jamie goode's wine blog: Red heart wine

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Red heart wine

Sainsbury's (UK supermarket) today issued a press release describing a new wine, 'Red Heart':

"The antioxidant content of red wine is believed to play a role in the health benefits derived from drinking in moderation. Red Heart has an antioxidant level, which is 32% higher than the average level of other leading red wines.

We benefit from many different antioxidants naturally found in our food and drink, and they play an important role in protecting our body. Antioxidants help counteract the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that cause cell damage, which in the long term can damage health. Exposure to UV rays, pollution and smoking produce free radicals.

This is why moderate consumption of red wine and a healthy diet abundant in fresh fruit and vegetables can improve our health and increase longevity."

B******s! If red wine has health benefits, it is almost certainly not because of its antioxidant properties. The latest evidence suggests that dietary antioxidants don't really work. I do wish people would speak to someone knowledgable on wine and health issues before issuing this sort of disinformation.



At 5:59 PM, Blogger EVWG said...

People are going to buy this worthless advertising while ordering the clos du vin to test if it is age worthy somehow and if it is dip another clos du vin device to age it five years in five seconds. What is happening? What ever happened to mystery. Red wine is good for the heart when drank in moderation by including it into a serious diet. It's not a simple do this, drink this and all is well. What will they come up with next?


At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a quite reasonable health advisory issued in the hope of selling a bottle of wine, it mentions the fresh fruit and veg after all, s'pose the real question is does this wine really have 32% more antioxidants - on average - than other wines and does that make it 32% more beneficial in a balanced and healthy diet.

At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Doug said...

Hi Jamie,

Do you mean "disinformation" - that implies deliberately leaking information with the intention to mislead or "misinformation" (just being boneheadedly wrong)?

I agree with everything you say, but it all boils down once more to supermarkets bouncing onto the bandwagon and rebranding things in order to make le quick buck. Previously, it was organic this and organic that- amazing the quantity of organic food and wine that swiftly appeared in response to perceived customer need; now they want to brand certain food and drink as "healthy". This is just rubbish; diet is about balance, but you can't apply a one-size- fits-all-diet for everybody.

One thing you could clear up though. Resveratrol, as I understand it, extends the lifespan of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and possibly fruitflies and roundworms by working on/stimulating the proteins of sirtuins. There is probable evidence that resveratrol has cardioprotective effects through a variety of mechanisms: it inhibits platelet aggregation, the proliferation of smooth-muscle cells, and the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (probably through its strong antioxidant effects); it reduces the synthesis of certain lipids and eicosanoids that tend to promote atherosclerosis; Some of these effects may be due in part to resveratrol’s being a phytoestrogen. However, there's not enough in wine to make a fruitfly's worth of difference (although some wines have demonstrably higher levels than others). Is that the molecule in question has great potential but how we apply it medically has not been fully researched?

Can I digress anyway, invert this whole argument and suggest that if you drink bad wine it will have deleterious health benefits, if you drink good wine you will tend not to chuck it down your gullet, therefore eat more slowly and digest much better. As they say in France you make time to take time; if drinking red wine has a beneficial effect it is we are more likely to sit around a table with a properly cooked meal and enjoy ourselves in a leisurely way - which is the unscientific, non-scientific secret to a longer, stress-free and possibly healthier existence.

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Luis Gutiérrez said...

Hey! Isn't that Jeff Leve on the label Jamie? :-)

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

For my note on how this wine tastes, see the post on 4 December

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Wine in moderation said...

This is very interesting and I'm sure Sainsbury are infringing recently enacted European Law on health claims for foods. This directive makes it illegal to make any health claims for alcoholic beveraged where the alcohol content is more than 1.5%

This legistlation also applies to logos, pictures and advertising. So the pictures of a heart glugging down into the drinker on the lable is also illegal. I'm sure the Food Standards Agency will pick this up very quickly.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

This post has been removed by the author.

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:45 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

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At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 5:04 PM, Blogger Jamie said...


At 10:54 AM, Anonymous antioxidants said...

Whether antioxidants in red wine does or does not have health benefits, it still is nice to drink.


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