Are there any health benefits of wine?
Red or white? – that is the question! Red has greater positive health benefits than white wine. Wines with higher tannin levels carry more of the protective polyphenols that are good for blood vessel protection. The polyphenols in wine have a specific interaction with the lining of the blood vessels and that interaction is able to dilate the blood vessels, relax them, and have anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects.
Red wine adds more health benefits. Only certain types of red – preferably with a style that allows enough time for the extraction of the beneficial polyphenols. Look for wines that are described as having firm tannins. Cooler temperature regions with older vines and slow ripening grapes are preferred. (For those of us in Western Australia, the Margaret River Region is ideal!)
How much? Moderation is always the key. A good rule of thumb is no more than 1-2 glasses (125ml) per day for women and no more than 2-3 glasses (125ml) per day for males. It is actually important that the wine be consumed with food. This helps to get the benefits of the polyphenols as the alcohol levels are kept down while it is being absorbed. Alcohol absorption is slowed down when it is being consumed with food, so that there is less damage being caused to the liver. The small amount of alcohol that is good for you helps prevent excess clotting.