Don’t get all excited, it’s not like it sounds.
On second thought, maybe it is.
Carnival of Love is the name of the # 9 choice in Wine Spectator’s top 100 most exciting wine picks of 2008. The magazine’s editors reviewed more than 19,500 wines from around the world in a blind tasting to determine the top 100 list of the year. This post-toast is about the nutritional value of red wine, but before I launch into that, I have to mention something about this wine. Anything named Carnival of Love deserves a second look, especially on Valentine’s Day.
According to Wine Spectator, Carnival of Love is one of the few great Australian Shirazes priced under $100. Yes, $90 is under $100, but that’s still out of my price range, so no taste testing for me. I guess I’ll have to trust the editors unless they want to send me a case to ponder over.
Mollydooker, which is Aussie for left-hander, is the winery of Sarah and Sparky Marquis and home to this wonderful wine. No doubt a creative couple, they have several award winning wines with equally engaging names. Blue Eyed Boy is another one of Wine Spectator’s choices for most exciting new wines. Described as a blockbuster Shiraz with ripe and powerful fruit, seamless tannins, and a long finish, this one comes in at $55 a bottle (we’re getting closer). Goosebumps, Enchanted Path, and Velvet Glove round out my favorite Mollydooker names for reds, although none of them fall into my steadily slipping price range. Then again, it’s Valentine’s Day. What better way to spend your money than on a Carnival of Love or a Blue Eyed Boy?
But I digress. Back to my focus, which is the nutritional value of red wine.
Along with dark chocolate, which I fussed about and fawned over in my last post, red wine is now considered part of a healthy diet. That might be a bit of a stretch, but studies are showing that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine may have beneficial effects on overall health and on the aging process. There are no human studies yet that substantiate the positive outcomes that have been documented in animal studies, but it’s something to think about. Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, but that’s no reason to over-indulge. If you enjoy a glass of red wine on occasion, there’s mounting evidence that it may be good for you, although unsweetened grape juice may provide the same benefits. Breaking open a bottle of grape juice over a candlelight dinner just doesn’t create the same mood though. Nah, I’ll opt for the wine.
Since wine is gluten-free and I love red wines, a nice Pinot Noir, a smooth Merlot, or a velvety Cabernet is my indulgence of choice. Having said that, I find that more than one glass of wine can interrupt my sleep and most of the time sleep trumps wine for me. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but it can interfere with your sleep cycles and mess with your deep REM phase of sleep. The REM stage is where your body and brain recover and regenerate. I don’t want that second glass of Merlot to barge in on any neuro-regeneration I’ve got going on at 2 AM. Seriously, I need all the help I can get.
Bottom line when it comes to wine?
It’s Valentine’s Day — the one day of the year that red wine and dark chocolate are nothing but health foods.
Now go forth and do some merry-making at the carnival of love.
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