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Now let's raise a glass to your good health

Drinks Cabinet

By Sam Wylie-Harris

With the countryside glowing with fiery reds and grape vines turning burnished gold and crimson, the autumnal weather makes a glass of red a natural choice at the end of the day.

And, with a new health study suggesting this daily ritual can keep diabetes under control, the good news is it supports evidence that drinking a moderate amount of wine can be good for your health - something we can all raise a glass to.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, involved 224 people with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean style diet for two years. Randomly split into three groups, some enjoyed a glass of white or red wine with their meal, while others drank mineral water.

People who drank a glass of red wine saw improvements in their levels of good cholesterol, achieved better blood sugar control and benefited from improvements in their cardiovascular health.

Despite the research, we can all appreciate that a glass of wine is not equivalent to a brisk walk in the autumn sunshine, but it's comforting to know that, in some small way, one of these warming reds can contribute to our health and happiness.

Tagus Creek Syrah Trincadeira 2013, Portugal (£4.25, Asda)

A perfect mid-week wine to chill out with, this soft and juicy blend offers spiced, ripe berry fruits with smooth tannins and will pair well with paprika pork and red peppers, veggie dishes or fresh tomato soup if you're following a typical Med diet. Can also be sipped on its own.

Taste The Difference Barbaresco 2012, Piedmont, Italy (£10, Sainsbury's)

A grippy red with a herbal character, open an hour before and the nebbiolo grape will reward you with violet and earthy aromas; ripe red berry and black cherry fruits with a hint of truffle, clove, and savoury notes. A treat with Italian-style mushroom dishes, pasta and cheeses.

Vinalba Reservado Cabernet Malbec Merlot 2010, Argentina (£10, Sainsbury's)

An impressive, big-shouldered red with touches of elegance to the structured plum, raspberry and blackberry fruit, it's brushed with spice and cocoa with a lick of cassis on the velvety smooth mouthfeel. Dense and expressive with perfumed aromatics and well-integrated oak, match with your favourite cut of steak.

Opawa Pinot Noir 2013, New Zealand (£14.59,

Cited by the experts as the 'vintage of a generation' for New Zealand pinot noir, it may be difficult to limit yourself to one glass of this gorgeous example that balances freshness, structure and fruitiness. Displaying cherry, plums and violets on the nose with a silky mouthfeel of red and black cherry fruits with subtle power on the palate and a lifted, fresh finish that keeps you coming back for more.

Ogier Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010, Clos de L'Oratoire des Papes, France (£30,

Another great vintage from one of the top producers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, expect to give lots of attention to this rhapsody of perfumed black fruits, raspberry, cherries and plums, entwined with spice and herby notes, plus a firm, balanced finish. Warm and welcoming, it's a must with a casserole or Mediterranean beef stew.

Belfast Telegraph


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