Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hello. I am a die hard Cabernet Sauvignon Lover , particularly the California, Napa and Sonoma wines. Recently, I have developed allergies after drinking these reds. All brands. I never had this problem until after menopause so I know it's related. My question is, would organic make a difference in this regard? Have you ever heard of someone being allergic to wine and not so with organic wine?

Regards, Dr. Nancy G
Doctor of Chiropractic
Certified Classical Homeopath

Dear Nancy,
Thank you for contacting me on this matter. I happen to be somewhat your colleague, having been an Advanced Rolfer/movement teacher for 30 years (oops! What a thought!)
and having been trained in homeopathy by my late stepfather, Dr Joly, a renowned homeopath and teacher in his time.

Indeed your situation is not unique, except that I never realized the possible link with menopause, a worthy path to explore. I could almost say that not a day goes by without hearing about one story of hypersensitivity/intolerance/allergy to some or all wines and a question from some wine lover eager to find an alternative! It has become my ‘cause célèbre’ or my “cheval de bataille” to use some French expressions!

This is actually a widespread phenomenon, very little talked about (certainly by the wine industry and one can understand why!) because of the ‘healthy’ image carried by wine these days.

Therefore nobody I meet, including health professionals like you, ever blames the product. Rather they take it on themselves finding reasons for their intolerance among genetics, old age or hormonal balance in your case, chemical poisoning or intolerance, weak liver, general poor health or plain bad luck! The product itself is never questioned!

The truth of the matter is that wine is indeed a very healthy food, taken in moderation to process the alcohol content AND provided it comes from organic sources or at a minimum made without chemicals in the process. Given that, 99% of people who claim negative side effects from wine consumption realize they can happily enjoy their favorite glass of wine with their meal and feel perfectly fine right afterward and the following day! Intolerance is in my view a very HEALTHY response of your organism who says: “There is something wrong in this product that I don’t want inside, please!”. Only seriously sick people (asthmatic or actual allergic sufferers) will not tolerate even organic wines because of their histamine, tannic or sulfite content.

Therefore my answer is an unequivocal YES, it will make a difference and is certainly worth trying if you do not suffer from any major illness. We need prominent voices to expose this dirty little secret. It is my contention that the decrease in wine consumption in old time wine growing nations is due more to the millions of people silently turning away from a drink that hurts them than to the appeal of modern concoctions. Make a poll around you to 10 to 20 people and you will be amazed by the percentage who has stopped drinking wine altogether or restricted consumption due to its ill after effects. I guarantee it!

In the meantime I will be happy to see you try our best Cab, the Mas de Janiny 02 and tell me what you think.

Michel Ginoulhac, M.D.
Wine Selection

Dear Michel,
I always enjoy a serendipitous meeting such as this one! I never expected to hear back from such an renowned expert as yourself in so many areas. Indeed, all that you say is true. From my prospective as a practitioner and menopausal woman , I can tell you that 90% of my women have had to give up red wine due to its propensity to increase hot flashes and histamine reaction. I, for one, adore Cabs, as I mentioned and, while I humbly accept the passing of my taut skin,and toned muscles, I really must rebel against giving up my wine!

I would love to try your Cab and I would love to interview you further for an article I will write about this very subject. On Friday, this week, I will be addressing a local garden club about natural health opportunities into the "golden years". I will use the health giving aspects of red wine as an example. Resveratrol to the rescue!

Thanking you for your kindness
Dr. Nancy

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