Going to the dentist. Taking a flight. Going on a first date. Having no kleenex/soup in the house.
All things that SUCK when you are sick.
That’s right. Yours truly has come down with a cold. And considering the subject of this blog, I must add to the above list: drinking wine.
Just like going out for a nice meal when you are sick, drinking a nice bottle of wine when you have a cold is such a waste. It just takes all the enjoyment out of it. And yet, some research shows that moderate consumption (8-14 glasses per week) of wine, particularly red wine, may help prevent the common cold.
Now when I first read these articles’ claims, I pshawed*. First of all, that seems pretty high for a “moderate” weekly consumption. And second of all, I drank wine all week and look what good it did me! However, after a bit of thought, I realized that 8-14 glasses is likely exactly where my weekly consumption is at so I clearly need to stop being so judgmental. And secondly, I had a glass (or two) of red wine every night this week until last night, which is when the sinus explosion hit me. Maybe this research is onto something and I should be increasing my red wine intake.
So my friends, learn from my errant ways and go ahead and drink that second glass of immune-boosting red wine tonight. Otherwise soon you may be the one sitting at home in sweatpants with a blanket and a box of kleenex at 8 o’clock on a Saturday night.
* Although Google Chrome disagrees, “pshaw” is actually a word, thank you very much. The fact that the Oxford Dictionary considers it dated makes me think I maybe read too much Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie as a child.
Luckily, I drank a couple of nice bottles before getting sick (over the course of the last week, not one right after the other in the name of prevention), so I at least have something to report this week. They may or may not have played a pivotal role in me making it through the work week before this cold hit.
- Gérard Bertrand La Clape 2011
This wine was the perfect way to start a weekend. This Coteaux de Languedoc from the south of France boasts a lovely blend of syrah (aka shiraz), carignan and mourvèdre (one of my favourite varietals, FYI, and a key component of Côtes du Rhône wines). Medium ruby red in colour, there is definitely a hint of garnet, which is sometimes a sign of age (how was 2011 already 4 years ago??). On the nose, it’s quite fragrant, showing dark fruit, floral notes and spices.
The structure of this wine is really nice and quite balanced: medium bodied, medium tannins, medium acidity. On the palate, same dark fruit, with cedar, black pepper and those spices again (Kim Marcus describes them as “savory herb flavors”).
We paired this with some leftover Moroccan beef stew and the pairing was surprisingly fantastic. I wasn’t sure how the Moroccan spices would work with the wine, but they actually brought out its fruit flavours, which was delicious.
There aren’t too many bottles of this left in Ontario (we’re pretty much out in Ottawa – I bought this bottle a couple of months ago). So check stocks at the LCBO nearest you, and maybe grab me a bottle (Mom?). This wine is also available at the SAQ for those of you in Quebec.
- Viña Bujanda Rioja Reserva 2010
It was pretty dark in the restaurant, but the wine’s colour seemed dark ruby to me, and smelled of dark fruit (by this I mean plum, blackberry, blueberry, black currant, etc.), cedar, tobacco and sweet spice. This is the type of wine aroma that makes me swoon a little. This particular rioja spent 20 months in oak so that really brings out the last three aromas.
On the palate, this rioja was very dry, but with juicy tannins. There was dark fruit here too, specifically blackberry and red currant, and it had a loooooong finish.
Though we had it with the typical German sausage dish pictured above, I found it went really nicely with the balsamic/oil the restaurant served with their sourdough bread.
Keep well, friends. Keep taking your vitamins and a healthy dose of red!