Friday, July 19, 2013

"Blue Wines" What does it mean?

Wednesday night in our very popular "Summer Speaker Series" which is an offshoot of Harry's Wine School, we did a class called The “Blue” Wines of Sardinia with guest speaker Alfonso Gagliano. The Class was inspired by something that happened in our store a few months ago where the normally slow moving Sardinian wines, Cannonau specifically, began to sell at such a pace that our wholesaler ran out of supply. It's catalyst? Dr. Oz!

Dr. Oz had done a segment on "Blue Zones", five areas in the world where the inhabitants are living longer on average than anywhere else and science has shown that one of the contributing factors in the case of Sardinia is the wine they drink made from the Cannonau (Grenache) and other native grapes. If Dr. Oz says it, it is good enough for me... and everyone else apparently. Some of what he said on the show was that due to the high UV index on the island the grapes were evolving to deal with the sun by developing thicker skins and in turn the antioxident, artery scrubbing polyphenols were higher in the varietals found there.

Studies show that regular, moderate consumption of red wine and this one in particular add years to your life. The medical world is of course looking for ways to extract these natural antioxidents from sources like these grapes and turn them in to a pill which can be taken to do the same thing. Alfonso made this point just before he made a much more important point... Quality of life is a more important contributor than the wine they drink. In all of the Blue Zones (map below) the lifestyle is less stressful than in other areas of the world. The consumption of the "Fruits of the sea" is higher and their overall diets were better than places that the life expectancy was lower. Good point!

In the end a few things were taken away from the evening. First, Alfonso was a terrific personality that represented his portfolio and Sardinia very well. Second, The wines of Sardinia are worth a visit because everything showed well. Third, A healthy, lower stress life if worth striving for and each of us here in the Northeast can benefit from that piece of advice. Finally, my personal take away was that while living to a hundred and ten to a hundred and thirty might sound good on paper but I'm still under fifty and my eyes aren't as good as they once were, my knees bother me pretty regularly and my physical health will never be what it was when I was 20 no matter how much I exercise. The hands of time keep turning for us and we should do everything we can to enjoy our families, friends and our lives as long as we are on this big marble in space but it sounds to me like living to that kind of age is better in theory than it is in reality. :)



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