Why A Glass Of Wine Should Be At Your Dinner Party (And Five Of Our Faves!)

By   |   October 4, 2016   |   Fitness

Hey Divas. We’re pretty certain we don’t have to give you healthy reasons to drink wine on this GET FIT Tuesday, but we are!

The health benefits that come from moderate wine consumption, defined by the American Heart Association, include that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers. Wine drinking reduces heart-attack risks and lowers risk of heart disease and stroke. It can even cut the risks of cataracts. It also helps lower your stress level and cortisol surging through your body, which can often appear as belly fat as you age.

Of course, the key is moderation – one to two four ounce glasses daily is about right. And the bet place to modify your consumption is at a great dinner party –┬áevery hostess loves a dinner guest who brings along a great bottle of wine that you can share (and spread the calorie wealth!).

Here are some handy tips that will help usher you into the “guest of honor” seat!
1. Pick something YOU like to drink. Don’t worry about how the aromas of the wine match the flavors of the food. If you like it, at least one person will be happy! Trust your taste buds, not a suggestion from a wine critic or wine shop staffer. Taste it before you buy it!

2. Match the body (heaviness) of the wine with the body of the food. Having a pot roast with fall root vegetables? You need a big bold red. Having a pasta primavera? You need a fresh, fruity white.

3. If you’re picking a wine to be served with dessert, the wine should be a little less sweet than the dessert.

4. When in doubt, pick a sparkling wine. Everyone whoops when they hear corks popping! What a festive way to start the party.

5. Or pick a rose’. A rose’ will go with everything!

How to select a wine to bring along as a gift:
1. Don’t expect the host/hostess to open and serve your wine right away. What you bring might not match what they’re planning to serve.

2. Buy something YOU like. Your experience means much more than a wine shop tasting notes. Pick your favorite red wine or white wine and include a note about why it’s special to you.

3. A high price doesn’t always equal a delicious wine. You can find some incredible wines for under $25.

4. In a rush? Most wine shops or liquor stores have inexpensive, but elegant wine bags and ribbons…and sometimes for free, if you ask sweetly.

5. You can never have too many wine openers! Tie a wine key/waiter’s friend to the bottle, but make sure you get a double-hinged version. Any wine professional will know what you mean if you ask for a double-hinged wine key or ┬áDouble-Hinged Corkscrew. Usually about $7, though Trader Joe’s sells them for $1.99!

6. Forget the corkscrew! Buy a screw-top bottle. Some of the world’s best wines now come with screw-tops. Savvy wine drinkers know a screw-top does not mean poor quality or low price.

Here are five┬áwines that’ll be a hit at any dinner party!
$10: Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray $9.99 from Loire Valley, France. Vouvray is a semi-sweet white wine made from Chenin Blanc grapes of the Loire Valley in France. A concentration of rich aromas with a slight honey taste.

$15: Gruet Brut $14.99, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Crisp, sharp bubbles that clean your palette and make any meal feel like a festive occasion. Vibrant and fresh, with creamy citrus, vanilla and spiced almond flavors.

$20:┬áChateau Miraval Rose┬á$20.99, from Provence, France.┬áAnytime you find yourself uncertain what wine to pair with a particular food, pick a dry rose’, especially one from Provence, France. The Chateau Miraval comes from the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt winery.┬áPeach and mango aromas that give way to a stony, racy edged core of white cherry and strawberry flavors.

$25:┬áCVNE Rioja Reserva┬á$26.99, from Rioja, Spain.┬áLighter bodied, with a ┬áred cherry flavor and a touch of fennel. Soft; with sweet tannins. “Reserva” means it was aged for three years; two years in oak, one year in bottle.

$30:┬áCloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc┬á$27.99, from Marlborough, New Zealand.┬áSauvignon Blanc, from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, with grassy, grapefruit flavors. One of the world’s most appreciated wines, the quintessential balance of acidity and fresh fruit.

Want to learn more about wine? Wes Narron is the Chief Wine Ambassador of City Wine Tours, which hosts weekend wine tasting tours in several NYC and Boston neighborhoods. Check them out at citywinetours.com.

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