Jul 06 2009

A Glass of Wine a Day…

By Brett Ashley McKenzie


I spent my Fourth of July weekend laid up on the couch with a terrible cold, a fever, and a puppy who was understandably furious that a patriotic romp at Montrose Dog Beach was simply not in the cards. With the national holiday closing doctors’ offices and even local pharmacy counters, I turned to that wise old sage known as “Google” to seek fast remedies for my symptoms.

You wouldn’t believe the number of results claiming the key to avoiding the common cold is good, old-fashioned alcohol… more specifically, wine!

Before you judge me, I’m not advocating following the advice of blogs which suggest you do a few shots of tequila or whiskey and sleep it off. And as delicious as it sounded, the woman who posted her Russian aunt’s homemade remedy (boil milk and butter, add honey and vodka, drink, sleep, wake up two days later spry as a spring chicken) is not a licensed medical practitioner.

But according to the New York Times and Associated Content, among other sources, drinking “eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine” is said to lessen your odds of catching a cold by anywhere from forty to sixty percent.

The Times cites a study conducted in Spain in 2002, in which researchers “followed 4,300 healthy adults, examining their habits and susceptibility to colds. The study, in The American Journal of Epidemiology, found no relationship between the incidence of colds and consumption of beer, spirits, vitamin C or zinc. But drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, was linked to as much as a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine.”

I typically enjoy a glass or two of wine a night, but in recent weeks, I’d occasionally switched to beer in an effort to get to know some of Just Grapes’ new summer brews. I’d also been trying different organic hard ciders, because they make a refreshing summer drink. But they lack the antioxidant properties that red wine is so revered for.

Am I saying up your wine consumption to avoid getting sick? No. Chances are, I caught what I did from my husband, and all the red wine in our house wouldn’t have prevented it. But it’s nice to know that enjoying wine in responsible quantities has its fair share of healthful benefits.

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