WHEN to wine and HOW to wine.
Two important questions I’ll answer today for each dosha.
Because living an Ayurvedic lifestyle doesn’t mean we have to give up on vino forever.
I love pairing a good meal with a glass of wine.
My favorite is red. But, I know I can’t always have it based on how I feel and the always fluctuating status of my dominant doshas: Vata-Pitta.
Ayurveda says that alcohol can quickly get to the mind and the heart, which makes it very potent on the gunas or qualities of the doshas.
When taken in excess, alcohol can produce agitation and dullness.
The side effects of not being mindful about our alcohol consumption include illusion, fear, grief, disease, and even death. All of these negative outcomes result in depleting our Prana, or vital energy.
However, Ayurveda views wine as medicine, under certain conditions and if drank in moderation.
Moderation means a glass of wine of 2-4 oz. More than that — we normally get served 5, 6, 8, and even 9 oz in restaurants — and we will start noticing the above side effects and other signs that might indicate the aggravation of our constitution.
Overall, the key is to be present when having your wine. Observe how you feel and enjoy the good feelings that it provides.
Studies have shown positive health effects associated with wine, although excessive wine consumption is linked to health problems. When it is a moderate amount, several diseases, including heart disease, are less likely to occur.
Red wine, as it is fermented, contains powerful plant compounds and antioxidants, including resveratrol found in the grape skins. The health benefits are spectacular!
- Rich in antioxidants
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Keeps heart healthy
- Regulates blood sugar
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Keeps memory sharp
- Keeps you slim
- It’s good for your digestion due to its anti-bacterial nature.
White wine doesn’t involve a fermentation process as the red wine does.
It doesn’t have resveratrol because the skin is not used in the process, just the grape pulp.
It also contains more sugar and sulfites, a kind of food preservative that can cause breathing problems in people with asthma, as well as headaches, rashes, and hives.
Although it hasn’t been as extensively studied as red wine, researchers have shown that drinking white wine may improve cardiovascular and metabolic function, lung health and even help protect against cognitive decline.
Again, all of these positive outcomes take place when you drink it mindfully, not very often, in small quantities, and following Ayurvedic principles.
Wine is naturally dry, therefore try to choose sweet wines, like plum wine or Pinot Noir, that are a little less depleting.
Avoid anything that is carbonated, like beers or Champaign, as they have the gas and air that you want to eliminate.
Try to have wine at room temperature, cold or chilled will be aggravating for your dosha.
Drink it slowly and mindfully.
Wine should be avoided by Pitta.
However, occasionally can be taken, but it should be white and chilled rather than red wine.
At all times, it should be drank with a meal, to improve assimilation.
Go for the dry, astringent, fruity or bitter white wines, such as the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Chardonnay.
Try to avoid having it in the summer months, as the heat might intensify the warming properties of the wine and aggravate skin issues and inflammation problems.
Red wine, the dry, heating type — Bordeaux, Chianti, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon — are wonderful for Kapha.
Kapha individuals often have a weak digestive fire, so adding the warmth of a dry red wine is a good, healthy addition to a meal or two.
If you have diabetes or are monitoring your blood glucose, consult first with your physician.
Just be cautious about how you feel and the effects it has on your body.