Archive for July 2012

They say wine is good for the heart…

July 31, 2012


Barbecued Greek lamb with tzatziki

July 26, 2012

This lovely Greek flavoured lamb recipe will lighten up this weekend’s dinner. Fantastic for entertaining, or for a quiet night in.


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 leg of lamb , butterflied
  • flatbreads , to serve


For the Tzatziki

  • ½ cucumber , halved and deseeded
  • 170g pot Greek yogurt
  • 1 small garlic clove , crushed
  • handful mint leaves, chopped



  1. Mash the garlic to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and thyme leaves, and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper. Place the lamb in a large porcelain dish. Pour the marinade over the lamb and massage into the meat. Leave the lamb for at least 1 hr at room temperature, or longer in the fridge, but no longer than overnight or the meat will become too soft.
  2. To cook the lamb, fire up the barbecue, or heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. To cook on the barbecue, wait for the coals to turn ashen, then lay the lamb on the grill and cook for 15 mins on each side for meat that is pink, or 20 mins on each side for well done. To cook in the oven, place the lamb in a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins for pink or 40 mins for well done, turning the lamb halfway through. Leave the meat to rest for 10 mins before carving.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Coarsely grate the cucumber, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and squeeze out all the liquid. Tip into a bowl with the yogurt, garlic and mint, and mix well. Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve with the tzatziki wrapped up in warm flatbreads.

Recommended wine: The Alto Shiraz will pair excellent with this meal.

Go to… bbcgoodfood

Red Wine for Strong Bones

July 25, 2012

A recent Australian study found that red wine consumption in men over 50, helps decrease bone loss.

Milk builds strong bones, but apparently wine helps keep them. According to an Australian study recently published by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, red wine contributes to stronger bone health in older men. The researchers found links between improved bone mineral density (BMD) and red wine consumption in men aged 50 to 80.

Bone mineral density refers to the concentration of minerals, like calcium, in bones and is a measure of bone strength. As BMD goes down, the risk for developing osteoporosis goes up. According to the Surgeon General’s last major study on bone health, 44 million Americans currently suffer from osteoporosis and half of all Americans over 50 will have weak bones by the year 2020.

There is a long-established connection between excessive drinking and increased bone fractures due to osteoporosis and falls, but research on moderate drinking has found mixed results. The new study, which followed nearly 900 men and women over a two-year period, considered the benefits and detriments of beer, red wine and spirits on men and women.

The researchers measured the bone mineral density of participants with an x-ray at the beginning of the project and then again two years later. Subjects completed questionnaires regarding drinking habits and types of alcoholic beverages consumed. Although the team concluded that red wine may help prevent bone loss in men, it found no such influence on women. Instead, the results suggest women may gain similar benefits from indulging in low-alcohol beer. Spirits and liquor decreased bone density in men but offered no noticeable effect on women.

Graeme Jones, the study’s senior author and department head of the Musculoskeletal Unit at the Menzies Research Institute in Australia, noted the results were difficult to explain as there is little data that compares different types of alcoholic beverages. “These somewhat contrasting results suggest it is not the alcohol per se but other factors in the beverages,” said Jones.

Several studies focused on skeletal research in the last 10 years found evidence that phytochemicals, such as the polyphenols found in grape skins, contribute to healthy bones. Jones and his team hypothesize that silicon in beer might promote healthy bone formation.

More long-term research will be needed to solidify the links between bone health and certain types of alcoholic drinks. Jones feels confident the work will continue and said, “A few of my colleagues have volunteered.”

Source: winespectator

Wise old wine words…

July 20, 2012

So enjoy a great glass of Alto this weekend. Cheers!

Baked Ravioli

July 19, 2012

For a great casual dinner at home this weekend, try this lovely baked ravioli recipe. Great with a glass of Alto.


  • 1 Package ready-made ravioli or any stuffed pasta of your choice
  • 300 gram Fresh broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 Container sour cream
  • 400 millilitre Milk
  • 1 Sachet Garlic & Herb Potato Bake
  • 2.5 millilitre Cayenne Pepper
  • 250 millilitre Grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Place ravioli, and steamed broccoli in a baking dish.
  2. Mix sour cream Milk and Garlic & Herb Potato Bake in a jug and pour over ravioli.
  3. Sprinkle with Cayenne pepper and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 20 mins until cheese is melted and golden.

Source: whatsfordinner

An Alto cheers to our beloved Madiba!

July 18, 2012

Competition Winners

July 17, 2012

Congratulations to Flip Helberg, Laura Lambert and Johanna Borchardt.

They are the lucky winners of our Facebook competition. Each of them has won an Alto Wine hamper.

Thank you for the fantastic response to this competition and for your ongoing support of our brand.

Better luck next time.