Red wine is a popular drink in the US and considering that there are over 600 million gallons of wine sold there each year it's good to know that it has health benefits too. The making and drinking of wine goes back thousands of years, in fact, remnants of wine found in a jar dating back to 5400 B.C. have been found in modern day Iran. And of course, the Egyptians partook of this tasty drink as a jar buried in the tomb of King Tut attests. Other Egyptian artifacts show that from at least 2500 B.
C. many of the upper class enjoyed a glass (or clay goblet) every so often. Red wine is more full bodied than white wine and has a distinct flavor due to the increase in tannins contained in the wine. When red wine is made, the grapes stay in the skin for a longer time which makes more tannins which result in the heartier taste and darker color.
The tannins are also what makes red wine have health benefits that white wine does not possess. This is because the skin of the grape has a natural antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol is a flavonoid which research has shown can decrease aging in cells. This anti-aging property helps to keep your arteries healthy and aids in boosting the immune system.
Some even claim that red wine can play a role in preventing cancer. And you don't need to drink a gallon to get the benefits either - just ½ - 1 glasses a day for women and 1-2 glasses for men will do the trick. There are many different varieties of red wine made all over the world today.
France has long been the favorite country of origin, although California has been making a fair showing in the past few decades. The Bordeaux region of France produces Cabernet - the "mother of all red wines," and also some fine Merlots. France's Rhone Valley rivals Australia in making Shiraz while the Burgundy region produces great Pinot Noirs. In America, California is well known for it's quality Cabernets, Merlots, and Zinfandels which are grown in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Oregon and Washington are also making their mark with wonderful Pinots and Merlots. To serve red wine, let it get to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Open it at least ½ hour before serving to let it "breathe". This will help to release pent up gasses and add flavor to the wine. And don't let the possibility of spills and stains deter you from enjoying a healthy glass of red wine.
If you do spill some, sprinkle the area with salt and then blot until the stain is removed.
Lee Dobbins writes for Online Gourmet Foods where you can learn more about wine as well as other food and drink.