By James Kilner, Almaty
(The Telegraph) It’s so good for you, in fact, that Svetlana Pilyuk, the chief animal specialist at Karaganda zoo in central Kazakhstan, feeds red wine to her monkeys to ward off winter colds.
"We give the monkeys wine because in the winter it protects them from respiratory infections," the AFP news agency quoted Ms Pilyuk as saying.
“You could say we douse them with wine to ward off flu.”
Karaganda lies in the middle of the vast Kazakh steppe and in winter it is one of the coldest places on earth with temperatures regularly hitting - 22F (- 30C). The monkeys, though, live inside where the temperature is closer to 80F (27C).
But not all the monkeys are allowed a daily ration of wine. Pregnant and baby monkeys are barred from wine, Ms Pilyuk said.
Still, most of the monkeys apparently appreciate their daily tot of red wine which Ms Pilyuk prepares by adding fruit, sugar and hot water.
"After all, primates are just like people. They enjoy drinking an alcoholic drink, they like it. Some of them even abuse it, coming up to the drinking trough several times," she said.