Wine lovers and those looking to improve their wine IQ, can try out The Tasting Room, a company founded in 2009. The Tasting Room is a "personalized wine club" that seeks to "demystify the wine buying process". The process starts when a wine tasting kit is delivered to your house and allows you, the wine drinker, to taste a variety of fine wines in six sample 50 ml. bottles.
After sampling, technology processes the personal ratings. A personal wine profile that defines a user's preferences is produced. The software then selects full size (750 ml) bottles based on the ratings. Taster becomes a buyer and is on the way to filling the esteemed wine rack. Tasting Room also offers discounted wines delivered every three months.
But before embarking on a wine journey, be aware of the two faces of alcohol, a report compiled by Harvard researchers.
In certain instances, alcohol's risks, primarily addiction and abuse, outweigh its benefits. Health providers can best discern (based on genetics and genetic testing) whether or not alcohol is a risky or healthy addition to one's diet. The possible health benefits of alcohol, lowering cholesterol levels, for example, have to be weighed against the negatives, like increased risk of breast cancer.
Quick Facts: the Good:
*In France, red wine as an antidote to a diet rich in butter and cheese has been attributed to longer, healthier lives absent the U.S's high rates of heart disease.
*Humans have been drinking fermented beverages for 10,000 years.
*Ethanol, alcohol's active ingredient, affects directly the brain, heart, gallbladder and liver.
*Ethanol affects levels of lips (cholesterol and triglycerides) and insulin in the blood.
*Over a 100 prospective studies show moderate drinking (12 14 grams of alcohol for women and 12 - 28 for men) reduce risk of heart attack, clot caused strokes, sudden heart attacks, and vascular disease by 25 percent to 40 percent.
*Alcohol raises levels of "good cholesterol".
Quick Facts: the Bad
*Alcohol blocks the absorption of folate and inactivates folate in the blood and tissues. (Folate is a B vitamin,essential to neural development of human embryos).
*Heavy drinking inflames the liver (alcoholic hepatitis)
*Heavy drinking increases blood pressure
*Heavy drinking increases damage to the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
*Alcohol use linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, breast, and colon, and rectum in men.
*Contributes to liver cancer and colorectal cancer in women. Risk is multiplied for tobacco smokers.
*18.2 million Americans abuse alcohol.
*16,000+ people die in alcohol related car catastrophes
*Alcohol increases risk of breast cancer by as much as 41 percent.
Bottom line, balancing eating to live and living to eat is a tough one. Alcohol's place on the table can be the same as sugar and salt because of its same unhealthy, sometimes deadly risk of addiction. Not every brain is equipped to avoid addiction.
A full wine rack all year long is a household goal for many and may even be easier with home delivery services, the latest consumer trend for busy people who look to the web to facilitate nearly every avenue in their lives.