To refresh your memory, resveratrol is a chemical that can slow down and sometimes even prevent cell damage caused by molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can cause life-altering damage in the form of heart disease, various cancers, and even infertility.

Resveratrol is found in many foods (mostly fruits such as grapes, raspberries, blueberries, apples and pomegranates), as well as in green tea, peanuts and dark chocolate. The richest source remains, however, red wine. The darker the wine, the richer it is in antioxidants and resveratrol.

The inclusion of resveratrol-rich items in your diet also benefits your body’s over-all health by aiding in the reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol, prevention of blood clots and damage to blood vessels, as well as arresting the inflammation which can lead to cardiac disease.

Benefits that are not so well-known include protection against breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. In addition it works to inhibit obesity, diabetes and dementia in both genders. Perhaps the newest findings recently released point out that drinking resveratrol-rich red wine increases fertility in both sexes. Additionally, women who chose to drink red and/or white wine stand an increased chance of conceiving sooner than those who chose beer, spirits, or preferred no alcohol of any kind.

For those of us who reach for anything electronic in lieu of reaching for the running shoes, your favorite Wine of the Month Club happily reports recent studies at the University of Alberta suggest that enjoying just one glass of red wine may have the same effect on our bodies as a whole hour at the gym. Cheers!!

All wines (in moderation) offer health benefits. However, most studies target red wines, as they are made with the skins intact. The bulk of resveratrol and antioxidants are found in the skins.   

RIO ALTO — RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON-SYRAH  (Vintage 2013, Red) Country: Chile  Region: Aconcagua Valley  Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah, Estate Bottled 

Ever since missionaries introduced vines and wine-making in Chile in the mid-sixteenth century, the industry has flourished. The modern wine industry, however, began in 1851, when grapes and methods of viticulture and viniculture were imported from Bordeaux, France. Luckily, this took place immediately before phylloxera devastated the vineyards of France; thus, Chilean vines have never been infected. Chile has escaped the devastation of mildew and lice, as well, due to its geographical traits.

The Aconcagua Valley, northeast of Santiago, Chile’s capital, is named after the highest peak in the Andes, Mt. Aconcagua. Rich in winemaking history, XVII century colonists first introduced “hacienda architecture” there. The area produces pronounced exotic wine flavors, compliments of the pure Andean water, stable climate, clear skies and low risk of frost, among other ideal grape-growing conditions.

This particular selection is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Syrah – all Estate fruit, resulting in a deep ruby red nectar. It is rich and full-bodied with flavors of red, ripe fruits — blueberry, blackberry, juicy plums and cassis. Superb finish with round, silky tannins makes it extraordinarily pleasurable. The wine is ready to enjoy now. Serve at room temperature with roast beef, lamb chops, braised pork loin and aged cheeses.

Rio Alto Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah:

CABERNET SAUVIGNON GRAPES — The dominant grape in Bordeaux, it is big in Chile, and is widely planted in California. The fruit is small, dark, thick skinned; late-maturing and needs warmth to prosper. It makes wines that are high in tannin, and medium to full bodied. The aroma and flavor is described as black currant or cassis.

SYRAH GRAPES — Blessed with aromas of fresh black and blue fruits, the Syrah grape makes a nectar that’s big, rich and tannic — a virtual fruit showcase in a bottle. Scholars believe this fruit dates back to 600 BC.

SCARLET OF PARIS — ROSÉ (Vintage 2015, Red) Country: France  Region: Vin de France  Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault & Muscat

This delicate salmon pink wine is a blend of mostly Grenache grapes, assisted by Cinsault and Muscat, all grown in the South of France in vineyards with a clay and limestone soil. The grapes are machine harvested and brought to the winery to be de-stemmed to avoid any harsh vegetal flavors coming from the stalks. The juice is then cooled to allow a gentle and short period of color extraction. The alcoholic fermentation then takes place in tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is first stabilized, then filtered and bottled.

On the nose, there is a very expressive bouquet revealing aromas of fresh, small red berries. On the palate, it is fruity and smooth, extraordinary pleasant and well-balanced.

It is ready to enjoy right now, and will not benefit from further aging. Serve chilled (optimum temperature is 50°F). Drink with servings of deli meats, soups, grilled fresh fish, burgers, brats and sausages.

Scarlet of Paris Rosé:

GRENACHE — Used to make wines that are rich, warm and alcoholic. Grenache grapes are often-times components of blended recipes, as in this month’s selection, which uses the black variety of this red fruit.

CINSAULT — A prolific growing red, it makes robust, brilliantly-colored wines. At its best when a part of a blend; not usually found as a single-ingredient wine.

MUSCAT A family name for numerous related varieties, sub-varieties and localized clones of the same variety, all of which have a distinctive musky aroma and a pronounced grape-like flavor. The resulting wines range from dry to sweet, still to sparkling. Many are fortified. Grenache and Cinsault grapes are often paired, either singularly or together, with most Muscat family members.

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Tracie Burket
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