Saturday, May 25, 2013

Red Red Wine... Good Or Bad ??


Red-Red Wine Stay Close To Me.. Don't Let Me Be Alone... Stay With Me Tonight...

Now that UB40's lyrics have let you drift off for a minute, let me reel you back in and we'll look at red wine. Now, First off I'm not telling anyone who has driven themselves to alcoholism to start drinking wine to get healthy. You have a sippy cup of grape juice, while the rest of us adults who know the meaning of self control get healthy. Now everyone has heard someone say, "red wine is good for you," and 9 out 10 of them can't tell you with any conviction why. Often times people acquire information by hear-say and that's embellished or just made up rumor. They then endeavor to repeat misinformation. Well here's some "facts" to help you to make real decisions of how wine could fit into your diet. First a little history,

According to Wikipedia, wine has a history dating back thousands of years, archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known production of wine, made by fermenting grapes, took place as early as the sixth millennium BC, with evidence of winemaking at different sites dated from 6000 BC in Georgia, 5000 BC in Iran, and 4100 BC in Armenian Georgia, where wine residues were also discovered on the inner surfaces of 8,000-year-old ceramic storage jars. Chemical analysis of 7,000-year-old pottery shards indicated early wine making in Iran's Zagros Mountains. Other notable areas of wine production have been discovered in Greece and date back to 4500 BC. The same sites also contain the world's earliest evidence of crushed grapes. A winemaking press found in 2011 in Armenia has been dated to around 4100 BC. It looks like, the spread of wine culture westwards was most probably due to the Phoenicians who were centered on the coastal strip of today’s Lebanon, one of the world’s oldest sites of wine production. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidences include two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC that were discovered by Robert Ballard, who also found the, RMS Titanic in 1985, the Phoenician cargo of wine was still intact. As the first great traders of wine, the

Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin. A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented beverages in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC. One of the lasting legacies of the ancient Roman Empire was the viticultural foundation laid by the Romans in the areas that today are world-renowned wine regions. In places with garrison towns (e.g. Bordeaux, Trier, and Colchester), the Romans planted vineyards to supply local needs and limit the cost of long-distance trading. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years, aging it in caves. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history. The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent, Bacchus, represented wine. The drink is also used in Christian Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush.


It was reported in the June 2007 issue of "Harvard Men’s Health Watch," researchers found that men who drink an average of 4 to 7 glasses of red wine per week are only 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as those who do not drink red wine. In addition, red wine appears particularly protective against advanced or aggressive cancers. The researchers in Seattle collected information about many factors that might influence the risk of prostate cancer in men between ages 40 and 64, including alcohol consumption. At first the results for alcohol consumption seemed similar to the findings of many earlier studies. There was no relationship between overall consumption and risk. The scientists went one step further by evaluating each type of alcoholic beverage independently. The news was surprised them. Through the testing process wine drinking was linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Also it was found that when white wine was compared with red, red had the most benefit. Even low amounts seemed to help, and for every additional glass of red wine per week, the relative risk declined by 6%. Much of the speculation focuses on chemicals, including various flavonoids and resveratrol, which are missing from other alcoholic beverages. These components have antioxidant properties, and some appear to counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate. I'm sure it would be hard to find a doctor who would recommend drinking as a therapy. Doctors could be reluctant to recommend drinking alcohol for health, fearing that their patients might assume that if a little alcohol is good, a lot might be better. However, "The Harvard Men’s Health Watch" notes that men who enjoy alcohol and can drink in moderation and responsibly may benefit from a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cardiac death."
 
T.V.'s Dr. Oz chimes in with, you should drink some red wine every day. It has relatively few calories and induces milder hangovers than other sources of alcohol, and it is thought to raise good cholesterol and reduce the bad kind. As well as protect arteries against cholesterol-related damage. Red wine is also usually consumed in the company of others, so it encourages human connection, a very powerful factor in maintaining health." The Mayo Clinic states: " Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. Many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It's possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits. Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that's gotten attention. Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots." "Also most of the research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to drink over 60 liters of red wine every day. So start pouring. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of grapes used to make wine. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than is white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol. Simply eating grapes, or drinking grape juice, has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol. Red and purple grape juices may have some of the same heart-healthy benefits of red wine. While resveratrol supplements are also available. Researchers haven't found any harm in taking resveratrol supplements, though most of the resveratrol in the supplements can't be absorbed by your body. If you already drink red wine, do so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as an average of two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. The limit for men is higher because men generally weigh more and have more of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol than women do. A drink is defined as 12 ounces (355 milliliters, or mL) of beer, 5 ounces (148 mL) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 mL) of 80-proof distilled spirits."

Now while red wine is being widely touted for its health benefits, not all red wines may act the same according to researchers at the University of Hertfordshir. Dr. Richard Hoffman has been testing a random selection of red wines to determine their levels of resveratrol. "Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant found in red wine and red grape skins, known to protect against a range of illnesses and diseases including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's or other dementias, cancer and heart disease and more recently documented for its role in extending lifespan," according to Dr. Hoffman. Recently in a study of hundreds of wines from around the globe, Cornell University researcher, Leroy Creasy, found the highest resveratrol levels in Pinot Noir grapes grown in cooler, rainy places like the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and Oregon's Willamette Valley. In fact, the highest resveratrol content found in a wine was in Vinifera's Fleur de Pinot Noir, with four times as much resveratrol as the nearest California pinot noir tested. This grape has been long sown in France's cool Burgundy region. Pinot noir is a finicky grape to grow, because it is susceptible to rot, which may be the reason it produces more resveratrol than other grapes. Up to 40x as much resveratrol as grapes such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Small wineries utilizing the old European technique produce wines with the highest resveratrol. In general, wine produced in dry climates, may have lower resveratrol level than from the same variety of grapes grown in humid climates. Benton Lane Pinot Noir was recently named by USA Today as the wine with the highest Resveratrol levels.

After the harvest, the grapes are taken into a winery and prepared for primary ferment. At this stage red wine making diverges from white wine making. Red wine is made from the must (pulp) of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its color. White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice; the skins are removed and play no further role. To start primary fermentation yeast may be added to the must for red wine or may occur naturally as ambient yeast on the grapes or in the air. During this fermentation, which often takes between one and two weeks, the yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is lost to the atmosphere. After the primary fermentation of red grapes the free run wine is pumped off into tanks and the skins are pressed to extract the remaining juice and wine. The press wine is blended with the free run wine at the winemaker's discretion. The wine is kept warm and the remaining sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The next process in the making of red wine is secondary fermentation. This is a bacterial fermentation which converts malic acid to lactic acid. This process decreases the acid in the wine and softens the taste of the wine. Red wine is sometimes transferred to oak barrels to mature for a period of weeks or months; this practice imparts oak aromas to the wine. The wine must be settled or clarified and adjustments made prior to filtration and bottling.

Wine Facts:

Your Head: Wine could preserve your memory. When researchers gave memory quizzes to women in their 70's, those who drank one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine helps prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease, explains Tedd Goldfinger, DO, of the University of Arizona School of Medicine. Alcohol also seems to raise HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, which helps unclog your arteries.

Your Weight
Studies find that people who drink wine daily have lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally. Moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor. The alcohol may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass.

Your Immune System: In one British study, those who drank roughly a glass of wine a day reduced their risk by 11% of infection, by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, a major cause of gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancers. As little as half a glass may also guard against food poisoning caused by germs like salmonella when people are exposed to contaminated food, according to a Spanish study.

Your Ovaries:
When Australian researchers recently compared women with ovarian cancer to cancer-free women, they found that roughly one glass of wine a day seemed to reduce the risk of the disease by as much as 50%. Earlier research at the University of Hawaii produced similar findings. Experts suspect this may be due to antioxidants or phytoestrogens, which have high anticancer properties and are prevalent in wine. And in a recent University of Michigan study, a red wine compound helped kill ovarian cancer cells in a test tube. 

Your Bones: On average, women who drink moderately seem to have higher bone mass than abstainers. Alcohol appears to boost estrogen levels. The hormone seems to slow the body’s destruction of old bone more than it slows the production of new bone.

Your Blood-Sugar:
Premenopausal women who drink one or two glasses of wine a day are 40% less likely than women who don’t drink to develop type 2 diabetes. According to a 10-year study by Harvard Medical School. While the reasons aren't clear, wine seems to reduce insulin resistance in diabetic patients. 

Dr. Jung et al at the University of Mainz published a research paper in 1999 entitled "Moderate red and white wine consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease". The paper's summary stated:
"red wine improved the antioxidant capacity in the blood. The scores for moderate wine consumption were higher than for water. Systolic blood pressure reduced significantly and the distolic blood pressure reduced." In the US, The Jordan Heart Research Foundation found that free radicals were reduced by 15% in red wine drinkers, while red wine drinkers experienced a reduction in the blood's clotting ability of 10%. When grapes are converted to wine, it increases the antioxidant levels as well as producing alcohol. So wine contains far more antioxidants than things like concentrated grape extract or juice. Research also shows that even though red wine may contain more antioxidants, there are different types of antioxidant molecules. 

Girls, if you like a glass of wine after work, relax. You are likely to gain less weight than those who stick to mineral water. Moderate female drinkers also have a lower risk of obesity than those who abstain, according to new research. The findings, from a study of more than 19,000 women, is at odds with most dietary advice. That say's alcohol consumption leads to weight gain. The research suggests that a calorie from alcohol has less impact on weight than a calorie from other foods and that the way the body deals with alcohol is more complex than realised. One theory is that in regular drinkers the liver develops a separate metabolic pathway to break down alcohol, with surplus energy turned mainly into heat, not fat. In the study, Lu Wang, a medical instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues asked 19,220 American women aged 39 or older with a healthy body weight to describe their drinking habits in a questionnaire. About 38% drank no alcohol Over the next 13 years the researchers found that all the women tended to gain weight but the non-drinkers gained the most. The women's overall weight gain decreased as alcohol intake increased. There was also a difference according to the type of alcohol. Red wine was associated with the lowest weight gain. Beer and spirits were linked to the highest weight gain. The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, seems to say that there is no clear connection between alcohol consumption and weight gain.

Now if you are going to take the plunge and serve some wines,  in general, here are the basic serving temperatures for various wine styles:
    *Red wines and "big, full-bodied" red wines   Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah): 55°F to 63°F
    *"Lesser-bodied" red wines, rosé, and full-bodied white wines Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesling: 46°F to 55°F
    *Less complex white wines (Vinho Verdhe, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, dessert wines): 43°F to 50°F
    * Champagne: 43°F to 46°F
    Serving a wine too cold will mask it's flavors and bouquet.
    Serve a wine too warm and it will seem dull, flabby, and hot with alcohol.
      It's by no mistake that this article has coordinated with BevMo's 5 cent sale, and if your so inclined this weekend. Try some different wines for a nickel. Good Luck...














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