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Which Wine is the Healthiest?

You may have heard of the French paradox. How is it that those French, with their fatty cheeses and overflowing plates of carbs, have half the incidence of heart disease and live longer than Americans do? The answer, scientists think, lies in wine. The French drink almost eight times the amount of red wine that Americans do, and the flavonoids and resveratrol found in red wine help to combat heart disease and cancer. Flavonoids inhibit the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), while resveratrol is credited with preventing everything from heart attacks to Alzheimer's disease to cancer. Red wine may be as close to an anti-aging potion as we can get.

But not all wine is created equal. First of all, only red wine contains flavonoids and resveratrol because the juice absorbs it from the grape skins during the winemaking process. So drinking lots of white wine, while delicious, isn't as beneficial for your health. Secondly, dry, darker-hued reds are more likely to contain healthful polyphenols than sweet, lightly colored reds. And lastly, wines that are made using traditional pressing and aging techniques are more likely to preserve high levels of antioxidants than mass-manufactured wines that are made using newfangled methods.

Now, the million-dollar question: Which variety of red wine is the healthiest? We'll give you a hint: The grape grows best in cool, wet climates, resulting in the highest concentrations of resveratrol. If you guessed Pinot Noir, you are correct! Pinot is also relatively low in calories, making it the healthiest all-around red. But all in moderation, of course — according to experts, one to two glasses a day is recommended for maximum health benefits.

So drink up! It's good for you.

P.S. Need a Pinot rec? We've got many excellent choices in our Bottle Shop, including the 2016 La Forêt Vin de Pays d'Oc Pinot Noir and 2016 Lustra Monterey County Pinot Noir.