In today’s world, people seem to be certainly divided into two camps. And no, I am not talking about politics. I am speaking of the age old bias of white wine versus red. How did we ever get here? Can't we all just get along? Well, I'm here to tell you that you can firmly plant your feet in either and feel pretty damn good whatever you're guzzling.
Back in 1994, Dr E. N. Frankel wrote "Red Wine Antioxidants and Potential Health benefits" presented at the Society of Medical Friends of wine (how can I get in?!). In that he had shown that no matter the dose of vitamin C or E consumed, the antioxidant activity plateaus at 20%. Pretty good since vitamins C and E are well known and established. But the antioxidants in wine plateau at 100% (that’s right!!!) after 2 or 3 glasses. The antioxidants power in vino is five times more potent than vitamins C and E. Turns out the fermentation process enhances the antioxidant levels.
What does this have to do with white wine though RJ? I'm glad you asked. Just a year later in 1994 two fellas named J. A. Vinson and B. A. Hontz wrote "Phenol Antioxidant Index: Comparative Antioxidant effectiveness of Red and White Wines" for the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. The study showed that while red wines had higher phenol levels than whites, "the white wines had a significantly low IC50 (the concentration for 50% inhibition of low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) meaning they're better antioxidants than red! MIND BLOWN. The University of Mainz puts skin in the game with the 1999 article "Moderate Red and White Wine Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.": white and red wine improved the antioxidative capacity in the blood. The sum of the changes in cardiovascular protective blood values, the "protective wine score, which includes all parameters, showed a clear improvement in both wine groups. The scores for moderate wine consumption were higher than for water, and white wine scored HIGHER than red wine. Systolic blood pressure reduced significantly in the white wine group, and the diastolic blood pressure reduced in BOTH wine groups... In some parameters, white wine delivered even better results than red wine. OMG.
And back in the good ol’ US, the Jordan Heart Research Foundation reported free radicals diminished by 15% with red wine drinking and 34% in white wine. They also found that red wine quaffers had a 10% drop in blood clotting ability while white wine drinkers 20%. Holy buckets.
How is it that white wines antioxidant power is more than reds even though reds have more antioxidants? It seems that just like smaller wine barrels have greater surface area to contact wine, the antioxidants in white wine are fewer and smaller. They can then travel further into tissues to work their magic and prove more effective than red. So says Dr Gordon Troup in "Free Radical Scavenging Abilities of Beverages" found in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology ca 1995. This guy is a physicist at the University of Melbourne, certainly a smart cookie. See, so it doesn't matter. Cats and dogs can get along. Hell has frozen over and you can drink reds or whites and be happy and healthy. Take care and see you soon.