A glass a day...
We all love a glass of wine, right? If you're here, let's assume you do; us too! I'm sure we've all heard various aphorisms along the lines of 'a glass of red every day helps you live longer', or something along those lines. But what actually are the potential health benefits – or drawbacks – of drinking wine?
This isn't a chemistry lesson, so we'll try not to dive too deep into the science. When it comes to deciding what wine to drink, go with your heart and your gut – they could both benefit! Numerous studies in recent decades have indicated that wine could help reduce heart inflammation and improve cholesterol and blood pressure, lowering the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and coronary heart disease. Meanwhile, thanks to polyphenols such as resveratrol that are present in grape skins, red wine especially is thought to help improve the diversity of your gut microbiome, supporting good immune function among other things.
Mental health is so important and can be easy to overlook, but here's where that phenolic compound, resveratrol, comes in handy again; it has been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer's, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties that could protect the brain from cognitive decline. It may even reduce the risk of depression by blocking enzymes in the brain that lead to depression and anxiety-like behaviours. All that aside, is there much in this world that's better for elevating your mood than having a few drinks and some good times with friends? If you enjoy a fun night out with your mates, some laughs and a glass or two of wine, then it's already giving your mental health a boost!
There's nothing like a lovely glass of wine to help you unwind after a long day, right? Well, there's some science to back up this feeling. Some recent studies have found that moderate wine consumption does indeed help reduce stress and anxiety, thanks in part to the relaxant effect of alcohol. As mentioned above, strong social support is also key to lowering stress and generally promoting a happy, balanced lifestyle.
Let's not forget how well wine goes with food, either – while there may be fewer scientific studies on something that isn't quite so quantifiable, it's hard to argue that a delicious meal isn't elevated by a perfectly paired wine; and it's definitely good for the soul!
The flip side
It's worth remembering, of course, that wine isn't some sort of panacea that will cure all your ills and make you live forever! While there is plenty of evidence to show that, drunk in moderation, wine can have numerous health benefits, excessive consumption of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on health, increasing risk of things like liver disease and high blood pressure. But let's end on a happier note! What conclusions can we draw from all this?
All things in moderation
While wine can certainly be part of a healthy lifestyle (alongside things like a balanced diet and regular physical activity), it's important to remember that moderation is key. Ultimately, your nightly glass of wine may not make or break you, but it won't do you any harm!
In the end, what matters most is enjoyment: drink what you like, how you like, when you like, and wine will be a beneficial part of your life. That's where we come in: specialist wine shops like the Wee Vinoteca have informed but informal experts who can answer your questions and help you choose a wine you're going to love. What could be healthier than that?
If you want to broaden your palate even further but aren't sure where to start, why not sign up for a our wine subscription service? Uncover hidden gems personalised to your tastes, with each case enhancing your wine journey and helping you discover new favourites. Oh, and if you join in-store today you could get 80% off your first case. Cheers!