Wilfred Van Gorp, Ph.D., is a psychology professional who currently serves on the adjunct faculty at Argosy University. Over the course of a career spanning nearly three decades, Wilfred Van Gorp has published articles in more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and presented at numerous professional meetings. He also co-edited the book Neuropsychology and Substance Use. During his free time, Dr. Van Gorp is a wine aficionado.
The choice between red and white wine is dictated entirely by personal preference. However, wine aficionados who are also concerned about their health and diet should consider the nutritional value of a bottle of red compared to a bottle of white. While both red and white wines are made from seedless grapes, both varieties offer different benefits.
White wine is reported to have a positive effect on the heart, including preventing heart disease. Red wines can also improve heart health, though they provide a wealth of additional benefits because of the inclusion of grapes with skin. The skin of a grape helps protect blood vessels and prevent blood clots through resveratrol antioxidants, which are also associated with the inhibition of certain enzymes known to foster the growth of cancer cells and weaken the immune system. While red wines offer a more comprehensive set of health benefits, a fine bottle of white wine can surpass the positive of effects of a mediocre red.
In an article published online by Food & Wine, writer Lettie Teague delves into the conundrum of “good” versus “great” wines, a subject that clinical neuropsychologist Wilfred Van Gorp, PhD, also finds fascinating. Here, Dr. Van Gorp offers his perspective on a topic that will intrigue oenophiles everywhere.
For the wine connoisseur in search of perfection, or at least the closest thing to it, the acquisition of a deliciously drinkable bottle could certainly qualify as work, albeit work of the most pleasurable nature. Due to a worldwide glut of growers and producers, as well as recent technological and scientific advancements that have asserted a noteworthy influence on viticulture practices, one can easily find a decent selection of reds and whites for less than $25. The characteristics that separate a good wine from a great wine are debatable, but most oenophiles would agree that balance and structure each play considerable roles in this qualitative form of comparison.
When wine enthusiasts speak about balance, they usually reference proportions of fruit to tannin, with elements like acidity, minerality, and terroir also coming up in conversation. Categorizing a great wine, however, tends to become slightly more complex, as judgment standards hinge heavily on several key factors. The status of a winemaker, expert opinion on whether a particular vintage went from vine to barrel or bottle during an exceptional harvest season, and the price of the wine itself all contribute to reputation.