is in sharp contrast to another book published 5 years
ago. `The Drinking Man's Diet: How to Lose Weight With
a Minimum of Willpower'' contended that a good weight-loss
program should include a regular two-martini lunch with
steak and Béarnaise sauce. The book sold 2.4
million copies in 13 languages.
The Red Wine Diet is an extension of a 2006 article
in Nature magazine by the 51 year old English scientist,
a cardiovascular expert and professor of therapeutics
at London's William Harvey Research Institute. He had
identified procyanidin, a ``vasoactive polyphenol,''
as the chemical in wine grapes that helps reduce the
risk of coronary heart disease and overall mortality.
In that article and his new book, he dismisses earlier
studies that suggested a different polyphenol, resveratrol,
is responsible for the so-called French Paradox, by
which the French can consume large amounts of fat and
wine yet have lower rates of heart disease and live
longer than Americans.
Corder insists there is so little resveratrol in wine
that you would have to drink hundreds of liters per
day to get any benefit, while half-bottle (375 mL) a
day gives you all the procyanidins you need for the
same effect. That's about three glasses, though two
will do the trick for women.
Many of his findings come from a research trip to
Sardinia in 2002 to find out why the natives of that
Mediterranean island had the highest proportion of centenarians
in Europe. He found they drank big, highly tannic wines,
whose Tannat grape was shown to have the highest concentration
of procyanidin of any wine in the world.
He also reports on two small northern Italian villages,
Crevalcore and Montegiorgio, where 97 percent of the
men drink wine only, mostly red.
Corder notes that tannins derived from aging in oak
barrels do nothing to improve health, and he contends
that as wines age procyanidins decrease in the bottle,
but not significantly until 10 years or older.
Despite the arcane chemistry of the subject, Corder
manages to make sense of why we should all be drinking
wine on a daily basis -- not binging -- while never
cutting out good foods. Indeed, without a healthy diet,
no amount of procyanidin will improve your medical prospects.
He also discusses which wines, like Tannat, are the
most beneficial and even recommends specific bottlings
including Malbec Riserva from Argentina and French wines
made with Tannat grapes in Madiran. He also suggests
wines from California and Washington State.
Corder's book is a much-needed and comprehensive update
of the research on a subject not treated in depth since
``To Your Health: Two Physicians Explore the Health
Benefits of Wine'' by David M. Whitten and Martin R.
Lipp, 13 years ago, says the reviewer.
For a confirmed wine drinker, ``The Red Wine Diet''
is an easy book to love.. If Corder had his way, he
would print wine's health benefits right on the label.
``I see no reason why in the future it should not be
a legal requirement to include a statement of procyanidin
content,'' he writes. ``I predict that sooner or later
we will be told exactly which healthful benefits we
can expect from a glass of wine.''
Delwine had already previewed the book on
August 21 where we had suggested that the Tannat from
Uruguay would also be a healthy wine to drink since
they are still into traditonal methods without too much
oak. Argentina, Peru and the US are other countries
which are making wines with Tannat.
For our earlier report titled- Study identifies red
wine grapes, please visit