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Red Wine vs. Grape Juice: Which Is Better?

Legend has it that the first person who made red wine stopped one day and said: “Wow, this is a lot of work. I think I’ll just make grape juice instead.” But there was an uproar in the village—people had become accustomed to their vino—and the vintner was forced to give up the dream of an easy life making grape juice instead of wine.

But the dilemma still stands: Why do people drink red wine instead of grape juice, when they both come from the same source and fresh grape juice doesn’t contain alcohol? The answer, according to today’s scientists, is that there isn’t much research on grape juice, whereas there is plenty of research on red wine. Furthermore, grape skins, which contain lots of antioxidants, are more likely to make their way into wine than into grape juice. And because of the fermentation process, compounds in wine may also interact positively with other nutrients, such as resveratrol, in a way that doesn’t occur in grape juice alone. But what about the alcohol? Isn’t it unhealthy? Well, as you’ve probably heard, in some observational studies, drinking alcohol in moderate amounts is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol. However, that’s not to say that grape juice is a bad choice. Although, it should also be consumed in moderation because of its high sugar content. So, if you’re looking for health benefits from grapes, red wine is probably the better choice because it has been studied more. Looks like the old vintner was wise to give in to the villager’s demands.

Source: New York Times

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