FROM THE FIRE CHIEF'S CORNER: CALIF. GRAPE CRUSH AND CRASH COMES EARLY-- WINE AWARENESS MONTH IS SEPTEMBER

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 29, 2014 (San Diego)--It appears the California Grape Crush came crashing in a bit early and un-expectantly for the Napa wine region. On the eve of the 2014 harvest, Napa and Napa Valley wineries were rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Sunday morning. The quake injured over 100 people, but fortunately claimed no lives says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Napa’s Resiliency is to be commended, however, a good reminder for all of us to be prepared… Coincidentally, September is National Wine Awareness Month and wine has become so vital to California, that it deserves a whole month.

There’s a lot of talk on the health benefits of wine, but before you crack open that bottle and toast your good health, here is what the experts say.

Is wine fattening? Actually, researchers say they’ve found a compound in red wine and grapes that block immature fat cells’ ability to develop and grow.  “I’m not sure I buy that says Chief DiGiovanna. My fat cells seem to be maturing!  There’s research on the heart health benefits of a daily glass (or two) of red wine, as they say wine lowers blood pressure. Who the heck checks their blood pressure when drinking wine?”

The Greek physician Hippocrates considered wine a part of a healthy diet, and advocated its use as a disinfectant for wounds. I just have friends who are Hypocrites and need disinfecting. 

Some studies suggest that grape juice may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine, including reducing the risk of blood clots, reducing so-called bad cholesterol, and preventing damage to blood vessels in the heart. “Hmmm… Grape juice or wine? That’s easy!”

One thing is important - Always drink responsibly!

Our hearts go out to all of our friends in Napa who were recently ravaged by the earthquake. We also know times like these bring people together. It’s that ‘kind’ part of ‘humankind.’  Maybe we can support them by buying a bottle or two of your favorite Napa wine…

Consider our friends in Napa want us to be prepared so visit: http://lafd.org/eqbook.pdf or contact your local fire department.