Of the countless food and wine pairings, perhaps one of the most unfortunate is a salad with vinaigrette dressing. As we enjoy the taste of the dressing, our taste buds adapt to the sourness of the vinaigrette. This enables us to only detect sourness in the foods we eat next that’s is higher in sourness than that of the dressing. Most wines depend on a precarious balance between sweet and sour. Once our buds have adapted to the sourness of the vinaigrette, we are able to only taste the sweetness (none of the sour flavors) in the wine. The wine is perceived as being much sweeter than it really is.

Another foe of wine is the jalapeño pepper — as is the Habanero. For the most part, all chiles pretty much trample on most wines. There is an exception, however. Serve up the chiles with a bottle of fresh, sweet, fruit-filled wine that will be the perfect counterpart to the heat of the chile peppers. (A Riesling, perhaps?)

Wine really can remove wine stains. An unfortunate red wine stain on your light colored carpet or on your favorite pastel table cloth can be treated immediately by pouring white wine onto the wet spot. (The white wine dilutes the red color, so now you just have to remove a pink stain!) The best way to do that is to blot the area with a dry sponge, then sprinkle it with salt. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum up both the salt and the remaining stain. (Have a glass of wine while you wait.)

Though all types of alcohol (consumed in moderation) seem to lend protection against heart disease, some research suggests wine drinkers enjoy additional benefits. The key is the antioxidants that ride on the backs of the grapes!

Researchers consider a serving of wine to be 5 ounces, compared to 12 ounces for most beers, and 1-1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Which is healthier, white or red wine? Most believe red is, but not all agree.

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Tracie Burket
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