A glass of red wine with a home-cooked meal and some soothing music is a great way to end our day. Be it cabernet sauvignon with steak or Sangiovese with cheesy pizza, different types of wine can pair up nicely with various foods. However, you can reap all the excellent benefits of red wine only when you pair it with a meal and not alone.
Red Wine was first produced for the first time in Georgia in 6000 B.C. Georgia is thus known as the ‘cradle of wine’. Wine is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting the juice of dark-skinned grapes. The production process includes the extraction of colour and flavour components from the fruit’s skin. France, Italy, and Spain are the top wine-producing regions globally. However, it is a delicacy around the world.
Red wine contains antioxidants, called polyphenols, which are healthy. For example, resveratrol is a polyphenol that prevents the risk of coronary artery diseases, cancer growth, diabetes, and hypertension. Red wine also promotes skin health by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, it gives a healthy glow and brightens the skin. However, one must watch out for the correct quantity. 1-2 glasses per week are recommended.
Red wine has a variety of flavours, depending on the different types of grapes used for its production. Usually red, it can range from deep reddish to purple and even blue.
Types of Red Wine
At present, over 10,000 different varieties of red wines are available globally. Around 50 varieties dominate today’s worldwide market share.
Here’s a list of the top 6 red wines which can pair with different types of cuisines:
A native to Piedmont in Italy, Nebbiolo is a red wine with fruity cherry and raspberry flavours. It holds up well with fatty meats, sausages, braised ducks, and soft cheeses like full-fat feta or goat cheese. You can also try pairing it up with spicy Asian cuisines.
2. Pinot Noir
One of the world’s most famous wines, Pinot Noir, is produced mainly in France. It is a versatile wine that goes well with meats, seafood, and even casseroles. It feels silky to the tongue and feels the lightest when consumed.
Zinfandel is a grape primarily produced in California. It has a spicy taste with dominant berry flavours. Zinfandel wine is best when you pair it with beef and lamb kebabs or creamy portions of pasta, tuna, pizzas, and even lasagnas.
4. Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is produced mainly in France. The Sauvignon grape is the most planted variant of grape in the world. It pairs perfectly with meat (preferably fatty), juicy burgers and beef ribs, grilled lamb, and hard cheeses like cheddar or gouda.
Australia is the home to Shiraz or Syrah. It is known as Syrah in France and other European countries and Shiraz in Australia, South America, etc. Any lamb, bacon, baked ham, turkey legs, pepperoni pizza, falafel, and salami goes well with shiraz wine.
France is the birthplace of Merlot and undoubtedly the producer of the best Merlot wine. It is a dark blue-coloured wine. Its prominent fruit flavours make it an easy drink that can pair up well with beef, blue cheese, mushrooms, grilled chicken, red fruit sauces, and roasted pork.
Nutritional Value of Red Wine
Red wine is rich in antioxidants and has multiple health benefits. A glass of red wine (3.5 fl oz/ 147g) has 125 calories. The nutritional value of one glass of red wine is:
- Total Fat – 0g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Sodium – 5.9 mg
- Potassium – 187 mg
- Total Carbohydrates – 3.9 g
- Sugars – 0.9 g
- Protein – 0.1 g
Benefits of Red Wine
Various researches and studies explain that red wine is an elixir. If taken in moderate amounts, red wine can help prevent several cardiovascular-related problems, cancers, diabetes. In addition, it is excellent for hair and skin. Apart from this, studies have also shown that red wine promotes better sleep.
Let’s have a look at the fantastic benefits of red wine:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Several studies show that red wine is rich in antioxidants. These include resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin, and proanthocyanidins. Antioxidants are necessary substances that our body needs. They play a crucial role in reducing the risk of heart problems, cancers, and other diseases. For example, polyphenols protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.
2. Controls Blood Sugar
As red wine is rich in resveratrol, it is suitable for people with diabetes. It can control the sugar levels in the blood and lower the risk of diabetes. However, according to a study, red wine is beneficial only when you drink it in moderation and follow a healthy diet. However, there are some contradictory pieces of evidence available too. When in doubt, listen to your body and seek help from a medical practitioner.
3. Red Wine Great for Weight Loss
White fats are more giant cells that serve the purpose of energy storage. According to research, polyphenol helps in transforming white fat into brown fat. So when we expand, it turns into obesity-fighting beige fat. It is easier to lose than white fat. Red wine is rich in polyphenols. It can work wonders for those wanting to reduce weight.
4. Anti-Stress Effects
Research suggests that resveratrol has a therapeutic impact on anxiety and depression. Resveratrol is a plant-based compound that displays anti-stress effects. It hampers the disturbances created by an enzyme that begins controlling the brain. In addition, it is an effective alternative to drugs for patients with depression or anxiety. Hence, since wine is rich in resveratrol, it helps calm stress and relaxes your mind.
5. Suitable for the Gut
People who drink red wine have healthier bacteria levels in their gut. The compounds present in red wine act as probiotics to boost beneficial gut bacteria. However, it is not the case with other types of alcohol. In addition, red wine is anti-bacterial. Hence, it improves digestion, treats stomach irritation and other digestive disorders.
6. Red Wine Improves Sleep
A glass of red wine 4 to 5 hours before going to bed may help relax your mind and body. As a result, it enhances sleep quality. As per a study, it is due to melatonin, a compound that helps stimulate the internal body clock, ensuring proper sleep. However, it depends on the procedure of wine production. The actual grape skin contains melatonin. Therefore, if the skin is preserved during the winemaking process, traces of melatonin might be found in the wine. However, alcohol right before bedtime may hamper sleep quality.
On the other hand, it may make one fall asleep quickly and deeply for a while. The negative is that it deteriorates REM ( Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is restorative for the body. As a result, excess alcohol can result in daytime drowsiness, exhaustion, lack of focus and a sense of lack of well being.
7. Good for Your Hair
If you’re suffering from problems like hairfall and dandruff, then you must include red wine in your diet. It improves blood circulation in your body, including the scalp. As a result, it promotes thick, luscious, and dandruff-free hair. It also repairs damaged and dull hair.
If you suffer from scalp itchiness, you should mix some wine with water and rinse your hair with it. To get healthy hair, you should also incorporate some wine-infused products into your hair care routine to get healthy hair.
8. Beneficial for Your Skin
If you’re struggling with blemishes, large pores, breakouts and acne, fine lines, and wrinkles, then you should try using wine-infused skincare products. Antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol, and tannin, preserve collagen and elastin fibres. As a result, they help in slowing down the ageing process. Polyphenols extract the dead skin cells to impart a glowing and youthful look. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which remove pores, battle acne, and prevent potential breakouts. You can also apply it topically to your face.
Recipes of Red Wine
Red Wine is an exquisite and fancy beverage all around the world. So, of course, we all love having a glass of red wine with a good meal. However, if you have some leftover wine and wish to use it creatively, here are some wonderful recipes. Let’s get started.
1. Chicken in Red Wine Sauce
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Garlic (minced) – 1 tbsp
- Paprika powder – 1 tbsp
- Brown Sugar – 0.5 cup
- Red Wine – 1 cup
- Chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) – 3 pounds/ 1.4 kg
- Salt and pepper
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook garlic in the oil until tender.
- Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook each side for about 8-10 minutes.
- Once the chicken seems cooked, remove the oil from the skillet.
- Sprinkle paprika powder and brown sugar on the chicken.
- Then pour the red wine around the chicken.
- Cover it with a transparent lid and simmer for around 15-20 minutes.
- Keep running the red wine around the chicken.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Your delicious meal is ready. Serve it hot.
2. Quinoa and Chicken One Pot meal in Red Wine Sauce
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
- Button Mushrooms – 1 cup
- Red Wine (Nebbiolo/Barbera) – 1 cup
- Chicken stock – ½ cup
- Wheat Flour – 2 tbsp
- Quinoa – ½ cup
- Chicken (Thigh/Breast)
- Mushroom stock – 1 cup
- Olive Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Garlic (roughly chopped) – 1 tbsp
- Parmesan Cheese- Just a drizzle
- Parsley or mixed herbs- as per taste
- Chilly Flakes- as per taste
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan and add garlic. Saute for a few minutes until tender.
- Add mushroom in batches of two. Saute and wait for the mushrooms to get dry.
- Then add chicken to the pan and cook it until it releases its juices.
- Mix the mushrooms and chicken.
- Turn heat to medium-high and add Wine.
- Keep cooking until half of the wine evaporates.
- Now add mushroom stock and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Add flour, and cook until you get a thick creamy sauce.
- Now add soaked quinoa.
- Toss the quinoa and cover it in the creamy mixture. Add parsley or mixed herbs.
- Grate parmesan on top of it and serve hot. ( optional)
Optional: You may substitute quinoa with oats or black rice. For vegetarians, you may replace chicken with tofu and soya granules.
Though red wine has numerous health benefits, it’s not all sunshine and grapes. Some researchers have found out that about 10% of the population is allergic to red wine.
Symptoms of red wine allergy include nasal congestion, burning sensation, or swelling on lips, mouth, or throat. Diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting are common symptoms too. In severe cases, wine allergies can result in shortness of breath. So before you plan to gulp down a glass of wine, make sure to check whether you’re intolerant to it or not.
Make sure to consume wine in moderation as we know that the ethanol present in alcohol can affect the liver and cause liver damage and related health problems.
A 2006 study revealed that wine, particularly red wine, can trigger migraine headaches in individuals.
Wine has some fantastic health benefits and can significantly improve skin and hair health. Therefore, when consumed in moderation, you can reap key health benefits. However, too much wine can result in short- and long-term health problems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Which type of red wine is the best?
A. Pinot Noir is considered the healthiest red wine. This variety of red wine contains the highest levels of resveratrol, an antioxidant that is effective in improving heart health, lowering bad cholesterol, and controlling blood pressure. In addition, it has low sugar and fewer calories.
Q. Is it OK to drink red wine every day?
A. It is OK to have one-two glasses of red wine every week. Red wine should accompany a meal. Having it on an empty stomach or as a daily alcoholic beverage may be detrimental to health. However, moderation is key. Excessive consumption can be harmful to your health.
Q. Is red Wine good for your health?
A. Red Wine has several health benefits. It helps control blood sugar, reduces the risk of heart problems and cancers, and improves digestion. It also promotes better sleep quality.
Q. Does red Wine have side effects?
A. Drinking red Wine can cause short-term problems like confusion, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and blackouts. Long-term issues include liver damage and related health problems. It could even trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Q. Does red Wine have alcohol?
A. The alcohol content in red Wine is different for each type. However, on average, the alcohol content in red Wine falls between 12.5% and 14.5%.
Q. Is red Wine good for skin?
A. Red Wine is considered suitable for skin health, and it helps with blemishes, large pores, breakouts and acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also helps in slowing down the skin’s ageing process and gives glowing skin.
Q. Is it OK to drink red wine every night?
A. It is OK to drink red wine every night if consumed in moderate amounts. However, drinking more than ten ounces of red wine is not advisable as it can cause potential health problems.
Q. Is it OK to drink red wine before bed?
A. Some studies have shown that drinking two glasses of wine with your dinner effectively helps weight loss. However, it is best to have red wine 3-4 hours before your sleep time or with your dinner. It may help induce sleep and is excellent for healthy skin.
Q. Is red Wine better than whiskey?
A. Red Wine is richer in proteins, vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, vital nutrients for the body. So if you’re looking for a drink with fewer calories, choose Wine over whiskey.
Q. What is the alcohol percentage in Wine?
A. Alcohol content percentage in red Wine usually ranges between 11 per cent to 18 per cent. ABV is the global standard of measurement in this regard. It is about 11.6% in unfortified wines, while 18% in fortified wines.
Q. Is red Wine good for your hair?
A. Red Wine is great for dull and damaged hair. It helps in thick and luscious dandruff-free hair. It also fights hair fall.
Q. Does red Wine make you fat?
A. Drinking a glass of red wine at dinner time helps weight loss. However, excessive drinking might lead to weight gain.
Q. Is red Wine good for females?
A. A glass of red wine every day can boost heart health, prevent obesity, fight diabetes, strengthen bones, reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help to get glowing skin and healthy hair.