Answering Your Questions About Wine

Monday Morning Post

We didn't have a picture of a glass
 of wine but we did have this
cheezy little photo....
after all, wine & cheese is
a pairing aux natural!
This week our mail bag was chock full of wine questions.

Here's what you asked and here's how we answered.

Q. Are there any vitamins or minerals in a glass of wine?

A. Yes. The main nutrients in a glass of red table wine are calcium, magnesium and choline. Not large amounts of any of them but like all foods, they contribute a little bit to the overall diet.

Q. Does a glass of wine count as a serving of fruit?

A. Sorry, no, but nice try.

Q. Does wine provide the same health benefits when used in cooking as it does when drunk?

A. No one knows for sure.... so, until we learn more, be sure to drink a glass of wine whenever you cook with it.

Q. What wines can I serve to someone with allergies to sulfites?

A. According to the USDA, only 1 percent of people have a true allergy to sulfites. That number goes up to 5 percent among people who have asthma.

All wine naturally contains low levels of sulfites. Many winemakers add additional sulfites to their wine after fermentation to increase their shelf life.  The USDA requires that all wines with sulfites in excess of 10 parts per million be labeled with the disclaimer "contains sulfites."

A USDA certified organic label on a bottle of wine indicates that the wine was made without ADDED sulfites.  Other countries have various standards for organic labeling which vary widely.

Q. Are There Pesticide Residues in Wine?

A. Don't know.  We looked and looked and asked everyone we thought should know with no luck. We're concerned about pesticide residue because grapes are not washed before they are crushed. Washing grapes, say wine makers, inhibits the wine making process.

Grapes, in Virginia, are a heavily sprayed crop. We have been reassured by many Virginia winery owners that spraying is stopped well in advance of harvesting to allow the pesticides and fungicides to break down into natural compounds.

We finally came up with a bit of an answer on  According to their November 1, 2007 posting, scientists from the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science at the University of La Laguna (located in the Canary Islands, Spain) examined pesticide levels in 10 different white wines using a technique called solid-phase microextraction.

The tests found trace amounts of 12 different pesticides that are widely used in grape cultivation in the wine, but concluded that the levels were well below the maximum allowed.

Q.  Making wine seems so complected!  Is there an easy way to make wine at home?

A.  Oh, my yes!!
Wine has been made for thousands and thousands of years by people with far less equipment than modern wineries have.  Wine is nothing more than fermented juice.... any kind of juice from any kind of fruit.  We have periodic wine weekends at Cheesecake Farms and we'll show you how to make an easy, basic home vintage.... no special equipment needed!!   Email us for the dates...


   Our home made wine fermenting !!!!!!



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