Guilt Free at Last, Health Benefits of Red Wine

• by Jenny Benzie, Advanced Sommelier and Proprietress of Épernay Wine & Spirits


Drinking one glass of wine each night is good for the heart (and the soul). The health benefits of red wine may be greater than you might think. Red wine possesses qualities that can help protect your body when it is consumed in moderation.

Antioxidants are the main reason wine is considered “heart healthy.” They are beneficial because they slow signs of aging, reduce the risk of some heart disease issues, and can also help patients with some forms of cancer. The most frequently credited antioxidant found in wine is called resveratrol. It helps to decrease the amount of bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol in your system. Resveratrol prevents the buildup of plaque, which clogs the arteries and can thin your blood, which is what causes blood clots to form. In effect, resveratrol can play a role in helping to prevent many heart-related risks such as heart disease, and also aid in stroke prevention.

In addition, resveratrol discourages the growth of cancer in new blood cells. It also helps to prevent DNA mutations that can lead to cancer. Based on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (which measures the trapping of cancer-causing free radicals in our bodies), a glass of red wine actually has more antioxidants than a cup of raw blueberries! (Please note that I am not suggesting you add wine to your smoothie drink in the morning.)

Which wines have the most antioxidants? Resveratrol can be found in fairly potent form in the skins and seeds of all red grapes. Full-bodied red wines that come from thick skinned grapes (such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) have more polyphenols that work as antioxidants than lighter style red wines that come from thin skinned grape varieties (like Pinot Noir and Grenache). The best way to see how much polyphenols your wine contains is to pour yourself a glass and examine the color. If the color of the wine is so opaque that you can’t see through it, then the wine has high antioxidant content. Score is one for Napa Valley Cabernets (not so great for the Red Burgundy lovers)!

Fermented beverages have proven that their health benefits are associated with good digestion. These probiotic powerhouses boost your digestive tract’s good bacteria, which is what helps to improve digestion and also offers many health-boosting nutrients. Kombucha, kimchi, and yogurt are just a few options that have all been fermented. So you may now add to this list beer, cider, wine, and sake, all of which are fermented from different base products. Malolactic fermentation is a process used in winemaking as a secondary fermentation to create lactic acid, the same thing that is touted as a health benefit in other fermented beverages. The probiotics found in fermented beverages such as wine can unlock more energy.

vinobottleWho wouldn’t want to live longer? While you share a glass of wine with your friends, family or neighbors, you are also adding to the health benefits of consuming wine. Wine accompanies socialization, human interaction, memory recall of telling stories and laughing along the way. Wine drinkers tend to have a lower early mortality rate than beer or spirits consumers.

How much is too much? Scientists have found that men should have two glasses of red wine and women should have one glass of red wine per day in order to obtain the health benefits associated with wine consumption. By all means, don’t start drinking if you aren’t already a drinker just to take advantage of these benefits. Keep in mind that overconsumption can easily botch all the benefits of wine. But if you are someone who enjoys a glass of wine frequently, these findings certainly help make it feel less like a guilty pleasure. By the way, the health benefits of a glass of wine a day are not retroactive!

While your health-conscience friends are sampling the newest pressed fruit juices, you can sit back and relax knowing that your time-proven red wine habit might just be the key to a longer, healthier life.

5 Minutes with B.Glow

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people laugh.”  Stand-up comedian Brian Glowacki, a 6’1” cue ball, is an elm of a man.  He takes the stage like your dad does the barbecue: ready to crack a brew and hang, but also itching to get down to business.  The Nantucket native doesn’t resort to audience insults or exhausting the expletive card.  He’s a gentle guy, but he’s got some killer jokes.

“In 2011, I was enrolled in a stand-up comedy writing class as a gift,” he says.  “I knew from the first time I went onstage that comedy would be a part of my life forever.”  As the leading man of the Nantucket-based band Perfect Day, publicly using his voice wasn’t too far a leap for Glowacki.

“I would say at this stage of my ‘career’ that my comedic style is still evolving.  I poke a lot of fun at myself because it’s cheaper than therapy.  When I get offstage, I want the audience to have learned something about me:  about my life and wher

Brian Glowacki Photo by Yellow Productions

e I came from.  I like feeling that even though I may be on stage with a microphone, that we’re all just hanging together.  I like to keep my act as conversational as possible.”  Thought he’s a kind and generous comic, it still doesn’t mean you can bring the kids.  Glowacki continues, “I wouldn’t call myself clean.  I’d have to say that I’m naughty but not dirty.  I always want to do a set that might make my mother cringe but not make her want to leave or beat me with a belt.”  Offstage, Glowacki is soft-spoken and earnest.  Those closest to him describe him as honest, loyal.  You might say he’s a stand-up stand-up.

Glowacki has lived on Nantucket his entire life, save for a handful of months here and there.  “Without a doubt, humor is important to people who live on Nantucket.  We’ve had some tragedies and hard times as a community.  Laughter is what brings us all back together.  I choose to stay on Nantucket,” he says, “because it would be too expensive to load all my things onto the boat.”  He grins.  “No, really, I love it here.  It’s such a unique and supportive place.  I always talk about leaving, but I’m sure I never could.  My roots are here.”

See Glowacki perform every Monday night from 6-7 p.m. at the Starlight Theater in downtown Nantucket.  This September 27 at 8 p.m., Glowacki will be filming his first-ever comedy special at the Dreamland.  Watch it all happen in the Main Theater by getting tickets for $20 at  Attendees will be able to pre-order the DVD, which is slated for release this fall.

Limerick Challenge

This series of limericks first appeared in a June 14, 1924 edition of a Nantucket newspaper. It all began when the Princeton Tiger revived the then well-known limerick printed first below and the Chicago Tribune answered with the second limerick. The New York Exchange went one step further with the third rhyme, and the Pawtucket Times took over from there.

A few years ago, Yesterday’s Island began to encourage readers to continue the saga. Because of reader demands, we again issue the challenge our readers to write their own ”chapters.“ (Only rhymes in the form of limericks will be accepted. Limericks should have five lines that follow the rhythm in the examples below.) Send the limericks to us at P.O. Box 626, Nantucket, MA 02554, or email your limerick.

There once was a man from Nantucket,Cash_bucket
Who kept all of his cash in a bucket,
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
—Princeton Tiger

But he followed the pair to Pawtucket,
The man and the girl with the bucket;
And he said to the man,
He was welcome to Nan,
But as for the bucket, Pawtucket.
—Chicago Tribune

Then the pair followed Pa to Manhasset,
Where he still held the cash as an asset,
But Nan and the man
Stole the money and ran,
And as for the bucket, Manhasset.

Of this story we hear from Nantucket,
About the mysterious loss of a bucket,
We are sorry for Nan,
As well as the man—
The cash and the bucket, Pawtucket.
—Pawtucket Times

And our newest additions:

Well, Nan settled down in Assonet.
But that leaves a question now, don’t it?
Did she think on that bucket
full of cash on Nantucket?
I’d say you can bet your Assonet!
– Clayton Commons of Rhode Island

On reading of Nan and Paw’s bucket
I penned this short verse, and with luck it
Will show I have feelings
For Paw, ‘cos Nan’s dealings
With him were real cruel; you can’t duck it.
– Chris Whitehead of West Sussex, UK

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who collected his ‘shrooms in a bucket
At the local museum
He tried to ID ‘em
But failed and in wrath cried “Aw shuck it!”
– Mike Boom of Berkeley, CA

When the man saw Pa leave with the bucket,
He sent Nan home, with a plan, to Nantucket.
Said he, “Sneak in the house,
And quick as a mouse,
Out the window, the bucket, you chuck it.
—C. Alan Reber, Arizona

She returned with no more than a ducatOyster
And said “Jewels, Dad, tell me where you stuck it.”
“If you’d like a nice pearl”
He said to his girl
“Just take this here oyster and shuck it”
— Patrick McKeon, Princeton, NJ

Pa said,  ‘Nan, about the bucket:
If it’s money you need, I don’t lack it.
I could give you some cash
From my plentiful stash,
There was no need for your man to jack it.’
— Kevin Foley , Vienna, Austria

A birdwatching Brit. on Nantucket,
Drew his Peterson Guide from his pocket,
To check on a bird
He’d both seen and heard;
“A blue jay!” he cried. “I can tick it!”
— Peter Chubb, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England

Pa went back to Nantucket,
And decided to toss the bucket,
He bought bees with the money,
and now he sells honey,
But the money he earned, Mantucket
— Tami Martinex, Playa Del Rey, CA

The theft had the whole Island reeling,
When Nan and her man went a stealing,
Nan grabbed a deck of cards and a tent,
To West Virginia she went,
Pa found Nan dealing in Wheeling.
— Bill Briggs, Tusseyville, PA

Before Nan lifted that cash and bucket
It wasn’t his but Pawtucket
When the owner saw Pa
To claim it by law
Pa said, I don’t have that bucket, Nantucket.

A nanny left home for Nantucket,
In search of the infamous bucket.
Alas, the bucket was found
With the help of her hound.
And as for the bucket Nantucket.
— Sharon Graves, El Dorado, AR

That bucket was soon found in Juneau,
And the cash that it held caused a row,
Such that Nan and her mate
As they fled from the state,
Grabbed the bucket and ran, don’t Juneau.
— Rob Keister, Fountain Valley, CA

Why all the fuss ’bout this bucket?
Sure, Nan and her man left and tucket
But Pa still owns land
out on Sankaty sand
When he sells, all that cash he’ll just truck it!
— Joseph Kim, Walen, MA

On Nantucket, the island I live,
Cash flows through my bucket, a sieve.
When Nan and her man
Return home again,
I’ll have nothing but love left to give.

There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who gave me his Nantucket Bucket,
By doing his part,
He won my heart,
And I fell for that man from Nantucket.
— Bonnie Mitchell, White Plains, NY

The lawyer they hired, Dan Schuckat,
Advised the two people to chuck it
And offer to settle;
That tested their mettle.
And as for their fortune, Dantucket.
— Jane Gill-Shaler, North Carolina

The man built their home in Alaska,
Nan wished she had stuck with Nebraska,
For the weather was cold,
And she was getting old,
Poor old Nan and the man in Alaska.
— Joshua Zubricki, Gloucester, MA

Nan took the cash to Nantasket
Before her ol’ man blew a gasket
Nan showed some class
By carrying her stash
In a handwoven Nantucket Basket.
— John Ryan, Haverill, MA

Savor September at A.K. Diamond’s

Great food, a fun vibe, a good selection on tap with expert bartenders, and reasonable prices have made A.K. Diamond’s an island favorite.   This is the type of restaurant & pub where as soon as you walk in the door you feel at home, whether Nantucket is your home or you just want it to be.  AK’s is easy to get to: it’s a short drive or bus ride (a NRTA stop is across the street) straight down Old South Road, just about 2 miles out of town.

The food at AK’s is seriously delicious!  From juicy burgers grilled just right to nightly entrees that put some of the island’s fine dining restaurants on notice.  There’s something on their menu for every taste and every appetite.  If you want a steak, your spouse wants a salad, grandma wants seafood, and the kids want pizza and wings, AK’s is the place to go.

Executive Chef Jeanne Diamond and Chef Jermaine Scarlett make a fantastic team—they’re experienced, creative and grounded so the food has flavor and finesse.  Between the two of them, they have an extensive repertoire, so in addition to more than 65 menu choices, there are always daily and nightly specials.  It’s clear that they take pride in everything they serve: they get the details just right, from the tasty housemade potato chips to robust sauces and perfectly tender-crisp vegetables.  And no skimping here: the portions are big enough to satisfy the heartiest appetites, and light eaters will have something to take home for later.

If you’re feeling sociable when you stop by AK’s, perch on a stool around the wrap-around bar on the first floor and chat with the bartender, try to answer the daily trivia question, or cheer on your team with other patrons—televisions strategically placed around the room give everyone a great view of the game.   If you’re in the mood for something quieter, there are comfy booths in the upstairs dining room.  And for larger parties, there’s a small dining room upstairs that is perfect for private celebrations.

At lunchtime, AK’s offers hearty hot and cold sandwiches (we recommend the Sankaty Club), a variety of salads, four different quesadillas, and seven different pizzas from a simple and delicious pepperoni to a BLT pizza (one of our favorites) with pesto, tomato, bacon, and mozzarella topped with an argula salad.
AK’s has our vote for the island’s best burger, though we couldn’t tell you which of the 10 they serve is our favorite because we haven’t tried them all yet.  For now, we’re leaning toward The Big Boy, a double burger with cheese, applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  Most are $11.99 with toppings, fries, and a pickle, so you won’t suffer the sticker shock that comes with the $17+ burgers at some downtown joints.  You can even enjoy your burger on a gluten-free bun.   AK’s serves continuously, so you can stop by for a late lunch or afternoon bite and a beer during those hours when many other restaurants are closed.

Most of the starters at AK’s are pub-style fare and good for sharing:  Fried Calamari, Spinach &Artichoke Loaded Cheesy FriesDip, Mezze Platter, and Chicken Satay.  On our most recent visit, we ordered the Loaded Cheesy Fries for the first time; it will definitely not be the last!  Think of a loaded baked potato that you can eat with your fingers.  AK’s fries are very good plain—thick, crisp on the outside, and fluffy inside—for this, they’re loaded with cheddar and mozzarella, crumbled bacon, and diced fresh tomato with sour cream is served alongside.

We thought we’d miss their tasty Onion Straws, but we like their new Onion Rings even better.  The sweet onion is dipped in buttermilk batter for a crunchy coating. We recommend the spicy chipotle Fish Nuggetsdipping sauce over the cool ranch mostly because we like to trade off dipping our new favorite starter, housemade Fish Nuggets made from fresh hand-cut haddock rolled in panko, in the chipolte sauce as well as the tarter sauce that comes with it.  Each nugget of fish has a crunchy coating that gives way to moist, flaky haddock—we polished off more than half a dozen in no time.  These are a great way to introduce a skeptical child to fish.

AK’s has a seven fresh salads that can begin your meal or be your meal:  you can add chicken, salmon, steak, shrimp, or burger (classic, veggie, or turkey) to any of the salads.  Some even come in two sizes: Roasted Vegetable Saladregular and entree size.  We adore their Apple Cranberry Salad—this mix of romaine and arugula, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola, and fresh crisp apple tossed with maple-cider dressing, strikes a perfect sweet-savory balance.  Also very good is their Roasted Vegetable Salad with Tabbouleh.     Red pepper, onion, mushrooms, squash, tomato, and broccoli is the colorful combination of veggies, roasted enough to deepen the flavors but the veggies remain slightly crisp.  They’re served on a bed of lightly dressed arugula and topped with goat cheese for a tangy counterpoint to the mellow salad.  The tabbouleh is served in a separate dish, but we liked it best with the salad.

Dinner entrees are added to the menu selections at AK’s starting at 5 pm.  It’s in the nine entrees plus nightly specials where the chefs’ talents truly shine.  We broke out of our usual routine (tender ChickenMarsala12-ounce NY Sirloin with housemade steak sauce and creamy Lobster Mac & Cheese with tomatoes, peas, and bacon-panko crust) to try some of the newer entrees.  We’re very impressed with the Marsala Chicken.  For this, Chef Scarlett takes a novel approach: desconstructed and lighter than the traditional recipe but with no loss of flavor.  The chicken breasts are grilled, so the meat has a summery smoke under the slightly sweet marsala glaze.  The mushrooms are sauteed and served overtop, while a buttery marsala sauce is drizzled around the plate.

SeafoodBowlAnother superb blend of sweet and savory is showcased in the Seafood Bowl, one of our table favorites.  Moist sea scallops, tender lobster meat, and plump shrimp are folded into a Malibu Rum cream sauce with English peas, garlic, tomatoes, onion, and herbs.  The sweet sauce highlights the seafood, without making it too sweet.  Angel hair pasta is tucked underneath and toasted coconut is sprinkled overtop.

We’re very impressed with the fish entrees at AK’s, particularly the Baked Cod and the Pan-Seared CodfishSalmon.  These simple titles don’t do these dishes justice—each one is perfectly cooked with uncommon and uncommonly delicious accompaniments and sauces.  The Baked Cod is moist and flaky, summery and light.  The fish is baked with a crunchy topping of cracker crumbs mixed with bacon and herbs, and served over quinoa studded with bits of sundried tomato.  A cool, crisp salad of carrot, onion, and bell pepper is served on top of the cod, and tracings of cilantro vinaigrette add vibrant flavor.

SalmonOne in our party who does not care for Salmon tried Chef Scarlett’s and went back for seconds.  The salmon steak is brilliantly seasoned with a house mixed BBQ rub, seared and finished in the oven so that it’s cooked through but remains moist.  It’s served over a nutty blend of French lentils, spinach, onions, and garlic, and surrounded by a mellow blend of sundried tomato and roasted red pepper.  This entree is one of the best things that ever happened to salmon!

Our favorite desserts at AKs are homey and include ice cream.  The Apple Oatmeal Crisp is a perfect fall Brownie Cookie Cobblertreat, but it was the Chocolate Chip Pie and the M&M Brownie Sundae that won at our table—both are homemade and scrumptious.

Celebrate September (and every other month!) at A.K. Diamond’s.

A.K. Diamond’s
16 Macy Lane  •  508-228-3154  •
Open daily from 11:30 a.m.
Dinner entrees range in price from $19.99 to $29.99
Burgers, Sandwiches, Quesadilla, & Pizzas from $10.99
major credit cards accepted
families welcomed  •  all menu items available for take-out
indoor & outdoor dining  •  handicap accessible  •  full bar
plenty of off-street parking – NRTA shuttle stop across the street
for full color photos of this meal, visit