There is conflicting information out there about the health benefits (or consequences) of wine.
Certain research shows that moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers.
On the other hand, some research shows there is no safe level of alcohol consumption at all.
What we do know is that people in the world’s Blue Zones — the places around the world with the highest life expectancy — drink alcohol moderately and regularly (1–2 glasses per day on average; The only exception to this is the Adventists in Loma Linda, California, who do not drink at all).
In fact, Blue Zones researchers concluded that a daily dose of wine is one of the 9 most powerful lifestyle habits shared by people who’ve lived the longest.
Blue Zones centenarians serve as proof that you can consume alcohol regularly and live to 100 (and beyond).
Of course there are other factors associated with alcohol that could be contributing to their longevity.
It could be that their daily happy hour is a way of “downshifting” and reducing stress after a long day. We know that stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is associated with every major age-related disease, so finding ways to cope is essential for health.
Or perhaps drinking is beneficial because it brings people together with friends and family on a daily basis. We know that social relationships are vital for health as well.
Whatever the reason, a daily glass or two of wine certainly doesn’t seem to be doing them any harm.
And maybe some of their excellent health and longevity can be explained by the wine itself.
Resveratrol, the polyphenol found in the skin of grapes, is known to protect the body against damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and dementia. Red wine in general is thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
And there is one wine that stands above the rest for its health benefits.
The healthiest wine in the world is the robust red wine from Sardinia (one of the Blue Zones locations) called Cannonau.
Sardinians are known to drink 3 to 4 small (3-ounce) glasses of Cannonau a day on average, spread out between breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a late afternoon social hour in the village.
Cannonau wine has 2–3 times the level of flavonoids (known for their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits) as other wines.
Daily consumption of this antioxidant-potent wine could explain fewer heart attacks and lower levels of stress among men in Sardinia (Sardinia has nearly 10 times more centenarians per capita than the U.S.)
If you are looking to combine your daily wine hour with a dose of health, try to find a bottle of Cannonau at your local wine shop. It is not yet well known outside of Sardinia.
If you can’t find Cannonau, other dry red wines can offer similar health benefits. Cannonau is the Sardinian name for the Grenache grape, and Grenache wines are common in most wine shops.
Overall, the jury is still out on the specific health benefits of alcohol. And this information doesn’t mean you should start drinking if you are not already.
But people in the world’s Blue Zones show that you can enjoy alcohol moderately and regularly, and still make it to a happy 100.