Romancing the Grape

The Bible teaches us that the first miracle performed by Jesus in the Gospel of John was turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast at Cana. I guess that is one of the reasons I have always been fond of the ‘fermented juice of grapes.’  Well, that’s what I like to tell myself.

I also like to remember the wise words of the late Professor Emeritus Peter R. Giradot who taught a fascinating one-hour ‘science of wine’ class when I was a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. Giradot, an affable former Dean of the College of Science, was a noted wine judge and aficionado. I remember being spell bound by his ability to romance the art of wine making.

He also was never shy about telling his students, “The medical value of wine is a well-accepted scientific fact.” While he primarily articulated the advantages of red wine, I recall he even pointed out that white wine was the first liquid some stomach surgery patients were allowed to drink in European hospitals. My fondness for Europeans grew immediately.

Today, it is fairly well accepted that red wine is heart healthy when consumed in moderation.  The Mayo Clinic reports:

“While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body. Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It’s possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits.”

During our recent trip to the Napa-area, we got to visit the vineyards of Cakebread (my favorite), V. Sattui, Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, Robert Mondavi Napa Valley, Viansa, Gloria Ferrer, and Domaine Carneros (pictured above and the top of this post). The photos featured here and, in greater abundance, on our Exploration Communication website are all from these wine producers.

I will let the medical community debate wine’s merits. On the other hand, I do not need to see a study to conclude that a trip to the vineyards and tasting rooms of Napa and Sonoma County, California is an awesome photo-related remedy.  And, I like to think it is even better if you take a sip or two and enjoy it with great friends.

I wish Dr. Giradot was still around to thank him for ‘romancing the grape.’ But, I also like to think he is enjoying a robust Zinfandel while enjoying another spectacular sunset with his friends in heaven.


–  Greg

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