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Wine Recommendations from a Thrillerchick

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2010

J.T. Ellison

by Amy

I'm dating a health nut.

I find this to be a good thing for many reasons. Some are more selfish than others (oh hello, biceps), but I do appreciate Boyfriend's willingness to try any lean protein, veggie-heavy dish I make, no matter how outlandish, like Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai or Turkey Sweet Potato Chili. 

Boyfriend's also a very good money manager. But when it comes to his wine budget, he's more Ebenezer Scrooge-like than anything else. As in, spend-no-more-than-$4-on-a-bottle-of-battery-acid kind of budget. And since I love him, I'm willing to overlook that.

But on a recent trip to the local wine store, Boyfriend started toting around a $18 bottle of wine—and there was nearly a cleanup on aisle 3 because I had just about passed out.

Me (aghast): You . . . you know how much that bottle costs, right?
Him (beaming): YES! And I'd pay it again and again!
Me:  I don't know you anymore.

Turns out, Boyfriend hadn't been bitten by a radioactive vinter and turned into a wine snob—he'd been reading a book called The Blue Zone. In a nutshell, the book describes places on the planet called "Blue Zones," where people live longer, look younger, and feel better while doing it all. Off the western coast of Italy, the island of Sardinia happens to be one of those places. And one reason why, according to the book, was because of the very wine my boyfriend was proudly toting around. 

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2010 is a Grenache blend that, according to The Blue Zones' author, supposedly carries more polyphenols in it than any other wine in the world. What are polyphenols, you ask? They're a chemical compound found in plants that, when consumed, protect human cells from oxidation and reduce the risks of diseases like cancer and heart disease. Polyphenols in grapes are found in skins, stems, and seeds; during fermentation, these parts of the grape give red wine its tannic structure. And the more tannins in the wine, the higher rate of polyphenols present, and thus more antioxidants that fight cancer and heart disease. 

So what's the world's most polyphenol-filled wine taste like?

Whoa, mama! These tannins will rip your face off, which some people might like (like Boyfriend). But if I had to do it over again, I think I'd have to decant it for an hour to tone it down a bit.* It's very earthy, with lots of leather and herby notes, highly acidic with a bit of cherry. I'd want to cook with this, just to see what it'd do to a tomato sauce. 

And you can find it for a reasonable $18.99.

*And methinks I'll be doing this over again very soon. Over the weekend, Boyfriend and I stopped by the wine store . . . and the only thing he purchased was two bottles of this wine. Giddily, I might add.


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