Health Pros and Cons of Drinking Wine

wine health pros and consThe health benefits and detriments of drinking wine are heavily debated. There is evidence to suggest that drinking one or two glasses of certain wines per day is very beneficial to the average person’s health, yet there is also evidence that suggests that wine consumption can aggravate certain conditions, so certain people should stay away from it. There is still much to learn about the health pros and cons of drinking red, white or sparkling wine, but there are some things we can deduce based on what we already know.

Red wines have been found to contain more health benefits than white or sparkling, yet red wines can cause health concerns, also. The polyphenols found in grape skins that help prevent heart disease are transferred into red wine, making it a benefit to your cardiovascular system. The resveratrol in red wine has been found to decrease symptoms of Alzheimer’s, decrease risk of prostate cancer and increase longevity. On the downside, drinking red wine can damage teeth with its acidity, induce migraines, increase risk of breast cancer and set off allergic reactions in certain people. This information concludes that drinking one or two glasses of red wine per day is beneficial unless you have bad teeth, suffer from migraines, experience an allergic reaction when drinking red wine or are a woman with a history of breast cancer in your family.

Sparkling wine is found to have similar health benefits as red wine since it is partly made from the same grapes, and even boasts fewer calories than red wine. It can, however, cause even more severe migraines than red wine. White wine has fewer benefits than red wine, but one health benefit that is unique to white wine is that it has been found to contribute to lung tissue health. It is the most acidic of any type of wine, so is known to do the most damage to the teeth. Doctors typically advise that if one does not drink wine, they should not start. However, for those who already drink wine, limiting consumption to one or two glasses a day will maximize its benefits and minimize its detriments.

Treatment for Wine Addicts

wine addiction treatmentWine addiction may seem like any other alcohol addiction, but there are some things that make wine addiction and its addicts unique. Wine addiction is often able to slip under the door unrecognized as an addiction because wine is weaker than a liquor and because it has an elitist connotation about it. However, those who become addicted to wine in particular require a slightly different approach to alcoholism treatment than other alcohols do.

It can be uniquely difficult to separate a wine addict from their wine for a number of reasons. Much of alcoholism treatment material and study revolves around people who are addicted to hard liquor, because there is more immediate risk to the addict. This creates a misconception that wine is harmless, or that consuming too much of it is not a concern. In North America, our European roots reinforce this idea as Europe has always been the highest consumer of wine. Wine is also arguably more habit forming and ritualistic than other alcoholic beverages. It is an alcoholic beverage that we feel very comfortable around as a society, as demonstrated by its frequent presence at the dinner table (something that is taboo for harder liquors). There are certain rituals that invoke wine drinking, such as the end of a work day, a nice meal, a romantic night, or any weekend or holiday. Wine has some health benefits, so many have wrongfully stopped controlling their intake of wine, citing its “health benefits” as defense. Wine, in fact, has more health detriments than it does benefits and can cause severe health complications for someone abusing it. And lastly, wine has something of an elitist reputation among alcohols. There is the implication that only level-headed, responsible people drink wine. All of these things are responsible for the wine addict’s unwillingness to give wine up.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to wine, seek the help of a professional addiction service. Separating a wine addict from wine can require an intervention, a thorough detoxification and intensive counselling and therapy in order to heal. There are addiction treatment programs that are tailored specifically to wine addicts and can be the difference between a life of sobriety and a life of serving wine.

Wine Consumption by Region

regional wine consumptionWine consumption is a very old tradition, and in modern times, wine consumption and circulation is at an all time high. There are, however, some areas that consume more wine than others. In fact, some countries do not even consume a measurable amount of wine, while others might be considered addicted to it.

The region that consumes the most wine in the world is Europe. This probably does not come as a surprise as the Europeans were the first to be recognized globally for their wine creation. However, the areas of wine mass consumption may surprise some readers. Vatican City consumes nearly 30-percent more wine per capita than anywhere else on earth. Surrounding European regions come in second and fall in similar measures to one another. Plausible theories behind the Vatican’s radical wine consumption are that its population is very small and consists of no children, as well as the possibility that outside residents come to Vatican City to buy wine because it is tax free. The numbers have some people questioning the sobriety of the priests and cardinals who live in Vatican City.

Among other high wine consuming countries were Uruguay in South America and Australia. Surprisingly, burgeoning wine regions such as Chile, Portugal, Canada and the United States did not make the top twenty list of wine consuming countries. The United States ranks in the mid-50’s for its consumption of wine, which suggests that the connection between consumption and income is not necessarily valid. Wine is found to be more of a cultural staple than a measure of income.

History of Wine Consumption

wine consumption historyWine is one of the oldest documented beverages to be consumed in history. It is possible that the wine making process is more than 10,000 years old. However, it is impossible to compare modern wine to ancient wine, as the process is hardly recognizable from what it used to be.

Throughout most of history, wine was consumed as a necessity, not for pleasure. Water and milk were full of disease before any filtration or pasteurizing standards were implemented, and because alcohol was naturally sterile, wine was consumed mainly for sustenance.

This practice carried on all the way until the Renaissance between the 14th and 17th centuries brought about the process of wine making as an art form. A small group of elite wine experts began to recognize that some wines were far superior to others, and certain regions began to be championed for producing better wine.

During the Enlightenment of the 18th century, the modern wine movement began. Analysis of grape choice, grape growing, wine making, wine storage and wine aging changed forever how the world created and valued wine. The way we produce wine now is a highly specialized form of the process that emerged in this time.

As drinking water became safe and trusted, wine only grew in its rank as a pleasurable substance. Its popularity still had its ups and downs in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries due to vineyard disease, world wars, popularity of liquors and prohibition, but from the mid-20th century to the present time, wine has been more popular and accessible than in any other time through out history. Establishments in every modern and developing nation serve varieties of wine, and the more money and area has, the more wine selection it is privy to.

Wine has been a continuously growing trend throughout history. It had humble beginnings as a sour, widely spread beverage and evolved over centuries into one of the world’s most sought after beverages. Few other foods and drinks have experienced quite as significant a success story as wine.

Wine Addiction

addiction to wineAlcoholism is generally looked down on in society, at least where it is associated with failure and squalor. There is, however, one type of alcohol addiction that is more socially accepted than others: wine addiction. There is no other alcohol that has more of an elitist connotation than wine. Wine has long been considered the alcoholic beverage of the thinking individual. The upper class has always gravitated toward wine, in knowledge and preference. For this reason, an addiction to wine can go largely unnoticed and untreated in certain circles.

Wine is often paired with gourmet meals to compliment flavors, and wine tastings are affairs that are attended by the well-to-do. Drinking wine lightly can have benefits for the heart, and can give the body a necessary dose of antioxidants. But just like any other alcohol, the benefits fall away with excessive consumption and are replaced by toxicity. Wine is hard on the body’s organs, including the liver and the skin. Drinking more than a recommended amount of wine can result in migraine headaches and dehydration, as well as many other health detriments.

Addiction to wine is often left unidentified by people who esteem wine. They treat wine like it is socially acceptable in any amount so long as the individual in question remembers themselves. In actuality, a tolerance to the effects of wine is built by excessive consumption and a person can become a functional addict right under the noses of their peers. Wine addiction is not harmless, and can lead a person into destruction without proper treatment.

It is not uncommon for people living in areas such as the Napa Valley wine region and the Okanagan Valley wine region, to develop wine addictions that go undiagnosed. Rehabilitation centers and addiction treatment facilities are beginning to open in these locations to counteract the effects of wine alcoholism. If you or a person you care about is showing signs of a wine addiction, it is wise to contact a Canada alcohol treatment program to learn about where to start in recovery.