slow the absorption process, whereas carbonated drinks (because of the carbon dioxide) will speed it up. Warm alcohol is absorbed quicker than cold alcohol.

Weight gain:

The calorie content of alcoholic beverages (which depends on the percentage of alcohol, the type of beverage and the type of mixture) plus the behaviour associated with drinking all have their part to play in the effect it will have on your weight.

When drinking alcohol, you tend to snack more, especially on the high fat foods, often available in social drinking environments. Eating high in fat take-away food (e.g. pies or burgers) late at night is another typical problem which arises after drinking, especially in students and young adults.

If you are watching your waistline, consider that one unit of alcohol is roughly equivalent to a slice of bread. It is then prudent to occasionally substitute a carbohydrate during the day to compensate for a drink or two that night.

Apply the 24 hour rule for training:

Avoid alcohol in the 24 hours prior to exercise. After exercise, once you have rehydrated and refuelled with carbohydrates, enjoy alcohol (and here I must include the ‘in moderation’). However, if you have any soft tissue injuries or bruising, abstain from alcohol for another 24 hours.

Fake it:

My personal favourite — a Rock Shandy (soda water, angostura bitters, ice and a slice of lemon) gives the impression of being an alcoholic drink, but hardly contains alcohol and calories — a sneaky option when friends continuously want to buy you a drink when they spot you standing empty handed.

Did you know?

Using thinner, taller glasses (especially wine glasses) can help you reduce your consumption. Research shows that people consume more alcohol when drinking out of shorter, wider glasses.


By Karlien Smit RD (SA), Dietician for the SSISA Healthy Weight Programme, Shelly Meltzer & Associates, Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA).


Source: iafrica.com

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For a gift with a real feel-good factor for both the giver and the recipient, Long Distance wines are the perfect present. It’s a win-win situation: the lucky recipient has the opportunity to enjoy a unique limited-edition blend of good Riesling, and you’ll be contributing towards a worthy charitable cause as the entire proceeds will be donated to the South African mentally handicapped national soccer team.


Created by winemaker Christoph Hammel, who produced 1 500 litres of Riesling in Germany, and South African winemaker Morné van Rooyen who produced 1 500 litres of Riesling locally, the end result is a quality wine which is as good on the palate as it is on the conscience. The entire winemaking process occurred while the two winemakers were on opposite sides of the world and relied mostly on technology to perfect their blend.   


This pale-straw colour wine with an intense floral nose, bright acidity and a hint of sweetness on the palate is ideal for enjoying chilled during the silly season.


Long Distance is available at Welmoed cellar door at a mere R50 per bottle. Call 021 881 8062 or email info@thecompanyofwinepeople.co.za to order.






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Buying for a math geek or a collector? Experts offer tips on how to judge a person’s preferences


Picking out the right wine for someone during the holidays could prove as challenging as buying a present for the in-laws who have everything.

Which varietal? How much to spend? Go bold – or delicate? Is a bottle of Sherry the ultimate insult?

These questions become particularly difficult when you don’t know the recipient’s wine taste. Steer clear of giving wine to anyone who you’re not certain drinks alcohol.It could become awkward if the person is a recovering alcoholic or for religious reasons doesn’t drink.

But if they do, the trick is in the pairing. Our experts have a lot of tips, everything from matching personalities to wine to finding clues in the foods and beverages they drink.

Tim Hanni, a master of wine, has his own theories about people’s likes and dislikes based on how many taste buds they have on their tongue. While it might be a little presumptuous, and definitely strange, to ask your boss if you could get a look inside his or her mouth, Hanni says there are other hints to follow.

Coffee clues
“How they drink their coffee could be a telltale sign,” says the wine master. “If they prefer their coffee black and strong, their wine preference will more than likely lean toward intense wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, old-vine Zinfandels and many Meritage wines (usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes).”
Hanni says cream-and-sugar coffee drinkers are more likely to show a preference for moderately sweet wines, such as Muscat and Riesling. Sparkling wines are also an option. He says to look for labels that have 2 to 6 percent residual sugar levels.

People who salt their food heavily are also likely to go for the sweeter wines, according to Hanni. Same goes for folks who gravitate to sweet cocktails such as mojitos and pina coladas. He says Manhattan, martini and classic margarita drinkers would probably appreciate Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Merlot and Chardonnay. For the whisky, Cognac, Tequila and Scotch crowd, try big, bold reds and oaky, expensive Chardonnays.

Don’t have a clue about what kind of cocktails the person you’re buying for likes or how he or she takes coffee? Hanni suggests going with personality traits. A man with a strong personality who is good at math would probably prefer a wine that’s received a high rating from Robert Parker. If he’s more artistic and a little disorganised, go with Pinot Noir, dry Riesling and wines you would describe to your merchant as delicate and expressive.

For a strong woman, Hanni suggests Shiraz, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay. For an artistic woman, go for something sweet, like a fruit wine, he says. “Of course these are all generalisations,” says Hanni. “But in my experience, they tend to work.”
If you don’t know someone well enough to judge their wine taste, get something festive that they can share with other people. Good choices are Champagne, sparkling wine, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc – it goes great with food.

Source: sfgate.com

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The 2008 Best Value Wine Show which is hosted by Grand West Casino this year, takes place in the Market Hall, Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 2 December form 17h00 -21h00

The show once again offers Capetonians the opportunity to taste and purchase around seventy value-for-money wines from twenty South African wineries under one roof. All wines included in the 2009 Best Value Booklet have been tasted and rated by Wine’s independent panel and costs less than R60 per bottle. Prices start at R18.

 “Many of the wines on offer at the show are available on supermarket shelves, but one rarely has the opportunity to taste them at point of purchase. This show offers the wines for tasting by the winemakers or representatives from the wineries themselves and thanks to Grand West’s efficient staff, the wines can be ordered, paid for at cellar door prices and taken home directly from the show,” says Cobie van Oort, one of the organisors.

An exciting culinary addition to this year’s show is the creation of an informal bistro restaurant inside the venue where visitors can enjoy a light meal at a reasonable price whilst waiting for their order to be made up. Alternatively the upmarket Quarterdeck restaurant in the main casino building, a short walk away offers Best Value Wine Show ticket holders a special on their lavish buffet of only R99 per person, for that night only! (Usual price R130 pp)

The cost per ticket is R60 per person, which includes the entrance fee, a tasting glass, a copy of the Best Value Wine Guide 2009 and an order form with all participating wines and prices.

Tickets are limited and bookings are essential. Contact  Björn van Oort of CVO Marketing at (021) 981-0216 or send an email to bjorn@cvomarketing.co.za to book. Tickets are also for sale at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in the Casino complex

Visitors are welcome to come sample the perennially popular Arniston Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay 2008 with its lovely pineapple and melon flavours. Other brands from the company of wine peopleTM will also be showcased.


Source: wine.co.za


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