It’s Not Just For Fun Anymore
Opening a great bottle of wine when friends come over is a given at our home. It’s always fun to share a good wine with friends and hear their comments about it. We usually begin a dinner party with appetizers in the wine cellar with a wine that we have chosen or one that was brought as a gift. It’s a good way to get conversation started as you talk about the region it came from, the body and aroma and of course how it pairs with the appetizers. We generally start with a good Prosecco and a red. The best is yet to come.
Our Italian heritage dictates the menu and the wine and our friends love Osso buco with polenta or veal cutlets with risotto. Bolognese or a meatball sauce is another favorite. Pairing wine with these meals is great fun and the discussion following the first bite and sip is enlightening and entertaining.
Our friends are older like us and the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption have been linked to increased longevity, lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease, decreased risk of pulmonary disease in men, decreased risk of dementia and other health advantages. This is an added bonus for those of us that live to eat and drink.
This is not just a theory, according to an article published in the journal The Gerontologist. Their study showed that moderate drinking correlated to socialization and that an increase in social activities is what produced the positive health outcomes.
To test their theory the scientist’s examined data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a comprehensive database that tracked the health and social tendencies, including drinking habits, of older American adults from 1992 to 2018. The database is a repository on health, retirement, and aging data of about 20,000 adults over 50 living in the United States.
They found that the moderate drinking group had a much higher socialization rate. “Moderate drinking was associated with more frequent contact with friends,” they noted.
The authors concluded that older adults who drink moderately tend to have a more active social life and theorize that socialization is the key factor in warding off depression in older adults.
As author Rosanna Scott explained, alcohol has long been referred to as a social lubricant. Given this, we recommend increased social interaction—with or without moderate drinking [emphasizing that people should consult their doctors before starting drinking]—for older adults, particularly those with concerns about their mood or functional abilities. A glass of wine or cocktail in the afternoon is a delightful thing for many of us, and moderate drinkers may derive even more benefit from that time by sharing it with others.”
So, as we have always known and practiced, wine is good for the body and mind, and we will continue to work on good health and longevity by opening a great bottle of wine with good friends and raising our glasses to Salute.