Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discovered this book while travelling in France, September 11, 2011
This review is from: The Red Wine Diet (Paperback)
I learned about The Red Wine Diet in one of those magical coincidences that make life more interesting. We'd decided to go to Pau France but could not find accommodation we liked and instead decided upon Madiran, France which was 45 minutes away. As it turned out, the Gite (Le Prielle) was run by an English couple, both of whom are very knowledgeable on the region's wines. Our first day there, Simon took us on a tour of some of his favorite wineries in the region and mentioned Corder's book. Although somewhat pricey, the wines were very good. According to Simon, the vines were brought to Madiran by monks in the 11th Century and winemakers still use many of the traditional methods to make wine which includes mashing the grapes with seeds in and leaving the seeds in the mash for a period. The only other region in which wine is made this way according to him was Sardinia but I have not investigated this.

As I understand it, proanthocyanidins leeches out of the seeds into the juice. But even wines that are not made this way can contain proanthocyanidins if they are made traditionally, without fining (with compounds like eggyolks) and are not heavily filtered. A good indication of this is the sediment found in the bottom of the bottle.

A powerful antioxidant, proanthocyanidin enhances the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels which explains why the French have low levels of heart disease even though the diet is rich in fat (lots of duck and fois gras etc.) I was aware of these benefits of antioxidants after reading a University of Guelph study that showed reduced levels of cholesterol in subjects who participated.

I believe this book is an essential reference for anyone serious about wine (and health). I also learned something new reading other reviews of this book. D. Hall referred to muscadine wines grown in southeastern US that also contain high levels of resveratrol. A medical paper is available on the topic at [...] or visiting "[...]' " and clicking the "MD News article on Muscadines and health" link.
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