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COLUMN: Wine, the oldest medicine?

Anyone unconvinced of wine’s health benefits may find that a new report shines a different light on their thinking, wine blog by Joelle Thomson on MiNDFOOD.

COLUMN: Wine, the oldest medicine?

As the year draws swiftly to an alcohol-fuelled celebratory close, you’ll be relieved to know you can clear your arteries while simultaneously giving yourself tomorrow’s headache.

In other words, you can drink your way to healthy arteries and a vicious hangover at the same time. To some of us this is not news.

This week an Australian doctor announced that his wines contain higher levels of a life-saving antioxidant than any other wines in the world.

The wines made by Dr Philip Norrie contain up to 100 times the amount of antioxidants than any other wines, he claims.

He would say that. They’re his wines, after all. And in a refreshing twist of the wine-health benefits being revealed, it’s not the grapes nor even the wines that are good for us. It is the addition of resveratrol to Dr Norrie’s wines that make them so especially healthy.

If you haven’t heard of the “R” word before, resveratrol is that famous phytoalexin produced in some plants that extends the lifespan of mice, rats and yeast cells.

It also extends human life. The only catch is that the human in question must consume extremely vast quantities of red wine to gain from resveratrol’s benefits. It is present in most, if not all, red wines. It just isn’t present at particularly high levels – unless the wine has added resveratrol, which is the case with Dr Norrie’s new wines.

A Sydney-based GP, Norrie describes his wines as vascular pipe cleaners due to the addition of resveratrol.

The life giving benefits of resveratrol include that it keeps the blood vessels free from fatty deposits. It has also been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering and other beneficial cardiovascular effects.

Norrie is also a wine historian with a PhD in wine and health through the ages.

He insists that his research and his new winemaking methodology – adding large amounts of resveratrol to his wines – are based on his personal mantra of moderate wine consumption. Wasn’t it obvious?

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