Tag Archives: wine

How to Pair Chocolate With Wine

You’re planning a romantic evening for you and your honey, and you want to invite two of your best friends – food and wine. You need to get the right balance though. After all, you don’t want to wake up the next morning with a horrible hangover and a pooch. Which wine would go best with which chocolate? You need to investigate properly. You’ve decided to buy a huge box of Russell Stover assorted chocolates. The dark one might go well with the Cabernet, but you need to be sure. Just one more bite, a little more chocolate, and a little more wine. You wake up the next day surrounded by chocolate wrappers and an empty wine bottle.

Sure, experimentation is a great way to find the best wine and chocolate combinations, but it may not be the best idea to attempt to get it all figured out in one night. If you are a novice to the wine and chocolate marriage, it may be a good idea to give yourself a little bit of a starting point before taking on.

Chocolate and wine

The Chocolate Should Not Be Sweeter than the Wine You Pair It With
If you’re planning to pair a syrah or merlot with your chocolate, the wine should be as sweet as the chocolate. You’ll need to do an advanced taste test, but this shouldn’t be too much of a pain. If the wine is not as sweet as the chocolate, the wine will taste bitter, and you don’t want that.

Purchase Quality Chocolate
When pairing with wine, your chocolate should be of impeccable quality. No generic chocolate bars for this. Go for the premium ones instead. They cost more, but they’re worth it.

Pair According to the Darkness of the Chocolate
The general rule is that the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine, so a dark chocolate calls for red. If you are pairing with a white wine, an intense and fruity variety is the best match for the bittersweet and occasional acidic taste of chocolate.

Look for Wine with Smooth Tannins
Smooth wine goes with smooth chocolate. When it comes to pairing wine with chocolate, soft, rounded tannins work best.

Full-bodied Wines Go with Intense Chocolate
If ganache brownies are on the menu, make sure you have a wine that can stand up to them.

Go From Light to Dark
Obey the rules of wine-tasting by starting with the light stuff and intensifying the experience gradually. Begin your odyssey on a light note with white and milk chocolate, moving gradually to a medium intensity. End with the darkest and most bitter of chocolates, and matching your wines in ascending order of darkness and weight.

White chocolate and wine

White Chocolate
When it comes to white chocolate you want a wine that will pick up more buttery tones of the confection. Best bets include Chardonnay, Sherry, Muscat, or Moscato d’Asti.

Milk Chocolate
Dessert wines, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Reisling, Muscat and Pinot noir are all great matches for milk chocolate, as is champagne. Bubbly provides a crisp dry contrast for the creaminess of the milk chocolate, as the fruitiness of red wines may be cancelled out by high sugar levels, leaving the wine tasting bitter.

Dark Chocolate (50-70%)
Intense chocolate calls for intense wine. Savignon, Cabernet, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir are all good complements for dark chocolate and a Chianti matches well with a chocolate with a 65% content of cocoa.

Bittersweet Chocolate (70%-100%)
Chocolate gourmands consider bittersweet chocolate the creme de la creme, so you need a wine that can take on the range of flavor. Think Beaujolais, Shiraz, Bordeaux, Orange Muscat, and Zinfandel for the bitter stuff. Also, feel free to try a sparkling wine or champagne with a variety of chocolates. Dessert wines are also generally well suited to chocolate.

How did your wine-and-chocolate pairing go? Let us know once you’ve hit the sweet spot – we’d love to hear all about it!

Wine and Other Heart Healthy Foods And Beverages

In Greek history, wine has always played a major role in sparking profound dialogue and wild sex. From the orgiastic Dionysian rituals to the philosophical discussions between Plato and Socrates, wine was just as openly exchanged as thoughts and bodily fluids. Indeed, the connection between wine, intense conversation, and physical pleasure seems to have held up through the years and cultures, but, in comparison to its history, the connection between wine and heart health is a rather new discovery.

In the past years, researcher have looked at foods and supplements to analyze the ideal components of a heart-healthy diet. Here are some heart healthy foods and beverages, wine included, that made the list.

Red Wine
Red Wine and Heart Health
Studies show that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers, with further studies showing that red wine may actually offer extra health benefits. It contains flavonoids and resveratrol, which can limit hardening of the arteries.
In addition, according to the American Heart Association, one to two alcoholic drinks per day has been shown to increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, while lowering “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and may also reduce instances of blood clots.

Chocolate and Heart Health
The discovery that dark chocolate and cocoa are good for the heart is truly revelatory. Chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavanoids which keep blood vessels healthy and aids them in their ability to expand.

Those of who prefer white chocolate are less fortunate. While one study showed that eating dark chocolate daily reduced blood pressure and reduced LDL, no such benefits were found as a result of eating the white variety.

Fish Oil and Heart Health
Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help fight heart disease. According to the AHA, the best aquatic candidates for a healthy heart include lake trout, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

Alice Lichtenstein, DSc and professor of nutrition science and policy, says that she has reviewed studies crediting fish oil with decreased instances of cardiovascular disease, concluding that those who eat more than two servings per week are at a lower risk level.

Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Certain foods contain plant sterols that are shown to decrease bad cholesterol. These include cholesterol lowering margarine, chocolate bars, yogurt, and some orange juices. However, although these products have been shown to lower cholesterol, they should be used in moderation as part of a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat.

Veggies
Fruits and Vegetables and Heart Health
Lichtenstein says, “We’ve been very disappointed with supplements in general, especially with respect to cardiovascular disease.” She adds, “All the major vitamin E intervention studies have shown no significant effects.”

The solution? More fruits and veggies! Judith Levine, RD, MS advises eating ” a rainbow of fruits and veggies, incorporating reds, blues, greens, and orange/yellows for a well-balanced heart healthy diet.

What do you eat to keep your heart healthy? Let us know what tops your list of heart-healthy indulgences!

Your Daily Red

Woman drinking red wine

Is there anything behind the belief that the type of alcohol you choose is indicative of your personality?  Drinking wine is often referred to as the way classy people get wasted.  It is the so-called “pedigree” of alcohols.

Maybe  you just don’t think you’re the “wine type.”  You don’t know anything about Hemingway or Beckett. Your pjs are made of flannel, not silk. You don’t own a variety of good cheeses and you’re not fluent in French. You still pepper your speech with the word “like.” Maybe you’re more the green tea type, or the beer type, or even just the milk and cookies type.  Definitely not the wine type.

However, in recent years, there is a new characteristic assigned to wine drinkers, and that is ‘healthy’.  So, if you consider yourself the “healthy type,”  a nightly glass of wine may not be such an unthinkable option for you.  Perhaps, if you have a look at the benefits of wine you will revise your opinion.

Good for Your Memory
Research shows that women in their 70s who drank wine every day scored better on memory tests than those who did not.  Wine reduces the inflammation of blood vessels and prevents blood clots linked to heart problems and loss of cognitive skills.  Red wine and alcohol, in general, can also help unclog arteries by raising good cholesterol.

Good for Your Waistline
If you drink wine daily, there is a chance you have lower abdominal fat and a slimmer waist than liquor drinkers and a body mass lower than those who drink wine less regularly, studies say.  Alcohol has been credited with the ability to keep your body burning calories for 90 minutes after drinking a glass.

Good for your Immune System
A British study showed that people who drank a glass of wine daily reduced their risk of contracting a bacteria that causes gastritis, stomach cancer, and ulcers by 11%.  A Spanish study found that a half a glass can present food poisoning, like salmonella.

Good for Your Ovaries
Australian research found that the daily glass of vino can lower the risk of ovarian cancer by 50%.  Scientists credit the antioxidants in the wine the ability to prevent cancer. A separate study done by the University of Michigan, found a red wine compound was able to kill cells from ovarian cancer when combined in a test tube.

Good for Your Bones
Wine has been shown to increase bone mass in female wine drinkers by boosting estrogen levels and slowing the deterioration of bones.

Good for Your Blood Sugar Level
Results of a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, women who drink a glass of red each day are 40% less likely to develop type two diabetes than those who don’t.  Researchers hypothesize that this is a result of wine’s ability to reduce resistance to insulin.

Thinking about changing your type?  Don’t worry.  There is no proven link between drinking a glass of wine daily and the ability to look more beautiful. (Not as of yet, at least.)  However, some of the other side effects have been supported and seem much more attractive.  It can be your little secret.

Wine’s Relaxing Properties

Woman drinking wine

Man’s love affair with wine goes way back. In the 1700’s,  Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying, “The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation.  The Universe is too full of stars.”

Although, other beverages are celebrated,  it seems that wine has a meaningfulness  that other drinks don’t.  Wine is a drink that turns an evening into an occasion and is also the drink of passion and philosophical conversation.

Some attribute the relaxing power of wine to its alcohol content.  Indeed many people believe that wine has just the right amount of alcohol to loosen our tongues without the more undesirable effects of stronger alcoholic products, and this is true to a point.  The alcohol content of wine is indeed a bit lower than that of beer and other liquors,” just the right amount to make you tipsy.”  But let’s consider some other causes.

Social Effects
You’re at a party, you don’t know to many people, you’re still a little wound up from a busy day and you’re  feeling sort of invisible. You go to the bar and get yourself a glass of wine.  About halfway through the glass, you begin to perk up.  You start checking out the people at the party.  That guy in the glasses is pretty cute.  You blush. He walks over.  You can fill in the rest.  What happened? What is in this miraculous potion and how did it make my night 10x better?

Wine works in part as a muscle  relaxant.  As the facial muscles loosen, our pupils dilate, causing us to react positively, especially to a partner.  Apparently, not only do dilated pupils show a positive response in someone, they  also make them more appealing to look at.  (Dilated pupils, who would have thought it?) According to a study by the University of Bristol, sober people rated wine drinkers before and after a drinking.   The results showed that people’s looks seem to improve after they consume the grape liquid. The ratings were higher for the post wine drinkers. The natural blush that comes with wine may increase the attractiveness  factor.  But, before you guzzle the whole bottle, hoping to turn into Megan Fox, note that researchers do warn that more than one glass causes the opposite effect, so keep it down to one!

The Great Unwind
Let’s try another scenario.  Tensions are high at work.  Deadlines are mounting and the pressure is on.  By the time you get home, you are abuzz with nervous energy.  You need to take your mind off work or you fear you are headed for a sleepless night.  A sleepless night equals an unproductive day.  Just the thought of not being able to sleep adds to your stress.  You go for the Moscato.  Minutes later, you are miles away.  You can handle it whatever they throw at you.  Piece of cake.  You have it all figured out.  You will sleep tonight.

Wine calms your nervous and has positive effect on your sleep, if you make sure not to drink it too close to bedtime or to overdo it. David L. Katz of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center says, “One glass of wine at dinner is apt to have a calming effect without impairing sleep.” But drinking more can affect your metabolism, so net affect  can be negative if the drinking occurs too close to bedtime.

The Melatonin Factor (red wine only)
Did you know that grape skins, which are removed in making white wine, are full of melatonin?  You may have heard of melatonin being used as a healthy alternative to sleeping pills.  Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our body clocks and tells us when to go to bed.  According to researcher Dr. Marcello Iriti, the melatonin content in wine could help keep out circadian rhythms in check. The most melatonin enriched wines include Merlot, Cabernet and Chianti.

So, here’s to you!  But keep it classy!  One glass will do the trick!

Top Tips for Choosing Summer Wines

Couple having wine in a beach

As our menus change to suit the warmer weather, so do our wines! Giving up the bold, dry wines of winter can be difficult, but follow these steps to impress your guests this summer with the perfect warm weather beverages.

Keep it Light
Full bodied wines are great for warming you up when it’s cold outside, but for summer, you’re going to want to stick with lighter, crisp wines. A refreshing Sauvignon Blanc or bright Riesling is perfect choices for summer entertaining. While red wines are typically thought of as heavier, there are plenty of well-balanced reds that are more warm weather appropriate.

Words to look for: crisp, light, bright, balanced (for reds)

Plan Your Menu
Pairing your wines with your summer menu is essential.  If your menu includes something like a fresh salad with grilled salmon, a refreshing white wine with notes of citrus would pair well, but a heavy wine can overpower the dish. Don’t let your cooking get washed out by wine that doesn’t complement your hard work!

Tip: Do your research, and ask the experts! There is no shame in a quick google search while you are making your grocery list to make sure that you are choosing the right pairings. It is also a good idea to ask the experts who are selling the wine what they would recommend. They, at the very least, can point you in the right direction, and they usually have tons of unique recommendations that will make you look like a wine connoisseur!

Put It on Ice
Choosing wines that are meant to be served cold is a no brainer for summer. Many sweet, white wines are traditionally served chilled, and make a perfect, refreshing summer drink that you can enjoy on a hot day.

Try this: instead of storing chilled wine in the fridge at a dinner party, pull out some ice buckets to keep on the table so everyone can enjoy a chilled glass or two throughout the party!

Go Fruity
Not a fan of white wine? It can be hard for you in the summertime when everyone is going for the traditionally lighter whites, but don’t worry! Summer is also a time for fruit forward red wine, which tends to be lighter, sweeter, and great for this time of year!

Words to look for: fruity, ripe, smooth, fresh

Don’t Forget the Wine Cocktails!
An easy way to incorporate wine into your menu in the summer heat is serving wine cocktails. Who can resist a colorful, fruity sangria? The best part is, wine cocktails can be made out of red, white, or even sparkling wines, so whatever your taste, you are going to be able to make a concoction that’s perfect for you!

Tip: Try updating a traditional drink, like sangria, by adding a new twist. Having a picnic? Put a twist on a typical sangria and bring along a watermelon, white wine version. It is refreshing, and allows you to put your own spin on something everyone will love!

 

Spring Wine Pairings

As spring approaches, many people tend to prepare fresh, light meals over the heavy winter comfort foods. If you think your lighter fare is limited to white wines, think again. There are plenty of spring foods that pair incredibly with a wide range of wines. Below, check out some of our favorite spring wine pairings.

Fruits and wine

Fresh Fruit
Pairing fresh fruit with wine might seem a bit difficult at first due to the inherent sweetness of fruit, but it can be done. Whether you’re serving fresh fruit on its own simply sliced, or incorporating it into a dessert like a strawberry tart, there is a wine that you can pair it with. The most general rule about pairing wine and fresh fruit is to pick a wine that is even sweeter than the fruit you plan to eat. Picking a wine that is sweeter than the fruit you’re serving ensures that the sweetness of the wine won’t be lost in the fruit and will still be able to shine. Another option to consider are wines that have floral notes, as these tend to become more pronounced when paired with fruit. Try an effervescent Moscato, a sweet Riesling or a Gewurztraminer with notes of rose. If you want a little bit more bubble, choose a sparkling wine, like Lambrusco or Schiava.

Honey baked ham

Honey-Baked Ham
Easter falls on March 27th this year and there’s a good chance your family is going to purchase a honey-baked ham, or that you will prepare your own honey-baked ham. Honey-baked ham is both sweet and deliciously fatty, so you need a wine that has enough acid and sweetness to cut through the fat. Pinot Noir is a perfect pairing for honey-baked ham because it features sweet fruits, like luscious cherries. Another wine that pairs well with honey-baked ham is a Rose that doesn’t have too high of an acidity and that also does not have strong flavors of oak.

Salad and wine

Leafy Greens
Salads and other green vegetables are a huge part of spring menus and they do require a bit of thought when it comes to wine pairing. Acidity is important when picking a wine to pair with a salad; you want the wine to have more acidity than the salad you are serving so that the wine doesn’t taste flat. Generally, white wines are a better option than red when pairing with salads. Many spring salads include greens like kale, which has a bitter taste, so you want to avoid pairing a kale-based salad with a red wine. However, there is an exception: If you are serving a steak salad, a light red wine would be an excellent pairing. Wines that feature “green” notes like bell pepper work perfectly with leafy greens. Consider a Sauvignon Blanc, Lambrusco or Verdejo wine to serve with your fresh spring salad.

Lamb and wine

Lamb
Lamb is another popular meat for spring dishes and it happens to be one of the most wine-friendly meats there is. Choosing your wine pairing for lamb ultimately depends upon the type of seasonings you use or the dishes you make. For instance, an Irish stew featuring lamb, root vegetables and herbs like rosemary or thyme pairs wonderfully with country red wines, such as a complex, but not too tannic, Cotes du Rhone Villages wine. Cuts like leg of lamb or rack of lamb are frequent choices for Easter dinners, and there are many wines to choose from for this pairing. Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, cru Beaujolais or a dry Rose are all excellent pairings for leg or rack of lamb dishes.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to pairing wine and food is to drink what you like and flavors that you are attracted to. Spring foods, which tend to feature fresh, earthy, sweet and succulent flavors, pair well with a wide variety of wines. Spend some time exploring different flavor combinations to find your absolute favorite spring pairings.

Heart-Healthy Drinks

Heart disease is a serious threat, but with proper care and education, heart disease is also quite preventable. Maintaining a healthy diet full of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is one part of keeping your heart healthy. Getting regular exercise is also incredibly important when you are taking steps to keep your heart healthy, as is reducing as much stress as possible. However, food, exercise and stress reduction aren’t the only things you can do to help prevent heart disease. You may not put much thought into the beverages you consume, but if you want to keep your heart healthy, it’s time to start. Below, find some of the best heart-healthy drinks.

Coffee beans

Coffee
If you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee, then prepare to be excited. Coffee actually registers more antioxidant activity than tea, which is well-known and widely used for its antioxidant abilities. A study involving more than 83,000 women found that those who drank two cups of coffee each day were at a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank no coffee each day. The antioxidants in coffee inhibit inflammation in your body, and coffee not only lowers your risk for strokes, it lowers your risk for all cardiovascular disease. Consume coffee in moderation; about two to four cups of coffee each day.

Green Tea

Green Tea
Coffee may register more antioxidant activity than green tea, but that doesn’t mean that green tea is without benefits. Green tea contains plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants that have been shown (in a 2004 study) to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Additionally, green tea lowers cholesterol, decreases the risk of blood clots and stroke, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Aim to drink two to four cups of green tea daily for maximum heart benefits.

Server pouring red wine

Red Wine
Red wine is full of cardioprotective compounds and perhaps the most well-known is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that is found in the skin of grapes in addition to berries and some types of nuts. The antioxidant properties found in resveratrol have many health benefits, one of which is protecting the blood vessels around your heart and stopping blood clots from forming. There is also some evidence that red wine can raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. It is important to remember that drinking any alcohol, including red wine, in excessive amounts is detrimental to your health, so consume red wine in moderation. Experts recommend drinking no more than a four or five ounce serving of red wine once a day.

Your heart health is of the utmost importance, and there are many ways that you can promote heart health and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. Incorporate these heart-healthy drinks into your diet for increased heart health.

Beneficial Ingredients Found in Wine

Not that you need another reason to pick up that bottle of red wine you’ve been eyeing, but we’ll give you one anyway:  red wine contains ingredients that benefit your skin as well as your health. White wines are delicious, and there is some research suggesting that white wine has its own unique health care benefits, but it is red wine that often steals the spotlight when it comes to healthy benefits of consuming wine. The reason red wine is considered more beneficial is the concentration of polyphenols that are highly concentrated in the skin of red grapes. These polyphenols act as antioxidants and provide protection against problems ranging from heart disease to acne. Vine Vera Skincare investigates just what it is about red wine the makes the beverage such a hot topic in the medical industry.

Quercetin formula

Red Wine and Your Health
There are several ingredients in red wine that benefit your internal health. Guercetin is a compound in red wine that is known to prevent lung cancer. Additionally, it is thought that guecetin may also fight breast cancer. Guercetin, along with resveratrol, stimulate cancer cells to destroy themselves and reduce the amount of growth cancer cells experience. Current studies are being conducted to evaluate the ability of resveratrol to delay degenerative diseases due to aging, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It is also thought that resveratrol protects against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping plaque from forming in your arteries. Resveratrol does lower the amount of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) while increasing your levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol).

Resveratrol formula.

Red Wine and Your Skin
Resveratrol is probably the most widely recognized antioxidant in red wine. Other antioxidant ingredients in wine are flavanoids and tannins. All three of these types of antioxidants provide significant skin benefits. Antioxidants protect and fight against free radical damage from oxidation. These antioxidants also provide protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation rays. Providing protection from free radicals and UV rays in turn reduces the appearance and formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Red wine also contains plenty of amino acids that are important in terms of your skin care. You need amino acids in your skincare products because these boost skin renewal, providing healthier and firmer skin. Red wine is currently being studied to determine just how effective it is at fighting acne. Many of the antioxidants found in red wine have both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Anti-inflammatories reduce redness, irritation and inflammation of skin affected by acne while antiseptics cleanse the skin. Red wine also contains alpha hydroxy acids, which are an excellent exfoliant for your skin and help cell turnover. Benzoyl peroxide is a well-known and effective acne medication. The current research on red wine and acne is to determine what effect red wine has on benzoyl peroxides effectiveness. The hypothesis is that red wine will increase the effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide while providing soothing care to the skin reducing irritation often associated with benzoyl peroxide use.

Whether or not white wine is as effective as red wine in your health care is a subject of major debate. Some suggest that white wine does benefit your health and skin because resveratrol and other antioxidants are still present. However, others suggest that the concentration of resveratrol and polyphenols in white wine are too insignificant to provide any benefits. At present, red wine remains the superstar when it comes to your health, both inside and out. You can enjoy a glass of red wine daily for some of the benefits while using the compounds found in red wine topically for maximum benefits. Vine Vera Skincare provides luxury skin care that makes use of these incredibly beneficial ingredients that are found in wine.

All About the Merlot Grape

Merlot is often the first thing people think of when they think of red wine, and there is a good reason for that. In America, Merlot is the second most popular red wine, following Cabernet Sauvignon. It isn’t just the United States that enjoys this grape considering that the Merlot grape is the second most widely planted wine grape worldwide (again, it is surpassed only by Cabernet Sauvignon). Merlot is not only a delicious, dry red wine, it is also thought to have some health benefits when consumed moderately.

Grapes in a vineyard

Origins
The earliest record of the Merlot grape was found in the notes of a Bordeaux official in the year 1784. The note regarded how wine made from the Merlot (then referred to as Merlau) was one of the best wines produced in the Libournais region of France. In 1824, the name Merlot was explained in a document on Medoc wine stating that the Merlot grape was named after the blackbird. There are two speculations as to why the grape was named after the blackbird. One explanation claims that the grape was named after the blackbird (Merlau) because the birds loved to eat the ripe Merlot grapes from the vine while the other implies that the grape was named after the blackbird for it’s intense dark blue color.

Characteristics
Merlot wines tend to have a smooth, velvety texture with a rich blend of flavors. The flavors and aromas produced from the Merlot grape can include:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Black cherries
  • Plums
  • Chocolate
  • Cassis
  • Truffles

Some Merlot grapes produce flavors that tend towards a slightly earthier flavor. Merlot grapes flourish in cooler climates and soils that are composed of clay and limestone. The Merlot grape is the most commonly planted grape in France, with 62% of vineyards in the Bordeaux region dedicated to this grape.

Server pouring wine in a restaurant.

Health Benefits
A four ounce glass of Merlot has no fat and just under 100 (it has 98) calories. Additionally, there is less than one gram of sugar in a four ounce glass, making Merlot a light choice for an alcoholic beverage. The other major health benefit that comes with Merlot is the polyphenol compound found in the skin of red grapes: resveratrol. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that provides a wide array of health benefits from the a radiant, glowing complexion to fighting cancer. While resveratrol is still being studied by scientists and researchers, it is thought that this antioxidant may be a key component in proactively providing important health benefits. For instance, resveratrol is thought to increase your LDL (good cholesterol) levels. Resveratrol is also thought to reduce blood clotting, which in turn decreases your risk of heart attacks or strokes. It isn’t just internally that resveratrol provides benefits, your skin receives the antioxidant power of resveratrol as the compound fights free radical damage leading to fewer signs of premature aging.

Merlot grapes are not used merely for the production of Merlot wines. In fact, the early history of Merlot grapes suggest that originally the most frequent use of the Merlot grape was to produce red wine blends. Whether you choose a red wine blend or a lush, rich Merlot, the Merlot grape features exciting aromas and flavors. The bonus health benefits of Merlot grapes make drinking red wine a pleasurable experience for your entire body, however, it is important to remember that the health benefits of resveratrol are positive only when wine is consumed moderately, as excess drinking negates any health benefits received. For information on what foods pair well with Merlot, visit the Resveralife blog.

Sun Protection Besides SPF – Vine Vera Reviews

To prevent premature aging, sun spots and skin cancer, you need to protect your skin every time you expose it to the sun. UV rays cause serious damage to your skin even if you tan instead of getting a sunburn. It is far easier to be proactive and prevent sun damage than it is to repair damage from the sun later. But what happens when you find yourself without sunscreen at the last minute? Vine Vera rounds up the best ways to protect your skin from the sun besides using an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Fresh tomatoes on a wooden table.

Add Vitamins and Antioxidants to Your Diet
Fresh tomatoes are plentiful during summer and you can add these to your diet to help prevent sun damage. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes has been studied and does provide acute sun protection, particulalry in women. Aim for about 55mg (3 tablespoons of raw tomatoes) daily to keep your skin from ending up as red as a tomato.

Olive oil being poured into a bowl.

Add Saturated Fats into Your Diet
We know, summertime means that you want to maintain a lean, healthy beach body but there have been some studies that indicate increasing saturated fats into your diet helps protect you from sun dangers such as melanoma. A study involving mice lead researchers to conclude that a diet that was higher in saturated fats provided a bit of protection against sun damage and problems such as melanoma. Don’t go crazy with the fats but try to use olive and coconut oils where possible in your cooking.

Closeup of red wine glasses.

Break Out the Wine
Wine contains proanthocyanidins which are thought to provide protection against harmful UV rays. Additionally, red wine contains resveratrol which has provides a number of other health benefits also is being considered as a photoprotective agent. Once the resveratrol is incorporated into your skin cells it provides protection against UV damage. If you don’t want to grab wine for your day at the beach, proanthocyanidins are also found in blueberries and nuts such as hazelnuts or pistachios. Take a tasty treat with you and provide extra protection.

Vitamin supplements in a bowl.

Choose the Right Vitamins or Supplements
Vitamins or supplements that may help protect your skin from sun damage include vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been thought that supplementing your diet with vitamin D increases your tolerance towards the sun. In addition to this, vitamin D may also provide UV protection reducing your chance of sunburn. In a laboratory study, vitamin D also helped decrease the incidence of tumor growth. Get your omega-3 fatty acids by adding oily fish such as tuna to your diet or look for a supplement containing DHA to help protect your skin from sun damage.

In addition to these dietary methods of protection, there is also some research indicating that there are natural oils that contain a level of SPF. Some of the oils that may provide protection include coconut oil, red raspberry seed oil and almond oil. Whatever method you choose, remain consistent to reduce sun damage. And while some of these methods may not turn out to be perfect, as many are still being researched, it can’t hurt to take some plump fresh blueberries to the beach or sear a delicious tuna filet on your grill.