Whether you prefer the flavors of whites, the textures of reds, or both, there is more to love about drinking wine than taste alone. Grapes from both varieties have shown to have a wide range of benefits for your wellbeing. According to Gold Medal Wine Club, different approaches to the winemaking process for whites and reds mean different nutrients end up in your glass, but antioxidants found in either variety all work to support your health. Here are the different characteristics and health-promoting properties of both white and red wines.

White Wine Characteristics

White wines come in a variety of flavors, textures, and characteristics. Some whites like Viognier and Moscato, for example, are generally sweet in taste. Others like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc tend to be dry and crisp. Chardonnays have a profile all of their own, always falling somewhere on the flavor spectrums of oaky and buttery. Regardless of the bouquet, all white wines have one thing in common. They are made from white, skinless, and seedless grapes. In the winemaking process, skins are separated from the pulp before yeast is added for fermentation.

Red Wine Characteristics

Red wines are typically richer and more robust in flavor than their white counterparts, but this isn’t always the case. There are many light varieties too. Reds come in a range of bouquets and can be sweet, dry, floral, fruity, tart, or even spicy in taste. Pinot noirs, for example, are lighter reds that pair well with delicate and lean meats. A Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Verdot, on the other hand, is typically rich and stands up to hearty meats like steak. All red wines are made from deep red and black grapes. One important distinction between the red and white winemaking process is that, with reds, skins are left on the grapes throughout fermentation. Because skins are left in tact, red whites are abundant in tannins that give them more body than whites.

Health Perks of White Wine

Contrary to popular belief, many white wines have proven to offer the some of the same health benefits as their red counterparts. Both varieties in moderation have a positive effect on lung and heart health. In a study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, findings suggested that the antioxidant properties of tyrosol and hydroxtyrosol found in white wines were just as effective at improving heart function and averting artery blockage as red wines.

Health Perks of Red Wine

Red wines offer all of the health perks of white wines, but with a few important advantages. Leaving the skin intact during the fermentation process means you’ll get all of its abundant nutrients in your glass, including the powerful antioxidants resveratrol and polyphenol. Resveratrol has several positive effects on the body, including blood vessel protection and clot elimination. It is also known to slow the development of enzymes that are responsible for growing cancer cells and inhibiting the immune system. Polyphenol’s antioxidant benefits are far-reaching. Among many feats, polyphenol has been shown to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and fight bacteria and cancer growth. Additionally, flavonoids found in red wine offer even more protection by lowering your risk of cancer.

Whether you’re partial to whites, reds, or both, drinking either kind of wine in moderation has shown to have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It supports your physical health through immune system and heart protection as well as your mental health through stress alleviation. Whatever your flavor preference, grab a glass and drink to your health.

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