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Which Wine Is Healthiest?

Which Wine Is Healthiest?

If you enjoy a glass of wine every so often, whether you’re out with friends or you’ve simply had a long day at work, you may believe that you have to avoid wine if you’re trying to be healthier.

Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily the case. The key is knowing which wine is healthiest. There are so many different types of wine out there that it can be tough knowing which wine is healthy and which wine is full of sugar, carbs, and calories.

Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out which wine is healthiest, including dry reds, low sugar wines, and organic wines. 

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Dry Red Wine

If red wine is your go-to tipple after a long week at work, then you’ll be glad to know that you can enjoy a glass of red wine while maintaining a healthy diet.

Red wine contains antioxidants called polyphenols. A key polyphenol in red wine is resveratrol. Resveratrol has anti-anti inflammatory and antioxidant effects - it can help to prevent damage to the blood vessels and improve cholesterol, and can also work to prevent blood clots. It is also believed to lower the risk of heart disease, although some studies have been unable to find a strong enough link.

Pinot Noir is one of the healthiest red wines that you can drink. The Pinot Noir grapes used to make this delicious wine have thinner skin, meaning that the resulting wine is low in tannins but has plenty of resveratrol.

The grapes also contain less sugar than other types of winemaking grapes, especially when they’re grown in cooler regions. Pinot Noir will typically have fewer calories than other wines, as well as lower alcohol content. Wine with lower alcohol content is also better for your health.

Malbec is also a great choice if you’re partial to a dry red. Malbec grapes have thick skins that are loaded with healthy antioxidants such as resveratrol and quercetin. Malbec also features high levels of polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants. They’re thought to prevent damage caused by free radicals that can occur from smoking or pollution.

There are four times more antioxidants than Merlot - but that doesn’t mean Merlot is a bad choice. Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine that features notes of dark stone fruits such as plum and black cherry. This is one of the most popular wine grapes in the world, featuring high levels of procyanidin and resveratrol.

 

Low Sugar Wine

Wine almost always has sugar left over from the fermentation process. The leftover sugar is called residual sugar - it remains in the wine increasing the levels of sugar and carbs. It also sweetens the taste, so if you prefer a sweeter wine, be mindful of the sugar levels as they may surprise you.

If you’re looking for a low-sugar wine, you’ll be glad to know that sparkling wines typically don’t contain much sugar. This means that you can enjoy a glass of Champagne or Prosecco without worrying too much about your sugar intake.

Pinot Grigio is a great go-to if you’re looking for a low-sugar option. Typically, Pinot Grigio features refreshing citrus flavours - and the best part is that it’s low in sugar, with only around 80 calories and 3 carbs per glass.

When looking for sparkling wines, be sure to look out for the terms ‘brut’, ‘brut nature’, ‘extra brut’, and ‘extra dry’. These wines will have less than 2% sugar, making them a healthier option than most other wines.

The driest type of wine is ‘brut nature’, which has no added sugar. ‘Brut’ means dry in French - and if it’s dry, you know it won’t contain much sugar. Typically, Prosecco, Champagne and Cava will only contain around 2 or 3 carbs per serving, which is great if you’re trying to be healthier or lower your carb intake.

If you're looking for a great low-car wine option, click here

Dryer wines will contain less sugar than dessert wines. Dessert wines may be enjoyable every so often, but they can be high in calories, carbs, and sugar - making them a wine to avoid if you’re opting for a healthy diet.

If you’re looking to limit your sugar intake, avoid the term ‘late-harvest’. Late harvest wines contain more sugar than most other types of wine, with around 200 g/l of sugar. This is because the grapes spent longer on the vine, allowing the grapes to increase their sugar levels.

Fortified wine is another wine to avoid if you’re trying to improve your health. Sherry, Port or Marsarla are typically more alcoholic, which on its own can be bad for your health. However, they also contain more sugar as less of the sugar was consumed by the yeast during fermentation.

If you want to learn more about which wines contain the least carbs and sugar, check out this post. 

 

Organic Wine

Organic wine may be your best bet if you’re trying to be healthier. Although organic wines may not contain the lowest amount of calories or sugar, it’s considered healthier as it doesn’t contain chemicals - and usually doesn’t contain animal products.

In 2022, the majority of produce is grown with the help of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers. These products are usually full of various different chemicals, which are sprayed on the vineyards and grapevines to grow the grapes for wine.

Organic vintners will create organic wine without the use of chemicals - they’ll ensure that the vineyards and grapevines are healthy without using harsh or dangerous chemicals.

Chemicals will kill unwanted insects and weeds that may hinder the growth of the vine, and can protect the grapes. However, residue may remain on the vine and grapes, and end up in the final product that you see on the shelves of your local supermarket.

A way that vintners will grow their vines in an organic way without the use of chemical pesticides is by introducing predator populations that can naturally eliminate pests.

They’ll also use organic composts to grow the wine instead of adding compost that has been loaded with chemicals.

Sometimes, organic vintners will still need to use protective sprays. However, these sprays will feature natural products such as copper, lime, and water - instead of harsh chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment and your long-term health.

During the fining process, vintners will fine the wine after it’s been fermented to clear it of any sediment. Some organic vintners will avoid putting the wine through the fining process at all, whereas others will use organic fining agents.

 

Low Levels of Sulphites

Sulphites (SO2 or sulphur dioxide) are preservatives with antibacterial properties. They’re used to preserve the shelf life of foods and drinks, and the wine industry is no exception.

Organic vintners will use sulphites to ensure that the wine lasts longer and ages well, but will only use around half the amount that regular vintners use.

This means that typically, organic wine will have a shorter shelf life - but can still last for months and months before opening!

By law, wines shouldn’t contain over 150 mg/litre of sulphites - anything over this amount is considered unsafe. Some people can be sensitive to sulphites, having asthmatic reactions or allergic reactions which can show in the form of rashes, hives, and stomach issues.

 

Less Sugar

Organic wine also contains less sugar, which is great if you’re looking for a healthy and chemical-free wine choice.

Many people prefer wine that doesn’t have much sugar, as it allows you to taste the natural flavours of the wine in all their glory, as well as smell the natural aromas without artificial sweetness getting in the way.

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