In Tuscany, we think of a mouthwatering Chianti wine as a wonderful complement to a traditional meal. But there’s more to the story. Studies show there’s a link between drinking red wine and health benefits.

It should come as no surprise. Wine and medicine have a long history together. Ancient Egyptians used wine to relieve pain and as a cure for various ailments, such as stomach aches.

Sangiovese grapes are good for you

Nowadays, science points to the powerful antioxidants in red wine. Grape skins are rich in antioxidants and the Sangiovese grapes used to make Chianti are no exception. With red wine, the skins remain during the fermentation process. That’s why red wine contains more antioxidants than white.

What’s so great about antioxidants? They’re important for maintaining good health because they protect your cells from damage. Afterall, these compounds help keep the grape vines alive for up to 120 years.

Red wine health benefits

The antioxidants found in wine are called polyphenols. Research shows that that the polyphenols in red wine may help prevent coronary artery disease. The theory is that red wine may help to increase levels of the good cholesterol (HDL) and protect against cholesterol buildup. The polyphenols may also help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.

Other studies show that these compounds in red wine are linked to a lower risk of diabetes. There has also been evidence that polyphenols have an anti-inflammatory effect and can be used to treat help treat digestive issues just as the ancient Egyptians did.

Scientists are even investigating whether the antioxidants in red wine might have anti-aging properties. We’re all anxiously awaiting the results!

It’s important to remember that the health benefits of red wine are found only among those who drink in moderation.  This means one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women or two for men. The science is clear that heavier consumption can lead to health problems.

Why Chianti wine is a perfect choice

Red wines that are dark in color and high in tannins tend to have higher polyphenol content. Chianti wines range from medium to high in tannins and from a medium to dark ruby red color.

We recommend the Chianti Classico Riserva from the boutique Solatione winery  because of its intense color and fine tannins.

Of course, we think the rolling hills of Chianti combined with wine tasting and wholesome Tuscan food will also be good for your health. Learn more about our tours here.

Alla salute! To good health!