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06.21.2006

Warm Milk or Red Wine. It's a tough call.

My jewish grandmother had cures for everything, most of which involved matzoh ball soup. One of them which I tended to get whether I needed it or not, at least until the age of ten, was a warm glass of milk before bedtime. I have no idea whether there's any scientific basis for it, but it certainly did seem to help me get to sleep (as well as bottle_pillow.jpgensuring at least one trip during the night to the bathroom).

When I got older, of course, I grew out of that cure, and about ten years ago instituted my own. A glass or two of red wine after dinner. Little did I know but I was a pioneering user of wine-based melatonin. New research has shown what common sense has always told us: a bottle of red will put you to bed. OK. OK. Apparently there's no need to be excessive. A bottle will have other side effects that aren't too pleasant, but apparently red wine is incredibly rich in melatonin, a hormone that our body produces naturally in the process of falling asleep.

I've used melatoning pills for years to help fight jet lag, but little did I know that in a pinch, a glass or two of red wine will deliver some as well. I guess we can just add this to the never ending list of things that red wine is good for.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud