Red Wine: Types, Benefits, Recipes and Side Effects

Sarah Gaur

April 15, 2024

Red wine, a timeless elixir that has captivated hearts and palates for centuries, has an illustrious history rooted in culture, tradition, and the pursuit of pleasure. With its deep hues, complex aromas, and velvety textures, red wine has become an enigmatic symbol of sophistication and indulgence. Beyond its allure as a beverage, red wine has also been a subject of scientific interest, with numerous studies exploring its potential health benefits.

Red Wine was first produced for the first time in Georgia in 6000 B.C. Georgia is thus known as the ‘cradle of wine’. Wine is made by fermenting the juice of dark-skinned grapes. The production process includes the extraction of colour and flavour components from the fruit’s skin. France, Italy, and Spain are the top wine-producing regions globally. However, it is a delicacy around the world.

In this article, we embark on a captivating journey through the world of red wine, unravelling the secrets behind its allure and delving into the fascinating characteristics that make it a beloved choice for wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Types of Red Wine

At present, over 10,000 different varieties of red wines are available globally. Around 50 varieties dominate today’s worldwide market share.

Here’s a list of the top 6 red wines which can be paired with different types of cuisines:

1. Nebbiolo

A native to Piedmont in Italy, Nebbiolo is a red wine with fruity cherry and raspberry flavours. It holds up well with fatty meats, sausages, braised ducks, and soft cheeses like full-fat feta or goat cheese. You can also try pairing it up with spicy Asian cuisines.

2. Pinot Noir

One of the world’s most famous wines, Pinot Noir, is produced mainly in France. It is a versatile wine that goes well with meats, seafood, and even casseroles. It feels light and silky on the tongue 

3. Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a grape primarily produced in California. It has a spicy taste with dominant berry flavours. Zinfandel wine is best when you pair it with beef and lamb kebabs or creamy portions of pasta, tuna, pizzas, and even lasagnas.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is produced mainly in France. The Sauvignon grape is the most planted variant of grape in the world. It pairs perfectly with meat (preferably fatty), juicy burgers and beef ribs, grilled lamb, and hard cheeses like cheddar or gouda.

5. Shiraz 

Australia is the home to Shiraz or Syrah. It is known as Syrah in France and other European countries and Shiraz in Australia, South America, etc. Any lamb, bacon, baked ham, turkey legs, pepperoni pizza, falafel, and salami goes well with Shiraz wine.

6. Merlot

France is the birthplace of Merlot and undoubtedly the producer of the best Merlot wine. It is a dark blue-coloured wine. Its prominent fruit flavours make it an easy drink that can pair up well with beef, blue cheese, mushrooms, grilled chicken, red fruit sauces, and roasted pork.

Nutritional Value of Red Wine

According to USDA, 100 ml of Red Wine contains the following nutrients

  • Calories: 85 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 2.61g
  • Potassium 127 mg 
  • Protein: 0.07 g
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Manganese: 0.132 mg

Benefits of Red Wine

Let’s have a look at the fantastic benefits of red wine:

1. Anti-Stress Effects

Research shows that red wine contains compounds like resveratrol and polyphenols, which have been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These compounds may have positive impacts on the body and mind, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. Additionally, the act of enjoying a glass of red wine in a calm and peaceful environment can provide a moment of respite and serve as a form of self-care.

However, it’s crucial to note that excessive alcohol consumption can have adverse effects on mental health and overall well-being, including increased anxiety and disrupted sleep patterns. Moreover, relying solely on alcohol, including red wine, as a coping mechanism for stress can lead to unhealthy habits and dependencies. Therefore, it’s important to practice moderation, explore other stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, and engaging in hobbies, and seek professional guidance if stress becomes overwhelming or persistent.

2. Suitable for the Gut

Emerging research suggests that moderate consumption of red wine may have potential benefits for gut health. Red wine contains polyphenols, including resveratrol, which have been studied for their potential prebiotic-like effects. These compounds can interact with the gut microbiota, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and supporting a healthy gut environment. Reports by Harvard University have proven that diverse and balanced gut microbiota is associated with improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, strengthened immune function, and reduced risk of gastrointestinal disorders.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, red wine’s polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate inflammation in the gut. Chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract is associated with various digestive disorders, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The anti-inflammatory effects of red wine’s polyphenols could potentially contribute to reducing gut inflammation and promoting overall gut health.

However, it’s important to note that individual responses to red wine and its effects on gut health can vary. Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on gut health, including disruption of the gut microbiota balance and increased intestinal permeability. Therefore, moderation is key when consuming red wine for potential gut health benefits.

3. Good for Your Hair

If you’re suffering from problems like hair fall and dandruff, then you can consider adding red wine to your diet. It improves blood circulation in your body, including the scalp. As a result, it promotes thick, luscious, and dandruff-free hair. It also repairs damaged and dull hair.

If you suffer from scalp itchiness, you should mix some wine with water and rinse your hair with it. To get healthy hair, you should also incorporate some wine-infused products into your hair care routine to get healthy hair.

4. Beneficial for Your Skin

If you’re struggling with blemishes, large pores, breakouts and acne, fine lines, and wrinkles, then you should try using wine-infused skincare products. Antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol, and tannin, preserve collagen and elastin fibres. As a result, they help in slowing down the ageing process. Polyphenols extract dead skin cells to impart a glowing and youthful look. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which battle acne, and prevent potential breakouts. 

5. Cognitive Function

The antioxidants found in red wine, particularly resveratrol, have been studied for their potential role in supporting brain health and cognitive function. Some research suggests that these antioxidants may help protect against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Red wine’s compounds like resveratrol and polyphenols offer potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. However, excessive alcohol consumption can harm mental health. Red wine’s polyphenols may benefit gut health by supporting beneficial bacteria growth and reducing gut inflammation, but moderation is crucial. Red wine can also promote healthy hair by improving blood circulation and repairing damage. It’s believed to have positive effects on the skin, combating ageing and acne due to its antioxidants. Additionally, red wine’s antioxidants, especially resveratrol, may play a role in supporting brain health and protecting against cognitive decline.

Recipes of Red Wine

Red Wine is an exquisite and fancy beverage around the world. So, of course, we all love having a glass of red wine with a good meal. However, if you have some leftover wine and wish to use it creatively, here are some wonderful recipes. Let’s get started.

1. Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Servings: 10-12


  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic (minced) – 1 tbsp
  • Paprika powder – 1 tbsp
  • Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Red Wine – 100 ml
  • Chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) – 400 g
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook garlic in the oil until tender.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook each side for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken seems cooked, remove the oil from the skillet.
  4. Sprinkle paprika powder and brown sugar on the chicken.
  5. Then pour the red wine around the chicken.
  6. Cover it with a transparent lid and simmer for around 15-20 minutes. 
  7. Keep running the red wine around the chicken.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Your delicious meal is ready. Serve it hot.

2. Quinoa and Chicken One Pot meal in Red Wine Sauce

  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 2-3


  • Button Mushrooms – 1 cup
  • Red Wine (Nebbiolo/Barbera) – 1 cup
  • Chicken stock – ½ cup
  • Wheat Flour   – 2 tbsp
  • Quinoa – ½  cup
  • Chicken (Thigh/Breast)
  • Mushroom stock – 1 cup
  • Olive Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Garlic (roughly chopped) – 1 tbsp
  • Parmesan Cheese- Just a drizzle
  • Parsley or mixed herbs- as per taste
  • Chilly Flakes- as per taste


  1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan and add garlic. Saute for a few minutes until tender.
  2. Add mushroom in batches of two. Saute and wait for the mushrooms to get dry.
  3. Then add chicken to the pan and cook it until it releases its juices.
  4. Mix the mushrooms and chicken.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and add Wine.
  6. Keep cooking until half of the wine evaporates.
  7. Now add mushroom stock and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add flour, and cook until you get a thick creamy sauce.
  9. Now add soaked quinoa.
  10. Toss the quinoa and cover it in the creamy mixture. Add parsley or mixed herbs. 
  11. Grate parmesan on top of it and serve hot. ( optional)

Optional: You may substitute quinoa with oats or black rice. For vegetarians, you may replace chicken with tofu and soya granules. 

Potential Downsides

Though red wine has numerous health benefits, it’s not all sunshine and grapes. Some researchers have found that about 10% of the population is allergic to red wine.

Symptoms of red wine allergy include nasal congestion, burning sensation, or swelling on lips, mouth, or throat. Diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting are common symptoms too. In severe cases, wine allergies can result in shortness of breath. So before you plan to gulp down a glass of wine, make sure to check whether it suits you. 

Make sure to consume wine in moderation as we know that the ethanol present in alcohol can affect the liver and cause liver damage and related health problems.

Furthermore, a 2006 study revealed that wine, particularly red wine, can trigger migraine headaches in individuals.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

Red or White wine, which is better? In comparing red wine versus white wine, the health benefits are seen with the consumption of red wine. This is due to the fact that the skin of the grape is included in the fermentation of red wine. White wine is primarily made with white grapes, and the skins are separated from the juice before the fermentation process. Red wine is made with darker red or black grapes, and the skins remain on the grapes during the fermentation process. There are a number of antioxidants found in the skin of grapes, which may make red wine the healthier option. There are a number of antioxidants, polyphenols, resveratrol, and flavonoids found in the skin of grapes, which may make red wine the healthier option.


Wine has some fantastic health benefits and can significantly improve skin and hair health. Therefore, when consumed in moderation, you can reap key health benefits. However, too much wine can result in short- and long-term health problems.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Which type of red wine is the best?

A. Pinot Noir is considered the healthiest red wine. This variety of red wine contains the highest levels of resveratrol, an antioxidant that is effective in improving heart health, lowering bad cholesterol, and controlling blood pressure. In addition, it has low sugar and fewer calories

Q. Is it OK to drink red wine every day?

A. It is OK to have one-two glasses of red wine every week. Red wine should accompany a meal. Having it on an empty stomach or as a daily alcoholic beverage may be detrimental to health. However, moderation is key. Excessive consumption can be harmful to your health.

Q. Is Red Wine good for your health?

A. Yes. Red Wine has several health benefits. It helps control blood sugar, reduces the risk of heart problems and cancers, and improves digestion. It also promotes better sleep quality. However, remember that it’s an alcoholic beverage and can have adverse side effects too if consumed beyond moderate quantities.

Q. Does red Wine have side effects?

A. Drinking red Wine can cause short-term problems like confusion, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and blackouts. Long-term issues include liver damage and related health problems. It could even trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Q. Does red Wine have alcohol?

A. The alcohol content in red Wine is different for each type. However, on average, the alcohol content in red Wine falls between 12.5% and 14.5%.

Q. Is Red Wine good for the skin?

A. Red Wine is considered suitable for skin health, and it helps with blemishes, large pores, breakouts and acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also helps in slowing down the skin’s ageing process and gives glowing skin.

Q. Is it OK to drink red wine every night?

A. It is OK to drink red wine every night if consumed in moderate amounts. However, drinking more than ten ounces of red wine is not advisable as it can cause potential health problems.

Q. Is it OK to drink red wine before bed?

A. Some studies have shown that drinking a glass of wine with your dinner effectively helps weight loss. However, it is best to have red wine 3-4 hours before your sleep time or with your dinner. It may help induce sleep and is excellent for healthy skin.

Q. Is red Wine better than whiskey?

A. Red Wine is rich in vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, vital nutrients for the body. So if you’re looking for a drink with fewer calories, choose Wine over whiskey.

Q. What is the alcohol percentage in Wine?

A. Alcohol content percentage in red Wine usually ranges between 11 per cent to 18 per cent. ABV is the global standard of measurement in this regard. It is about 11.6% in unfortified wines, while 18% in fortified wines.

Q. Is Red Wine good for your hair?

A. Red Wine is great for dull and damaged hair. It helps in thick and luscious dandruff-free hair. It also fights hair fall.

Q. Does red Wine make you fat?

A. Drinking a glass of red wine at dinner time helps weight loss. However, excessive drinking might lead to weight gain.

Q. Is Red Wine good for females?

A. A glass of red wine every day can boost heart health, prevent obesity, fight diabetes, strengthen bones, and reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help to get glowing skin and healthy hair.

Research Links

  1. Beneficial Effects of Red Wine Polyphenols on Human Health: Comprehensive Review:
  1. Red Wine Consumption Associated With Increased Gut Microbiota α-Diversity in 3 Independent Cohorts:
  1. The Microbiome:
  1. Resveratrol as a Therapeutic Agent for Neurodegenerative Diseases:
  1. Allergic and intolerance reactions to wine: Allergic and intolerance reactions to wine:

About the Author

A nutritionist by profession and a writer by passion, Sarah holds an MSc. in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences, Pune. She believes in changing lives, one meal at a time with a holistic approach towards overall healing. Her mission is to modify the nutritional habits and behaviors of our next generation to optimize their long-term health and reduce the likelihood of metabolic diseases. Apart from working, she loves to sing, swirl scribble and spread smiles.

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