oldwomanfaceWine, dark chocolate and tea improve thinking and memory skills in men and women aged over 70. A study conducted by researchers from the universities of Oxford and Oslo found that a combination of wine, dark chocolate, and tea, consumed in moderate amounts, enhanced cognitive performance in the elderly. All three food stuffs contain relatively high levels of flavonoids.

Flavonoids are found in many food and drinks but there are particularly high levels in grapes; apples; green and black tea, cocoa and soy beans.

tea word in tea leavesClassed as antioxidants, flavonoids have many health benefits including reducing blood cholesterol levels and easing menopausal symptoms. They can also enhance the memory’s ability to remember and think clearly.

The researchers analysed data from over 2,000 Norwegian men and women aged between 70 and 74 and found that those who consumed wine, chocolate or tea did significantly better in memory tests.

To see an effect you’ll need a daily intake of at least two squares of chocolate, two cups of tea and half a glass of wine (preferably red). What should be done with the rest of the half-consumed chocolate bar, pot of tea and bottle of wine the researchers didn’t say.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Sainsbury’s Vins de Pays Merlot, £3.99 Sainsbury’s

Soft blackberry and creamy cherry flavours. Pizza wine.

Masterpeace Gold Reserve Australian Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, £3.99 Morrisons (down from £7.99 until October 3rd)

Grapefruit zing with a background of gooseberry flavours. Match with fish in parsley sauce.

Valbello Italian Pinot Grigio, £3.99 Morrisons (down from £7.99 until October 3rd)

Easy-drinking value at half-price offer but not at full price. Don’t pay more than four quid for refreshing light lemon and apple flavours.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Ogio Italian Primitivo, £4.49 Tesco (down from £8.98 until October 5th)

Deep and fruity. Cherry, dark chocolate, blackpepper and clove flavours. Lots of flavours and enjoyment. Bargain of the Week.

Tesco Finest Sicilian Nero D’Avola, £5.09 Tesco (down from £6.79 until October 5th)

Another rich and complex red from Tesco. Black cherry pie filling with extra blackberry and dark chocolate.

Costs a bit more, but tastes great

Sometimes a bottle of wine tastes so fab it's still a bargain whatever it costs.

Crasto Portuguese Douro red, £9.99 Majestic (buy 2+ bottles for £7.99 each)

Blackberry and redcurrant with hints of tobacco and liquorice. Ideal for Bolognese.

This article has appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on Mature Times