WORLD OF WINE: Can drinking wine help you live longer?

Because I’m on the threshold of being at the beginning of a “ripe old age” and wanting more years, I’m attracted to anything credible that would help me accumulate those extra years.

According to an insurance calculator, I have a 75 percent chance of making age 90, with a pretty good potential of making it to 95, which is well past the prediction of 56 years when I was born.

Getting to this new threshold in life has taken a mix of living activities: moderate exercise, drinking 5 to 7 glasses of wine per week, never smoking, being happily married for more than 41 years and being slightly overweight.

Also helping is the fact that I’ve been retired for 6 years and am financially stable supposedly, to age 100. If I live that long, I probably won’t care a hoot about my finances, let alone being able to spell the word. A few cups of morning coffee are supposed to aid in getting me to that goal.

Because the subject of this column is wine selection, appreciation and consumption, I’ll concentrate on how this can enhance one’s longevity and life’s little pleasures as well.

Sean Connery’s James Bond character used wine as the universal social lubricant when wooing his lady friends. Mr. Bond had a strong liking for claret wines, which proved to be the undoing of two bad characters in the movie “Diamonds are Forever,” when he was served Mouton Rothschild with dinner. Upon tasting this elegant wine he remarked, “The wine is quite excellent. Although for such a grand meal I would have expected a claret.” To which one of the ignorant characters said, “But, of course. Unfortunately, our cellar is poorly stocked with clarets.” Mr. Bond then informed the hapless, pathetic character that Mouton Rothschild is claret.

Not commonly used in America but common in England, referring to a red wine as claret is any red one from the Bordeaux region of France. If, in fact, the wine being consumed at that setting was truly the French Mouton Rothschild, it would have been a wine to easily match any elegant meal.

Why is wine and sex appeal such a big thing in movies and society at large? Is there any substance to the claims? According to an Italian research group, 800 women were who drank red wine, other alcohol, or no alcohol were queried. Red wine drinkers scored 2 points higher on increased sexual appetite than other alcohol drinkers, and 4 points higher than teetotalers. Although not enough evidence to support wine and sex drive, it did inspire more research.

Moderation will stimulate your libido thanks to the hypothalamus part of the brain that regulates basic human functions, including sex drive. Moderate physical activity, whether or not it is active sex, would be a contributor to our longevity.

Ron Smith, a retired NDSU Extension

horticulturist, writes weekly about his love of wine and its history. Readers can reach him at tuftruck1@gmail.com.


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