Scientists have identified a few areas of the world where a greater percentage of the population than expected live to 100 or beyond. One of these “Blue Zones” is located on the island of Sardinia, off the Western coast of Italy. Researchers have identified a number of reasons why they believe the island has a greater share of centenarians, including their Mediterranean diet, the amount of walking they do for basic transportation, and their close-knit communities the value lots of laughter and low stress, but also credit the locally grown red wine as a part of the rationale.
Cannonau has been grown on the warm rocky soils in the center of the island for centuries, but received official DOC recognition in 1972. The grape is actually the same as Granache in France and Garnacha in Spain, but the way it grows in Sardinia provides the wine with two to three times the level of heart-healthy flavonoid antioxidants as other wines.
Cannonau wines are typically lighter to medium body with lower levels of acid, making them easy to drink, especially with Pecorino Sardo, a local sheep’s milk cheese. The flavors tend to blueberry, red berries, plum, and white spice, with a rustic, mineral, earthy tilt to them. To make sure you are getting the real deal, look for Cannonau di Sardegna on the label.