Well, wine is a very complex liquid made from the fermentation of red and white grapes, and on average contains 12 to 14% alcohol, besides water and many other compounds.
Wine making is a very captivating subject, right from the choice of ground where the grapes grow, the climate, type of vines and the wine making process itself. Then there is the big plus in the pleasure of hosting the bottles in your own cellar.
Last but not least, opening the bottle to appreciate the sensation of smell and taste, alone or in the company of like minded persons, just for the sake of it or for socialising on special occasions in one’s life.
Here are some interesting questions and answers about wine:
Is wine healthy? How much should you drink?
Regular and moderate wine consumption with food (two to four drinks daily for men, one to two drinks for women) especially red wine, in healthy individuals, has been associated with health benefits. It may protect against chronic health conditions like;
1. Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
3. Cancer (certain types)
4. Neurological disorders
5. Metabolic syndrome (can lead to diabetes)
How does it work?
The polyphenol and alcohol constituents are believed to contribute to these health benefits.
For those with existing health conditions, please consult your doctor, as wine may be contraindicated in certain individuals.
Historically, wine has been around since 2200 BC, and has also been used for medicinal purposes like sepsis, digestive disorders and as a painkiller. There are many recipes where wine is added to flavour our food in cooking.
Why is red wine more beneficial for health than white wine?
Because wine polyphenols, which mainly come from the seeds and skins of grapes, are present in a greater number and variety in red wine than in white wine.
It is very important that wine consumption does not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. Regular frequent meals high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains and low in meat protein, and 45 minutes of regular daily exercise are a must.
Studies show that 200-300ml of red wine daily is of benefit in reducing the LDL (unhealthy) and raising the HDL (beneficial) cholesterol levels.
Other studies show that, red wine especially, decreases blood viscosity (thickness) and increases body immunity.
It is worthwhile noting that uncontrolled alcohol intake and alcoholism are associated with cancer, liver and cardiovascular disease, so regular and moderate drinking are words to bear in mind.
Women should drink less than men, as studies show that women who drink as much as men are more prone to its detrimental effects. Binge drinking is unhealthy.
Wine is completely contraindicated in pregnant women, children and individuals on certain medications.
So, which wine is healthiest?
It appears that a very tannic and polyphenol rich wine provides the most health benefits. Of course one has to keep in mind that there are other variations to consider, as not every bottle of wine has the same composition, so it’s worth asking some questions before acquiring a bottle:
Does it come from a region where the grape is high in these compounds (tannins/polyphenols)?
Have pesticides been used? (they can accumulate in the body as toxins)
Has it been aged and stored properly? (this can alter the composition of wine)
The wine connoisseur will help you with these questions, and with what wine is the most likely to please your palate and go well with your food.
Last but not least, remember that not every person metabolises wine in the same manner, as wine tolerance is different for every individual in spite of age and sex considerations.