Author: martaburgues

How does drinking affect your skin?

Surely when we talk about wine and skin care, grape’s polyphenols come to mind: they are really antioxidants and take care of our skin in general, rejuvenating it. However, beverages, especially the alcoholic ones, can have somewhat negative effects, starting with the dehydration that affects the body and also the skin.

Effects of drinking on the skin

According to Wine Spectator, some beverages, such as wine, dehydrate the body and skin. So, if we drink them excessively, the skin looks more wrinkled and dry. Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that your blood vessels widen when you drink. This, combined with water retention due to dehydration, can cause swelling in certain areas of the body.

Effects of wine on skin

In any case, it was established that if you drink in moderation, it is not often that you see many side effects on the skin, especially for healthy people, meaning people who drink enough water every day, eat properly, exercise…

Spirits

The majority of spirits such as rum, tequila or vodka usually reduce the levels of oxygen in the blood and this can unbalance the production of collagen in the skin. As a result, the epidermis becomes somewhat dull.

In turn, the consumption of alcohol increases the number of blackheads and pimples on the skin, and causes dryness because it reduces the amount of oxygenated blood from the veins. In addition, there is the swelling caused by drinking excessively, because spirits are high in sugar and cause fluid retention.

Beer and skin

Everything that is drunk in excess has negative effects on the organism. Beer contains salt and may not be as beneficial as it was believed for the body. On the other hand, if it is drunk in moderation it offers softness and hydration in face, body and hair, strengthening them. In fact, there are facial beer masks and spa with treatments with this drink having important success.

The polyphenols of red wine

As we announced at the beginning of the article, red wine has anti-ageing properties, thanks mostly to resveratrol, the polyphenol found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol stands out for its ability to fight free radicals, the unstable molecules that come from things like pollution and sun damage.

Resveratrol can fight oxidative stress and mitigate the damage it causes in the body. While a glass of wine a day will not counteract the natural ageing process of your body on its own, it can help when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

The most original wine and pasta pairings

White wine is not always the best for pairing pasta. It depends on the sauces added and, in the case it is stuffed pasta, the ingredients that are inside. We’ll show you some tricks to learn how to pair wine and pasta.

Wines for light sauces

There are a lot of sauces to complement pasta. From oil with oregano to béchamel, or even made from softer tomato. For these sauces, we will pair with white or rosé wines. If the sauce is carbonara, in addition to the white wine, it goes well with a good cava. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the varieties that pair better thanks to its touch of freshness, which breaks with the eventual acidity of the dish.

Wines for meat sauces

In this case, the sauces are more powerful and offer strongest flavours to the dish. It is clear that, with meat sauces, it is better to choose a red wine. But this can be either young or aged. Here we can choose from the most powerful Rioja to the Merlot and other softer varieties that help soften a strong dish.

wine and pasta pairing

Wines with pesto sauce

Pesto is a particular sauce. For many it can be too strong and for others, rather light, it depends on the taste of each one. In this sense, the wine that best suits pasta with pesto sauce is a white Sauvignon Blanc, because it provides the freshness needed to counteract the strong flavour of the dish.

Wines with pasta stuffed with mushrooms

We have already specified that we should be attentive to the filling of the fresh pasta, beyond the sauces. For this type of pasta we can choose either red, Merlot type wines, or whites that have a lot of body, such as Chardonnay.

Pasta with seafood and fish

Pasta is a very versatile dish that can be accompanied with vegetables, meats and fish. In this case, we will pair wine and pasta with a young white.

Wine and pasta pairing

Pasta with vegetables

If it includes vegetables, then the pairing will be made with Sauvignon Blanc varieties and also light rosé wines.

Wines according to the cheese

Cheese must also be taken into account, because it usually accompanies pasta and marks unmistakable flavours. We usually use not too strong cheeses or the classic parmigiano. This cheese goes perfect with red Italian wines although a white Spanish wine can also do a good job.

Why is grape harvested at night?

At the end of August, depending on the year, the process of grape harvesting usually begins, lasting in some cases can until October. The night harvest is a common practice in some areas and winemakers in Spain, but not all of them, although it is something that is carried out more and more. The reason is because it offers a number of advantages, even if many do not just see it that way. Let’s see what they are.

The reasons for the night harvest

To lower temperatures. One of the most obvious reasons to make a harvest at night is because when the harvest season starts it is still summer and it is hot. It is during the night when temperatures drop and workers can make their harvest better and without risks.

Riper grapes. Some winemakers, such as those belonging to the Designation of Origin of Rueda, where this practice is quite common, point out that the night temperature helps when collecting and handling bunches because the grapes are harder, avoiding thus the fermentative lack of control.

Photo: Raimat

Heat harms the grape. Not only high temperatures decrease the performance of grape harvesters but the grape also suffers. During the day, the grape tends to open up and arrives in bad condition at the winery. This entails a greater oxidation. At night all this does not happen, being the best time to pick them up and make sure they arrive correctly at the winery.

Cellars save energy. When temperatures drop, the cellar can save energy because all the collected grapes come at a lower temperature. With the heat, it takes a higher energy expenditure to cool down the chambers in which the fruit will be deposited.

Can all grapes be harvested at night? Although each winemaker has a different opinion, all types of grapes can be harvested at night, even if experts in the subject state that white grapes are the most indicated, since they are more sensitive to light because of their colour and skin type, and the red feature a more resistant surface.

Grape harvest

Mixed harvesting system. As we can see, the night harvest has clear advantages but it does not extend throughout the territory. We would say then that there is a mixed harvesting, from the early hours of the morning to the night, which are in both cases when it is less hot.

More fruity wines. In this case, there are also experts who think otherwise, but some winemakers point out that the enzymatic activity of the grapes at night is very low, which is why it provides more fruity wines.

 TAGS:Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja 2016

Honoro Vera Rioja is the result of the first harvest and shows as a gorgeous young Tempranillo red wine with a short period in French oak for only a part of the assemblage.

 

 TAGS:Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015

The Fertuna Maremma Toscana Pactio 2015: a red wine from Maremma Toscana produced by Tenuta Fertuna that is based on 2015 merlot, cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese and shows an alcoholic strength of 13%

Cocktails for the fall

Enjoying a good cocktail is something pleasant not only in summer. When the cold weather comes, cocktails for the fall are recommended, less refreshing, lighter and without citric flavours, giving way to drinks that make us warm. For appetizers, after dinner, at the end of the night… we highlight some of the best cocktails for this season.

What cocktails to drink during autumn

New York Sour

This mix usually comes with rather strong spirits, which are the ones that are styled during this time of year. The New York Sour combines whiskey sour with red wine, so it adds complexity to a mixture that is usually surprising due to its strong flavor.

Negroni

It is a classic of all times, so it goes well in these transition months, since it can be hot day but cooler at the evening. It is made with gin, lemon, campari and sweet vermouth in equal parts, so it isn’t too dry or sweet. We can decorate it with a slice of orange on the glass. Perfect for appetizers or even to end the night.

Old fashioned

It is another classic, which as such, does not go out of style. It is made with whisky or bourbon, Angostura Bitters and orange juice. It is usually served in a wide glass. We can decorate it with an orange peel.

Cocktails for the fall

Dry Martini

Yes, we drink it during any season, but maybe we have abandoned it for the gin and tonic, the mojito and the refreshing summer beer. If you still do not know how it is made, we must emphasize that it is usually made with lemon, dry gin, dry white martini and a slice of lemon.

Daiquiri Mulata

The plain daiquiri is rather for hot seasons, but we can add lemon juice, coffee liqueur and rum, or, failing that, cocoa liquor or kahlua. It goes well after having dinner, since it is a great digestive.

Cocktails for the fall

Frangelico

Made in Italy, it tastes like autumn, with a base of toasted hazelnuts, released in alcohol with berries and spices. Its origin is related to the Italian Christian monks, since that is where its name comes from: Angelic Friar. Many people drink it as a digestive after heavy dinners.

Amarula

We are talking about another fall cocktail that has a somewhat stronger flavor. Amarula is made with a liqueur cream made in South Africa, and it has sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree. It has a characteristic caramel flavour and there are those who confuse it with Baileys, but they are different.

 TAGS:Martini Bianco 1L

Martini Bianco 1L

The Martini Bianco 1L by Martini & Rossi: a vermouth with roots in Italy with 15% of alcohol.

 

 TAGS:Red Leg Spiced Rum

Red Leg Spiced Rum

The Red Leg Spiced Rum is a rum produced by Red Leg Rum Company Ltd with origins in Jamaica with an alcohol content of 37%.

Red wine, an ally against prostate cancer

We have already stated several times what the benefits of red wine are. In addition to containing polyphenols from the grape, which are antioxidants, being good for memory and offering us doses of well-being, now it is also an ally against prostate cancer.

This is confirmed by a study in which urologists have shown that red wine can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, white wine can increase the risk of suffering from it.

So their research found that the moderate consumption of wine by the men who underwent the study did not increase the risk of prostate cancer. But it is important to note that the results varied significantly according to the colour of the wine.

White wine drinkers faced a slight increase in the risk of prostate cancer. And the men who drank red wine, always in a moderate way, had a significant 12% decrease in the risk of suffering from this type of cancer.

It is not the first time that wine is related to the improvement of various types of cancers and hence doctors would like to go deeper into this topic, since there were contradictory global studies.

When differentiating between types of alcoholic beverages and types of consumption, specifically red wine, in moderate or very low consumption, it turned out that it can significantly reduce the risk of suffering some cancers.

In addition, another study published in the journal Cancer Science showed that resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine but not in white wine, can increase the effectiveness of radiation to destroy prostate cancer cells.

What is clear is that one of the major conclusions is that the level of prevention and reduction of this disease depends on the type of beverage consumed. Not all alcoholic beverages produce the same result then, as the researchers saw.

 TAGS:Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne 2017Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne 2017

Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne 2017

 

 

 TAGS:E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2015E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2015

E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2015

Wineries to visit with kids in Spain

If you have children, surely you are always looking for a thousand ways to entertain them and share hobbies. It is totally feasible to visit wineries and bring the kids to enjoy with us.

Route of the Somontano

Living wine tourism with the family is possible with the routes through the cellars in the Somontano region. There are routes adapted to families in which we find explanations for children, in order that they know the history of wine in a more entertaining and interactive way. Children can even drink the must from the wineries they visit.

Bodegas Valdemar

In the Rioja Alavesa, this winery offers activities for families. From an interactive tour of the facilities to watch a cartoon short film where the protagonist invites the children to participate in a great adventure.

Children’s workshops in Bodegas Vivanco

In Briones (La Rioja), Vivanco is one of the most important wineries in the world. In addition to housing the wine museum, it also includes workshops where children approach wine culture in a very creative way.

Bodegas PradoRey Ribera

Near Burgos, this winery offers activities with animals. In addition to seeing the wine, you can visit the fresh milk dairy farm and touch the cows and calves. Parents also can have a good time because there are wine tastings for them.

Bodegas Dionisos in Valdepeñas

The visit allows you to see the winery and taste the local wines. Keep in mind that in many wineries the children’s entry is free, like in this one, which also includes grape juice drink.

Fuenmayor, Logroño

We travel to La Rioja again, because the Fuenmayor winery has prepared a super activity to travel as a family. You can experiment in the vineyard, step on the grape, make the pressing and get must. They even tell you a story in the winery and you become a winegrower for a day.

 TAGS:Enate Rosado 2017Enate Rosado 2017

Enate Rosado 2017

 

 

 TAGS:Vivanco Reserva 2011Vivanco Reserva 2011

Vivanco Reserva 2011

 

 

Tips for Ordering Wine in a Restaurant

Even if it may seem a simple task, one can not always be right when ordering wine in a restaurant. Everything depends on the people we bring with us and the type of wine we want. In order to help you hit the target, we offer you some tips:

Follow the sommelier’s advice

The first and easiest rule is to be advised by the sommelier of the restaurant, in case there is one. He is the one who understands wines and will know perfectly which one will pair with the food and our taste, according to the occasion. So take it easy: when in doubt, ask the sommelier, who will know how to give the right indications.

It depends on the food

It is clear that, depending on what we are going to eat, we will order different types of wine. Rice and fish with whites and meat with red wines can be a guide, but not always. It also depends on the type of meat and whether the wine is young or not. Among the basic rules of pairing we emphasize that it is better not to serve full-bodied wines before lighter ones. The world of pairing is very extensive, so there are flavours that go better with a white wine, while others will be fantastic with a rosé.

By order

Another way to choose wines at a long lunch or dinner is according to the order. The basic rule is: firstly the sparkling wines, which usually pair well with the appetizers, whereas the white wines would go with the lightest first courses, the rosé, young reds and aged red wines for hunting meats or rather strong dishes.

Depending on the date or company

When we have a business lunch and we want to impress our guests, we can choose a well-known wine, such as Rioja or Toro, because there will be no risk of somebody not liking it. If it is a date, maybe we can experiment and try to guess the tastes of our partner.

 TAGS:Casal Mendes RoséCasal Mendes Rosé

Casal Mendes Rosé

 

 

 TAGS:Canyon Road White Zinfandel RoséCanyon Road White Zinfandel Rosé

Canyon Road White Zinfandel Rosé

Women are better tasters than men

It seems that women could understand more about wines and be better tasters. This is what a study says -made by the Polytechnic University of Madrid and published by the magazine Food Quality and Preference-, thanks to a research carried out with a total of 208 volunteers among men and women.

For the investigation, each person had to taste six drinks: two whites, one rosé and three reds, and give them a score according to personal criteria. The director of the project, Dr Caroline Chaya, explained by seeing the results that men gave higher scores, based on emotions, and women gave, in this case, lower grades, but managed to indicate greater differences between wines.

This is an essential characteristic that makes women have greater perception when it comes to tasting wine and know how to differentiate better between them. It was also shown that all beverages evoked significantly higher scores in older adults than in middle-aged and young adults. And it was also concluded that the youngest are more likely to enjoy any specimen regardless of its characteristics.

They also focused on experiencing the flavour notes. And from the study, it was revealed that fruity and floral aromas and tastes provoked more positive emotions. And on the contrary, the sensations of liquorice, clove and vanilla had a higher rejection rate. More studies should be done to know why this is so.

Then, far from what had been thought until now, females are again protagonists, in this case for being better wine tasters. So there is no male rival to resist us.

Although in this sector there are fewer female sommeliers, it is something that is increasing over the years. And surely we will see more and more of them with greater success.

 TAGS:Flor de Lis Reserva 2016Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

Flor de Lis Reserva 2016

 

 

 TAGS:Porta 6 2016Porta 6 2016

Porta 6 2016

2 cocktails with Top-Selling Spanish Wine

Fresh by Ramón Bilbao is coming: a range of cocktails with wine that are revolutionizing the market. Now that summer is near, but we do not want to get rid of wine, nothing better than switch to these cocktails. Let’s know more about them.

Cocktail with Ramón Bilbao Verdejo white wine

This recipe includes the Verdejo white wine from the house, mixed with basil leaves and eight drops of lime syrup. This way, we obtain a pretty fresh cocktail where the protagonist is white wine.

Fresh Rosé cocktail, with DO Rioja rosé wine

The Ramón Bilbao rosé is ideal for summer since this time of the year is always more appealing to this type of wine. Here, as a cocktail, it is mixed by combining it with ice, grapefruit slices and eight drops of strawberry syrup that highlight a sweet floral flavour on the palate.

Creating these cocktails, the brand wants to approach a much younger audience and thus opening the market. But the company has prepared for us much more than these two surprising drinks.

They have made a jelly bean to serve it next to the cocktail, made from the extract of the aromas of Ramón Bilbao Rosé. This way, it captures the aromas that are released in a gaseous form during fermentation, that is when the wine is elaborated. Then they are liquefied and an extract with the aromas of the wine is obtained. It tastes sweet and has floral nuances.

Undoubtedly, they are excellent gifts to make when we have guests in summer because we will surprise them with cocktails with wine and they can eat the special jelly beans, as long as we tell them how it is made.

What is clear is that with the arrival of the new season, cocktails come along too. Nothing better than include wines in them, something so local that mixing them with other ingredients offers a great result.

 TAGS:Ramón Bilbao Rosado 2017Ramón Bilbao Rosado 2017

Ramón Bilbao Rosado 2017

 

 

 TAGS:Ramon Bilbao Verdejo 2017Ramon Bilbao Verdejo 2017

Ramon Bilbao Verdejo 2017

Keys to understand the new Rioja wine regulation

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The campaign Saber quién eres (“Know who you are”), recently launched by the Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin, will promote the new wine regulation of the region, approved last year, which reflects its growing diversity and gives producers more tools to communicate each of the terroirs.

According to the direction of the Regulatory CouncilRioja wine is constantly improving, revising its definitions and reinforcing what it currently offers with new geographical indications. The main goal, then, is to highlight the unique origin of the terroir, recognize its diversity and continue to establish quality requirements that ensure the high standard of its wines.

The new legislation allows producers to make their region more recognizable to consumers, including the use of a more visible typeface, which takes up more space on the label. Rioja will have, from now on, three regional categories:

Viñedos Singulares: This new category aims to recognize unique single vineyards. To qualify, wines must come from a single vineyard registered as a brand that must appear on the label. The vineyard may be owned by the producer or a grower with whom it has a long-term relationship. In addition, it must be established for at least 35 years. In addition, a reduction of 20% in yield is established in comparison with that of Rioja DOC, the harvest must be manual and new traceability standards are proposed.

Vinos de Municipio: This regulation establishes that the grape must come from a municipality indicated on the label, with a maximum percentage of 15% coming from another neighbouring municipality.

Vinos de Zona: This category covers the labelling of wines from the Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental (formerly Rioja Baja) sub-regions . Up to 15% of the grapes included in the elaboration can be from a neighbouring area.

Another innovation is the introduction of a new category of varietal white wines, which now includes the international varieties Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, in addition to the traditional ones. Producers will also be able to label their sparkling wines as Espumosos de Calidad de Rioja.

Finally, the regulation establishes that, starting 2019, Reserva wines will have a 3-year ageing, with 12 months in oak and 6 in bottle; Gran Reserva must be aged 5 years, with 24 months in oak and 24 in bottle.

 TAGS:Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2015Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2015

Altos Ibéricos Crianza 2015

 

 

 TAGS:Viña Alberdi Crianza 2012Viña Alberdi Crianza 2012

Viña Alberdi Crianza 2012