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VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4
MAY 2010

IN THIS ISSUE:

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF WINE

RIOJA RETAURANT WEEK IN NEW YORK AND CHICAGO

TWO TASTINGS FOR NEW YORKERS

RESPONDING TO READERS' COMMENTS

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK





TALK TO US

Do you have a favorite recipe and Rioja wine you’d like us to try? Have a great story about wine or Rioja that you’d like us to print? Or a question you’ve been wanting to ask about food and wine pairing, travel to Spain or other Rioja topics? Talk to us! Send us your ideas, recipes or stories. Simply contact newsletter@VibrantRioja.com

Salud!

The Vibrant Rioja Wine Team

   
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF WINE
 

It’s not often that we dedicate an entire newsletter based on articles we read. However, this past month, we just saw some incredible news that we decided to share – extensively – with all of you: the amazing health benefits of wine.

By now, we all know or have heard of the famous “French Paradox.” Just to refresh your memories, moderate wine consumption has been linked to a lowered incidence of cardiovascular disease – using as an example the French, who have a diet high in butter, cheese and other saturated fats, while having a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Red wine has been attributed to this phenomenon, thus being referred to as the “French Paradox.” But the French Paradox is not the only health benefit of wine…

According to Science Daily, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they’ve found a link between red wine consumption and shielding the brain from stroke damage. Scientists found that mice that had preventively ingested resveratrol – a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes – suffered significantly less brain damage after a stroke than those that had not ingested the compound. This is because resveratrol increases levels of an enzyme (for our scientist friends reading, the enzyme is called heme oxygenase) that’s already known to shield nerve cells in the brain. Pretty cool, huh? But again, this is not all!

According to an article on the May issue of Wine Spectator, numerous studies have suggested that wine may help prevent certain forms of cancer. William Li, president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, argues that some compounds in wine – including (you know it!) resveratrol – prevent the growth of new blood vessels by functioning as angiogenesis inhibitors (this means preventing new blood vessels). Growing tumors need new blood vessels in order to survive and spread, so these angiogenesis inhibitors can suppress the tumor growth. Of course, more research is still needed, but it is nonetheless a great start! But no, we’re not done yet… There’s more…

According to a study in the March 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, women of a normal weight who consumed alcohol in moderation gain less weight over the years than non-drinkers. This seems incredibly ludicrous, right? I mean, each gram of alcohol has 7.1 calories, much higher than carbohydrates or proteins, which contain 4 calories per gram. But the study of over 19,000 women over 13 years does not lie. Notable results were red wine showing the strongest link to less weight gain and socioeconomic status not being a factor.

So there you go Riojaphiles! Keep drinking – in moderation, of course… It may save your life one day!

 
  RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK IN NEW YORK AND CHICAGO
 


Rioja Restaurant Week is coming back to New York City and Chicago. From May 13 – 27, you can experience some of these cities best restaurants featuring some of the best wines in the world. Promotions include prix-fixe lunches and dinners with a glass of Rioja.

For more information on participating restaurants and promotions, please visit www.riojarestaurantweek.com.

 
  TWO TASTINGS FOR NEW YORKERS: LOLA'S AND YOUNG'S
 

Lola Restaurant
Lola Restaurant would be a hotspot no matter where it is located. Chef/Owner Michael Ginor creates a French and Asian inspired “New American” menu, with the skills he has honed, from being in the company of, and influenced by the most talented and recognizable Chefs in the world. The vibrant restaurant with an artistically eclectic matching of wood, steel, glass, and art; sets a tone that is followed with a wine list, beer list, and cocktails that echoes the spirit of the food menu. This is a sharp, vibrant restaurant, where you walk out feeling like you have been treated well in every respect. For more information, visit www.restaurantlola.com. The event will take place the last week of June in Great Neck, NY.

Young’s Fine Wines and Spirits
Currently co-owned by Ed Wassmer and Milan SeGall; Young’s Fine Wine & Spirits has been operating since the repeal of Prohibition. Since that time, the store has been a primary source for providing Long Island’s North Shore and beyond, with a huge inventory of great selections of fine wine and spirits. Along with the great selection, Young’s distinguishes itself by providing very knowledgeable staff members who are thinking of the customers’ needs first. The event will take place the last week of June in Manhassett, NY.

 
  RESPONDING TO READERS' COMMENTS
 

If you have a question or want to share anything with us – including recipes, trips to Spain, interesting stories, etc… - you can email us at newsletter@vibrantrioja.com.

 
 

FROM JILL’S COOKBOOK –Gazpacho
Jill Paradiso is a classically trained chef that has worked in the kitchens of Mario Batali and Jean-Georges Vongerichten – you might recognize them. She has also done recipe development for Martha Stewart, Whole Foods Markets, and Dean and Deluca and she’s been kind enough to share some of her recipes with us.

 
 


GAZPACHO

Continuing on with the heart healthy theme, here is a recipe that does double duty: vegetables+olive= good for the heart, deliciousness= good for the soul!

Gazpacho is among Spain's most famous exports, but in most cases, something was lost in translation. While, there are many regional variations to this dish, none of them resemble the ubiquitous chilled salsa-like soup, which usually passes for gazpacho Stateside. If you aren't yet acquainted with gazpacho the way the Spanish envision it, I urge you to try this recipe- you will be a convert!

1 lb. ripe tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion (about 2/3 cup, chopped)
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded (about 3/4 cup)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and deveined
4 oz. crustless french bread (Cut baguette in half, pull out the crumb and reserve the crust for croutons, if desired)
1/4 cup very fruity olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 tablespoon good sea salt, plus 1/2 tablespoon for garnish
1/4 teaspoon sweet pimenton, plus 1/4 teaspoon for garnish

1.Add tomatoes, garlic, onion, pepper, cucumber, salt, pimenton, and sherry to blender. Pulse a few times until ingredients start to liquify. Blend about 2 minutes, or until very smooth and homogenized.
2.Add in 1/4 of the bread and blend while slowly drizzling in 1/4 of the olive oil. Repeat until all bread and olive oil has been incorporated and mixture is fluffy and smooth.
3.Strain gazpacho using a fine mesh strainer
4.Chill at least 2 hours. Before serving, pour gazpacho back in blender and blend for 30 seconds. The gazpacho will still be nicely chilled, and the last minute blending will give the gazpacho a lovely, aerated texture.
5.Garnish with sea salt, olive oil, pimenton and croutons (optional). Remember, if you have any questions or comments regarding the recipes, you can email me at jill@vibrantrioja.com.