It is often said that bread and wine completes one’s supper. Though bread, a solid food, satisfies our hunger, our stomach is more like a churning machine, digesting food and supplying the body with the required nutrients and so, in addition to the digestive juices it secretes; it does need a little extra lubricant at times, to completely break the food down. Wine, when taken in measured quantities along with food, does the trick. There are various types of wines that man has discovered and created. However, the wines containing a larger proportion of alcohol content along with the other ingredients which makes a wine, perfect, affects our health. Red wine, however, boasts of various positive benefits and thus, stands out.
Manufacture- A brief description:
It all starts in a vine yard growing black grapes. The freshest and the best ones are carefully hand-picked and are then sent to a receiver. True to the fact that a perfect wine is certified by its taste, the raw grapes are carefully de-stemmed, washed and the leaves, removed. This is then processed, which includes crushing to completely squeeze the juice out. It is this juice which gives the wine its blood-red colour and its royal taste. The skins of these fruits are however retained and the pulp is stored in a large vessel and is allowed to ferment.
This is the most important process in wine-making. Suitable quantities of yeast and water are added for proper fermentation and the proportion is maintained throughout the process without any change. This is vital to maintain the richness of the wine. Then, tannin is also added to stabilize the red colour and also to prevent the wine from rotting by the process of oxidation. The addition of yeast naturally produces alcohol during fermentation. This is increased a little more by heating to a moderate temperature. However, the alcohol content in red wine is much lesser when compared to other types of wines, which makes it more like a health drink. Once the wine is finally made, it is packed and sent to shops which finally reach our shelves.
It is not just a myth that the best wines are the one’s which have lived for many years. The time of storage of wines is directly linked to its quality. In other words, the older the wine is, the richer and better it is. This is because of the chemical reactions which take place as the wine ages. Its taste improves and the colour becomes richer and the density of the wine, thicker.
Red wine is a natural source of anti-oxidants. These compounds make it possible to rinse out the toxins from the body. The anti-oxidants are present in the form of phenols commonly found in the grapes of dark colors. Accumulation of oxidants in our body leads to clogging of the arteries and may also lead to the growth of cancerous tumours. The practice of drinking wine with food dates back and can be found in almost every ancient culture .
It is still practiced today in many parts of the world. In the days of yore, it was a common belief that wine was the drink of the gods and drinking it would not only boost one’s health, but that it would also bring one, closer to god. Today, research has shown that red wine actually acts as an appetizer. It stimulates the glands in the stomach responsible for secretion of digestive juices and thus aids in the process of digestion. It was found that food was more easily broken down into the component proteins and energy and that these were more easily assimilated by the body. It was also found that red wine boosted the body’s immune system and thus kept illness at bay. Accumulation of oxidants in the body may also lead to a condition called macular degeneration, where the muscles in the eyes (the ciliary muscles) loosen, causing temporary or permanent vision impairment or formation of cataract. Red wine has the properties to decelerate macular degeneration. Also, it has proved to be an excellent supplement along with food for those wishing to diet and lose flab. Weight loss is found to occur when one consumes red wine along with one’s daily meal. This is explained by the fact that red wine retards the time for the stomach to get empty, thus making the person to eat less. The feeling of hunger that one normally experiences is by a particular gland in the brain that is stimulated. Consumption of red wine during meals slows down the time taken for the signals to reach the brain, thus resulting in the person to think that he/she is full. As the food intake decreases, weight is automatically managed. Red wine is also found to protect an individual from major heart diseases, by increasing the body’s “good” cholesterol level, which is vital to keep the heart healthy. It eases the flow of blood through the veins and thus prevents unnecessary clotting of blood or blockages in the arteries. Slight changes in the blood pressure are also observed. The “bad” cholesterol levels are found to decrease in quantity, thus preventing blockages of the main arteries by fats hardened. The risk of heart attacks is thus reduced when red wine is consumed in measured quantities.
The other side of it:-
However, it has been found that wine, red wine or alcoholic wine is highly addictive and may lead to adverse effects if taken too much. Even though red wine contains very little amount of alcohol in it, over consumption can lead to lack of judgment or difficulty in speech. Also, the natural phenols present in the black grapes, is found to increase the risk of cancer if taken continuously or in large amounts. The cancerous agents may also leads to formation of ulcers in the stomach as it disrupts the natural breakdown of food by the digestive enzymes. Over dose of red wine may also lead to mental breakdown in the form of loss in memory either temporarily or permanently ( a condition called dementia). The risk of Alzheimer’s is found to increase a notch higher when the concentration of alcohol in the body increases. Alcohol, which is a known natural pain suppressor, may also dull the senses when one consumes it often. So it ultimately makes a person lethargic and slows one’s response to stimuli. The ability to grasp things and to think creatively is greatly reduced by an increase in the alcohol level in the body.