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Here’s Why Drinking a Little Wine is Good for Your Health

It's often said that wine gets better with age. But could it also be the case that aging gets better with wine?

Some experts think that it does. That's excellent news for those of us who enjoy a glass of oaky Cabernet or fruity Malbec. But, how could something traditionally associated with vice turn out to be a health-giving virtue? To find out, we need to start by traveling to the spiritual home of wine.

The French paradox

The French Paradox was a phrase popularized in the 1980s when researchers noticed a strange contradiction: Despite a diet rich in saturated fats, the French enjoyed much lower rates of cardiovascular disease and related conditions than the British or Americans. Could it have something to do with the Gallic preference for a glass of red wine over supper?

The answer is ... maybe. Subsequent research has shown that wine isn't a magical elixir that can ward off chronic diseases or slow down aging by itself. But it has been demonstrated that certain plant chemicals in fruits, vegetables and wine have health-giving properties. Drinking wine in moderation is one way to consume more of these beneficial chemicals, and if you pair each glass with meals that contain plenty of unprocessed foods, so much the better.

Meet resveratrol

The plant chemical in question is resveratrol, also found in peanuts, berries and (non-fermented) grapes. It has powerful antioxidant properties, which means it protects your body from cellular damage and can prevent or delay the onset of diseases like cancer, diabetes and various forms of dementia.

There's more. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory effects, making it a potential help for arthritis symptoms. Evidence from other studies suggests that resveratrol may improve blood flow in the brain, thereby boosting cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning.

One note of caution: Resveratrol is clearly good news for your body, but that doesn’t mean wine is a superfood like quinoa or kale. As anyone who ever had one too many drinks can testify, alcohol is toxic. The costs of drinking wine will quickly outstrip the benefits if you consume more than one glass (around five fluid ounces) per day.

What if I prefer Sauvignon Blanc?

Sorry, white wine lovers. Feel free to enjoy your preferred drink in moderation but don’t expect the same health benefits. That’s because resveratrol is present mainly in the skin of grapes, which winemakers discard when making whites. In general, grape varietals with the thickest skins contain the most resveratrol, so look out for robust reds like Malbec, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

It’s not all about the chemicals

Resveratrol isn’t the only reason drinking wine in moderation is good for your health. Whether it’s tap dancing, embroidery or sipping a good vintage, doing just about anything you enjoy can give you a wellness boost since it acts as a stress reliever. In addition, wine tastings are social and educational events, giving you a chance to meet new people while learning about one of the most fascinating of all human inventions.

Interested in learning more? Sign up today for our Truffle Making & Wine Event, where we’ll be making sweet treats and sipping specially selected wines in a fun, welcoming environment. We hope to see you there!

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