Almost every day there seems to be more information about the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a baby aspirin and a glass of red wine every day is right up there too! The ingredient that provides the health benefits is Resveratrol. It’s an anti-oxidant that comes from the grape skins. That’s why red wine has more benefits than white wine. White wine is produced by draining the juice off, as soon as the grapes are crushed. Red wine juice is left in contact with the skins to pull out colour and tannins, (and resveratrol).
A few years back the 60 Minutes TV show did a special called the French Paradox. They investigated the paradox between their rate of heart disease, versus the diet of the population in France. Their diet is much higher in fat, which would tend to lead to a higher rate of heart disease. Yet there is a lower rate of heart disease in France than North America. Their conclusion was that the higher rate of consumption of red wine, and therefore resveratrol, was producing a significant benefit for coronary artery disease.
Wine consumption is on the rise in North America as our aging population moves to a form of alcohol that is beneficial, rather than detrimental. However, many North Americans still treat wine as a special occasion drink: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In Europe it’s an every day drink. A glass of wine with dinner and sometimes another nightcap before bed doesn’t push blood alcohol above .08 ppm, but it does have a soothing effect as well as those anti-oxidants.
Consumer made wine comes with an added benefit: less sulfite. Sulfite occurs naturally in the grapes, so there’s no getting away from it entirely, but wine in the store has to have enough sulfite (preservative) to last years (about 250 ppm), in case the bottle is to be stored. Consumer made wine comes with only a years supply of sulfite (about 50 ppm), unless you know you’ll be storing it longer and want to add a little more.
Blog provided by: Ray Vezeau, owner of Chateau Vezeau Wines, a ferment on premises winemaking facility in Brooklin. www.ChateauVezeauWines.com