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A. There is growing scientific evidence that regular moderate consumption of wine is good for you. Red wine in particular is said to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The cholesterol that blocks arteries is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LPD). This is cleared from the blood by high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HPD). Both are carried in the blood. Moderate alcohol consumption produces a better balance of the two. In addition, alcohol has an anticoagulant effect which makes blood less likely to clot. There is also evidence that wine can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or having a stroke.
A. Today many conscientious wine producers are making every effort to minimise the use of chemicals in their vineyards. In France they call this "lutte raisonée" broadly translated as a rational fight against the problems of insects, weeds and fungus. This involves monitoring pest levels and only spraying when necessary. Organic viticulture is different. The regulations are strict and limit producers to using only naturally occurring products for pest control.
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A. As a general "rule of thumb": *Red wine, 17 degrees Celsius. *White & rosé wine, 12 degrees Celsius *Sparkling wines, 7 degrees Celsius. To get to those temperatures reds can normally just be kept in a cool cellar or cupboard. This is also called "cellar temperature." Whites and rosés can be put in the fridge for a few hours, and the sparkling wines a little while longer. It is actually easier to use an ice bucket though. Fill the bucket up with ice about 4/5ths, cover the ice with water. If the "room" temperature of your reds are over 17 degrees, immerse them for five minutes; whites and rosés for ten minutes; and sparkling for fifteen to twenty minutes.
A. Sulphites are organic compounds that occur naturally in grapes and many other fruits and vegetables. But sulphur dioxide is also added to wine as an anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial agent to prevent the wine from going off. The levels are extremely low, but some winemakers are trying to avoid adding extra sulphur dioxide, though this does run the risk of wines spoiling more quickly.
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