Tuesday, October 04, 2016

How To Preserve Your Wine
How Much Wine Is Healthy?

How much wine should we drink?

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Is Wine Healthy?
Over the years we've seen numerous headlines about drinking wine, and other forms of alcohol, for our health. If you're from an Italian family with grandparents who lived into their 80's or 90's, you'd say, "duh", but there's a lot more to this story than that. 

Benefits and Risks for the Heart
The benefits of drinking wine and other forms of alcohol are mostly for the heart. Studies have shown that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol:
* can reduce blood clots
* increases your good cholesterol, or HDL
* helps reduce your bad cholesterol, or LDL, which helps prevent damage to your arteries

Despite these benefits, the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute do not recommend that you start drinking just for health reasons. But if you already drink, you should do so in moderation.

They define drinking "moderate" amounts of alcohol as:
* one drink a day for women of all ages
* one drink a day for men over 65
* up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and over

One drink is 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, or 12 ounces of beer.

Drinking more than this can have a negative impact. It can:
* increase your triglycerides,
* raise your blood pressure
* lead to liver damage

What about Cancer?
Whereas alcohol has some heart health benefits, there is no evidence that it is helpful in the prevention of cancer. In fact, the more alcohol a person drinks, the higher that person's risk of getting cancer is. The American Cancer Society also advises people to limit their alcohol consumption to one to two drinks a day, as described above.

The ACS also warns:
* oral, esophageal, laryngeal, and pharyngeal cancers are more common in alcohol users than in non-alcohol users, especially if they also smoke.
* alcohol is a major cause of liver cancer
* women who have 2 to 5 drinks a day have a higher risk of breast cancer
* heavy alcohol users have a higher risk of colon and rectal cancer.

A Trick to Preserve Wine and Limit Consumption
When you open a bottle of wine, several things happen, besides overwhelming feelings of joy and anticipation. You drink a glass, your judgement goes to hell, and the wine starts to oxidize. So here's what Doug and I started doing.

#1 - Buy a half bottle of wine with a screw top. Drink it and save the bottle.

We found a nice half bottle Sauvignon Blanc with a screw top.

#2 - The next time you want open a normal size bottle of wine, pour half of it in the empty half bottle. Pour it up to the top and screw the top back on. This will prevent oxidation so the wine will keep. It will also discourage you from drinking the rest of the bottle after your judgement weakens so you may have to hide it :-)

We opened a bottle of our Turtle Vines Pinot Noir
Poured half into our empty 1/2-bottle
After filling completely, leaving no air space,
screwed it shut
Then we drank the rest of the opened bottle

A bottle of wine is 750 ml or 25 ounces. So a half bottle provides one 5-ounce pour and one 7.5-ounce pour which meets the guidelines for a woman and a man. I'm supposed to drink the small one but as you can see from the above picture, we didn't quite pour it that way. The 2012 Pinot is my favorite vintage, so I was weak! But usually, I give Doug the bigger pour.


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