Red Wine


Chianti, is an Italian wine produced in the Chianti region in central Tuscany.


Chianti wines are historically associated with a shorter bottle with a round base enclosed in a straw basket called a fiasco, however the fiasco has slowly gone away and is now used only by a few wine makers in the region.


Chianti is a small region within Tuscany, but a wine calling itself “Chianti” is allowed to be made almost anywhere in Tuscany


Baron Bettino Ricasoli* who later became the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy, created the Chianti recipe in the middle of the 19th century.


The recipe consisted of:

70% Sangiovese,

15% Canaiolo,

15% Malvasia Bianca 


Since 1996 the blend for Chianti and Chianti Classico has been

75–100% Sangiovese,

up to 10% Canaiolo,

up to 20% of any other approved red grape variety such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.


Since 2006, the use of white grape varieties such as Malvasia and Trebbiano have been prohibited in Chianti Classico.
Chianti Classico must have a minimum alcohol level of at least 12% with a minimum of 7 months aging in oak, while Chianti Classico’s labeled Riserva must be aged at least 24 months at the winery, with a minimum alcohol level of at least 12.5%. For basic Chianti, the minimum alcohol level is 11.5%.

Chianti is Sangiovese

Sangiovese is Italy's most commonly-planted red grape variety and is particularly common in central Italy. In 1990, almost 10% of all Italian vineyards were planted with some form of this grape.


The Sangiovese grape is a thin-skinned grape, so it makes very translucent wines. Sangiovese is slow and late to ripen, which gives a rich, alcoholic and long-lived wine  (which means it will age well). In your glass it displays a ruby red color with flashes of bright burnt orange.


Pairing Chianti with Food

Chianti has high acidity and coarse tannins which makes it an incredible wine with almost any food dish. Chianti is one of those wines that goes well with whatever you feel like eating. It’s as much a pizza and pasta wine as a grilled cheese and fries wine. Ideal with dishes that use olive oil or highlight rich pieces of meat such as Steak, and Roasted Pork.


From simple $10 to $15 Chianti to the more substantial Chianti Classico (generally between $15 and $25), Chianti remains one of the wine world’s great values. Chianti Classico Riservas are a bit more costly, ranging from $28 to $45 per bottle.
* Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809 – 1880) politician, researcher and wine entrepreneur, was the promoter of the most famous wine in the world today: Chianti.
Read more about the Baron...

The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France.

The area of the Loire Valley comprises about 800 square kilometers (310 sq mi). It is referred to as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, and asparagus fields, which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture, and wines, the valley has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic period.


The Loire Valley is the heart of France, famous for its natural beauty, magnificent châteaux and great wine. The region is rich in history and culture: Renaissance writer Rabelais was born here; Joan of Arc led French troops to victory in the Hundred Years’ War in the Loire; and, as the Cradle of the French Language, its residents speak the purest French.


The Loire Valley contains several distinct wine regions, each with its own characteristic grapes, appellations and styles.

The largest, and one of the coolest, wine regions of France also happens to produce some of the most approachable wines in the world. The wines of the Loire Valley burst with character and complexity. Each of the white wines of the regions combines citrus, stone fruit, and tropical fruit, with earthiness, and smokiness, that demonstrate the importance that soil and terroir have on wine in Loire.


Most of the wineries in Loire are family owned and operated, some have been farming their vineyards since before the French Revolution in the late 1700s, growing their produce for either the nobility or the church. Pre-Revolution one of the most humble jobs in France was that of a winemaker. After the revolution, these became prized positions. Individual winemakers may not have held historical notoriety in the region, however the wines certainly have for centuries.


The first mention of Loire wines from Touraine came in 582. But, most notably, the wine earned recognition early on in 1154 when King Henry II, Duke of Anjou and King of England served Loire wines to his Royal English court.


Shortly after the Revolution, the vine disease phylloxera hit the region, wiping out most of the historic vines. The required replanting allowed for changes in vineyards, choosing varieties that were better suited for the soils and terroir of the region, while also utilizing cleaner, greener farming methods.


Local bistro menus are filled with seafood, pork and beef, salads, fruit like sweet cherries, locally grown grains and mounds of tangy cheese. If you prefer to sip your wine on its own, no problem. The present acidity in the wines keeps them light and fresh, and the ripeness of the fruit keeps them well balanced, making these perfect wines to enjoy on their own.


Top 10 Wines from Loire Valley


1. 2007 Haut Poitou Loire Valley Red
A light-bodied blend of gamay, pinot noir and cabernet franc, it's soft, smooth, and
juicy. Perfect with kitchen picnics of cold ham and salad or cheese and chutney sandwiches.


2. 2007 Domaine Bailly Quincy 
Dry yet fruity with a warm finish. Try with goat's cheese and red onion tartlets.


3. 2006 Domaine André Dezat Sancerre Rouge
Ripe and juicy with fine, silky tannins, it can be served chilled, a great match for langoustine with garlic mayonnaise and green salad.


4. 2007 Coteaux du Layon Carte d'Or, Baumard
With honeyed sweetness and hints of fig, this excellent example has fine fresh acidity and is perfect with  soft blue cheeses.


5 2007 Fief Guerin Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu sur Lie
Surprisingly full-flavoured and with a satisfyingly long finish, it demands to be drunk well-chilled with fresh salads or fruits.


6. Langlois Crémant de Loire 
Simple wine, but it's delightfully fresh, flowery, creamy and refreshing.


7. 2007 Reserve des Vignerons Saumur Rouge
Fresh berry fruit and a smoky edge. Serve at room temperature with roast chicken or lightly chilled with pâté and French bread.


8. 2007 Domaine des Liards, Montlouis-sur-Loire
Clean, fresh, apple-crisp, yet lush, un-oaked chenin blanc. Enjoy with a plate of oysters, crab legs or grilled trout.


9. 2007 Waitrose Sancerre 'La Franchotte' Joseph Mellot
Citrusy with hints of nettles on the finish. Enjoyed it with cod, halibut and mushroom sauce.


10. 2006 Damien Delechenau, Touraine-Amboise, Bécarre
A pure, fresh wine with raspberry flavors. Try it alongside ham, turkey, vegetables and soups.


Loire Valley grape varieties



Cabernet Franc

This is the long established signature grape for the red wines of Saumur and Touraine in the Loire Valley.The wines it produces  are lighter than that of Bordeaux wines. This is due in part to the Loire Valley's cooler climate. These wines have gained a reputation for refreshing, youthful wines that should be drunk early.



The Gamay grape is the mainstay of rosé wines of the Loire Valley produced in Anjou and Saumur. It is sometimes used in the blending of red wines. There are some wines in the region made entirely from this grape such as ‘Tourraine Gamay’.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Although a popular choice throughout the world of vintners this grape variety is not widely used in the Loire Valley. It is added to a number of reds to give them some 'body', plus it is used to produce some rosés.


Pinot Noir

This grape which gives us the reds of Burgundy also does well here in the Loire Valley in the light reds of Cheverny and Sancerre.


Chenin Blanc

Wines with this grape are the most synonymous with the Loire Valley. With properties  found in anything from the very dry to the sweetest of wines plus it is great for making sparkling wines.
Found in Vouvray, Anjou, Chinon, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Saumur and Savennieres.


Sauvignon Blanc

These grapes are responsible for the popular and world famous Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume wines.



Grown around the extreme western part of the Loire Valley, as it proved to be the best variety to cope with winter frosts the area is susceptible to.



Used mainly as a blending grape adding richness to sparkling wines and they are sometimes used in Saumur and Anjou whites in a small percentage of the finished blend.




Wine and Men’s Fitness

Top Five reasons men should drink wine

1. It’s good for your sex life
An Italian study showed that women who drank more than two glasses on a daily basis had a higher sex drive than women who did not drink wine, while another study showed that men who drank wine had higher levels of testosterone than men who did not drink wine, which is linked to having a high sex drive.
~ In sum, red wine makes people horny.
2. It might prevent you from becoming very obese
We can't be certain about this one, however a study of 19,220 women and men in the US found that those who drank red wine were less likely to be obese. Think about the last time you saw a fat Frenchman.


3. It can lower your risk of diabetes
Red wine and chocolate (great combination) contain plant compounds called flavonoids – compounds that do all sorts of good things for you. Researchers found that one of those good things was that they lowered insulin resistance. And that’s excellent, because high insulin resistance is linked to type 2 diabetes.


4. It prevents memory loss
Many Scientists have said the antioxidant resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes, helps age-related memory decline. They found that rats given the antioxidant had better blood flow, memory and brain growth.
5. It could help prevent depression
Don't have to be a genius to know that wine makes us happier.
A study of 5,505 participants showed that "moderate alcohol intake" was strongly associated with a lower risk of depression.

Read more >


Red Wine: Rich in Health Benefits

Doctors from around the world have linked significant health benefits to drinking red wine.
Red Wine consumed in moderation, contains substances that benefit the heart, the nervous system, and it may even offer some cancer protection.
Red wine is good for a man's health in a number of ways, it contains antioxidants, that protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules.
The benefits from red wine are the same for men and women, but men can drink more because of their larger body mass — for a man one or two 4-ounce glasses of wine per day — women should consume only one glass per day. Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants. In red wine, they are found in the skin of the grape that produces the dark red color of the wine.
Resveratrol is a compound produced by plants to help them ward off fungal infections and many other diseases. It belongs to the class of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
Reduction in heart disease. Flavonoids in red wine can decrease the amount of "bad" cholesterol in your bloodstream and also can increase "good" cholesterol. Flavonoids and resveratrol also prevent platelets from sticking together, this process can prevent heart attacks or stroke.
Protection against cancer. Resveratrol has been shown to reduce tumor incidence and inhibit growth of cancer cells in the laboratory. Studies have begun to directly link red wine consumption to reduction of cancer risk in humans. For example, research has shown that a glass of red wine a day can cut a man's risk of prostate cancer in half, particularly when it comes to the most aggressive types of prostate cancer. Drinking larger amounts can have the exact opposite effect, so drink in moderation.
Protection against neurological disorders. Researchers have found that resveratrol appear to help block the formation of amyloid plaques thought to damage brain cells and contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol can actually aid in the formation of new nerve cells, which could help prevent disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Other health benefits. Studies continue to find ways in which the antioxidant effects of red wine benefit the body. For example, studies have found that red wine cuts down the inflammation and tissue damage caused by periodontal, disease. So drinking red wine might actually help your dental health.
Cabernet Sauvignon contains the most antioxidants, followed by Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir. Merlots and Red Zinfandels have less antioxidants than other red wines.

Reds, Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants keep free radicals from destroying the body's cells and contributing to destructive processes inside the body. Flavonoids and resveratrol are the main types of antioxidants found in red wine:


The 4 Healthiest Wines in Existence

What makes red wine red? Those warm hues come from the Grape skins that remain in the tank as the wine ferments are responsible for the red color of wine. These skins provide resveratrol, an antioxidant that reduces heart inflammation. Keep in mind that some reds have more antioxidants than others.

Anthocyanins are responsible for the red color; darker red wines contain higher amounts. Choose a Cabernet Sauvignon, the darkest of all red wines and pair it with a Roast or Italian pasta with meat balls.
Tannic wines "have high levels of antioxidants overall, you can recognize tannins by the astringent sensation that makes your mouth dry and sticky. Select a petite sirah for rich antioxidant qualities and pair this wine with a Barbecued Chicken.
Grapes produce more antioxidants when exposed to UV light. Washington State wines are a good example of wines grown in vineyards with long hot summer days and extended growing seasons. In the summer the farther from the equator, the more daylight hours you have. Try a Washington State Syrah, from Columbia Valley, A dark, wine with abundant blueberries, blackberries, a bit of earthiness, and a touch of game and chocolate. Serve with a roasted pheasant or casual night of pizza.
Mountain wines grow in harsh conditions so they produce fewer grapes. They need more protection for each grape to ensure their survival, which translates to thicker skins. Hence more antioxidants. More antioxidants make the grapes very tannic and less appetizing for predators, increasing their chance of survival.
These wines tend to have a more mineral taste, as opposed to the big, bold wines from vineyards on flat terrains. These earthy, subtle wines are very successful when paired with pork.


Read more: Every day health


Noble Wine Grapes


What is a Noble Grape


Why is it important to know about them and what kind of wine do they produce?


"Noble grapes", a term used to describe the international variety of grapes that are recognized for producing top quality wines. These varieties have principle growing regions, where they express the local "terrior", in some cases they can be grown in other areas with success.
Knowledge of the characteristics of each noble grape variety helps a wine enthusiast establish a personal relationship with the individual grape and wine.
It is generally accepted (with some argument) that there are only 7 noble grape varieties.

White wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling.
Red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah

Funny how they are all French! In France, they are referred to as "cépage noble".


As the new world expands vineyard plantings, we are seeing a growth in experimentation, and the list of grapes is growing. Consumer recognition has grown beyond those original 7 noble varieties. So, I would suggest that the following grapes should be added to that list: Whites: Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris (or Grigio), and Semillon. Reds: Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Gamay, Grenache, Mourvedre Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Nebbiolo. That would bring our total to 20 noble grape varieties that consumers recognize around the world, as making top quality wines.


I have discussed some of these grapes in previous articles, and have included links to those blogs. At this point, I will concentrate on the original 7 noble grape varieties, and some of their main characteristics:
Source: arrowheadwine.blogspot


In the vineyard: Early bloom, early ripening, thin skinned.
In the winery: Takes well to oak aging, easily manipulated. Juice is neutral to apple scented. MLF* common.
Notable regions: Burgundy, Champagne, So America, Australia, California
Wine aromatics: Apple, pear, vanilla fig, pineapple, melon, citrus, lemon, honey, butter
On the palate: Cool climate - zesty with med to high acid, medium body & alcohol. warm climate - low to medium acidity, medium to high alcohol with a "round" or "fat" body.

Sauvignon Blanc:

In the vineyard: Late budding and early ripening.Challenging to grow, due to tight bunches and tender skins.
In the winery: Usually avoid oak and MLF to emphasize acidity and natural flavors, but California versions (known as Fume Blanc) have oak aging and some MLF.
Notable regions: Loire, Bordeaux, New Zealand, California, Italy, Chile, So. Africa and Canada
Wine aromatics: Distinct vegetal aromas of cut grass, asparagus,or green pepper, plus fruit notes of honeydew, grapefruit, gooseberry, green fig, and lemon or lime. Some also contain a "cat's pee" and mineral scents
On the palate: High acidity, light to medium body, and medium alcohol.


In the vineyard: Early budding and late ripening. Exceptionally hard wood, small compact clusters
In the winery: Stainless steel fermentation to preserve floral and fruit notes. No MLF. Can stop fermentation for sweeter versions, or ferment dry. Tremendous aging potential
Notable regions: Germany, Alsace, Italy, Austria, Australia, United States and Canada.
Wine aromatics: Young-lemon, lime, peach, minerals, beeswax and flowers. Older - gasoline, petrol. Dessert - apricot, honey, raisins, baked apple and peaches.
On the palate: High acid. Can be dry to fully sweet. Low to medium alcohol.

Cabernet Sauvignon:

In the vineyard: Late budding and late ripening.small, thick skinned berries in loose bunches
In the winery: Long maceration period due to high phenolics. Takes well to new oak, works well in blends.
Notable regions: Bordeaux (left bank), Napa CA, Washington, Coonawarra Australia, Italy, Spain, So .Africa, and Chile
Wine aromatics: Cassis (black current) blackberry, black cherry, mint/eucalyptus, green bell pepper. Oak aging can add smoke, toast, tobacco, and vanilla.
On the palate: Dry. Medium to full tannins, acidity, body and alcohol.

Pinot Noir:

In the vineyard: Buds early and ripens early. Thin skinned, and easily mutates. Delicate and demanding
In the winery: Cold soaking is required to extract color and tannins. Very delicate. Used oak barrels.
Notable regions: Burgundy, Champagne, Oregon, California, New Zealand, Chile
Wine aromatics:Cherry, strawberry, plum, raspberry, gamey, leather, mushrooms, "barnyard funk"
On the palate: High acid and juicy. Moderate tannins, bright red fruit character, silky texture.


In the vineyard: Easy to grow. Early budding and early ripening. Large deep colored berries in loose clusters
In the winery: High pigment, but fragile acids. Takes to new oak. In blends, adds suppleness, color, and richness
Notable regions: Bordeaux (left and right bank) Italy, California, Washington, Australia, So Africa, Chile
Wine aromatics: Black fruit, plums, cherries, fig, brown spices (nutmeg & clove), chocolate, coffee, vegetal (if under ripe).
On the palate: Medium acidity and tannins, rich & supple mouth feel


In the vineyard: Late budding and mid ripening (can be fussy). Fairly easy to grow, cold hardy, but prefers warmth.
In the winery: Very versatile. Works with oak or stainless steel. Often blended. Can be made sparkling, still, fortified or rose.
Notable regions: Rhone, Australia (known as Shiraz), Paso Robles CA, Washington.
Wine aromatics: Raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, plum, black currant, violets,carnations, rosemary, tobacco, black pepper, smoke, leather, bacon, chocolate, eucalyptus (particularly in Australia)
On the palate: Brawny to soft. Moderate acidity with medium to high tannins. Full body.

Wine Decanters

The Buzz on Wine Decanters

Throughout history, decanters have played a significant role in the serving of wine. A decanter is a vessel that is used to hold the decanted liquid, such as wine.


 10 o'clock Wine, Chinese Wine Tutorial


 Riedel Factory Glass Production


Red Wine and Your Heart


Does drinking Red Wine 
really protect against heart disease?


Studies suggest that moderate amount of red wine (one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men) lowers the risk of heart attack for people in middle age by ~ 30 to 50 percent.

It is also suggested that red wine may prevent additional heart attacks if you have already suffered from one. Other studies also indicated that red wine can raise HDL cholesterol (the Good cholesterol) and prevent LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) from forming. Red wine may help prevent blood clots and reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits.

Grapes are rich in many antioxidants, including resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins
Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics, so many studies to uncover a cause for red wine’s effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.

Old World produces healthier wine.

Old World winemaking techniques that ensure a higher amount of tannins produce wines that are healthier for the heart and may contribute to the longer longevity seen in regions known for producing such wines..
Tannins are compounds extracted from the seeds, skins, and stems of grapes that give red wines their characteristic dry, full taste.

Since nearly the dawn of mankind, wine has been added to drinking water to kill bacteria, or consumed as a more hygienic alternative. More recently, the antimicrobial properties of wine, especially red wine, are being studied for cavity prevention.


Here's a look at how our views on wine have changed over the years.

By Carina Storrs, Special to 12.17.2015


3000 B.C.: Wine is the best medicine

Millennia before Jesus turned water into wine, the ancient Egyptians turned wine into medicine. Researchers found a jar in the tomb of King Scorpion I dating back to 3150 B.C. that contained traces of wine along with residue from balm, coriander, sage and mint. The finding suggests that ancient Egyptians dissolved herbs in wine, and then drank the cocktail to treat stomach problems, herpes and other ailments.


750 B.C.: Wine does not pair well with womanhood

Any wife found drinking wine could be put to death, according to the laws of Romulus, King of Rome. Concerns about the "weaker sex" imbibing wine continued for centuries. By 14 A.D., a Roman writer described how vino could cause women to "slip into some disgrace" and spiral downward "usually towards illicit sex."


400 B.C.: Hippocrates prescribes red wine for digestion

The father of medicine agreed with the ancient Egyptians that wine could soothe stomach ills. He specifically prescribed red wine for digestion and white wine for bladder problems. Wine in general could also serve as a disinfectant for wounds, according to Hippocrates, but the beverage was not appropriate for those with nervous system diseases because it could cause headaches.


1250: Sip some grog to clear your mental fog

Hundreds of years before studies suggesting that red wine may help protect against the common cold, Arnaldus de Villa Nova, a physician in southern France, detailed how wine can help sinus problems. De Villa Nova was also ahead of his time in writing about the benefit of wine for dementia. Current research supports the possibility that red wine in moderation could reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.


1850: Don't drink the water, drink the wine instead

Water is now considered the healthiest beverage choice, but it was often contaminated with cholera and typhus in the 1800s. A glass of milk, another healthy favorite, might also serve a helping of tuberculosis. As a result, Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology himself, said that wine was "the most healthful and hygienic of all beverages."

Wine can also make other beverages healthier. As far back as ancient Greece, it was used to sanitize water for drinking. Then in the late 1800s a Viennese professor demonstrated scientifically that wine can actually kill cholera and typhoid bacteria -- possibly explaining why Hippocrates concluded that wine could help indigestion! Experts began to recommend mixing red or white wine with water six to 12 hours before drinking, a practice that continued through parts of Europe until at least World War II.


1920: Beware the evils of vino

Hard alcohol started to get a bad rap with the temperance movement of the 1820s as religious groups in the United States and Europe spoke out about the threat of drunkenness and alcoholism. Red wine got a pass at least through the 1800s because it was viewed as hygienic, and less toxic than white wine. But then evidence started to pile up that red wine might also cause health problems, such as high blood pressure and organ damage.

Over the next few decades, it became clear that red wine, just like white wine, beer and liquor, should be consumed in moderation -- which was the original position of the temperance movement. However, these nuances were lost on the prohibition movements that started cropping up across the United States in the late 1800s.


1988: Migraine sufferers, put down your glass

All of you who complain that red wine gives you migraines got some vindication from science. A small 1988 study in London found that nine out of 11 people with this complaint did indeed develop a migraine within a few hours of sipping a Spanish red, whereas another eight people served vodka with lemonade remained migraine free. Both beverages were served chilled and in a dark bottle to disguise their identity. The authors of the study concluded that alcohol on its own is not to blame, and that ingredients in red wine such as flavonoids could precipitate the debilitating headaches.


1992: The French secret to heart health? Red wine, bien sûr!

In the early 1990s, the French paradox made headlines, and forever more (at least, so far) put red wine in a healthy light. Doctors described the paradox that the French had lower death rates from heart disease in the 1980s than countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, even though they had similar rates of smoking, blood pressure and other risk factors. The doctors suggested the reason could be that the copious amounts of wine -- in particular, red wine -- protects from heart disease.

Many have questioned whether red wine deserved credit back then for lowering heart disease deaths. For one thing, the French actually had less fatty diets in the decades before the 1980s than the UK, which could have been what brought down death rates. But even if the role of red wine in the French paradox was overhyped, other studies in the 1980s and 1990s backed up the link between red wine and increased levels of good cholesterol and antioxidants.


1995: Drink to your longevity

Danish researchers found that, among 6,000 men and 7,000 women, those who drank three to five glasses of wine a day had a 49% lower rate of death over a 10-year period. Drinking the same amount of beer was not associated with lower death rate, and three to five glasses of hard alcohol increased the death rate by 34%. The researchers did not look at lifestyle factors, though, so it is possible that wine drinkers live longer because they eat healthier or exercise more, for example

Fast forward another few years to 2003 and scientists started getting excited about the possibility that resveratrol, that magic ingredient in red wine and foods such as berries and chocolate, could extend the human life span by 30%. We are still waiting, science.


2005: Can red wine put a cork in prostate cancer?

Around the turn of the century, reports started to pour in of links between red wine and cancer risk. A 2005 study is one of the first to find a possible benefit, albeit small, for prostate cancer. It found that each additional glass of red wine that men consumed per week was associated with a 6% decrease in prostate cancer risk. However a larger study of moderate drinkers several years later failed to find a link between red wine and prostate cancer risk, so the jury is still out.


2007: Smile: Red wine fights cavities

Although it's been known since the late 1800s that red wine can kill bacteria in contaminated water, it took scientists until 2007 to show that it has a similar effect on the bugs that colonize our mouth. The study found that both red and white wine could block the growth of Streptococcus, a common culprit in cavity formation. Red wine had a stronger effect than white, possibly because of the acids it contains. Researchers used wine in which the alcohol had been removed, but it's possible that the alcohol in the real stuff may make it an even more potent bacteria buster.


2013: Men, liquoring up may help your libido but hurt your fertility

It may seem unlikely, but a 2013 study suggests that a component in red wine that acts like estrogen could give sperm a fertility boost. After taking a short bath in this compound, sperm excelled in categories such as moving toward an egg compared with the non-exposed little swimmers. The catch is that higher levels of the compound impaired sperm, and these levels might be closer to the actual dose that the sperm of moderate drinkers are exposed to.

A point against alcohol consumption in general comes from a 2014 study that found that men who consumed at least five drinks a week had fewer sperm and lower testosterone levels. On the other hand, a study presented at a scientific conference in 2014 found that men who are moderate drinkers had better erections than teetotalers.


2015: Does the next Alzheimer's treatment hang on a vine?

Resveratrol was shown a decade ago to break up amyloid-beta protein, whose buildup has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, at least in cells growing in a Petri dish. In the newest chapter of this research, a 2015 study provided indirect evidence that a resveratrol pill may be able to prevent amyloid-beta accumulation in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. But many questions remain, most importantly, perhaps, whether resveratrol can reverse symptoms of the disease. And there's some bad news for oenophiles: you would have to drink 1,000 bottles of red wine to get the amount of resveratrol used in this study.


2015: A closer look at cancer risk

The story of red wine and cancer has been a complicated one, but it took a turn for the worse this year. In the past, studies have suggested that red wine may be able to reduce the risk of prostate, as well as lung and colon cancer, but probably only for light to moderate drinkers. A preponderance of research suggest that heavy drinking, on the other hand, increases the risk of lung, colon, liver, stomach and breast cancers, among others.

This year, a large study by Harvard researchers shook the notion that moderate alcohol consumption is probably harmless. Healthy middle-aged women who had about a half a glass to a glass of wine a day, or the equivalent amount of beer or liquor, had a 13% higher risk of certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. For men, drinking a couple glasses of alcohol a day was associated with 26% increased risk of cancers such as liver, colon and esophagus. For both men and women, heavier drinking carried higher risk. Experts reacted to the findings by urging the importance of keeping alcohol consumption in close check.
Additional links for more information:  
Medical Daily 
Harvard School of Public Health 
Consumer Healthday
American Heart / Heart and Stroke A-Z Guide

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