Social Hour at Casa de Montaña – Red or White Wine or do you prefer a Beer?

Blog by Terry Richmeier


So, you are on vacation and you have chosen to stay with Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and you are getting ready for our Social Hour. You may wonder why we include a glass of wine or beer when you stay with us. Well, not only do we want you to be able to relax, we also want you to know that we believe there are some health benefits of drinking a glass of wine or a beer and that during vacation time continued mental health as well as physical health can be as easy as relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine or beer.


Is red wine the fountain of youth or a potent poison? Is enjoying a glass of red wine during social each evening beneficial to your health? Current research suggests that a glass of red wine each day may be providing you with more than just a little relaxation.

And how about white wine? Does that have the same benefits as red? What about a cold beer? Is there anything beneficial there?

In an article from the Yale-New Haven Hospital, 10 years of research has indicated that moderate intake of alcohol improves cardiovascular health. In fact, in 1992 Harvard researchers included moderate alcohol consumption as one of the “eight proven ways to reduce coronary heart disease risk.” However, research has suggested that specifically red wine is the most beneficial to your heart health. The cardio protective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes.

Scientists believe the antioxidants, called flavonoids, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in three ways:

  •   by reducing production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (also known as the “bad” cholesterol)
  •   by boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
  •   by reducing blood clotting. Furthermore, consuming a glass of wine may favorably influence your lipid profiles but should be during or followed up with a meal


Recently, researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may be beneficial to more than just your heart. One study found that the antioxidant resveratrol, which is prevalent in the skin of red grapes, may inhibit tumor development in some cancers. Another study indicated that resveratrol aided in the formation of nerve cells, which experts believe may be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Of course recommendations to consume moderate amounts of wine are limited to individuals with a clean bill of health.

What about grape juice and nonalcoholic red wine?

In 1997, researchers at the University of Wisconsin concluded that purple grape juice also reduced blood clotting. Another study by researchers at University of California at Davis, confirmed the findings that nonalcoholic red wine contains the same antioxidant profile as red wine. However in a 1998 study, Japanese researchers found that while grape juice still had antioxidative benefits, it did not significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels compared to red wine.


And what about White Wine?

Taken from an article in

The skins of grapes contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that provide beneficial health effects. The wine that provides the most health benefits is red because the skins are included in its processing. The grape skins are removed when white wine is processed, which decreases its medicinal benefits. The grape itself also contains nutrients and antioxidants, so white wine, while not as healthy as red, is still considered a healthy beverage.

Studies analyzing white wine’s effects on particular diseases have found that its antioxidant content is effective for preventing lung disease and breast cancer. In 2002, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine found that moderate lifelong white wine consumption improves lung health. In 2010 University of Wisconsin researchers found that white wine protects cells from breast cancer equally well compared with red wine.


Ok, so what about that balboa Beer?

Taken from an article in

When it comes to beverages with benefits, wine always seems to get the credit. If you’re a brew lover, that might make you want to cry in your beer. But before you do, you’ll be glad to learn that, like wine, beer delivers some decided perks as well.

“A cold beer is the perfect way to relax at the end of the day, it tastes great and, in moderation, it can even be good for you,” says Ethan A. Bergman, PhD, RD, CD, FADA, past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here are five ways your favorite brew can enhance your health.

It’s Heart Smart

While wine gets all the glory for its heart-healthy benefits, beer consumption may have a similar effect, according to a 2012 study in the European Journal of Epidemiology. Italian researchers reviewed 12 studies that separated wine and beer consumption, and found that moderate drinkers (about one pint per day) had a 42 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-drinkers. The comparable protective benefits to wine could be because both contain polyphenols, shown to have antioxidant properties that may help your heart, the researchers write. No benefits were found for other alcoholic spirits.

It’s Kind to Your Kidneys

That brewski may reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, according to an article in the winter 2011 issue of ADA Times. Researchers found that beer lowered the risk of kidney stones in men compared to other alcoholic beverages, possibly due to its high water content and diuretic effect. Compounds in hops may also slow the release of calcium from bone that is implicated in kidney stones.

It’s a Surprising Source of Fiber

Who knew that beer contains fiber? Made from barley, beer contains beta-glucans — a type of soluble fiber credited with lowering cholesterol levels. A 12-ounce bottle of lager sports 0.75 grams of fiber while the same amount of dark beer boasts 1.3 grams. Don’t get too excited: The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. After age 50, your daily fiber needs drops to 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

Provides Brain-Boosting B Vitamins

That cold one has another hidden health benefit: One 12-ounce beer supplies 3 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin B12, which plays a key role in brain and nervous system functioning, as well as blood formation. It’s also a source of folate, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. However, the alcohol likely trumps any of the B vitamin benefits, though. In fact, a 2011 study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found alcohol dulls brain signals responsible for self-control.

You’ll Strengthen Your Skeleton

While heavy drinking can weaken bones, a beer or two may make them stronger. Beer is rich in silicon, an element found in few foods and drinks, which has been linked to stronger bones. In a Tufts University study, men who drank between one to two beers a day had hip bone densities three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half times greater than teetotalers.


While these benefits sound great, it’s important not to read them with beer goggles on. Moderation is the key word here. Typical recommendations for beer and wine consumption are no more than one drink a day for women and two for men, but are heavily reliant on age, gender, genetics and body type. That means science won’t back up your decision to knock back an entire six-pack and you shouldn’t start drinking just for the health benefits.

So, we are extremely excited to have you stay with Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast and have a glass of wine or beer on us! Of course, we have non-alcoholic beverages available as well. You deserve a respite from the daily hassles of your life!



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: