Red wine, when taken in moderation, has been shown to have a multitude of benefits for your health.  We first realized this when looking at the French diet – they eat more fatty foods, but have fewer heart attacks than other areas of the world, and the current thought is that is due to red wine.  That led to a number of studies looking at why red wine was so good, and we’ve found that it contains very high levels of antioxidants and catechins.

The biggest antioxidant in wine is resveratrol – and like most antioxidants it “neutralizes” free radicals that cause cellular damage in the body.  You could think of antioxidants as little body guards for your cells.  Resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, and is highly concentrated when the wine soaks in the skins for a longer period of time – which is why red wine is more highly recommended than white.  White wine still has some resveratrol, but not as much.  Catechin (one of the other great benefits of red wine) is a molecule that is also found in green tea, and can decrease your risk for heart disease.  One study claims that drinking red wine in moderation can decrease your risk for heart attack by as much as 30-40%!

Of course, as with most things, more is not better.  The dangers of drinking to excess have been well documented and would negate any benefit you may receive from the red wine.  Moderation is defined as 1 glass for women and up to 2 glasses for men, daily.  As we all know, pregnant women should not drink alcohol of any kind, and binge drinking is never a good idea.    Other forms of alcohol (such as beer or liquor) have not been shown to have these same health benefits.

So, if you feel so inclined, please join us for a bit of moderation and fund-raising at the annual Grape Escapes Wine Tasting to benefit Maricopa FOR, Food Bank!