What wines are best for your health?
While wine is wonderful, let’s not forget that it can also be a healthy drink. Wine can be part of a healthy lifestyle and diet. A glass of red wine is a great way to relax in your backyard while sipping on a grownup beverage.
Wine contains a small compound called “Polyphenols” that can help your heart prolong your life. That’s super!
What the Heck is a polyphenol?
Polyphenols can be found in almost all wine, other than alcohol and water. These include tannins and colour pigments, aromas, procyanidins, and 5,000 other plant compounds.
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Find out MoreProcyanidins are the most important polyphenols in wine to protect your heart health. They inhibit the formation of cholesterol plaques in your blood vessels. Wine is good for your heart.
Eric Rimm, Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, has seen the results of hundreds of studies about alcohol and its effects on health.
“It’s clear that moderately consuming alcohol has lower rates of heart attack, diabetes and longer life expectancy.” – Eric Rimm, Harvard School of Public Health Professor (2013)
Many alcoholic beverages can be harmful to your health. Wine consistently outperforms all other types of alcohol (spirits and beer),
Wine’s longevity benefits outweigh all other alcohol types. Not all wines are the same. Certain wines contain significantly more “good stuff”.
What are the key characteristics of “Healthy” wine?
These are the characteristics that make wines healthier for your health.
- Wines “dry” have no sugar and little or no carbs.
- Wines with lower alcohol (ideally 12.5% ABV)
- Higher levels of polyphenols in wine, especially procyanidins.
What wines have the highest levels of polyphenols?
The skins and seeds are rich in polyphenols. Therefore, wines made with skin contact (including red wine and orange wines) will have higher levels of polyphenols. Certain grape varieties contain higher levels of Procyanidin. The most notable:
- Tannat A wine made from Madiran, South-West France. also grows in abundance in Uruguay.
- Sagrantino Umbria’s rare grape, making deep-coloured wines.
- Petite Sirah, Also called Durif, primarily grows in California.
- Marselan, A cross between Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and very small berries, produces wines with intense purple hues. An uncommon variety is found in very small quantities in Uruguay, Brazil Argentina, Chile and China.
- Nebbiolo is an important grape from Piedmont, Italy.
These grapes can contain between 2-6 times more polyphenols than other popular varieties such as Merlot and Pinot Noir. The wine’s youth is when its concentration of polyphenols is highest. Many variables affect the concentration of polyphenols, such as how grapes were picked and how wine was made. If you want an easier answer, try the taste.
What Do High Polyphenol Wines Taste Like?
Wines will be rich in fruit flavours and have a stronger, more tannic finish. Many wines will be darker than you can see in your glass.
Bitter is better.
High-polyphenol wines are not smooth or supple. They’re strong, bold and often described as being astringent. Wine’s bitterness is directly related to its procyanidin level. These wines are for you if you enjoy a bit of bitterness in your life.
Wine is not the only food that contains high levels of polyphenols. Wine is not the only food with high levels of polyphenols. Other options include chocolate, tea, coffee, grape seed extract, and pomegranates.
Enjoy Great Wines to Sip
Many often regard these wines as “hard to drink”, so you will need to be more careful when drinking them. The National Cancer Institute recommends that men consume no more than 2 glasses of wine per day, and women should drink no more than 1 glass (a 5 oz glass). You might be able to ignore your initial instinct to run if you see “robust and bitter” on a label the next time you look at it.