Don Goldmann doesn't want you to think of wine as just alcohol. He wants you to think of it as a well-preserved fruit with tremendous health benefits.
Goldmann, from Orange, California, is an enthusiastic and energetic proponent of red wine. He's been talking about the health benefits of wine across the country since the mid-1980s. He was the featured speaker at a wine tasting and class hosted by the American Heart Association Thursday night at the Bridge Restaurant.
"We've got to recognize that wine is a different kind of alcohol than other alcohols. It does a different thing," Goldmann said. "And as an American people, we really need to understand that moderate consumption is good for you."
In red wine, the magic is on the inside lining of the grape skin. That chemical produces proteins which produce good cholesterol in the human body. White wine make its contributions in antioxidants, he said. Goldmann reviewed the results of various medical studies in his class that also provided a thorough introduction to wine appreciation.
It was education for a cause. The Heart Association mixed the social atmosphere with a message about cardiovascular health. Executive Director Lisa Sauder said the fundraising event should pull in more than $5,000 for the organization. Sauder says it was the first in a series of Go Red awareness events , which aims to fight heart disease in women.
Students in the hour-long class put their nose deep in the glass and learned to chew the liquid as they sipped. They discussed fruit and spice influences and whether or not it had a long finish. They distinguished grapes varieties from marketing terms.
While Goldmann preached about the positive, he was clear to point out that there can certainly be too much of a good thing.
"You've got to recognize that we're talking about two glasses (or) eight ounces, and that's where it has to stop," he says.
"If you've got a family history of alcoholism, if you've got a family history or a personal history of any kind of excess, then you shouldn't be drinking any kind of alcohol. Not wine, not beer, nothing," he said. "The inability to regulate yourself, that will do you more damage than any positive affects that could come out of wine."