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Tag Archives: wine and health

Ask the WC 2: Health, food pairings, weddings

Because the customers always write, and the Wine Curmudgeon has answers every month or so.  Ask a wine-related question by clicking here.

Dear Wine Curmudgeon:
Why do doctors say red wine is more heart healthy than white wines? I have acid reflux and whites, roses, and light bodied red wines seem easier on me than heavy red wines. I want to drink heart healthy if possible.
Aging as well as I can in Texas

Dear Aging: 
Red wine has more resveratrol, which comes from grape skins, than whites, and roses. Which makes sense, since the skins are used in making red wine more than they are in rose and white. Doctors think resveratrol helps prevent blood vessel damage, cuts bad cholesterol, and can even help with blood clots. Having said that, wine and health remains a controversial subject, and some physicians figure the bad things about wine outweigh the good. I don’t, and I firmly believe in a heart-healthy lifestyle – wine in moderation, walking the dogs, and lots of fiber.

Dear Cranky Wine Guy:
You offer wine and food pairing suggestions with your reviews, but also write that we should drink what we want and not worry about stuff like that. What am I supposed to think?
Confused reader in the Midwest

Dear Confused:
That contradiction has always bothered me; the last thing I want to do is scare people away with food pairing rules. On the other hand, to paraphrase Paula Lambert, one of the world’s great artisan cheesemakers, there is a relationship between the two. She says to look for wine that makes the food taste better and for food that makes the wine taste better. Most pairing suggestions will get you close, and you’ll often be surprised by how much better each tastes. Though, if you want big red wine with crab cakes, who am I to stop you?

Dear Wine Curmudgeon:
My daughter is getting married next year, and we’ve already had problems finding wine for the reception. It’s expensive, I don’t understand the process, and I’m afraid we’ll get wine that no one likes. Can you help?
Perplexed future mother-in-law

Dear Perplexed:
The WC gets that question all the time, which is why I wrote a wine for your wedding post covering caterers, hotels, pricing, and suggestions about what to serve. In general, It’s your wedding — pick the wine you want and can afford, and don’t worry about what people think. Anyone who goes to a wedding and complains about the wine probably shouldn’t have been invited.

Winebits 272: Randall Grahm, alcohol ads, wine and health

Is the world upside down? The Wine Spectator’s James Laube writes a mostly favorable profile of Bonny Doon’s irrepressible Randall Grahm. Why is this so odd? For one thing, Grahm has never had any use for the Winestream Media, scores, the kinds of wines it likes, and how the system works. For another, he once wrote of Laube: “I’d rather have a frontal lobotomy than a Laube in front of me.” Laube mostly let bygones be bygones: “The latest wines are striking for their structure and individuality. …” Though, in true Winestream Media fashion, only one of the four wines reviewed in the piece scored higher than a 90. Which, given my experience with Grahm’s wines, once again emphasizes how useless scores are.

Ban ‘em all! A British doctors’ group wants to phase out all alcohol advertising as part of its latest campaign to tackle the country’s drinking problem. The Alcohol Health Alliance says children need to be protected from booze ads; hence its plan to restrict them to newspapers and magazines with an adult readership. Eventually, all ads and sponsorships for alcohol products would be banned. This is an amazing proposal from the country that gave the world civil liberties in the Magna Carta, and raises all sorts of constitutional questions. I wonder: What would Horace Rumpole, whose love of cheap wine was surpassed only by his respect for Magna Carta, ”our ancient rights of freedom,’“ say to the doctors?

One more silly claim: The Wine Curmudgeon would be happier if health claims for wine would be banned, which I’ve done here on the blog. The only reason I’m mentioning this one is that it demonstrates why all of this is so foolish. Red wine, in moderation, can help old farts like the WC make women happy. Does this mean my natural charm isn’t enough?

One more reason why there’s no health news on the blog

The Wine Curmudgeon banned health news from the blog in 2009, after Italian researchers discovered that women who are drunk are easier to seduce. Did the world really need a study to know that?

Since then, I have remained ever vigilant. Wine, for some reason, has attracted the attention of researchers over the past decade in a way that’s hard to understand. Let’s cure cancer or AIDs; why all this fuss about wine?

The latest wine research that will make absolutely in difference in anyone’s life comes from Rhode Island, where a study looked at the effects of red wine and vodka on pigs with high cholesterol. This raises so many questions that I don’t even know where to begin: How do pigs get high cholesterol? They can’t be eating too much fatty bacon or sausage, can they? Why vodka and not gin or bourbon?

The best part of the study? That moderate consumption of red wine and vodka may reduce cardiovascular risk, and that red wine may be more effective than vodka in doing so. I could have told you that, and the only medical degree I have is the one my mother wanted me to get.

So, once again, another reason to ban health news from the blog. We don’t need research to know that drinking wine in moderation is a good thing; Julia Child was saying that 50 years ago.

(And a tip o’ the Curmudgeon’s fedora to The Italian Wine Guy, who sent this item my way and whose sense of irony may be even more developed than mine.)

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