Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Red, Red Wine (Neil Diamond)

Having been raised in an Italian family (both my mother's parents hail from "the old country"), I've always appreciated a good wine - I say proudly that I never partook of Boone's Farm in my formative high school or college years, although my choice of Cella Lambrusco probably wasn't much better (although I recall being devastated when they segued from cork to screwtop!).

I did go through a white zin phase in my suburban housewife mentality, but soon wizened up to my current pick of Pinot Grigio or, on the rare occasion when I'm in the mood for red, a Shiraz or Pinot Noir - these days, I drink rarely but appreciatively (interpreting "drunk" in the poem below as a metaphor for joyful.. :-)

Now if this (article below) isn't just some of the best news I've read in a while - salud!

P.S. I first heard today's song about ten years ago as a radio hit from UB40 - found out later it was actually written by Neil Diamond (big surprise, as the only other song I've liked of his is Solitary Man).

Female Wine-Drinkers Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer's

Say cheers: New research shows that women who drink wine on a regular basis are significantly less likely than others to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

The study tracked a group of 1,500 women in Gothenberg, Sweden, for a period of 34 years, measuring their drinking habits over that period of time in relation to their health. According to the results, which were reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who regularly drank wine along with other forms of alcohol were 40 percent less likely to develop dementia than non-wine drinkers.

For women who skipped the beer and hard liquor, sticking exclusively with wine, the results were even more promising: Their risk of developing dementia in later life dropped by 70 percent.

Researchers believe that wine's affect on mental well-being may be associated with the drink's antioxidant properties, which could have a positive impact on blood vessels, though"the people who drink wine might have other characteristics that we simply can't measure," epidemiology professor Lauren Lissner told The Vancouver Sun. "But the fact that it gets even stronger in the wine group could also be viewed as evidence that there is something in the wine."

Don't use the results as an excuse to guzzle down a bottle of Cab Sav every night, though – as with most pleasures, moderation is key. One glass of wine every week was enough to show a positive impact; another study found that drinking a glass or more every night could raise the risk of breast cancer.

Lissner warns that "we're not saying that our results are anything to base recommendations on or that women should change their wine consumption patterns," but from what we can tell, a weekly glass of wine could be the key to keeping women's minds sharp for many years to come.

From other sources, I'm learning about biodynamic/organic wines... and wine cork recycling - taking advantage of my increased memory cells... :-)

SONG: Red, Red Wine by Neil Diamond

BOOK: 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World by Gary Vaynerchuk

POEM: Be Drunk by Charles Baudelaire (translated by Louis Simpson)

You have to be always drunk.
That's all there is to it—
it's the only way.
So as not to feel
the horrible burden of time
that breaks your back
and bends you to the earth,
you have to be continually drunk.

But on what?
Wine, poetry or virtue,
as you wish.
But be drunk.

And if sometimes,
on the steps of a palace
or the green grass of a ditch,
in the mournful solitude of your room,
you wake again,
drunkenness already diminishing or gone,

ask the wind, the wave, the star,
the bird, the clock,
everything that is flying,
everything that is groaning,
everything that is rolling,
everything that is singing,
everything that is speaking. . .

ask what time it is
and wind, wave, star, bird, clock
will answer you:
"It is time to be drunk!
So as not to be the martyred slaves of time,
be drunk, be continually drunk!
On wine, on poetry or on virtue
as you wish."

QUOTE(S): "Wine is bottled poetry." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"Wine is sunlight, held together by water." ~ Galileo

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