October 19, 2023 by Alyssa Taylor

The Sunday Sip: Is Red Wine Healthier Than White Wine?

Q: Is red wine healthier than white wine?

A: While red wine is widely believed to be a healthier choice than white wine, our verdict is not necessarily. Let’s explain….

To break down the health benefits, we need to first take a look at the difference between white and red wine. In white winemaking, the grapes are almost always pressed to separate them from the skins and solely extract the juice – the skins, seeds and stems are removed before fermentation. The aim being to maximize the release of juice without extracting tannins from skins and seeds. In red winemaking, the aim is opposite – To focus on the extraction of color, tannins, and flavors from the skins, so the crushed red grapes begin fermentation with the skins on. In addition, the seeds and stems may be left in contact as well, if desired.

The grape skins are what lend the wine its pigment, as well as many of the distinctive health compounds (polyphenols) found in red wine such as resveratrol, quercetin and ellagic acid. Polyphenols, specifically, are believed to have health benefits for the heart, and since they are found in the grape skins, they would therefore be more abundant in red wine than in white wine.

Truth be told though, whether red wine or white wine is actually “healthier” for you might depend on the aspects of health you are focused on. For example, red wine drinkers may enjoy boosted levels of the good kind of cholesterol (HDL) or help reduce the risk of heart disease, while white wine drinkers may enjoy better blood sugar controls.

Overall, red wine does have a slight edge over white wine because it has higher amounts of some vitamins and minerals, but white wines are generally fewer in calories and alcohol content. Take your pick! Either way, it appears to us that you can’t go wrong with one or the other.

Loved by Everyone Red Wines:

2020 Origin Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir $45

2021 Château de Montfrin Cotes du Rhone ‘A La Reverie’ Rouge $28

2020 Gouchas Luján de Cuyo Carbonic Malbec $22

Loved by Everyone White Wines:

2022 Cantine Carlo Mazzella Ischia Biancolella $26

2020 Domaine De Oliveira Lecestre AC Chablis $38

2019 Flâneur Willamette Valley Chardonnay $28

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