Red wine continues to be a popular choice for many people around the world. Whether you are an “Alcohol? Where?” kind of person or the “Alcohol? Oh, I don’t drink!” kind, these fascinating facts about red wine may surprise you. It is an interesting read for both wine lovers and those who prefer not to embibe:
1. A moderate amount of Red Wine is better than no red wine at all
Many human trial studies have shown that moderate red wine consumption is better than not drinking at all. This is so because red wine is loaded with antioxidants that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and early mortality.
But if you drink more than you are recommended to, the benefits of lower risks will become higher risks.
A moderate amount for women is not more than a glass a day, while for men is up to two glasses a day.
2. The health benefits come from tannin
Wine is really just three things: alcohol, water, and polyphenols! These polyphenols are tannin, colour pigment, wine aromas, resveratrol, and approximately 5,000 other plant compounds.
The most abundant polyphenol in wine responsible for health benefits are procyanidins, which are a kind of condensed tannin also found in dark chocolate and green tea. Tannin has been found to inhibit cholesterol plaque formation in blood vessels, which makes it highly advantageous for heart health and longevity.
3. Some red wines are better than other red wines
Yes, not all red wines are the same. Some red wines have higher levels of “good” compounds than others.
For example, Cabernet Sauvignon has higher levels of condensed tannins than Pinot Noir, yet both have much fewer of these compounds than Tannat, Sagrantino, and Petite Sirah.
To determine which wines are better (and best), you can take the following cues:
- Better dry wines than sweet ones.
- Lower alcohol is better (about less than 13 percent ABV)
- More astringent (leaves a drying or roughing sensation) wines that have higher tannin content are better
4. Young red wines are better than older red wines
I only thought that older wines make the best wines. The converse is true for red wines when you want to reap the health benefits. The taste and flavors of older red wines may be better, but younger ones have higher tannin levels, which make them healthier to drink.
5. Credit grape skins for the ruby-red color of the wine
Yep! The attractive ruby-red-wine color comes from the pigment anthocyanin found in the red skins of red grapes.
6. Age makes the color grow lighter
The color of wine grows less intense as it ages. So you can determine the age of a wine by its color. Very old wines are pale and translucent, referring to #4, these are the red wines you should try to avoid for the darker ones.
7. Almost all red wines come from one species of grapes
Interesting, yes! The most common wines and some of your favorites, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Merlot, are made from just one species of red grapes: Vitis vinifera.
This is why Vitis vinifera is considered “the wine grape” species and this species did NOT originate in France but comes from Eastern Europe.
8. Red grapes are older than their white counterparts
Another interesting fact: the yellow-green grapes that produce white wines are believed to have resulted from a DNA mutation of red grapevines.
This is quite a convincing hypothesis as Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc share the same DNA.
9. Red wines typically have fewer sulfites
Sulfite levels in red wines are generally lower than white wines. This is because red wines come more chemically stable than white wines and don’t go bad as quickly.
10. Red wines age longer than whites
Red wines have tannin and color. These preserve the red wines for longer periods than white wines. People call these traits “structure” often and use their presence to predict how long a wine can age.
11. Red wine grapes can also make white wines
Red comes from the grape skin, not the juice. That’s possibly why you can make a white wine out of the red grapes. Remove the skin, and you can make white wine as you would a red.
Blanc de Noirs Champagne is a white wine made with red grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).
12. All the aromas arise from grapes alone
All the aromas – jam, herbs, cherry, and berry – you find in a glass of classic red wine are due to the fermented grapes, and aging the wine in oak barrels. There are no flavor additives, and yet red wine stands out among all the other wines.