In today’s health conscious society, many people are trying to eat foods that are natural sources of vitamins and fats that are essential to the human body. Just like foods, there are certain varietals of wines that can also provide benefits to our bodies.
Resveratrol is a substance that is alleged to be a significant anti-aging compound and is commonly found in the skins of grapes and, more importantly, in red wine. The Pinot Noir grape contains some of the highest levels of resveratrol from wines that are easy to locate.
Certain white wines also contain this powerful anti-oxidant, but not at nearly the same levels as red wines. The juice from red grapes is almost clear in color, so to make a wine red a process called maceration is used at the winery. This process takes place by leaving the grape skins in the grape juice through fermentation, causing the alcohol to remove and dissolve the red color into the wine. In making a white wine, the skins are not in contact with the wine for significant periods of time, causing less resveratrol in these wines.
Salmon pairs well with Pinot Noir wines and this fish contains high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are not produced by the human body, so they must be obtained from supplements or foods. Another benefit of salmon is that while it is high in protein, it is low in calories. A tip: Omega-3 levels are higher in wild caught salmon than in farm raised.
The 2008 Erath Pinot Noir is produced using a blend of grapes from various vineyards throughout Oregon and received an 88 rating from both the Wine Enthusiast and the Wine Spectator. It is priced at under $20 and since there were over 100,000 case made it should be easy to find. I found this Pinot Noir to be pleasant with red cherry on both the nose and in the mouth, followed by a slight earthy finish. A salmon dish that was prepared by coating the filet in a mix of coriander, salt and pepper and then sautéed in oil paired very nicely with this particular Pinot Noir.
Erath was the first winery to be built in the Dundee Hills region of Oregon — an area about 30 miles southwest of Portland. This region is in the Willamette Valley appellation, which is the home to more than 200 Oregon wineries. Due to its unique climate, Willamette Valley is one of the top Pinot Noir-producing areas worldwide.
You don’t have to drink wine to benefit from resveratrol — blueberries, boiled peanuts and, of course, grapes contain this substance. Some other benefits of red wine consumption include reduced risk of heart disease, it lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, and there are even some anti-carcinogenic properties. BUT, these benefits only occur with consumption in moderation.
Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.