At last, we have found the elixir of health and longevity! Because of its antioxidant content, our ancestors used wine as medicine. This tasty alcoholic beverage was proven to have considerable preventative qualities regarding cardiovascular diseases, reduced harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood, and prevention of ischemic cardiac disease. As a precaution, it suffices to drink one glass a day.
A long-forgotten remedy
It is not a revolutionary breakthrough. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians very well researched the positive effects of wine on the human body. Long ago, it became known that wine helps with colds and generally strengthens the immune system while protecting against cancer.
It wards off bad moods, gloom, and depression. It helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improves one’s sex life, and helps fight diabetes. Wine may even prevent heart attacks, protect blood vessels, and prevent hardening of the arteries.
It is suitable for various diets because wine facilitates the digestion of fat. Also, drinking wine will help one age more slowly, similar to eating grapes or consuming them in a delicious drink. Wine also reduces the risks associated with smoking cigarettes. Therefore, smokers should eat fresh grapes or drink a glass of wine as part of their daily routine.
The healing properties of wine
Consumption of wine helps to tackle many health complications and even works as prevention. But wine also has external body uses. We are talking about pure, squeezed juice with grapes, which helps soothe pain when a wound is inflicted. It also heals, disinfects, and stops bleeding. The juice from grapes is successful in fever reduction as well as the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Dried grapes (raisins) are an excellent remedy for treating constipation. But be careful — here, it is important to choose raisins that are unsweetened and non-sulfate.
Under the Microscope
Even though our ancestors used wine as medicine, modern science proved that they were not wrong in doing so, and it has even more beneficial effects than they were aware. Wine contains approximately 600 components that affect the human senses. In addition to the vine, co-products from alcohol fermentation have positive effects on the human body.
Soil conditions and selected manufacturing technology determine their content and variety. In wine, there are additional beneficial ingredients, especially phenols. The majority of them have strong antioxidant properties, and some also have antitumor effects.
Additionally, they help regulate blood cholesterol. Although phenols are found in many other foods, in particular fruit and vegetables, the human body cannot utilize them because they are generally compounds soluble in alcohol but not in water.
Another interesting fact is that flavonoids belonging to a group of phenols reduce the risk of pneumonia and even suppress the negative effects of smoking on the lungs.
According to estimates, flavonoids present in about one cup of wine can neutralize approximately one cigarette’s harmful properties. Besides phenols, wine also contains minerals that help prevent osteoporosis, in addition to a relatively large amount of vitamins, especially group B.
They assist cardiac functions in promoting the cornea and the retina activity, all while increasing immunity and improving the formation of hemoglobin. They also reduce fatigue and assist in the treatment of depression.
Resveratrol is commonplace in other foods (nuts, peanuts, some vegetables like carrots, cabbage, beetroot, etc.), but it is concentrated the most in wine. It belongs to the group of phenolic compounds and is a very useful substance.
A medium concentration of resveratrol in red wines is approximately 2–6 milligrams per liters, but in white wines, its concentration is lower, about 0.2–0.8 milligrams per liters. This is also the reason why red wine is considered healthier.
Resveratrol also works as a chemopreventive agent that may reduce the risk of cancer and possibly other chronic and degenerative diseases as well.
Red Wine versus White:
The proportion of healthy, beneficial phenolic compounds is shown by scientific research to be generally higher in red wines. It is not only the result of single berries but also differences in technological production.
Polyphenols are contained in the berries’ skins. In the manufacturing of white wine, the grapes are pressed and separated relatively quickly, while with red wine, the juice initially ferments with the skins for some time. The mash (pressed, impaired berries) of what will become red wine has the chance to obtain not only color from the skins but also flavonoids.
This type is considered a novelty, and many people don‘t have much confidence in it, which is a pity. This is definitely not a passing fad, as it has been around for many years — the first mention about this wine comes from Hippocrates around 400 B.C.
Rosé accounts for about 10 percent of total wine production or about 21 million barrels annually. Many people believe that rosé is formed by blending white wine with red. This is not so, nor indeed allowed. The only exceptions are the winemakers in Champagne’s French region with the production of the famous pink Champagne.
Rosé is produced from the black grape variety. After the grapes are pressed, the resulting mash, together with the skins, is left for a short time to ferment. The time duration of fermentation depends on the variety of grape and the wine grower’s determination.
Nevertheless, it’s a question of hours, not days. At this time, the mash from the skins leaves color and other substances affecting the flavor. At the time of infusing, the resulting color depends on the chosen variety of wine.
Thus, the palette of possible colors is quite broad, ranging from raspberry tones, delicate salmon pink, brick to even dark shades of onion.
Some varieties have the skins of grapes colored pink shades — Burgundy, for example, or Gewurztraminer. This technique is used for the production of white wines, but not rosé. It is also good to note that rosé wines are not very suitable for archiving. The vast majority of rosé wines reach their peak within three years after harvesting.
Wine as Medicine
Flu, virus infections, and colds
In 1 liter of red wine, boil 1 part elderberry blossom, linden coltsfoot, and plantain leaf. Add oregano, knotgrass, and peppermint. It can be sweetened with honey, but drink hot, then lie down immediately. Se extract causes heavy sweating.
Pour one liter of high-quality red wine per 3.5 oz of chopped horseradish root, and cook for two minutes. Let it stand for 10 minutes, drain and use a soup spoon for eating.
Difficulty with bowel movement
Prepare an extract of 1.5 oz of white wine and mix with a tablespoon of castor oil and a pinch of basil stems. Simmer all ingredients for five minutes, then drain. Drink on an empty stomach.
Migraines and headaches
Boil 3.5 oz valerian root for 10 minutes in 1.5 oz of white wine. Drain, then soak a cloth and place on forehead.
Not only can wine cure various health issues, but it also prevents others from developing. There are now scientific pieces of evidence that recommend using wine as medicine for the following:
- To reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, it is recommended to consume 1-2 drinks per day.
- Heart failure, one of the most common issues in times of great distress, can be prevented by drinking up to four drinks per day.
- To improve old people’s memory and reduce the loss of thinking skills, it is recommended to drink one glass of wine per day.
- In healthy men, to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, a maximum of four drinks per day is recommended.
- The wine was, and it is still used in Mediterranean regions to reduce the risk of Helicobacter pylori infection (a bacteria that causes ulcer). Up to 100 grams of wine is recommended each day.
The ideal temperature should be between 48 °F and 52 °F; however, it needs to be stable and not fluctuate. If the temperature is not constant, the wine may start to cloud, lose proteins, and collect residue, thus losing its value.
Humidity should be about 65 percent. The wine also requires darkness, and we should not forget to position the bottles horizontally to keep the cork dipped and prevent drying up where the bottles might start letting in air.
Combining wine with various foods is known to provide a pleasant experience, and it can be a great morale booster when used in moderation. Wine can be one of the vice items that will become a valuable commodity during times of distress.
Wine and chocolate?
This seemingly unsuitable combination can be an absolute gourmet experience. But one wants to choose the correct combination of wine and chocolate. If you try pairing wine and chocolate for the first time, bet on a non-classical combination, with strong dark chocolate and red wine with more tannic acid, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot varieties.
If you are a fan of white wine, then go for a wine of oxidative nature. Or try one that has spent a long time in its barrel and is a more mature and a little heavier variety ideal for combination with dark chocolate, such as Tokaji or Muscat wine.
However, if you prefer milk chocolate, select a lighter wine, like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Royal Oporto Ruby.
Last but not least, there’s white chocolate, which is very unusual for combining with wine. You can try it out with a German Riesling or a straw-colored/ice and sparkling Demi-Sec, such as Freixenet Carta Nevada.
And what about taste?
First, place a piece of chocolate in your mouth, let it lightly heat, and fade, slowly rolling on the tongue until completely dissolved. At this moment, when you can fully perceive all the flavors of chocolate, we come to the moment of tasting the wine. Sip slowly, letting the wine flow into the mouth. After swallowing, there awaits for you the true concert of flavors, often very surprising.
You can use wine as medicine when you have plenty of it in the cellar. You can even use it to keep good health and prevent various health issues when the medicine is in short supply, and professional medical aid is not available.
However, it may come a time when you will have to decide if you keep the wine for your personal use or if you trade it for foods or items you need. Now that you know how valuable wine can be, it will certainly help you make the right choice when that time comes.
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