Wine can often be said to be much more than an alcoholic beverage. A myth or a legend, it is also attributed with healing properties, and in the ancient world it was considered an aphrodisiac. Both the soul and the body have been treated with wine since the time of Hippocrates, but doctors still warn that only healthy people can drink wine. Definitely, the modern attitude of the US Department of Health is that the healing properties of wine can be useful only for preventive purposes, only if consumed in moderation and if the wine is of good quality.
The philosopher Plutarch, who lived from 45 to 125 BC would say, “Wine is the most useful of all beverages, the most delicious of all medicines, and the healthiest of all foods.” But the definition and composition of wine is a bit more complicated. Wine simplified like this consists of 860 grams of water, a little unfermented sugar, 60 to 100 grams of ethyl alcohol, a little glycerine, acids, tannins in red wine, vitamins, polyphenols and flavonoids, several minerals can be found, but also methyl alcohol. Due to these properties, wine quickly enters the bloodstream and acts throughout the body. If consumption is moderate, we will have positive effects, especially on the digestive organs, because it accelerates the secretion of enzymes and enhances digestion. It dilates blood vessels and improves blood circulation, and thus breathing; it affects the skin because it improves peripheral circulation, it also affects the kidneys and liver because better circulation expels harmful substances from the body faster, stimulates the glands and improves the oxygen supply to the brain.
These positive phenomena easily become harmful if the dose is increased. In those who drink too much wine, alcohol destroys brain cells, so they risk getting liver cirrhosis, but also high blood pressure and heart attack, causing an increase in blood sugar levels, and if they practice combining the wine with strong alcohol they will surely enter into a disease of alcohol addiction with all its social, personal and somatic consequences.
Compared to other fruits, grapes and thus wine are several times richer in polyphenols as well as flavonoids, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins whose antioxidant activity has been confirmed in many medical studies. The most significant of them are the following: resveratrol (reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease), quartzetin (has an anticancer effect), epicatechin (captures free radicals), and catechin (prevents blood clots), and some, like rutin, strengthen the walls of blood vessels. Their positive effect is emphasized only in a mild solution of alcohol and moderate consumption. These biological values of wine cannot be obtained only by consuming sweet-wort or concentrated grape juice in the people known as “madzun” (grape malt), although it is also quite useful for the body as a food product.
Wine, especially the young wine, also contains micro and macro elements such as essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, B12 that are important for human metabolism, folic acid (which participates in the formation of blood cells), and vitamin C. Minerals are present in potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, iodine, phosphorus and chlorine.
According to all bio-technological studies, white wines contain twenty times less polyphenols than red wines. According to a study, Macedonian and Dalmatian wines have exceptional antioxidant potential, sometimes twice as rich as other world wine brands. Organic production also guarantees health and ecological access to wine, a trend of the 21st century when, in contrast to globalization, one returns to their archaic and traditional roots.
For the purpose of preventive-health effect, the recommended amount of alcohol in wines is about 10 to 11%, and the World Health Organization recommends that the daily dose for consumption to be two 0.2-litre glasses for men or one for women. Especially if consumed at night, with food, it enriches the taste and mood.
Some global companies, guided by global organic nutrition trends, have developed preparations from red wine extract. For this purpose, medicinal and preventive preparations are made for those consumers who are not allowed to drink alcohol. That group includes: children, pregnant women, people with liver dysfunction or gastric ulcer, asthmatics or a population with progressive diseases. Abstinence especially refers to people diagnosed with alcohol addiction. Finally, a glass of wine is a cure, two are health, and three are a disease.