Beverages with Benefits – Exploring the positive effects of Coffee and Wine


I invariably begin my day with coffee and quite often finish my day with a glass of wine. How fortunate then that there are numerous beneficial properties associated with both. Some people tolerate neither and moderation is necessary to keep the effects positive, but they are my two favorite beverages other than ice cold water from a high mountain stream.


For a long time, coffee was assumed to be bad for you. Lots of research in recent years has shown there are numerous benefits to the moderate consumption of coffee. The main immediate benefit is the jolt of awareness that helps me start my day and studies have shown that caffeine produces measurable increases in thinking power. 


Studies have also shown a correlation between moderate coffee consumption and numerous other benefits, potentially reducing the risk of Alzheimers, Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, to name just a few.


I am a coffee snob, I like my coffee freshly ground, drip brewed and I drink it black. If you load up your coffee with dairy and sugar these benefits will be diminished. As much as I enjoy coffee, I stop before noon so it won’t interfere with a good night’s sleep, another key to good health.


The moderate consumption of wine has also been shown in recent years to have potential health benefits. Given that I live in Napa Valley and love fine wine, this is great news.


Wine was first thought of as medicine long ago when a splash of wine in drinking water helped to make it safe to drink. Now we have excellent filtration and chlorine to handle that, and we drink delicious wine for its pleasure. 


Red wine in particular is high in resveratrol which is believed to reduce cardiovascular mortality. You can get resveratrol from eating dark skinned berries as well, but wine is a lot more fun. 


To me the key is integrating wine into a healthy diet with lots of variety. Julia Child got it right when she said, “enjoy everything, in moderation”. She was healthy well into her nineties and I’m going to follow her advice.


On the down side, both coffee and wine can trigger reflux. Fortunately, I don’t ever have problems during the day when I drink coffee. My personal reflux issues mostly present themselves when I lie down. But if I have a glass of wine at the end of the day, I find a spoonful of Mint Chocolate Rescue to be very reliable in preventing reflux and helping me to get a good night’s sleep.


Chef Ken

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