Just what the doc­tor or­dered

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS - STEWART WHITE

Per­haps the National Heart Foun­da­tion of Aus­tralia is tread­ing on thin ice when a while back it re­leased a sum­mary of re­search on an­tiox­i­dants, which warned that “drink­ing red wine or cof­fee and eat­ing choco­late to pre­vent heart dis­ease will not achieve ex­pected re­sults”.

Surely red wine and dark choco­late is a diet for champions. But the NHFA is giv­ing that the brush. Just stick to fruit and veg­gies is their mantra. Don’t count on the fun stuff, they say. ‘Scuse me?!

Since a 1991 episode of US 60 Min­utes re­ported on what was to be­come known as the “French para­dox”, there has been a health­ier ap­pre­ci­a­tion of a drop of red wine.

The re­sponse in the US at the time was as­ton­ish­ing. Lit­tle old ladies where fill­ing their shop­ping trol­leys with red wine to wash down their half-an-aspirin-a-day to hedge their car­dio­vas­cu­lar op­tions. Red wine sales soared by 44%.

Obese Amer­ica was ap­palled. How could a coun­try wreathed in a blue at­mos­phere of un­fil­tered Gal­lic cig­a­rette smoke, that rel­ished the sat­u­rated fats of but­ter, cream and cheese in its daily diet and was awash in wine (with nary a gym to be seen) have in­fin­itely bet­ter car­dio­vas­cu­lar heath than Un­cle Sam?

The re­search would sug­gest it is all down to cer­tain com­pounds found in wine – specif­i­cally the skins. It iden­ti­fies the pres­ence of resver­a­trol and other an­tiox­i­dant flavonoids, which are the nat­u­ral com­pounds lurk­ing in red wine that might hold heart and blood ves­sel health ben­e­fits.

Fur­ther clin­i­cal stud­ies sug­gest you would need to drink a bit over three litres of wine to reap those ben­e­fits.

But a sub­ur­ban Aussie doc­tor known as the Wine Doc­tor might have the an­swer.

Dr Philip Nor­rie, a GP and PHD wine health re­search fel­low, mar­kets REW Barossa Val­ley Shi­raz via his Wine Doc­tor web­site.

One bot­tle of this Resver­a­trol En­hanced Wine has as much resver­a­trol as 15–20 bot­tles of un-en­hanced red wine. Woohoo!

The sci­ence is that resver­a­trol ap­pears to play a role in main­tain­ing blood flow by help­ing keep ar­ter­ies clear of the fatty de­posits that are atheroscle­rotic plaque.

It is also a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant that is said to re­tard ag­ing and help pro­long life, as well as help kill cancer cells, re­duce blood pres­sure, lower choles­terol ... and did I men­tion de­men­tia?

But how does this REW Shi­raz taste?

It is a soft, easy-drink­ing, fruit-for­ward and ro­bust Mclaren Vale red. It has plum and spice aro­mas with a smoky touch of French and Amer­i­can oak.

If a spoon­ful of medicine helps the medicine go down, per­haps a cou­ple of healthy glugs of this stuff could see you clear into the next cen­tury.

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