Alcohol causes anxiety
A couple years back, my partner and I were staying in the Hawkes Bay. There, we met up with his cousin, Yvonne Lorkin. Among other talents, Yvonne is a wine writer for several publications. She told us we should go out to Moana Park to try their Viognier. It would definitely be worth a trip. This particular varietal had recently won a couple of industry awards that actually meant something, and their prices were very reasonable.
Note: To look like you know what you’re talking about, Viognier is pronounced ‘vee-yon-yay’, not ‘vee-og-nee-ear’.
Moana Park is the ‘world’s best little wine company’, and is situated in the Hawkes Bay. You can find it just 5km from the town centre in Taradale (which they affectionally refer to as Taradise). The people at Moana Park are salt-of-the earth, and their boxer dogs (Pedro and Xim) are very sweet and well mannered. While initially we tripped out there just to buy a bottle of Viognier, upon leaving this winery I was sold on the entire place!
Moana Park is my favorite brand of wine. I actively encourage my clients to make the switch to it — drinking it in moderation of course! Not only do their wines taste divine, but they also make me feel all ‘warm and fuzzy’ in all sorts of non-alcohol induced ways. Moana Park wines are:
Currently around half of NZ wine
is owned by foreign multinationals
Moana Park are the only wine brand invited to be part of the Gluten Free Food and Allergy Show in NZ as they only add minimum volumes of sulphites
By the Vegetarian Society of New Zealand (excluding the Harmony Series). See here for more details.
They’re accredited through sustainable practice
While the wider industry do not use a lot of added sugar (and this varies according to season), some of the big corporate wines use a lot. However, you won’t see any indication of its presence in the ingredients list on the wine label!
Moana Park believe in minimal intervention. Their focus is on creating low-allergen natural wines. They pride themselves on having exceptional fruit quality, with zero spray residue, and less additives. Moana Park’s wines are certifiable: they are free of animal products, and they follow sustainable practices. The result is hand-crafted multi award winning wines, that are also more human friendly.
Big wineries try to maximise their profits by growing more grapes per acre (because they are paid less per tonne for their fruit). They will grow as much as 2–3x more grapes in the same area as the smaller wineries. This means that there are not as many nutrients available per grape, as the plant only has a fixed capacity to supply its fruit with flavour, tannin, fructose etc. Therefore, if you’re drinking wine for the supposed health benefits, rather than simply to get plonked, then I would advise that you support the ‘little guy’. To the smaller producers, growing grapes and making wine is a labour of love and this is reflected in their wines (more nutrients means more intense flavours and aromas). To the big corporates, wine is just a commodity.
Most people find it hard to believe that the wine industry uses animal based fining agents to strip out the cloudy hazes created during the fermentation process (and that the residues of these are left in the wine). Unfortunately these harsh fining agents also strip out the flavour and the colour of the wine as well!
Common fining agents used in NZ are:
a collagen sourced from the dried swim bladder of fish — usually cod or sturgeon
a collagen sourced from the hooves, skin and tendons of animals such as pigs & cattle
egg white, and you can guarantee they aren’t free range
a protein sourced from animal milk
produced from the burnt and ground bones of cattle
Moana Park does not use any of the above. Instead they may use Bentonite where necessary (a clay), they use cross flow filtration, and they also harness the power of gravity. Moana Park believes that by using these fining methods, not only is there minimal intervention (less additives involved) but the resultant product gives a “superior mouth feel, texture and flavour”.
Note: Moana Park wines are actually Vegan friendly as well (excluding the Harmony Series). This is because their wines do not contain any added sugar. White sugar in New Zealand is refined using carbon from the burnt and ground bones of cattle.
Moana Park produces four unique sets of wines —
I’m giving away a bottle of their 2012 Chardonnay to one lucky winner who subscribers to LISA SAID SO during February 2014.
I’m giving away two prizes on my OOMPH-Realistic Holistic Health facebook page – a bottle of Viognier, and a bottle of Pino Gris. Check out my page for details!
Each range is distinct from one another, and reflects the unique characters of the micro climates and vineyards that the grapes grew up in… While each series is aimed at a specific sector of the wine drinking market, all the ranges adhere to the same overriding philosophy of minimal intervention.
While Crush Pad is becoming increasing available in supermarkets, the other ranges are more exclooosive, darlings. Check out the link below for your closet stockist, or you can order direct from Moana Park.
I just ‘love their work’ and give credit where it is due.
When you order a glass of wine (or purchase a bottle) that’s what you’re expecting to receive — a moderately intoxicating, relatively healthy, fermented grape beverage. You’re not expecting to be presented with a vessel of substandard fruit, cane sugar, pesticides, animal residues, and high preservative levels. This latter concoction is more likely to have pro-oxidant activity than anti-oxidant.
What I’m trying to say is: don’t expect that by swilling this stuff down that it will protect you from cancer, heart disease, stroke, and dementia!
How come nobody ever detects these foreign substances in their wine when they are doing all that sniffing, swilling, and spitting?
“I’m detecting a complex blend of dried swim bladder of fish, sulphites…”
“hmmm E220 — if i’m not mistaken…”
“a potent amount of alcohol, and I’m even picking up an ever so subtle hint of ‘pestacidic’ grape…”
If you buy cheap wine, then you’ll treat it like cheap plonk! You won’t really appreciate the quality of it (the aroma, taste, or texture). You will be more inclined to drink more of it, more often, and you won’t get any health benefits from it.
I encourage my clients to drink great quality, more expensive wines. This way they will be more reluctant to drink large quantities of it. And this way they learn to savour it, and enjoy it more.
FYI — Moana Park also ship internationally.
Ideally I advise my clients to drink no more than two nights per week, and to ration out the bottle. Contrary to what most Kiwis think, there are — on average — 8 glasses of wine to the bottle (more if the alcohol content is higher) Therefore a standard drink is approx. 100ml (not a quarter of a bottle).
Regardless of anything else, alcohol is bad for your liver, it affects your sleep, it depletes you in nutrients, and can cause you to feel depressed, among many other health issues, and social concerns.
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.
Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.Book online