After a long day at work filing papers, sitting in dull meetings, and enduring your bumper-to-bumper commute, there’s nothing better than a nice glass of wine with dinner.
However, did you know it’s best to enjoy wine with food instead of before a meal? Though you may want to crack open a bottle while cooking, it’s best to wait until you sit down in order to enjoy your glass of wine.
Not sure why you should put the glass down until you’re ready to enjoy your meal? Keep reading to know why you should wait to pour your favorite wine.
Skip the Pre-meal Drink
One of the main reasons you should wait to enjoy your glass of wine with a meal is because of the effects alcohol can have on an empty stomach.
If you take your lunch at 12 o’clock and don’t eat dinner until 7 o’clock, your lunch has already likely been digested. This means you’ll be drinking on an empty stomach.
While this might be great for a night out with friends, on a weekday, it can leave you feeling buzzed and cause a headache before work. Waiting until you eat or after you’ve finished your meal to enjoy a glass of wine is your best bet.
Another significant benefit is that you can enjoy that some foods pair well with wine! After all, most people enjoy their wine while eating, unlike other forms of alcohol.
This is due to the flavors that wine can enhance with certain foods. If you drink before your meal, you won’t reap the benefits of how well wine pairs with meals.
Because wines have different notes, they highlight the flavors of the food you’re eating. This can enhance the overall taste and enjoyment you receive from eating dinner and truly indulging in the flavor of your meal.
On the other hand, your wine may balance out the strong tastes some dishes or ingredients have. For example, a bold red wine complements the sweet notes that some cheeses release.
Good for Your Brain?
While drinking in excess can cause a myriad of health problems, enjoying a glass of wine with dinner may actually help keep your brain young.
Studies suggest that when enjoyed in moderation, wine may help decrease the chances of developing cognitive illnesses that impact your memory and brain function. This means your memory will stay sharp!
However, drinking excessively can hinder and increase the likelihood of developing brain issues like dementia.
Another reason you may want to enjoy a wine with your meal is because of the benefits a glass can have on your heart.
Red wine has an antioxidant known as resveratrol, which has many health benefits. Aside from the limitations on dementia and memory issues later in life, resveratrol is thought to help decrease the chances of heart disease.
This antioxidant is believed to help reduce the bad cholesterol in your blood, which can help alleviate the buildup of plaque in your arteries. This plaque can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.
In some instances, a glass of wine is also thought to reduce the chances a person develops diabetes, as it is believed to lower blood sugar and impact the metabolic process of glucose.
Much like dark chocolate, this is something you can enjoy without feeling guilty!
Everything in Moderation
As with anything, enjoying wine in moderation with your meal is a great way to enhance the overall dish and improve heart and brain health.
However, it’s crucial not to overdo it. While enjoying wine with meals in moderation is okay, consuming large amounts of wine often can have adverse effects.
Drinking wine too often and in large amounts can affect your liver, causing chronic liver disease. Eventually, liver problems can lead to lifelong complications and in some cases, prove to be fatal.
If a glass of wine with dinner helps you unwind after a long day at work, or you enjoy your meals even more with a glass, then of for it! There are plenty of benefits, and as long as you keep yourself in check, that’s all that matters.
How to Choose the Best Pairing
Now that you know the benefits of enjoying wine with lunch or dinner, you’ll want to know what to pair with your dishes.
In general, the best way to try and find out what pairings you like is through experimentation. While there are some “rules” wine lovers swear by, you may find that your taste buds prefer other tastes.
For example, red wines pair well with heavier foods. From red meats like steak and lamb to starches like pasta and pizza, a full-bodied red wine can stand up to a heavy meal.
White wine pairs great with light, fishy flavors, as they don’t overpower and drown out the flavors in fish. You may find the best wine with lobster will quickly become one of your new favorite combinations.
Why Wine With Food is More Than Just Yummy
If you’re someone who saves drinking for the weekends, don’t worry! You can still reap the benefits of wine if you have a glass or two on your days off.
Finding the best wine with meals is a great way to take up two hobbies at once—cooking and wine tasting—and also gives allows you to invite friends over.
If this guide to why you should enjoy wine with food inspired you to get cooking and open up a bottle, be sure to check out the rest of our website. There, you’ll find more great food and drink content.