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The Many Virtues of a Great Red Wine

Updated on February 27, 2010

When my unsophisticated and boring wine palate graduated from the slightly dry, semi-sweet tastes of white wines such as zinfandels and chardonnays, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had acquired quite an appreciation for the robust and somewhat drier red wines such as cabernets, merlots, pinot noirs,shiraz’s and my all time favorite - Chianti's.

I was introduced to the "greater red wines" as a former wine consultant for The Traveling Vineyard - a work-from-home, wine tasting party company. Having those wine tastings allowed me not only the opportunity to sample lots of different kinds of wines, but educated me as to the names, regions and specific attributes of various wines. You can become a Traveling Vineyard consultant and learn how to sample different wines here:

However, it was my first encounter with an Italian Chianti (through the TV) that converted me from a boring white wine drinker to a refined red wine lover! I remember pairing that glass of Chianti with a piece of rich, dark chocolate and feeling like my mouth was going to explode in an orgasm of guilty pleasure! Yes, it was THAT good! Just imagine the richest Swiss chocolate all of a sudden tasting 10,000 times better! That’s what a great red wine can do!

Beware, though, its hard to find a GREAT Chianti - I once made the mistake of buying that cheap Chianti sold in grocery stores in the "authentic" looking straw bottle holder (don't even remember the name of it), and it was awful! And like a bad romance, the aftertaste can linger for months!

Thankfully, I’ve discovered a great Chianti at my favorite Italian restaurant – Olive Garden.The Gabbiano Classico Chianti they serve is a smooth, velvety Chianti with a just a hint of a spicy, peppery taste for balance. Likewise, Carlo Rossi, is a surprisingly inexpensive Chianti found in grocery stores, but with a "fine wine" flavor!

Coming in a close second is my husband’s favorite – the Shiraz red wine. Yellow Tail wines make a great Shiraz (and other variations such as cabernet-shiraz), and it, too, is easily found in our local grocery stores, almost ALWAYS on sale! Visit Yellow Tail here

My stepson introduced us to a little better Shiraz last Christmas – Shingleback – a really classy and smooth deep red Australian Shiraz that we enjoyed sipping over opening our other Christmas gifts! (We made SURE to let my stepson know this would be a great gift for our birthdays, as well!)

Now, I don't claim to be a red wine connoisseur at all (or any other kind of wine connoisseur for that matter!) - I just enjoy a great glass of red wine and love sampling different red wines to further enhance my "red wine palate".

I've even thought how great it would be to open up a wine bar as a” hobby business” in my retirement years. Just imagine what fun it would be to sit around with other wine lovers, sample different kinds of red (and white) wines, and gorge on chocolate and cheese!

And don't forget about all the nutritional benefits of red wine - those life-enhancing anti-oxidants and high-cholesterol-reducers! I'd much rather pay $20 for a bottle of great red wine, than $200 for a bottle of Lipitor!

And listen up, ladies, I've even read that drinking red wine has significant benefits to reduce the signs of AGING! Just pass on the Oil of Olay, and have another glass of Chianti!

You don't have to worry about the weight gain with red wine, either, as there are "natural elements" in it that actually help metabolize body fat! Click here to buy the book and read more: Sounds like a pretty healthy "diet" to me!

Yes, the more red wines I taste, the more I want to taste! But it’s more than just the taste, the aroma, or the "legs" that make a great red wine. It’s the mystery within each bottle that is waiting to be released. Wine in itself is exciting; but a great red wine is fascinating - tantalizing, captivating, and yes, even a little "sexy"! And it has NOTHING to do with the alcohol - as a matter of fact, when I "over-indulge" in my favorite red wine, I lose that mystical connection I had with it - you know what they say about "too much of a good thing"!

To really appreciate a great red wine, it has to be nourished, coddled and savored - never gulped or guzzled! Maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much - it brings out the "nurturing" side of me (something intrinsic in most every woman!). And it gives back to me a warm and secure embrace; calming all the storms and quieting all the fears in my topsy turvy world.

Whether savoured alone or enjoyed with your favorite chocolate, a glass of great red wine can be exciting, passionate and yes, even “virtuous”.

….Red, red wine, make me feel so fine......".


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