Wine and dine – the other side of the coin!

For a long time the common assumption has been that wine is harmful and addictive. Nevertheless, could there be some good aspects to embrace? 

For a long time the common assumption has been that wine is harmful and addictive. Nevertheless, could there be some good aspects to embrace? 

Wine is an alcoholic beverage, typically made of fermented grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients. Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast.

Yeast consumes the sugars found in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the type of wine being produced.

Although other fruits such as apples and berries can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine or elderberry wine) and are generically known as fruit wine or country wine (not to be confused with the French term ‘vin de pays’).

Others, such as barley wine and rice wine are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer and spirit more than wine, while ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term “wine” is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than production process.

The commercial use of the English word “wine” (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions.

Due to its mode of production and content many have said to have the potential of positive effects, Ms. Alice Nturo a Nutritionist at Kimirongo states that “I personally don’t take wine, but according to my wisdom and formal knowledge, wine is good and especially ‘Red wine’, it has contents in it that can help reduce the coronary diseases of the heart, however everything should be done in moderation”.

Being a Food and nutrition expert, Alice gives us fast hand information from her area of specialization about wine that is very positive.

Mr. Dedi Maganga a consultant also asserts that “wine has good antioxidants that in treating heart diseases and also contains some vitamins that are very crucial in the good functioning of our bodies, however this does not imply that its good, because not everything with vitamins is edible, some are harmful” in his view, wine could be good but not very good, however, it has some positive aspects.

 Wine has a rich history dating back to around 6000 BC and is thought to have originated in areas now within the borders of Georgia and Iran. Wine first appeared in Europe at about 4500 BC in the Balkans, and was very common in ancient Greece, Thrace and Rome. Wine has also played an important role in religion throughout history.

The Greek god Dionysus and the Roman equivalent Bacchus represented wine, and the drink is also used in Catholic Eucharist ceremonies and the Jewish Kiddush.

Malcolm Alex, a student at KIE, says “I don’t drink alcohol but wine is very good and appetizing”. Like many other people Alex contends that wine is good and a very special drink as well. Wine is a popular and prestigious beverage that accompanies and enhances a wide range of European and Mediterranean-style cuisines, from the simple and traditional to the most sophisticated and complex.

Wine is important in cuisine not just for its value as a beverage, but as a flavor agent, primarily in stocks and braising, since its acidity lends balance to rich savory or sweet dishes.

Red, white, and sparkling wines are the most popular, and are known as light wines because they are only 10–14% alcohol-content by volume. Aperitif and dessert wines contain 14–20% alcohol, and are sometimes fortified to make them richer and sweeter

The Bible also denotes some good aspects of wine, for instance Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana, portrays wine as the best beverage that helps people celebrate well (Luke 2: 1-11. In Joel 2:9, wine is brought out as a blessing from God to humanity, in Psalms 104: 15, wine can give enjoyment, 2 Samwel 16:2, wine can help to refresh someone and 1 Timothy 5:23, wine can help in replenishing one’s health.

‘To some extent though not fully approved, health wise we have something in wine that we can boast of; let’s always have an optimistic eye and think of a glass being half full and not half empty.’