Red Wine Isn't Actually Better for You Than Other Kinds of Booze

Well, this is disappointing.

While red wine has often been considered the adult beverage of choice for unexpected health benefits, a new report by Vox attempts to debunk the premise; specifically, whether red wine has any advantages over other types of alcohol. As it turns out, you may have been under the influence of wishful thinking this whole time.

As the report points out, experts who've studied the health benefits and effects of moderate drinking say the type of alcoholic beverage you drink likely doesn't matter. Research has shown there's little to no difference in the effects wine, beer, and hard liquor had on mortality, for example. And most of the few benefits associated with drinking red wine ultimately come from the alcohol alone, not in any magic specific to red wine.

"There’s some specific effects of alcohol on thinning our blood and raising good cholesterol, but that comes from all alcohol," Kenneth Mukamal of Harvard University told Vox. "Most of the benefit you’re getting out of red wine is in the alcohol component."

This is all based on the notion of drinking in moderation, or one serving of alcohol per day for women and two servings of alcohol per day for men. Long-term observational studies have shown that light to moderate drinking results in lower rates of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and generally longer lives when compared to people who don't drink, according to the report. Drinking more than that diminishes any health benefits. But man, are three beers so much more fun than two beers.

The good news is red wine has the same health benefits found in other alcoholic beverages. The bad news is you don't get bonuses for drinking red wine. In other words, carry on with your Olivia Pope-level of love of vino. Just don't go thinking it's some kind of health serum -- well, aside from a mental health serum.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and still wants to drink lots of red wine, like right now. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

Our Newsletter
By Signing Up, I Agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy.