Selecting the Perfect Wine & Its Health Benefits
By Certified Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos, Senior Culinary Advisor at Healthy Meals Supreme
I was taught from childhood by my brother, who was really more of a father figure to me as he was 10 years older, that drinking wine is to be enjoyed with a meal and not to be consumed indiscriminately. He taught me how to choose the right wine for the right food and today I’d like to share his advice with you as you are considering which wines to serve with your meals this holiday season.
SELECTING THE RIGHT WINE
There are 3 simple rules to follow when selecting a wine to accompany a meal:
Taste the wines you want to serve first and if possible sample the food you are serving with the wines. If it doesn’t provide a great pleasant taste experience to you, then your guest most likely will not enjoy it either. The acidity, full-bodiedness, fruitiness and other flavors determine the compatibility with the food.
Light to full to heavy/sweet.
Start with a light drinkable wine, normally a white or even a Rose’.
Full bodied reds are still best served with the main course, especially roasted meats.
If the fish course is the main course, you can’t go wrong with a nice easy to drink, white as well.
Very sweet or heavy wines like Gewuerztraminer or Eiswein should only be served at the end of a meal.
Serve all wine at the right temperature:
White wine should be properly chilled (49-55 degrees F) but not too cold.
Red wine should be served at 62 – 68 Degrees F.
- Open the bottle of red wine about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- Best to pour into a decanter to allow the wine to “bloom” perfectly.
Is Wine Healthy?
In recent years, there has been a lot of hype about the health benefits of both red and white wines.
With any health claim one has to differentiate between anecdotal information and evidence based facts. That said, long term studies and research show that there may be several health benefits to drinking wine. Why these benefits are so is not completely understood, nevertheless they seem to be valid. Here are six major findings or should we say, understandings.
Both red and white wine:
…contain the antioxidant polyphenol called resveratrol. It is believed to increase the levels of high density lipoprotein HDL (the good Cholesterol) that in turn protects the arteries from LDL (the bad Cholesterol).
reduce the formation of blood clots.
improve the function of the cells lining the blood vessels. Both wines are also thought to slow the aging process, support the fight against cancer and help towards weight loss. That said, way more research needs to be conducted to prove such claims. The only sure added benefit of red wine is that it contains the skin of the grapes where most of the resveratrol is found.
It is believed that there are benefits to cooking with wine. Though much of the alcohol may burn out during cooking, some of the antioxidants do remain.
It has also been suggested that non-alcoholic wine may have some of the same benefits as wine, but again more research is needed.
Champagne may have similar benefits as wine, but since it’s not consumed as regularly as wine, it has not been researched enough to have clear answers.
Consuming Alcohol must be done in moderation and responsibly, otherwise it will cause other problems that far outweigh the benefits.
The recommendation is for 1 – 2 drinks ( 5 ounces of wine) per day.
Also, you can’t “bank” drinks anymore than you can sleep. This means, you can’t NOT drink all week, then drink all the recommendations on the weekend.
Finally, wine is best served with a meal to get the most enjoyment and always with good friends and wonderful conversation.
Toasting to Your Good Health….