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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Before You Go... RED RULES

What’s that? Wine is not only delicious, but it can also be good for you?

If you are a wine lover, you probably don’t need an excuse to open a bottle, but let’s face it, knowing the contents just may be good for your health (when consumed in moderation), has to be a bonus. Who does not want to be more creative, have a healthier heart or even lose a bit of weight?

Here are just a few health advantages associated with wine consumption that’s going to make that next glass even more pleasurable:

  • Wine Burns Fat

Fantastic news for those of us who like second and even third helpings. Researchers have found that ellagic acid, which is found in grapes, dramatically slows the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones, boosting the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells.

  • Wine Makes You Smarter

Exactly what we've been thinking all along! Make sure you take that bottle of wine to the next brainstorming session. Recent studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago, show that a few glasses of wine relaxes our brain and allows us to think more clearly, and even assist in creative problem-solving.

  • Wine Helps with Diabetes

Is it the wine, the water or the food? In a study of over 200 type 2 diabetes patients who regularly consume a Mediterranean diet, the patients who also drank a 150ml glass of red wine with dinner had higher HDL Cholesterol levels, than those who did not (instead they drank mineral water). Since HDL cholesterol is the well-behaved "good cholesterol," this friendly scavenger cruises the bloodstream removing harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn't belong. High HDL levels, therefore, reduce the risk for heart disease whereas low levels increase the risk. Good news right?


Simply uncorking a bottle of wine and allowing it to sit for a while to aerate is futile, as there is not enough surface area at the top of the bottle to permit adequate amounts of air to make contact with the wine. If you want to aerate your wine, pour the wine into a decanter or any glass container large enough to hold the contents of the entire bottle. The increased surface area is the key to allowing more air to make contact with your wine. Alternatively, pour some of the wine into large wine glasses at least ten minutes before you plan to drink it. Once decanted, give it a vigorous swirl or two to ensure all the aromas open up.

The term “breathing” refers to the process of aerating the wine – exposing it to the air by decanting it. The aeration process stimulates the wine to soften any tannins and release the wine’s bouquet and flavour, making the wine taste less astringent and more complex than it would have tasted right out of the bottle.

Which Wines Need to Breathe?

Typically red wines benefit most from breathing before serving. However, there are select whites and some dessert wines that will also improve with as little as 15-20 minutes of aeration time.

As a general rule, most tannic, young red wines soften up with one hour of aeration. That is not to say you cannot drink it as soon as it is opened, but for best results aeration is recommended. Mature wines (8+ years) are another story altogether as they gain most from aeration.

The older and more delicate the wine is, the faster it will deteriorate after being exposed to air. This is because if it has been under cork, it may have been breathing – albeit slowly, for years.

Aeration isn’t the only reason to decant red wines as many develop sediment after about eight years of age. It is recommended to remove the sediment before drinking because it can taste very bitter and doesn’t look very appetising.

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