Red Wine

The joys of a great bottle of red wine

Ever more health benefits are being attributed to red wine.

For a while now there has been talk of the polyphenols in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes cutting the production of of endothelin (a precusor of heart disease) in arteries.

Resveratrol, another compound found in red wine has been shown by American reserchers to combat the herpes simplex virus which causes coldsores. The same compound was shown by Italian researchers to have positive effects on brain tissue, helping the body to regenerate neural cells.

In addition, drinking red wine is now being investigated as a way of fighting off the common cold. According to the BBC, research from Spain has found that people who drink more than two glasses of red wine a day had 44% fewer colds than teetotallers.

While we here at the wine pages website wouldn't claim to be experts in the medical field, we do know a decent glass of red wine when we taste one. It really shouldn't be forgotten that aside from the health benefits, red wine tastes terrific.

One of the finest red wines is the Cabernet Sauvignon which is closely related to the almost as popular Merlot. Both of these have a rich fruity flavour which goes well will many meals and can also be served on its own to guests.

Pinot Noir is a lighter red wine, that goes exceptionally well with chicken and lamb dishes. Today, Pinot Noir is found growing all around the world in countries such as Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the USA.

Why should you let a wine breathe?

Opening a wine and decanting it from the bottle at least an hour before serving is an excellent practice. The reason for doing this is that maximizing your wine's exposure to the surrounding air changes the flavour for the better. The tannins mellow and the whole taste becomes more rounded. With heavy wines with lots of tannins a good 3 or 4 hours is needed to achieve the effedct while the really young light reds don't need to breathe at all. If a wine is very old (20 years or more) then it will have already mellowed in the bottle over time and won't need to be decanted.

I haven't got a Decanter. Can't I just leave the bottle open for a bit?

In order to airate the wine as much as possible of the wine's surface needs to come into contact with the air, so uncorking the bottle is not enough. Pouring the wine into a different container is what airates your red wine. Your decanter can be as simple as a juice carton or even a clean flower vase has been known to work in an emergency.