Are all red wines created equally, healthwise?

I want to start drinking a couple or more glasses of red wine per week for their health benefits. Does anybody know if certain red wines have more benefits than others (e.g. is merlot more beneficial than chianti, etc.)?

A friend gave me a large bottle of sangria recently. While not a red wine, it has a red wine base. Does anybody know if this has the same benefits?

I don’t know the answer to what you’re asking, but in some people tannins are known to cause headaches and migraine, so if you are prone to either, I would choose wines that are softer in taste. Ask at your local wine store for recommendations if this might be an issue for you or a family member.

Red wine drinkers have been found to be healthier than the rest of the population, but as far as I know, no one has been able to correlate the effect to the wine itself, since there is a huge confounding variable: red wine drinkers are probably the same folks who take care of themselves (well, moreso on average than joe sixpack).

So I guess the answer I would recommend is to take up the whole red wine lifestyle, whatever that is. If you do all that other stuff, you can probably skip the wine.

My father-in-law was in the winery business from childhood (grew up on his grandfather’s vineyard) until he sold the property about 15 years ago. He made wine, vinegar, etc. and his regiment consisted of drinking a glass of red wine (6-8 oz.) at lunch, one at the end of the work day and another at dinner. He is now 80 years old, and the only health issues that he’s encountered is a broken leg (requiring shortening the bone in surgery) and a full recovery from prostate cancer. The doctor is glad to see that the plaque build-up in his arteries (and veins?) are minimal and pose no serious health risk in the near future. His mind is sharp (I usually ask him about his service in WWII in the South Pacific and he can recall which islands he landed on in the right sequence). He used to smoke, but gave that up about 25-30 years ago. His brothers are also in good shape except one who still smokes. His relatives usually live 80-95 years, save accidental deaths. He prefers the Cabernet and Merlot (or combination of the two) and he usually drinks the cheap boxed burgandy as his lunch and afternoon drink. I’ve never seen him drunk and his limit is usually 3 or 4 per day. This man has also sprayed a huge amount of DDT in the vineyards back when it was legal, but suffers no ill effects up to this day. Dude is totally amazing.

By just associating with my father-in-law, I have been drinking these same types of wine for the last 18 years, although I do not drink consistently as he usually does. Time will tell for me, because my father’s side of the family had a lot of medical issues dealing with the heart. I don’t smoke but I am 50 lbs. overweight.

The “UC Berkeley Health Letter” said the beneficial phytochemicals in red wine come from the red grapes it is made from, and can also be obtained by eating a few red grapes. Just FYI for any who want the benefits but may not want to drink wine.

Gee Curt, the wine is the best part!

According to UC Davis (through a secondary source), cabernet sauvignon has the highest concentration of flavonoids, followed by petit syrah and pinot noir. Merlot and zinfandel rank low, as do the white varietals.

That noted, however, as of late there seems to have been a lot of people who want to claim the health benefits of moderate drinking, which include not just red wine but also beer. In addition, I’ve also read that reds may have no benefits over white wines (I can’t remember where I read that now, though this BBC column that I Googled up also makes mention of it). Maybe flavonoids aren’t the only factor, but really, I don’t know.