Do You Drink Red Wine Every Day?

January 14, 2010 · 54 comments

red wine

It’s certainly not everyday that I write a post in the politically correct category, but all the mainstream health gurus agree that red wine can be good for you.  (Here’s an article about it from the Mayo Clinic: Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart?)

This topic prompted a recent email exchange between Kent & I that I thought I’d share:

Kent:

You’ve probably seen articles like this before, but read this to the end please. Grape juice and memory loss. (He was referring to the part about Alzheimers at the end – Kent’s Dad was diagnosed a few years ago.)

Me:

IMG_2981 The only thing I wonder about is the amount of sugar in the grape juice, but you don’t have much sugar otherwise so you’d probably be OK.  I wonder what kind of grapes are in the Leelanau Cellars Great Lakes Red that Sonia got me onto – it’s local, too, so even better.  I’ll go look. You could make a point to have a glass each night or something. (Probably wouldn’t hurt my memory either!)

Kent:

Don’t they sell that stuff in small bottles that I could take to work?

Me:

I checked and it IS made with concord grapes and it’s only $5/bottle, and since it’s wine it’s also fermented and it’s local, too!  We should start having a little every night!

Kent:

Good call.  I’ll start bringing a couple bottles of wine to work every week.

Me:

Hey, it’s medicinal, they’ll understand.

Your turn…

As I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, we don’t drink much juice around here unless we’re having a little in our kefir soda pop, which is only 1/3 strength.  But does wine count as juice?  Do you drink a glass of red wine every day?  If so, do you drink it just for relaxation or taste, or for its antioxidant or possible memory-enhancing properties?

More:

photo credit (Don’t you love that red wine picture?)

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  • { 53 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Michael January 14, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Wine counts as a fermented drink, and a tasty one at that. :-)

    I like wine every day. I drink it because it can enhance a meal and the fellowship over a meal. It’s relaxing. It has a long and ancient pedigree both for health purposes and social relationships. Nearly every culture on this earth past and present has had some kind of alcoholic beverage as part of its food way. I am aware of its health benefits but even without them I would still drink wine and enjoyment and relaxation are health benefits in their own right.

    I am very much a wine aficionado and so very glad a friend of mine who owned a wine shop is California introduced me a few years back to a world I had no idea even existed. It has been a love affair ever since.

    Let me loose in a bookstore or a wine shop (preferably one and the same) and I am a very happy camper.

    Reply

    2 Wendy January 14, 2010 at 7:08 am

    DH and I love wine and beer, especially West Michigan made. Not particularly because of its medicinal qualities, however ;-)

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    3 Beth January 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Kelly,

    If you use dried cranberries in your water kefir first ferment and accidentally forget about it for an extra day it tastes just like a wine cooler :). Unfortunately I can’t drink it :( but that taster sip was wonderful!

    Beth

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    4 Soli January 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I’m a fan of wines for the taste, and since I hate being drunk (and drunk only makes me sleepy), I don’t overdo it. Somewhere in the back of my head I sometimes think about the claimed health benefits, but I have also heard that if you are not a wine drinker it may not be the best idea to take it up for your health.

    And in serious health news, how would you like documented proof that GM corn can do substantial damage to the body?

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    5 Motherhen68 January 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

    We drink wine here, but maybe a bottle every month or so? I hate to “waste” the wine if you don’t drink it all in the first day, so we “force” ourselves to finish it off. :) We drink wine more in the winter because it just makes me so HOT!

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    6 Kate January 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    We don’t drink at all…and I think water kefir is probably a good solution. We usually use grape juice for that.

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    7 Julie L. January 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

    We rarely drink, but on those rare occasions when we do, it’s usually red wine. I am a complete and total layperson when it comes to knowledge of wines, so would love input from others as to recommendations! :)

    ~Julie L.

    Reply

    8 Karen@Cook4Seasons January 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Ah, yes, the wine and health discussion (which I love.) First, I do drink wine almost every day, as a delicious part of our meal AND to support my husband’s -local- business, as he is president of Cuvaison, a Napa winery (we actually met in the wine business.) I would like to think that the resveratrol and other anti-oxidant benefits are working, altho lately I have been experiencing more frequent headaches after two glasses. It’s ‘that time of life’ for me, which I believe plays a part, but I must also watch the alcohol levels. Anything over 14% is too much, so I’ve taken to using ice to dilute, and have reduced my consumption overall. Otherwise, I’m super healthy and I do attribute much of it to the grape:)

    Reply

    9 Ellen January 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t drink it every day, but I love red wine. I was even married in wine country :-)

    If it’s good the the heart — great. It’s definitely good for the soul!

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    10 Local Nourishment January 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I haven’t found any local wine yet, but I’m still looking. I can’t drink many California wines because they are so heavily fluoridated (grapes seem to concentrate fluoride). I love a glass of wine before bed, but rarely have it with meals, or I’d be too sleepy to do the dishes!

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    11 Tara January 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Never knew wines have fluoride in them…I should tell my patients :) I am a dentist and probably the only pro-fluoride blog reader here but please don’t hate me. If everyone here in Montcalm county ate according “our rules” of course there would be no need but I can’t tell my patients to be against fluoride when they come to my office with a straw sticking out of a 2L of M. Dew!!!! Ohhhh, don’t get me started…..

    Anyway, have any of you tried Shaklee’s resveratrol product, Vivix? It’s more costly but it tastes great and it’s concentrated so I don’t think you’re getting as much sugar as if you were to consume that much resveratrol via another method.

    Reply

    12 Bob A. January 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Great Lakes Red is a dollar off this week at Meijer!

    Reply

    13 Megan Harris January 14, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I really enjoy having a glass of wine with a meal. I agree it enhances the meal and fellowship. I am not a wine buff but can certainly appreciate a good glass of wine. I noticed on the last bottle we drank it said it contained sulfites. Is that okay, does all wine have sulfites? Would it be better to have an organic wine, if so do you know of any great ones?

    Reply

    14 KitchenKop January 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Tara, I didn’t know you were a dentist! Did you read Nutrition & Physical Regeneration yet?! You probably know that Weston Price was a dentist, too. :)

    Megan, I’m fuzzy on the sulfite issue, too, hopefully someone else will jump in and enlighten us!

    Kelly

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    15 Michael January 14, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    We rarely drink, but on those rare occasions when we do, it

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    16 Michael January 14, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    If everyone here in Montcalm county ate according

    Reply

    17 Michael January 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    I noticed on the last bottle we drank it said it contained sulfites. Is that okay, does all wine have sulfites? Would it be better to have an organic wine, if so do you know of any great ones?

    All wines have naturally occurring sulfites, including the organic ones. The problem for many people is when they are added as a part of processing, which is true for many less expensive wines.

    The best thing to do is inquire as to whether or not a wine has added sulfites. Organic ones by definition do not but many non-organic wines do not, and some of the more expensive wines are de facto organic. Unless the bottle is clearly labeled “no added sulfites,” the only way to know is ask, or do some research on the company that produced the wine.

    Reply

    18 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I drink wine *every* day. I feel that life is too short and wine is too pleasurable to miss out on a chance to drink wine. “A day without wine is like a day without sunshine.” So true.

    I like red wine but I’m kind of a snob about it. It’s hard to find a decent red at a good price. So I buy white wine most of the time (usually Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauv Blanc for $3.99/bottle, but often I get New Zealand Marlborough as well, which is usually less than $10/bottle). I also love cava and prosecco (sparkling wine, like Champagne, from Spain and Italy, respectively).

    There are a few reds I like that are less than $10/bottle. But I do try to stick to that budget. And uh, yeah I DON’T do Two Buck Chuck. I used to buy that at TJ’s as “party insurance”. I’d buy 10 bottles and keep them around when I was throwing a party (back in my single girl Sex & the City days) — just in case we ran out of booze. I think I threw a lot of it away.

    We also LOVE to go wine tasting. We live in CA, after all. The French are actually becoming jealous of us. CA is finally getting better at creating blends of grapes.

    Anyway when you go wine tasting, it’s so fun to go visit the wineries, get to know the vintners, and buy a case of wine or two. Then it’s always a special occasion when you open the bottle. I got some AMAZING reds in 2005, right after I met Seth. We just opened a couple of them a few months ago, when we had company over. HEAVENLY!

    Kel, here’s an idea. I’m coming to visit you this year, but maybe NEXT year or the year after, when the kids are older (and I’m through with the next pregnancy), you and Kent can come out to California wine country and we’ll go wine tasting? Tax-deductible, but of course.

    Oh, right maybe for the wedding!

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    19 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    http://www.arafanelliwinery.com/

    This is some of the very best wine in California. Seriously, some of the best wine I have ever had. Possibly the best! Must go back and buy more! (You can’t buy it in retail stores.)

    Kel, I also wanted to say how EXCITED I am that you and Kent are on board with wine. SO excited for you to learn about it and become a true wine lover like I am.

    One day when we are hanging out, we’ll have to rent Sideways. Totally fun movie about California winos.

    Reply

    20 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Gosh, obviously this topic is important to me. Seeing how I’m posting AGAIN.

    Re: fluoride, added sulfites, and pesticides — yeah, ideally I would like not to have these things in wine, but at the end of the day, for me, taste wins out. I tried buying all organic wines for a while but they just don’t taste as good. And I figure, with my healthy diet, I can handle it. I’m sticking with my Flowers and Sea Smoke.

    One last thing — pasteurization. Sally Fallon says we are supposed to only drink “unpasteurized” wine and beer. I know there is a movement among breweries to make what they call “real ale”. It’s totally unpasteurized. Whereas beer from large corporate brewers is pasteurized.

    I still need to research wine & pasteurization — can’t find anything on google so I need to go ask some vintners. I think this will make my next trip to the wine country (possibly next month — Seth and I are talking about it) legitimately tax deductible. :-)

    Re: real ale, how about a trip to Great Britain to do a “real ale tour”? Tell Kent, see if he wants to go (maybe next year, year after next — or the following). And yeah, I WILL make you eat Steak & Kidney Pie AND Haggis. But you can also have Scones & Clotted Cream.

    Reply

    21 Brian May 10, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Have you found anything on unpasteurized wine? I’d love to figure out how to do it myself or where to buy some…. Thanks!

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    22 KitchenKop May 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Brian,
    After I got your comment I emailed my brother-in-law and I’ll post that conversation here… (he said I could)

    “Hey Kip,

    Kent & I tried your cranberry wine at your Mom’s the other day. I’m quoting Kent, because I know NOTHING of wine lingo, but I agreed when he said it was very “complex”. At first it had a bit of a bite, but then it changed right in your mouth and had a great after-taste!

    So anyway, I thought of you when I just got the below comment. Is your wine pasteurized? Do you know anything about that or where this guy could find more info?”

    His reply:

    “Hi Kel,
    My wine is not pasteurized. That involves a whole set of equipment, and more money than I want to spend on a hobby. I am not sure if you will find many pasteurized wines. The heat involved in the pasteurization process would, I believe, change the flavors of the wine. With the alcohol level in the wines (12-14%) there shouldn’t be any need to pasteurized the wine. Beer has only a 4-5% alcohol, and they do pasteurize several beers, maybe due to the lower alcohol level. The alcohol level in the wine should be high enough to act as a sterilant, eliminating the need to pasteurize.
    As far as info, I have a few websites that I go to, and they might help the guy out.
    http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request.asp has lots of good info, and you just need to navigate the info at the bottom of the page. It should answer any of his questions.
    If I can help you any more, I will see what I can do.
    Kip”

    Obviously, I was glad to hear him say it was unpasteurized! :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    23 KitchenKop January 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Ann Marie, you are so funny! Ah, all the many ways you have yet to ‘culture’ this small town girl! There would be no twisting Kent’s arm on any of this stuff, he loved wine long before I did (but he still loves dark beer more), and if we have the cashola (?), then you can certainly count us in for any and all trips, ESPECIALLY if it involves a WEDDING!! :)

    Kidneys??? Are you serious? Maybe ONE bite with MANY bites of scones and cream. LOL…………

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    24 KitchenKop January 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Oh, and Ann Marie, I hear there is some pretty good wine tasting to be had right here in Northern Michigan, too! Maybe a trip is in order BEFORE your next pregnancy, eh? NOT in the winter time, ick.

    I don’t know if I’m worthy to go on a wine tasting trip though, I only like the VERY sweetest of wines, and I’m trusting you that eventually my palate will mature!

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    25 Michael January 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I drink wine *every* day. I feel that life is too short and wine is too pleasurable to miss out on a chance to drink wine.

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    26 Raine Saunders January 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I love wine, but I don’t drink it every day. My dear friend Heidi and her husband Patrick own a wine shoppe called Bueno Cheapo Vino. They specialize in end-of-vints and discontinued wines (a lot of NW regional wines and local), but they also have a great knack for carrying some of my very favorite foreign wines I’ve ever had. Luis Allegro is by far one of my favorites, hands down. Its a great Spanish red and it normally retails for around $15, which is a splurge for us. Spanish is generally my favorite, and I’m always most impressed with how great those wines are for most of the prices I’ve seen. Crianzas are some of my favorite Spanish wines.

    I’m not much of a wine expert, even though I’ve been drinking it for years. I’m still learning. But I do what I like – whites I love Sauvignon Blancs, Fume Blancs, Pinot Grigios, Viogniers. I don’t care for the sweeter wines. In reds I like Pinot Noir mostly the best, also Syrahs, Shiraz, and some Cabs and Merlots. I used to be a big fan of Zinfandels, but now it wholly depends on the bottle. I also like Chianti, Tempranillos, and Sangiovese.

    I tend to not sleep as well if I have too many carbohydrates in a day, particularly if I have had a lot of carbs and then drink wine. So I try to watch my carb intake and then judge whether I can have wine or not. And I normally limit it to one, maybe two glasses at the most. I used to be a heavy social drinker, and I really hate being intoxicated now, so I avoid it at all costs. :)

    Reply

    27 Michael January 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I tried buying all organic wines for a while but they just don

    Reply

    28 Robyn January 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Ann Marie – you hit on it … unpasteurized wine. Any tips on where to find it, how to recognize it, which ones are good, etc? Anyone have experience making their own wine?

    Reply

    29 Local Nourishment January 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Tara, we have had to become very cautious of fluoride taken internally because my family is susceptible to fluorosis. My oldest boy has permanently soft, discolored teeth (the few he has left at age 30) and my next child was headed that way before we discovered the cause.

    Kelly, I thought that most of the sugar in wine was dispensed with during the fermentation process. No?

    Reply

    30 KitchenKop January 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Peggy, maybe with some wines, but this one I referred to in my post is SO sweet…I’m not sure. It’s almost too sweet even for me…

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    31 Julie L. January 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks to Michael for the advice for wine novices!! :)

    ~Julie L.

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    32 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    @Michael – Yes I read about France getting their butt kicked. I love French wine, too though!

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    33 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    @Kelly Like Nina Planck, I do drink wine through my pregnancies. Not every day, and not as much as I normally do. I can only drink about 1/2 glass when preggo — and usually only like once a week. And not in the first trimester — makes me sick. I’ve also gotten alcohol-free wine when I was preggo which was a not great but not bad substitute.

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    34 Psychic Lunch January 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I’m not opposed to drinking wine at ALL, but I just don’t get around to it except when extended family come over. Maybe I should just keep a bottle (with one of those vacuum-sealers) handy and going all the time? :) In my direct family, I’m the only one partaking, so you can understand how it’s a slow-moving thing for me.

    Reply

    35 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    @Raine

    But I do what I like

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    36 Michael January 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    @ Julie L.
    Just wanted to say thanks to Michael for the advice for wine novices!!

    Thanks Julie! The enjoyment of wine is near and dear to my heart. :-)

    Reply

    37 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    @Psychic Lunch

    I forgot to mention – I use the VaccuVin sealer thing every day.

    Also with Champagne or sparking wine, you can keep a bottle bubbly in the fridge by sticking a silver spoon in. Not sure why this works but it does.

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    38 Michael January 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    @ Ann Marie

    Michael

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    39 Soli January 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve actually never had an issue with simply putting a (solid) cork back in a bottle of red and storing it in a cabinet. White stays in the fridge.

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    40 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    @Kelly & @LocalNourishment

    Yes if you ferment longer the wine becomes less sweet – like kombucha or vinegar.

    Another reason to get your palate used to drier wines!

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    41 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    @Robyn – I have researched this and found ZILCH online. I’m going to make it part of my research on our next wine trip. I will report back on my blog!

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    42 Ann Marie @ CHEESESLAVE January 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    @Michael – I agree — this is why it is SO fun to live on the West Coast. ANd yes the French are snobs but they have a right to be. Nothing can compare to French raw milk cheeses, French foie gras & liver pate. Simply genius!

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    43 Robyn January 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    @Ann Marie – awesome, can’t wait to see what you find out. I’ve had zero luck as well.

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    44 Julie January 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

    One day I will tell you my hilarious story of making homemade wine (I was a teengager at the time).

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    45 anika January 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    we love wine here… but i always struggled with most california wines… barely able to finish a glass with out a headache.. only some from Napa did me ok.. Also some from Michigan and some from Door county…
    but I fell in LOVE with wine when we lived in France..
    and yes.. they have a reason to be snobby about their wine.. I can drink a bottle my self and NOT be drunk and have NO headache that night OR the next morning.. simply delicious… :)
    not all… we did have 2 bad bottles… but THAT is not bad…
    most of it was simply lovely..

    Reply

    46 Michael January 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    @anika

    Its the soil and probably using less in the way of sulfites. But you can buy great french wines right here in America. :-)

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    47 Renee January 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

    My husband and I have stumbled on a really great type of wine called Malbec. It is a dark red wine with lots of flavor. As far as we can tell, it is made mostly in Chile and Argentina. Our Super Target carries a really good one made by a company called Barking Sheep.

    Reply

    48 Jack January 18, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I’m a wine lover (and my wife and I at one time were residents of the Sonoma valley where we were surrounded by vineyards.) But I’m an advocate of a substitute for anti-oxidant hungry wine consumers or non-consumers. It’s cocoa, the real thing, not the processed, sugar loaded product that presents itself to us in supermarkets. Cocoa in its natural form contains a considerably higher load of anti-oxidants than red wine. I have a cup of organic, un-dutched (that is, not alkali treated) cocoa each morning instead of coffee. I use water instead of milk in its preparation because it’s my understanding that much of the beneficial effect is lost when it’s consumed with milk. And I drink it sugarless.

    There is a wide range of quality of raw, organic, cocoa. I prefer Navitas with Dean’s Beans a close second. Both can be obtained via the internet.

    J

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    49 Musings of a Housewife January 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I drink wine almost every day, often 2 glasses with dinner. But I often wonder if I’m drinking enough to cause damage to my liver or kidneys. I drink it for taste, although I’m happy to know that it has health benefits. I just don’t know what a good moderate amount is. Thoughts on that? How much is too much?

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    50 Natural Health Goodies January 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I enjoy a bit o’ the grape meself although I’m the only one in the family who does (and I’m more the mirco brew kinda guy at the moment). I see that no one mentioned Lambrusco. It is an inexpensive sweeter semi sparkly red wine that I’ve enjoyed a few times. There is such a difference in the types of red wine that I’m sure there are some that will appeal to every wine drinker especially since some have such full bodied tastes that really don’t jive well with people who aren’t big wine drinkers.

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    51 Debbie in GA January 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Well, if we don’t, we should and here’s why:

    Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved. –Medieval German proverb

    Reply

    52 Anna June 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Hello , I love red wine , this is my secret but if you drink red wine it has a sliming effect on your body since i start drinking red wine with dinner 2 glasses i never gain weight. And to get the good wine as i know french wine don’t give you a headach the next morning the cheapest i $8.– but in whole food you can get a wine Rojomocho from spain for 5.- dollars and is good wine.

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    53 Rose City Reader September 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I do drink wine every day. Dinner and wine go together at my house. But I only today started wondering if drinking wine counts as ingesting a fermented food. I’ve been googling to find out if wine is routinely pasteurized or not. I still don’t have a good answer, although it looks like maybe it is not. I look forward to learning more.

    Reply

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