Wine – an alcoholic beverage that is loved by most but not entirely understood by all. There are red wines, white wines, full bodied wines, sweet wines, and dessert wines. Wines that have been aged and wines that are fresh off of the grapevine. There is much debate as to what types of wines have the health benefits, and how much wine to drink to attain those benefits. You can have a wine night with your friends, go to wineries for tastings, or just have a glass with a meal. The possibilities of wine drinking are endless; but how much does Gen Y know about the delectable drink?
The three most popular white wines are Riesling, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling wines are usually best paired with fish, chicken, or pork dishes. The taste of a Riesling wine is usually fresh and “fruity”, and typically tastes better with age. Chardonnay wines are best paired with fish or chicken dishes and are somewhat heavier tasting than Riesling (usually tastes citrusy – like lemon or grapefruit). The third most popular white wine is Sauvignon Blanc, which is best paired with poultry, seafood, and salad dishes, and is a bit lighter than Chardonnay.
The three most popular red wines are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. Merlot wine is the easiest red wine to drink, especially for those who do not normally drink red wines. The good thing about Merlot wines are that they can be paired with any type of food. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually blended with Merlot wines and are best paired with meals involving red meat. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine and has a peppery taste to it. The third red wine is Pinot Noir, which is best paired with salmon, lamb, and chicken dishes. Pinot Noir usually tastes very fresh and the aroma generally smells very fruity.
For those who are curious about the health benefits of wine, the drink does have health benefits when consumed in moderation, according to a recent Today Show article. Wines contain phytochemicals (such as flavanoids and resveratrol), which are naturally occurring plant compounds. Drinking wine in moderation has “shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.” The health benefits of wine are decreased, however, when consuming more than the recommended amount. Women can have one glass of wine per day, and men can have up to two glasses per day (one glass equals 5 ounces of a red or white wine).
If you’re interested in visiting local wineries in the Baltimore area (or anywhere throughout Maryland) you can visit the Maryland Wine website which lists all Maryland wineries. Also, wine is just like any other alcoholic beverage and should be consumed responsibly and in moderation (and always remember to never drink and drive).