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Posted: March 27, 2013

This is why I’m living to be 183

Please pass the pinot noir (and polyphenols)

Cathie Beck—The Wine Wench

So I went to a holistic-nutrition and vitality seminar one Sunday afternoon. The two presenters looked 30 but were actually 50 and were both medical doctors. They are a married couple who subscribe to a “blue zone” eating philosophy. Blue zones are areas on the globe where scientists have discovered populations that live very well and healthily into their 90s and beyond. (See www.optimumwellness.com for further info.)

Nine characterstics are shared amongst the 80-to-100+-year-olds, though their locales are quite different - Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, Calif., for example.

One of the nine “best practices” principles included this stunning fact: Wine drunk in moderation (a glass a day) appears to aid in longevity and vitality. And the two presenters recommend Oregon’s Willammette and Dundee Valleys Pinot Noirs – and remember, they truly do look 30-something and they’re 50.

Need I say more? There are no better Pinot Noirs crafted in the U.S. than in the Willammette and Dundee Valleys.

The elixir present in red wines, it turns out, is polyphenols compounds which are easily oxidized or broken down by free radical cells and are called antioxidants. Their presence protects the cells around them from being damaged, by buying time for your body's natural defenses to destroy the free radical cells.

When unchecked, free radicals can damage your immune system, leading to cancer cell growth, Parkinson's and heart disease. Polyphenols are a class of antioxidant found in coffee, tea, nuts and dark fruits, like grapes. They are known for their astringent or bitter flavor. Grape skins and seeds provide a high level of polyphenols, including resveratrol, which has been linked to reducing several factors of heart disease.

Yes, there are eight other principles common to that 80+-year-old/living well population; things like: spending time with your “tribe” (born to or created family); eating from a plant-based food pyramid, and going to bed early. You can read the entire philosophy here (www.bluezones.com).

I’m just saying that I’m down with the wine part. If the red wine part - particularly the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir - makes me healthy and happy until age 100, my life expectancy at this point, should be about 183.

One Winning Wine Tasting

What we want, come springtime, is a sunny patio and an inexpensive cocktail. We also want some great vittles that don’t break the bank and we want to go there right after work.

Margs Taco Bistro -- there’s one on Larimer Street and one in Cherry Creek -- is truly just the ticket.

Plenty of places gauge and cha-ching us for a sweet, after-work/early evening margarita and plate of fresh and inventive tacos. This is the equation we’ve all been waiting for. They’re lovely spots with sunny outdoor dining/drinking areas and you can get away for a 10-spot, give or take.

http://www.margstacobistro.com/

It’s in the 70s next week -- go!

Weird Wine Trivia

I had no idea these names of container size even existed - let alone know the amount each holds. Do you?

Capacity (Liters) followed by the number of standard size bottles contained:

Standard (.75)  1

Magnum (1.5)  2

Jeroboam (3)  4

Rehoboam (4.5)  6

Methuselah (6)  8

Salmanazar (9)  12

Balthazar (12)  16

Nebuchadnezzar (15)  20

Cathie Beck, a/k/a The Wine Wench, can be reached at: TheWineWench@comcast.net. Please forward any and all wine events, wine-related news items directly to her.

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