Medical studies give red wine sales a boost

Times Staff Writer

Red wine may or may not extend your life, but it is invigorating the wine industry.

Market research firm ACNielsen this week reported a bump in red wine sales after a series of medical studies about the anti-aging properties of a compound called resveratrol, which is found in red wine.

True, the experiments were in mice. And, yes, a human would have to drink hundreds of glasses a day to get an equivalent dose of resveratrol.

But who's counting?

"We're big winos and so here was another excuse to drink red wine," said Dana Frankley, 36, of Valley Village as she browsed the items at Silver Lake Wines.

The ACNielsen report found that red wine sales had increased 8.3% in the four weeks ended Nov. 18 compared with the same period last year.

The rise "is more than what we'd normally expect," said ACNielsen's Danny Braden. "Our hypothesis is all that favorable press out there ... led people weighing their choices to tip in favor of red wine."

Harvard Medical School researcher David A. Sinclair, senior author of a key resveratrol study, said wine drinkers were going overboard.

"To say our research endorses red wine consumption is missing the point," Sinclair said.

Besides, resveratrol is found in other food products, including nuts. Although the public has fixated on red wine, nuts haven't seen a similar buzz.

ACNielsen found that the volume of nuts sold this year, compared with last, slipped 1.3%.

For The Record Los Angeles Times Saturday December 09, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction Red wine: An article in Friday's Business section about a rise in red wine sales after research described the possible health benefits of a compound in the wine identified an ACNielsen executive as Danny Braden. His name is Danny Brager.
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