Thursday, February 7, 2008

Benefits of Wine

Lately, come 4:00, my Pavlovian-dog responses have been kicking in, as I anticipate preparing dinner so I can imbibe in a dark, luscious glass of red wine. Preparing meals is such a time sucking chore, and I have found that a glass of wine really helps me get in the mood. (Wine will do that for you.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as happy to have a glass of wine and eat Wendy’s take-out. This fascination with wine ebbs and flows with me. I’m not a wine snob by any means, and a few years ago, wouldn’t touch red wine even if you told me that it would erase the cellulite on my back-side. These days white wine seems too sweet, and red is what I crave. In fact, I just finished off a bottle of Blueberry Merlot, from a local vineyard—Nashoba Valley Winery—and it was very, very, good indeed.

So I did a little research (no, not for AA) on the benefits of wine. Not to be confused of course with the benefits of whine, of which there aren’t many. Turns out that red wine has been linked to a reduction in bad cholesterol, and decreases overall mortality, especially lowering incidents of cardiovascular problems. (I’m just paraphrasing here, so don’t go drink a case from Trader Joes and sue me because you get sclerosis of the liver.) One or two glasses of red wine a day was all it took to be able to claim health benefits. Obviously, drinking (more) wine has also been associated with alcoholism, poor life choices and a tendency to neglect basic personal hygiene (not to mention can stain you teeth for heavens sake) but I’m not there, so I’m going to focus on the health benefits.

In fact, you have to love a world in which you can suck down a glass of red wine and eat a dark chocolate candy bar and actually claim you are currently working on lowering your cholesterol. I love oatmeal as much as the next 6 year old kid, but going for the 30 day challenge to see my cholesterol lower 5 points doesn’t seem worth it. A bowl of thick, chunky, vommity-looking paste, or wine and chocolate. Hmmmm, let me think. I’d like to see someone go on a 30 day wine and chocolate challenge and see how they compare to the Quaker oat-eater. I bet his butt would be kicked. At least he’d be jealous.

So, aside from these obvious medical-study benefits, wine drinking has other benefits for me as well. Here are some of my personal observations:

Drinking wine is cheaper than taking Prozac.
Trust me on this. Wine has about the same effect as those prescription medications. I find that I’m much more serene and at peace with the world—especially from 5 to 9 p.m. (the dinner and bed time hours)—after a glass of wine, and I don’t need to have my liver process those terrible, manufactured chemicals. Wine is so much more natural, coming from grapes and all. Grapes are healthy, right?

It helps you keep your cool in the following situations:

  • Your son walks up to you holding your favorite, $30 kitchen wisk, the loops of which are folded down all the way around, and he says to you, “Look mom, a banana!”

  • When you have to explain to your son, exactly why he cannot “fix” your kitchen wisk by simply bending the wires back into place, that it is in fact, a kitchen tool and not an object for modern sculpture.

  • When your husband comes home from work, and calmly says, “What’s the big deal? It was only a wisk.”

  • When your daughter’s emergency siren is on, complaining that her ear hurts. You’ve heard it all day. She is so dramatic. You give her some Tylenol and Motrin, a heating pad, and tell her she’s going to be just fine. Your head is pounding.

  • When you return from the doctor’s office and find out your daughter has a ruptured eardrum, two ear infections, and needs nebulizer breathing treatments twice a day. (2 or 3 glasses recommended for this one.)

  • When your toilet explodes, floods your bathroom, your husband is out of town, you are ankle deep in fecal matter and it’s 3:00 in the morning. (This didn’t happen to me, but a friend of mine. She really needed a bottle of wine for this one.)

  • The kids have all been sick and home from school for a day. A couple days. A week. A few glasses of wine really helps you not dread the coming summer. (Or tape your children to the couch.)

Wine helps you be the parent you always wanted to be.
I have found I’m much more likely to say “yes” to my children, than “no” after a few drinks.
Child: “Can we have this candy bar before dinner?”
Me: “Sure!”
Child: “Can we not take a shower and just put on our pajamas tonite?”
Me: “No problem!”
Child: “Can I swing from the ceiling fan while chucking stuffed animals at my siblings instead of doing my homework?”
Me: “Absolutely! Let me help you!”

It’s Jesus’s drink of choice.
I figure there is a reason Jesus turned the water to wine at Cana. He didn’t turn it into beer. Or Jim Beam. Or icy margaritas. Not only was He performing a miracle, but He was also thinking about the health benefits for all those present at the wedding. There were probably kids running amok, the DJ was most likely late, and the Bridegroom was stressing out; “ WHAT? THERE’S NO MORE WINE??” (C’mon, we’ve all been to weddings like that.) Jesus knew that wine would be the best thing for all involved. It’s calming. It’s healthful.
That Jesus. He truly does think of everything.

Well readers, I may not have sold everyone on the benefits of wine. That’s okay. Some may prefer other modalities to help ease the tensions of this life. Wine seems to do the trick for me. Delicious, healthful….oh wait….it’s almost wine-thirty now…. Gotta run…


brandie said...

What about the morning after wine headache that I ALWAYS get no matter how little wine I consume? What's the solution to that slight hiccup in your miracle beverage? lol, Sorry I'm just jealous you've found a more effective coping mechanism than I.

Anonymous said...

Well if it was Jesus' choice of drink then I am in!!! Where do I sign up for the daily wine? Apparently my hubby has known the wine trick all along...I really need to get on board!


Anonymous said...

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunny! I love all of your blogs. I learn more about my grandchildren that way. ECV really did that to your whisk? That's kind of clever... And to think you got all your writing talent from me :0)
Love, Mom

Liz said...

I love this blog. I am going to print it and put it on my newly acquired wine fridge.