12 Things You Need to Know Before You Ever Take a Sip of Wine Again

The fact that it benefits your brain isn't even the best news.

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When a 100-year-old woman says that wine is the secret to a long life, you listen up. This magical liquid can do just about anything, from flavoring your brownie to sharpening your mind — all in moderation of course.

Whip out these vino-themed facts the next time wine Wednesday rolls around, and don't feel so guilty about popping open another bottle of red. There's plenty to toast to when it comes to wine.

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1 You can (secretly) take your wine on the go.
Amazon

Yes, it's possible to have fun without alcohol, but when Amazon sells this booze-concealing purse it's a lot easier to get the party started. A secret compartment can hold up to 1.5 liters of the good stuff — and the tote is pretty cute to boot.

Buy It Now: Wine purse, $75; Amazon

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2 Wine advent calendars actually exist.
Aldi

You can buy one at Aldi for $60 (that's 24 mini bottles for about $2.50 for each!), and it's the absolute best way for oenophiles to count down the days until Christmas.

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3 There's a real-life wine train in California.

There's no shortage of #NapaValley views (or #wine) from the #VistaDome! Soak it all in! 📸 by @gtotheq #AllAboard

A post shared by Napa Valley Wine Train (@winetrain) on

The Napa Valley Wine Train offers over a dozen different trips that span from Napa to St. Helena. They're even offering Santa rides this holiday season.

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4 Wine is actually good for your brain.
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Master sommeliers not only have excellent senses of smell, but also larger, thicker parts of the brain, according to research published last year in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Even recreational drinkers get a neurological boost. A 2014 study linked moderate alcohol consumption to a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

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5 And it can benefit your waistline.
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Science delivers good news yet again. While wine still contains calories (sorry), people who drink a moderate amount of alcohol are less likely to be obese than teetotalers, research indicates. Cheers to that!

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6 A $9 bottle is one of the best in the world.
Aldi

Aldi wins again with its Côtes de Provence Rosé, a silver medal winner at the International Wine Challenge, a.k.a. the wine world's Oscars. The grocery chain just started selling it at stores in the U.S., so snap up as many as you can before they sell out.

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7 Walmart also sells award-winning wine.
Walmart

It's called La Moneda Reserva Malbec, and it goes for a mere $6 at more than 500 locations across the country. The "succulent juicy berry" red won Platinum Best in Show at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards. (P.S. Target's $5 bottles aren't too shabby either.)

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8 There's a reason why you store it sideways.
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Keeping bottles horizontal pushes liquid against the cork, theoretically keeping it from drying out, according to Wine Spectator. As for temperature, aim for a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A basement is usually your best bet.

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9 You can eat your wine.

Baking up a batch of red wine brownies? Now that's what we call heaven on Earth. This recipe even includes something called "drunken cranberries." (Try to stop drooling.)

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10 The correct way to store your wine glass is face-up.
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Let's end the debate once and for all. "The rim is the most delicate part of the glass, so it's best to store crystal with the rim up so there's less weight on it," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute. Looking to invest in a new set? These Riedel tumblers won top marks in our Institute tests.

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11 Wine (and chocolate!) both contain super compounds.

They're called flavanols and they're known improve blood flow to the brain and boost your health overall. So why not double up and make some red wine hot chocolate?!

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12 If you have a fave, chances are it's Chardonnay.
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It's the most popular varietal in the country, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and last but not least Pinot Noir.

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