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07.07.2008

Red Wine and Charred Meat Cure Leprosy

I'm sorry about that headline. I couldn't help myself. Everyone else is doing it.

When I first started writing about wine several years ago, I thought one of the things I might do was to help my readers keep up with the health news surrounding wine, so I started posting little tidbits every time I saw a news item about the health benefits of wine. After about three weeks it was clear that unless I was planning on writing the Wine and Health Blog, there was just no way I could possibly cover it all. There's a new bit of news practically every week about how red wine cures everything from cancer to genital herpes.

I've speculated before about why the health benefits of wine seems to be such a popular topic with researchers and the only reason I could come up with was that the researchers just need the merest shred of an excuse to spend their grant monies on booze.

But don't take that as demeaning the quality of or the need for such research. I'm just a bit bemused as to how much of it seems to be pouring out of the halls of academia around the world, proclaiming that yes, red wine will cure just about anything.

The latest bit of research purportedly shows that drinking red wine while eating cooked meat is better for you than eating the same meat while sipping a Diet Coke, for instance.

Of course, we've known since ancient times that drinking wine with food was good for you -- in the old days it was the water that got you sick (and occasionally the food too) so consuming massive quantities of wine was not only fun, but good for staving off dysentery and other nasties. Red wine with your tomatoes, anyone?

This most recent research focuses on wine's antioxidant properties, which seem to reduce the toxins that are a byproduct of our guts trying to break down the fats in the meat. Eating steak apparently shortens your life, but drinking red wine while you do it makes everything OK! (in addition to curing Leprosy, of course).

Like all such studies, we must take these results with a grain of salt, but they certainly are encouraging, nonetheless. Not like you needed an excuse to pop the cork on a nice bottle with your steak dinner....


Read the full article.

Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle for sending me the link.

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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