29 May 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made of fermented grapes/grape juice but is it just what the doctor ordered? It depends on which doctor you ask. The "wine" or "no wine" controversy has reigned almost as long as wine has been produced.

Research has show that grapes used with rice produced mixed, fermented beverages in China as early as 7000 BC. Early wine in Europe dates to 4500 BC. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported the making of wine as it was necessary for the celebration of Mass.

Some of the oldest vineyards in the United States can be found in the Hudson Valley where French Huguenots planted the first vines in 1677, 100 years before vines were planted in what is now California.

In 1991 60 Minutes did a segment which is know as the French Paradox segment. It contained breakthrough information that showed that despite eating food with high saturated fat and getting little exercise the French had a lower mortality rate from heart disease and fewer heart attacks than Americans.

I like an occasional glass of a sweet wine and have developed a taste for Italian limoncello (which I'll blog about at another time). As with many things, moderation is the key.