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Red Wine Health Benefits: Type Does Matter

Red wine is a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants and nutrients. However, the benefits of red wine depend on the type you drink. Discover the various benefits of each type.

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red wine with dinner
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Red wine is a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants and nutrients. However, the benefits of red wine depend on the type you drink. Discover the various benefits of each type.

Red wine is an integral part of many people’s lives. It can be enjoyed as a relaxing drink after work or as an accompaniment to a meal. Red wine has many health benefits and is considered good for your heart.

Why Is Red Wine Good for You?

There are many different types of red wine available in the market, each with its own unique taste, aroma and color. If you open a spread of the Publix weekly ad, for example, you will come across a Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, etc., with different prices because of the type of red grape used, how long it was fermented before bottling and the characteristics of the wine.

A glass of red wine can do great wonders for your body. In fact, it’s said that a glass of merlot every day can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. The antioxidants present in red wines help fight free radicals in your body and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Red wine also contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer cells from spreading through the body. Another component called flavonoids helps prevent blood clotting and lower blood pressure levels, thus preventing strokes and heart attacks from happening in the first place.

Let’s discover more red wine health benefits according to type.

Red Wine Types and Health Benefits

The most common type of red wine is called Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up about 50% of all the red wines sold in the United States. Other types include Pinot noir, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is noted for its rich tannins, which give it a bold and complex flavor.

The health benefits of Cabernet Sauvignon include:

  • It contains polyphenols, which are known to help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • It may help reduce joint pain due to its high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds called proanthocyanidins.
  • It may reduce depression symptoms by increasing serotonin levels in the brain (as well as other neurotransmitters).
  • It can improve brain function as well as memory retention due to its ability to increase blood flow to the brain and also protect it from neurodegenerative diseases.
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Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety that can be found around the world. It’s grown in many regions, including France and California. Pinot noir is used to make both still and sparkling wines, although it’s most known for its red wine.

Here are the health benefits of pinot noir:

  • Pinot noir contains a high amount of anti-aging properties.
  • It contains many different antioxidants, including anthocyanins and resveratrol. These antioxidants help fight inflammation, which is linked to heart disease and some cancers.
  • It may also help to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and improve your eye health when consumed in moderation.


Syrah is most common in the Rhône Valley and Northern California, though it’s also grown in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The wine made from Syrah is known for its rich flavor and deep color. It’s typically dry, but some producers make it sweet as well.

The health benefits of Syrah include:

  • Low in calories: One glass of Syrah contains only about 100 calories.
  • It has high levels of polyphenols and anthocyanins, which fight against free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and improving overall health.
  • Heart-friendly due to its high concentration of resveratrol.


The name “Merlot” comes from the French word for blackbird because it was traditionally grown in vineyards where birds liked to nest and eat the grapes.

Merlot is a great cure for urinary tract infections because it has more flavonoids than other wines.


Malbec has a deep blue-black color with notes of black currant and blackberry fruit, along with hints of pepper and tobacco leaf. The wine has soft tannins and a very good structure.

The most notable health benefit of Malbec is its great heart-protecting qualities.


Zinfandel is also known as Primitivo and Durif. The name Durif comes from the French word for “thorny,” referring to the fact that Durif grapes are thorny like their parent variety, Zinfandel.

Zinfandel has high potassium content, which helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, stroke and arterial aging.

Benefits of Drinking Red Wine Before Bed

Of all the red wines, Pinot noir can help you sleep better at night if you drink it 30 minutes before bedtime. This is because the alcohol content in Pinot noir acts as a sedative, making you drowsy and relaxed, so you feel ready for sleep. It also helps release serotonin in your brain, which promotes healthy sleep patterns.

Many people also enjoy drinking merlot at night because it helps you sleep better by reducing stress hormones like cortisol and keeping your blood pressure steady throughout the night.

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Drinking a glass or two of red wine can be good for you, but you should be aware of your limits, too.

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