Although the art of winemaking is some 7,000 years old, the process of fermentation was not understood until the discoveries of Louis Pasteur in the 19th century.
It is palatable and resistant to deterioration only after it has undergone fermentation, which is a type of controlled spoilage.
Alcohol, a waste product of fermentation, is toxic to all living beings; even the yeasts that excrete it cannot tolerate an environment of more than 15% alcohol, which is why fermentation stops at about this concentration.
THE COMPONENTS OF WINE
The red one is made from purple grapes, but the white one is not made necessarily made from white grapes.
Many white wines are made from purple grapes, but the skin is removed before they color the fermenting the juice, called the must.
The skins contain most of the compounds that give the wine its flavor and healthful properties. The longer the must stays in contact with the skins, the deeper the color will be.
Dessert wines are made with specially overripened grapes to achieve a prized sweetness and a rich consistency.
Four ounces of red wine contains about 80 to 90 calories, compared to white wine and 175 in dessert wine. Many wines have trivial amounts of minerals; red one has a trace of iron.
WINE AND THE HEART
Numerous studies show that moderates consumption of alcohol-one to two 120 ml glasses of wine a day, preferably with a meal is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
According to a 1991 report, the French had a heart attack rate only one-third as high as that of North Americans. Consumption of the drink may be at least partly responsible for this phenomenon, known as the “French Paradox.”
Researchers have not determined what it is in wine that may prevent heart attacks, but some theorize that compound such as quercetin and resveratrol in grapes skin, as well as other bioflavonoids, may be responsible. These compounds tend to make the blood less sticky and less likely to form clots.
It is thought that the French habit of drinking this drink with meals may provide the small but regular intake of alcohol needed to reduce clot formation, a cause of most heart attacks.
The bioflavonoids also have antioxidant properties and may help prevent damage to the artery wall and help keep the arteries dilated. Still, other research suggests that moderate amounts of wine may raise the levels of the protective HDL(high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Studies are underway looking at other benefits from the resveratrol found in wine. It has a preventative effect on several types of cancer
Laboratory studies indicate that the anthocyanin pigments and tannins in wine can fight viruses.
Tannins can inhibit the growth of plaque-forming bacteria on the teeth and may protect against cavity formation. Other studies are exploring the link between wine consumption and lowered risk of dementia.
Wine appears to contain substances that slow the rate of alcohol absorption. Studied show that a moderate amount of wine has a less intoxicating effect from the same volume of distilled liquor.
Still, some claim that this drink makes them more sleepy than other alcoholic beverages do; this effect may be due to ingredients other than alcohol.
The benefits of moderate wine drinking, which may extend to reducing the risk of some cancers. Overconsumption can increase the risk of obesity, stroke, breast cancer, high blood pressure, as well as alcoholism and cirrhosis and other liver disorders.
Even moderate alcohol consumption may raise the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. In addition, heavy use of alcohol in early pregnancy can cause birth defects.
Most wines contain sulfites and preservatives that can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people. Wine, especially red, is a common trigger of migraines.
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