Uncork the findings behind these recent health findings.

By Kelly Vaughan
April 15, 2021
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If you're looking for a reason to incorporate more pinot noir into your diet, you're in luck. A recent article published in Forbes claims that pinot noir may be the healthiest type of wine to drink, and that's thanks to the fact that it contains higher levels of resveratrol than other varietals.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "resveratrol might help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and prevent blood clots." Resveratrol is a naturally-occurring fungicide that is found in grape skins and protects grapes from forming mold; there are higher levels of resveratrol in thin-skinned grape varieties, such as pinot noir, since they are more vulnerable to being attacked by mold. Jim Bernau, president of Willamette Valley Vineyards, told Forbes that "in order to maximize the level of resveratrol in a wine, it's necessary to minimize the wine's contact with oxygen."

pouring red wine into glass
Credit: Ray Kachatorian / Getty Images

This isn't the first time that experts have cited the health benefits of pinot noir. A 2016 study found that drinking a small to medium amount of wine could reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life due to the antioxidants found in red wine. Another study published in 2015 found that those who drank dry white or dry red wine, including pinot noir, had improved levels of HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol") compared to those who only drank water or other varieties of white wine.

Red wine has also been linked to improved gut health. A 2019 study conducted by Kings College London found that individuals who drank red wine had increased gut microbiota diversity compared to non-red wine drinkers. "While we have long known of the unexplained benefits of red wine on heart health, this study shows that moderate red wine consumption is associated with greater diversity and a healthier gut microbiota that partly explain its long debated beneficial effects on health," said Dr. Caroline Le Roy, who co-authored the study.

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