Digging Up Dirt in the Vineyard

Don’t be surprised if, along with other nutritional revelations on wine labels, you will also be made aware of the amount of calories in a standard sized glass of wine. What is considered standard for wine is a 5-ounce glass.

Jeff Rossman has created the new BUNZ in San Diego, an individual taste experience. Photos by Frank Mangio

So if you are a calorie counter, you are consuming roughly 120 calories per 5 ounce serving.

That should not be a concern, if you drink in moderation.

This is the latest in a string of reports that are positive for wine as a healthy drink, all things considered.

Where wine really shines is in its capacity to deliver resveratrol, an antioxidant that combats cardiovascular conditions.

My good friends at Italo Americano published a report from Italy’s Higher Health Institute, among others that also found that resveratrol is capable of ”blocking the flu virus…at present there is no known pharmaceutical product which can effectively block the flu virus.”

Other medical analysis suggests that drinking two glasses of red wine per day helps prevent a host of other diseases related to the heart and nervous system.

One of the most frequent questions I get is the “Contains Sulfite” notice on the wine bottles. We all know that the government can get over-protective at times and this may be one of them.

The fact is that a tiny amount of sulfur dioxide is added to the fermentation process, to control oxidation in the wine and protect spoilage, like turning the wine into vinegar during aging. Nearly every wine maker adds sulfites.

Only Australia and the U.S. require a label mentioning the additive. Sulfites don’t give you headaches, like some say. Likely it’s an allergic reaction. I know individuals who take anti-histamines before consuming wine and that seems to calm the problem.

Hats off to Charles Krug Winery, Napa Valley’s first winery and the sanctuary for several of the venerable Mondavi Family members.

They invented the public wine tasting event in 1951 at the onset of their harvest that year. This year, Peter Mondavi Senior, 98 years young, will conduct his 61st tasting and break ground for an exciting new hospitality center Sept. 8, on the Great Lawn. The winery was founded in 1861. Check out the details at charleskrug.com.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine just came out with their top 100 Restaurants in America, and in the San Diego area where this column is produced, Addison at the Grand Del Mar is the clear leader.

The wine program, directed by Jesse Rodriguez since its beginnings is “extensive and deep, strong on verticals and diverse, highlighting small producers.” Rodriguez has some 25,000 bottles in the cellar as last count.

The signature dish is the Braised Short Ribs, having gone from rustic to refined, using Port Wine and various spices. Learn more at addisondelmar.com. If you are in Beverly Hills, try CUT by Wolfgang Puck.

Here’s a brief but reliable wine pairing rule of thumb for popular dishes:

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