Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Glass of Wine a Day...

Diets are us…. There are so many diets out there, that actually just reading through them all would result in weight loss and change in lifestyle. And of course every one claims, that ‘this is the one and only diet you’ll ever need’. Well at least until a new one pups up. We all know that no diet works without a lifestyle change.  So how about a red wine diet....? 
Much of the new data suggests that moderate consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages is associated with a longer and healthier life than that of abstainers. While at least half of the benefits associated with wine consumption appear to be derived from the alcohol itself there are other components of wine that contribute to the same benefits, but they are more complex and variable, and less precisely defined.
Most intriguing are the poly-phenolic flavonoids, which can be referred to as antioxidants, according to their most attractive function. Found in grapes, mainly in the skins, their concentrations tend to be higher in red wines (when skins are included in fermentation) than white.
These antioxidants are less available in other alcoholic beverages. Among the best known, and most biologically active, are resveratrol, quercetin and the catechins.
These antioxidants are not exclusive to grapes, although grapes are richly endowed with them. They are also found in allium vegetables (onions, leeks, garlic, shallots), broccoli, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, tea and chocolate.
The antioxidants in wine and grape juice favorably modulate the blood clotting that climaxes heart attacks and strokes; they help further by relaxing blood vessels and inhibiting the oxidation of LDL (the "bad") cholesterol to its dangerous form. Similar, but less-established, benefits may result from the antioxidant flavonoids found in tea and chocolate, virtually identical to those of wine.
"Modest" wine consumption is defined as one glass of wine per day. Can you remember the last time you were able to limit yourself to only one. But a study published in Hepatology reported that individuals who drink up to one glass per day, as compared to teetotalers, showed their risk of liver disease was cut in half.
But according to University of Florida researcher Susan Percival, while red wine supposedly aids in the prevention of coronary heart disease and some cancers, no one has studied whether its alcohol content might offset any benefits. One bottle shared between two people (about 2.5 glasses each) seems to be the average habit, which some researchers might consider unhealthy, causing an early alcoholic death by cancerous heart attack.
Whatever. Wait a few years until scientists decide that, like eggs, the grape is good for you again. For now, I’ll drink to that.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Icewine vs. Maple Syrup

So here we are in Canada. The home of two world renound products: the older Maple Syrup and the younger Icewine. It used to be that when abroad, and browsing in duty free shops at the airport, you mentioned Canada and everyone would point to the multitude of pretty and quite frequently maple leaf shaped bottles of the sweet stuff. Now days, you are directed to the wine section and there they are: bottles of Canada's liquid gold....

Some say the Icewine has taken over as Canada's symbol... There are wineries that are specializing in Icewine productions, like Rollingdale in Westbank, BC or Royal DeMaria in Beamsville, ON. And of course there are wineries that are traditionally just plain good Icewine producers, too many to mention here.

Kalala Organic Estate Winery is getting more and more recognition for its Icewine production. In 2010 we were awarded a Gold medal at the very prestigious Chardonnay du Monde in France for our 2007 Chardonnay Icewine. Not a bad achievement, when you take in consideration, that we were in operation only several years at the time, that it was the only Icewine awarded gold medal and that we finished in the top ten out of 887 wines. Oh, yes and it was the only Canadian wine awarded gold medal that year.
For the time being, Kalala wines are available in BC and Alberta and online at the winery's website. If or more precisely when changes in interprovincial wine shipping laws allow it, we will be able to ship across this vast land of ours.

So Icewine vs. Maple Syrup? I don't know.... Is there a competition?

Chardonnay Icewine 2007        $60
This fresh, buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavours of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouth-feel.  
SKU: 180612 | Alcohol: 12.9% | Sweetness: 14
GOLD – 2010 Chardonnay du monde, France
SILVER – 2010 Challenge Int’l du vin, France
SILVER – 7th Kelowna International Wine Exhibition – Accounting for Taste