The Wine Diet
I made a mistake the other day. I suggested in a light-hearted way that maybe, just maybe, my husband might want to shed a couple of kilos. Nothing dramatic. With the nice weather coming, and all, it could be a good idea.
He put on his pained face. How could I be so thoughtless, the face implied. We were, after all in a restaurant with a good lunch ahead of us. Perhaps my timing could have been better.
In the face of garlic studded loin of pork with a good glass of Embidoure red, I abandoned my efforts to reshape my husband. Or perhaps I decided to pick my moment more carefully next time.
So the surprise was real when we returned home and my husband emerged from his den waving a paperback book at me. “There,” he said. “I actually am on a diet. There’s no point going on at me. It’s early days, but I think this could be the diet for me.”
I took the book – “A complete nutrition and lifestyle plan” it declared – with the seductive title of “The Wine Diet” by Professor Roger Corder – “Drink red wine every day. Eat fruit and berries, nuts and chocolate. Enjoy a longer, healthier life.”
I’m normally not a reader, having succumbed to Netflix long ago, but this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wine-Professor-Roger-Corder-MRPharmS/dp/0751542016 held my attention. According to the good professor, wines from the Gascony region are the healthiest in the world, containing up to four times the level of life enhancing ‘polyphenols’ than other wines.
Roger Corder and his team put this down to traditional winemaking techniques used in Gascony and the predominance of the grape variety tannat, which is not commonly used elsewhere in the world. Traditional techniques allow a longer fermentation period for the wine, which increases the ability to extract maximum benefit from the polyphenol rich tannat grape.
Not all producers in the region use these techniques, so Corder cautions against indiscriminate buying. But his pleasing prescription for a long life – “half a bottle of good Madiran a day” – luckily coincides with our own working practices.
Is the Professor right or wrong? I have no idea. Everyone needs a clever accountant, a good lawyer, and a forgiving priest. Maybe a generous nutritionist as well?