Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Healthy New Year, Everyone!

       Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet?  Ours usually include health and various ways to maintain it.  Two Carmel Valley establishments are helping us do that.
     Just last month,  Georis Winery put on a seminar on the health benefits of wine and olive oil.  The two presenters were Damien Georis, the winemaker for Georis Winery, and Dr. Stephen Brabeck, a local heart specialist who recently opened an olive oil store right across the street from Georis called Quail and Olive. 
     The new "Clock Room" at the Corkscrew Restaurant was the setting for the tasting and lecture.  We each had a place setting with three wine glasses for red wine tasting and six small plastic cups for olive oil and vinegar tasting.  We were given a packet of information on the history of wine and olive oil production and the health effects of each and there were pieces of Granny Smith apples and bread for palette clearing.  The presentation was informative and entertaining. 
     Here are a few tidbits we learned:
-Both grapes and olives were in cultivation beginning anywhere from 4000 to 6000 B.C.
-The Mediterranean Diet continues to be associated with heart health; both wine and olive oil are players in that diet.
-Moderate wine consumption--2 glasses (5 ounces each) a day for men, one for women--is what may provide some heart health benefits.
 -Resveratrol in wine, red wine especially, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which are supposed to be good for our hearts.  Tannins are also supposed to have heart protective qualities.
-Olive oil is also good as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
-Olive oil is best and healthiest if it is extra virgin olive oil and is  "fresh, properly milled and stored" and consumed within six months of harvest.

     Some of the tasting highlights were:
*2010 Georis Estate "La Chapelle", a medium bodied fruity Bordeaux blend;
*Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a good household olive oil, with the Spanish olives grown and milled right here in California;
*Plum Basil Balsamic Vinegar, great in salads;
*Pinot Noir bread baked right at the Corkscrew Restaurant, and made with the dried grape skins and seeds from the Georis grapes-- unique and delish!
     SO, consider visiting the Georis Wine Tasting venue and its across-the-street neighbor, the Quail and Olive.  Both have clubs you can join, and both can ship their products.
 Here's wishing all of you a tasty and healthy 2014!

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