Raising Your Glass To Longevity? Make Sure It’s Filled With Cabby or Noir.

What Is The Healthiest Wine?

So it seems I’ve been doing this all wrong.  In order to get any real health benefits from drinking wine, you have to select wines that are dark and dry.  I’m more of a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay gal.

I decided to research what the absolute healthiest wine is and it seems to be a toss-up between Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.  There are so many factors that have to be taken into consideration:  where the grapes are grown, whether or not the grapes are organically grown, and how high on the flavonoid and resveratrol chart the wines register.

Pinot Noir – one of the healthiest wines.

I’m going to admit, I’m not interested in taking my research quite that far but I will share with you what I have learned.:

Resveratrol

  • Red wine is a rich source of biologically active phytochemicals.  Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants – in this case grapes – and they contain catechins and resveratrol which are believed to have anti oxidant properties.
  • Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells from the damage done by free radicals.  Free radicals can damage important parts of the cells including proteins, membranes and DNA.  Cellular damage caused by free radicals has been “implicated in the development of cancer”.
  • Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol (antioxidant) that is produced in the grapes and found in high concentrations in the grape skins.  Resveratrol is produced in response to fungus, stress, injury, infection, or ultraviolet irradiation. Grapes, raspberries, peanuts and other plants contain resveratrol.
  • Resveratrol has been shown to:
    •  reduce tumor incidence in animals affecting one or more stages of cancer development.
    • inhibit growth of many types of cancer cells.
    • reduce inflammation.
    • reduce activation of the protein NF kappa B that is produced by the body’s immune system when it is under attack.
    • Grapes with the highest amounts of resveratrol are those that are grown where fungus and disease are higher.
    • A study done by a professor of Pomology in New York state determined that the grapes with the highest resveratrol content come from:  New York state, California, Mississippi, Oregon, the state of Washington, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Slovenia and South Africa.

Flavonoids

  • Flavonoids are a class of polyphenols found in plants and provide the plant with color
  • Flavonoids are antioxidants.
  • Some wines also contain flavonoids.
  • Scientists believe that flavonoids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Research at the University of California determined that the wines with the highest flavonoid content are Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir.
  • White wine has significantly smaller amounts than red.
  • Other good sources flavonoids are black and green teas, and dark chocolate.

My Brain Is Getting Tired

Reading about bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, polyphenols and phytoalexin has made my brain tired.  To summarize what the research has shown to date, it is primarily the resveratrol and flavonoids that are found in wine that make it good for us.  The more the better – resveratrol and flavonoids that is. Not necessarily wine.

Shop for the dark, dry wines if you’re hoping to benefit from the healthy side effects.  And remember, one serving of wine is 5 ounces.  The American Heart Association recommends one glass a day for women and two a day for men.