How to Drink Wine and Stay in Shape

Bookmark and Share

drink wine and stay in shape

 

The very first piece of good advice when it comes to drinking wine and staying in shape is NOT to drink beer!

The same applies to those mixed drinks made with spirits and sugary extras, like cola.

The simple reason is that any alcoholic drink will contain a high level of calories with not much nutritional value.

The situation is exacerbated with beer (which is generally high in carbohydrates) and other drinks with high levels of sugar.

For example, a classic margarita cocktail could have up to 600 calories for a serving whereas an entire bottle of dry wine could contain about the same calorie count. Note also that the margarita may contain as much as 100 grams (over 3 ounces) of sugar.

To put the calorie count in perspective, alcohol has around 7 calories per gram compared to around 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates, and a whopping 9 calories per gram for fats.

So how is it possible to drink wine, with obvious calories, and stay in shape?

The answer is to include wine as part of a sensible eating and exercise plan. This really is not hard to do.

(If you already do this and are still struggling to look the way you want, you might like to have a look at this video which certainly helped me get in shape.)

There is also the added benefit of some of the bonus ingredients in wine such as antioxidants. Both red and white wines have antioxidants and research has shown red wine as being good for your heart and your weight too.

The elements of a sensible balanced diet are well known – fresh vegetables, skinless chicken, grass fed steak and oily fish (like salmon). If your main meal comprises these elements, and you take a 30 minute brisk walk every day, then you can certainly enjoy one or two glasses of wine with your meal (every day!) and easily stay in shape.

After all, what we are trying to achieve in our life regime is to be healthy and enjoy it. The simple logic involves maintaining a level of calorie intake which does not exceed calorie burn-off, over an extended time period of course.

Staying in shape with wine can be aided further by avoiding late night snacks and regular indulgence in junk food. But then who would ever want to spoil a glass of quality wine by having it accompany a greasy pizza or burger?

If you feel you are doing everything right but just cannot get rid those flabby bits, have a look at this interesting approach to staying in shape – it may be the answer!

Hunting the Semillon Wine in the Hunter Valley

Bookmark and Share

The Hunter Valley is not Australia’s best known wine growing region – that honor arguably rests with the historic Barossa Valley, or perhaps the iconic Margaret River region in the West, or maybe the renowned cooler areas of Tasmania.

That being so, the Hunter Valley has a lot going for it, including being less than a two drive north of Sydney and close to the trendy port city of Newcastle.

There are over 130 wineries and grape producers in the Hunter Valley, as well as boutique breweries and distilleries, all manner of restaurants and cafes, cheese and chocolate makers, and other attractions that make it a “must visit” destination for all lovers of food and beverages.

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine edited by Jancis Robinson

 

But when it comes to wine, I can do more than quote Jancis Robinson.

Ms Robinson is one of the best known authorities in the wine world, holder of the rare and prestigious Master of Wine qualification and editor of the most comprehensive wine book, The Oxford Companion to Wine.

It was Jancis Robinson who said:

“Hunter Semillon is Australia’s great gift to the wine world…”

 

Now, Semillon is the not the best known white grape variety on the planet, but it probably should be. The reason for this is that it ages superbly for up to twenty years.

The Hunter Valley wine makers pioneered the development of Semillon in Australia in the early 19th century, and it is fermented without oak.

It can be drunk when young and exhibits a fresh lemony style. As it ages, the magic happens and it develops a complexity with nut and honey undertones.

Semillon can also be made into dessert wines as the grapes have relatively thin skins enabling introduction of the botrytis fungus, the “noble rot” which makes for the most amazing sticky sweet wines.

A bottle aged Hunter Valley Semillon is a true delight, and one which is unique to this region. Whilst Australian wine parlance does not generally refer to “terroir”, in this case it is really the local conditions which play a major role in the uniqueness of this wine.

brokenwood hunter valley semillonOf the many producers in the Hunter Valley, perhaps the two with the most experience (and success) in the production of Semillon are Brokenwood Wines and Rothbury Estate.

Aged Semillion remains a well kept secret, and perhaps is an acquired taste to some degree, but the result is that older vintages can be very reasonably priced.

The challenge is to find them of course, and as the Hunter Valley produces only about 2% of Australia’s wine, this can be a daunting task at times but well worth the effort.

Whilst this article has focused on Semillon, the Hunter Valley produces other exceptional wines, including Chardonnay, Verdelho and Shiraz styles.

Start planning your trip to the Hunter Valley now and if you cannot get there just yet, get some delicious Hunter Valley Semillon.

Bovine Humor at the Wine Club

Bookmark and Share

A few glasses of red wine ago, I was browsing my favorite website for images (iStockphoto) when I happened across the illustration below (minus the caption at that stage).

The cartoon tickled me greatly so I bought it and had some fun coming up with suitable tag lines. I settled on the one shown, but I am sure there are plenty better so if you have a funny line of your own, please add it in the comments below.

wine club humor

As much as I enjoy a good wine, I also enjoy a good laugh – preferably together – and this cartoon got me thinking about wine humor in general.

According to Wikipedia, “humor is usually rare in the world of wine“. This seems most unusual, as wine is associated with enjoyment and good times with friends.

Wikipedia goes on – “wine jokes may only be amusing to wine obsessives” – and this may explain the apparent lack of humor often associated with wine. Perhaps wine lovers, too often, take wine, too seriously.

Therein lies the cue to introduce some cows. Or any animals which are capable of engendering mirth. I think the cows have it, a fact picked up on very successfully by the great Gary Larson.

far side by gary larsonIn case you have forgotten, Gary Larson is the superb cartoonist who gave us the brilliant Far Side series, as well as other humorous drawings and writings.

Larson’s humor was built very much around unusual people, animals and situations and for me, the most memorable of his brilliant works are those featuring animals, especially the beloved cow.

To go with your next relaxation opportunity, wine accompanied of course, you could do no better than have at hand the Complete Far Side by Gary Larson.

Highly recommended – click the book cover at left to grab a copy.

 

But now back to wine matters, and specifically wine clubs, which is what the cows are discussing in the cartoon above.

Like the cows, I have been a member of a number of different wine clubs but have usually found after a few months that there is a sameness in the product being offered – either in wine styles or wine makers.

However, this is not an issue with the Cellars Wine Club who offer a dozen different options with a wine club for every wine preference. Here is a summary of what is currently on offer:

Wine Club

Offer per Shipment

Best For

Single Bottle 1 bottle quality wine wine novice
High End Single Bottle 1 bottle rare wine connoisseur
Premium 2 different wines experimenter
Sweet 2 different wines sweet tooth
Champagne 2 different wines sparkling lover
Red Trio 3 different wines red lover
International 2 different wines traveler
West Coast 2 different wines best American
Platinum 2 different wines aficionado
90+ Point 2 different wines discerning
Quarterly Case 12 bottles quality wine value seeker
Cellars 2 different wines indulgence

 

Whether you are looking for something different from a wine club, or a wine club membership as a gift, or just an excuse to get more wine for your cellar, check out Cellars Wine Club – it is the best wine club by a country mile, no bull!