In this article we shall make no distinction between red and white wine, except to say that red wine generally contains more tannin. Tannin possesses particular therapeutic properties; in particular, the procyanidin it contains helps prevent atherosclerosis, with the polyphenols also present in it having a protective effect on the artery walls.
It is only a short step from this statement to the assertions of many scientists, including Professor Masquelier, that wines rich in tannin contribute to some extent to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. A highly reputable medical survey, carried out in Britain in 1979 and bringing together evidence from eighteen countries, concluded that the death rate from heart attacks was lowest in populations which habitually drank wine (three to five times lower in France and Italy than in Northern European countries).
Wine can form a part of a normal diet, as long as reasonable limits are observed (about half a liter a day for a man, but only two thirds of this for a woman), and as long as it is consumed as late in the meal as possible, once the stomach is full of food.
In Phase I it is as well to stay away from wine if possible. In Phase II it can be drunk on a daily basis without affecting your weight. However, wine consumption will need to be juggled carefully with other carbohydrate intake. I am thinking in particular of chocolate and desserts in general.
While you are in Phase I, the stage where you need to be very strict with yourself, it may prove difficult to enjoy a family occasion or a meal with friends without touching a single drop of wine. If you suddenly announce you are not drinking, others may feel awkward about it.