The Wine News I’ve Been Waiting For

THIS is the information I’ve been waiting for.

Wine reports that sales of red wine have increased significantly since the release of the results of a Harvard study that demonstrates that out of shape mice fed high doses of Resveratrol don’t seem to suffer from their unfit state. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in grapes and wine.

The report of this study showed up EVERYWHERE, including the high circulation newspapers and magazines. It follows a more than decade-long stream of medical studies that show an apparent link between wine consumption and healthy living. However, this is the first report since the 60-minutes show on the "French Paradox" back n 1991 that really gained steam in the media.

Whether folks understand that you’d have to drink yourself to death in order to take in the same amount of resveratrol as the mice were fed is beside the point. What readers took away from the news was a simple message: Wine, and red wine in particular, is good for you.

The result: in the four weeks since the results of the study have been out we’ve seen significant sales increases in red wine in nearly every measurable category according to AC Nielson statistics. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat also reports that local wineries have reported their best November sales in history. Now, we are not talking about the monumental kind of sales increases that occurred after the 60 Minutes airing. However, we are seeing the kind of sales increases that gets everyone’s attention.

Here’s my question: has this turn of events gotten the attention of those who promote wine generically?

It should be clear, after a decade and a half, that news of wine’s relationship to good health is a significant driver of sales. Believe it or not, there are not very many organizations out there that promote wine in general or even CA wine in particular. The California Wine Institute and Family Winemakers of CA, the two largest trade organizations for CA wineries, are primarily lobbying organizations. They don’t engage too much in the general promotion of drinking CA wine.

Someone should.

And that someone should find a way to beat the wine and health issue to death. I mean really
smack it

There are of course legal restraints that prevent wineries from making health claims about wine. But isn’t that really a bump in the road toward continuing to disseminating this news that consumers clearly respond to?

4 Responses

  1. winehiker - December 6, 2006

    This certainly is good news, Tom, and it reaffirms our collective desire as wine bloggers to keep on writing about these elixirs that we love.
    I’d like to go one better and smack around the notion that there’s a link between wine consumption, hiking, and healthy living. But I might just have a slight little ol’ bias there.

  2. David - December 6, 2006

    I think the real relationship is not so much any specific ingredient in wine. It is not a pill of eternal youth. I do believe that people who are passionate about wine have greater balance in life. They have less stress and when they do have a difficult situation they look at it through a different prism than those entirely consumed about working to make money and seeing how fast they can spend it.
    I just can’t see having a glass of wine with a Burger King Whopper. My experience from Italy is work hard when working and play hard when playing, even if that be just chatting around the table.

  3. johng - December 6, 2006

    Hey Tom,
    Did you know wine also fights crime? Check it out! (this site just launched so it might take a couple of tries to connect)

  4. Joshua Zader - December 8, 2006

    You mentioned prohibitions against winemakers, but are retailers, such as, similarly prohibited from touting the health benefits of wine? I’ve always scratched my head about why they don’t talk more about the health benefits of wine. …Unless they are legally prohibited from doing so.

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