Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Healthy Foods Can Be Delicious

In this post I would like to emphasize more on healthy foods, which some people think it's not good for us or it's no not delicious.
I would like you all to view this video by clicking this link to see how this works: Here the doctor talks about Dark Chocolate and Wine - he says they are good for your heart, if if you don't believe check out this video.

OK, even now you don't believe, let me help you with some more information about these two wonderful foods.
First let me help you understanding WHAT and HOW of DARK CHOCOLATE.

(Click on this link of my post for Chocolate Chip Cookies for more information on Dark Chocolate)
As there are too many brands of dark chocolate sold in the market I would like to help you in selecting the best one. Below is the video the America's Test Kitchen, showing which one is the best.
So I guess now you will be looking for some dark chocolate out in the market. Now if you are worried about gaining weight because of eating chocolate, my answer would be an absolute NO... NO!, because eating dark chocolate will only help you loose weight and not gain. To prove that I would like to show you another video.
Finally I don't think you have any more doubts!. If you think you still have one, then please write to me or leave a comment and I will try my best to answer your question.

Now lets go to the SARDINIAN WINE facts:
Popular Red Wines of Sardinia
Sardinia's Wine
Sardinia’s most well-known wines are Vermentino, Monica and Cannonau, but a wide range of grapes is grown across the island, including familiar international varieties such as Cabernet, and some lesser-known local varietals.  Many of the grapes grown in Sardinia are of Spanish origin, from when the island was ruled by Aragòn, while others were introduced by the subsequent Piemontese regime.  Several may be more familiar in their Spanish or French forms, for example Cannonau (Garnacha/Grenache).   
The Italian geographic/quality classification system, ranging from DOGC through DOC and IGT to Vino di Tavolo, is used in Sardinia - although the areas these are applied to are large and the link between a wine's classification and its quality is not always immediately obvious. 
Vermentino dominates Sardinia's whites in terms of volume and fame, and is the main grape in Gallura.  Vermentino di Gallura is the island’s only DOCG-classified wine, the grape concentrated by heat and drying winds;  varieties range from light and fresh through to golden, deeper and more complex, and there is also a frizzante lightly-sparkling version.   
Grapes grown on the island include:
Chardonnay:  In very limited quantities.  Is sometimes blended with Vermentino for sparkling wine.
Clairette:  Probably of French origin, this grape is used in Tuscan and Sardinian white blends.
Malvasia: Thought to be of Greek origin, Malvasia is among the most cultivated grapes in Italy. It comes in many varieties.
Malvasia di Sardegna:  Sardinian sub-variety used in apricot-scented white wines.
Moscatello:  Also known as Muscatel, it is a large-berried variety of Moscato.
Moscato Bianco:  Italian name for the French Muscat Blanc à Petit Grain, the oldest known variety of Muscat, and is also known as Moscato Canelli.
Müller-Thurgau:  German cross of Riesling and Sylvaner.
Nasco:  Native white grown in the Alghero and Cagliari areas, can be aged.
Nuragus:  An ancient grape of Phoenician origin, it makes good acidic, light white wines.
Pinot Bianco:  The Italian version of the French Pinot Blanc, this grape has been planted in Italy since the early 1800s.
Pinot Grigio:  Known in French as Pinot Gris, this is an extremely productive grape with highly variable characteristics.
Sauvignon:  Planted in limited quantities in Sardinia.
Semidano:  Light white found in the Cagliari area.
Sòmillon:  Though not widely used, it makes interesting blends when mixed with Sauvignon.
Torbato:  Another wine brought by the Spanish;  makes fresh, young whites, plus a Frizzante, widely grown in the Alghero area by producers such as Sella & Mosca.
Trebbiano:  There is a wide variety of Trebbiano grapes grown in Italy.  In Sardinia it’s usually blended, for example into some of the Isola dei Nuraghi IGT whites.
VERMENTINO:  Vermentino is the main grape of the north, producing some outstanding white wines - it thrives in Sardinia, helped by its resistance to heat and drought which means it grows well in coastal areas such as the windy, rocky Galluran region, where it is scented with the herbs of the macchia.  Styles vary;  some is light with well-balanced acid, some tends towards Chardonnay colour and flavours.  In the Arzachena/Cannigione area, the two quality local producers are Capichera and Surrau - they are widely available locally.
Vernaccia di Oristano:  Unfashionable and overshadowed by Vermentino, there is a very limited amount of Vernaccia grown, usually by small traditional producers, although more interest has been generated since a Vernaccia from Cabras won the gold medal at Vinitaly 2009 (Karmis 2008 di Contini di Cabras). 
A number of rosés are produced, for example from Alghero DOC grapes, although rosé is not a main focus for the island’s producers.

Monica and Cannonau are the most well-known grape varieties, used to produce wines ranging from everyday to extremely high quality.  Some are fairly heavy and full-bodied, a good combination with the traditional fairly heavy Sardinian food.  Cannonau in particular is believed to be a contributory factor to the very long average lifespan in some of the mountain villages, and research into this phenomenon continues.   The red grapes grown on the island include:
Barbera Sarda:  A rare variety.
Bovale Grande:  Also known as the Nieddera, it's used mainly for blending.
Bovale:   A deep red variety, probably of Spanish origin from the Bobal grape but possibly related to Mouvèdre. Its main use is in blends.
Cabernet Franc:  French varietal used in occasional blends.
Cabernet Sauvignon:  Grown throughout Italy and making an appearance in some high-quality reds, such as the Super Tuscans, it’s grown by various producers in Sardinia and may be blended with a local grape (e.g. Cagnulari).
Cagnulari:  Local red variety, sometimes used in high-quality blends.
CANNONAU:  Spanish Garnacha or Grenache in French, this, produces earthy, red-berry flavoured wines and is grown throughout Sardinia – its DOC area extends across the entire island.
CARIGNANO:   Originally from Spain and France, it is used in Sardinia to make full-bodied, dark reds.  Carignano del Sulcis (Cariñena/Carignan) and its DOC area is confined to the south-west.   
Gamay:  Although grown widely throughout mainlaind Italy, it's very rarely found in Sardinia.
Girò:  Used to make some rare Port-like wines in the Cagliari area.
Malbec:  Sometimes appears in blends.
Merlot:  Widely planted throughout Italy, and also makes an appearance in Sardinia.
MONICA:  Widely planted across the island, it has red berry fruit flavours.
Nieddera:  Also known as Bovale, a dark red of Spanish origin. Made into rare varietal wines.  There is also a subvariety, Nieddera Mannu.
Pascale:  Very rare red grape grown in the Cagliari area.
Petite Verdot:  Blending variety of Bordeaux adds deep, dark colour and tannic structure.
Pinot Nero:  The Italian version of Pinot Noir is at its best in Piedmont and other northern regions;  Sardinia is not classic Pinot territory.
Sangiovese:  Famous base grape for wines such as Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano and Sangiovese di Romagna, this is also planted in Sardinia although tends to be blended, for example in Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, and makes an appearance in some rosé blends.
Syrah:  Heat-loving syrah/shiraz is being planted, particularly for use in blends.
Tannat:  A grape originally from south-west France where it is known as Madiran, this is a very tannic, dark variety used for blending.
Vermentino Nero:  Very rare red version of vermentino.  
If you’re on the island between early November and Christmas, you may see a few novello wines, the new red wines made from that season’s grapes.  Not all estates bottle a novello, as it’s not easy to produce.
To buy fine wines head to either a vineyard which sells to the public, or a specialist retailer.  But for a good selection of local wines supermarkets usually stock a range with prices between €2 and €40, and can sell some very good quality wines.  You'll see those same wines in most restaurants, making the markup completely transparent.

Museo del Vino
If you’re interested in wine, the Museo del Vino in Berchidda has some interesting information about the history of viticulture on the island, tracing its production through various ages and influences including the Phoenicians, Carthagians and Romans, with displays of historic winemaking equipment and a section dedicated to cork (sughero), still a major industry here on the island. 
The museum is housed in a purpose-built modern structure on the hillside above the town of Berchidda, and has stunning views out across the plains, vineyards and to the mountains beyond.  Tours can be arranged, including guided tastings of a range of wines.  The museum is open throughout the year - for opening times and details see www.monteacuto.it
For those who'd like to find out about the wines of Gallura in more detail, the big regional co-operative Cantina Gallura has 160+ members in the area and its website has information on each major wine, its production plus brief tasting notes, in Italian and English.  It includes information on the area's Frizzante, Spumante and Novello wines, as well as the mainstream whites and reds. www.cantinagallura.com

Mirto  Made from the myrtle berries which ripen in winter, this is usually a dark red, sweet liqueur, although white mirto can also be found.  Good-quality mirto is fragrant and has hints of the herbs of the macchia where the myrtle bushes grow.  Poor quality mirto is sugary, coloured alcohol (often heavily chilled to disguise that).
Limoncello is also made on the island.  Again, good quality limoncello is worth finding;  fragrant and full of intense lemoniness.


Grown all over Italy, this unusual red is suspected to be a mutation of Moscato or Muscat. It is used to make sweet and perfumed reds in Tuscany, Lazio and Apulia among other regions.

Same as the French Garnacha or Grenache
Barbera Sarda:
A rare variety grown in Sardinia.
Bovale Grande:
Also known as the Nieddera, it is used mainly for blending purposes.
A deep red variety probably of Spanish origin but considered by some related to the Mouvèdre from France. Its primary use is in blending varieties.
Cabernet Franc:
French varietal widely grown in all regions, but especially in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Produces very characteristic reds.
Cabernet Sauvignon:
Originally from France, this grape is widely grown all over Italy and has become the base for some of the most appreciated and expensive Italian red wines. Similar to other original French grapes such as Merlot and Cabernet Franc, it was widely planted throughout Italy after phylloxera wiped out most of northern Italy's vineyards at the end of the nineteenth century.
Cannonau or Cannonao:
Italian name for the French Garnacha or Grenache, produces earthy, red-berry flavored reds.
Originally from Spain and France, it is used in Sardinia to make full-bodied, dark reds.
Grown widely throughout Italy, it is vinified as Colli del Trasimeno DOC varietal in Umbria.
Of Spanish origin as many other Sardinian grapes, it is used to make some rare Port-like wines in the Cagliari area.
Also known as Malbec, it is a tannic, dark red Bordeaux variety used to beef up blends.
This highly productive and adaptable variety of Bordeaux was introduced in Italy probably at the end of the nineteenth century. Today, it is the third most planted red grape in Italy.
Widely planted in the Campidano area, it is a lightly-colored, lightly-flavored red grape of Spanish origin.
Also known as Bovale, a dark red of Spanish origin. Made into rare varietal wines.
Nieddera Mannu:
Subvariety of Nieddera
Very rare red grape grown in the Cagliari area.
Petite Verdot:
This prized blending variety of Bordeaux is well appreciated for its deep, dark color and tannic structure.
Pinot Nero:
The Italian version of Pinot Noir is at its best in Piedmont, Oltrepò Pavese, and Alto Adige wines.
Considered Italy's most noble red grape, it is the base for many prize-winning wines including Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano and, last but not least, the increasingly known Sangiovese di Romagna. It is considered a native wild vine (vitis silvestris in Latin) that was first domesticated by the Etruscans in the Tuscan - Emilian Appennines. It has a characteristic black cherry aroma with scents of wood smoke, tar and wild herbs.
Also known as Shiraz. Thought to be of Persian origin, this is a very popular grape in Australia as well as in the Rhone Valley. Given the resistance of this grape to intense heat, it is gaining popularity throughout Italy and especially in Sicily, the Tuscan Maremma, Latium, and other areas where the summer heat can be intense. It is used in both blends and varietal bottlings.
A grape originally from south-west France where it is known as Madiran, this is a very tannic, dark variety used for blending.
Vermentino Nero:
Very rare red version of vermentino.

Note: You can drink a glass of wine everyday which is perfectly fine, but do remember these words "TOO MUCH IS TOO BAD". :-)