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January Box 2022
Healthier Wine Options
We know that a key ingredient in wine is alcohol and no matter how you dress it up it should always be consumed in moderation.
The science behind it is complicated but the Chief Medical Officers' guideline for both men and women states that: To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. In wine terms that equates to six glasses of wine (175ml) at 13% abv. But let’s be honest with friends round, or at a long delicious dinner, it’s hard to stick to one glass which is why an ideal way to get around this limitation is opting for low alcohol wines.
Our two delicious Italian wines this month are naturally at 10 and 10.5% ABV without compromising on the flavour! They are both extremely charming, delicious and food friendly (and organic!). These are quite exceptional finds though, so generally if you stay around 12.5% and lower it would be also considered a ‘healthier option’ when drinking wine.
Luckily there are health benefits to wine, namely in the antioxidants found in reds because of the polyphenols in the grape skins used during red wine making. Several studies have shown that a glass of red wine from thick-skinned varieties like Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon can have beneficial doses of resveratrol (the main antioxidant found in wine). Tannat, however, has is often cited as the “healthiest” red wine grape, thanks to much higher levels of antioxidants (like resveratrol). Beware though that Tannat thrives in hot climates so whether you drink it from Uruguay or Southwest France, it is likely to be 14-14.5% alcohol and therefore not going to fulfil the entire healthy wine checklist.
Another key consideration in healthy wine choices is the quality of the wine’s production. Is it farmed organically – or sprayed with chemicals in the vineyards? Is the winemaking process more natural with minimal additives? Or is at conventional, commercial, wine.. similar to coca-cola? It’s certainly an important consideration for those who take the time to shop for organic produce to not undue their healthy choices by drinking a chemical laden wine.
Finally, while I don’t strive to have a dry month, I do have 2-3 dry days per week, and on those occasions it can still be fun to have a grown up drink that isn’t just sparkling water. So far the best option I've come across is the beautifully made Mother Root, a fellow busy mum who values having healthy a drink to unwind with.