the original man cave?

Andrea Lucchetti from Wymondham Chiropractic Clinic wonders whether wine cellars were the original man cave and looks at the benefits of drinking red wine.

With Father’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss a very serious man thing – our beloved man cave. I wonder whether the wine cellar is the original man cave, although I guess we have to give that accolade to early hominids living in caves. But if they discovered how to make wine, would they have chucked their wives out to make space for a few litres of this liquid happiness? 

I keep my wine in my garage, sadly not in a cellar, although I dream of one day digging a hole in my sitting room and making a spiral staircase leading to a cellar. Then I wake up and realise my house would probably fall down. Maybe one day I will call a builder friend to take a look… 

One of my fondest memories of living in Italy as a child was sitting on my grandfather’s lap and sipping some wine mixed with lots of water while he recounted his stories. My family on Lake Como has a cantina cellar that stays cool in summer and warm in winter. In this magical man cave, you will find quite a few 50 litre plus glass demijohns full of red wine and perhaps a hundred filled bottles too. Italians are very proud of their wine collections, and they will all tell you the wine they buy is the best. But which Italian red wines are best? And can wine actually have any positive health values?

Wine has been made in Italy for over 6000 years and Italy is the largest producer of wine in the world, with wine being made in every region of the country. My favourite three grapes make incredible and well-known wines. Corvina is the main grape of Valpolicella and its big brother Amarone. The latter is a chocolatey wine with depth and would hold its own in a gunfight at high noon with any other wine. Nebbiolo is the grape of kings. It is a tricky grape to cultivate and creates the sexy Barolo! Sangiovese grapes are destined to become Chianti and Brunello Di Montalcino wines, although they have also given birth to the super Tuscan reds that sell for silly money. So, for me the three big reds that are within my budget and offer different emotional experiences on drinking them are Amarone, Barolo and Brunello. Open them up a good hour before consumption and enjoy the journey they take you on.

But are there any health benefits to drinking red wine?

One day wine is life’s elixir; the next, it is life’s poison. So, which is it? Well, that’s a tricky question because it depends on quantity, quality, and also on the underlying health of the person drinking it. There are lots of centurions who drink red wine regularly, and red wine contains lots of plant compounds scientist consider healthy for us, such as antioxidants. It seems one to two glasses per day could have multiple positive benefits, including lowering risk of heart disease and stroke, depression, and dementia. However, more than this may not be so good, increasing the chance of diabetes, liver damage, and heart disease.

From my point of view, and having looked at multiple research papers, the bottom line is to drink in moderation, including a few alcohol free days per week. There are obviously other and arguably better ways to reduce risk of illness and disease. Salute! 

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