The Wine in Cretan Diet
"The red wine is rich in polyphenols which are absent in other alcoholic drinks, while only few polyphenols are contained in white wines. The red wine polyphenols explain the notorious 'French Paradox': although the French consume foods high in fats, they are low in heart diseases. The wine polyphenols protect LDL cholesterol from oxidizing."
The Cretans have no need for scientific research to be convinced that wine, when consumed moderately, is beneficial to health.
Wine is part of the Cretan culture. The traditional way of living on the island pairs wine with lunch or dinner. This association has roots in antiquity, when a chunk of bread dipped in a cup of red wine was considered excellent breakfast.
In recent years it has been proved that small quantities of alcohol (2-3 glasses of wine a day) contain enough antioxidant substances (polyphenols) to protect people against cardiovascular diseases. These antioxidants are the result of the interaction between substances contained in the skin of the grapes and the material of the barrels which contain them. The polyphenols are strong antioxidants which counteract cancer growth.
The problem of alcoholism is rather foreign to Cretans who never drink alone. Wine is an occasion for companionship and socializing. Cretans drink within a group of people who share a meal, talk and have fun - this is because the Cretan diet is a way of life. Modern wine industries on Crete have exploited traditional grape varieties, past experience and the accumulated knowledge on viticulture and winemaking.
Source: Lasithi Chamber of Commerce
Interesting tips: the oldest vineyard of Crete is found on the eastern part, near Kato Zakros
The oldest wine press in the world is found in the village of Vathypetro, near Archanes (prefecture of Heraklion).
Odd info of the month: Spa with wine in Japan!
Located in Kowakien Yunessun, the biggest, most popular spa center in Japan, has opened its gates once again.
Hundreds of gallons of «Beaujolais Nouveau», the most popular wine in Japan, are used during the 12 day period the wine spa welcomes its guests. For the last 4 years, Japanese wine lovers have had the opportunity to drink and bathe in the wine they love so much.
The red pool is constantly fed with wine through the wine-bottle-shaped spring, while a sommelier stands by to fill up the glasses of those craving some more Beaujolais Nouveau.