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Wine enthusiasts often debate over whether red or white wine is best, both in terms of taste and health benefits. Casual drinkers also wonder which varieties they should consume since there are so many options available on the market. There’s a lot of conflicting information and various ways to pair wine with different foods. Plus, there’s the added confusion of blush and mixed wine varieties.
Let’s take a deeper dive into when and why one type is better than the other.
Red Wine Can Be Healthier
Because the grapes and fermentation process behind red and white wines are different, red wines contain higher amounts of an antioxidant known as resveratrol. There is some evidence that resveratrol can produce many health benefits, such as a lower chance of developing heart disease. Other benefits include an increase in HDL or “good” cholesterol and sensitivity to insulin production.
Consuming more antioxidants can help your body ward off pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome due to increased insulin sensitivity. Antioxidants also protect your joints’ cartilage, can extend your overall life expectancy, and can reduce the risks of developing cancer and cognitive deficits.
Many health conditions like heart disease and Alzheimer’s are linked to systemic inflammation, and resveratrol may help reduce inflammation and its negative effects.
White Wine Has Fewer Calories
If you’re watching your waistline, though, white wine has the advantage. On average, there are slightly fewer calories in a single serving or glass of white wine than there are in red wine. While a slight difference may not seem like much, it can add up if you drink a few glasses a couple of times a week.
If you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, you should consider sticking with drier wines, which have less (if any) added sugar. Dry white wines include Chardonnay and champagne brut natural. Dry red wines include zinfandel (not to be mistaken for white zinfandel, a very sweet blush wine), syrah, and malbec.
So, Which Wine Should I Choose?
Whether you choose to go with a red or white wine comes down to your individual preferences. There are plenty of people who drink a little bit of both to balance out competing priorities. If you’re more concerned about heart disease and systemic inflammation, you’ll want to choose more reds, such as a good California Cabernet.
However, if you’re watching your caloric intake or trying to keep within a certain limit, you’ll want to lean toward white wines. There’s also the question of taste: both red and white wines offer sweet, dry, and moderate varieties, so you’ll have to try a few varieties to nail down your flavour preferences.
“A Bottle of Red, A Bottle of White…”
Drinking red wine can come with many health benefits associated with antioxidants. However, drinking alcohol isn’t necessarily a recipe for good health. It’s important to drink red or white wine in moderation and responsibly.
There are advantages to drinking both varieties of wine, and the choice is ultimately up to you. Don’t limit yourself! Have fun by experimenting with different reds and whites. Discover which flavours appeal to your taste buds the most. And, consider whether you’d rather count calories or reap the rewards of antioxidants.
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