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Stave off Dementia and Boost Your Brain Power--with Champagne!

Drinking champagne has always been associated with luxury, power and success, but there is now an even better reason to splash out and crack open a bottle of bubbly, as scientists claim that it could help to combat aging and dementia.

Scientists at Reading University gave a group of rats champagne for six weeks, and observed results against control groups given placebos and plain alcohol. The findings were very encouraging and indicated an improvement in spatial working memory in the rats, achieved through changes in hippocampal signalling and protein expression.

Red wine has previously been highlighted as the 'healthy' choice for those wanting a tipple, due to its antioxidant flavanoid content, but although champagne does not contain flavanoids, its active, health-promoting ingredients are thought to be smaller phenolic compounds such as gallic acid and tyrosol, components which had not previously been considered to be biologically active.

It still appears to be the red grape varieties which are used in the complex production of champagne, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which contribute the active phenols, rather than the white grapes. This is still not an excuse to over-indulge; scientists suggest that 1-2 glasses per week may have a positive effect on health.

What will they eventually discover about Australian Sparkling Red Wine? Australia, I've heard, is the only country that applies the Champagne making process to serious dry reds. Other countries may do it, but they always hellishly sweeten it: the Aussies have the only wine-makers who simply do the same with a straight red as Champagne (shampanya) winemakers do with their wines.
It's popular in Edinburgh. I planned to have an Aussie sparkling red for my girlfriend's birthday, went into Oddbin's one of the main winestores in Edinburgh, asked about a sparkling red Australian wine & the guy answered "Oh those never get onto the shelf sir! They're always sold before we can get them over the doorstep into the shop!"
I next tried Valvona & Crolla, & their answer went "Hmm. That is our manager's favourite drink. He sort of hides it out of sight to make sure he drinks some of it. It's round here." So the assistant took me round to this shadowed dark corner of the shop & there lowdown on the shelfspace was Melton's Sparkling Red Wine, for £40 pounds a bottle, so I guess $60 is what you guys would pay. I decided to buy it, & Neus & I drank it watching the sun come up @ 4 a m, a fairly romantic image. So there's a little story: the moral is: try a Sparkling Australian Red.

Wow, a new dreamland first - excellent wine advice !

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