The Beet of Paris Part Deux - To Drink or Not To Drink?
This week The Beet traveled a bit south of Paris to unveil the truth about the health benefits of vin rouge (red wine). We went straight to the vineyards of Burgundy, where we talked to one of the world's top winemakers.
After a thorough déstation (wine tasting) in Volnay,a small village in Burgundy, at Domaine Michel Lafarge, we headed to the lunch table of the Lafarge family where an in-depth conversation about the health benefits of red wine was held. At a large, round table, similar to that of the Knights of the Round Table, sat the wise, father-son duo of Michel and Fréderic Lafarge, three cardiologists, myself, and friends and family. For about two hours, we got to the bottom of the question: "To drink or not to drink?"
Just to give you an idea of what the French are eating during their long lunches, we had a green salad of mâche, huile de noisettes (walnut oil ), and balsamic vinegar, boeuf bourgignon (organic of course), and a fresh fruit salad of grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, pear, apple, and grapes. (Oops, we forgot to mention a bottle of Lafarge's Volnay Clos de Chenes, our absolute favorite wine in the world!) The Lafarges are some of the healthiest people we know, and their wines are a reflection, as they currently use a method to produce their wines called biodynamie. Biodynamie is an organic method that truly preserves the nature of the vineyard's soil or terroir and attempts to balance the elements of earth, water, air, and heat. The Weekly Beet is just fascinated by this approach because it truly is an art form! Plants that are fed chemical fertilizers lose their immunity to disease and ultimately become sick, resulting in a grape loss, which for a winemaker can be extremely detrimental. Therefore, winemakers use all organic fertilizers and insecticides to protect their vineyards from disease and extreme forces of Mother Nature. They even go as far to use special "teas" to help the plants, which we think are absolutely the coolest thing ever!! A few other winemakers such as Leflaive and Leroy have switched to using biodynamie. The Beet says "Bravo" to all of you!!!!
So, "To drink or not to drink?" seems to be the ultimate question. We have all heard of the French Paradox: the French have low levels of heart disease considering how much cheese, butter, and foie gras they eat. Is it thanks to the red wine they consume? Most, would say yes! The cardiologists with us were definitely in agreement. We concluded that a glass or two of GOOD quality red wine a day is the recommendation. There was some debate on how many glasses, but we compromised and recommend no more than two. :) The reason behind our recommendation?
- Wine contains high levels of anti-oxidants that
fight off cancers.
- Wine serves as an aid to digestion.
- Wine dilates the small blood vessels and helps to
prevent angina and clotting.
- Wine helps to balance the good type of
- Serves as a mild tension reliever. (Going
overboard reverses this and increases tenstion)
It's interesting to note Michel Lafarge told us that red wine is healthier than white wine in that during the process of making red wine more of the whole grape is kept, than in the process of white wine. The grape juice pressed in white wine, immediately leaves behind the skin, the stems, and the seeds. We say drink red over white!! Thank you Michel Lafarge for opening our eyes to such wisdom!!!
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Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned as we hit the streets of London next week.