woman drinks roseRegular alcohol intake, of the moderate sort, improves the quality of life in middle-aged adults declares the latest research findings investigating the link between alcohol consumption and health.

Canadians aged over-50 were the subjects of this particular wine-is-good-for-you-study with many showing both ‘stable patterns of alcohol consumption’ and high scores on the Health Utilities Index: it seems if you want good memory, dexterity and mobility then drink a couple of glasses of wine every day.

wine glasses on tableBut you’ll be doing that already won’t you? Because you’ll just be following the advice of all those other wine research boffins who found if you want to lower your risk of a heart attack then drink red wine (and the more mouth-dryingly tannic the better were the findings).

And if you want something to eat then make sure it’s dark chocolate – this helps improve memory just like all that red wine, oh and tea too by the way.

The news gets even better if you’re a woman because those glasses of red will keep you slim as you get older (in that particular study 40% of the alcohol abstainers became over-weight or obese).
It seems the women in the study who scoffed wine had little room left for scoffing food, so their overall calorie intake did not go up very much.

Unfortunately the scientists believe the findings may not apply to men. When men drink they tend not to substitute wine for food but consume both.

PG Wine Reviews

Tesco Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon

£3.99 Tesco

A light and fruity red that tastes of plum and cocoa. Inoffensive.

El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion Spanish Rioja 2011

£4.99 Tesco (down from £9.99 until February 2)

A nice wine that’s worth the offer price, but no more. This doesn’t mean its milky coffee and bramble flavours don’t slip down easily.

Aldi Exquisite Collection Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc

£4.99 Aldi

A refreshing wine that tastes of fresh lemon and toasted apple. Very nice indeed.

McGuigan Australian Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

£5.49 Co-op (down from £7.99 until February 4), £6.49 Tesco (down from £7.99 until February 4)

A host of light fruit flavours in this wine: raspberry, strawberry, damson, blackcurrant and creamy cocoa.

Les Tours de Bordeaux 2012

£6 Spar (down from £10.49 until February 5)

A reasonably posh wine at a reasonable price. Expect redcurrant, cocoa and mushroom ketchup flavours.

Tweet me a wine question @huxelrebe

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk

wine glassesIf these weekly columns have inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then you'll need to get some kit together. Buy yourself some large wine glasses (cheap supermarket ones will do) for capturing any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting. And to help you keep track of all the wines you taste why not use my free wine tasting sheet.

tape measureInevitably some of us will have put on weight over Christmas and, if like me, you not only cooked the food but ate it too then the waist-band button is probably straining a bit. One way of dealing with this post-Christmas excess is to reduce the daily intake of wine calories.

brussel sproutsTop Ten Must Have Wines For Christmas Day this week. Because, if you’re like me, then you’ve been concentrating on the nosh side of Christmas rather than what wine to match with the roast turkey, the cold turkey, the turkey curry, the mince pies, the puddings, the nuts...yes well. So here are ten wines ranging from £4.49 for a stonking value Greek red to a posh sherry tasting pack at £30.25. And what these wines have in common is that they’re all well worth the money.