The best types of dry red wine for health benefits are those with the least sugar and the most heart-healthy compounds such as antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols, making them a superfood. Red wine, in general, also contains a specific type of polyphenol called resveratrol.
Dry Red Wine Health Benefits
Resveratrol is a plant-derived substance found in the skins of grapes and is thought to have high antioxidant concentrations. These natural antioxidant properties may help to combat heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and more, but scientists do not currently know if resveratrol actually contributes to long term heart health in humans.
Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient that are responsible for the color and flavor of some foods, and known for their heart-healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
This article focuses on dry red wines in particular because this specific type of red wine is more complex and does not contain sugar. During the fermentation process, sugars are broken down and some of the sugar residues remain in the finished product.
The sweeter the wine is, the lower the flavonoid content. In the most dry red wines, these sugars are completely removed. This is just like in dark chocolate where the most bitter, less sweet chocolates contain the most health benefits. The same is true in dry red wines.
As a warning, since dry red wine still contains alcohol, consuming too much could easily counter any health benefits gained, so make sure to drink only 1-2 glasses (5 oz.) per day.
Types of Dry Red Wine
Though Merlot is considered the “beginner’s” dry red wine, it is Cabernet Sauvignon that is tops on my list when it comes to choosing a dry red wine with the most health benefits.
This extremely dry red wine could contain the most health benefits out of the group of dry red wines because not only does it contain no sugar, but it also contains the highest concentrations of flavonoids, according to a study done by the University of California. Cabernet is also a very hearty, dry red wine that is generally higher in tannin content and is meant to be paired with red meat.
Next on the list is Pinot Noir. This is a medium, full-bodied dry red wine that falls just behind Cabernet when it comes to flavonoid content. The grapes, which are grown in cool climates, and used to produce Pinot, are generally high in resveratrol content. This wine is meant to be paired with most meats and heavy sauces, such as cream sauces. As such, it is also a good dry red wine to get health benefits from.
Syrah is a hearty, heavy, dry red wine and also falls just behind Cabernet in its flavonoid content. Originally produced in France, it is an old wine that became popular in the United States. Due to its deep, rich flavor, it is best paired with red meats and spicy foods.
This one is considered the “pasta wine” for obvious reasons. It is a heavy, dry red wine that pairs well with tomato-based pasta dishes and sauces. Though the red type is a robust wine made from thick-skinned black grapes that are high in sugar content, it is the semi-sweet white Zinfandel type that is most popular in the United States.
This introductory dry red wine has a softer flavor than most and can be paired with most meats and fish. Merlot is a flexible, varietal wine and is one of the most popular in the variety market. It is 2nd in popularity behind Cabernet in the United States.
Does Drinking Red Wine Make You Lose Weight?
What is the relationship between red wine and weight loss? Well there is certainly no evidence that drinking red wine makes you lose weight. However; drinking only moderate red wine amounts in a weight management program could help to promote weight loss. Drinking too much would only cause the opposite to happen – weight gain!