Experience the Willamette Valley! Review of Sweet Cheeks Winery

11 Dec

Did you know that there are over 16 wineries around the Eugene area? Over the summer I worked at King Estate Winery and was amazed that it took me three years to visit this gorgeous winery just 45 minutes from campus. On my way to work I’d pass signs for “Sweet Cheeks,” “Noble Estate,” and “Territorial” vineyards, all tucked away upon hilltops and at the end of winding driveways. For anyone 21 and older, wine-tasting is a great way to experience the beautiful Willamette valley and unique selections provided by our local winemakers. Because most of these wineries lie on narrow country roads far from Eugene, you must approach wine-tasting with caution, basking in the experience while being careful not to over-do it!

Recently, my whole team at Metabolic Research Center (all of us are “weight loss specialists”) went to Sweet Cheeks Winery for our Christmas work party. The great thing about Sweet Cheeks is that unlike most other wineries, they let you bring your own food free of charge. With most of my coworkers being extremely health conscious, we decided to each bring a different dish, sticking mostly to fruit, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats and carbs. Although our boss gave us each a bottle of wine to take home, we had three wine tastes while there, adding up to less than one glass of wine each (yet plenty satisfying!). Here’s a preview of our health-conscious, cheap, and fun work party pot luck:

Live music

 

Loading up on canteloupe, nuts, veggies, cheese and meat!

Overall the evening was a great success! Without spending any money we were able to bring our own home-cooked food, hear some great live music, enjoy the cozy atmosphere, and support this local family business. What a great way to get off the couch on a Saturday night and do something truly unique! Although you can definitely spend more money at the winery if you choose, or drink to much and have to find a way home, there are certainly some ways to avoid a wine-headache and save some calories while wine tasting. Read on for additional wine information, and learn how to make healthier choices while drinking:

–> On average, a glass of wine is about 90-110 calories, but can range up to 200 calories if over 14% alcohol content

–> It is important to know that alcohol contains almost as many calories as fat, and is almost twice as fattening as carbs and protein

–> The body processes alcohol first, thus slowing or postponing the body’s process of metabolizing fat stores (which can be something to think about if you are trying to watch your weight)

–> 1 glass of wine can replace a fruit serving for the day, or 1 starch serving in about a 40-60 calorie portion size. If you plan to wine-taste, about 3 tastes will equal a regular glass of wine (depending on the winery)

–> Because there are carbs in wine, you may start to crave carbs or fat-rich foods. Be cautious not to over-do it on cheese and bread, and bring plenty of veggies and protein to satisfy your cravings

–> Water is the best way to speed up the body’s process of alcohol, so drinking over 64 ounces of water a day (I’d suggest 96) is crucial when drinking alcohol

–> Studies show that wine contains ingredients that can prevent cancer and improve cardiovascular function, particularly red wine. Moderate wine consumption is considered one 4-ounce serving of wine a day for women, and two for men.

Plan your own trip to SweetCheeks!: http://www.southwillamettewineries.com/wineries/sweet-cheeks/

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