Truth, they say, sets you free, and knowing certain truths about red wine liberate your thirst to go for more of one of the most popular alcoholic beverages.
These fascinating truths will generally change your view about red wine, give you the needed respect among your peers, and make you the ‘uncertified’ sommelier.
10 Truth About Red Wine You Should Know:
No! Not France
This one concerns wine in general, of which red wine is arguably the most prominent. Contrary to popular belief that wine originated in France, the oldest known winemaking was in Iran back in the Neolithic period. Archaeologists have found ancient pottery jars belonging to the Zagros mountain villagers who made and stored wine around 5400 B.C. A royal winemaking industry was also established in the Nile Delta circa 3000 B.C., with the Pharaohs of Egypt enjoying wine to the extent that several jars were buried with them for the afterlife.
Better to drink than not at all
While many people may abhor alcohol consumption in any form, it is, in fact, better to drink red wine than to avoid it totally. As surprising as this may be, the antioxidants found in red wine lower incidences of cardiovascular disease, mortality, and type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, consuming in excess leads to health risks, confirming the fear of those who choose not to drink.
Tannins do the magic
The health benefits in red wine come from the tannins in the wine. The most abundant type of tannins in red wines are Procyanidins, which are also found in dark chocolate and green tea. Procyanidins inhibit cholesterol plaque in blood vessels, which is highly beneficial to heart health and longevity.
Young wines are better
While old red wines may taste better with age, for health reasons it is better to drink younger wines. There are higher levels of tannins in younger wines than any other type of wine in the market. So it might do you well to forego amazing taste for beneficial richness.
Some red wines are better than others
As you would expect, not all red wines carry the same level of benefits for the body. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon wines carry more condensed tannins than Pinot Noir wines. However, both wines have much fewer tannins when compared to Shiraz.
As a general rule of thumb, note that:
- Dry red wines are better than sweet red wines
- Red wines with more tannins are better than those with lesser tannins.
- Red wines that do not exceed 13% ABV are better than higher alcohol red wines.
Grapes give its the colour
The red colour comes from the skin of the grapes used, not from artificial colouring. It is the plant pigment called anthocyanin found in the skin of red grapes that give the wine its colour.
Different grapes – one specie
Don’t let the names confuse you, nearly all red wines made come from one specie of grape. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir all belong to a single species of the grape: Vitis vinifera. While other grape species exist, that are very rarely used in winemaking.
China buys more
China has become the leading market for red wine. More than just the refreshing flavour, the Chinese seem to have fallen in love with the wine’s colour. The red colour is favoured by the government in China, while the populace also sees it as a colour of luck.
Even cosmetologists benefit too
Red wine contains resveratrol found which have been found to reduce the scarring caused by radiation and is a component of many cosmetic products and applications.
Organic red wine
Normal red wine is beneficial to the health but organic red wine trumps it. The presence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides present in normal red wines rob it of its goodness. Meanwhile, organic red wines use 100% organic grapes with absolutely no chemical additives have added to them for processing or preserving. These red wines usually come with a “100% Organic” label on the bottles.
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