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Taste could be called a super category, which leads to Self realization and enlightenment. Those lost in their Minds are unable to Taste because they are distracted from the Now by thoughts. Thought is a major, if not insurmountable, obstacle to Being. Thus anything that leads us to Taste is healthful because it neutralizes Thought. Anything that leads us away from Taste is unhealthy because it neutralizes the potentialities of the Present. Wine leads us to Taste; Smoke leads us away.
Processed food leads us away from taste, while fresh food leads us to Taste. Taste contains the Complexity of fresh. Taste like all the senses is a victim of Habituation. Thus something that always tastes the same is the enemy of taste because it puts the senses to sleep. Wine is the ally of taste because itÕs flavor is always different - from grape to grape - country to country - from vineyard to vineyard - from vintage to vintage - Terroire - even bottle to bottle - even from the beginning of the evening to the end - from food to food - always keeping the taste buds on their toes for a different non-verbal nuance - wine, the ever- changing.
LetÕs contrast this with beer and spirits. No one ever talks about the vintage of beers or spirits - While there are innumerable grapes and different grape combinations, the types of vegetables and grains used for the production of beer and whiskey are quite limited. Probably the total number of major types of vegetation used for beer and spirits would be under 20, maybe even under 10, barley, mainly and sometimes wheat are used to make beer - Potatoes - barley - grapes - rye - sugar cane - cactus = agave and just a few others are used for all the whiskeys. Beefeaters Gin should always taste the same whether 1950 or 2002. Its consistency is a trademark taste. Heineken Beer should always taste the same. No one expects that the beer will reflect the year that it was made. Thus Beer and Whiskey while flavorful tend to put the taste buds to sleep because of the regularity. Wine makers focus on character; beer and spirit makers focus upon consistency.
Further Beer must be drunk rather rapidly because of its continually fading carbonation. Indeed many times the first drink of beer is the best because the carbonation is ÔfreshestÕ. On the other hand wine can be consumed over an entire evening. Most of the time the first drink of wine is the worst, because the wine has yet to open up. Sometimes the best taste of a Red Wine is the last of the evening because it has aerated properly. Many times whiskeys are taken in straight shots or served ice cold. This serves to kill the taste and allow them to be consumed more easily. The straight shot short-circuits all the warning systems of the body. The ice kills bouquet and taste. Ice cold Beer - Bourbon on the rocks. On the other hand wine should be served slightly chilled or room temperature. It should never be heated up or chilled excessively because this kills the bouquet and flavor of the wine. Many who like their wine excessively cold are doing this to kill the acidic taste, and make it easier to drink, just like whiskey. Therefore Wine slows down the experience while beer speeds it up. Wine because of its myriad flavor variations is aligned with Taste, opening up the Moment while simultaneously slowing down Mind. On the other hand Beer and whiskey because of habituation are the enemies or Taste.
Summarizing our progress, weÕve seen that there are different complexes of behavior and consumption that tend to align themselves. On the one hand we have fresh produce/wine/exercise/taste and Dining. On the other hand we have processed food/beer/whiskey/smoking/TV and Fast Food. There is one other component – the level of education. Generalizing we will say that those with a higher level of education have a greater need for stimulation because of the ability and need to process greater amounts of information. For this reason those with a higher level of education will tend to read more books and watch less TV. Thus, because of the aforementioned complexity of wine, those with higher levels of education will be naturally drawn to the complexity of wine versus the relative simplicity of beer and spirits. In this case it canÕt be said that wine leads to intelligence, as much as that those with intelligence are drawn to wineÕs complexity. However it has also been shown that the anthocyanines based upon the color of wine leads to mental acuity. Further the better diet with more exercise tends to increase the vitality of the bodily System, which would tend to increase intelligence and ambition.
To answer the original question of whether there is any link between wine and a healthier life style, besides socioeconomic or cultural, it seems the answer would be yes. Wine conditions the stomach for produce leading to a healthier diet. Because of the focus on taste wine drinkers tend not to smoke as much because it dulls the taste buds. Because of the healthier diet, wine drinkers will tend to have more vitality and hence will exercise more. Finally while there is some evidence that the ingredients of wine increase mental acuity, probably intelligent people are just more attracted to wine because of its relative complexity related to liquor and beer. Hence our conclusion would be that the reason that wine is linked to a healthier life style is because it tends to lead to a higher focus on taste and dining, which leads to fresher food, no smoking, more vitality, hence more exercise, more mental clarity, hence the potential for a higher education.