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Wine Link: What the doctor ordered

"Wine is the thinking person's health drink."

This is the kind of folk wisdom that's easy to take ... and best of all, it comes from a doctor.

Meet Dr. Philip Norrie, an Australian physician and winery owner who calls himself The Wine Doctor. He's founder and President of the Australian Medical Friends of Wine Society, which he says he "founded to counteract the growing anti-alcohol lobby in Australia." He also owns Pendarves Estate, a small, respected winery in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney.

His Website,, is an intriguing one. Obviously a home-built labor of love, with a sky-blue background, dancing arrows and skeletons and somewhat distracting graphics with flashing stars, it may be short on glitz, but it's long on content, with a particular emphasis on Dr. Norrie's special interest, wine and health.

It starts with a broad summary of wine and health, pointing out that humans have been consuming wine for more than 10,000 years and using it as a medicine for over 5,000 years. "Hippocrates, the most famous of the ancient physicians, had this to say about wine," Norrie says. "Wine is fit for man in a wonderful way provided that it is taken with good sense by the sick as well as the healthy."

The site offers articles about wine allergies, side effects and hangovers; "Why white wine is just as good for you as red wine," and "Australia's wine doctors." A report on "Australia's Lunatic Asylum Vineyards" tells about a little-known byway of the country's 19th century wine history, when " ... the more enlightened doctors in charge of psychiatric institutions tried to help patients reduce the boredom of their austere surroundings by providing them with meaningful outdoor activities such as gardening and small scale farming," including vineyards.

You'll find quotes about wine here, including a long list of health-related wine quotes (many of them attributed to Norrie himself) and "Thoughts on Wine from America's Elder Statesmen." All this, plus information on Pendarves Estates and its wines and Norrie's wine consulting business, makes The Wine Doctor a worthy destination for an online visit, no matter what part of the world you're in.

Express Notes:

This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page,

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Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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