Wine workout: If you hate working out, do it with some wine

Wine workout: If you hate working out, do it with some wine
There's a wine workout designed to help your forearms and your wine knowledge. Pictured is a bottle of Silver Oak red wine. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Forget spinning, running on the beach and lifting weights. If you're a wine drinker, the only workout you'll need this summer is a wine workout.

Well, sort of. If you're looking to boost your wine knowledge, Megan Krigbaum, deputy wine editor of Food & Wine magazine, has a wine workout for your brain.


Feeling sporty? Just put on some gym clothes and a headband while you sip. And remember to flex your arms as you bring each glass to your lips.

After you've stretched, the first part of the workout is identifying the six things wine pros look for when drinking a wine: body, tannins, acidity, sweetness, flavor and oak. When it comes to body, otherwise known as the richness of a wine and how it feels in your mouth, you can exercise your wine-body tasting skills with four glasses and some milk and cream.

Fill one glass with 1/4 cup skim milk, one glass with 2% milk, another with whole milk and the last glass with heavy cream. Then start with the skim milk and taste the milk in ascending order of richness. Now get some wine.

The magazine suggests trying the following wines from lightest, to most full-bodied, including a Northern Italian Pino Grigio (2011 Tiefenbrunner), New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (2011 Kim Crawford Marlborough), White Burgundy (2010 Domaine Faiveley Bourgogne Blanc) then barrel-fermented Chardonnay (2010 Rodney Strong Sonoma County).

For reds, start with a Valpolicella (2011 Tedeschi Lucchine), then taste a California Pinot Noir (2010 Dutton Goldfield Azaya Ranch Vineyard), followed by a Chianti Classico (2009 La Maialina) and a Zinfandel (2010 Ridge East Bench).

If this sounds like a workout you could get into, there's more.

To determine how oaky a wine is (how the oak barrels used to age the wine affect the taste), you'll need a box of Cheerios, a marshmallow and a skewer. Crush up the Cheerios and smell them. The toasty notes give a similar smell to an oaky white wine. 

Then roast the marshmallow on the skewer over an open flame. The smell of burnt marshmallow and the campfire could be similar to that of an oaky red wine.

And now for the drinking. The workout suggests trying Chardonnays from unoaked to oaky, then doing the same with red wines. Start with a Chablis (2011 Jean-Marc Brocard Domaine Sainte Claire), then move on to a white Burgundy (2010 Joseph Drouhin Meursault) and then a California Chardonnay (2010 La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay). For the reds, a Sicillian Frappato (2011 Tami), a Chianti Classico (2009 Rocca dell Macie) and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (2009 Groth). 

For the full wine workout, visit

Chocolate wasted is an enlightened state of mind. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_