It’s been awhile since headlines proclaimed that a glass of red wine daily actually promotes good health. What is the scientific view these days?
As with most things, moderation is key, and drinking wine is no exception. The active ingredient, as most of us know, is alcohol.
Too much alcohol consumption leads to dependence, addiction, and perhaps even death by liver failure.
But what about that single glass that used to be okay, if not hip?
To find the answer, I surveyed the literature available online. It didn’t take long to find lots of opinions.
Let’s cut to the chase. Moderate consumption of wine might help you:
(if you also exercise)
If this sounds promising, just how do we measure “moderate” wine consumption? All the pundits agree on this: women get one drink daily and men get two. (This may have more to do with body mass, size and weight than gender.)
To achieve only having one or two glasses of vino in an evening, try pouring a half glass or less at a time. Sip and savor the wine. Never gulp it down.
There is a reason wine tastings exist. You know, those fussy rituals where fermented grape experts and novices alike examine and taste the product – before spitting it out in a special bucket just for that purpose – see the photo below.
If you do opt for swallowing the wine – say, after a hard day’s work – you can find comfort in the fact that all wines, but especially the red varieties, contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which seem to protect your body’s cells and tissues against damage that can lead to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Polyphenols come from the skin of the grape: the darker the color, the higher concentrations of these free radical fighters.
Other foods high in polyphenols are blueberries, tea, apples and dark chocolate.
Also, take into consideration that wines with higher alcohol content have more calories. A red Zinfandel with 15% alcohol has more calories than a white Riesling with 8% alcohol. (Alcohol content is shown on the wine bottle’s label.)
A glass of wine is certainly no substitute for a rigorous workout or brisk walk. It is no “miracle cure.” Remember that alcohol is highly addictive!
That said, there’s apparently nothing at all wrong with curling up with a good book (or Kindle), some dark chocolate (or some blueberries and apple slices), and a modest tot or tipple from your favored vintner – a winemaker, that is.
Perhaps that old saying needs to be updated? What do you think of this?
“Drink a fine wine to grow better with age.”