resveratrol, red wine, cabernet sauvignon, good red wine

Heart Healthy Wines: The Real Relationship Between Wine & Your Heart

By Rai Cornell

resveratrol, red wine, cabernet sauvignon, good red wine 

We live for wine here at VINEBOX. So when we heard that wine could potentially help us live longer - to enjoy more wine - we were giddy with excitement.


But there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding wine’s relationship with your heart and whether or not it’s truly good for you. We decided to dive into the science and get nerdy for a day to bring you a solid answer. Here’s what we found.


Wine & Your Heart


Let’s start off with the good news: The rumors are true! According to research conducted by governmental organizations and university researchers, all things point in favor of drinking wine in moderation.


Research has shown that people who drink alcohol in light or moderate amounts tend to have fewer heart problems than people who don’t drink alcohol at all or who drink heavily.


Defining “Moderation”


The question then becomes: What counts as light or moderate drinking Unfortunately, this is where it gets murky.


According to the research, “light to moderate drinking” is one to two drinks per day for men and just one drink per day for women.


And while the size of a “drink” at home is usually only limited by the size of the glass you pull from the cupboard, the researchers define a single drink as 5 fluid ounces.

wine, pour chart, 5 oz 

Any more than that and you start to approach the type of drinking that researchers deem “heavy” and harmful to your heart.


The Bottom Line


TL;DR - Drinking wine is good for your heart if you limit yourself to 5 - 10 ounces per day for men and 5 ounces per day for women.


The Magic Bullet


While you’re sipping your strictly 5 ounce glasses of wine, you may be wondering what it is about wine that does the wonderful things for your heart. Us, too.


The magic ingredient in wine that scientists believe is to blame for the wonderful health-protecting benefits is resveratrol.


While it sounds like something Marie Curie would store in a beaker in her lab, resveratrol is actually a biochemical known as a stilbenoid that belongs to the large family of plant chemicals called polyphenols.


Polyphenols are amazing little doo-dads that reduce inflammation in your body. Resveratrol is the golden child of the polyphenol family because it’s believed to do more than just reduce inflammation – it may also help to prevent blood clots and reduce levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. It’s rumored to be a talented singer and dancer, too, but that’s a tale for another time.


However, these claims to resveratrol’s fame are not yet proven. Researchers believe resveratrol is the one who deserves the credit for wine’s health-protecting benefits, but they haven’t definitively come to an agreement yet.


We’re waiting on the edge of our seats.


Is It All Alcohol?


No – not all alcohol contains resveratrol and other lovely polyphenols.


Among all the available types of alcohol, red wine has the biggest reputation for providing health benefits, and for good reason. Resveratrol is found in “red and purple grapes, blueberries, cranberries, mulberries, lingonberries, peanuts, and pistachios,” say the big brains at Harvard Medical School.


Wines made with any of these ingredients, even white wine, can contain resveratrol. While we’re glad not to see any pistachio wine popping up on the shelves, this may be just the rationale you need to try that blueberry wine you’ve been eyeing at the farmer’s market.


Safe For Some


The fact that wine has heart-protecting benefits in small, 5-to-10-ounce doses is great news for some, but irrelevant to others.


If you have a healthy heart and you’ve been cleared by your doctor to enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, more power to you! Drink up and enjoy!


However, if you suffer from an existing heart condition or you frequently enjoy more alcohol than the researchers recommend, adding another glass of wine to the mix isn’t going to do you any good - in fact, it could be downright dangerous.


As much as we wish our love of wine would lead us to the Fountain of Youth, it won’t. Drinking wine can protect healthy hearts, but it isn’t a cure for hearts with a troubled past.


Despite the very small window of circumstances in which wine can offer some heart-health benefits, we’ll take them! Resveratrol is just another item on our list of reasons why we love wine, including all the enticing tastes, aromas, experiences that go along with a great glass.


Do you love wine as much as we do? Tell us why and share your wine journey experiences with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear your story.




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