The Healthiest Wines – part 1
Do you need more reasons to justify the fact that you enjoy a glass of wine every now and then…or maybe even a once-a-day glass?
Since many of our winery guests and wine club members have already seen health studies as they relate to wine, we will spare you the long list here.
We did include two studies that we think you will find helpful if not amusing. And we’ve included recommendations of a few wines that purport to boast the most health benefits!
Avoiding the Common Cold
A 2010 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that among 4,000 faculty members at five Spanish universities, those who drank more than 14 weekly glasses of wine for a year were 40% less likely to come down with a common cold. Why? According to the National Institutes of Health, antioxidants are believed to fight infection and protect cells against the effects of free radicals, which may play role in cancer and other diseases. “Too much wine will cancel the benefits, because the alcohol and sugars strain the liver and reduce immunity,” says Dr. Eliaz.
Getting and Staying Slim
Clearly, resveratrol is a bit of a limelight hog when it comes to the healthful compounds in wine. But research in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggests piceatannol, the chemical compound our bodies convert from resveratrol, deserves some credit. This compound was shown to actually prevent the growth of fat cells in a series of lab tests. How? Researchers say that piceatannol binds to the insulin receptors of fat cells, essentially blocking the pathways necessary for immature fat cells to mature and grow.
Red Wines possessing the greatest Health Benefits
When he studied 100 different red wines, Leroy Creasy, PhD, a professor emeritus in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, consistently found the highest concentrations of resveratrol in pinot noirs that had been grown in cool, rainy climates. His advice to health conscious imbibers: “Stay away from huge wineries, because their wine is made by chemists and they tend to mellow the wine out to save aging time, which reduces resveratrol,” he says. “Stick to boutique wineries or traditional old-fashioned wineries, where the winemaker is not a chemical engineer.”
Although Pinot Noir is not widely grown and made in Temecula Valley, most of Temecula’s wineries are smaller boutique-type in size and wine-making styles offering greater health benefits.
Popular Temecula red wines, Syrah and Merlot contain high levels of procyanidins. These compounds are good for your blood vessels and are probably one of the factors contributing towards the long life spans of the people from the southwest of France and Sardinia, say researchers from the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary, University of London.
Going with Dry Red Wines
Red wines with more of a dry flavor profile, like cabernets, boast higher levels of flavonoids—an antioxidant that’s been shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels and help prevent coronary heart disease. As a general rule, the sweeter the wine, the lower the flavonoid levels.
Sipping Other Wines
Going beyond the seriousness of extensive wine health analysis, we find that any type of wine can be beneficial and transcend laboratory studies. If a glass of Temecula Valley grown Viognier, Chardonnay or White Merlot provide you and your friends with relaxation, joy, good conversation and amazing food pairings, then we predict healthy chemicals will be produced in your brain and delivered to your heart!
Good health to you!