The French Paradox: Eat High Fat, Be Healthy??

Paradox? You might not need any DOCS to live to be 100. The French Paradox has many authors and TV Shows like 60 Minutes doing articles and segments about. They eat high fat meats, cheeses, butters, cream and yet they are the picture of good health, low cholesterol, no clogged arteries and thank goodness for Sommeliers like me and Wine Enthusiasts the magic bullet may be WINE??? The areas of the world that this Paradox occurs are known as “BLUE ZONES”. I recently spoke about the Island of Sardegna in Italy and it’s Cannonau Grape (Grenache in France) and it’s touted health benefits.

Resveratrol in All Red Wine Grapes

First the big story was a compound called Resveratrol. All Red Wine Grapes contain this in their skins and it is a powerful anti-oxidant! The number one grape for concentrated levels of RESVERATROL … Pinot Noir. So everyone was going crazy drinking Pinot Noir. Even Barbara Walters did a special segment about Pinot Noir and the Resveratrol benefits. She called it “The Fountain of Youth” Of course it was better to ONLY drink Pinot Noirs from either BURGUNDY, FRANCE or in America, Oregon (Only guarantee you will get 100% Pinot Noir without other blending grapes) Who would want 75% of the Fountain of Youth when they can have 100% of the claimed health benefits of Pinot Noir and Resveratrol? Till this day, every single Vitamin Shop and Whole Foods Market sells Resveratrol Capsules for those that don’t drink wine but want to reap the health benefits

Next Came Polyphenols and Cannonau

Reservatrol is a Polyphenol or Flavanoid but it was studied and discovered that Cannonau from Sardegna had 2-3 Times the amount in these grape skins of this Artery Cleansing compound. So Dr Oz gets some book authors on TV and Oprah starts yapping about it and every other customer I dealt with wants Red Wine from Sardegna. 

It’s All About The Procyanidin And Tannat

Resveratrol , Flavanoids all good and studied and still being studied but what researchers show is the real powerhouse of Flavanoid concentration comes from TANNINS and that is PROCYANADINS. One grape in particular was now in the forefront, TANNAT!! The grape even got it’s name TANNAT from it’s HIGH AMOUNT of TANNINS in the SKINS especially in the Southwest of France in the Village of MADIRAN. Researchers have shown that over a 30 year study of the entire population of FRANCE it was the citizens of MADIRAN that were pushing the life span of 100+ and they all consumed at least one glass of Tannat per day ….with their Lamb, Fatty Duck, Foie Gras. TANNAT is now known to be the Heart Healthiest of all Grapes. Producers in Madiran have been adding Merlot, Cabernet Franc etc to the mix to soften up the Tannins but modern wine production has made even 100% Tannat more approachable these days.

For $10.99 I Had To Try This One

Tannat Front Label

For three generations the Lanux family has been cultivating vines on part of its land that is traditionally devoted to polyculture. Claude Lanux vinified his first vintage in 1981 and his son Philippe settled at the estate in 2000. Domaine Poujo currently counts ten hectares of vineyards, eight in Madiran. The vineyards are located on slopes with a south / south-west exposure on pebbles and clay-limestone soils.

My Review And Tasting Notes

Tannat Rear Label

As usual I opened this wine 1 hour in advance and chilled down to 65 Degrees the last 20 minutes before reviewing. Dark, dark purple and an almost black dark center in the glass. You can smell the Clay, The earth, and a very strong Iron Component on the Nose. It was similar to opening a brand new Jar of One a Day Vitamins plus Iron and in the background, a fresh bag of dried prunes and cherry and hints of clove. On the palate at only 13.5 % Alcohol I enjoyed the medium body texture and the fruit surprisingly had a ripeness to it that you normally don’t get from a Madiran. Lots of blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry finishing spicy with a touch of cloves and allspice and the big Surprise for a wine that got it’s name for it’s STRONG HARSH TANNINS… Very Ripe and Soft Tannic Finish. I liked the wine and had no problem drinking 2 glasses with some Chicken, Sauteed Onions, Black Beans. In fact this could easily be any red wine drinker’s daily wine with dinner or after dinner by itself.  It’s a definite buy and I immediately ordered a couple of Cases to offer my guests at ABC Fine Wine in Sunrise. Bryce and Lois are 2 guests that come to mind and this is your price range. 

You Could Go This Route Instead????

Tannat Pills

Uruguay is also becoming a HUGE Player in the TANNAT Grape. They are also are blending with come Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot etc to soften up the wine and classically pairing it with DUCK just like the people of MADIRAN. And you know there is something to these Health Claims when the Homeopathic Companies start pushing out this Wine Grape in the form of a Supplement Pill. 

For me, give me a Seared and Rendered Crispy Duck Breast with Some Oven Roasted and Rosemary Duck Fat Yukon Gold or Fingerling Potatoes And Some Earthy Sauteed Crimini Mushrooms Reduced with Some of this Red Wine and a Bottle Of 2011 Domaine De Poujo 100% Tannat from Madiran for only $10.99 and I will  Be a lot happier, HEALTHIER than eating A Veggie Burger and Swallowing Two Tannat Capsules. Here’s to your Health!!!

Grape-fully yours, Larry



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