The Best Red Wine for Heart Health (And How Much to Drink)

Article based on scientific evidence

Red Wine for Heart Health: Protection | Polyphenols | Resveratrol | French Paradox | Hypertension | Alcohol | How Much | Best Time | Least Sugar | Best Wine | FAQ | Studies

Is Red Wine Good For Your Heart Health? ❤️

This question refers to the general dual nature of alcohol:

  • Moderate amounts yield health benefits
  • But binge drinking increases risk of mortality and heart failure

In like manner, the fathers of modern medicine and toxicology, Hippocrates and Paracelsus, already knew about the benefits of red wine for health.

Following the general rule, “the dose makes the poison,” they recommended drinking diluted red wine for health.

On the other hand, the misconception that alcohol must be toxic in any dose only evolved in the 1920s during Prohibition (DiNicolantonio et al. 20191).

In moderation red wine is a powerhouse for your heart. Thousands of bio-active compounds are responsible for these remarkable health benefits of red wine:

1. Red Wine Protects Heart Health 🔬

In contrast to common belief, recent studies confirm the health benefits of red wine.

Scientific studies not only consistently found that moderate alcohol consumption reduces heart disease but also showed that red wine offers the best protection (Goldfinger 20032).

Likewise, the Copenhagen city heart study that moderate alcohol consumption causes less overall mortality. Three to five drinks a day reduced mortality by a stunning 50% compared to people not consuming whine at all.

Once again, the benefits could only be observed for wine consumption. Beer and Spirits, on the other hand, could not yield the same health benefits (Gronbaek et al. 19953).

Likewise, a French study suggests a 33% reduction in all-cause mortality while not showing any health benefits for beer (Renaud et al. 19994).

The best health benefits occur with the consumption of one glass of red wine per day (Yuan et al. 19975). In contrast, excessive drinking is associated with violent deaths in younger and liver cirrhosis in older people (Thun et al. 19976).

Nevertheless, moderate drinking has been found to prolong life by as much as five years compared to abstinence (Streppel et al. 20097).

Thus, drink a glass of red wine a day – it’s good for your heart health and blood pressure! But drinking a bottle of wine a day is bad for you.

Because the whole grape is used for red wine, it contains more polyphenols than white wine

2. It’s Packed With Polyphenols 🌿

While some of the health benefits of red wine are due to alcohol, most come from other bioactive compounds called polyphenols.

In particular, the health benefits of wine are due to a class of polyphenols called flavonoids. Also, tea, onions, and broccoli are rich in flavonoids.

Since red wine is made from the whole grape, the fermentation process can result in up to ten times the amount of polyphenols.

White wine, on the other hand, is fermented after removing the skin. Therefore, white wine only yields up to 30 milligrams of flavonoids, while red wines can exceed 1000 milligrams per liter.

Since they are natural antioxidants, these polyphenols reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), “the bad cholesterol.” On the other hand, moderate alcohol helps to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), “the good cholesterol (Sato et al. 20028).”

In addition, polyphenols counteract blood clotting, thin blood, and relax blood vessels (Haseeb et al. 20179).

3. Red Wine Reduces Hypertension 🩸

Moreover, the polyphenols in red wine reduce the clotting tendency of blood, inflammation, and blood pressure (Sato et al. 200216; Karatzi et al. 200517).

With this in mind, the positive impact of alcohol on blood pressure is way better than salt restriction (Xin et al. 200118).

However, conventional wisdom is flawed in both cases. Moderate alcohol and salt consumption reduce the risk of heart diseases rather than supporting it.

4. Resveratrol Boosts Heart Health 🍇

The flavonoid resveratrol is one of the most potent polyphenols. Moreover, resveratrol comes from the grape skin.

For this reason, it’s exclusive to red wine, because the grape skin is not removed before fermentation. Furthermore, the body can only absorb resveratrol when ingested as wine.

Many of resveratrol’s health benefits come from increasing nitric oxide (NO).

Nitric oxide is a biological gas, which helps to prevent atherosclerosis and blood clotting. Additionally, resveratrol is known to increase the overall life span (Biagi et al. 201510).

Although the french consume more saturated fat and alcohol than other people, they have less hearth disease

5. It Goes Well With Saturated Fats 🇫🇷

In the 1960s, the belief evolved that too much animal fat causes heart diseases.

Compared to the U.S., the consumption of animal fats is about three times as high in France. But Americans have twice as much heart disease as the French (Galinski et al. 201611).

Additionally, the French also consume more alcohol. And these facts are known as “The French Paradox (Fragopoulou et al. 200912).”

Recently scientific investigation uncovered to primary reasons for the French Paradox:

  • Saturated fat rather protects against heart disease than causing them (Siri-Tariano et al. 201013)
  • Red wine is also protective instead of a risk factor for heart disease

6. Moderate Intake Benefits Heart Health ✅

Besides all-cause mortality, moderate red wine consumption especially can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (Blackhurst et al. 200514).

But while moderate drinking reduces cardiovascular diseases, excessive alcohol supports cancer and liver disease.

In like manner, the Women’s Health Study showed a 35% percent decrease in overall mortality and a whopping 51% decrease in a cardiovascular-related death due to moderate drinking (Djousse et al. 200915).

Also, researchers from Harvard University showed that red wine reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering insulin levels and insulin resistance (Lazarus et al. 199719).

Summed up, the three most significant benefits of red wine for heart health, according to science, are:

  • Less inflammation and blood clotting
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved blood glucose/diabetes (Shai et al. 200720)

How Much Red Wine a Day for Heart Health? 🍷

According to research, 12.5 grams of alcohol yield lowest heart disease risk for women, while it’s 25 grams for men (Corrao et al. 200021).

Correspondingly, that’s 90 milliliters or 7 ounces of red wine a day for women. Likewise, men ideally drink 180 ml or 6 oz a day.

As a result, here’s how much glasses of red wine a day are healthy:

  • ♀️: 0.7 🍷
  • ♂️: 1.4 🍷

Nevertheless, stick to moderate amounts daily and avoid binge drinking to reap the health benefits of red wine (Szmitko et al. 200522).

If your condition prohibits alcohol, then de-alcoholized red wine can do the trick. It yields similar health benefits.

Although we now know how much red wine is healthy, we still need to determine what’s the best time to drink red wine for health.

The best time to drink red wine for heart health is at mealtimes

Best Time to Drink Red Wine for Heart Health ⌚

Should I drink red wine before or after a meal? That’s a frequently asked question.

But it’s plain wrong because the best time to drink red wine for health is with meals. Hence, the French are traditionally drinking red wine for dinner for a good reason.

Red wine at mealtimes prevents blood pressure from rising. Moreover, it helps to decrease blood glucose and insulin levels (Shai et al. 200723).

Additionally, red wine protects the endothelium of your blood vessels from cholesterol remnant particles and glucose. Hence, red wine at mealtimes reduces hypertension and atherosclerosis risk.

In like manner, we also don’t want the wine itself to raise blood glucose.

Which Red Wine Has the Least Sugar? 🍬

Also, wines often contain added sugar. Therefore, buy wine from a genuine vinery and region. Low residual sugar is a significant sign of quality.

Hence, here are the best dry red wine grapes with the least sugar:

  • Pinot Noir (2.3g carbs, 0g sugar)
  • Gamay (2.4g, 0g)
  • Cabernet Franc, Merlot (2.5g, 0g)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah (2.6g, 0g)

To put quality over quantity, I highly recommend using a wine app

It can show you the grape composition of a Cuvee, even if it’s not on the label.

Since you just need to scan the label to get all the data about origin, grapes, taste, and food pairing, it simplifies your life.

Due to the price comparison and wine rankings, it helps you to get the best bang for your buck in a matter of seconds.

Besides pinot noir traditional Cuvees from bordeaux are the best wines for heart health

Best Red Wine for Heart Health ⭐

The best red wine for heart health is traditionally pressed. Therefore, you need to find a vinery you can trust. Thus, watch out for certification of the area of origin. When in doubt, use a wine app.

Thus, France is still a sure shot for traditional quality wine. And remember, “life is too short to drink cheap wine.”

In like manner, more expensive wines have the potential to increase life span while a cheap one does the opposite.

Hence, the best red wine for heart health is:

  • Without added sugar
  • Without chemical additives
  • Mold-free
  • Below 15% alcohol
  • Low in sulfites
  • Low in residual sugar

The single best grape is pinot noir due to the least sugar. Moreover, it should be easy to find since it’s the most common red burgundy grape.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with a genuine Bordeaux. It usually is a Cuvee of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc.

In summary, here are the three most essential tips for leveraging red wine for heart health:

  • The best red wine for health is pinot noir
  • You should drink it with meals
  • And limit consumption to one glass
    • A small one for women
    • A large one for men

If you follow these tips, a glass of red wine a day potentially improves your heart health.

In like manner, red wine improves blood pressure, blood clotting, blood glucose, inflammation, overall risk of cardiovascular disease, and mortality.

Red Wine Heart Health FAQ ❓

Which red wine is best for your heart?

The best red wine for heart health is traditionally pressed and, therefore, low in residual sugar, without additives, mold-free, and low in sulfites. The best grape 🍇 is pinot noir.

Is red wine good for your heart and blood pressure?

Red wine supports heart health ❤️ when consumed moderately. It helps to reduce blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation and reduces the overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Is it OK to drink red wine everyday?

Yes, it is OK to drink red wine every day in moderate amounts. According to research, one glass 🍷 of red wine a day yields the best health benefits.

Is a glass of red wine healthy?

According to research, one glass of red wine a day supports heart health. The ideal amount of red wine is 90 ml/3 oz/0.7 glasses 🍷 a day for women and 180 ml/6 oz/1.4 glasses 🍷 a day for men.

Studies – References

#1-9

1DiNicolantonio J, Fung J. The Longevity Solution: Rediscovering Centuries-Old Secrets to a Healthy, Long Life. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing, 2019.

2Goldfinger TM. Beyond the French paradox: the impact of moderate beverage alcohol and wine consumption in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cardiol Clin. 2003 Aug;21(3):449-57. doi: 10.1016/s0733-8651(03)00081-x. Review. PubMed PMID: 14621457.

3Grønbaek M, Deis A, Sørensen TI, Becker U, Schnohr P, Jensen G. Mortality associated with moderate intakes of wine, beer, or spirits. BMJ. 1995 May 6;310(6988):1165-9. doi: 10.1136/bmj.310.6988.1165. PubMed PMID: 7767150; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2549555.

4Renaud SC, Guéguen R, Siest G, Salamon R. Wine, beer, and mortality in middle-aged men from eastern France. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Sep 13;159(16):1865-70. doi: 10.1001/archinte.159.16.1865. PubMed PMID: 10493316.

5Yuan JM, Ross RK, Gao YT, Henderson BE, Yu MC. Follow up study of moderate alcohol intake and mortality among middle aged men in Shanghai, China. BMJ. 1997 Jan 4;314(7073):18-23. doi: 10.1136/bmj.314.7073.18. PubMed PMID: 9001474; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2125578.

6Thun MJ, Peto R, Lopez AD, Monaco JH, Henley SJ, Heath CW Jr, Doll R. Alcohol consumption and mortality among middle-aged and elderly U.S. adults. N Engl J Med. 1997 Dec 11;337(24):1705-14. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199712113372401. PubMed PMID: 9392695.

7Streppel MT, Ocké MC, Boshuizen HC, Kok FJ, Kromhout D. Long-term wine consumption is related to cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy independently of moderate alcohol intake: the Zutphen Study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2009 Jul;63(7):534-40. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.082198. Epub 2009 Apr 30. PubMed PMID: 19406740.

8Sato M, Maulik N, Das DK. Cardioprotection with alcohol: role of both alcohol and polyphenolic antioxidants. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:122-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb02911.x. PubMed PMID: 12074967.

9Haseeb S, Alexander B, Baranchuk A. Wine and Cardiovascular Health: A Comprehensive Review. Circulation. 2017 Oct 10;136(15):1434-1448. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030387. Review. PubMed PMID: 28993373.

#10-17

10Biagi M, Bertelli AA. Wine, alcohol and pills: What future for the French paradox?. Life Sci. 2015 Jun 15;131:19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2015.02.024. Epub 2015 Apr 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 25841977.

11Galinski CN, Zwicker JI, Kennedy DR. Revisiting the mechanistic basis of the French Paradox: Red wine inhibits the activity of protein disulfide isomerase in vitro. Thromb Res. 2016 Jan;137:169-173. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2015.11.003. Epub 2015 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 26585763; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4706467.

12Fragopoulou E, Demopoulos CA, Antonopoulou S. Lipid minor constituents in wines. A biochemical approach in the French paradox. International Journal of Wine Research. 2009;1:131-143. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWR.S4587.

13Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. Epub 2010 Jan 13. PubMed PMID: 20071648; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2824152.

14Blackhurst DM, Marais AD. Alcohol–foe or friend?. S Afr Med J. 2005 Sep;95(9):648-54. Review. PubMed PMID: 16327917.

15Djoussé L, Lee IM, Buring JE, Gaziano JM. Alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and death in women: potential mediating mechanisms. Circulation. 2009 Jul 21;120(3):237-44. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.832360. PubMed PMID: 19597054; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2745640.

16Sato M, Maulik N, Das DK. Cardioprotection with alcohol: role of both alcohol and polyphenolic antioxidants. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:122-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb02911.x. PubMed PMID: 12074967.

17Karatzi KN, Papamichael CM, Karatzis EN, Papaioannou TG, Aznaouridis KA, Katsichti PP, Stamatelopoulos KS, Zampelas A, Lekakis JP, Mavrikakis ME. Red wine acutely induces favorable effects on wave reflections and central pressures in coronary artery disease patients. Am J Hypertens. 2005 Sep;18(9 Pt 1):1161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjhyper.2005.03.744. PubMed PMID: 16182104.

#18-23

18Xin X, He J, Frontini MG, Ogden LG, Motsamai OI, Whelton PK. Effects of alcohol reduction on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Hypertension. 2001 Nov;38(5):1112-7. doi: 10.1161/hy1101.093424. PubMed PMID: 11711507.

19Lazarus R, Sparrow D, Weiss ST. Alcohol intake and insulin levels. The Normative Aging Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 May 15;145(10):909-16. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a009050. PubMed PMID: 9149662.

20Shai I, Wainstein J, Harman-Boehm I, Raz I, Fraser D, Rudich A, Stampfer MJ. Glycemic effects of moderate alcohol intake among patients with type 2 diabetes: a multicenter, randomized, clinical intervention trial. Diabetes Care. 2007 Dec;30(12):3011-6. doi: 10.2337/dc07-1103. Epub 2007 Sep 11. PubMed PMID: 17848609.

21Corrao G, Rubbiati L, Bagnardi V, Zambon A, Poikolainen K. Alcohol and coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis. Addiction. 2000 Oct;95(10):1505-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2000.951015056.x. PubMed PMID: 11070527.

22Szmitko PE, Verma S. Antiatherogenic potential of red wine: clinician update. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 May;288(5):H2023-30. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00868.2004. Epub 2005 Jan 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 15653767.

23Shai I, Wainstein J, Harman-Boehm I, Raz I, Fraser D, Rudich A, Stampfer MJ. Glycemic effects of moderate alcohol intake among patients with type 2 diabetes: a multicenter, randomized, clinical intervention trial. Diabetes Care. 2007 Dec;30(12):3011-6. doi: 10.2337/dc07-1103. Epub 2007 Sep 11. PubMed PMID: 17848609.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. RAFIQ PETERS

    I looking for the best Red wine for my heart can you send me the name of it…

    1. While I’m not giving medical advice, any solid french pure variety pinot noir might be a good choice, such as this one.

      But be aware that more than 180ml a day are too much and might cause adverse health effects.

      Have a great day 😉

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