We’re all trying to stay healthy right now. But aside from wearing a mask and socially distancing, what can you do to make sure that your immune system is in tip-top shape? Here are 7 wines that may boost your immune system. Thankfully, enjoying a glass of wine can be part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Studies suggest that red wine may actually help boost your immunity when consumed in moderation. Why is that? Red wine contains polyphenols, which are responsible for an array of health benefits. However, not all red wine is the same. Different red wines have different flavor profiles and different levels of antioxidants. As you do your best to avoid everything from Covid to the common cold, check out the 7 best red wines to drink for your immune system.
How Red Wine May Help Boost Immunity
Many of the benefits associated with red wine come from naturally occurring compounds called polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in tea and berries, including grapes – specifically grape skins. When red wine comes into contact with the grape skins during the winemaking process, it absorbs more than just its dark hue – it also absorbs these organic compounds. There are different kinds of polyphenols, including antioxidants like procyanidins and resveratrol, and each one has different properties and benefits. Resveratrol in particular has been the focus of many scientific studies, and has been found to potentially boost the immune system. Basically, resveratrol enhances the body’s ability to create anti-inflammatory molecules, which may improve the immune system. The more in-depth explanation is that resveratrol helps healthy gut bacteria to flourish, while controlling pathogens. By activating a particular enzyme, resveratrol stimulates T cell production, enhancing the body’s immune response.
The 7 Top Red Wines for your Immune System
When you’re trying to stay on your A-game, the best red wines to look out for are ones that are high in resveratrol and procyanidins, and low in residual sugar – i.e., the natural sugars left behind from the fermentation process. In other words, dry red wines with high tannins and antioxidants should be your go-to varietals during cold and flu season. Often, the wines with possible health benefits taste slightly bitter or astringent, due to their high tannins. If you’re someone who gets wine headaches from tannins, stick with Pinot Noir, a low-tannin red wine with high levels of resveratrol.
Merlot – a medium-bodied red with notes of cherry and vanilla – has high levels of the antioxidant procyanidin and has demonstrated positive effects on the immune system in scientific studies.
Bright Cellars' Jetbird Merlot is balanced with aromas of red berries, baking spices, and violets. This full-bodied, high tannin wine is a perfect way to potentially help boost your immune system.
Malbec, a thick-skinned wine grape, produces a bold red wine with rich notes of plum and cocoa. This varietal is packed with resveratrol, making it a wine that may boost your immune system.
3. Pinot Noir
While most red wines with abundant polyphenols come from grapes with thick skins, Pinot Noir – a thin skinned grape – has particularly high levels of resveratrol. This fruity light-bodied red wine may help boost your immune system and has been linked to heart health.
4. Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet is a full-bodied red wine with high tannins and notes of dark fruit and baking spices. It also has high levels of antioxidants that enhance immunity and help to protect cells against free radicals.
Bright Cellars' elegant Nihilist Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon features flavor notes of plum, blackberry, and vanilla, as well as, heavy tannins and an oaky finish.
Nebbiolo, an Italian red wine with notes of red cherry and star anise, contains high levels of polyphenols like procyanidin. This varietal also contains melatonin, which helps to set the body’s circadian rhythm and may help with relaxation.
6. Petite Sirah
Also known as Durif, Petite Sirah has notably high tannins and rich notes of blueberry, dark chocolate, and black tea. Due to its high levels of antioxidants like resveratrol, this varietal has demonstrated cardiovascular and metabolic benefits.
Bright Cellars' Dark Turn Petite Sirah is our first 100% biodynamic wine or wine that was made according to the lunar cycle. In this bold red wine you'll taste notes of spicy black pepper, plum, and blackberry.
You may not have heard of Tannat (pronounced tan-NOT), but this full-bodied tannin-rich wine is jam packed with antioxidants, making it one of the healthiest red wines out there.
In Vino Finito
Remember: The only way to get the health benefits of red wine is to sip in moderation. If you need guidance on picking a healthy varietal to try next, email us – we'd love to help!
Also, we're wine lovers – not medical professionals. If you have a specific concern, please speak with your doctor/GP for an expert opinion. The recommendations in this article may not be suitable for all readers.