Wine has been the subject of countless studies over the years and has resulted in many impressive findings. In fact, throughout history, many have professed wine to be an integral part of a healthy diet:
- Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, used wine for many medicinal purposes and advocated wine as part of a healthful lifestyle.
- In the Bible, the apostle Paul advised Timothy, “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” 1Tim 5:23 NAS
- The clergy long understood and used wine for a broad list of medical treatments. Throughout history, monks were noted to have longer lifespans than the general populace of their times.
- In a 14th century book about wine, a physician, Amaldus de Villa Nova, wrote at length how wine could be used to treat a multitude of conditions and illnesses, even dementia.
Which brings us to today, where science takes us beyond the observations made by those in the past, proving that wine, when consumed in moderation, is good for you.
Moderate Wine Consumption
But what is moderate wine consumption?
Since a person’s body stature, weight, age and health all play into determining this answer, it’s impossible to supply a response that applies to everyone. Additionally, women absorb alcohol more quickly than men; therefore, moderate wine consumption for a woman is lower.
According to a report published by the US Department of Agriculture, “Dietary Guideline for Americans 2010,” “Moderate alcohol consumption is the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.” This report goes on to indicate there is strong evidence in the health benefits of alcohol consumption, including that it “may help to keep cognitive function intact with age.”
Health Benefits of Wine Consumption
Most research has focused on red wine, but a few studies on white wine are now being conducted and discovered it too has some of the same health benefits as its red counterpart. Both white and red wines contain resveratrol, one of the most studied compounds that makes wine so healthy, but red wine has more.
Studies are being conducted around the world concerning the health benefits of wine, when consumed in moderation. Let’s look at some of them:
- After gathering and compiling data from academic papers spanning 19 nations, researchers at Loyola University Medical Center report that moderate red wine consumption reduces a person’s risk of developing dementia. They emphasized that the amount must be moderate because too much can have the exact opposite effect. Ultimately, the researchers went on to publish an article in The Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment stating that individuals who moderately consumed red wine had a 23 percent lower risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment over those who never or rarely consumed alcohol.
- Researchers published a study in Harvard Men’s Health Watch stating that modest red wine drinking men were less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who did not drink red wine. They further shared that red wine appears to be especially protective against aggressive and advanced cancers.
- A research team from the Netherlands reported that moderate consumption of white wine improved lung function and helped to prevent lung cancer. Although Dutch researchers found no benefit to the lungs from red wine consumption, a team from Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation published an article in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention stating that lung cancer risk may be reduced by the consumption of red wine.
- Although regular alcohol consumption can raise the risk of breast cancer, scientists at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center report that breast cancer risk is lowered with moderate, regular red wine consumption.
- An article published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society said that drinking wine may lower risk of developing macular degeneration. In their study, they found four percent of wine drinkers developed macular degeneration compared to the non-drinker’s nine percent.
- Researchers in Spain testified that wine may reduce the risk of depression. They state individuals were less likely to be diagnosed with depression when drinking two to seven glasses of wine per week. They also shared that the flavonoids found in grapes and wine helps protect from sunburn.
- Scientists at the University of Leicester, UK report that moderate and regular consumption of red wine can lower the rate of bowel tumors by roughly 50 percent.
- Harvard Medical School research shows that red wine has anti-aging properties because of the compound resveratrol found in the skin of red grapes.
- A University of London study reports that procyanidins, another compound found in red wine, helps to maintain blood vessel health which in turn increases longevity.
- Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine state that consumption of red wine may protect the brain from damage following a stroke.
- UC San Diego School of Medicine published a study concluding that modest wine consumption may not only be safe for the health of the liver, but could actually decrease chances of developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). They went on to report in the journal Hepatology that those who practiced modest, regular consumption of beer or liquor were more than four times likely to develop NAFLD as modest, regular wine drinkers.
- In a Chinese study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, it was reported that red wine may help prevent type 2 diabetes because it may benefit insulin sensitivity.
- Research published in MBiosphere indicates red wine could reduce heart disease by changing the gut microbiome.
- A study published in the US National Library of Medicine reported that red wine decreases blood pressure and protects against free radicals.
Monterey Wine Festival
Now that you know just how healthy wine can be, it’s time to get out and enjoy a little… and what better place than the Monterey Wine Festival? This annual festival, now in its 41st year, is coming soon – June 10th through the 12th. The festival is a premier wine and food event. Enjoy luxury foods, such as lamb, duck, lobster, foie gras, prawns and wagyu style beef, each paired with a preferred assortment of wines. Other alcoholic beverages and live music make this a celebration you don’t want to miss. Only 100 tickets will be sold, so don’t wait too long.
Places to Purchase Wine in Monterey
Looking for a great place to enjoy a glass of wine? There are a few in the Monterey area, including:
- Sovino Wine Bar offers an assortment of wine from all growing regions of California, for purchase and by the glass. They also offer tastings and small plates.
- The Wine Experience provides a wide range of services, from wine tasting and custom blending to interactive classes.
- A Taste of Monterey Wine Bar, Market and Bistro offers a wine bar and ocean view dining.
Or perhaps you would like to visit a winery tasting room? Check these out:
- Carmel Ridge Winery, voted one of Monterey’s best wine tasting venues, offers a tasting room with breathtaking ocean views.
- Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a small, family-owned vineyard producing estate-grown, limited-run wines with an emphasis on Portuguese and Spanish varieties.
- Roadhouse Wine Bar creates limited quantities of luxury wines with distinct character and elegance.
What Makes Wine So Healthful?
Most studies indicate the health benefits linked to the consumption of wine are due to its resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a compound produced by some plants which protects them from bacteria, fungi and ultraviolet irradiation. It is found in the skins and seeds of grapes. Since red wine is fermented with the skins intact, while white wine is not, red wine contains more resveratrol.
In closing, it is important to remember that health benefits come from enjoying wine in moderation. Drinking too much can lead to many chronic illnesses, disease and even death from heart problems, liver problems, mental issues and even several cancers; plus death due to accidents caused by drunk driving cannot be dismissed.
Although no one has yet determined what “moderate” truly means, it’s best for men to limit themselves to two glasses per day and women, one. Since alcohol can have adverse effects on some medications and medical conditions, it’s best to discuss all alcohol consumption with your doctor.
If you are looking for a picturesque and idyllic setting to enjoy your wine, the apartments and cottages at Forest Hill retirement community are just the place. With spectacular, panoramic Monterey Bay and coastline views, Forest Hill is never short of places to enjoy a glass of wine, and life in general. Contact us to learn more.