Just what the doctor ordered
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.