Charge your glasses – it’s official. Red wine is good for you. Cheers.
“Okay doctor, what’s the verdict?”
“Your cholesterol levels are high, you’re at risk of heart disease and you’re prone to stress.”
“Oh dear, what should I do?”
“I recommend a nice red wine – preferably a shiraz or cabernet. With a meal, definitely shiraz.”
Ahh, if only doctor/patient interaction were so.
Back in the good old days of the Roman Empire this is undoubtedly how advice was dispensed. And for good reason – wine was revered as a medicinal wonder, not only to be savored but to be consumed for optimal health.
And those Romans didn’t lie around drinking red wine all day, although some probably did.
They got things done. They were full of vigor.
If you’re partial to a drop or two from the good grape then you can now do so smug in the knowledge that wine (especially red) has plenty of goodness.
Overall, red wine offers more health benefits than white wine due to the skins. It’s that simple.
White wine grape skins are removed before fermentation while red wine grape skins are left on.
The skins are rich in a compound called resveratrol which has a plethora of health benefits. Resveratrol isn’t restricted to red wine – peanuts, berries and cocoa are also reliable sources. All are great, but when you’re unwinding with friends would you rather share a bottle of merlot or a bowl of peanuts?
Red wine and resveratrol play a key part in regulating blood vessels. If that sounds important it’s because it is. A healthy blood vessel system is crucial in maintaining a strong immune system.
Resveratrol (read red wine) is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which help to prevent cancer and cardio diseases.
Raise your glasses!
European scientists evaluated the effects of drinking red wine with daily meals as opposed to drinking water or juice. The subjects who drank red wine presented lowered levels of blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the bad one).
They also most likely had more interesting dinner time conversations that water or juice just can’t inspire.
In Spain researchers conducted a study on drinkers and non-drinkers over a period of 7 years, which we feel is a conclusive study.
The participants were of varying ages, ranging from 22 – 67.
They found that those who drank red wine moderately had a lower rate of depression and were less likely to develop mental illness than those who abstained.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo, (admittedly a region not renowned for its wine) made a similar find relating to red wine and stress relief. Regular, moderate red wine consumption helped to restrict enzymes that lead to anxiety and depression.
Do your own research – go to a restaurant and look around. Compare those drinking red wine and chuckling with those that aren’t – frowning and checking their watches.
Moderately is the key word here. It equates to roughly a daily glass of wine for women or 2 for men. If you feel this is unjust you can of course simply shop around to find a bigger daily glass, although that is technically cheating.
Basically if you enjoy a nice glass of red after a trying day, it’s for good reason. Mind you, 1 or 2 glasses a day being good for you does not automatically translate to 10 glasses a day being really good for you.
So which red wines to drink? Any are good but the wines with the thickest grape skins will typically contain more resveratrol. Think Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz.
For health and happiness the wine glass is definitely half full.