WELL BEING: Local Wine

29 Jun

What happens when you get a group of girlfriends together for a good old-fashioned hen party?

Girls’ Day Out!

We had no intention of traveling far from home but certainly wanted a new experience, so I suggested a local winery.

Sweet Dreams Winery is a little, out-of-the-way, boutique just north of Palestine, Texas.

Who needs generations of family recipes or Napa Valley when you’ve got award-winning wines, thoughtfully homemade from local fruit, right here in deep East Texas.

Mike and Sandra Pell are the owners of this small niche winery and they run it with the incredible cooperation of family and friends.  Neither claim to have any family history of wine-making.

In fact, between Mike being a career Battalion Fire Chief in the Palestine fire department and Sandra teaching Social Studies, neither ever dreamed of becoming wine-making connoisseurs.

Sandra says that Mike has restless sleep due to knee pain, but when he drinks a glass of his blackberry grape wine in a tumbler of ice at night, he sleeps easier, and that means she gets to have “sweet dreams.”  Thus the name, Sweet Dreams Winery.

All it took was a friend’s homemade wine recipe’ and an old sprite bottle.  Add a little trial and error and these days they can barely keep up with the demand.

Right from the start, friends would stop by with their empty coke bottles, asking for a fill up of the sweet natural homegrown blackberry wine.  Word spread like wildfire and it wasn’t long before the Pells’ were adding rows of wild grapes to their growing farm and winning gold-medals in wine contests around the country.

Sweet Dreams Winery offers a wide range of sweet wines from the simple to the exotic.  With names like Midnight in Texas, Plum Rose’, Old fashioned Muscadine, Texas Country Roads (with wild berries and fruit harvested from East Texas roadsides), Honey Raspberry, Texas Moonlight, Summer Daze and even a hot jalapeno wine.  Be sure to ask them about their seasonal favorites like Honey Peach and Watermelon porch wine.  And don’t forget to try Bumblebee Kiss!

The Pell family manufactures and bottles all their wines by hand.  They depend entirely on East Texas fruit.  The ingredients added are all-natural and wholesome; local fruit and berries, yeast, honey, potassium and pectin, with no added flavorings.

With all these healthy fruits and organic ingredients, its little wonder Sweet Dreams wines are full of antioxidants and naturally occurring resveratrol.

Resveratrol is largely found in grape skins and studies have shown its anti-aging (Harvard Medical School, 2004) and disease protecting benefits, particularly against heart disease (University of California, Davis, 1995)  and cancer (University of Virginia Health System, 2004).  It is believed, the skin of red grapes (defined as resveratrol) limits the spread of cancer cells and triggers the process of cancer cell death (apoptosis).

Numerous other studies show the health benefits of wine, including lowered bad cholesterol, increased bone strength in women, a strengthening of the veins and the vascular system, even findings of a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

NOTE:  These health benefits come from moderate wine consumption, defined by the American Heart Association as one to two four-ounce glasses a day.

If you would like to visit Sweet Dreams Winery, it is located approximately 10 miles north of Palestine.  Take FM 315 north past FM 321 and turn right on CR 444.  When CR 444 ends at CR 441, turn right on CR 441 and the winery is a few hundred yards down on the left.

Wine tastings take place every Saturday from 11 AM to 8 PM.  For more information, call 903-549-2027.

REMEMBER:  Just because wine has proven health benefits, over-indulgence is equally unhealthy.  Wine is not a cure-all and not everyone should drink wine.  

There are circumstances when one should abstain entirely from alcohol.  Combined with certain over-the-counter or prescription drugs, for example, alcohol in any form can be extremely dangerous.   Also, there are a number of health conditions that are exacerbated by any alcohol use.  Check with your physician before taking any alcohol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: