A lovely glass of wine at the end of a long day can be so relaxing. But are there health benefits of enjoying a glass of wine now and then? It seems that studies come out that often contradict each other—some say wine is good for us, and others say we should avoid wine. Then the following year, the studies might flip-flop on their findings.
Adding to the confusion is the multitude of wine and grape varieties out there. A trip to the local liquor store will showcase wine made from all sorts of grapes, ranging from drier to sweeter and everything in between. Then there’s the color of the wine, which could be white, red, or a rosé (pink) hue.
Moscato is just one type of wine that comes in an array of red and white hues. It does tend to be on the sweeter side, especially the red Moscato. So just what are the potential health benefits of drinking red Moscato?
First, let’s explore what Moscato wine is. Generally speaking, Moscato wines are going to be a little lower in alcohol and have a sweeter taste than other varieties. They’ll also tend toward a fruit-forward taste, so you might notice hints of berries as you sip on your next glass of Moscato.
Red Moscato wine comes from Muscat grapes that are typically mixed with Syrah or Zinfandel grapes. A red Moscato is likely to be sweet rather than dry, and it also has a lighter feel to it than other red wine varieties.
As noted, it seems that studies about the health benefits of wine tend to pop up and contradict each other now and then. However, it appears that red wine, in general, does have some advantages that may make it a little healthier than white wine.
Specifically, red wines have resveratrol because of the grapes that they’re made from. Interestingly enough, the amount of resveratrol in a grape can be impacted by the climate the grape was grown in.
Essentially, resveratrol mimics what antioxidants do by decreasing the amount of free radicals in us. Free radicals can cause damage to cells within the body, which could mean a higher risk of several types of diseases.
Furthermore, resveratrol may bring down LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels while raising “good,” or HDL, levels. And it could bring down inflammation and blood clotting, both of which have the potential to increase heart disease.
Since red Moscato wines typically have a lower alcohol content than other wine varieties, that could mean they make for a healthier choice. The higher the alcohol content in a wine, the higher the calories tend to be. Lowering your calorie count is a way to further decrease your risk of developing heart disease. However, remember that all wines do still contain their share of calories and sugar, both of which can contribute to conditions such as heart disease.
Though red Moscato will be lower in alcohol content, there could be some health benefits to alcohol in general. Mayo Clinic notes that some studies have found that any type of alcohol could be beneficial for heart health. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol, alcohol might also help the cells in blood vessels work a bit better.
Sweeter wines, like a red Moscato, will tend to have more sugars in them, which can be detrimental to health. However, red Moscato wines may contain resveratrol, which can help lower your risk of developing diseases thanks to its anti-free-radical properties. The alcohol content in wine and other adult beverages could also help your blood vessel cells work a little better.
However, the studies showing these potential health benefits tend to stress the importance of drinking in moderation. The results do appear to show various health benefits of alcohol or wine.
But most experts don’t recommend that you start drinking if you don’t already imbibe. That’s because you can get these benefits from other foods, like snacking on red grapes to get resveratrol.
Mayo Clinic says that more research is called for because we don’t know for sure that red wines are healthier than other types of alcohol.
When it comes to enjoying wine in moderation, the amount depends a bit on the person. Mayo Clinic defines one drink as five ounces of wine. Women can enjoy one drink per day, while men under 65 can enjoy two, and men over 65 should cut back to one per day. The moderation guidelines differ because men typically weigh more and have increased amounts of an enzyme that processes alcohol.
Red wines, in general, do have the potential for some health benefits. But sugar and calories are contained within the wine, especially sweeter varieties, so it’s very important not to overdo it. Follow the guidelines for moderation to avoid drinking too much.