Some red wines have significantly higher levels of what science has determined to be the beneficial ingredients found in wine. Evidence also suggests that younger red wines are better than older wines when it comes to health. Find out which red wines are the best for you – and surprise: it’s not Cabernet or Pinot Noir!
We all know that alcohol can be bad for us, especially when consumed irresponsibly. However, imbibing moderately may carry with it some surprising benefits:
Dr. Rimm’s statement isn’t just an opinion, it’s been deductively proven with hundreds of studies on alcohol and its effect on health. Of course, not all alcoholic beverages are created equally in terms of health. And, of the different kinds of alcohol (spirits, beer, and wine) there is one type that consistently outperforms the rest: wine.
The beneficial attributes of wine outplay all other types of alcohol when it comes to longevity. Of course, not all wines are created equally either! Some wines have significantly higher amounts of “good stuff” in them.
What to Look for in “Healthy” Wine
Here are the traits characterize wines that are better for you with respect to health:
What The Heck is a Polyphenol?
Pretty much everything in wine that’s not alcohol or water in wine is a polyphenol. These include tannins, color pigment, aromas, resveratrol, procyanidins, and about 5,000 other plant compounds.
Of these polyphenols, the most abundant in wine for health reasons are Procyanidins, which inhibit cholesterol plaque in blood vessels. This is why wine is connected with hearth health.
Which Wines Have the Highest Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are found in the skins and seeds of grapes, so only wines that are made with skin contact (including red wines and orange wines) have elevated polyphenol levels. Certain grape varieties have more concentrations of Procyanidin. Most notably:
These grapes contain anywhere from 2–6 times as much polyphenol content as other more popular varieties like Pinot Noir and Merlot. Concentrations of polyphenols are highest when the wine is young. Of course, there are many other variables involved, including how the grapes were harvested and the wine was made. So, if you’re looking for an easier answer, go for the taste.