Wine Sense Diet
Annette Shafer (Lifeline Press)
Annette Shafer were just the wife of a Napa Valley, California,
vintner, we might have reservations about her promotion of a wine-focused
diet. But she's also a 13-time marathon runner and a graduate of
the prestigious Culinary Institute of America who is dean of the
Robert Mondavi University (for wine studies). She has traveled the
world noting the beneficial aspects of wine on cultural diets.
nowhere has she seen the benefits more close up than by surveying
her neighbors in California's lush wine country. That's why she's
peppered the healthiest recipes of wine estate families throughout
her color photofilled tome.
she sets the table, though, Shafer writes about both the wine-health
connection (the growing medical literature on how a few glasses
of wine a day may help prevent heart attacks, regulate weight, stop
signs of aging, improve physical performance, combat depression
and reduce the risk of cancer) and the Napa Valley lifestyle (a
joie de vivre in which those glasses of wine fit right in.)
reading Shafer's glowing assessments such as this one, you'll probably
want to join the fun: "You won't find a fad diet book on the shelf
of any bookstore [in the Napa Valley]," she writes. "Or, if by chance
you do, it's not a local best-seller. Town residents practically
bathe in olive oil, and are always looking forward with great anticipation
to their next loaf of warm, brick-oven-baked crusty walnut bread
or a wedge of aged Asiago cheese. Sharing a meal and a bottle of
wine with friends and family is a favorite pastime.
special warmth and glorious energy emanates from the people herea
love of life, a joie de vivre, abounds. A walk through the vineyards
at sunset, a game of bocce with friends, a bike ride in the hills,
or a jog through townthese are all welcomed events and a part
of everyday life here. And the people are healthy. Really healthy.
curious thing is that rather than thinking about how to cut calories,
they are almost always talking about their next mealeven sometimes
discussing dinner at lunch."
Shafer gets you talking about your next meal by presenting the gems
that keeps her neighbors chatting, she talks about all the areas
in which wine has been shown to have beneficial results (you can
add possible protection against Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid
arthritis, diabetes and even the common cold to the previously mentioned
going over the studies that help prove those things, Shafer uses
the information to make some helpful overall analytical points,
such as: "Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, a physician at Boston University's
School of Medicine, has found that amid all the studies detailing
wine's healthy qualities, there is a message that has been overshadowed:
It is the pattern of how wine is consumed that makes a difference
in its benefit to overall health. Drinking a moderate amount of
wine, with meals on a daily basis, gives wine its most significant
she indicated, you won't find much calorie-counting going on with
the dishes from her neighbors that are meant to accompany that alcohol
(for which lots of wine-pairing and other wine tips are given).
But you will find an abundance of fresh ingredients prepared in
the Mediterranean style (long known for its health-protective qualities)
which has become a hallmark of California wine country cuisine.
This includes dishes like grilled flatbread and caesar salad sandwiches,
whichfollowing the strategy of saturating the diet with olive
oilincludes both a flavorful, olive oil-based Caesar dressing
in the filling and an olive oil-based pesto sauce of pine nuts,
walnuts, Parmesan, garlic and basil leaves.
how about honey-roasted pork marinated in dry white wine? Or spicy
chicken with preserved lemons (a Moroccan touch)? Or butterflied
leg of lamb with black olive tapenade?
joie de vivre Shafer writes about is more than evident in the recipes.
Everything is given that extra "oomph" to make it special
rather than mundane. You won't find plain salads, for instance,
but instead roast beet and spinach salad with candied pecans and
goat cheese; or sea scallops with a warm salad of sweet corn, roasted
peppers and shiitakes with chive oil or baby greens with blue cheese-pecan
get the same treatment, including an intriguing olive oil cake with
strawberries of which Shafer writes, "One may not associate olive
oil with dessert, but this cake is sweet, scrumptious and healthy
for you. The olive oil gives the cake a moist texture and fruity
taste." And, of course, to add to the joie de vivre, the luscious
cake is served with strawberries tossed in dessert wine. To add
to our own joie de vivre, why don't we have dessert first...?
Oil Cake with Strawberries
Roast Beet and Spinach Salad
with Candied Pecans and Goat Cheese