What are the Health Benefits of Wine?

After a chaotic and hectic day at work, all you want to do is head home, pour yourself a glass of wine and let a feeling of relaxation. However, every time you take a sip, you may have a nagging thought at the back of your mind. You can't help but wonder if you should be helping yourself with this glass of wine. Are you compromising your health? Would it waste all your efforts of staying fit?

You must have often heard people commenting about how beneficial red wine is. However, you might not be aware of the full effect that wine has. You would be amazed once you learn the benefits that a glass of wine can bring your way.

Most health benefits of wine can be attributed to resveratrol. Resveratrol is found in plants which enable them to fight fungi and bacteria. Some sources include blueberries, mulberries, cranberries, and peanuts. However, the same powerful effects are not acquired when resveratrol is isolated. It is red wine which is most enriched with resveratrol. Thus, among the various types of alcoholic beverages, it is red wine which has most benefits to offer.

Let us elaborate on the various benefits that can come your way with a glass of wine. This will ensure that you do not feel reluctant or guilty while drinking the beverage.

Long livelihood

Consuming wine daily can increase your lifespan. This is because when the wine is a vital component of your diet, you are more inclined towards eating plant-based foods instead of animal-based ones. This has been proven time and again. People who drink wine daily love longer. Indeed, according to a study in 2007, red wine contains procyanidins, which is beneficial for your cardiovascular health. There are some areas of France where people live longer since the wine from those areas is enriched with procyanidins.

Furthermore, according to research from Harvard Medical School, resveratrol leads to activation of a protein which increases the life of animal models. It does so by increasing the activity of the sirtuins, which protects the body against aging.

Impact on intelligence

Short-term memory is also improved owing to resveratrol. It took merely thirty minutes for researches to discover that participants who took resveratrol had better retention of memory and performed faster. Thus, it is apparent that wine has a favorable impact on those areas of the brain which are associated with emotions, learning, and making new memories. It improves the cognitive function of your brain. This makes sure that not only do you live longer, but your quality of life is significantly enhanced as well. You would not have to be dependent on others owing to your brain activity being compromised.

Avoiding breakouts

Wine can also deal with the humungous problem of acne that nearly all of us face at some point. This is because resveratrol inhibits the growth of those bacteria that cause bacteria. Indeed, the results are long-lasting compared to that of benzoyl peroxide. You get the best results when you combine the compound with benzoyl peroxide. Topical application of the compound might not bring the desired effects. Instead, it is seen that drinking antioxidant is a better option. Thus, you will find the wine to be more suitable compared to those expensive creams that burn a hole in your pocket.

Improvement in body functions

Are you tired of your slow progress at the gym? Do you wish there was some way to speed up the process and acquire faster results? Wine can help you with this. It has been seen that wine can improve your bone, brain, and heart function, similar to workouts at the gym. When you combine the two things together, you can be assured that you will get the best results.

Keep depression at bay

It is quite well known that wine helps one to relax. However, what many do not know that it can even prove to be effective in dealing with depression. Researches have shown that drinking wine daily can reduce the chances of incurring depression.

The impact on liver

Most people have the misconception that wine can harm their liver. However, if you drink wine in moderate amounts, this is not something you should have to be worried about. In fact, a reasonable amount of wine can decrease the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Effect on eyes

Wine can also inhibit the growth of blood vessels in the eyes. Thus, it proves to be an effective remedy for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration that occurs with age.

The impact on teeth

Do you want to make sure that your teeth remain pearly white without having to head to the dentist ever so often for the same? Wine can help you with this. Wine reduces the bacteria on your teeth. It leads to degradation of the bacteria, ensuring that your teeth remain clean and white.

Reduce cancer risk

Perhaps one of the most significant wine benefits is related to the effect it has on cancer. Breast tumors use an enzyme, aromatase for producing their estrogen. Red grapes suppress this enzyme. Thus, red wine can function as an aromatase inhibitor, thereby reducing the risk of breast cancer. Red wine is said that it may kill the cancer cells as the compound present in it cuts off the pathway feeding the cancer cells.

Risk of colon cancer can also be reduced with red wine consumption. According to reports, men who consume red wine daily have fewer chances of developing prostate cancer compared to those who abstain from it. Red wine is also effective in dealing with advanced cancers.

A remedy for cold

People have been using wine to deal with the cold for a long time. This has been proven via studies as well. Drinking wine reduces the chances of coming down with a cold. This could be owing to the antioxidants in the wine, which reduce inflammation, thereby alleviating the symptoms of a cold.

The effect on cholesterol levels

Wine can also play a role in reducing LDL, which is considered to be the bad fat, while at the same time increasing HDL, which is good for your body. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular diseases owing to thickening of blood vessels with plaque is reduced. This has been reaffirmed by the American Heart Association as well.

Decreased risk of stroke

Wine can also reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. According to studies, risk of stroke decreases with consumption, something not seen with the consumption of other forms of alcohol like beer.

Regulation of blood sugar levels

Red wine is enriched with polyphenols. These interact with the cells that are involved in the storage and development of fat, along with the regulation of blood sugar. The polyphenols function in the same way as some diabetes drugs.

Reducing the risk of diabetes

Moderate consumption of wine can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A contributing factor to this could be resveratrol that enhances insulin sensitivity in the body. Since resistance from insulin is a significant factor in type 2 diabetes, drinking wine can play a crucial role in keeping you healthy.

A boost to the immune system

Drinking wine can boost up your immune system and increase its ability to fight off bacteria and other infections.

A point to remember

It is evident that you can gain a lot by helping yourself with a glass of wine frequently. It enables you to lead a long and healthy life. By decreasing the risk of dementia, it makes sure that your quality of life is not compromised for a long time to come. Risk of dementia is decreased as it reduces the stickiness of blood platelets. As a result, the brain gets a healthy blood supply and can function optimally.

 

However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. For one thing, you cannot rely solely on wine for your health. Humans have a tendency to get carried away. While it is true that wine is highly beneficial, you can consider it a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. Combine it with healthy food items and an active lifestyle, and you will get the best results.

Furthermore, you need to keep the amount of wine that you consume in check. It can reduce the risk of heart diseases, fight against cancer, and pave the way for healthy bones. However, you will only get these benefits if you consume the wine in moderate amounts. Therefore, make sure that you do not drink more than a couple of glasses in a day.

Making healthy life choices is of utmost importance if you want to lead a long life wherein you would not have to be dependent on someone else owing to any diseases. Wine is a great way to counter a lot of conditions. Make sure that you use it wisely.

Therefore, the next time you feel guilty about that glass of wine, think of all the benefits, you would be turning away from if you do not drink it. Enjoy every sip of your wine and let it work its magic.

David Aschenbrener
Which is better Decanting or Aerating?
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If you want to enjoy the full taste of your wine, you will need to let the bottle breathe. This ensures that you get optimal flavors. It is vital to understand that quite an elaborate and extensive process is used for the production of wine wherein yeast and grapes are fermented over a period.

During fermentation of wine, the grapes are let out. This allows them to process water and air leading to the production of wine. This wine is stored in large containers where it ages, following which it is bottled. How long the wine needs to be left to age depends on the wine being produced. If you hear that a certain wine is young, it implies that the aging process of that wine bottle was short and it was bottled early.

Aeration of wine leads to evaporation of tannin as a result of which the wine loses its bitterness and becomes more flavorful. Thus, you get a bold and full taste. During wine aerating, oxygen is mixed with the wine. You can think of this process as similar to waking up the wine after a long time so that all the flavors which have been stored in it can be released.

After pouring this wine in a deep glass, you need to give it at least 20 minutes before you drink it. An open wine bottle takes a minimum of two hours to aerate. Not many like to wait this long to enjoy their glass of wine and thus use aerators or decanters to speed up the process.

Wine decanter and how it works

A decanter refers to a glass vessel which functions as a secondary container for wine. Decanters are mostly clear. It is in these containers where the wine is allowed to settle. Wine aerating takes place as it is poured in this container. Before consuming, the wine is allowed to breathe for a while. The process of decanting serves two purposes. For one thing, it filters out the sediments from the wine. It also leads to an increase in the vibrancy of the wine.

To make sure that all the sediment is filtered out from the wine, it is prudent that the bottle is left upright for a whole day. Following this, you can inspect the bottom of your wine bottle to make sure that no sediments remain. You can use a flashlight for the purpose. You can also make sure that as you pour the wine into the decanter, you let some of it remain in the bottle along with the sediment.

You can also let the wine settle in the decanter for decanting after pouring the whole bottle in the container. How much time will be taken in decanting depends on the type of wine you have. For instance, young wine needs a couple of hours for aerating. Older wines, on the other hand, are sensitive and do not take more than half an hour. Keep in mind that you can decant only a specific section of white wines.

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A bit about wine aerator

Wine aerators have a chamber which allows the air to enter and mix oxygen with the wine. Some of these aerators are also provided with a strainer located above the chamber. The strainer gets rid of the sediments before the wine makes its way to the chamber for aeration. Wine aerating takes less time with this process, and thus, you do not have to wait long for your drink.

You will come across quite a lot of varieties of aerators. All have one thing in common. They aim to provide you with more flavors in less time. Aerator works by adding oxygen to the wine and letting tannins evaporate ensuring that you get optimal flavor.

Difference between decanter and aerator

The quality of wine remains more or less the same, whether you use a decanter or an aerator. The purpose of both these devices is to allow the wine to breathe and get maximum air. Both devices are capable of providing the same taste and flavor.

However, there are some significant differences between the two devices. For one thing, if you value time, you will find wine aerator to be a much better option. You can enjoy your glass of wine within a short span using a wine aerator. If you use a decanter, you will have to wait for a considerable amount of time before you can consume your drink.

Furthermore, you can aerate small amounts of wine using an aerator. On the other hand, in case of a decanter, at least half a bottle has to be poured into the container. Aerator offers more flexibility, and you can gauge the results instantly.

Aerator or decanter: the better option

It is essential that a wine bottle is allowed to breathe if you want to enjoy the full range of flavors. Both an aerator and a decanter cause expansion of the surface area or wine so that air can mix with it. The difference is that the decanter is a large vessel which takes more time while in case of an aerator; the air is forced to circulate throughout it. In the end, you get a wine which has optimal flavors with less bitterness.

It is the time which marks the primary difference between the two devices. If you do not have much time on your hands and would like to get a flavorful glass of wine without having to wait for long, you will find an aerator to be a suitable option. Let us take the example of a vinturi. In this case, the device is held above the glass, and wine is poured through it. You can notice the wine breathing with the formation of bubbles as it flows through the aerator. Therefore, if you want to enjoy a casual glass of wine after a long hectic day and do not want to go through any more wait, the aerator will be perfect.

On the other hand, if you have some time and are preparing for a fancy dinner, you will find decanter to be the better solution. Decanters are usually used alongside funnels wherein wine aeration takes place as you pour it into the decanter. You can then let the wine settle in the decanter till the time when you have to serve it. You would not have to worry about the wine being spoiled for hours. Decanters offer a more elegant experience and thus are suitable when you have guests coming over, and you would like to make an impression.

Conclusion

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Thus, whether you should decant or aerate the wine depends on the time you have. Furthermore, the age of your wine bottle is an essential factor, as well. An old wine of more than ten years does not have to be aerated. You merely have to get rid of the sediments from it. Old wine is fully developed and thus does not get affected with aeration. Indeed, the wine would start to fade if you expose it to air. Therefore, old wines should be decanted before serving.

Pairing Spirits with Food for your Next Gathering

What are the rules of pairing spirits and food?

This a question many of us ask when organizing a party gathering. When you achieve the perfect mix between your preferred alcoholic beverage and a tasty meal, you and your guest are bound to appreciate the pairing. A rum pairing with the right type of food is a heavenly combination that you must try.

It is essential to pair your food with the many spirits available to give the gathering a much needed boost. Different spirits affect various food items differently. When it comes to throwing your next dinner party, pairing dishes with complimentary spirits is a great way to mix things up.

Unsure about which food items to pair with which alcohol? Here is a run-down of tips regarding the best types of alcohols and food that go well with them.

RUM

Offering rum in your party or gathering is bound to be appreciated by the masses. After all, rum is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages out there. Rum can be viewed as an umbrella term which encompasses various types of beverages. For instance, some rums are distinctly dark, while others are refreshing. For instance, a french rum, which has a light effect on the body, is best used with a cheese board and salad. This is because the tanginess of cheese goes quite well with the refreshing taste of a french rum.

Another type of rum is gold rum. The beverage made from it can be fruity as well as dry.This type of rum is best paired with a seasoned and smoked protein. Why so? This is because golden rum is known to be sweet and it complements the spicy flavour of a juicy and well-seasoned steak.

Vodka

Pairing vodka with food like smoked fish, caviar and herring are traditionally served with Russian vodka, however you can try to create different vodka combinations. Vodka enhances the taste of a variety of meals and snacks. This is why vodka is referred to as a versatile spirit. The beverage can be offered with various types of cheese, grilled food, pickled food, meat and smoked fish.

Considering the flexibility of the use of vodka, the drink is the go-to option for both relaxed family nights as well as upscale social events.

Gin

Who doesn’t like an ice cold glass of gin and tonic? But, did you know that there are various other types of gin in you can opt for? These delicious beverages work well with an array of food items. The fruity and flowery taste of these gins helps amplify the deliciousness of certain foods.

For instance, gin pair up impeccably with seafood. The ocean flavour combines well with a juniper gin drink. Additionally, you can alter your spirit to best complement your menu. For starters, the seasoning used in the gin drink can be changed as per the requirements. Let’s say your menu is a little heavy on the spices, you can then add ingredients to your gin to make it sweet to undermine the effect of the spice. If you have salty dishes in your menu, you should pair them up with gins that are a tad acidic. This helps the drink in countering the effect of the salt.

Whiskey

Even though there has been some controversy regarding the use of whiskey with food, this hasn’t stopped the masses from combining the two. There are different types of whiskeys available. This ranges from rye to Bourbon. Overall, this allows the sprite to be ideal for a wide variety of food items.

Dark whiskeys deliver a mouth-watering aroma of the coffee, caramel and chocolate. This is why whiskey alone is enough to give the ultimate experience in a gathering. It works flawlessly with well-seasoned steaks. Moreover, they can also be combined with desserts in the form of a sauce, glaze or frosting.

Apart from this, here are some types of food that work best with whiskey.

• Dark chocolate
• Cheese
• Nuts and fruits
• Meatloaf
• Salmon
• Apple pie

Bourbon

One whisky that deserves limelight is Bourbon. Known for its unique taste, Bourbon works great with barbequed meat. Whether it be ribs or smoked brisket, enjoy it with a little bit of Bourbon for a quality experience. You can also sip the drink with dark and pure chocolate.

Brandy

Brandy is quite a favourite spirit. It can be paired with a wide variety of food, including venison, fish, cheese and chocolate. A well-aged brandy is ideal for cutting through the heaviness of the meat. Moreover, when it comes to fish, you can pair it with sardines, mackerel, and snoek. You can also combine the drink with strong cheeses for a boost of flavour.

Tequila

No party starts truly without the opening of a bottle of tequila. Among all other options, this spirit features a distinct taste. It is common for tequila to be paired with salt and lime. Apart from this, there are multiple types of dishes that work best with the drink. Anything sharp and spicy is ideal for being paired with tequila.

Tequila works both as a spirit and a cocktail. A lot of people enjoy their tequila with guacamole, melted cheese and even with tacos and ceviche. Certain tequilas also work well with chocolate.



Final Words

Pairing spirits with food items properly will help enhance your social gathering.

While some might seem like an unusual combination, try them out and see the effect it creates on you and your guests taste buds.