Barbarella
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Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway. — Author Unknown

"Two cups of coffee and I’m still groggy.” I brought my fingers to my forehead and kneaded the area around my brows, as much to relieve the tension as to illustrate my fragile state.

“Want some FRS?” Kerry asked, already signaling Mia to fetch some for me.

“What’s that?”

“Oh, it’s great, good for you and gives you energy,” Kerry answered. “Mainly, I drink it because I don’t like water.”

“It kinda tastes like orange juice,” said Mia. She handed me a tall glass of fluorescent liquid, the color and sweet tang of which was reminiscent of the Sunny Delight of my suburban childhood. “Did you want to see the can?” I nodded, and Mia placed it in my hand.

“So, I take it these hexagons on the front are supposed to demonstrate the validity of the science involved in making this… What is this again?”

“It stands for free radical something,” Kerry began. “I think it’s system —”

“Scavenger,” interjected Mia. “But the guys at work call it ‘Fucking Rad Shit.’” Kerry nodded and went on to explain how there are rogue molecules in our bodies called free radicals, potentially cancer-causing cells just roaming around in there, and that the antioxidants in this canned concoction help bind the damage-causing cells together and flush them from our system. Or something like that. I didn’t get all the details, as I was busy catching David’s eye for a synchronized brow-lift and eye-roll.

Skeptical to the core, David and I don’t trust any product description that comes directly from the company trying to sell it. If a package promises the extraordinary, chances are it’s a load of crap. Like those supplement ads that insist, with an obscene amount of exclamation points, that you can eat all you want and still lose weight, if only you pop this pill that prevents the absorption of fat but may lead to embarrassing “accidents.”

The mode de l’année on the Be the Best You front is the claim that eating a barrelful of a particular fruit or berry is akin to diving headfirst into the Fountain of Youth. Earlier that morning, Kerry had offered me acai with my yogurt. “You mean the current miracle food?” I asked. “Didn’t the goji berry hold that title last year?” I didn’t mean to be cheeky, but my hangover from an epicurean day of wine-tasting our way through the Santa Ynez Valley had weakened me, and it would have taken too much energy to conceal my frustration with the pushers of commodities that cater to the upper-middle-class, yoga-practicing, carbon-footprint-conscious, organic-obsessive demographic. Just when I get used to the name of one exotic superfood, some other new “all natural” panacea is already challenging it for the crown.

Acai, the fruit of a palm tree, is supposed to have multitudinous healing benefits, including those mystifying antioxidants that purportedly can make you live longer than Dracula. When the strange word started popping up all around me — on packaging and on the lips of family and friends — I investigated the numbers and discovered that a common grape contains more antioxidants than the foreign and expensive berry. Yes, some doctors swear by it. Sixty years ago, our esteemed followers of Hippocrates touted cigarettes. These days, armed with an awareness of history’s mistakes and a world’s worth of information at my fingertips, there’s no reason for me to take any “expert’s” claim at face value.

Now, as I sat in my friend’s kitchen and sipped the latest craze to sweep the posh clientele of Bristol Farms — a drink that even Lance Armstrong has begun to peddle — I felt compelled to debunk the can’s claims. “You mind if I look this up for us?”

“Not at all,” said Kerry in her lyrical Irish brogue. She and Mia were as curious as I was to find out the real deal. David, however, in his scientific assuredness, made it clear he had no need to find evidence to confirm his conviction that the product was based on pseudoscience. I fetched my laptop from the guest room and set about Googling while David explained the natural filters with which we humans come equipped and assured us that no pill invented by a few lab coats can replace or improve upon a system that evolved over millions of years.

Several websites later, I learned that the beverage’s “secret weapon” is quercetin, which is a flavonoid, which is the kernel of health found in fruits and vegetables that is responsible for fighting the good fight on a molecular level (antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-all-kinds-of-bad-things, but most famously, antioxidant). Quercetin is the mother of all flavonoids; the FRS people assert you’d have to eat 40 apples to match their single-serving concentration of the stuff.

Sounded good enough, but most of that information had come from nonscientific sources. Finally, I stumbled upon an article written for New Scientist magazine in 2006. After citations from various studies and quotes from biochemists and representatives at the U.S. National Institutes for Health, the article’s author stated, “True, [antioxidants in powder form] knock the wind out of free radicals in a test tube. But once inside the human body, they seem strangely powerless. Not only are they bad at preventing oxidative damage, they can even make things worse. Many scientists are now concluding that, at best, they are a waste of time and money. At worst they could be harmful.”

I read my findings aloud and concluded, “Seems most scientists agree that free radicals are part of life and that antioxidants are good for you, but that they only work in their natural form...something about how the molecules need to be bound to the apple skin or blueberry in order for the body to process them in a beneficial way. So, basically, FRS may contain 40 apples’ worth of quercetin, but eating one apple is 100 times more effective because in this processed form, the antioxidants aren’t antioxidizing. It should stand for faulty…refreshment…uh, wait, flashy r-something sham.” I gave up my attempt to be clever before I embarrassed myself in front of my screenwriter friend. “Tastes pretty good, though,” I said. “And, psychosomatic or not — I know, David, there’s no science to back up the claims, but still — vitamin B gives me energy.”

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Comments

Joe Poutous Sept. 3, 2009 @ 8:34 a.m.

Like you, I'm extremely skeptical of any companies description of the benefits derived from their product.

The longer the list in ingredients, the less likely that it will end up in my mouth... Not that I won't eat horrible things - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for example. Nothing edible is supposed to be that color - but I've loved it since I was a kid.

A while back I read a story, I think it was on the NPR site, about the active cultures in yogurt that were supposed to help digestion. Turns out that most of the "Live Cultures" that they were adding to the ones that occur naturally in yogurt die quickly and have no health benefit. Nice. Plus Yoplat is packed with HFCS...

"Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway" - probably from cancer caused buy food additives!

I wonder if there are any anti-oxidants in Jack Daniels. - Joe

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Joe Poutous Sept. 3, 2009 @ 8:38 a.m.

Oh, and your line about getting energy from vitamin B reminded me of the quote from Blazing Saddles: "Well, it all depends on how much vitamin E I can get my hands on.."

ha! - Joe

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Robert Hagen Sept. 4, 2009 @ 2:24 a.m.

Yeah, wine is excellent. I dont drink it because I just swig it like beer, and then get smashed. Unless I'm at like, Cafe Sevilla and can get a fine Argentine wine. Then I can sip it and really enjoy.

The mythbusters thing is so true. David is totally right in my opinion saying you're not going to improve on nature. Now, my secret is corn tortillas. Its Pritikin theory- whole grains scrape your colon, where toxins gather, and you detoxify. Or maybe its just because I live in Tijuana. Although, if you notice, Mexicans have a lower rate of cancer than Americans.

I think alot has to do with how you combine foods. Like, in TJ, where they have fried chicken, they serve it with sliced cabbage on the side, and thats supposed to cut some of the bad cholesterol from fried chicken.

One time I asked a Chinese guy that has a 99 cent restaurant about eating pork. He said 'Yeah, you can eat pork, just eat it with beef.

Another one, is eating peanuts while you drink beer. The peanuts will pull the water from the beer, and you won't get as dehydrated. And peanuts are actuaslly really good for you.

I think stress will take you down faster than free radicals, though.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 4, 2009 @ 10:02 a.m.

Joe, now you have me researching cultures in yogurt! I eat yogurt for breakfast everyday (the Greek honey kind, with crushed almonds and fresh blueberries sprinkled on top). So far, I can't find anything that says the cultures are dead in cases where the yogurt was not heated in the process of making it. Please, if you find a good resource that substantiates the whole "live cultures aren't really alive" thing, send it to me. I like to know the real deal on everything, insofar as I'm able to understand it. (love Blazing Saddles, BTW)

Diego, there's enough "information" in your post to keep me researching for days! I have heard that the body digests bread and meat in different ways, and that when eaten together, there's a sort of stand-off in the stomach, but I haven't looked into it. You make a great point about stress, though. Lesson learned, exercise & eat right, and of course by that I mean walk to the bar and eat plenty of peanuts with your beer. ;)

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Joe Poutous Sept. 4, 2009 @ 10:48 a.m.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_5_18/ai_85011004/

"However, some yogurt is heat-treated to extend shelf life or reduce tartness, a process that kills the cultures (the Food and Drug Administration requires that makers indicate on the label if yogurt is heat-treated)."

I guess that they don't die quickly, they are killed. What brand do you buy?

  • Joe
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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 4, 2009 @ 11:26 a.m.

Trader Joe's Greek yogurts. They list the cultures in ingredients, but when I get home, I'll check to see if they say anything about "live" or "heat."

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Matthew_Alice Sept. 4, 2009 @ 11:51 a.m.

I think the claim about the cultures in yogurt says the good bacteria don't survive the digestion process. So a live culture in the container is a dead microbe by the time it gets to where it's needed -- your gut. Pills are theoretically better. Why? Dunno.

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SDaniels Sept. 4, 2009 @ 6:12 p.m.

As someone who has taken VSL#3 and other medical grade lactobacillus, I can say that Matthew Alice has it partially right. You have to bombard the gut! (Why, I'm not entirely sure). However, a pill is not as effective as a packet, stirred into cold water.

I've always found kefir to be more effective than yogurt in terms of bacteria absorption, too. It comes in soy, too, and is more like a delicious yogurt 'drink.'

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Joe Poutous Sept. 4, 2009 @ 7:32 p.m.

Finally watched your video Barb (youtube is blocked at work). That looks like fun!

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magicsfive Sept. 4, 2009 @ 7:38 p.m.

ok see what i mean? and barb i am not criticizing you or your story..i know you have nothing to do with the editing. i enjoyed it as usual..and i LOVE the F word too. but why do our comments get censored but not the writer's?? Reader_Web_Admin? any thoughts?

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virtuallynothing Sept. 4, 2009 @ 7:57 p.m.

OPINION | August 31, 2009 Advantage France By ROGER COHEN Time bows at the altar of gastronomy in France. In the U.S., time is the altar.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/opinion/31iht-edcohen.html?emc=eta1

If you read the article above, perhaps time is the ultimate anti-oxidant, if we use it, and don't waste it. We not only miss the forest for the trees, we miss the trees for the, acai, Quercetin, flavonoids, we're measuring to get 40 TIMES more.

I'm in agreement with you!

But walk-the-walk.

I understood the video's "intense plum, roasted fig, BACON FAT, mineral aromas alongside blackberry, boysenberry, and white pepper" to be someone's Scrabble-game description of Syrah (or a Syrah dominant blend). So what?

Why did you go on-line to organize your “Seems most scientists agree that free radicals are part of life and that antioxidants are good for you, but that they only work in their natural form...something about how the molecules need to be bound to the apple skin or blueberry in order for the body to process them in a beneficial way"?

Be careful in those houses overlooking the SB Channel - tremendous views, but if you look too closely, you may find they're all glass.

Still, loved the column. Keep it up. And, if you want to hassle someone about wine...call me.

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SDaniels Sept. 4, 2009 @ 9:15 p.m.

"intense plum, roasted fig, BACON FAT, mineral aromas alongside blackberry, boysenberry, and white pepper" to be someone's Scrabble-game description of Syrah (or a Syrah dominant blend). So what?"

Whaddya mean, 'so what?' So what to your so what! :) These are awesome and accurate, in my experience.

David, when I get a moment, I will count down my top ten SUMMER HEAT drinking wines, though Barb's sometime suggestion of a chilled white porto sounds good about now...

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David Dodd Sept. 5, 2009 @ 12:40 a.m.

Virtuallynothing: Aggressive-Passive, a bit? Wow.

Both comments are like, "What in the hell are you talking about you %&@#&$#!?"

And end in, "But, nice to know you, love that you love wine."

Just an observation. I love wine snobs, but I sort of expect them to act like good wine. Start well and finish well. If wine assaults the palate but has a good aftertaste, is it recommended anyway?

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virtuallynothing Sept. 5, 2009 @ 12:29 a.m.

Okay, SDaniel, did you read or react? Did you watch the video? Before you "so what" my "so what" you ought to at least notice that I was quoting the woman in the video reading the wine notes, who then said, "I think they make this s*** up..." My comment was based on how I thought it was an accurate description of what sounded like a Syrah.

So, where did I disagree with your "awesome and accurate" experience? The "description of Syrah (or a Syrah dominant blend)" - that was my call - not anyone else's. That wasn't in the video. The 'Scrabble' comment was in response to her "they make this s*** up". People have just as much fun with wine-descriptive words - as they do with free radicals and mixed tocopherols. Yet they criticize what they don't understand or that in which they have no interest.

Still, so what? Let 'em.

Accuracy and perspective, important in comments as it is with wine.

Slow down. Chill. Chill an Albarino or Arneis. They'll start your Top Ten SHDWs alphabetically, and we can argue about Rias Baixas or Santa Ynez.

I love the fact you love wine. Keep it up.

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david Sept. 5, 2009 @ 9:52 a.m.

Albariño is a good choice and would definitely make my list. A few others I like depending on mood would be:

Vinho Verde - made from green grapes. young, tart, low alcohol, not fancy but refreshing like lemonade.

Moscato d'Asti (the full-sized bottles with a little spritz rather than the dessert variety) - this low alcohol, lightly spritzed, mildly sweet wine makes a wonderful accompaniment to sitting outside with a little bread and cheese. Most people don't realize that sweet wines so often pair better with cheese than drier wines.

A sparkling rosé such as Chandon Etoile Rosé Cuvée or the Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé are also delightful when shared with good friends outside under the umbrella.

Slightly heavier whites that I can also enjoy in the summer heat include Sancerre, Vouvray (both sparkling and non-sparkling), and the Sokol-Blosser Evolution No.9 white blend from Oregon.

Wow. All this wine talk makes me want to blow off the day and just sit outside watching the clouds and sip wine - and it's not even 10a.m.!

david

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david Sept. 5, 2009 @ 11:02 a.m.

Casting a wider net I have three other recommendations for refreshing summer libations...

Lillet -- an herbed wine from France (in either red or white), served on the rocks with a slice of orange.

Spritz con Campari (or for slightly less bitterness, con Aperol) -- this classic Venetian, early evening aperitif is made by mixing prosecco (very slightly sweet Italian sparkling wine) with Campari (bitter apertif) to taste, served on the rocks with a splash of club soda on top and garnished with a green olive and a slice of orange. Use Aperol instead of Campari for less bitterness.

Portotonic -- a 50/50 blend of white port (I like Krohn Lagrima White Port for it's rich nutty flavor) and tonic water, with a squeezed wedge of lemon served on the rocks.

david

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 5, 2009 @ 11:28 a.m.

David, I'm hoping this means we're drinking wine while watching the sunset on the terrace tonight. I'll pop a bottle of Evolution in the fridge right now. ;)

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Joe Poutous Sept. 5, 2009 @ 12:43 p.m.

I don't really like wine on a hot day. Good beer is perfect.. or Sangria!

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david Sept. 5, 2009 @ 12:51 p.m.

Tikicult - the beers I prefer tend to be very heavy so not ideal for a hot day, however, I can meet you halfway with the sangria (I have a slight preference for white sangria).

david

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David Dodd Sept. 5, 2009 @ 12:56 p.m.

I'm a beer snob, too. But I really enjoy reading about wine, and I drink it on occasion. Basically, all I know about wine is general, I'm clueless when it comes to anti-oxidants and so on.

Mexico has a few nice wines to offer, but the majority of the good stuff here is Chilean. This is going to seem contrary, but many Chilean reds go very well with seafood. If you haven't tried Chilean red wine, do it. It's relatively inexpensive (it is here, anyway) and well worth it.

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Joe Poutous Sept. 5, 2009 @ 1:16 p.m.

A friend of mine uses gin in the Sangria he makes... dangerous stuff. Zero to dancing on the table in no time.

  • Joe
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SDaniels Sept. 5, 2009 @ 2:47 p.m.

Okay, SDaniel, did you read or react?

Hey, virtuallynothing, I reacted, without viewing the video. Mea culpa. Troll-like tendencies are emerging in this HEAT. Are air conditioners affordable right now, anyone?

And I love the fact that you love the fact that I love wine :)

"Just an observation. I love wine snobs, but I sort of expect them to act like good wine. Start well and finish well."

Ooh, gringo, you're turning me on :)

re: #15: David, you've done my work. Check, check, check--it sounds like we are essentially the same person when it comes to summer sippers! 3rd corner had a great deal on the vinho verde, which seems to be quite popular now.

I love young, green tart wines with a fizzy mineral aftertaste. A good Gewurtz can do this in a more complex way, with flower fields on top of that cool wellspring.

In this heat, people, I think a unstructured fruit-heavies are great slightly chilled--sangria or no.

I have a wonderful white sangria recipe, if anyone is interested.

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SDaniels Sept. 5, 2009 @ 2:57 p.m.

Lillet -- an herbed wine from France (in either red or white), served on the rocks with a slice of orange."

Yes, mmmmm, love it. Herbs in cocktails are happily in right now. I am a fan of bitters used to top them off.

David, to be perverse, my man and I conducted a taste test of over forty proseccos--(he has a Venetian and Veneto fetish), and wrote a bubbly little play featuring prosecco--if he can get wineries and/or distributors to back it, that would be enormous!

I still dig prosecco cocktails--the wilder, the better, and the man is now on a Riesling kick, which has gotten a bit costly, but I can't really drink alcohol right now, due to digestive issues, so he gets most of the bottle to himself while I am content to focus on taste and improving my amateur palate.

As for an affordable petite syrah, Whole Foods has a humble but very drinkable $8 bottle called "Block no. 45." Y'all tried it?

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antigeekess Sept. 5, 2009 @ 3:53 p.m.

TikiJoe wrote:

"A while back I read a story, I think it was on the NPR site, about the active cultures in yogurt that were supposed to help digestion. Turns out that most of the "Live Cultures" that they were adding to the ones that occur naturally in yogurt die quickly and have no health benefit. Nice. Plus Yoplat is packed with HFCS..."

Tiki, what you want there are live lactobacillus cultures -- mostly lactobacillus acidophilus, which you can buy at any health food store, or online. I get mine here:

http://www.swansonvitamins.com

If you hear the word "probiotic," that's usually what folks are talking about. THIS product:

http://www.amazon.com/Digestive-Advantage-IBS-Irritable-Syndrome/dp/B0007IQMVG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1252190827&sr=8-1

...is similar and regarded by me and a lot of others as an absolute miracle cure for IBS.

Unless you're overrun with yeast in the bowel and have the resulting digestive problems, you probably don't need either.

As for yogurt, I just wouldn't bother with it. For most people, these issues are usually caused by yeast -- chronic systemic candidiasis -- and unless you eat the crappy, plain kind, yogurt is full of sugar, which yeast thrive on.

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antigeekess Sept. 5, 2009 @ 4:02 p.m.

And then I got down to #8, where Daniels wrote:

"As someone who has taken VSL#3 and other medical grade lactobacillus, I can say that Matthew Alice has it partially right. You have to bombard the gut! (Why, I'm not entirely sure). However, a pill is not as effective as a packet, stirred into cold water.

I've always found kefir to be more effective than yogurt in terms of bacteria absorption, too. It comes in soy, too, and is more like a delicious yogurt 'drink.'"

Should have known you'd have it covered. :) Haven't tried those packets yet, but I'll bet they work really well. The pills do it for me. Changed my life.

Kefir, huh?

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david Sept. 5, 2009 @ 4:27 p.m.

Refried,

Hugo DeCosta's wines from Casa de Piedras is the Valle de Guadalupe can be quite amazing. Not so long ago I had a bottle of his Contraste togther with a wonderful duck confit from chef Hanis at Kensington Grille. The combination was so perfect for me at that moment that it literally made me cry - sort of one of those Ratatouille moments. Sadly neither are available any longer -- the Contraste is sold out and Hanis changed his duck confit dish.

SDaniels,

I'd love to have your recipe for white sangria, and we haven't tried the Block No. 45 yet, put I'll put it on our list. Thanks!

david

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SDaniels Sept. 5, 2009 @ 8:30 p.m.

Baja wines:

I tried a tasting of Baja wines, but did not much enjoy them. (Aren't all grown in the Guadalupe valley?)

The tasting was at Old Town, and I suspect that the best wines were not brought forward. Would love to appreciate some Baja wines, so any suggestions much appreciated. Will keep LaCosta's wines in mind.

For those not interested in digestive issues, skip this:

Yes, AG: kefir just seems to work better, though nothing matches the power of insanely expensive medical grade probiotics. If you ever find that the product ceasing to work for you, get a GI doctor to prescribe the VSL#3.

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SDaniels Sept. 5, 2009 @ 8:31 p.m.

Oops. Sorry, people. Not sure what exactly is up with my typos lately.

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magicsfive Sept. 5, 2009 @ 9:49 p.m.

i would actually be interested in a good sangria recipe myself. at wine steals the sangria wasn't what i was expecting, although i did enjoy the company i was in :)

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 5, 2009 @ 9:56 p.m.

Oops. Sorry, people. Not sure what exactly is up with my typos lately.

By SDaniels

My middle name is typo.

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SDaniels Sept. 6, 2009 @ 1:37 a.m.

Magics, I agree--that sangria was nowhere near the quality of aforementioned company :) I'll post the recipe tomorrow morning. With the recipe I'm thinking about, sliced green grapes make it especially good.

SurfP, I think we are just typing too fast, but as teachers we have no excuse, right? :)

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Joe Poutous Sept. 6, 2009 @ 8:35 a.m.

Magic - I don't think that there is a good bottled sangria - you have to make your own! Fresh fruit, secret ingredients, good wine.

David - I like the heavy beers, too. On a hot day I usually go for an ice cold Mexican beer. Pacifico and lime. Modello Especial. Tecate is OK (never Corona).

SD - It's morning! (1:37 am... insomnia kills, huh)

  • Joe
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magicsfive Sept. 6, 2009 @ 9:16 a.m.

mmm yummy... i can't wait to make it!!!!

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SDaniels Sept. 7, 2009 @ 12:01 a.m.

Joe, you're right about bottled sangria and insomnia, though sometimes one's best work can be done in the small wee hours of the "morning" :)

I have two recipes, with still time this long weekend to make them. Here's the first:

White Sangria Serves 3-5 • 1 bottle fruity white wine, such as Famega Vinho Verde 2001 or Las Brisas Rueda 2001 • 1 pear • small bunch of sliced green grapes • 1 Granny Smith apple • 1 lime • 1/2 lemon • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar • Ice cubes • 6 ounces ginger ale or grapefruit soda Pour the wine into a large pitcher. Wash the pear, apple, lime, and lemon. Cut them into thin slices and add to the pitcher. Add the Grand Marnier and the sugar. Marinate for a few hours. (The sangria will taste better if you leave it overnight.) When ready to serve, fill the pitcher with ice cubes, add the soda, and stir well. Serve with a wooden spoon in the pitcher.

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SDaniels Sept. 7, 2009 @ 12:02 a.m.

White Sangria #2. This one is excellent, and cheaper to make:

Preparation time: 15 minutes

You Will Need 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 medium oranges, washed and sliced 1 medium lemon, washed and sliced 1 bottle (750 ml) Riesling or other sweet white wine 1 medium tart apple, cut into thin slices 1/4 cup triple sec 2 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled Ice cubes

What to Do 1. In a large pitcher, combine the pineapple juice, lemon juice and orange and lemon slices; mash gently with a wooden spoon until fruit is partially crushed.

  1. Add the wine, apple slices and triple sec. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Just before serving, add soda. Serve over ice.

Serves 7

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Joe Poutous Sept. 7, 2009 @ 8:06 a.m.

Those sound pretty damn good SD. I think that my friend that used gin in his sangria did something like this: http://wine.about.com/od/redwines/r/Partysangria.htm only instead of 2 shots of gin he used 6. No strawberries either.

  • Joe
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magicsfive Sept. 7, 2009 @ 9:08 a.m.

wow SD that sounds so good. i wonder how it would be with refried's fish tacos? mmmmm oh man i'm going to get started right now. thank you!!

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david Sept. 7, 2009 @ 10:37 a.m.

Those look great SD, thanks! I kinda like the sound of the first one -- its a bit different than many. I'll have to give it a try.

david

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antigeekess Sept. 7, 2009 @ 3:48 p.m.

Mmmmm....I gotta admit, even though I'm not much of a winer, those sound muy delish!

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 7, 2009 @ 5:13 p.m.

Wow Anti-you always struck me as an Alpo girl.

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SDaniels Sept. 7, 2009 @ 5:42 p.m.

Joe, looks delicious! I saved your recipe to try sometime (am calling it "Red Sangria Tikicult." :)

I don't think I'll omit the berries, as raspberries and strawberries sound wonderful in a red sangria...

It is sure to go perfectly with my well-deserving but non-award winning avocado enchiladas with cilantro crema or yes, magics-- fish tacos. Mmmm.

Summer's not over yet!

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SDaniels Sept. 7, 2009 @ 5:46 p.m.

Oh, forgot to mention for those gents who've mentioned serious beer: I love beer too, all the really 'hoppy' ones that smell like flower fields. Love Stone brews in particular, (Arrogant Bastard, Stone Pale, etc. etc. excepting their funky chocolate oatmeal stout).

One we have not tried is Alpine, a small microbrew a guy apparently makes in his garage--in Alpine--have read about it in Food & Wine, and Riviera, I think. People are mad for it, and this guy can't keep up with orders. Anyone tried it yet?

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 8, 2009 @ 11:59 a.m.

SDaniels, funny you mention it, I was at a party yesterday (in Alpine), and all my beer drinking friends were raving about the Alpine brew. I myself did not try it (not much into beer), but it seemed to be a hit and disappeared quickly.

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SDaniels Sept. 9, 2009 @ 2:20 p.m.

I used to not be that interested in beers either, until finding upon a few tastings that the different yeasts add so much character, and some really startling herbal notes. Some are overaggressive, but when the balance is there, it can be worth exploring.

I've heard a couple of places in town do serve the Alpine brew, and now with even more recommendations, we'll have to check it out!

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david Sept. 9, 2009 @ 9:53 p.m.

SD,

We tried the Block 45 tonight and enjoyed quite a bit. It would make a good daily drinker. Alas, it is no longer $8 at Whole Foods, but $9.99. Still not a bad deal. Thanks!

david

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SDaniels Sept. 10, 2009 @ 1:27 p.m.

Great--glad you enjoyed! Yes, a table wine, but one to feel no shame in bringing over to someone's house for a casual get together, either. Too bad the price is up, though; that seems to always happen with Whole Paycheck.

Same thing happened with the big Jailhouse (?) pinks and whites, which used to be $7.99 at Trader Joe's, which ceased to carry them, and Whole Foods bumped them up to $9.99. Que sera.

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