Wine and Food Pairing ¦ Learn how to match wine and Food.
There was this seedy period novel – the title of which I already forgot – that detailed quite a peculiar use for wine. In it were raven-haired whores who, in order to cater to the whims of a certain pack of most discriminating patrons, immersed their hair in wine, spread it like so and baked it under the glare of the sun. It was an inconvenient feat, if you ask me, but in those primitive days when no modern hair coloring implements have been discovered yet, wine became a staple as a hair-bleaching agent. I am not a biologist to ensure the veracity of such an account but it does imply certain uses for wine other than its conventional utility of getting your stomach filled or intoxicated. Here are is a list detailing other uses for wine, which border from the useful to the strange and even – up to some extent – the ridiculous.
Of course, if you are French (like me), wine should be a prominent fixture in your cooking repertoire. But for those merely in nodding acquaintance to this standard Western cuisine would be surprised to know that when reduced, wine is an excellent sauce for meat and other dishes. If you also had meat leavings after pan-frying, wash it off with wine and a bit of seasoning and after a bit of reduction, you will have what the French call as pan jus. You can also use it in cooking healthy food. For instance, when used as a meat marinade, wine can dramatically reduce carcinogenic compounds.
Wine, of course, is an alcoholic beverage. Bottles usually indicate alcohol somewhere in the label as a percentage. For example, Chianti Classico, would have at least 12% alcohol content. Now, this enables wines to become a disinfectant or a cleaning agent. It dissolves surface impurities when used to wash fruits. Wine can also be used as a kitchen cleaner, particularly effective in removing stains and disinfecting kitchen surfaces. A study by Mark Daeschel supported this, when it proved how wine is a “bactericidal”, effective in annihilating food-borne pathogens. If used in this manner, you will do well with a dry white wine. A red variety would leave a stain or a residue.
The health benefits of wine, particularly reds, is proven and highly documented by numerous scientific studies. Most importantly, each bottle is supposedly teeming with antioxidants, which naturally makes it good for your heart. When taken in moderation, red wine prevents clogged arteries because it encourages good cholesterol. The presence of the substance called polyphenol means that wine can help increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which should be tantamount to an increase in the brain’s power. Finally, consider the red wine component call reservatrol, which – a study revealed – helps check the negative effects of sedentary lifestyle and zero gravity to human muscles and bone density. Say, if you found an astronaut in orbit binging away on a 2000 Sebastiani Sonoma County Merlot, he is not only doing so for the sheer coolness or awesomeness of the moment with the spectacular view of the earth below. He is also trying to be healthy on the job.
Wine is also handy in certain conditions such as indigestion or dyspepsia. There are specific wine mixes – those combined with certain herbs and spices – that are helpful to other ailments: plum wine for anemia and rheumatism as well as onion wine for muscular dystrophy, among others.
For some reasons, whack would be mostly scientific in nature on account of the wine’s acidity and alcohol content, white wine also removes grease and oil stains, which should make it handy as a home chore tool. Say, some diesel oil drips threaten a perfect garage floor, splash it with white wine and the errant stain would go away in a huff.
The strange or ridiculous part of this list is the idea of wasting an expensive bottle of wine to address issues like grease in the garage. There is the argument, however, that – in most of the cases in this list – stale, left over or spoiled wine is perfectly capable as well.