A little tipple is good for the mature brain says new research


A US and Chinese study published in JAMA Network in June last year, found the mental status of those who drank a low or moderate amount of alcohol during middle and old age was better than those who abstained from alcohol altogether. 

They found the optimal level of drinking for brain health was between 10 and 14 drinks per week. Coincidentally that is close to the current guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Here are some suggestions for getting the most enjoyment from that ration.

Salena Estate Twisted Sticks organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is a rich mouth-filling wine from South Australia. It displays aromas of blackberries and cassis and a palate of red berries and fine tannins on the aftertaste. RRP $24.

Freixenet Pinot Grigio is an elegant white wine made from fruit grown in the Garda region in northern Italy. It is packed full of fruity and floral flavours, with hints of citrus. A well-balanced wine perfect to drink on its own on a hot summer’s day or pair it with a hearty salad or seafood. RRP $26.

Clandestine Vineyard Pinot Grigio 2020 from the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, has a strong aroma of pears, citrus and green pea. The palate also shows floral flavours. It is a true ‘Grigio’ – bright clean and pristine fruit with great acidity, freshness and intensity of flavour that lingers. RRP $28.

And three wines from the Margaret River region

Clandestine Vineyard Chardonnay 2020 from Wilyabrup is a clean yellowish green colour with aromas of grassy fruit and crisp refreshing acidity. The palate is typical oaked Chardonnay, due to 11 months maturation in French oak barriques with no lees stirring or malolactic fermentation. Vegan friendly. RRP $28.

Flametree 2018 Embers Cabernet Sauvignon. 2018 was one of the best years at Margaret River. The wine has aromas of violets, ripe black fruits with chocolate and a touch of cedar. The palate has flavours of Satsuma plum, blackberry and chocolate. Medium bodied with soft fruit and a fine tannin. RRP $20.

Flametree 2018 Embers Rosé made from Shiraz grapes is salmon in colour with aromas of red berry fruits, particularly cherries and cranberry. The palate has a gentle texture and flavours of cherries and other red berries. Serve as an aperitif or with fish, fowl or salad. RRP $18.

Streicker Ironstone Block Chenin Blanc 2017 This unusual white wine, made from 100 per cent Chenin Blanc grapes has aromas of almonds, lemon curd and spiced pears. The palate is dominated by stone fruit and spices. It is fresh with hints of oak, quince and meringue. The finish is complex and lingering. Cellar up to eight years or drink while young. RRP $28.

Clairault Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2017 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a dash of Petit Verdot. It displays aromas of cherries, blackberries, chocolate and ground coffee. The palate begins with flavours of cherry and light tannin progressing to blackberries and potpourri on the finish. Cellar up to eight years or drink now. RRP $22.

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Frank Smith was trained as an agricultural scientist in the UK, moving to WA in 1974 and shortly afterwards began lecturing at WAIT (now Curtin University) in soils and agronomy. In 1979 he joined the Agriculture Protection Board in charge of publications and media relations, studying part time for a degree in Journalism. In 1992 he spent a year as a visiting professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Later he ran a small publication company with his wife Mary-Helen. He then began freelance writing, editing and book indexing. He has written articles for more than 40 magazines in four continents and indexed more than 20 books. In 2007 he started writing for Have a Go News and gradually reduced his writing for other publications. He later took over the subediting, ensuring Have a Go News is consistent in style and highly readable. He and Mary-Helen live in a passive solar home in the Perth Hills with a varying collection of quendas and native birds.