Drinking wine in moderation is good for your health. Louis Pasteur called wine the “healthiest and most health-giving of drinks.” The Apostle Paul urged Christians in 2 Timothy 5:23 to “use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Red wine can neutralize free radicals — the molecules that damage the body’s cells and cause cancer, heart disease, stroke and degeneration. Red wine is healthier than white wine because of the phytochemicals found in red wine grape skins.
Muscadine grapes, natives to the Southeast United States, are rich in the phenolic compounds, ellagic acid and catechins that stimulate antioxidant activity. According to a study conducted by professors at the University of Florida, muscadine wine may contain three to four times more beneficial phenolic compounds than wine made from California grapes.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant enzyme found in the skin of grapes grown in cool climates. Pinot Noir contains more resveratrol than any other red wine. Regions that produce the best pinot noirs include the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the Marlborough region of New Zealand and the Burgundy region of France. Reasonably priced Pint noir wines, ranging from $12 to $40 a bottle, are just as beneficial as more expensive wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon wine has a high content of procyanidins, a group of compounds found in grape seed extract. Procyanidins make other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, more effective. The body absorbs them easily, and they provide antioxidant protection to the brain and the nervous system. California’s wineries produce healthy, tasty cabernet wines.
Madirin red wine, originally grown in southwestern France, is also considered to be one of the healthiest red wines. Made of tannat grapes, Madiran wine is also produced in Uruguay and in the central coast of California. The long fermentation times and extensive maceration processes used to produce Madiran red wine enhance its healthful properties.
References and ResourcesUniv. of Fla. IFAS Ext.; Immune Benefits of Consuing Red Muscadine Wine; Susan S. Percival, et al.; Sept. 2002
Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine; Grape Skin; Genevieve Slomski; 2005
Fortune Small Business; The Wine List Healthy Pinot Noir; Chris Wilford; Nov. 1, 2003
Good Red Wine: The Healthiest Red Wine
Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine; Grape Seed Extract; Ken Wells, et al.; 2005