Thursday, September 15, 2011

Responsible Indulgence: Organic Red Wine

Fin approves as well!
"Organic wines are invariably fresh and crisp and aromatic and unique to each spot and vivacious at best. They are not over-exacted nor coerced into a preconceived taste mold. They are all about the vineyard." -Arnold Waldstein

I am an avid wine drinker but would no means call myself a connoisseur. Sticking to the cheap but yummy side, my motto is if it tastes good and doesn't cost a fortune, pour me a glass. Don't get me wrong, I have a true appreciation for an aged, prized bottle of vino just like the next gal, but my budget does not allow for this on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis so I must compromise.
My wine palette fluctuates between red and white varietals and typically follows the Florida seasons. It is hard to enjoy a glass of heavy red on a 95 degree day in the sun just as it is hard to sip a crisp glass of white on a chilly evening by a campfire. I know wine is meant to be paired with food not weather but there are exceptions. Although it is still quite warm outside, Fall is in the air and therefore I am currently craving red.
Let's not kid ourselves here: Wine is alcohol, and alcohol is a toxin which has to be broken down in your system just like any other free radical. Too much consumption taxes your immune system and affects other important bodily functions. Now that I have that out there I would like to announce that I LOVE WINE. My overall lifestyle is insanely respectful to my body and knowing that I will continue to drink wine on a regular basis and not feel guilty for doing so. There are exceptions, i.e. sickness, pregnancy and breast-feeding where this will not be the case.
I do my best to choose an organic option for what I like to call my "responsible indulgence" but not all organic wines taste good. My current wine of choice is Pure Red, by Badger Mountain. It is light and flavorful, great for a daily glass paired with just about anything. I like that it comes in an eco-friendly box (a turn off to some, a plus to me) and is reasonably priced. One box is said to contain four bottles (another plus).
While there is no question that organic in any living sense is just plain better, organic wines are produced sans pesticides, in concert with the land from which the grapes are grown. Any time a consumable product is grown in connection with it's microclimate it becomes healthier for us, and in turn healthier for our environment. Almost all organic wines have a higher antioxidant content, the reason for which wine is considered "good for health in moderation." Organically cultivated wine tends to contain less sulfites (sulfur dioxide), an ingredient some people have an allergic reaction to. Beware that just because a wine is labeled organic does not mean "sulfite-free". Sulfites should only have a negative affect on those that are sensitive to them and can cause respiratory distress, so you will know if you fall into this category. A common myth is that sulfites also cause a nasty day after headache aka-the wine hangover. There are two possible reasons for a splitting headache the day after neither of which are sulfites. One is that you just plain drank too much and you are dehydrated. The other is due to the tannins and histamines which both come from the skin of the grape.
So next time you reach for a bottle, try to make it organic. Your body and Mother Nature will thank you. I am off to pour myself a glass!

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