Now that the Northern Hemisphere is preparing for summer, a lot of red wine drinkers will begin to switch over to white wines because they are often chilled, and many times lighter in alcohol. But some wine drinkers are die hard fans of either red or white and will never switch over. Is one better and healthier than the other? Let us take a look at both red wines and white ones and see if it truly makes a difference which one you pour this year.
What is Wine?
It seems like a silly question to address, but it’s not. Many people mistake a lot of fruit beverages with alcohol, for wine, but these drinks are only as labeled, “wine drinks” or “wine beverages”, because by alcohol laws, they cannot simply call these beverages wine. Wine is fermented grape juice only. It is that simple. The process can be as complicated as the winemaker would like it to be to bring out the complexity within the expressed grape juice, or the juice combined with the skins and the seeds of the grape.
The Difference Between Red and White Wine
Here is where you will begin to tell which wine is healthier in your opinion. All wines are made from the same basic process. Grapes are grown in a vineyard, tended to, and harvested at the right time of year. The grapes are pressed to express the juice, and then the grape juice is drained off of the seeds and skins, placed into fermentation tanks until the natural sugars turn into alcohol. The wine maker is the overseer of this process determining just how long the fermentation process should go on, which determines the level of alcohol; either 9% per volume or 13%, or anywhere in between or beyond those numbers.
The main difference between red and white wine is that, first of all, red wine is made from red wine grapes, such as, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. White wine grapes are Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, etc. There are many more in each category. However, as the white wine is removed from the skins and seeds rather quickly, the red wines are allowed to sit and marinade on its seeds and skins, to gather color and tannins, which are natural compounds on the skins and within the seeds of all grapes. Resveratrol is another healthy plant compound found mostly on red wine grapes, so that red wine is not only picking up healthy tannins but also the healthy plant compound of resveratrol.
These two plant compounds, tannins and resveratrol have been proven to have a beneficial affect upon high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight control. Studies have also found that red wine drinkers tend to be more healthy overall than white wine or liquor drinkers, and that they also tend to be slimmer and more fit. But let’s not get confused, there is no scientific link to being fit and trim because of tannins or resveratrol. What researchers seem to think, is that red wine drinkers tend to make healthier life choices, such as exercising, spending more time at leisure and in nature, spending more quality time with family and friends. These are healthy choices that bring balance to your lifestyle. This is not to say that there aren’t white wine drinkers who do the same, but the combination of the healthy plant compounds found in red wine due to their marination process and good lifestyle choices, make for a fuller, healthier mind, body, and spirit.