There are regular reports in the news that wines may be bad or good for you.  The image of wine has long has a love-hate relationship with health.  Here’s a few facts you can throw into any discussion!

  1. The longest lived (unambiguously documented) human was Jeanne Calment (1875-1997) who died at the age of 122 years and 164 days. She ascribed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance to a diet rich in port wine and olive oil.  She also ate 2lb of chocolate per week.

  2. Women get drunk faster than men, and it is not caused by physical size or weight. If a woman and a man of the same size and build drank the same amount of wine, the woman would still show a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is because women have a higher fat content than men and fat does not absorb alcohol. The alcohol therefore spreads into less body mass, leading to a higher BAC.

  3. It is also suggested that women may be more susceptible to the effects of wine than men partly because they have less of a specific enzyme in the lining of the stomach that is needed to metabolize alcohol efficiently.

  4. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, there are 100 calories in a 5-ounce glass of wine (compared to 150 calories in a 12-ounce beer). Plus wine is a fat-free and cholesterol-free drink.

  5. Red wine is often thought more healthy than white wine, due to the presence of antioxidants and resveratrol (a naturally occurring phenol which protects plants attacked by bacteria and fungi) – but the research evidence is by no means conclusive.

  6. In ancient Greece, the dinner host would take the first sip of wine to ensure it was safe to drink (and not laced with poison), giving us the phrase to “drink to one’s health”.

  7. Romans discovered that mixing lead with wine not only helped preserve wine, but also gave it a sweet taste and smooth texture. Chronic lead poisoning has often been cited as one of the causes of the decline of the Roman Empire.

  8. When syphilis appeared in Europe, a proposed cure was bathing in white wine.  It didn’t work.

  9. The world’s biggest red wine consumers are the Chinese.  The Chinese drank their way to a record 1395 million liters of red wine in 2013, thereby surpassing the French. The increasing popularity of red wine in China is largely due to the fact that red is considered to be a lucky color, though the perceived health benefits of red wine may be important.

  10. Oenophobia is an intense fear or hatred of wine.

Drink Responsibly!

Robin Hall

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