Open Wide and Say, “Another Glass”

All that swishing you’ve been doing at wine tastings? Turns out it’s a lot more like a trip to the dentist than you thought. According to a study published in the July 11 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, wine can act as an antibacterial agent against the nasty oral streptococci bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Fox News, vigilant as always, urges us to “remember that the study was done in test tubes,” so there’s not quite enough evidence to justify replacing our Listerine with Merlot.

Over at Food & Wine, the Tasting Room blog also has “a few questions” about the study’s methodology. The researchers used “supermarket Valpolicella,” which, the blog points out, “will kill almost anything you pour it on. Bacteria, feh. You could pour that stuff on Cujo and stop him dead in his tracks.”

Researchers noted that red wine may have more antibacterial properties than white wine, but a good Chardonnay will stand up well against a fennel-flavored Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. (OK, maybe that last part wasn’t exactly spelled out in the study, but we all know it.)