Research published by Boston University Medical Center indicates that moderate wine drinking may help cognitive functioning, at least for women.
The prospective study looked at over 5000 men and women from Tromsø, Norway over 7 years. The study found that women who drink 'moderately' - 4 to 5 glasses of wine in 2 weeks - scored significantly better in tests of cognitive functioning and had a lower incidence of dementia than women who drank too much (no surprise there). However, they also scored better better than women who drank nothing.
Sure, you say, but that's because people who drink moderately are different in a lot of other ways from those who drink too much or those who don't drink at all. And that's true, but the study did control for age, education, weight, depression, and cardiovascular disease (all of which are known affect cognitive functioning).
And, there are 68 other studies, representing nearly 150,000 people that suggest an association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and better cognitive function, including a reduced risk of dementia, both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.
So... that's enough proof for me, I'm off to buy wine and chocolate. I take my health seriously.