can (good) red wine settle an upset stomach?
I first discovered red wine could be a great way to settle an upset stomach several years ago on my first trip to the wine country of Napa/Sonoma. We were caravanning to our first stop and I was sitting in the back of the car, in the awkward center seat. As we wound through the mountain roads my stomach began to fail me and my head began to pound. We arrived at Meeker before my nausea took a turn for the worst. Of course I was eager to keep it that way and found myself a bench outside the tasting room, hoping the cool air would cure what ailed me. Ten minutes later though I was not feeling any better. I was terribly disappointed with the situation. The tasting room had just opened – and this was only our first stop of the day.
I’m not sure if he was simply trying to rally me or if he had had some previous experience with the situation, but my brother came out to get me, claiming a glass of red wine would settle my stomach. The idea of tasting (let alone actually drinking) a glass of wine was not exactly something I felt up for – but we were there to taste and I was determined to play ball. I took his word for it and headed into the tasting room.
Who knew, but within a few minutes I was back on my game. My head had cleared and my stomach had stopped lurching. I wasn’t sure if it was the larger context that did the trick or if it was in fact the wine, but I didn’t really care.
I’m not sure if I ever gave this one-time experience any more deliberate thought until last Thursday. I had rallied to go into the shop for work, suffering from bizarre stomach pains and a touch of nausea. We were so in the weeds from the long weekend I couldn’t bring myself to call in sick; and sometimes being active and having something else to focus on is just what you need. But an hour into things I was still not feeling so hot. And then one of my favorite reps popped in with a couple of reds for me to taste. He took one look at me, agreed I was not in top form, but offered the same idea as my brother: a touch of good red wine might just do the trick.
Once again, within just a few minutes, I was feeling markedly improved. Within the hour I was completely “cured”.
Over the weekend I spent quite a bit of time researching this phenomenon, trying to find out what about a glass of (good) red wine could be responsible for settling an upset stomach. It’s amazing how much information there is circulating the webwaves about red wine and health as well as red wine causing stomach distress. But nothing emerged to validate my own experiences.
So today I’m throwing a couple of questions to all of you out there…
Have you had a similar experience, where a glass of red wine settled your stomach?
And for you medically inclined folks, what could be the reason for this?