Mealtime wine intake has health benefits

It all started with the so-called “French Paradox”—a series of documented medical studies completed in the 1980s that indicated the reason for the French having much fewer heart attacks than their American counterparts, despite similar rich diets, is the regular intake of wine. Those studies validated the preventive benefit of wine on heart diseases.

This however hardly says that too much wine drinking saves the day. Too much wine volume at a time, as in the case of any alcoholic beverage, is still bad for the coronaries and general health— aside from the obviously impairing effect on one’s movement and actions.
In the studies conducted, the French take a glass or two of wine with their meals on a daily basis, unlike the Americans, who usually drink in volumes every weekend or on select special occasions. South Africans fall into this same habit as the Americans. We tend to overdo drinking, regardless of the kind of alcoholic beverage we take.

It is a matter of regularity versus volume. It is proven that regular intake of wine, up to five glasses a day combined with lunch, dinner and post-dinner, can reduce heart attacks by as much as 50 percent according to French scientist Dr. Serge Renaud, who is also the foremost authority in alcohol research.

Since wine is normally consumed at mealtimes, rather than beer, hard spirit or other alcoholic beverages, the difference in timing may be the most important factor according to research.

One specific study concluded that mealtime alcohol consumption reduced unhealthy alterations in blood circulations that can occur after eating. Wine can counter the adverse effects of fatty foods during the critical digestive phase.
The magic health ingredient in wine is the flavonoid. These flavonoids have antioxidant and anticlotting properties that fight cardiovascular disease.

The health angle is so real that moderate drinking on regular or even daily basis, is highly encouraged.
So, rather than munching on a celery stick and counting on much flavonoids, a glass of wine can do the same trick. Let us all drink to health… moderately of course.

Source: Wine and Food Blog


Writer names Cape Winelands as one of his favourite vineyard regions

The well known  Australian wine writer Ralph Kyte-Powell nominates his favourite vineyard regions. He identified Champiane (France), Chille, Cinque Terre Italy and of course the Cape Winelands as his favourite.

He writes:

Champagne, France

Few other words are so synonymous with celebration and fun. The French region that gave us the world’s most imitated, luxurious sparkling wine is about two hours’ drive east of Paris and it makes a fascinating detour for the traveller.

Cape Town, South Africa

The heart of South Africa’s wine country is the town of Stellenbosch, about 50 kilometres east of Cape Town. Dating back to 1679, its long history has left a great legacy of historic buildings in the classic Cape Dutch style.The surrounding landscape makes this one of the most spectacular wine regions in the world, with craggy mountains as a backdrop to vineyards and bushland.

Vineyards here are called “wine farms” and some, such as the historic Plaisir de Merle – a splendid whitewashed Cape Dutch complex at the foot of the majestic Simonsberg mountain – are as atmospheric as any in the world.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Italians will plant grapes just about anywhere. You stumble across them in forests, backyards, between blocks of flats, behind service stations … But nowhere is the Italian penchant for turning the country into one big vineyard more evident than along the rugged coastline known as the Cinque Terre, near La Spezia in Italy’s north-west.


Wine in Chile has a 450-year history but only in the 1980s did it become world class.The country’s wine trails provide a great voyage of discovery for the adventurous traveller. The wine heartland is the warm, dry Maipo Valley, near the capital city of Santiago, and sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, merlot and chardonnay are the main grapes.

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French wine exports down but value up

Despite the economic downturn, wine drinkers are apparently abandoning cheaper French wines in favour of more upmarket alternatives. 

The trend contributed to a six-month period in which French export volumes fell by 8.7% but the value of sales increased by 8.2% to £2.6 billion. 

Ubifrance, the French export development agency, said the first half of 2008 had brought mixed fortunes for France’s wine exporters. The rising euro and increasing competition from the New World meant that vins de pays had found the going difficult in vital markets such as the UK, USA and Germany. 

There was also some disappointing news from Champagne – a sign interpreted by some that a world recession is inevitable. Export volumes were down 4.2% and sales value by 1.3%