Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Lower Risk of Lung Disease

Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to
Lower Risk of Lung Disease

By Douglas De Jesus


A recent study found that men who drank moderately had a lower rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

When it comes to respiratory illnesses, there are few studies exploring the link between alcohol consumption and lung health. However, new research from Sweden appears to breathe life into this field: Its findings suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may lower the risk of lung disease in men.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a respiratory illness that restricts airflow into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult. The illness advances over time, increasingly diminishing pulmonary performance, often with fatal results.

The leading cause of COPD is smoking, followed by asthma and environmental factors. Symptoms of COPD include a cough that produces a lot of mucus, shortness of breath, especially during physical activity, wheezing and chest tightness, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The disease impacts an estimated 16 million people yearly in the U.S. alone. “According to investigators in the Global Burden of Disease Study, COPD was the third leading cause of loss of life in the United States and the fourth leading cause in the United Kingdom in 2016,” the study authors write.

The study, conducted by a team from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and the U.K.’s University of the West of England, Bristol, and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, involved over 44,000 men between the ages of 45 to 79. Researchers began tracking the men, starting in 1998, to the moment they were diagnosed with COPD or until the end of 2014. The study took into account the subjects’ health, age, weight, body mass index, level of education, economic class and various other factors.

The median age of the participants was 60. Of those, 24.4 percent were smokers, 38.5 percent were ex-smokers, and 35.8 percent had never smoked. Participants were also asked how much they drank per week. The researchers defined 1 standard drink as 12 grams of ethanol, approximately 5 ounces of wine. (That’s slightly lower than the 14 grams defined as a standard glass of wine by the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.)

The study found that moderate drinkers had a lower incidence of COPD than both abstainers and heavy drinkers. In fact, the individuals who didn’t consume alcohol had a 21 percent higher incidence of the disease than individuals who drank moderately, roughly 7 to 14 drinks per week. Heavy drinkers (those consuming more than 20 drinks per week) had a 34 percent higher incidence of COPD than moderate drinkers.

The researchers were careful to make sure they adjusted their results to take into account possible confounding factors. The data revealed that wine drinkers are more likely to have higher incomes as opposed to liquor drinkers, and liquor drinkers are also more likely to be smokers. Also, those who consumed one or more glasses of wine per week tended to have a college education. Income and smoking are both factors that affect health outcomes and the incidence of COPD. However, even after adjusting for these confounding factors, the researchers still found that moderate drinkers had lower risk factors for COPD than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.

“We can hypothesize that the protective association for moderate alcohol consumption, especially beer and wine consumption, relates to the antioxidant impact of polyphenols present in alcoholic beverages,” the authors write. However, because the researchers had little information on other COPD causes (like chemical fumes, pollution, etc.), aside from smoking, they were not able to conclusively say that moderate drinking alone was the only factor in these positive outcomes. Further research on the antioxidant qualities of wine and beer may help bolster these findings.


Stunning 97 Point Cabernet by Winemaker of the Year!


Francoise Peschon winemaker for Cornell, Vine Hill Ranch (100 points), Drinkward- Peschon, Heimark, Araujo (1993 – 2013) etc. has been crafting wine in the Napa Valley for decades now.  With 34 harvests under her belt, Peschon’s scope of influence is just as great as big-name consultants like Philippe Melka, Celia Welch and Helen Turley, but she’s uninterested in being a celebrity winemaker. “That’s such an American phenomenon, that winemakers are like movie stars,” says Peschon, the daughter of Luxembourg expats. “I just think it’s a) ridiculous and b) boring.”  She just wants to make great wine and stay out of the limelight….  This is until she was voted Winemaker of the Year in 2019!

I am so proud to have some of her wines in my inventory including this latest release from Cornell 2016.

Cornell 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
GGWC 154.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code CORNELL during checkout

Vinous 97 Points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon continues to become more and more refined with time in bottle. Silky, wonderfully perfumed and nuanced, the 2016 is exceptionally beautiful. This is such a striking and vivid wine with tons of mountain character and pedigree to burn.”

James Suckling 97 Points: “The tightness and linear nature to this balanced and beautiful wine are so attractive. Bright and dense with lots of cabernet focus. Love the tannin and fruit balance. Drink after 2022, but already a beauty.”

Anthony Galloni 97 Points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon shows just how far the estate has progressed in just the last few years. Powerful and explosive, with tremendous aromatic intensity, the 2016 is a rapturously beautiful wine. Dark cherry, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, new leather, spice, sage, and lavender add layers of understated nuance and complexity in this riveting, stunningly dramatic mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2016 shuts down quickly after opening, which is probably a very good thing for its aging prospects. The 2016 is an extraordinary and deeply moving wine from Cornell.”

Winemaker Notes: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon begins with a deep garnet color that leads to aromas of dark and red fruits and underlying forest floor. On the palate, blackberry and tart blueberry integrate with dark chocolate, dried sage and fresh herbs. Balance is achieved between the energy and fine tannins and the deep, powerful, age-worthy nature of this wine. The wine is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec & 2% Cabernet Franc.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Barbour Cabernet by 100 Point Winemaker Celia Welch is their BEST EVER!


Jim Barbour was raised on his family ranch in Rutherford where he learned the life of framing, a passion for land, and the understanding that hard work breeds success. After graduating from UC Davis, Jim returned to Napa to begin a career that would lead him to become on Napa Valley’s most sought-after and successful viticulturists.  He has been dedicated to his craft, producing premium wine grapes using traditional and contemporary hand-farming methods.  Jim has planted and managed many prominent vineyards in the valley, including Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Blankiet, Revana, Gandona Estate, The Vineyardist, Keever, Pillar Rock, DR Stephens, Husic, Grace Family, and more.  In 1992 he planted his own vineyard and in 1995 produced his first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon of just 50 cases.

His winemaker is no other than Celia Welch A.K.A. “Miss 100 Points” , known for her great skills putting wineries on the map of success.  Her list is long, but in case you didn’t know – Scarecrow, Corra, Keever, Kelly Fleming, Lindstrom, Rewa, Castiel, 2480 Hollywood & Vine, etc. She took over from the “other” 100 point winemaker, Heidi Barrett and the rest… is history!

Barbour 2017 “Estate” Cabernet, Napa Valley
GGWC 154.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code BARBOUR at checkout

The Barbour Estate Cabernet is amazingly opulent from start to finish.  The wine’s aromas of black stone fruit, anise, mocha and chocolate jump out of the glass on impact.  This full-bodied wine is loaded with generously layered dark berry, plum, chocolate and exotic spices that tickle the lush concentrated palate. A MUST HAVE!!

Winery Notes: “Barbour Vineyard in St. Helena always seems to yield spectacular fruit with a very lifted, slightly perfumed flair to the purple boysenberry and blackberry notes. The 2017 Cabernet seems to emphasize those lifted, aromatic qualities even more intensely. In addition to the purple fruit, notes of plum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet earth add complexity. The mouthfeel is full, fruit-forward and elegant, with approachable tannins and just enough grip to lend weight to the core. The finish echoes the aroma, with forward, juicy fruit notes.”  

Celia Welch Notes: “Harvested by-hand on from grapes grown on our dry-farmed vineyard, the 2017 vintage of Barbour Cabernet is fully ripe, displaying purple and blue tones and deeper notes of mocha, black tea and graphite. its full mouthfeel offers tannins that are present yet approachable, and the wine finishes with dark fruits dominating the mid and upper palate. cluster selection was exacting. the fruit was destemmed and optically sorted, then fermented on its skins for approximately three weeks prior to gently pressing. aged for 22 months in 65% new french oak, the wine has the density, structure and breadth of palate for aging.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Great Quality-Price Ratio Napa Cabernet


I’ll spare you the extra details and keep this intro short and sweet, except to say that you’ll want to give this one a try! Behrens Family Winery produces small lots of six or seven wines a year at its winery perched high on top of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. Only 257 cases were produced of their 2015 “Spare Me” Cabernet. The wine is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot.

Behrens 2015 “Spare Me” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 64.99
Use code SPAREME during checkout

Robert Parker 94 Points: “A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot, the deep purple-black colored 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Spare Me has a nose of dark chocolate and meat with hints of underbrush and crushed rocks. The full-bodied mouth is rich, expressive and pure-fruited with firm, grainy tannins and a long finish.”

Winemaker Notes: “When it comes to Quality-Price Ratio, this wine is a champion. Striking flavors of cherry pie, cinnamon and earthy notes follow the intriguing aromas of raspberry and mint. Beautifully balanced with loads of dark fruit, the mouthfeel is juicy with fine grained tannins and a lively finish of earthy notes and blackberries. Score!  

Click here or on the links above to order!




Bevan’s stunning new 2018 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir releases are now in stock and you are not going to want to miss them!

Bevan 2018 “Ritchie Vineyard” Chardonnay, Russian River
Retail 74.99 – GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BEVAN during checkout

The Bevan Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard has intense pink grapefruit, guava and warm pineapple on the nose with suggestions of ginger ale and brioche. The palate is full-bodied and rich with yeasty/toasty notes, finishing very spicy and very long and layered.

Winemaker Notes: “The Richie Vineyard Chardonnay has a beautiful gold green hue to it. As you pour this wine it aromatically takes over the room. Your goal might have been to look at the color and viscosity in and on the glass, but the wine forces you to smell her. Pineapple, key lime and freshly grilled toast envelop you. Texturally the wines acidity hits the pallet and lights up your tongue which is immediately followed by her amazing richness. She is all silky power.”

Bevan 2018 “Petaluma Gap” Pinot Noir, Sonoma
Retail 84.99 – GGWC 81.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BEVAN during checkout

The Bevan Petaluma Gap is a rich, powerful Pinot that delivers exactly what you’d expect from Bevan, tons of fruit in a balanced, seamless package. Black cherries, blackcurrants, graphite, and roasted herb notes all emerge from this full-bodied, powerful effort that has good acidity and length.

Winemaker Notes: “The Petaluma Gap is made up of four different clones and all of them are expressed on different levels. The power and massive textures come from the Pommard clone, the floral aromatics from the Swan, roasted earth from the Calera and bright fruit from the 828 clone. The combination is a powerful, deep wine that in the glass looks like Cabernet but in the nose is all Pinot Noir seduction. In the world of Pinot Noir this is an 800-pound gorilla.”

Also check out these other outstanding Bevan Wines
(Mix & match OK for FREE SHIPPING)


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95 Point Napa Gem $70s, but taste like a $200 Cabernet


Benoit Touquette might no longer be the #1 undiscovered talent in Napa. Garnering great reviews with Realm, Hartwell and his own Fait-Main label.

He was Andy Erickson’s right hand man, at Screaming Eagle producing many 98-100 point wines! Benoit is also the protégé of the world’s top consulting winemaker Michel Rolland.  All three were at the helm of Ovid producing their wines for some years. His “Fait-Main” label, which translates to “Hand-Crafted” is a small case production Cabernet  project.  I’d say that a new star is born!

Fait-Main 2017 Cabernet “Teeter-Totter” Napa Valley
GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code TEETER at checkout

The 2017 Fait-Main “Teeter Totter” Cabernet Sauvignon Blend with its opaque ruby/purple-color exhibits tons of fruit on the nose: crème de cassis, blackcurrants and blackberries intermixed with notes of baking spices, lavender, graphite and licorice. It is big, bold and full-bodied, round and juicy loaded with black stone fruit, a touch of cigar spice and a hint of figs on the long, silky finish.  This is a wine that could be drunk now or over the next decade.  Limited production!

Winery Notes: “The Teeter Totter Cabernet Sauvignon as it will easily compete with wine that costs 3-4 times its going rate. Made from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from throughout the valley, this beauty boasts a saturated purple color as well as a classic bouquet of crème de cassis, licorice, toasted spices, and tobacco. Deep, full-bodied, and powerful, it still has the class and purity of the 2017 vintage front and center. It’s a no-brainer to enjoy over the coming decade.

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “Another terrific value, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% each Petite Sirah and Cab Franc. Production is way down, but it’s an amazing wine with its bright, juicy blackberry and cassis fruit interwoven with plenty of graphite and toasted spice. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and sweetly fruited, it has ripe tannins and is well worth seeking out.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Zinfandel of the Year!


Scarlett is a family operation owned by the McGah family, who are most notably known for co-founding the Oakland Raiders. Representing over four generations of wine growers, the family’s personal touch can be felt from the soil to the glass. The winery previously operated under the name McGah Family and rebranded in 2015 in honor of its flagship wine, Scarlett, which is named after the founder’s daughter.

Mike Smith became a self-taught winemaker early in his career by making wine as a side project in Oregon. He decided to leave his desk job in 1999 to purse wine full-time, and worked numerous crushes (for free) in Napa Valley. Mike ended up spending seven years working with Thomas Rivers Brown, who’s the genius behind the likes of Schrader, Rivers Marie, Outpost, Maybach and others. In 2006, Mike decided to branch out on his own. Today, Mike is and has been the winemaker for an incredible number of estates in the Valley, Including Carter Cellars, Becklyn, Maybach Family, Bench, Scarlett, and 12c, among others.

Scarlett 2017 “Estate” Zinfandel, Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 49.99
Use code SCARZIN during checkout

Dark and opulent ruby hues greet the eye as a classic Zin nose flush with red fruit, licorice root, bramble berry take center stage. Glass coating glycerin, a natural acidity lift, and a medium plus weight frame this garnet beauty throughout. The mid palate is loaded with mixed dark fruits, spice cake and root beer. An undeniable streak of anise right down the middle glides into to a 20 second plus finish. Full bodied and structured, a 1 hour decant works magic with this wine or lay it down for a few years to uncover hidden layers and complexities.

Winemaker Notes: “The Scarlett Zinfandel Heritage Vineyard is a perennial favorite in our portfolio. Packed with cherry compote, white flowers, black pepper, licorice, and dried lavender, this deep ruby Zinfandel elicits excitement from the get-go. Full-bodied and fresh with a gorgeous purity of fruit, it is buttressed by deceivingly silky but substantial tannins and equally substantial alcohol that lurks in the background. This wine has such a great mid-palate density and length there’s no doubting its outstanding quality. This handcrafted beauty shows off until the very end with a layered finish that effortlessly carries on for hours. Because this wine is fairly heady, I would favor drinking it over the next couple of years to provide enough time for all the hidden components to weave together.”

Also check out these other great Scarlett wines:


People to know… Andy Erickson

by Karen McNeil


Andy Erickson is the consulting winemaker for Dalla Valle, Arietta, Dancing Hares Vineyard, Mayacamas and Ovid and is the co-owner and winemaker for Favia Wines and Leviathan. After working his first harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Andy went on to study enology at the University of California, Davis, while working at Spottswoode and Saintsbury wineries. He then spent ten years working for three of Napa Valley’s most prestigious estates: Harlan Estate, Staglin Family Vineyards and Screaming Eagle.

Karen MacNeil: What was the first wine that truly inspired you?
Andy Erickson: I’ll have to say it was Dalla Valle’s 1991 “Maya”.  It was an eye-opening wine, and something that for me stood out from a lot of the other wines in Napa Valley.  It is probably what sent me down the path of searching for great cabernet franc.
KM: Did you have a mentor? Tell us about her/him.
AE: Even better, I’ll give you three.  I was extremely lucky early on in my career to work with John Kongsgaard when he was still at Newton Vineyard.  John really showed me a way of viewing wine as it relates to farming, nature and life.  His non-interventionist approach is something I still strive for.  David Abreu is someone I have worked with for many years, and his connection with the vineyards is inspiring.  That, and his pursuit of balance and precision in grape growing.  Also Michel Rolland, whom I continue to work with after more than 18 years, has helped me to fine tune my palate, and the way I look at blending to achieve great texture in wines.

 KM: What does your average day look like?
AE: It really depends on the time of year, which makes it exciting for me.  I work with several properties, all in the Napa Valley, and they are all different.  During the growing season I might be meeting with the vineyard team in the morning, working on final blends of the previous vintages’ wines, and maybe hosting a tasting in the afternoon.  Right now we have just finished our last bottlings, and are putting the final touches on vineyards, pre-harvest, and we’ve already harvested some sauvignon blanc for a client.  In the winter, I like to ski in Tahoe.
KM: If you couldn’t make wine in Napa Valley, where would your next choice be?
AE: I have always loved the wines from Saint Émilion in Bordeaux, and it would be a dream to work with those vineyards.  Bolgheri, on the Tuscan Coast, would also be pretty spectacular.  The funny thing is, way back when, when I decided to make wine, in my mind I thought, at the very least, even if it never leads to anything lucrative, at least I will live in a beautiful place, because everywhere I had ever been that grew grapes and made wine was amazing.  So you almost can’t go wrong.  But I would want there to be cabernet franc there.
KM: You are a consulting winemaker to some of most prestigious wineries. How is being a consulting winemaker different from being a regular winemaker?
AE: I’m lucky to work with proprietors who are one hundred percent committed to extracting the best that is possible from their vineyards, so it is very collaborative and vineyard-focused, and also small-scale.  With our own wines, Annie and I are similarly focused, so in terms of the nuts and bolts there is not too much difference in the actual work being done.  With consulting, I try to tune in to what the proprietor wants, since in the end, it is their winery, not mine.
KM: How often do you drink your own wine? Are you a hard critic of wines you’ve made?
AE: We drink our own wines fairly often because wine is meant to be shared, and we entertain quite a bit at our home and winery. Luckily I think, I can compartmentalize and enjoy our wines when we are just enjoying them, but then yes I can be a very hard critic when we are having a technical tasting or blending.  We always need to keep improving.
KM: I’m not going to ask what’s your favorite type of wine. But what wine or type of wine do you like the least?
AE: I like wines from all over the world, from many different varieties.  I see it as a great way to connect with different cultures and people from all over the globe.  The wines I like the least are flawed wines.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a movement to celebrate flawed wines, and I’ll be honest and say that I find it perplexing.  I can’t think of another industry where the success of some producers is predicated on the tearing down of what others in the same industry are doing.  I’d love to debate some of these people.  I’d say we’re as committed or more to organic, sustainable, and natural practices in what we do, but we are also committed to consistently bottling the best possible wine every year from every vineyard.
KM: What’s the last wine book you’ve read?
AE: I still think of The Billionaire’s Vinegar, by Benjamin Wallace, which I read a few years ago.  What a story, and a great read.  I also read quite a few technical journals, but won’t bore you with the details.
KM: What is it about wine that moves you?
AE:  I love tasting a wine that immediately makes me wonder where it is from, where the grapes are grown.  The concept of “wines of place” is an idea that I love.
KM: Tell us something about you that would surprise most people to learn.
AE: My daughter just left for college last week.  This still blows my mind.
KM: In addition to wine, what’s your other favorite beverage?
AE: Easy; beer.   It’s a great time to be a beer lover.
KM: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
AE: We have raised two amazing daughters, and I feel so proud every time I look at them or hear someone else talking about them.

Would you like to get to know Andy Erickson a little better? Sample a few of his wines, available now at GoldenGateWineCellars.com



By winemaker Jennifer Williams, former winemaker at Spottswoode. She was named one of the rising stars of Napa Valley winemaking.

The 2016 Black Label is produced with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Lewelling, Criscione, and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyards. This wine took spot number 8 in our annual list of the best wines Napa has to offer! Only 202 cases were produced.

Arrow & Branch 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate “Black Label” Napa Valley
GGWC 124.99
Use code ARROW during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label come mostly from the Lewelling and Criscione Vineyard (which was planted by Tony Soter in early 2000s), with a touch from Dr. Crane vineyard outside of Saint Helena. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in barrel, this rocking, sexy 2016 gives up loads of black currents and black raspberry-like fruit intermixed with intriguing notes of tobacco, spice and incense aromas and flavors. It’s complex, full-bodied, elegant, and just does everything right. I’d be thrilled to drink bottles over the coming 15 years or more, and while it’s not expensive it’s not inexpensive, as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it’s an incredible bottle of wine.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Just in time for Valentine’s… Frank’s own Rose is here (made by ace winemaker Paul Lato)

When I first got into the wine industry a few decades ago, rosé was anything but cool. White Zinfandel from California made the public think that all rosé was sweet, and unfortunately, imports such as Royal Lancers from Portugal and wines such as Sutter Home White Zin confirmed this notion.

Today, however, rosé is the second fastest growing segment of the wine market – the United States is the second largest rosé consuming country in the world, following France of course! It accounts for nearly 10% of all wine made worldwide. You’ll find rosé at high-end restaurants and stores like mine!  On that note, since Paul Lato makes some Syrah and Pinot Noir for me every year, I asked him a few years ago to start making some Rose of Pinot Noir for me, and looking at the response from my clients… a no brainer.  So I am very excited to introduce our NEW Melis Family 2019 Rosé from the Santa Rita Hills to you.

I would not be able to bring this Rosé to the market without the help of my winemaker and  good friend Paul Lato!  Paul helps me source the fruit and the Melis Family helps with the actual blend!

Melis Family 2019 Rose of Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
GGWC 31.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code MELISROSE during checkout

This wine is not an afterthought, but a serious contender. The 2019 Melis Family Rose of Pinot Noir (blend of 2 great Santa Rita Hills vineyards) offers up ample and layered fruit on both nose and palate. On the nose you’ll encounter crushed flowers, cranberry and bright red cherry notes which continue on the pleasant palate laced with a touch of bright acidity. The wine is nicely polished (Paul Lato would not have it any other way) finishing gorgeously. A crowd-pleasing rose!

Also check out this other great Melis Family wine:

Click here or on the links above to order!