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January 26, 2017 | By RJS Craft Winemaking

Craft wine: a healthy choice for the New Year

Haven’t come up with a 2017 New Year’s resolution yet? No problem! As New Year’s resolutions go, drinking craft wine is about as delicious as it gets. Consuming craft wine is not only great for those who want to save want to save a big chunk-o-change, but also for those who would like to begin the year on the road to a healthier lifestyle. The physical health benefits of craft wine drinking is what we’ll be focusing on. Did you know that wine (especially red wine) is jam-packed with beneficial compounds? These compounds have been researched to have a positive effect on people with or prone to heart disease, colon cancer and breast cancer.

A doctor holding an a glass of wine. This image illustrates that one drink a day is good for health.It is well-known that good heart health and wine drinking have a link. This link has been researched and reported to many reputable medical journals over the years. The skins of red grapes used in wine making are the key to this healthy choice. The skins of grapes contain tannins and certain tannins aid in reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels, thus promoting healthy blood vessels. The tannins responsible for this are called a procyanidins or condensed tannins. The wine that contains the highest levels of condensed tannin is cabernet sauvignon. This grape variety is also the highest in another health guru buzz word, antioxidants. Not a fan of cabernet sauvignon? Its closest runners-up for health benefits are its French cousins: pinot noir and syrah (AKA shiraz).

With antioxidants in mind, red wine consumption is also an effective form of preventative medicine for some forms of cancer. In the UK, scientists published a study showing that the regular consumption of red wine reduced the rate of occurrences of colon cancer in adults by about 50%! The polyphenolic compound associated with this medical study is also from grape skins and is called resveratrol. Red wine is also the only known alcoholic beverage known to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Certain compounds in the seeds and skins of the winemaking grapes reduce estrogen levels in women and increase testosterone, which lessens a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

With all of these health properties of wine in mind, this will be the easiest New Year’s resolution to maintain, ever.  So remember, not only is wine is delicious, but crafting your own wines allows you to choose your own style of wine and varietal to make a wine uniquely yours.  For your 2017 resolution, Happy mature couple relaxing together on sofa with popcorn and wine looking at each other while watching television at homemake a health-conscious wine choice. Get started at your local on premise winemaking store or in the comfort of your own home. It is important to note that the health professionals identify that healthy moderate consumption of wine is 1 (5oz) glass per day for women and 1-2 (5oz) glasses per day for men.  Moderation is key, as too much alcohol may increase risk of health problems. So get going into 2017 on the right foot, keep your heart healthy, your antioxidant levels up and your glass full this year.

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