Happy National Wine Drinking Day

Published: Feb. 18, 2016 at 12:25 PM EST
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February 18 is National Wine Drinking Day. According to, the purpose of the day is to "celebrate and spread the love of wine."

Did you know that wine has some health benefits?

The Mayo Clinic reports that red wine has something in it called, "resveratrol" that might be good for your heart. Researchers with Mayo Clinic say antioxidants and alcohol in red wine help prevent heart disease by increasing HDL cholesterol (also known as "good cholesterol") and protecting the arteries against damage.

Resveratrol comes from the skin of grapes. Because red wine is fermented with these skins longer than white wine, it has more resveratrol. If a person wanted the benefits of resveratrol without drinking wine, he or she could try eating grapes or drinking grape juice. The Mayo Clinic suggests red and purple grape juices have some of the same heart health benefits as wine.

According to CNN, research on the heart health benefits of alcohol suggest other drinks, like beer and hard liquor, provide the same benefits.

At the same time, doctors don't want to encourage anyone to start drinking alcohol because too much can be harmful.

So, how much is too much? And what does in moderation mean?

The Centers for Disease Control reports 88,000 deaths in the US are caused every year by excessive alcohol use. Researchers with the CDC define "drinking in moderation" as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, and only for adults aged 21-years and older. This is not intended for use as an average over several days, but just the amount consumed on a single day.

One drink is defined as a drink containing 14 grams (.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. That would look like:

- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)


- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)

- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)

- 1.5 ounces or a "shot" of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

CNN reports the practice of drinking wine may have started in 3000 BC, when Egyptians used wine as a type of medicine. in 2007, a study showed wine could help fight against cavities. For a complete history of wine and its health benefits, click on the link attached to this story.