IT'S TIME TO WINE! is a blog for those of us who enjoy the lighter side of life and the fun side of wine, "For over a bottle of wine, many friends are made." So jump on in and share your favorite wine varietal, wine story, wine trivia or cartoon because life is just to short not to wine!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Warding off the Red Wine Headache

I have a lot of people ask me why red wine gives them a headache. My first response is to tell them that they are either drinking cheap wine, or drinking way to much cheap wine. This is commonly referred to as a HANGOVER.

However, there are some people who,despite drinking a quality red wine above the $15 mark still suffer from headaches and/or flushed skin.  Although there are many theories as to why this happens, there are no solid  answers.
Luckily, there are preventative measures  you can take without giving up your cup of red nectar, (providing you aren't drinking cheap wine.)
Try drinking a cup of black tea before you drink the wine. If you will be drinking over the course of an evening, have another cup or two of black tea during the evening. Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in black tea, significantly inhibits the headache/flush response (which is an inflammatory effect from histamines), according to Tareq Khan, M.D., a pain expert with St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Or if the problem you suffer from is bloating due to alcohol's dehydrating and water retention effects, try munching on magnesium-rich snacks like dark chocolate and unsalted nuts, according to Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Viva la Screw Cap!

As late as the mid-17th century, the French wine makers did not use corks. Instead, they used oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles.
Sure makes the screw cap sound a bit more attractive, doesn't it?!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Hallowine!

Some people have Halloween parties but in our neighborhood we enjoy an adult version of Trick or Treat we call '”Trick or Drink”
Once the kiddies are safely off the street, a few of us more adventurous adults don our costumes, grab our 'hallo wine' glasses and travel from house to house, demanding “Trick or Drink!”
As we wind our way down the street we gather others of our kind and eventually converge upon the home of the couple who,unfortunately, could not find a sitter for their children. It's really quite fun and being that it's Halloween there's always a lot of candy available to pair with our wine.
Here are some suggestions of wines to have on hand for the “Trick or Drinkers” in your neighborhood, or if you should find yourself stuck at home, pairings to treat yourself with while you hand out candy or rifle through your little goblin's sack of goodies after he or she has finally passed out from a sugar induced high.
       Of course we all know that chocolate is ghoulishly delicious and appropriate to eat with just about any red wine, but if you should find a bit of the rare 'white' chocolate variety in the bounty, save it for an Australian Shiraz! It is an amazing food pairing and is a surprisingly sinful combination even if you are under the assumtion that you don't care for white chocolate or Shiraz. Try it anyways. It's the perfect example of how food and wine change one another to bring out the best in both.

Vanilla flavored candies such as candy corn and popcorn balls are scrumptious with a creamy Chardonnay, Semillon or a sweet Riesling.

Do you love to sink your fangs into a gooey juicy Caramel Apple? Try matching the toasty flavor of the butterscotch and caramel with a Gewurztraminer or, if you prefer bringing the apple taste to the forefront for your tasting pleasure, sip a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc while you munch.

Feeling a little nutty after handing out candy for hours and and then chasing your little berzerker around the house? Put your feet up and dig down into the bowl. Unwrap yourself a Babe Ruth , Snickers, Payday or other nutty bar and pop a bottle of sweet Moscato to enhance those nutty flavors while you wait for those Trick or Drinkers to bang on your door!

Happy Hallowine everyone!