T Nation

Red Wine-Does Quality Matter?

There is a fair amount of data that suggests that a glass of red wine once a day can do very good things for your health. In fact, I think TC’s latest article just mentioned it again. I was wondering–does anyone know if quality matters in this regard? I’m not a big wine drinker myself and would only be doing it for the health benefits, so can I just buy a bottle of the cheap sweet stuff?

I doubt it.

The cheap stuff might be sweetened with sugars, and likely lower quality overall.

Anyway, we’re talking resveratrol content here - to my understanding that is the “good” quality of wine(red). Biotest Rez-V is a great source for this.

You would probably get much more for your money antioxidant-wise by choosing Rez-V over red wine. If you are interested in some of the other components, red wine extract at 30% polyphenols and grapeseed extract at 95% polyphenols would probably still be around the cost of drinking a glass of cheap wine a day.

Also Superfood is a source of complimentary antioxidants, and other items in this group would be green tea extract at 95% polyphenols and 45-50% EGCg dosed at 400-600mg EGCg (can be taken up to 3 times per day, but even if you dose once, take at least 400mg as this seems to be the dose that saturates removal enzymes and leads to increased blood levels).

Ellagic acid from pomegranate extract is also a polyphenol antioxidant with similar properties.

As with all these types of supplements, be careful if you are on medication, whether over-the-counter or prescription as they alter the liver’s ability to process these compounds. Always check with a physician or pharmacist for complications and counterindications. Just because they are supplements does not mean that they are not extremely powerful.

If you like drinking red wine, then a glass a day of a well made wine (not necessarily expensive, there are many $15 dollar wines that are excellent) is a good adjunct to a healthy diet, but quite frankly you have to wonder how much added benefit if any it is to a person already exercising and eating well, especially if they are consuming something like resveratrol and other polyphenol supplements. At that point, I think most of the benefit will be due to relaxation from the alcohol content.

Of course, as soon as larger quantities of wine are consumed, all positive benefits seem to be lost. So drink it if you enjoy a glass with a meal, otherwise don’t bother. There are many different permutations of healthy lifestyle and antioxidant intake that will support your goals and health. Don’t fall into the validation trap of trying to follow every study that seems to offer the magic cure.

Even at 600mg a day (orders of magnitude more than what is in a glass of red wine), Rez-V is still cheaper than a glass of $10 a bottle wine:

Rez-V: 20 days for $35: $1.75/d
wine: 26 oz. at 5 oz./d: $2/d

Here is a link with some info on resveratrol including amounts in wine:

You will notice that a glass a day has at most around 1.3mg.

At the bottom of the page is the safety information. I should have mentioned that use during pregnancy or lactation is not recommended as per the Rez-V label. Also drug interactions listed seem to support the idea that it is a very powerful antioxidant as well as the effects it has on the cardiovascular system - the ED and blood thining drug counterindications.

yes it does matter. grapes under greater stress develop higher resveratrol levels which enable them to cope. high quality wines come from super-stressed vines which do not yield alot of fruit. generally cheap wines come from areas where grapes grow like crazy and better wines either do not or the growers artificially stress the vines through various methods. either way there are less liters produced per acre and the wines cost more.

a grape like pinot noir, which is thin skinned and more susceptible to rot and disease than hardier types, universally has high levels of resveratrol…especially when it grows in a cool and moist climate like oregon or burgundy. in these climates the thin skin develops more res to protect itself from molds and fungus which are not a threat in hot, dry areas. this also makes pinot noir more difficult to grow, acres yield alot less fruit, and its’ therefore much more expensive than abundant fruit like cabernet from chile.