How Much Wine Can We Drink If It's So Healthy?
Pierre and I often have this discussion - usually over a bottle (or two of wine). Every day we read in the paper the next new great benefit that comes from red wine drinking and we joke about how much more we could possibly squeeze in. So today, I found this story and decided this writer is on the right track!
My Red Wine Experiment by Bill Shein
HAVE YOU HEARD about the many health benefits of red wine? If not, you are living under a rock — which, you should know, does not have any health benefits at all. Red wine, however, can lower blood pressure, fight cancer, protect your heart, and bring stress-reducing joy to a meal of pasta or prime rib.
A recent study also found that high doses of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, produced a tremendous increase in the strength and endurance of laboratory mice. The mice also began speaking with exaggerated French accents — but their new accents were somewhat less noteworthy than the fact that they were speaking at all.
In the study, the muscle-bound mice received a daily dose of resveratrol equivalent to drinking hundreds of glasses of red wine. But the researchers were quick to point out that "no one can drink enough red wine to obtain such doses."
Is that so? In the name of science, I decided to put their claim to the test. What follows are actual entries from my research log.
Glass 1 — I begin my experiment at a local diner, drinking Merlot with breakfast. Several people — clearly not scientists — look at me, horrified. I adjust my white lab coat and raise my glass in their direction. They look away.
Glass 6 — Finishing off the first bottle, I am strong enough to lift my plate in the air and yell, "Keep them home fries coming, Chefie!"
Glass 12 — At 9 a. m., I'm at my desk. I open a bottle of Shiraz. I start Microsoft Word and begin writing. Unaware of my increasing strength, I type too hard and break several keys.
Glass 27 - Maybe it's just me, but everything I write is utterly hilarious. For example: "I like blue. I really do. Blue is my favorite hue!" I giggle constantly while refilling my glass again and again — in the name of science.
Glass 50 — My formerly flabby arms are now inexplicably toned. I feel as if I can lift my refrigerator over my head, which I do. Many things spill. I go outside for a walk.
Glass 78 - Catching my reflection in a store window, I see that my "one-pack abs" have been transformed, without exercise, into impressive six-pack abs. When did I become shirtless? No idea.
Glass 134 — I fall madly in love with the Wicked Witch of the West, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.
Glass 265 — While doing shoulder presses with a parked car, I notice that I now have 12-pack abs. Still no sign of my shirt (or lab coat).
Glass 400 — After lunch, I see the mayor on Main Street. I tackle him, pull up his shirt, and deliver a loud raspberry to his naked belly. He is not amused. I cackle uncontrollably for hours.
Glass 582 — To the best of my knowledge, I am now invisible.
Glass 583 — Still invisible.
Glass 584 — Yep, I am definitely invisible.
Glass 585 — According to the police officer cuffing me in an (occupied) dressing room at Victoria's Secret, I am no longer invisible. I post bail, even though no jail cell could possibly hold me. I am Schwarzneggian.
Glass 638 — Incredibly, my 12-pack abs are now 14-pack abs: Twelve abdominal muscles in front, and, somehow, two extra abdominal muscles on my back. Weird.
Glass 744 — A large crowd gathers at the wine store to view my transformation. I stand on a bench and share a line from Plato: "Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man!" People go wild, passing me around above their heads. Then I read aloud from "The Republic" while doing bicep curls with two small children. The crowd roars.
Glass 857 — As the sun sets, I drink a final glass of wine, make a few more notes, and then fall asleep. I do not wake for a long, long time. When I do, I discover that everything after Glass 12 may have, just possibly, been a dream. But in my pocket I find a summons to appear in court. Something about trespassing at Victoria's Secret. Weird.
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Bill Shein is a trained research scientist. Do not try this experiment at home.
(This column first appeared in the Berkshire Eagle newspaper on Friday, April 27, 2007.
The Sacramento Executive