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Facts About Red Wine and the Health Benefits of Red Wine

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Table Of Contents

  • Short History Of Red Wine
  • About Red Wine
  • A Word About White Wine
  • Red Wine Nutritional Facts
  • Health Benefits Of Red Wine
  • Calories In A Glass Of Red Wine And Other Information
  • Red Wine and Headaches And Red Wine Allergy
  • Facts About Red Wine
  • The Healthiest Red Wines
  • Disclaimer
  • References
  • Some Of My Other Health Hubs
  • Videos

Short History Of Red Wine

It is believed that red wine was first produced in the Caucasus region of Georgia and in Iran, around 6000 B.C. Wine was also produced in ancient Egypt and the Egyptians left paintings that detailed their winemaking process.

Cultivation of grapes was undertaken by the Babylonians as well as the Greeks and Romans, who also maintained vineyards.

About Red Wine

Red wine is made from dark-coloured grapes. The red colour is provided by the anthocyanin pigments, the skin of these dark coloured grapes contain. Red, dark purple and even blue coloured grapes are used to produce red wine.

The actual colour and the various hues in red wine are dependent on the type of grapes used as also on the length of time the grape skins are in contact with the juice during the fermentation process. The amount of tannin released into the wine is also dependent on this time factor.

Red wines are also classified on the body type or the mouth feel and are of 3 types.

  • Light bodied - Beaujolais, Nouveau
  • Medium bodied - Merlot, Shiraz, Chianti
  • Full bodied - Bordeaux, Cabs, Supertuscans

The light-bodied red wines are lower in the tannin and alcohol content while they are at their highest levels in the full-bodied red wines.

Wine has since the earliest times been used as medication; as an antiseptic to heal wounds, a digestive, an alternative to drinking water, as well as to treat a wide range of health conditions.

A Word About White Wine

To make white wine the skins of the grapes are removed before they are subjected to the wine making process. White wine therefore has no tannins as the tannin is contained in the grape skins. Tannin is an astringent and the factor that gives dryness to the wine.

Red Wine Nutritional Facts

Red wine contains several phenols and polyphenols. Polyphenols act as antioxidants but of these resveratrol has been studied the most.
Catechin, gallic acid and epicatechin are some phenols found in red wine.

Health Benefits Of Red Wine

  • Red Wine And Cancer

Polyphenols in red wine, act as antioxidants in hunting out free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to cells leading to cancer.
Resveratrol in red wine reduces inflammation and checks the growth of tumours and cancer cells.

Research studies published in the International Journal of Cancer show that consumption of 1 glass of red wine every day reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 50%. Those who consumed at least 4 glasses of red wine per week showed a 60% lower incidence of prostate cancer, of the more aggressive type.

It has recently been found that resveratrol in red wine makes the prostate tumour cells more amenable to radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

However, a glass of red wine taken daily increased the chances of women having cancer by 1/5th.

  • Red Wine And Cholesterol

Red wine lowers LDL cholesterol, the bad guy, in healthy people by 9% and in those with high cholesterol, by 12%, in a study reported from the University of Complutense de Madrid in Spain.

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  • Red Wine And Men

Red wine may increase levels of testosterone in the blood by reducing its excretion according to a study published in Nutrition journal.

The compound Quercetin in red wine is believed to be responsible for this. This was found by researchers at Kingston University in London.

Be aware though that going beyond 1-2 glasses of red wine may tank the testosterone levels.

  • Red Wine And Heart Disease

Red wine polyphenols keep the blood vessels soft and flexible, reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke, raise the HDL cholesterol and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the arterial walls.

Consume red wine in moderation to avail these benefits, according to John Folts, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine And Nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Red Wine And Diabetes

Resveratrol in red wine regulates blood sugar levels. This is especially beneficial to those with a high risk of heart disease.

This was found by in a study by researchers from the University of Barcelona of Valencia in Spain.

A study published in the Journal Nutrition reports that 250 mg of resveratrol supplement taken once a day for 3 months lowered blood glucose levels. It also lowered total cholesterol and reduced blood pressure.

  • Red Wine And Brain

The compound resveratrol in red wine helps in boosting brain function and memory.

This has been reported by a senior research scientist at the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for Study of Alzheimer's disease and Memory disorders in New York.

  • Red Wine And Muscles

Red wine may slow down muscle deterioration in case of muscle inactivity.
When muscles were not used for a period of time due to accidents or immobilization, the muscle mass, strength and bone density decreased.

This can be prevented by giving a resveratrol supplement. Resveratrol has been shown to preserve muscle fibre according to a French study in the Faseb Journal.

  • Red Wine And Weight

Our body converts resveratrol into the chemical compound piceatannol which prevents the baby fat cells from maturing and leading to weight gain and obesity.

A study to this effect was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry according to lead researcher Kee-hong Kim of Purdue University.

  • Red Wine And Blood Pressure

Non-alcoholic red wine is better than regular red wine at lowering blood pressure. It decreases both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in those with low to moderate hypertension, a study published in the online Circulation Research reveals.

This was found by Spanish researchers led by Gemma Chiva-Blanch of The University of Barcelona.

Calories In A Glass Of Red Wine And Other Informatiion

The standard red wine pour is 5 ounces though red wine glasses may range from 8 oz to 22 oz or more in capacity. The extra headspace in the glass is to maximize the air contact with the wine, to sort of allow the wine to breathe as well as allowing more room to swirl the wine.

At a serving temperature of 60-65 F wines are at their best. If they are too warm they will taste alcoholic, too cold, and they will taste bitter and astringent.

An oval or egg-shaped glass is best for drinking wine.

On average, there are 25 calories in an ounce of red wine or 125 calories in a glass of red wine.

Oak barrels are preferred for fermenting and ageing wine since it provides flavour and aroma to the wine.

Moderate consumption of red wine or any wine for that matter is one 5 oz glass of wine per day for women and two 5 oz glasses for men.

Red Wine and Headaches And Red Wine Allergy

Many people suffer from red wine headaches or RWH syndrome. This is a headache that occurs in people, who normally do not suffer headaches, after drinking just a single glass of red wine. The headache is often accompanied by nausea and flushing.

White wine does not cause these headaches in these individuals. It is believed the sulphites, histamines, tannins and tyramine in red wine may be the cause of red wine headache.

Some doctors suggest taking antihistamine, aspirin or ibuprofen beforehand to prevent these headaches.

All wines contain sulphites naturally and they can trigger allergic symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, itching or like and asthma. Sulphites are also added for wine preservation and to kill the yeast and bacteria that are naturally harboured on the grape skin. Without sulphites, wine has no shelf life.

Histamines are more concentrated in red whines than the white wines. Those who are not able to metabolize histamine because of a lack of a particular enzyme in the intestines are the ones who suffer most from the RWH syndrome.

Tyramine causes a rise in blood pressure in some people and this triggers red wine headaches in these people.

Facts About Red Wine

  1. Even minute changes in temperature can affect wine quality.
  2. Red wine accounts for 55% of restaurant wine sales.
  3. Prophet Mohammed influenced the history of wine the most in that wine was banned in Arabia and other countries that followed his teachings within a decade following his death.
  4. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used wine in almost all his remedies.
  5. Grapes are the only fruit that can produce wine naturally by fermentation since they produce just the right nutritional needs of yeast by way of its skin and sugar contained in the juice.
  6. All wines taste like fruit, rarely like grapes.
  7. One bottle of wine is made from 2.8 pounds of grapes.
  8. Wine glasses should always be held by the stem and not by the bowl to prevent the transfer of heat from the hand to the wine.
  9. White wine should be served at a temperature of 45-50 degrees F while red wine is served at 50-60 degrees F.
  10. Wine releases its aromas when swirled and the rim of the wine glass curves inwards to contain the aroma of the wine.

The Healthiest Red Wines

  • Pinot noirs have the highest concentration of resveratrol.
  • Madirans and Cabernets are made from Tannat grapes and contain very high levels of procyanidins.
  • Merlot and Syrahs contain high levels of procyanidins.
  • Go-Dry red wines contain high levels of flavonoids.

It has been found that resveratrol content increases when grapes are attacked by fungi as a defence measure. Resveratrol kills the fungi.

The Pinot noir variety of grapes have thin skins and hence respond immediately to the fungal attack and therefore maintain a high level of resveratrol for protection.

Since fungi are more likely to attack in moist and humid areas, it makes sense to go for wines made from France, New York and Oregon than from Australia, South Africa or Central Valley, California, these being dry areas.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.


Some of my other health hubs

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    Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are not only very nutritious but healthy too. Read about the health benefits flaxseed and flaxseed oil...
  • 6 Benefits Of Fish Liver Oil
    Cod liver oil, has been traditionally used for its many benefits to health. To know more about the health benefits of cod liver oil, which has been rightly called a superfood, read on...
  • Sesame (Til) Seeds Health Benefits
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Wine Types & Selection - Choose A Red Wine

Red Wine Basics

Biggest Mistakes You're Making When Drinking Wine

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 15, 2013:

Maralene, glad your body can identify when you have had enough. Thanks for reading.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on August 14, 2013:

I like red wine, and as you point out, it should be consumed in moderation. My body self-regulates. If I drink more than one glass of red wine, I develop some of the symptoms you mentioned, one of them being my histamine levels rise and that's when I know I've had enough.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 21, 2013:

@Thelma-thanks for your input and also for the sharing of this hub.

@Neil-Top it up, man. But in moderation.

@denden-thanks, buddy!

denden mangubat from liloan, cebu, philippines on July 21, 2013:

red wine increases testosterones!hehe

Neil Sperling from Port Dover Ontario Canada on July 20, 2013:

I enjoy a glass of red wine.... and the health benefits you summed up well. Pass the bottle please, my glass half empty..... or is it half full? Either way - pass the bottle


Thelma Alberts from Germany on July 20, 2013:

I love red wine, but I drink it only every now and then before going to bed. I drink red wine too when I´m flying to ease my nervousness and to be able to sleep during my flight. Thanks for sharing this very informative and comprehensive hub. Voted up and shared.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 14, 2013:

Well, I think diluting it will dilute the health benefits as well. However, you could always have some other healthy foods if you don't like wine. Thanks for reading, Bedbugabscond.

Melody Collins from United States on May 13, 2013:

I don't really like that taste of red wine. Do you think watering it down and turning it in to two glasses effects the health benefits of red wine?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 27, 2013:

Thanks for the thumbs up, my friend.

Eric Anthony Wickersham from Danville, CA on March 27, 2013:

A nice, thorough hub, bravo from a fellow wine lover.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 11, 2013:

Thanks Sunil. I appreciate your comments and visit.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 11, 2013:

Wonderful information with convincing photos and videos. Your hard works do pay as we get a nice article for keeping and following. Voted up. Can you write something about the Whisky? I mean its advantages and disadvantages while comparing with Rum and Brandy. I understand like the Keralites, people of Punjab also consume large quantity of IMFL. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 08, 2013:

Thanks sweetie.

sweetie2 from Delhi on March 07, 2013:

Rajan though no one in my family drink wine but it looked very useful hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 10, 2013:

Thanks vespawoolf. Glad to see you like the info.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 10, 2013:

I prefer red wine and enjoyed reading about all its health benefits. How interesting that the fungus that attacks the grapes actually increases their reservatrol content. Thank you for sharing such a complete Hub on wine!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 09, 2013:

Thanks Jake. Maybe, this has put at rest some of your fears about red wine to health.

Jake Ed from Canada on February 09, 2013:

Interesting. I always assumed I should be extra careful with wine (I only drink red) because diabetes runs in my family and my doctor said that the sugar in alcohol is just as bad as processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Nice to know that red wine has some redeeming attributes in that respect.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 08, 2013:

@ Rebecca - thanks for giving it a read and sharing.'

@ Angelo - good to know you take this healthy wine. Thanks for stopping by.

@ shin rock - thanks for all the compliments and sharing.

shin_rocka04 from Maryland on February 08, 2013:

Some red wine every now and again is great. However, I'd much rather eat the fruit that accompanies it ;). I always knew I loved red wine over white wine for some reason. LOL. This is an excellent hub. Definitely sharing and pinning worthy! Voted up!

Angelo52 on February 08, 2013:

Another excellent and well written article. I drink a glass or two of red wine most days but must admit my favorites are from Australia. Found this article useful and interesting.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 08, 2013:

Very good! It was interesting to read about the various red wines and which have the most flavanoids and other good stuff. Voted interesting, useful and shared!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 07, 2013:

@ Brett - thanks for all the compliments and sharing. Much appreciated.

@ Madeleine - It is always a good thing to listen to what our body says. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Gypsy - glad to know you adhere to the 1 glass suggestion. Thanks for coming by.

@ Kbdare - I agree. Responsible drinking is of paramount importance. Thank you.

@ DIYmommy - thanks for visiting.

Julie on February 07, 2013:

Very informative hub. My husband and I love a glass of red wine and knowing the health benefits make it even better :)

Kbdare from Western US. on February 07, 2013:

Thank you for sharing the "good" aspects of drinking red wine, so often, people focus on the negative aspects and miss out on the benefits of drinking red wine. Of course, taking care to drink it responsibility is a must!

Gypsy48 on February 07, 2013:

Enjoyed this very informative hub about red wine. I prefer red wine myself and have a glass in the evening. Voted up and interesting.

Madeleine Salin from Finland on February 07, 2013:

This is a great hub! I learned so much about red wine I didn't know. One glass every day is too much for me, but I really enjoy red wine when my stomach agrees to having a glass. Lol! Voting this hub up! :)

Brett C from Asia on February 06, 2013:

Another well researched and interesting hub. Red wine is great for you and tastes just as good ;-).

Sharing, tweeting, up, awesome (as it is a good excuse for a glass a day lol) and useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 06, 2013:

@ Ruchira - 1 cup is the max for women that should be taken for health purposes. Appreciate the visit and votes.

@ Graham - thanks for the interesting info and taking time to read.

@ Peggy - I believe you had all the info prior to reading this hub then. Thanks for coming by to read and share.

@ Arun - thanks, my friend.

@ Rasma - thanks for visiting and finding it worth sharing.

@ Danson - of course this property will benefit athletes a lot. Appreciate the read and sharing.

@ Helen - you have very valid reasons too to have red wine. Thanks for dropping by.

@ Rosemary - Glad you found useful information in here. Appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

@ Patricia - maybe you'll enjoy a glass of red wine more often now. Thank you.

@ moonlake - drinking red wine is not a must if it does not agree with one's taste. Thanks for the visit.

moonlake from America on February 06, 2013:

I know I should drink red wine for my heart. I have already had two attacks but I can't stand the taste of any kind of alcohol. Great hub voted up.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 06, 2013:

So much I did not know about wine. My Momma and Daddy used to make wine small amounts when I was a young girl. I would be allowed to have a sip. thanks for sharing this with us...

Sending you Angels this evening :) ps

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on February 06, 2013:

WOW Now I know why I get that instant hangover feeling after even just half a glass of red wine. It never occurred to me that it might be an alergy.

Thank you for this very comprehensive and helpful article

FordeAhern from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland on February 06, 2013:

Great hub, thank you for sharing, I love red wine and it is great to find out how good it for us on how we can benefit from it. A great excuse to have a drink.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on February 06, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

I like Red Wine but i did not know it has all these benefits, one that is really interesting to me is that Red Wine can slow down muscle deterioration in case of muscle inactivity. I guess this will be very useful to those who do not take much fitness :-) Voted up, useful and shared on Google+

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 06, 2013:

Voted up. Thanks for this great and informative hub on red wine. I knew of some of the benefits but not about all of them. Passing this on.

ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE from KOLKATA on February 06, 2013:

Useful information.Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 06, 2013:

My husband and I love having wine with dinner and he is now a wine broker after retiring from the fine paper distribution industry. He is looking forward to another wine trip to Italy sometime in the near future. Excellent hub filled to the brim with information all about the health benefits of consuming red wine. Up, useful, interesting and will share.

Graham Gifford from New Hamphire on February 06, 2013:

I love red wine (all wines) and you've written a very comprehensive hub about it, here. I particularly enjoyed your "Facts About Red Wine" section. I'm reading a book called, A Year in Provence" and the author speaks of all the amazing foods and wine...I've discovered that I enjoy reading the book even more when I'm reading it with a glass of red.

Ruchira from United States on February 05, 2013:

Red wine sure has its advantages but in limit. I enjoy it seldomly.

A very thorough hub, Rajan. Voted up as interesting/useful

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 05, 2013:

@ Pamela - sorry to know you are allergic to red wine. Thanks for reading it though, and commenting.

@ Carol - thank you and your support is always appreciated.

@ Sinea - nice to know you have found an alternative to this in the grape seed extract. No doubt an healthy one. Thanks for the read and compliments.

@ Cyndi - glad you found the hub helpful and informative. appreciate the comments and visit.

@ Deborah - thanks and glad you follow the doc's advice. Appreciate the share and regular support, my sweet friend.

@ Bill - you could try the non alcoholic red wine, my friend. Lol! Just kidding! Glad you're off alcohol buddy and wish you well. Thanks for coming by.

@ lovedoctor - thanks for the stopover.

@ Devika - glad you like it. Thanks for visiting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 05, 2013:

Extraordinary information about red wine my favorite, and is the best in many ways you have pointed out everything one needs to know about this fruit drink.

lovedoctor926 on February 05, 2013:

A very good presentation on the benefits of red wine. Red wine is my favorite.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 05, 2013:

Well my friend, as an alcoholic I just don't get to follow this advice. Good job, though, as always.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on February 05, 2013:

wow... I knew there was a reason I LOVED RED WINE.. Lol

My doctor has told me to drink a glass of red wine a night..

i do love my wine

great hub very informative..

voted up and sharing


Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on February 05, 2013:

Excellent, comprehensive article. The tutorials are a great addition, like a mini wine seminar without the tasting. :-)

Thanks for the information. Voted up.

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on February 05, 2013:

What a comprehensive report. Well done, Rajan Jolly! I am not a drinker but years ago when I was I did get the headaches you spoke of when drinking any type of wine. When science discovered the health benefits of red wine, I bought grape seed extract from the health food store, which is purported to have similar qualities.

Voted up and useful.

carol stanley from Arizona on February 05, 2013:

Drink it just about everyday. We love it and love good wine. A thorough researched hub as always. I am bookmarking this especially since I want to feel healthier just reading it. Voting up and pinning..

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 05, 2013:

Interesting and very thorough hub on red wine. I can not longer drink red wine due to the sulphites as it makes my asthma worse, and I miss being able to enjoy an occasional glass. Voted up and interesting.

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