New year, renewed love for wine! There has never been a better time than now to explore and enjoy red wine. As weather patterns change, more wines are being produced in many countries across the globe. These wines are of higher quality and greater variety than ever before and come at affordable prices.
According to the Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) (English: International Office of Vine and Wine) statistics, world production of wine was 259 million hectolitres in 2016 and world consumption was at 240 million hectolitres (Mhl). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate that about 71% of the world grape production is used for wine production, 27 % as fresh fruit and 2 % as dried fruit.
The biggest wine producers in the world according to OIV statistics are:
- Italy, 48.8 Mhl
- France, 41.9 Mhl
- Spain, 37.8 Mhl
- USA, 22.5 Mhl
- Australia, 12.5 Mhl
- China, 11.5 Mhl
- Chile, 10.1 Mhl
- South Africa, 9.1 Mhl
- Argentina, 8.8 Mhl (a decrease of around 30% compared with 2015 due to the weather conditions)
Given the variety on the market, we have never had it so good. But if you do not know your Cabernet Franc from your Cabernet Sauvignon, your Gamay from your Grenach, your Malbec from your Merlot, your Pinot Noir from your Pinotage, do not despair. The huge choice of red wine bottles on supermarket shelves and liquor stores can be daunting, but with time and patience, you will soon be able to select a wine suit your palate and your budget. Attending wine tasting events and functions is a great way to learn about the different tastes available.
Why you should be drinking more red wine
When red wine is consumed in moderation, scientists say you benefit from the rich nutrients and chemical compounds it possesses, the most important of which is resveratrol. In addition, there are many health benefits including, but not restricted to, the following:
1. Protection against memory loss – In a December 2015 article entitled, “10 Reasons You Should Have a Glass of Wine with EVERY Dinner” by Linda Rogers, she reveals that “Researchers from Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago found that moderate wine drinking lowered a person’s risk of dementia by 23 percent. Scientists speculate that wine improves blood flow to the brain, which keeps it healthy and sharp.”
2. Longevity – You will definitely live longer. Scientists at Harvard found that resveratrol may be able to revive the cells that protect us from diseases, which tend to wind down as we get older.
3. Protection against certain cancers – British scientists discovered that the resveratrol in red wine could cut the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50% and researchers from the University of Seattle found that “men who drink four to seven glasses of wine a week can cut their risk of prostate cancer by half,” as well.
4. Reduces the risk of blindness – Carolyn Tate in a January 2017 article entitled, “13 reasons you need to drink more wine,” presented that according to Washington University School of Medicine, “Overgrown blood vessels in the eye can cause diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, but the good news is that red wine can stop that blood vessel growth in its tracks.”
5. Protection against coronary heart disease – According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of December 2008, “Red wine is better than all other alcoholic drinks in raising your omega-3 levels in plasma and red blood cells and higher levels of omega-3s in your blood can protect you against coronary heart disease.”