Whether you prefer a glass of translucent Irsai Olivér or a deep ruby Egri Bikavér is a matter of personal taste. However, when it comes to the question of which one is healthier, we probably could not give a quick straightforward answer. Do you wonder that in the battle of red versus white wine, which intoxicating nectar would reign supreme? The differences go far beyond the choice of grapes of the region where they come from. Read on to find out which wine turns out to be the healthiest pick.
Word of caution: even though wine is delightful, you will not get superpowers from it nor should it be considered a health drink to sip on every day after your gym class.
Both types are more or less similar in respect of their sugar and carb content. The main difference between red versus white wine has to do with the colour of the grapes. If we break down the chemical profile of wine, all we got left, after alcohol and water, are polyphenols. These micronutrients include tannins, pigments and flavonoids among thousands of other plant compounds.
Flavonoids are the ones responsible for the heart-friendly reputation of this divine alcoholic drink.
Bad news for white wine lovers: these beneficial natural substances are predominantly found in grapes (also in dark chocolate, berries, red cabbage and onions but those do not make you funnier nor a better dancer) that are darkly pigmented.
Apart from flavonoids, red wine only slightly fares better in its vitamin and mineral content compared to white wine. They contain equal amounts of magnesium and vitamin B6, both value at 4% of the reference daily intake (RDI). However, red outperforms white when it comes to their iron (4% of the RDI in contrast to white’s 2%) and potassium levels (5% of the RDI in red while only 3% in white).
Benefits of red versus white wine
Even though the beneficial health attributes of wine outplay all other types of alcoholic beverages, not all wines rate equally. Certain types contain significantly more “good stuff”. As an example, antioxidants found in red wine promise more health benefits in comparison to white wine.
Antioxidants have the power to reduce oxidative stress in the body, which is linked to many modern-day chronic diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular disorders.
You may have heard of the “French paradox” that baffled scientists for decades. Taken all the Camembert and Roquefort French people munch on, they somehow appear to be less vulnerable to heart disease than Americans who have less saturated fat in their diet. Experts suspect that it can be due to the fact that red wine is a mandatory companion to almost all French dishes (you have to wash off those juice snails with something). Presumably, the protective effect is the result of the high flavonoid content of red wine. Numerous studies have proven that moderate red wine consumption can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by 30-40%.
Besides all that, red wine is also known to lower the bad cholesterol in your system. To mention something good about white wine too, people who look to reduce their sugar intake should definitely opt for a light-coloured glass.
What to look for?
Is it wine o’clock and you cannot wait to indulge in a glass (or two) but still want to stay on the healthier side? There are some telltale characteristic traits you can look for in that case. If you wish to drop some pounds go for dry wines that are less sweet, meaning they hide less sugar. You will not compromise your fitness goals with a few sips of Etyeki Kúria Sauvignon Blanc, Feind Sauvignon Blanc, Cassiopeia Merlot from Villány or Badacsonyi Pinot Gris. It can also be a good idea to opt for wines with low alcohol content such as riesling, chardonnay and again sauvignon blanc.
If you do not fret the calories but want to ripe all the promising health benefits of wine, look for deep red options from famous Hungarian wine regions such as Eger, Villány and Szekszárd.
All that said, take our advice with a grain of salt. There are so many wonderfully delicious wines out there, you should not limit yourself. Take a wine tour in the Hungarian countryside and explore all the rich and exciting flavours the country offers. Treat yourself to a glass of sweet and fruity Tokaji Aszú or a velvety Soproni Kékfrankos with notes of plum and blackcurrant and relish every luscious drop.
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