A Sommelier's wine secrets
There’s just something inviting about a Bordeaux blend. Maybe it’s the rich, full-bodied, hefty sensation of blackberry and black cherry flavors with notes of spices, chocolate and vanilla. It might be the way they complement dishes that contain game, venison or pheasant. There’s no doubt that a Bordeaux blend is the classic example of a great wine. A true French Bordeaux blend requires the combination of two or more specific grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Gros Verdot, Petite Verdot and St. Macaire. There is also such a thing as a white Bordeaux blend which contains Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.
Here in the United States, we have historically referred to such Bordeaux blends as “Meritage,” providing they meet certain varietal requirements. In the late 1980’s, a few American (Californian) vintners coined the “Meritage” name to circumvent varietal labeling requirements and increase market share. The name itself was actually a blend of two words, Merit and Heritage. Meritage quickly became associated with an exceptional, high quality blended wine and not your generic, everyday, red table wine.
So, if you’re shuffling through the wine store seeking out a deep, rich wine, the odds are pretty good that a Meritage, or even better, a French Bordeaux will not only meet, but
When I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, I was astounded by the numerous uses of wine for “medicinal purposes.” It seemed every household had its secret stash of wine for the occasional medical emergency. Interestingly enough, these emergencies occurred precisely around the end of the day, in close proximity to dinner. I don’t know why this was such a surprise, for I knew that wine had been used for therapeutic remedies for thousands of years. Specifically, in 3000 B.C., the Sumerians consumed wine and used medications made with wine for medicinal purposes. Homer’s Iliad refers to wine being administered to wounded soldiers for wound dressings, as a cooling agent for fevers, and imbibed for use as a purgative and diuretic (JAMA, 1977). In seventeenth-century England, wine was used as a tonic for preventing illness and as an important component of therapeutic remedies to provoke vomiting, sneezing and to clear imbalances in the upper body (Tree, 27). In colonial America, wine was used to cure colic, worms and green sickness (A. Johns, 1947). My personal favorite is for wine infused with sage as a cure for married women suffering from “melancholy.” Did they prescribe 750 mls taken before your husband gets home for that malady? I’ll have to remember wine for its purgative properties the next time I hear about the newly found wonders of Resveratrol.