I did not grow up in a household where I regularly saw my parents having a little wine with their meals. I believe this may be the same in many families in Trinidad and Tobago. Because, culturally wine has always been drunk on special occasions. So, in my case, the only time I remember having wine was at the numerous “house parangs” I experienced while growing up, lol. You know the real homemade stuff brewed using our local fruits and in some cases plants. And, still it wasn’t with a meal.
However, things are changing a little in my family. It started a few years ago with my father-in-law who enjoys having a little wine with his meal. I still didn’t really take it on because I personally did not like mixing alcohol with my meals, but I was wrong. After one or two sips with my meals, I must say that wine makes your meals sumptuous and satisfying. It also keeps the stomach cheerful, the conversations brilliant, and the company more intriguing. The benefits one can enjoy from indulging in a little wine with their meals should not be overlooked at all. Here are some things I found out.
If you do some research online, you will find a lot of information on the health benefits of wine. Information that can really make you pick up a bottle of wine when next you are shopping at the grocery. There are so many reasons to have wine with your meals. Now you to are encouraged to discover the civilised pleasures of a little wine, besides having nutritional benefits.
First of all, wine can open your appetite and your mind to clever conversations and enjoyable company. Didn’t I say that before? It must be the wine haha! Secondly, among the many benefits of wine consumption, this one is definitely cause to celebrate. SOME wines contain residual amounts of sugar; such wines would not cause a significant spike in blood sugar. In particular, dry wine which is sugar free, will not raise blood sugar, and has no glycemic response. It does not store the sugar. Instead, it helps digest it fast. In other words, you would not gain or lose weight with wine (Tirman, 2006, p. 12) .
There are a lot of misinformation circulating on many of the things we eat and drink, including wine. For this reason, you would be surprised to learn that wine could be helpful for the sick. It is evident that in many societies wine is considered important, even as part of one’s meals. These societies have realised the benefits of including wine in their regular diet.
This brings me to my third point. Wine consumed either before or with a meal could be quite stimulating to the appetite. Therefore, wine is great in helping people who are recuperating from illness. It is also helpful for the elderly. Since it can help individuals develop a healthy appetite. It is also useful for those who are recovering from anorexia. A recent study done even encourages hospitals and nursing homes to serve wine with their meals and help patients and the elderly improve their appetite and food intake.
Other studies also indicate that wine is good for the digestive process. It can stimulate the production of digestive juices and thus increases “metabolism of albuminoid substances such as meat and fish” (Maury, 2012) . For this reason, wine is recommended for people who suffer from flatulence, bloated stomach and even constipation. It is the potassium tartrate in the wine which helps “contract and tone the muscular fibres of the stomach wall” and the natural carbonic acid that helps “revives the organ’s elasticity”(Maury, 2012).
Other remarkable benefits of wine are: it reduces heart-attack risk, lowers risk of heart disease, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, lowers risk of stroke, cuts risk of cataracts, cuts risks of colon cancer and slows brain decline. So there are many good reasons to make time for a glass of wine.
Just a little wine
Life is too short to miss out on a little wine in my opinion. It should not be reserved only for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and “office” parties alone but open your mind and explore the possibilities of having some wine with your next meal. As for the proper pairings let your tongue be the judge. Or you can look forward to some of my future recipes where I will be suggesting wine pairings.
Now, I am in no way encouraging any one to drink excessively. As for everything in life, moderation is important. Wine consumption also depends on your age, gender, disease status, and genetic predisposition. So, know your limits and don’t abuse it! And, by all means go ahead and have a little wine.
Maury, E. A.(1996).Your good health! The medicinal benefits of wine drinking. Souvenir Press.