Get the Facts About Red Wine and Heart Health


À votre santé! Have you ever heard your friends joke that they should open another bottle because red wine is healthy? While some medical evidence suggests that red wine consumption supports a healthy heart, the full picture is less clear. 

Keep reading to learn the truth about red wine’s health benefits. 

Some Studies Suggest That Moderate Red Wine Consumption Is Good for Your Heart, but Heavier Drinking Is Harmful 

Some research suggests that healthy adults who drink red wine in moderation are less likely to die from heart disease than adults who don’t drink red wine. However, other research disputes these findings, and most people misinterpret the original researchers’ definition of “moderate” wine consumption. 

According to most studies, moderate consumption of wine means no more than one or two five-ounce glasses of wine per day. As you age or develop certain health conditions, the amount that’s considered moderate may drop even lower. 

Just as importantly, research shows that heavier wine and alcohol consumption can seriously damage your health. Drinking more than a glass or two of wine per day can increase your blood pressure, raise triglyceride levels, and cause an irregular heartbeat. Wine will also add extra calories to your diet, which can increase your risk for obesity and related conditions like type 2 diabetes. 

Compounds in Red Wine May Fight Heart Disease, but a Glass of Wine May Not Contain Enough of Them to Matter 

Health bloggers and wine magazines love to talk about red wine’s polyphenols. These plant-based compounds may improve your overall health by reducing inflammation, protecting blood vessel linings in the heart, and lowering the risk of harmful blood clots. One polyphenol in red wine, resveratrol, has especially attracted attention as an agent that may promote heart health. 

However, the truth is that we don’t really know whether the polyphenols in an occasional glass of wine offer any benefits. Most studies that have indicated potential benefits of polyphenol consumption have involved giving huge doses of polyphenols to mice. A human would have to drink eight to ten bottles of wine per night to reach a proportionate dosage, and drinking this amount of wine in a single night could easily kill you. 

Overall, there’s not enough evidence available to definitively say that polyphenols help promote heart health. In fact, at least one study that assessed aging citizens of the Chianti region reported that resveratrol did not significantly impact inflammation or heart disease. 

However, even if drinking enough wine to get the ideal dose of polyphenols isn’t a good idea, you can supplement the polyphenols in a moderate amount of red wine with foods that are also rich in polyphenols. For example, grapes, blueberries, dark chocolate, and peanuts all contain resveratrol.  

The Bottom Line: You Can Enjoy Red Wine in Moderation as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle 

If you’re a healthy adult, a glass of wine per day may be good for your heart and overall health, but you should always drink responsibly. You should also make sure your lifestyle incorporates consistent exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and regular check-ups with your doctor. When combined, these practices may help you live a long, healthy, and enjoyable life. 

If you have any chronic health conditions or are predisposed to certain illnesses, you should discuss your wine consumption with your primary care physician. Your doctor can help you set healthy limits and make educated health decisions. 

Finally, the wine specialists at our SpartanNash stores can help you select bottles that reflect your preferences and pair perfectly with your dinner menu. If you need help navigating our wine selection, please let us know. We’d love to help. 

On Sale This Week in SpartanNash Stores: Raeburn Russian River Pinot Noir  

Grown in Sonoma’s famous Russian River Valley, Raeburn’s 2016 vintage has won awards for its quality and flavor. This classic California Pinot Noir has rich fruit flavors and well-balanced acidity, making it a perfect partner for roasted or grilled meats. And Raeburn Russian River Pinot Noir offers outstanding value at this week’s sale price! 


Alcohol and heart health. (2014, August 15). American Heart Association. Retrieved from  

Zhao, J., Stockwell, T., Roemer, A., Naimi, T., & Chikritzhs, T. (2017, May). Alcohol consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease: An updated meta-analysis of cohort studies. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(3):375-386. Retrieved from  

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.