Is Fine Wine Fine For You?
Wine has long been considered to be a symbol of good health and good wealth. Is the health part of this statement actually true? Let's find out.
Wine is one of the stranger pleasures that humanity has discovered. While the process of turning plants into alcohol has been around for 4,000 years before the concept of wine was even thought about (thanks to peasants leaving some hops for too long), wine is considered to be the sophisticated sibling of the alcohol world.
It is a staple drink in every palace or noble lord's home. In fact, the drinking of wine is long considered to be a symbol of good health and good wealth. While wealth is definitely part of drinking fine wine, health is rather debatable. Are the benefits of wine enough to balance out the negative effects of alcohol? Today, let's find out.
What is Wine?
Wine is essentially the extracted essence of fermented fruits, most famously grapes. They are aged in barrels and consumed best decades after the first time their grapes were picked and crushed. So many factors go into the creation of wine, from the way it was first harvested to the very barrel it will stay in for years to come. Despite all this, at the end of the day, wine is still essentially good-tasting alcohol.
Types of Wine
Red and white wine are both made from grapes, but the process of creating them is different. White wine is made by removing the seeds, stems and skin before you ferment them. On the other hand, red wine is made by picking the grapes and fermenting them as is, seeds, skin, stem and all.
It's actually because of this that red wine is considered the healthier of the two types of wine. The skin, seeds and stem contain most of the nutrients typically found in wine.
What you choose to drink boils down to personal preference. White wine and red wine provide the same kind of health benefits, it's just that red wine provides more of it.
Benefits of Drinking Wine
May Reduce Heart Disease
The moderate consumption of wine can help reduce the risk of heart disease. The nutrients found in red wine are one of the reasons it has developed a reputation as being good for your heart. France actually conducted a research in their populace to see why heart disease is so low despite the high-fat diet, and a factor was shown to be the consumption of red wine.
Reservatrol, a nutrient found in wine, is responsible for this benefit. Reservatrol increases insulin sensitivity, making it great for diabetics who still want to enjoy alcohol on occasion.
Eases Joint Pain
Wine has been shown to be a factor in easing pain in the joints, especially for older people. Reservatrol, once again, is the nutrient responsible for the easing of osteoporosis.
Raises "Good" Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. The cholesterol from wine, if drank moderately, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Reduces the Risk of Blood Clots
Wine can help reduce the appearance of blood clots that can disrupt the flow of blood in your arteries.
While these health benefits are definitely present in wine, red or white, it's important to note that the disadvantages of alcohol are still present. Most studies of wine are observational. In fact, you really shouldn't justify drinking wine as a health supplement. It is marginally healthier than beer and most other alcohol, but it's still alcohol.
Wine is a drink best consumed during special occasions or as a treat to yourself from time to time. It is not a good idea to drink it with the idea that it's effective at reducing heart disease and diabetes. It's a "healthier" alternative to be sure, but moderation should still be practiced when drinking wine.