So the thing about wine and wine reports is that either they are done by people whose idea of excitement is to watch a rerun of the Antiques show on a Saturday evening or the type who wear lab coats by day and then have candle light dinners with their cats by way of social life. In other words, people who may have all the statistics and data-crunching abilities but nothing that remotely resembles a social life. So while they may know how much alcohol a person can handle at a party, and just what is the right mix and rate to imbibe so as to make you social and forward, yet not brash and disrespectful, they have no clue what alcohol at a party tastes or feels like for they are yet to be invited to one.
While these might be stereotyped "nerdy" images that I am conjuring, it is exactly the stereotype I imagined when I read about this "skip gym and have wine" study. One needn’t spend much time ruminating or debating this theory to come up with the only one word answer that it will ever need, the one word that precisely describes not only the emotion that any sane man may feel when presented with such an idiotic idea, but also the answer that very fittingly describes just how much water such a notion can afford to hold: bollocks!
I am all for innovative excuses to imbibe but this is beneath even me to try and preach. Anything that has the words "gym" and "study" built into it is an oxymoronic exercise in failure. It’s like trying to study wind farm sustainability at a nude beach for the young, hot, and famous.
But it did sound too good to be true, the wine theory, not the nudist beach, although, that too does sound like quite the gig. Being in the wine field, the word Resveratrol isn’t new to me. Let’s just call it "R". It is thrown around casually in most wine circles, mostly followed by other pertinent concerns like "sustainable" and "bio-dynamic". Sounds almost like some hippie tree-huggers’ convention and no one can get enough of this "R" anti-oxidant. But it is way more acceptable than Botox and that is game-set-match for "R".
So why anti-oxidants? How do they, as it is said, reverse ageing? Well, short of time travel, nothing really "reverses" ageing. It may slow down the effects of ageing but it’s no elixir. We age when our cells multiply (to replace the dying cells) but the faster production combined with lessening elasticity makes our skin sag. "R" helps retard this rampant multiplication. It also helps prevent cancer in a similar manner. And the heart beats without skipping, (unless you have a darned good wine). And so on...
Nothing is reversed, just a tiny time temporal that has become the best marketing tool yet. And all because other spirits like say, vodka doesn't afford you these benefits. So when they say wine is healthier, they casually miss out the part, "compared to cheap moonshine".
But to now up the ante and say it beats going to the gym is to fast track the extinction of humanity by diets of affluence. Being a triathlete in training, I know what it takes to drop your heart beat and add flexibility to your spine – a slow ticker and a slick bendy spine is all the youth you will ever need, trust me – and unless you drink your wine in some contorted yogic posture, it won’t make you any healthier than when you began.
Sure, it lays the premises to not cause any further harm as say, downing a bottle of engine coolant could do, but beyond that, you are still in charge of your health. To think you can drink yourself to a healthier you is like me imagining I can grow my hair back.
That article belongs in the dark niches of late night TV where telly-adverts rule, where they sell miracles and dreams at a constant discount of 70 per cent and offers are only till stocks last. But with all tall claims, the stocks never run out. What runs out is time and by the time you realise you’ve been had, you are too fat and drunk to do anything about it.
So, in case you have read that crap about how wine makes you healthier than an hour in the gym, apply this simple bullshit rule that I have religiously inculcated and followed, "If it sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is exactly that: untrue."
That said, one glass of wine will never do you any harm, provided you drink a good wine, drink when not around a car or any other heavy machinery, drink away from stray karaoke machine, and most importantly, drink to enjoy and not for its supposed medicinal benefits.
As for gymming, (or as in my case, also swimming, cycling, and running) you just can’t replace how they benefit you, not with procrastination, and least of all with a lousy unsolicited study that will make you a perfectly fit 60 year old, when you are actually only 35!