Red Wine for breakfast

Is Life a Caberet?

Whoa, I missed this tidbit....

Here’s to the Benefits of Red Wine, but Don’t Advertise Them - New York Times
An ordinary laboratory mouse will typically run one kilometer on a treadmill before collapsing from exhaustion, but mice given resveratrol, a minor component of red wine and other foods, can run twice as far, according to the widely circulated research announced last week by Johan Auwerx and colleagues at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France.

Mice heavily dosed with resveratrol also have energy-charged muscles and a reduced heart rate, just as trained athletes do, and manage to live longer even if they consume a poor diet.

The news was the best free publicity the wine industry has received since late 1991, when Morley Safer hefted a glass of red wine and told viewers of “60 Minutes” on CBS that the French have lower levels of heart disease than Americans despite a diet typically higher in fat.

Prohibition was a mistake in so many ways...

The wine industry certainly has welcomed the recent disclosures that a compound in red wine improves the health and endurance of laboratory mice. So why isn't the industry crowing about it?

Because it can’t. The industry has long been handcuffed by state and federal laws that discourage promoting the benefits of wine, with some of those restrictions dating back to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.

“Yes, we’d all like to make hay of this, and we’ll do what we can, but we are very constrained,” said Michael Mondavi, founder and president of Folio Fine Wine Partners, a producer and importer of wines here.

As an industry that is closely regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Mr. Mondavi said, “it is blatantly against the law for any alcoholic beverage producers to make any health claim regardless of the facts or the accuracy.”

“Until that regulation is changed or modified in some way so that we can talk about the positive health aspects that are proven,” said Mr. Mondavi, the older son of famed winemaker Robert Mondavi, “we have to sit on our hands and wait for others to pick up the story.”

Mr. Mondavi, who was then involved in running his family business, the Robert Mondavi Corporation, was one of those who chafed at the strictures.

“We actually resigned from the Wine Institute because we wanted to come out and say wine is healthy and good for you,” Mr. Mondavi said.

“We put on a back label, that wine is healthy and recommended in the Bible,” he added. “The B.A.T.F. sent us a cease and desist letter and made us change the label even though we went back to Washington and showed them the scientific evidence and read them the Bible passages.”

The Wine Institute still advises its members not to promote wine as healthy, and these days there are fewer rebels. That is partly because of fear of litigation, and partly because of the vast consolidation that has transferred ownership of many wineries from family founders to corporate conglomerates.

Fruit of the vine, baby. My parents thoughtfully raised me in a wine-friendly household: not fine wine, but drinking wine. I still hesitate buying bottles that cost more than 10 bucks, though with inflation, that number has crept up a bit. I wonder how many gallons I drink a year? Quick calculation: 750 ml per bottle, 3785.6 ml/gallon, somewhere around 40 gallons of wine, lovely wine, slurped, tasted, enjoyed. Mmmm, 40 gallons of wine....

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on November 26, 2006 11:54 PM.

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