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Fine Wines, Good Times

Fine Wines, Good Times

By Hayley Birch

Not that I’ve been keeping tabs, but it seems to me that scientists have been expending an awful lot of energy on beverage science lately.

A few weeks ago we were told that the antibacterial properties of wine make it a great substitute for mouthwash. And only last week it came to light that coffee can combat skin cancer if taken in combination with exercise.

Now if you ask me, these researchers haven’t been doing much exercise at all – they’ve been sitting around sipping on various hot and cold refreshments.

In terms of our health, the implications of the latest wine research seem less immediately obvious. Researchers at Cornell University have been giving away free booze to study participants (and no doubt indulging themselves ever so slightly) in order to assess the effects of labelling on enjoyment.

Although the same cheap plonk was poured out indiscriminately, those who thought they had been given Californian wine as opposed to North Dakotan wine rated their enjoyment of it, and of the meal it accompanied, far higher.

At a separate cheese and wine reception, participants - incidentally students - rated the same cheeses 50% higher when they liked what they saw on the label.

What it is about North Dakota that makes people think it produces such terrible wine, nobody knows. Interestingly, however, participants ate 11% less when they thought they were drinking from the Dakotan bottle. Presumably they had gauged from the labels that the Californian was the finer wine.

So, drink cheaply - a new strategy for weight loss perhaps?

More of Hayley's articles on her page.

And if you can hold yourself back from the bottle long enough, try these:

- Silly - Drink related papers
- Interesting - The perfect breakfast
- Bleedin' obvious - Coffee shops
- Spoof - Beer goggles

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Image: Luis Rock

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15 May 2011
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