Red wine by the fireplace.

Top Malbec Wines

It seems that wines come and go in popularity and one wine that is still enjoying a celebrated status is Malbec, particularly Argentine Malbec. The Malbec grape has its origins in France, like many grape varietals, though it is the fruity flavors of Malbec from Argentina that is currently being highly revered by wine enthusiasts. Malbec often features strong fruit flavors such as:

  • Blackberry
  • Black cherry
  • Blueberry
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry

Secondary flavors include:

  • Black pepper
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Gravel
  • Green stem
  • Leather
  • Milk chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Molasses
  • Tobacco

Malbec Wine
Malbec is now most frequently associated with Argentina, but the grape did originate in France. It was a commonly used blending grape in Bordeaux’s top wines, but was not the easiest grape to grow in that region. Malbec grapes respond poorly to extreme weather or temperature and have little to no pest resistance. The first Malbec planted in Argentina was in Mendoza by a French botanist wanting a taste of home. Argentina is credited with having “saved” Malbec because the grape flourishes in this environment. Part of what makes Malbec such a popular wine is that it pairs well with such a wide variety of foods, it has a medium acidity and it does not have a long finish like that of a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you aren’t sure where to start with Malbec wines, here are our top picks:

Trapiche 2006 Vina Federico Villafane Single Vineyard Malbec (Mendoza Region)
This Argentine Malbec is one of the greatest values when it comes to high-end, luxury Malbec wines. That being said, it is still pricey at $50 per bottle, but you may want to consider the splurge for such a decadent wine. The Trapiche 2006 Vina Federico Villafane Single Vineyard Malbec provides an intensive burst of black fruits, such as black cherries, at the onset and is followed by very subtle finishing flavors. This Malbec is a lush, ripe wine that also features hints of cola mixed with the black fruit.

Hess Collection 2012 Small Block Series Malbec (Napa Valley)
Again, this Malbec hailing from Napa Valley, California is not a low price point wine. This Malbec costs $55 per bottle, but like the Malbec listed above, you may not want to write this Malbec off on price alone. The Hess Collection 2012 Small Block Series Malbec is a rich wine that provides wonderful flavors of blueberry cobbler, blackberries and a bit of licorice at at first with little acidity and very soft tannins. The finishing notes of this Malbec are vanilla and chocolate with a hint of spice.

Jean-Luc Baldes 2008 Clos Triguedina Les Galets Malbec (Cahors)
While Argentine Malbec heavily features opening fruit flavors, Malbec wines produced in France are often quite different. The Jean-Luc Baldes 2008 Clos Triguedina Les Galets Malbec has a very mineral-like flavor and texture that mingles with black fruits. At $25 per bottle, you will definitely want to try this French Malbec.

Malbec is a wine that everyone can enjoy. It often features low to medium acidity and softer tannins than other red varietals. Malbec from Argentina has strong, dense flavors of dark fruits while French Malbec is often more earthy with flavors described as green stem, black pepper and spice. No matter what your mood or meal is, there is sure to be a Malbec that fits perfectly.

Woman eating cereals.

Resveralife Eat Well: Eat Your Way to Great Skin

The link between diet and health is inextricable. The foods that you choose when you’re at the market affect every aspect of your body from your general health to your toenails. A nutritious, well-balanced diet provides your body with everything it needs to run at peak efficiency. The old adage “you are what you eat” is certainly true when it comes to diet and your skin. Once you decide to eat your way to better skin (and overall health) it can be a bit daunting and overwhelming to start writing up grocery lists and planning your meals. Which foods are most beneficial to your skin? Resveralife researched this question and we’ve rounded up the five best, and most delicious, foods to eat your way to better skin.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
We figured we’d start with something that you will be delighted to add to your next shopping list. Chocolate can help give you glowing skin, but only if you are consuming dark chocolate. Milk chocolate does not have nearly the same amount of cacao that dark chocolate does. The famous skin expert, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, notes some of the benefits of dark chocolate saying, “…dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” Cocoa also helps hydrate your skin, making it more supple. Look for chocolate that is 70% dark chocolate or higher to reap the benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.

Walnuts

Walnuts
Walnuts, another tasty treat, have several components that make them a great choice when you want to eat your way to better skin. Walnuts are the only type of nut that contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids benefit everyone, they are especially beneficial to those who follow a vegetarian diet that do not enjoy fish. In addition the the omega-3s that walnuts provide, they are also high in copper. Copper is a mineral that boosts collagen production, leaving your skin firmer and smoother.

Oatmeal dish

Oatmeal
A great way to start your day, oatmeal (particularly steel cut oats or whole grain oatmeal) is a complex carbohydrate that fills you up. Choosing a sugary cereal spikes your insulin levels and that can be bad news for your face. When insulin spikes it increases production of hormones known as androgens, which in turn increase oil production and the end result is more zits and pimples on your face. Oatmeal has skin healing properties and takes longer to break down in your body, which means that it keeps your blood sugar at a steady level.

Kale on a table.

Kale
Okay, this one can be more of an acquired taste, but figuring out ways to fix it that you enjoy will significantly help your skin. A one cup serving of kale provides you with 134% of vitamin C and 133% of vitamin A. Additionally, kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients neutralize and absorb free-radicals that are caused by ultraviolet radiation, including those UV rays that may get past your sunscreen. There are tons of ways to eat kale, so there’s bound to be something you love whether it’s a green smoothie, a chopped salad or a snack like kale chips.

Green tea.

Green Tea
We wanted to include a healthy drinking option on the list, because sometimes you want something other than water. Green tea is incredibly high in antioxidants and one in particular, EGCG, that helps reduce redness. In addition, the antioxidants in green tea increase oxygen flow to your skin and boost your circulation. Studies have also shown that green tea fights inflammation in the body. Enjoy at least one cup of green tea daily to get the skin rewards this powerful drink offers.

It really is possible to eat your way to better skin, and not all of the foods that benefit your body are bland and boring. Strive for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and limit the amount of refined sugar you eat. Always pick whole grains, complex carbohydrates, over simple carbohydrates that are overly processed. Combined with exercise and great skin care, your healthy skin diet will leave you looking and feeling your best.

Red wine poured in a glass.

History of Merlot Wine

Merlot is one of the most popular wines in the entire world. In the United States, it ranks second most popular behind Cabernet Sauvignon. However, in the past few years wine experts and connoisseurs have deemed Merlot to be an unworthy wine. Perhaps this is because it tends to be an easy-drinking wine with a smooth texture and finish and low, unobtrusive tannins. Merlot wine may be easy-to-drink and beginner friendly, but that does not mean that seasoned wine drinkers cannot enjoy or appreciate fine Merlot wine. Merlot is a classic wine, with origins dating back to 19th century France. Learn more about the history of this velvety red wine below.

Earliest Mentions
The earliest mention of Merlot in France was written in the notes of a Bordeaux official in 1784. This local official noted that the wine coming from the Libournais region was among the best in the area. In this document, Merlot was named Merlau. It was not until the 1800s that the word Merlot was used in reference to the wine. In 1824, an article on Medoc wine described that the Merlot grape was named after the local blackbird. There are two thoughts regarding the naming of the grape: one is that it was named because local blackbirds loved to eat the ripe Merlot grapes and the other is that the grape (and wine) was named simply due to the color of the blackbirds. Merlot was first recorded in Italy around Venice and was called by the name Bordo.

Modern Merlot
The most famous region for growing the Merlot grape is the Bordeaux region in France. The Medoc region, though generally known for its Cabernets, devotes 40% of its planting space to Merlot grapes. Merlot is the third most popularly planted grape in France. The Merlot grape also thrives in the northeast Italy and is currently rapidly being grown in Eastern Europe. Merlot wine reached peak popularity in the United States during the 1990s, but it experienced a drop in popularity after the movie Sideways poked fun at the wine. Modern Merlot often features the following notes and flavors:

  • Fruity Flavors – Merlot can have fruit flavors such as raspberries, dried cherries, blackberries, blackcurrant and plum.
  • Spices – The region in which the Merlot grape is grown affect the spices that are present in the wine but some common spices are cloves, mint, caramel, bay leaves and black pepper.
  • Oak Flavors – Again, it will depend on whether the Merlot has been lightly or heavily oaked, but some of the resulting flavors are smoke, tar and oak for heavily oaked Merlots and vanilla and coconut in lightly oaked Merlots.
  • Age of the Bottle – Wine gains new flavors in the aging process and Merlots have some interesting notes from aging. Common flavors include earth, tobacco, leather and coffee.

Knowing a bit of history about the wines you prefer is a bit of fun and it gives you an appreciation for where the wine originated and what the wine has become. Merlot truly is one of the best red wines for beginners, though that does not mean that a seasoned wine veteran cannot enjoy its fruity flavors and smooth finish. Merlot also pairs with a large variety of foods, making it less stressful to find a great combination. Sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of Merlot at the end of a long day.

Spaghetti and wine

Resveralife Eat Well: Merlot Food Pairing Guide

The Merlot grape is the second most prominent grape variety in the world when it comes to planting. Second only to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is also the most consumed red wine in the United States. Often, what comes to mind when you hear the world Merlot are notes of red fruits, easy tannins, a velvety texture and a smooth finish. While it is often considered an “easy” drinking wine, Merlot can have concentrated, firm tannins that rival the best Cabernet Sauvignons. The majority of Merlot, however, is a lighter, fruitier wine that pairs well with a large variety of foods. Most Merlots feature flavors of:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Currants
  • Black cherries
  • Plums
  • Cassis
  • Chocolate

Merlots may also have hints of black olives, cedar, licorice and tobacco. The type of Merlot you drink will largely depend upon the climate in which it was grown. Cool climates yield a silky, soft-tannin Merlot while warmer climates lean towards a full-bodied, acidic Merlot. While Merlot is a joy to drink on its own, Resveralife has put together some foods that help bring out and enhance the flavors of Merlot.

Cheese platter and wine.

Cheese
Truthfully, Merlot and cheese are not the best pairing. Merlot pairs better with meatier, more substantial foods. However, that does not mean you can’t pair Merlot with cheeses. Here are some well-paired cheeses for Merlot:

  • Camembert
  • Smoked Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Smoked Provolone
  • Parmesan

Juicy hamburger and fries.

Main Courses
Merlot is a highly versatile wine and pairs with a number of dinner options from hearty vegetarian dishes to meals featuring red meat. One of the easiest food pairings is a classic, thick and juicy hamburger. If you prefer a cheeseburger, add some medium sharp cheddar to your burger. Another relatively easy to make dish is classic spaghetti and meatballs. Not only are the meatballs a great accompaniment to Merlot, but the tomato sauce cuts through the acidity of Merlot as well. You can also create a charcuterie platter that features an assortment of smoked meats.

For vegetarians and others who enjoy main courses that use vegetables as the center, there are multiple Merlot pairings that you can create. One of the tastiest vegetarian dishes is to create a vegetable red curry. The vegetables you choose are completely up to you, but some suggestions are eggplant, potato, and asparagus. Another great vegetarian pairing for Merlot is eggplant rollatini. This blends creamy, tomato based sauce and eggplant for a dish that seems made for Merlot.

Dessert and wine

Sweets
As a general rule when pairing food and wine, desserts are paired with dessert wines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Merlot with sweet foods. A fruit tray full of blackberries, red grapes, black cherries and plum is a perfect end to a meal served with Merlot. You could also serve Merlot with a creamy dark chocolate mousse topped with blackberries and raspberries.

Merlot is an incredibly popular wine worldwide and with the generous pairings the wine allows it is no surprise that people love to drink it. Experiment with Merlots produced in different climates for the full effect of what the Merlot grape is capable of. Remember that when it comes to wine and food, the most important rule to follow is to eat, and drink, what you like.

Chicken with parma ham and risotto.

Resveralife Eat Well: Get Healthy With These Food Pairings

Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, wine and food – there are some foods that just seem to taste better when paired together. Of course, you have foods that you love to put together, but the food pairings can go far beyond providing a complimentary taste or texture. In fact, there are some food pairings that can actually significantly increase the nutritional value of your meal. Says Elaine Magee, D.R., “[f]ood synergy is when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits…by eating foods that have a synergistic effect you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.” We did a little bit of digging to figure out what food pairings not only provide the largest amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but also what food pairings genuinely taste great together. After all, you don’t get the nutritional benefits if you don’t actually eat the food. Resveralife’s favorite healthy food pairings are below.

Onions and grapes.

Onions and Grapes
We admit it, this healthy food pairing sounds pretty disgusting, but stay with us. Onions contain a particularly significant amount of quercetin, a plant-derived antioxidant. Quercetin provides cardiovascular protection by improving circulation. It has also been shown to help relieve or reduce symptoms of allergies. Grapes, a wealth of antioxidants, contain a polyphenol antioxidant called catechin. Catechin is a powerful antioxidant: it helps prevent against cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. An added bonus is that catechin may also help you lose weight. So, on their own these foods offer pretty impressive benefits. When combined they do all of the above in addition to preventing blood clots and providing a boost to your overall health. One of the tastiest ways to combine these two seemingly incompatible ingredients is to make a fresh chicken salad with sliced grapes and diced onions.

Blueberries and oatmeal.

Blueberries and Oatmeal
Grab a spoon and whip up this easy, and incredibly healthful, breakfast. For such a tiny fruit, blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. Blueberries have a high concentration of ellagic acid, which is thought to fight certain cancers, and include vitamins C and K. Additionally, blueberries are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K. Oatmeal is a whole grain and has high levels of avenanthramides – compounds that fight free radicals from damaging your LDL (good cholesterol) through oxidation. As whole grains they also help fight disease and inflammation in your body. When you combine blueberries and oatmeal, the vitamin C in blueberries significantly enhances the prevention of LDL oxidation.

Red beans and brown rice.

Red Kidney Beans and Brown Rice
A more appetizing sounding combination, red beans and rice are a great way to give your dinner more nutritional value. Brown rice is a whole grain that is naturally high fiber and magnesium. Red kidney beans have a ton of great nutrients: they contain protein, magnesium, potassium, fiber and vitamin B12. Eating red kidney beans helps to prevent heart disease, reduces blood pressure and stabilizes glucose levels.The reason these two ingredients form a great healthy food pairing is that when combined, red beans and brown rice form a complete protein. A protein is considered a complete protein when it contains certain levels of all nine amino acids. Red kidney beans and brown rice provide you with everything your body needs to function healthily.

Food pairings are nothing new, you’ve been making these decisions for years. However, being a bit more strategic about what foods are served together can not only create new flavors, but also increase your health. Spend some time figuring out the best way to combine healthy foods that you love. For instance, you don’t have to simply top your oatmeal with blueberries, consider making healthy oatmeal bars with fresh blueberries for an on-the-go breakfast. A healthier diet is definitely within your reach as you start creating healthy food pairings.

Family enjoying an outdoor picnic

Healthy Meals for Kids

The end of summer is in sight and the stores are packed full of every school supply imaginable. Back to school time usually means that your schedule is fuller and far more hectic than the relaxed days of summer. With all of the running around from school to karate to dance lessons to buy groceries, meal times can become increasingly difficult. Resist the temptation to give into easy, unhealthy options and consider these great meals that are easy to cook, and are perfect for your kids.

Salmon burgers.

Salmon Burgers
Give red meat a rest and serve your kids the burgers they love with the nutrition they need. These quick and easy salmon burgers are ready in under 30 minutes, making them the perfect busy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.75 oz) salmon – drained and flaked
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ onion – diced
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

First, open and drain the can of salmon. Flake the salmon and be sure that no bones remain. Dice ½ onion and squeeze the juice from the ½ lemon. Next, mix the salmon, oats, onion, egg, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Mix until ingredients until they are evenly combined then divide and separate into 4 patties. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry until salmon is cooked through (roughly 5-7 minutes per side).

Buffalo chicken wrap.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Get the taste of wings with serving of veggies with this super quick and easy meal. This recipe is especially great for using leftover chicken in a tasty and fun way.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken breast – shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup juilenned celery
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup buffalo style hot sauce
  • 4 whole grain tortillas

Cook rice according to package directions – you can make this step quicker and easier by using a ready rice that takes only minutes to cook. Combine the shredded chicken and buffalo sauce. Place ¼ cup of brown rice on each tortilla and spread across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch of space. Add ¼ cup chicken to each tortilla and add the sliced carrots and celery. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese on top of the vegetables and top with shredded lettuce. Fold wrap and roll the wraps and you’re ready to eat. If desired you can serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing. You can also eliminate the tortillas from this recipe and simply serve a buffalo chicken salad (add more lettuce).

Hummus pizza.

Hummus Pizza
Everyone loves a good slice of pizza, but it isn’t exactly the most nutritious choice to make for your family. For a healthier alternative, make this veggie packed pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 tablespoons black olives – sliced
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers (any color)
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place crust on a baking stone or sheet. Spread the hummus evenly across the crust. Arrange the vegetables over the hummus top with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes – until cheese bubbles and crust appears golden-brown.

Healthy meals don’t have to be boring. When you whip up one of these healthy alternatives to food favorites, your kids are sure to enjoy their dinner while you enjoy providing them with added health.

Friends having fun in a summer BBQ

Resveralife Eat Well: Wine to Pair with Summer BBQs

The summer has not come to an end yet; you still have plenty of time to gather your family and friends for a great backyard barbecue. Whether grilling or preparing real, smoked barbecue, an informal gathering for great food, drink and company is welcome. The beverages of choice commonly associated with backyard barbecues are lemonade, soft drinks, iced tea and beer. Wine is often left out of the barbecue festivities because it can be hard to know what wine to pair with what food you’re making. The first rule of wine pairing is to eat and drink what you like. After all, your enjoyment is the most important aspect of having wine with your favorite foods. However, Resveralife does have several general suggestions when it comes time to uncork your wine bottles and fire up the grill.

Pork brisket on a grill.

Brisket
The Texas staple when it comes to barbecue, beef brisket is definitely a great barbecue food. Often made with a dry rub, brisket begins very fatty but the fat is rendered off of the meat during the smoking process. Because brisket tends to have dry rubs full of spice (and perhaps a hint of sugar) and true brisket is served without sauce, the wine you pair with it needs to be rich and full. A Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing for brisket because it features earthy, complex flavors. If you want something that plays perfectly off of the smoky taste of the brisket, consider a Shiraz, which also has earthy notes but also a slight smokiness.

Chicken on a grill.

Grilled Chicken
Chicken, because it is a light meat, is often paired with white wines. Perhaps the most common chicken/white wine pairing is Chardonnay. You can easily enjoy a Chardonnay, just be sure that smooth and dry and not overly buttery. If you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous with your wine, consider reds like a Shiraz or Zinfandel. These two wines pair particularly well if your grilled chicken happens to be smothered in a mouth-watering barbecue sauce. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and medium-dry Rieslings are also popular pairings for grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken Burger.

Burgers
The staple of many grilling get-togethers, burgers do not necessarily scream “eat me with wine.” More often it’s beer that will accompany a burger, but think outside the box and consider wine. If you are looking to enjoy a red wine with your juicy burger, look to a Zinfandel. Many Zinfandels are full, ripe and have hints of fruits like blackberry. If you would prefer to enjoy a white wine, consider a Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from New Zealand. These wines are full of an herb flavor in combination with tropical fruits, so the wine does not overpower the burger or vice versa.

Vegetables on a grill.

Grilled Vegetables
Typically meat is the star at a barbecue, but if you have vegetarian friends (or just want some tasty veggies), you can load up your grill with vegetables. Again, because vegetables are light, you are going to most likely select a white wine to pair with your veggies. A Chardonnay may not be the first thing you would think of because many have strong notes of oak. However, there are Chardonnays that feature perfect summer fruits like cantaloup, pineapple and lime. If you want to be a bit more exotic with your pairing, try a Gruner Veltliner white. This is comparable to a Sauvignon Blanc but gives a nice change of pace. Veltliner works excellently with grilled vegetables with notes of green pepper and lime.

Your summer barbecue does not have to stock only coolers full of beer. Enhance your barbecue experience by pairing wines with your foods. And remember, the most important rule in pairing wines with foods is to drink what you like!

Smoothies on a wooden table.

Resveralife Eat Well: Summer Fruit Smoothies Full of Antioxidants

We’ve focused on antioxidant-rich foods this week, so we figured we would give you some ways to enjoy them! Smoothies are a great way to increase your uptake of antioxidants and get the health benefits berries, and other fruits, have to offer. All of these smoothie recipes are high in antioxidants, taste great and are super quick and easy to make. (Note: all of these smoothie recipes yield one serving)

Cranberry Berry Smoothie.

 

Cranberry Berry Smoothie
For a festive pink drink, this smoothie is quite healthy.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) strawberries
  • ¼ cup Greek-style vanilla (or honey) yogurt

Throw your ingredients into your blend and blend until a smooth texture has been reached. For added fun, throw a few fresh raspberries on top or place a strawberry on the rim of your glass.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
This smoothie is perfect for any time of day (we love it for breakfast!). This smoothie combines the antioxidants found in blueberries and pomegranates for a delicious treat.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ almond milk
  • ¼ cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon stevia (powder form…7 drops in liquid form)
  • dash of cinnamon

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until a smooth texture has been reached. Usually, it takes about 2 minutes to get the consistency just right, but depending on your blender and ingredients it may take more or less time.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
The classic combination of kiwi and strawberry comes together in a healthy, antioxidant-rich fruit smoothie.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh (or frozen) strawberries
  • ½ banana
  • ½ kiwi
  • ¼ cup Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt (for a zestier taste try a citrus flavored yogurt)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

Peel the kiwi and banana and slice both in half. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Berry Chocolate Smoothie

Berry Chocolate Smoothie
Want to indulge your sweet tooth but keep it healthy? This smoothie not only is packed with antioxidants and includes a chocolate taste, it also gives you the benefits of dark, leafy greens.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup shredded kale
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons cocoa powder (unsweetened is best)
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt

Add everything to your blender and blend until smooth. If using fresh berries, you may want to include a bit of ice. Adjust the level of cocoa powder and maple syrup to your tastes.

Smoothies are the perfect summer treat, especially when fresh fruit is at its peak. Experiment with different smoothie combinations to make one of your very own antioxidant rich smoothie. Blend one up for a quick breakfast before work or unwind at the end of the day with a sweet, and healthy, treat.

Cheese and red wine.

Resveralife Eat Well: Zinfandel Food Pairing Guide

Zinfandel wines are often juicy, delicious, a bit hardy and have a good acidity to them. However, these wines also feature a very distinctive set of descriptors that can make it difficult to know how to pair foods with Zinfandel. Resveralife did some digging and we have come up with several pairings that can help bring out the best in your favorite Zinfandel.

Wine bottle and glass on a wooden table.

Zinfandel Information
The Zinfandel grape came to America by way of Austria sometime around 1820. Zinfandel grapes are considered the most “American” grape, partly because these grapes are the only grapes used by American vineyards that do not originate in France.

Zinfandel wines are considered a cult classic and have very unique flavor profiles. Many Zinfandel wines include the flavors of blackberries, sweet cherries, figs and spice. The wines produced from the Zinfandel grape range from robust and elegant to bright and lively. With such domineering flavors, Zinfandel wines provide a problem when it comes to pairing with food.

Food Pairings
Ultimately the food selections you make for pairing with Zinfandel will depend upon the specific Zinfandel you have chosen, but there are several general guidelines that help determine what foods to pair your Zinfandel with.

Meat and red wine.

Meats
Zinfandels pair extremely well with meat. Because Zinfandel has such a strong taste, you can pair this wine with hearty meals. Barbecue ribs are an excellent meat to accompany a Zinfandel. Grill some Italian sausages and enjoy with peppers and onions. If you are looking for a heavy meal, try pairing a Zinfandel with a lamb stew. You could also prepare your favorite burger with high-quality beef as the star next to Zinfandel.

Assortment of wine and cheeses

Cheeses
The type of cheeses that you can pair with Zinfandels vary from mild cheeses such as mozzarella to a sharper cheese such as smoked Swiss cheese. Parmesan pairs well with a variety of Zinfandels as do aged cheddar, aged gouda or asiago cheese. Lighter Zinfandels pair well with milder cheeses such as brie, mild cheddar and gouda cheeses. For Zinfandels that have a bigger, bold flavor, look for cheeses that are robust like cheddar or aged gruyere. Some Zinfandels feature a heavy flavor of spice. These pair best with cheeses like havarti and gorgonzola.

Pasta and red wine.

Pastas
Light Zinfandels pair extremely well with pasta dishes that feature creamy sauces while bolder Zinfandels work best with dishes that are tomato based. If you are drinking a big tasting Zinfandel, try hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti bolognese. A lighter Zinfandel works well with  a creamy macaroni and cheese featuring a mild cheddar cheese.

Though Zinfandel wines are not the most popular, in part due to the fact that they make for difficult pairings, they do have a very loyal following. It may take a bit of experimenting until you figure out which Zinfandels pair with certain dishes, but creativity and enjoying new tastes is all a part of the process. Grab a bottle of your favorite Zinfandel and head to your kitchen to try pairing your wine with a great meal.

Woman enjoying the summer weather.

Next Level Healthy Ideas

Your health is critical to your quality of life. When you are in poor physical health you are more likely to be in poor mental health as well. You know the basics of living a healthy lifestyle; diet and exercise. You need to nourish your body not just dump food into you and if you aren’t moving, your body doesn’t work at peak efficiency. If you are already leading a pretty healthy lifestyle consisting of a healthy, nutritious diet and plenty of activity, you may want some ideas on how to take your health to the next level.

Different types of juices on a wooden table.

Consider a Cleanse
A cleanse is not for everyone but for some it can be a great way to jump-start weight loss. Additionally, cleanses are designed to remove unwanted toxins from the body. There are a multitude of cleanses from juice cleanses to cabbage soup cleanses. Do a bit of detective work to find a cleanse you have the willpower to stick with, because a cleanse does you no good if you don’t follow through.

Vegetarian dish.

Go Vegetarian
Hear us out before you get too upset about losing your bacon. Studies definitely support the idea that a plant-based diet is capable of providing your body with all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that it needs. However, if you aren’t ready to give up meat, consider following a vegetarian diet one day each week. If you are interested in taking your vegetarian diet even further, take it to the next level and go vegan. A vegan diet differs from a vegetarian diet as it includes absolutely no animal products, so cheese and dairy are out. If you are vegan already and you want to up your health game, go raw. A raw foods diet can be difficult to adjust to, but it is an excellent way to eat for your health.

Resveratrol Capsules from Vine Vera.

Think About Supplements
The market is absolutely flooded with vitamins, minerals and supplements designed to take your health to the next level. If you are eating a quality diet with plenty of fresh produce, you really should be getting all of the nutrients you need from your food. However, if you want to add a little oomph, consider supplements. Our resveratrol capsules feature a proprietary blend of antioxidants such as resveratrol, green tea and acai to keep you at maximum health. Not only are our resveratrol supplements great for your general physical health, but they are also incredible for your skin.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you have to exercise like crazy every day or follow the strictest of diets. Rather, taking care of your health means being more active (like taking the stairs instead of the escalator) and eating a diet full of varieties of fresh produce and lean meats (unless you’re vegetarian/vegan). Adding strength training to your cardiovascular exercise is a great way to increase your health. If you’re already doing both, consider trying something new like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or relax while you improve your body with yoga. Following a good diet and exercise regime promises a healthy, happy life.

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