You may have heard of it countless times: Red wine is not really alcohol, it is the healthier cousin amidst alcohols, or that it is even beneficial to your health when consumed in moderation. Is that true? Let’s spill the tea, or in this case, red wine.

What is Red Wine Made of?

Red wine is an alcoholic drink made from the fermentation of dark-coloured grapes. The alcohol content in red wine usually ranges from 12 to 15%.

It is rich in antioxidants (compounds that prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals) called polyphenols that prevent damage to blood vessels caused by inflammation (malfunctioning of your immune system) and oxidative stress. These polyphenols include resveratrol and proanthocyanidins, which are known to be the major constituents responsible for red wine’s health benefits.

Studies suggest that proanthocyanidins may reduce oxidative damage in your body and may also help prevent heart disease and cancer. Resveratrol comes from the skin of the grapes used to make red wine. It may help in lowering LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or “bad” cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots.

However, the resveratrol content of red wine is low and you would have to consume several bottles of red wine per day to reach the amount that was proven to have health benefits in animal studies. More research may be needed to determine and substantiate the health benefits of resveratrol in humans.

How Much Red Wine is Recommended?

Moderate wine consumption is defined as:

  • Up to 1 glass per day for women of all ages.

  • Up to 2 glasses per day for men younger than 65 (men generally weigh more than women and have higher quantities of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol).

  • Up to 1 glass per day for men older than 65.

Wherein 1 glass = approximately 150 ml.


Remember that the polyphenols found in red wine can be found in a lot of non-alcoholic, fresh food sources such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Eating grapes or drinking grape juice will also give you resveratrol. Further, peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries contain some amount of resveratrol and it is also available as supplements.

Notwithstanding the benefits that consumption of red wine in moderation offers, a higher alcohol intake is associated with serious negative health outcomes like liver damage, pancreatic disorders, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, weight gain, and cancer.

The take-home message is to drink red wine in moderation. Also, if you do not drink red wine, do not start now just for its stated health benefits. 

Remember, there is no shortcut to good health. A healthy lifestyle including a nutritious diet, regular exercise, staying away from tobacco and drugs, and ample rest is the way to go. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.