There are also a variety of bacteria that live in wine, and some of them might have probiotic qualities.
When we go out to a nice dinner, we're definitely liable to indulge in some celebratory wine, and leave the regret for the morning. But is that really so unhealthy? We just read an article on potential probiotic properties of wine that gave us a glimmer of hope. Wine really is another tasty fermented product, like kombucha, kimchi, miso, and all those other good fermented foods that keep you healthy.
Ferment Your Fruit for a Good Time
We've all seen the cartoons of people making wine by crushing grapes with their feet. Don't worry -- winemakers have cleaned up the process a bit by now :P
Crushed grapes are fermented with our familiar friends, yeast. Some winemakers rely on the wild yeast to make their wines, but most add yeast to their brews to ensure the ferment goes well. The yeast will eat up the sugars in the must and turn them into alcohol, CO2, and some aromatic and flavorful compounds. Different yeasts can survive at different levels of alcohol content, so the little guys will keep eating contentedly until the sugar is used up or the alcohol content gets high. For sweeter wines, winemakers will stop the fermentation process early to keep some sugar content.
A recent study has found that yeast aren't the only tiny inhabitants of wine, though. There are also a variety of bacteria that live in wine, and some of them might have probiotic qualities. One of the bacteria found in the tested wine, P. pentosaceus CIAL-86, was particularly exciting -- it can survive in stomach acids and clings to intestinal tissue. This means that it can actually have an impact on the digestive system and successfully become part of the gut microbiome. Research is ongoing -- just to be safe, we propose yogurt for breakfast and wine with dinner. Doubling up on probiotic products can't hurt our gut, and will definitely help our tastebuds :P
Is wine good for you?
There has been lots of discussion to date around the potential health benefits of wine. For a while, there was some serious buzz around the Resveratrol found in wine. Turns out, there isn't quite as much Resveratrol in a glass as expected. There are still lots of other potential health benefits of wine, and studies are still being done.
Bottom line: all those healthy 100-year-olds who have a glass of wine with dinner every night are ok. Cheers to that!
P.S. Please drink responsibly ;)