Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A MEDICINAL WINE?
You've heard of the expression "I'll have a medicinal whisky". I bet you've never heard "I'll have a medicinal wine".
When we have colds, sore throats etc we often resort to hot toddy's with whisky, rum or brandy in them but rarely have wine. Why is that? Is it the fact that we think spirits are better as they are stronger? Or is it because we cannot taste wine very well when we are under the weather. The fact is though that there are many more instances of medicinal wines than spirits (and yes I know about the origins of famous liqueurs like Chartreuse, D.O.M. Benedictine etc)
Wines have been used for health reasons since ancient times.
Some of these uses involved drinking large amounts to ease pain although it was often temporary and usually involved waking up to find someone had sawn an arm or leg off. A positive side effect of being drunk during amputations was that blood pressure was lowered which helped in the process.
The Ancient Greeks used wine to carry medicinal herbs and spices as curatives and restoratives. Bitterness in more modern medicines was disguised by wine.
In the early days of the Australian and New Zealand wine industry wines were promoted as containing health promoting additives and named Tonic wines. It was no coincidence that wine pioneers were also doctors e.g. Doctor Penfold. Wine was used as an antiseptic and it was common practice to wash wounds in wine before putting bandages on.
Nowadays there are many endorsements for wine as it is recognised as being beneficial to health as an anti-oxidant, a digestive aid and even prescribed as a sexual stimulant!
Recent research says moderate consumption of wine - around half a bottle a day - leads to a longer, healthier life than that enjoyed both by non-drinkers and by over-indulgers.
So, where is this leading to? I have a cold (a man's cold which is always the worst kind)and a sore throat. I am having a medicinal glass of wine (Taylors 2007 Merlot which is rich and juicy but has a softness that soothes my raw throat - yum).