wine 101

In my ever-longing need for knowledge in the world of wine, I decided to take a course at the Northwest Wine Academy in South Seattle. My class this quarter is Wine 101 which is probably a good one to start with. My thoughts on the class, so far so good. There is a lot of information hitting me at once (and a little scientific for this social service minded gal),  but at the same time, I am going to gain massive amounts of useful knowledge. And of course (along with my Tonight’s Tastings) I will pass along any interesting tidbits for my fellow Wine Journey followers.

Tonights Interesting Fact:

Wine is good for you. Ok, so this is a known fact pretty much everywhere in the world now. And if you ever doubt that,  just look at the French who have been drinking wines for hundreds of years. They drink loads of wine, look better and live longer then those who don’t drink wine. The also eat a lot of dairy, yet have very low coronary heart disease. Scientists belive that it is due to their wine intake (called the French Paradox). So, how is wine exactly good for you?

With sensible wine drinking, wine can  increase your “good cholesterol” which lowers heart disease, provides powerful antioxidants (I won’t bore you with scientific names) and produces high levels of potassium. The benefit of wine list goes on. It can also lower your risk of coronary disease, thrombosis, Alzheimer’s, cancer and leukemia (debatable, since my dad was a wine lover and died of Leukemia 10 years ago – not everything in life runs perfectly I guess). It has just been in the recent years studies of wine benefits have been brought to the public (with no help from the anti-alcohol lobbyists). It is refreshing to live in a society which now appreciates wine for all the good it serves.

However, we must remember everything in moderation. Binge drinking has major ramifications. Your body struggles to keep up with the massive alcohol you are pouring into it,  resulting in intoxication and damage to your organs. So please remember to enjoy your wine slowly (1-2 glasses per day) and not keg-stand your wine.

That is tonight’s interesting fact! Not to worry, I will have many more during my quarter at Northwest Wine Academy!

Tonight’s Tasting:

2007 Cadence Coda – Red Mountain, WA. Bordeaux Blend (57% Merlot, 18%Cab Sauv, 13% Cab Fran, 12% Petite Verdot)

West Seattle Cellars, $25.00

Initially upon tasting this wine, I could tell it needed some breathing time. It was a bit sharp on the palate. We left the bottle open for a couple of hours. Tasting it after a couple of breathing hours, it opened up some. It was balanced and complex. It felt like a true Bordeaux blend. However, my issue with this wine, is that it needed food. And most of the food which would be amazing with this Coda, is food I don’t eat (i.e. meat). There was a recommendation to pair with a fig and hazelnut chutney – which I was almost tempted to run out and find, if it wasn’t 8:00 at night. We decided to save this wine and pair it tomorrow. I have a strong feeling that paired with the right food, this wine would be outstanding. So for all you meat eaters out there, I truly believe Cadence Coda will be a wine for you. Try with a nice pork tenderloin, roasted lamb or any kind of grilled or roasted beef. Even with ham, this would pair nicely (I am thinking Easter for you). This is wine I will give a second chance (if only I had another bottle of it)!

Tasting Coda

Ian, my tasting partner and hubby, trying the Coda

If you give this wine a try, let me know how it goes.


* some of my facts came from David Bird’s Understanding Wine Technology: The Science of Wine Explained.