Frenchitude Lesson #13: Enjoy Red Wine

My Dad, an avid adept to this aspect of Frenchitude, recently sent me a link that tells how, as well as combating cancer and heart disease, drinking red wine may also have another health benefit, preventing Alzheimer’s.

In Burgundy it goes without saying that red wine, even more so than bread or water, is viewed as the staff of life. It is seen as an indispensable way of nourishing the body, and even more importantly, the soul.

Burgundian winemakers take pride in austere, chemical-free wines that don’t benefit from any special assistance such as irrigation or fake oak flavouring. Made as purely as possible, wines become the link between man and the Earth. One cannot exist without the other, and together through an act of almost mystical alchemy they produce the sublime nectar in your glass.

The French have long known that drinking good red wine (emphasis on good) is a highly agreeable way of putting important compounds and minerals from the earth back into your body. It is also, and no less importantly, a way to commune with Mother Earth. The result is not only a bit of protection from the nasty tricks our bodies can play on us, but even more importantly a lovely sensation of being at one with the world.

The key to enjoying red wine the French way is twofold.

First, of course, is moderation. The French aren’t susceptible to the AngloSaxon tendency towards the “if one glass is good for me, a bottle must be even better” mentality. The French have long grasped that too much of anything detracts from pleasure, and pleasure, not health, is always the primary goal.

Second, the wine has to be good. This does not mean that the wine has to be expensive. Our winemaker friend Claire Naudin in MagnylesVillers is producing a new table wine that is not only inexpensive but as pure and gorgeous as all of her other wines.

I for one have tasted many a hideously expensive bad wine. When looking for wine to drink, don’t look for the most expensive bottle on the shelf. Search for a parsimonious use of sulfates and other chemicals, as well as a winemaker who has expressed a commitment to pure, honest winemaking.
Only eat and drink things that give you pleasure, especially red wine. That is the Frenchitude way.

**Frenchitude Fridays (French + Attitude = Frenchitude) give ideas for injecting a bit of frenchness into your life, whether you live in Washington or Wisconsin.