From the Desk of The Nutty Nutritionist

Archive for the ‘My Favorites’ Category

Good Wine at a Bargain Price

In My Favorites on February 5, 2010 at 9:32 AM

In honor of my upcoming trip to Australia, I have decided to blog about red wine:   Australian Shiraz is one of my faves.  I am far from a wine connoisseur or sommelier, but I am definitely selective about the wine I choose to drink.   What sets me apart from the “wine snobs” is that I am cheap and unwilling to spend a small fortune for a bottle.  I have attended many fabulous wine tasting events over the years, and have come to know what I like or don’t like in a wine—it has nothing to do with its “finish” or “legs”, or “nose”.  I will share some of my delicious discoveries with you. 

In the effort to dodge a bullet from the teetotalers, I must insert the following disclaimer:

Red wine fits within the context of  a nutrition blog because it has been found to help raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind), reduce inflammation, and may potentially help prevent certain forms of cancer due to its high antioxidant content.   I am by no means encouraging anyone to start drinking red wine if you don’t drink alcohol already.    Alcohol, in and of itself, can cause a variety of health problems… The benefits come more from choosing a red wine over a white or another form of alcoholic beverage if you are planning on having a drink anyways.

There are many different types of dark grapes used to make wine, and I have come to appreciate many red varieties, hailing from Australia, California, and Argentina.  I find Pinot Noir, Red Zinfandel, and Merlot to be light enough to sip alone, with appetizers, or with a meal.  In my opinion, Cabernet and Shiraz varieties are a bit heavy on an empty stomach and should accompany a meal– this was a lesson I learned the hard way, believe me!!!

So, now for my “hit list”– the varieties I am most likely to have on hand should you stop by for a drink:

Pinot Noir:

Mirassou (California) 

Yellow Tail (Australia)

Merlot:

Charles Shaw (Trader Joe’s exclusive “Two Buck Chuck”)

Steeplechase  (California)

Australian Shiraz:

Rosemount Estate

Black Opal

Layer Cake  ($15-20 a bottle, but makes a great special occasion choice)

Cabernet:

Black Opal (Australia)

Charles Shaw  (Trader Joe’s “Two Buck”)

Cakebread (California)—very pricey but I will order it by the glass in a restaurant if it is available!

Red Zinfandel:  have yet to find a good cheap one, but my favorite expensive variety is “Cline” Old Vine Zin from California.  Definitely a special occasion wine!

Menage a Trois (California) is a blend of Red Zin, Merlot, & Cabernet—a wonderful sipping wine that sells for $7.99 at Costco!!

Malbec:

Wines hailing from Argentina have been on my radar lately.  I’ve enjoyed several different Malbecs in restaurants, but have yet to find a good bargain one for home use…all suggestions are welcome 😉

CHEERS!

(quite a fitting salutation after Shelley Long was my doppelganger on Facebook last week, don’t you think???)

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Some of my faves…

In My Favorites on January 11, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Healthy foods  you will always find in my pantry, fridge, and freezer:

 

Toasting bread: Ezekial flourless 100% whole grain bread  (any variety)

Spreads: Earth Balance margarine or Land o Lakes Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil

Sandwich bread: Arnold 100% whole wheat Sandwich Thins

Hot Cereal: Roman Meal “Healthy Elements” whole grain hot cereal

Cold Cereal:  Bite-Size Shredded Wheat (any brand)

Cereal topper:  Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk (any flavor)

Snack Bar:  “Larabar” fruit & nut bar (any variety)

Chocolate: Trader Joe’s 100 Calorie 70% Dark Chocolate Bar

Peanut Butter: Parkers All Natural Peanut Butter (refrigerated section)

Eggs:  Organic Free Range brown eggs with Omega-3

Yogurt: Chobani, FAGE, Oikos, and Trader Joe’s Greek Style Yogurt

Creamer:  Land o Lakes Fat Free Half & Half

Soup:  Health Valley Minestrone; Progresso Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle; Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

Tuna:  Wild Planet low Mercury Albacore

Crackers: Nabisco 100% whole wheat Triscuit “Thin Crisps”

This is a quick starter list.  I will add to this as time goes on…

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