Written by AngeliqueB

26 Mar 2014

Over the years, I have noticed that my appreciation and perception of wine has changed and, it is also not consistent over the course of my womanly month. When I was younger, the wine, particularly red, tasted like cardboard, so I drank mostly white; and now, there are times when red wine (I seldom drink white now, except maybe with seafood) is bursting with bouquet and flavour, but at other times, the same wine tastes like sour grape juice. On some occasions, I could be on my third glass of wine without any hint of being intoxicated, and then at other times, one glass could put me down (never mind the headache the next morning.)

What could explain the difference in a woman's perception and appreciation of wine and even, her man?

The reason is simple: HORMONES.

Hormones can affect aspects of womens' perception - they really mess us (and you) around!

We have all heard the wisecracks about women being slaves to their hormonal cycle, however I cannot deny that there is a shift in my perception and enjoyment of wine (and men) depending on which hormone is surging through my body. A woman's oestrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall throughout the month. When oestrogen is on the rise (usually first half of the menstrual cycle Day 1 to 11), a woman tends to feel both better physically and emotionally. Around the time of ovulation (Day 12 to 16), her senses of taste, touch and smell are the most acute and sensitive and her sexuality is in overdrive. When progesterone is on the rise (usually the second half of the menstrual cycle day 17 to 28), she tends to have more negative feelings, such as irritability and low self-esteem, particularly if not pregnant, as progesterone is the hormone responsible for maintaining the lining of the uterus and pregnancy (should it occur.)

Any woman can attest to the effects of this cycle of fluctuating hormones and gentlemen - you know EXACTLY what I am talking about! While it may not be a comfortable assertion to make, womens' Biology IS different from mens'. At the cellular level of every tissue and organ in our bodies, we are built to respond to our cycling hormones and it would be in your best interests, to understand this, for your own sanity and safety and improving your chances of getting lucky.

Hormonal variations affect our nervous system, as well and many women will note differences in their cognitive abilities - such as concentration, memory and variations in mood. The first half of the menstrual cycle can be like a dream. We feel good about ourselves; we are not bloated and our stomachs are flat. All is well with the world and wine is very enjoyable during this time, SO YOU GET SEX! Aromas are sharper, more distinct and pleasing as is the complexity of flavours - everything just tastes better. Could it be that because of the way we are wired, we enjoy wine (and you) more during the first half of our menstrual cycle? Well, it is true for me. During the second half of the cycle, the world and reality (and men!) take on a whole different tone. With rising progesterone levels, NOTHING is right with the world - not even the wine. It becomes acutely noticeable during PMS, when wine seems to taste different: to me - more sour and sometimes downright unappealing (especially red wine.) Especially, in that fourth week of the cycle, dreaded by women and men alike (but for quite possibly for different reasons.)

Another effect of progesterone on women is that it can lessen our alcohol tolerance. Higher levels of progesterone can limit the body's production of insulin, which is responsible for metabolizing sugar and, to an extent, alcohol. Those same high levels of progesterone are responsible for those sub-human sugar cravings women experience, leading them to feel as if they are possessed for a few days before their period. One glass of wine during the latter part of her cycle can affect her the same way three glasses of wine affect her during the first part of her cycle. It is unclear as to how much alcohol tolerance changes or whether it affects all women. My alcohol tolerance drops by half or more during PMS. This can be an important consideration in deciding how much I do or do not drink.

Hormone fluctuations affect women differently and individual reactions and experiences can be as varied as their fingerprints. There are some women who say that attributing womens' reactions to the world should not be judged against a hormonal backdrop, for fear of discrimination and labelling. Although it is a justified concern, I think women AND MEN should be more aware of how a female's body and mind change within that 28 day cycle. I am not suggesting women should schedule and plan their lives around their hormonal cycle; men could most certainly benefit greatly, from being more aware of how their woman's perceptions of reality can fluctuate, from one week to the next and, so it may help to take note of what effect wine appreciation and alcohol tolerance has on their partner..... it will pay dividends.

Red wine is consistently one of the preferred drinks of mature women and many men do not realise the benefits of a nice Cabernet Sav or Merlot, to relax after a fully packed day of commitments. Many studies also support numerous health benefits, most importantly the prevention of heart disease, experienced by those who join in the partaking in a nice glass of red.

Men, you may be missing out on something did you know the advantages of drinking red wine regularly?

There is a 50 percent reduction in death from coronary heart disease and stroke. (Beer and spirit drinkers do not share the same advantage.)

There is a 32 perent decrease in heart disease.

Red wine decreases a clot-forming protein, fibrinogen, which contributes to blockages in the heart so there is less chance of a heart attack.

Red wine increases good cholesterol or HDL and in turn, lowers bad cholesterol or LDL.

The groups that benefit the most from drinking red wine were men and women of middle age.

It is important to note that the studies above involved subjects who were moderate drinkers generally defined as 1-2 drinks of alcohol per day, 3-4 days per week.

So, red wine appears to have heart health benefits for men and women alike - forget that ice-cold beer! But, maybe more importantly, women who drink 1 - 2 servings of red wine per day, have increased romantic desires. Researchers have concluded that levels of sexual urges were higher in women who were moderate drinkers of red wine, than in their counterparts who preferred other alcoholic drinks, or were teetotal. The chemical compounds found in red wine improve sexual functioning by increasing blood flow to key areas of her body, so there is most certainly a potential relationship between red wine consumption and better sexuality.

So, RED WINE-SWILLING women, who like a drop of the red stuff, enjoy fruitier sex lives and a more fulfilling life in the bedroom. This includes factors such as sexual arousal and satisfaction. It is also more evident, in mature woman. So, get your woman to drink RED, RED WIINE.

A good woman is like a fine red wine - once uncorked - appreciate to the full and never waste a drop!"