Sunday, November 23, 2008

NY director touts benefits of WineAmerica

Sharing these two items with some universal interest to wine drinkers from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation's weekly e-letter:

WINEAMERICA annual fall conference last weekend in Georgia provided several good reminders why ALL American wineries should be members of this one-of-a-kind organization (the only national organization for American wineries). The political sea change in Washington is going to require an enormous educational effort with the new Administration and members of Congress—who need to know right away that our industry generates over $162 billion annually for the national economy. The Farm Bill that was passed earlier this year, which contains many new benefits for “specialty crops” like grapes and wine, is now in the implementation phase—which is very complicated to sort out. While direct interstate shipment of wine has been going on for several years, with major increases after the 2005 Supreme Court decision, there are still lawsuits in different states that can change the picture. And with the global, national, and state economies all in a tailspin, there’s no doubt that “sin taxes” will again surface, as they already have in California where Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a “nickel a drink” excise tax hike that would be devastating to consumers and our industry. Fortunately, we have WineAmerica to look after our interests—and it’s one of the best investments you can make.

MODERATE CONSUMPTION of wine seems to lower the microvascular complications of type 1 diabetes (not generally associated with obesity), with less benefit from beer and none from spirits, according to a new study. The effect was especially strong for people consuming between 3 and 18 drinks per week and on a regular basis (5-7 days a week) rather than sporadically. A separate study showed that moderate wine consumption also lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementia. In other words, regular moderate wine consumption is good for the heart, and good for the mind (and great for the soul).

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