The health effects of wine (and alcohol in general) are the subject of considerable ongoing study. In the USA, a boom in red wine consumption was touched off in the 1990s by ’60 Minutes’, and other news reports on the French paradox. Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of the juice of fruits, usually grapes.
Although a number of other fruits – such as plum, elderberry and blackcurrant – may also be fermented, only grapes are naturally chemically balanced to ferment completely without requiring extra sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients.
Non-grape wines are called fruit wine or country wine. Other products made from starch based materials, such as barley wine, rice wine (sake), are more similar to beers. Beverages made from other fermentable material such as honey (mead), or that are distilled, such as brandy, are not wines. The English word wine and its equivalents in other languages are protected by law in many jurisdictions.
Red wine is made from red (or black) grapes, but its red colour is bestowed by a process called maceration, whereby the skin is left in contact with the juice during fermentation.
Wine is a popular and important beverage that accompanies and enhances a wide range of European and Mediterranean-style cuisines, from the simple and traditional to the most sophisticated and complex. Red, white and sparkling wines are the most popular, and are also known as light wines, because they only contain approximately 10-14% alcohol.
The health effects of wine (and alcohol in general) are the subject of considerable ongoing study. In the USA, a boom in red wine consumption was touched off in the 1990s by ’60 Minutes’, and other news reports on the French paradox.
It now seems clear that regular consumption of up to 1-2 drinks a day (1 standard drink is approximately equal to 5 oz, or 125 ml, of 13% wine) does reduce mortality, due to a 10%?40% lower risk of coronary heart disease, especially for those over the age of 35 or so (see Alcohol consumption and health). Originally, the effect was observed with red wine.
Compounds, known as polyphenols, are found in larger amounts in red wine, and there is some evidence that these are especially beneficial. One particularly interesting polyphenol antioxidant found in red wine is resveratrol, to which numerous beneficial effects have been attributed. Red wine also contains a significant amount of flavonoids and red anthocyanin pigments that act as antioxidants.
A new study has proved that red wines’ resveratrol offers survival benefits, increases lifespan.
Some red wines
* Amarone: Italy
* Barbaresco: Italy
* Barolo: Italy
* Beaujolais: France
* Blaufr?nkischer: Austria
* Bobal: Spain
* Bordeaux: France
* Brancellao: Spain
* Brunello di Montalcino: Italy
* Burgundy: France
* Cabernet Franc: France, USA (California, Virginia)
* Cabernet Sauvignon: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Turkey, USA (California, Texas, Washington State), Venezuela
* Cannonau: Italy
* Carmenere: Chile
* Cencibel: Spain
* Chianti: Italy
* Dimyat: Bulgaria
* Fetească Neagră: Romania
* Fetească Regală: Romania
* Garnacha, also known as Grenache and as Cannonau: Australia, France, South America, Spain, USA (California)
* Gumza: Bulgaria
* Kagor: Moldova
* Kalecik Karasi: Turkey
* Malbec: Argentina, France
* Mavrodafni: Greece
* Mavrud: Bulgaria
* Mazuela: Spain
* Melnik: Bulgaria
* Merlot: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Turkey, USA (California, Texas, Washington State), Venezuela
* Mirodia Red: Moldova
* Monastrell: Spain
* Norton: USA (Eastern and Midwestern States)
* Nosiola: Italy
* Pamid: Bulgaria
* Petite Sirah: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, USA (California, Washington State)
* Pinot Meunier: France, Germany
* Pinot Noir: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, USA (California, Oregon, Washington State)
* Pinotage: New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe
* Rioja: Spain
* Saint-Emilion: France
* Syrah/Shiraz: Australia, France (Rh?ne), Italy, South Africa, Turkey, USA (California, Texas, Washington State), Venezuela
* Tempranillo: Argentina, Spain, Venezuela
* Trollinger: Germany
* Valpolicella: Italy
* Zinfandel: USA (California, Washington State)
* Zweigelt: Austria
Sparkling red wines
* Brachetto: Italy
* Cabernet Sauvignon: Australia
* Lambrusco: Italy
* Syrah/Shiraz: Australia