When it comes to vino and your health, some wines are better than others. Red wine, in particular, can be good for you, since it contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that fights aging and promotes greater heart health. Yet there are some wines out there that don’t measure up in terms of benefits. To make the most of your wine splurge, avoid these picks that aren’t so great for you, as then you’re mostly just taking in empty calories to get that buzz. Plus, a tip: red wine has more antioxidants than white, so consider that slight advantage when choosing your bottle.
Be wary of those sweet wines. “Though a personal favorite of mine, Riesling contains a very high amount of residual sugar, which in turn is broken down into fat and can also lead to a more severe hangover,” says Jared Gelband, wine and beverage director at Italian Village Restaurants in Chicago, to POPSUGAR. Unless you choose a drier Riesling, don’t make it your go-to sip to pair with a bowl of pasta. “I recommend Trocken label Rieslings, which are drier and have lower amounts of sugar in the wine, as they are fermented to dry,” he adds.
A rich Italian dry red wine, Amarone is pretty strong, and it’ll get you drunk fast. “Too much alcohol has a negative effect on the liver,” he says. It’s smart to stay away from certain Amarones, since the full-bodied reds have some of the highest alcohol content, he notes. It can be upwards of 17 percent alcohol by volume, which is a whole lot. If you’re drinking this, pace yourself well and don’t drink too much.
Sure, this might be trickier to follow, but in general, organic wine will have fewer sulfites, Gelband says. “Sulfites are a concern. Imbibers report that these compounds cause headaches and allergic reactions,” he says. All wines have sulfites to act as a preservative, but certain organic and biodynamic wines don’t add additional sulfites to their wines, making them a healthier bottle. “If a guest or diner is concerned about sulfites, I recommend finding a natural wine producer for any type of their favorite pour,” he says. Plus, you can also try Just the Wine drops, which help reduce the amount of sulfites in your glass, to see if it helps.
Similar to Riesling, Moscato is super, super sweet, he says. This might make it pretty nice for a boozy dessert, but all that sugar can be bad for your health. “Moscato is so sweet because it has more residual sugar, and when sugar is fermented in Moscato, the fermentation process is stopped earlier, so therefore it’s sweeter with a much lower alcohol content and more sugar,” he explains. Not a great pick for a healthy pour!