Page last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wine - A Scientific Exploration
Edited by Merton Sandler and Roger Pinder
An interestingly broad agenda is covered in ‘Wine- A scientific Exploration’, with chapters devoted to subjects as diverse as wine and archeology, wine and migraine or the identity and parentage of wine grapes. Each chapter is written by a different author, who include Martin Bobak on wine and heart disease, Arthur Klatsky on alcohol and cardiovascular diseases and Dr. Philip Norrie on the history of wine as a medicine.

We are given a history of the cultivation of the vine, which is believed to have originated in Georgia 9000 years ago. We are taught about wine tasting and what determines ‘taste’. Philip Norrie then reveals that the oldest known medical handbook was written on a Sumerian clay tablet around 2200 BC and it recommends wine as a medicine for coughs. Norrie then reviews wine use as a medicine in the ancient civilisations of Egypt, China and India.

The more scientific chapters then deal with the role of polyphenols in oxidation and antherosclerosis, migraine and macular degeneration.

The book is academic, yet is a ‘good read’ and should appeal to a lay audience as well as to researchers and academics. It puts wine in a historical and contemporary context as well as giving a detailed analysis of the beverage and the health effects linked to its consumption.

Wine- a scientific exploration is published by Taylor and Francis, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4 4EE and 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 ISBN 0-415-24734-9

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