Staying Healthy

    The Wine Guy

    While there is clearly no “silver bullet” yet in the form of a vaccine for COVID-19, there are a lot of healthy habits that can lessen the risk of contraction. In addition to the obvious, like washing your hands and keeping a reasonable distance from others, you should consider a glass of red wine every day. Red wine contains a substance called Resveratrol; it comes from the skins of the grapes and since red wine grapes stay with the juice of the wine longer than white grapes, there’s a greater amount in red wine. The most nutritious red wine you can have, according to the Mayo Clinic, is Pinot Noir. Here are some Pinots that are national brands and thus, pretty widely available.

    2017 Mark West Pinot Noir, Black Label, Monterey County, California ($13.99), Mark West Winery’s goal is to craft wines that consistently deliver enticing aromatics, a rich supple mouth feel, and classical varietal characteristics. The wines pair easily with food or for drinking alone. Jason Becker has been the Winemaker here since 2015 and his crafting style strives to make a wine that’s true to its Burgundian roots. You get a nose with notes of cherries, red berries and a smoky overtone that opens onto a soft, chewy style of juice with a pleasantly long, full finish.

    Black Stallion 2017 Pinot Noir (Los Carneros),

    Napa California, ($24.99). Virginia Boone of the Wine Enthusiast, describes this wine as having “Minty eucalyptus and bay leaf highlights that create an aromatic opening as a full-bodied grippy palate of pomegranate and black cherry meet the savory characteristics halfway.” I think you’ll agree once you have a glass or two; you might want to have this one with some grilled lamb chops or some pungent cheeses and fruit. This wine will definitely add some enjoyment to sheltering in place.

    WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR WHOLE CLUSTER FERMENTED, 2017, ($19.99), epitomizes everything that makes this part of Oregon one of the world’s best Pinot regions. It’s fragrant and full-bodied with intense notes of dark cherries, smokiness and a leathery aspect. Great with game birds or a Bologonaise. So what’s the difference between a wine fermented with whole clusters (stems and seeds included) vs. the more conventional destemmed method? Stems impart their own unique flavors, as well as more structure. How well this works depends on how ripe the stems get. I know that might sound weird, but when grapes are picked early, the stems can still be green and rubbery, and those under ripe stems bring more green, vegetal and herbal notes. Leave the grapes on the vine for a while longer and the stems lignify, or turn brown and woody, and the flavors they add turn a bit more mellow and spicy, more toward black tea, floral or forest floor notes.

    Joseph Drouhin, “La Foret” Pinot Noir, 2018, Bourgogne, France, ($18.99), Burgundian reds completely depend on their environment (terroir) to gain their nuances in flavor. These reds are lighter with medium acid and typically lower tannins. There is significant variety in price on reds from Burgundy. The region produces some of the most consistent table wines along with some of the most expensive and collectable in the world. The Drouhin reds are extremely consistent and at this price point, they  continue to present great value for the money.

    I hope you all stay healthy.

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