While a wine or two with dinner is standard for some, others may require a reminder to drink wine. February 18 is that day because it’s National Drink Wine Day. We’re pretty sure most of us wouldn’t need a reminder, so perhaps it’s more of an excuse – plus it would be a shame to celebrate only one day a year.
After all, wine does have benefits. In fact, it’s said that drinking red wine in small doses can be better for you than not drinking at all. Several human trial studies have shown that the antioxidants found in red wine lower incidences of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. It can also reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good. Clearly, if you drink more than you’re supposed to, the benefits are replaced by an increased health risk.
But what makes wine full of health benefits? It’s all from the tannin. See, almost everything that is in wine that’s not alcohol or water is a type of polyphenol. These polyphenols include tannin, colour pigment, wine aromas, resveratrol, and about 5000 other plant compounds. The most abundant polyphenol is procyanidin. This is a type of condensed tannin that is commonly found in dark chocolate and green tea. It’s highly beneficial to heart health and longevity because the compound is predominantly associated with inhibiting cholesterol plaque in blood vessels.
The benefits don’t stop there. It’s when wine is paired with the right meal that the magic happens. Wine enhances the flavours of spices, fruits and sauces – and helps relax us. In order to celebrate, perhaps purchase a new wine to try, venture to a winery on the Mornington Peninsula or join in on a wine-tasting. Raise your glass to toast the occasion, and of course drink responsibly.