We’ve all heard about the health benefits of drinking red wine. However, not all red wine is created equal when it comes to the health promoting properties. This is due to the wide variability in the healthy red wine antioxidants in different varieties of red wines. Maximizing the amounts of these compounds in your allotted one to two glasses per day would be a wise decision.
What are the health benefits of red wine?
The health benefits to red wine first became popular with the introduction of the “French Paradox”.
The paradox was: How can the French people consume a diet high in saturated fat but still have a low incidence of heart disease? The solution: The red wine antioxidants consumed with these fatty meals counteracted the deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system.
Resveratrol is one type of a mixture of red wine antioxidants that has recently been touted in the popular press as the uber-anti-aging-compound.
What varieties of red wine have the highest concentration of polyphenols?
The beneficial red wine antioxidants are what gives it the red color and that creates such difficult stain issues when spilled.
So of course, white wine has the lowest antioxidant level while the intenser-darker reds haver the higher levels.
Research seems to suggest that wines made from the Pinot Noir grape have the highest red wine antioxidant content.
Why stressed-out grapes produce the most healthful wines?
The red wine antioxidants in grapes are produced in response to stress caused by such environmental factors as attacks by fungus, molds and insects as well as cold and intense UV exposure as would occur at high altitudes.
Since red wine antioxidants protect the plant from these stressors they likewise can impart those protective properties to us when we consume them.
This is why the Pinot Noir variety is so high in these red wine antioxidant compounds, since it has a thin skin it is more susceptible to fungal attack and is usually grown in damp cool regions where fungal attack is more likely.
This may also be a good reason to choose wines made from organically grown grapes. Since the grapes are not being “pampered” with fungicides and pesticides they would produce more of these stress compounds.
How to Consume Red Wine?
Remember have only one-to-two 5-ounce glasses per day; any less or more has negative health consequences.
Consume your wine with meals since it seems to enhance the absorption of nutrients.
Likewise things like black pepper and red onions in your meal help to increase the beneficial action of red wine antioxidants.
Once the bottle is opened the red wine antioxidants will start to degrade. The opened bottle should be corked and stored in the refrigerator. Better yet the air in the bottle should be removed before placing it in the refrigerator to further slow the degradation process. This can be done with an inexpensive stopper/pump gadget that can be purchased from any kitchen supply store.