Is red grape juice a substitute for red wine?

Everyone has heard of sttudies claiming to prove that red wine in moderation is good for your health. I dont particularly like drinking alcohol, so is red grape juice as good?

The short answer is No. Although the skins of grapes have the same antioxidants as in red wine, it does not contain any alcohol, which has benefits in its own right, such as increasing HDL-cholesterol. Reports that I have read is that it is the alcohol that causes the benefits, altho there are reports that the antioxidants are also important. I’m not sure about that, but I do know that alcohol has benefits in its own right.

I believe the studies which showed that red wine is good for you specifically put the finger on the alcohol content in combination with another factor in red wine. Grape juice won’t do the trick.


Not really. Part of the beneficial effect from moderate wine consumption is that low amounts of alcohol are good for you. Also there are polyphenols, which help unclog your arteries, in red wines that are not present in grape juice.

Good article on red wine.

Well the latest thing i think i read was that it wasnt anything to do with the alcohol, but something else. it’s confusing though cos there’s so much conflicting research. There was one study once that claimed no benefits from red wine - it was claimed that it was drunk more by middle class people and that they tended to have more healthy diets in general and that was why they lived slightly longer.

There do seem to be considerable benefits to red grape juice. They don’t say whether alcohol confers any additional benefits. They do note that grape juice may be as beneficial as aspirin therapy.!gid2=470

It ain’t no substitute for what I drink wine for.:slight_smile:

That’s a 1998 cite. Here’s a 2001 cite

An earlier 1999 site re grape juice

Norm MacDonald on SNL News:

“Scientists have developed a pill that gives all the health benefits of red wine, but without the alcohol. Yeah, it’s called a grape.”

Sorry. Carry on.

Apologize for the hijack, but can you purchase white grape juice?

Geez crafter man, have you ever been to the grocery store? Yes, you can get white grape juice.

Nutrition issues aside my church substitutes red wine with grape juice for communion. We have no issues with alcohol, we’re Lutherans, but use it so wee chilluns and those in recovery from alchoholism can commune too. On a spiritual level it’s just as good. :smiley:

Note also that commercially-packaged grape juice will typically have a hell of a lot of added sugar, unlike wine. Even juices not fortified with sugar will have a lot more of it than wine, as the fermentation process converts sugar into alcohol and most red wines have no or almost no sugar left.


Here’s another source that mentions some findings in favor of grape juice in a study that compared directly:

  1. Yes, you can get white grape juice.

  2. Scientific American had an article about this a while ago. The alcohol is important. Lately, doctors have been recommending a few drinks a week for teetotalers who don’t have a family history of alcoholism.

I actually tried to start drinking red wine but I just couldn’t do it. Anything alcoholic tastes like gasoline to me.


Cliffy–cite? I think we’ve had this discussion here before, but when I go the grocery store, I see lots of grape juice with no added sugar. You can certainly find “grape juice cocktail,” which does have added sugar, often masquerading as grape juice, but I don’t think it forms the makority of grape juce type products on supermarket shelves, and in any event, real unadulterated grape juice is plenty easy to find.

I believe that even certain kinds of red wine were found to be more beneficial for you than others. If I’m not mistaken Cabernet Savignon was ranked tops in the list.

Food companies can be very tricky.

The problem is, plain ol’ grape squeeings aren’t very palatable as a juice. So, one common practice is to pass white grape, apple, or pear juice through an ion exchange system. Nutrients, minerals, acids, and flavors are removed in two stages and replaced with H and OH ions. The ions then combine for form water, and all that’s left of the original juice is the sweet sweet sugar. It’s an expensive way to make sugar water, but it allows the juice companies to dump what’s basically sugar water into their product and still call it “100% Juice” or “No Sugar Added”.

Check your fruit juice labels, and be immediately suspicious of anything containing white grape, apple, or pear juice.

How serious is this suggestion? Is it as serious as “you should eat a balanced meal, get regular exercise, lose weight, and avoid smoking”? Am I, as a teetollar, taking an unnecessary risk with my health because of my avoidance of alcohol?

I don’t care for wines but me and my wife have begun to drink red wine. Matter fact this thread has reminded me to dring my dose for the day!

No. Regular exercise, maintaining a good weight, not smoking, and a balanced diet. are much better health measures than a drink or two a day. As far as the antioxidants are concerned, as pointed out, grapes and many other veggies contain the same phytoantioxidants.