[stextbox id=”info”]Frenchy Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health: Benefits of Wine[/stextbox]
Oh, la,la doesn’t this picture of a vineyard look beautiful? To think that the grapes will transform over to a delicious wonderful drink otherwise known as WINE! Drinking wine and enjoying the taste of wine is also part of French ways to eat for pleasure and good health. As many of you know, wine is a big part of the French culture. Although this trend is slowing because the French are drinking less wine these days than previously. There is more drunk driving enforcement and public health campaigns such as zero tolerance of alcohol in pregnant women resulting in less wine consumption in French adults. In general, drinking wine here is something that is done in moderation and is a complementary part of any meal.
Wine is used as a way to enhance the taste of palate with the food on the plate. French tend to drink wine with food rather than savored on its own, something popular in the United Kingdom or America. But, chez vous (at your house) wine can be as you want it to be, without excess, to be enjoyed with or without food. There are no rules.
Health benefits of wine
Grapes naturally contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been linked to lowering your risk for heart disease by preventing blood clots and increasing your High Density Lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol. Drinking wine, especially red wine may help to repair damage to your arteries done by Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Studies look promising for the health benefits of wine consumption, but as any health professional will tell you, do not start drinking wine or any other alcohol beverage just to get potential health benefits. If you abstain from wine, continue to do so. My own unscientific observation on the health benefits of wine? Just sitting down to a nice meal with a glass of wine helps to slow down the meal, slow down life, slow down stress. These are the other great reasons to enjoy pleasure eating towards good health with a small glass of fermented grapes!
Madiran, considered one of the healthiest wines in the world is produced in southwest France
If you did want to enjoy one of the healthiest wines in the world, take a trip to where I live, in SW France. About 30 minutes from Pau is a wine region called Madiran, which produces a very robust and deep red wine. The Madiran wines have a larger quantity of tannins and antioxidants like resveratrol when compared to other red wines, making it one of the best wines for your health. The grape from Madiran wines is called Tannat, and the fermentation process in these wines is longer. As the grapes are allowed to sit for longer periods and ferment this allows more antioxidant properties to seep out of the grape and into the final wine product. See this article for more information on Madiran wines. Rather than zipping over to Pau to try some Madiran grapes, try looking in your local wine store. But be warned, Madiran wines are strong flavored. These wines are difficult to drink alone and taste better with food, in particular foods from SouthWest region of France, such as duck confit orcassoulet.
If you enjoy your wine with your meals you are already living the pleasure eating to good health way of life. If you want to learn more on wine, on food pairings with wine or just how to taste wine look out for courses in your local area or buy a book and experiment at home. These books have helped me tremendously: How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine, Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition
ENJOY and Bon Appetit!