Heart of Healing

Wine portrait: Quintessa 2001 (Bordeaux blend – biodynamic).

When I was a medical scientist it became clear that getting better from an illness was more than about molecules. A whole body of research evolved showing how important people are to our overall well-being.  Of course, people can be a major source of stress yet they also are a rich source of connection and joy.

When I got bitten by the wine bug and the molecular displays under the microscope I learned about the French Paradox.  “If the French can eat high fat meals, smoke and not exercise, why is it they have far less heart disease than Americans? It has to be the RED WINE, scientists reasoned.

Red wine carries many molecules that can contribute to our health.  However, what about lifestyle?  How do the French live their daily lives? Leisure, sharing meals in the middle of the day? How does the current American lifestyle contribute to heart problems?  What about the hurried, rush rush competitive pace? Its not only how hard we work or what we eat or drink.  It’s also who we spend time with, that we have people in our lives to spend time with. Do we really need scientists to tell us – take 2 friends out and call me in the morning?

Consider the next time you want to open a bottle of red wine, who do you want to share it with.

Here’s a clip to listen  about the company we keep


The above image was the first heart I saw in a wine – an incredible red wine – Quintessa 2001, a wine made with love.


  1. for wine microbes, you’ll need glass slide and coverslip – at least 40xmagnification.
    look up Michael Davidson – he has a whole primer on microscopy, pictures etc.
    there are lots of wine texts with pictures – I’d just google wine yeasts images and I’m sure you’ll get something on that.
    Good luck, have fun.

    you might want to look at filtered and unfiltered wines.

  2. Ron Irvine

    I am teaching a wine course in a technical college near Seattle.
    In one of my classes I am going to have my students look at yeasts and bacterias through a microscope. I have asked the school’s microbiologist to help me in the class.

    Any tips? Do I just take a sample of a wine (from my winery) and place it under the lens.

    Are there other sources on the internet that might also have pictures of these.

    Thank you for the great pictures.


    Ron Irvine

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