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The Next Big Thing

by David on August 9, 2007

I don’t like to poke fun at the Wine Lover’s Page because it’s such an incredible resource (I especially love their wine quotes page), but I was kind of chuckling over their wine nutrition charts and thinking “Too much information!”

But, wait. I think I feel a little egg dripping down my face. I’d barely wiped that smirk off my face when I came across this report that the Treasury Department is considering requiring charts very much like what the Wine Lover’s Page had posted. Argh!!! Do you think anyone is primarily motivated by nutrition when they elect to drink a glass of wine??? I certainly hope not! Frevvin’s sake…

The good news: if you take a look at these charts, you’ll notice the glorious absence of fat and carbs (and low cholesterol, too!). Who knew? The ultimate diet drink!

The bad news: Unfortunately, those aren’t zeros by the calorie count. Please don’t remind me…

As you read on, you basically see a bunch of zeros, which implies that wine has no nutritional value. Fair enough. Nutritional charts tend to be generic and non-specific to the particular food, just as this chart isn’t wine-specific and doesn’t include the polyphenols that seem to be so good for us. Will the Treasury Department include the goodies along with the baddies? Do we really need this information? Just asking…

I know I’ve had my moments of obsession about wine’s influence on my ever-increasingly Rubenesque physique. So, I look at wine like I do any other food and have a vague idea about how much that glass of wine is ratcheting up my daily intake. Some calories are more fun than others and I’d much rather get my calories from wine than a Coke or even a piece of boysenberry pie (ouch!). But, do I need to know that the wine in my glass has trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin? No, I do not.

On a sort-of-related note, Pinotblogger recently posted an amusing item about how California wine makes us eat more. Yikes, what a thought!! They served the same wine to a bunch of people and told half of them that it was from California and the other half that it was a North Dakota wine. The California half ate 12% more than the other half.

Of course, what’s really interesting is the psychology of the whole thing. Why is a glass of, supposedly, California wine more of an appetite stimulant and more relaxing than a glass that we think is from North Dakota (it also mentioned that folks tend to stay at the table longer when they’re told it’s California wine)? Lord knows, the ingredient labeling would look about the same. ;-) As usual, it’s all upstairs. We’re hard-wired with the idea that the California wine is better, and therefore we’re having more fun and should eat more and stick around at the table awhile longer, too.

It may not be fair, but since North Dakota’s first winery was bonded in 2002, it just doesn’t seem to get a whole lot of attention from the media. But, think of the implications there. It looks like we taste what we expect to taste – big surprise, right? ;-) Keep that in mind next time you’re contemplating breaking the bank to track down a bottle of Petrus or Maya or some other cult wine. Ah – the eternal question: just how good can a bottle of wine get?

On the other hand, here’s the next big thing! It’s the great, new wine diet! If you want to lose a few pounds but you really don’t want to give up your wine, just convince yourself that the wine’s from North Dakota. You’ll eat 12% less, probably drink less, too, and the pounds will melt away! Bon appetit!

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