The 9 Most Heart-healthy Wines

The 9 Most Heart-healthy Wines

Need another reason to sip red wine? Red wine has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including longevity, lower blood pressure, and heart health. Go ahead and pour a glass of one of these heart-healthy wines to celebrate.

So, what makes red wine good for the heart? And which red wines are the most beneficial? 

Some of these wines may surprise you. 

Take a look at the top 9 heart-healthy red wines. 

Want to learn more about your wine preferences? Take our quick 7-question quiz, and get personalized wine matches!

How Does Red Wine Help Protect the Heart? 

The benefits of red wine come from polyphenols – naturally occurring compounds that have antioxidant properties. Polyphenols like resveratrol and procyanidins have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including cardiovascular health. 

How exactly do these compounds protect the heart?

Studies suggest that these polyphenols:

  • Boost good cholesterol (or HDL)
  • Lower bad cholesterol (or LDL)
  • Reduce blood clotting

So, wines with high levels of resveratrol and procyanidins are considered the best for your heart.

Picking a Heart-healthy Red Wine

Heart-healthy red wines share a few common traits.

First, red wines made in a dry style tend to have the most health benefits. 

What does “dry” mean, exactly? Dry red wines – including popular varietals like Pinot Noir and Merlot – are fermented longer than sweet wines, so they don’t have residual sugar. That doesn’t mean that these wines aren’t bursting with fruit flavors. The fruitiness you taste in wine is different from sweetness

Next, red wines with high tannins generally have more health benefits – but this is not always the case. 

Tannins – which give wine an astringent quality that you feel as a scratchy sensation on your tongue – come from grape skins. In general, thicker grape skins have more tannins and polyphenols. 

Wines with seriously high levels of these polyphenols can taste slightly bitter, so they encourage you to sip slowly. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Slowing down will help you appreciate a wine’s many aromas. Plus, when you sip slowly, you often end up consuming a smaller quantity and drinking in moderation is what allows you to reap the health benefits of red wine.

Not a fan of high tannins? Not to worry. The red wine that experts consider to be healthiest actually has low tannins.

red wine being poured into glass

The 9 Most Heart-healthy Red Wines

1. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is considered the healthiest red wine you can drink. Unlike many of the reds on this list, Pinot grapes have a thin skin, so Pinot Noir has low tannins but high levels of resveratrol. Additionally, Pinot grapes – particularly those grown in cool-climate regions – start out with less sugar, so Pinot Noir has a lower ABV and fewer calories than fuller-bodied wines. 

2. Sagrantino 

A rare grape from Umbria – a region in central Italy – Sagrantino is an antioxidant-rich wine. In fact, according to a study, Sagrantino might contain the most antioxidants of any red wine out there. With bold notes of plum sauce, blueberry jam, black tea, and cocoa, this full-bodied red also has super high tannins.

3. Merlot 

Much easier to come by, Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine with notes of black cherry and plum. The second most popular wine grape in the world, Merlot has high levels of resveratrol and procyanidin which help to lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health.

4. Cabernet Sauvignon

This full-bodied red wine with notes of dark fruit and baking spice has similar cardiovascular benefits. Additionally, thanks to its particular flavonoid makeup, Cabernet Sauvignon helps to stimulate the production of a protein that plays a role in cell health.

5. Barbera

This red wine from Piedmont, Italy has bright notes of cherry plus a hint of licorice and dried herbs. Aside from being more affordable than other wines made in this region, Barbera is also noted for its heart-health benefits thanks to high levels of resveratrol.

6. Malbec

Malbec, a smooth red wine with notes of blackberry and chocolate, has high levels of antioxidants and has been linked to both heart health and immune health. Grown mostly in Argentina and France, Malbec grapes have a thick skin, giving this bold red wine robust tannins. 

7. Nebbiolo

Another red wine from Piedmont, Nebbiolo contains high levels of polyphenols like procyanidin. With red fruit notes and a hint of star anise, Nebbiolo also has some of the highest levels of melatonin, making it a good wine to sip at night if you have trouble sleeping.

8. Tannat

Tannat is a full-bodied red wine with notes of dark fruit and smoke. French Tannat – known as Madiran – can have intense tannins, so it’s sometimes blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. In Uruguay, Tannat has smoother tannins and softer fruit flavors. Wherever it’s grown, this dark grape contains high levels of the antioxidant procyanidins, giving it cardiovascular benefits.

heart-healthy wines tannat
Bright Cellars Dead Stars and Black Holes Tannat

If you’re looking for an excellent Tannat, we recommend Bright Cellars’ Dead Stars and Black Holes Tannat 2020. Made with sustainably grown grapes, this red wine has high levels of polyphenols like resveratrol and Anthocyanins. Lusciously full in body with velvety tannins, this Tannat boasts flavors of ripe fruits like blueberry, black raspberry, and plum. If you’re a Bright Cellars member, email to request it in your next box. Otherwise, take the quiz to see if you match! 

9. Cannonau 

You may not have heard of Cannonau, but it’s actually the same as Grenache – a popular French grape. In Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy, this grape develops an especially thick skin, giving it an abundance of antioxidants. With notes of ripe red cherries and blackberries, Cannonau has been linked to heart health and longevity


Need help figuring out which heart-healthy red wine best suits your palate? Email us at! We’d love to help. 

For more wine wisdom, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Glass Half Full.



Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

  1. Not a wine drinker at all but want to try to start for the health benefits. What I have tried, the super fermented wines have really bothered my stomach. Are there some you can recommend for heart health but won’t kill my stomach. Thanks

    1. Hi Brooke, we’re happy to hear you’re beginning your wine journey! We’d recommend a Pinot Noir, since it has high levels of resveratrol, but it’s still one of the lightest-bodied red wines (like Gamay or Schiava). That should be easier on your stomach. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any more questions.

  2. I really want to drink red wine for heart health…and I enjoy the taste. I some how always have a headache the next day. All I have is one or two glasses. That doesn’t happen with white wine. Do you have an explanation or any recommendations?

  3. My wife only likes sweet wine red, white, and moscoto
    Do they have the same benefits as the dry wines?

  4. My wife only likes sweet wine red, white, and moscoto
    Do they have the same benefits as the dry wines?

  5. Hi I have discovered that I have a heart condition and want to know if merlot are good for that

  6. Is there any. Sweet red wines good for your health..
    And what’s the best way to consume wine for your health
    I’ve not a drinker at all I’m 70 years old and I would like to try this

  7. I was introduced Merlot red wine, about 15 urs. ago, & as never stopped since then, but I think I’m buying & drinking the cheap & wrong type, I found myself so attached to a brand called “YELLOW TAIL MERLOT”, the taste becomes all I know, so I hereby ask your opinion of that brand.

    Should I continue, or change to another brand.

    I really need your opinion & your PROFESSIONAL advice!!!
    Thanks in advance!!!

  8. What is a good cheap sweet red wine, for person that is a diabetic and has heart problems.

  9. I have a hiatus hernia and find white wine impossible to drink without feeling sick. Recently I had two glasses of Cabernet Savignon and had no ill effects afterwards. Is there a reason for this? Thank you.

  10. used to drink cupcake red wine I’m looking for a red wine that’s good for your heart health says:

    What is a good red wine for better heart health that’s reasonable

  11. I love my wine!! I do have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so I had to do some research about how good it is for me, since my doctor was giving me issues about it. I mean I had to find out if it is really good for you, so thank you for the read! Confirmed what I thought lol. I did find another great article I think is helpful, it lists pros and cons of red wine and coffee for older adults, . What are your thoughts on it?

  12. Hi i want to try red wine,do you have suggestion,any sweet red wine?i dont drink and want to try for health benefits.

  13. Thanks , I need help for which wine is good Increase the metabolism. because I need white Skin and my skin are Glowing so which is the good one ? Please tell me

  14. Red wines tend to give me a headache. According to your research, which red wines are least likely to do that? Also, my paternal grandfather made his own wine. The closest in taste that I have found is valpolacella. How does that wine rank in healthy benefits?

  15. If you already have a heart condition, it is not recommendable to experiment with any wine. However, depending on the type and the stage of the condition, provided you are not on steady medication, and only if your cardiologist agrees, a glass of wine (meaning actually half-glass, because a glass of wine is never a full one) might be all right.

  16. I take meds for GERDS, which helps very little. Some days I cannot eat anything. I was given a bottle of red wine years ago, which helped soothe my agitated stomach. I don’t remember the name. Any recommendations for a red wine to try. I will seek medical advice as well.

  17. IM looking for a red wine thats sweet to the taste good for heart but also I’m type2 diabetic can you recommend a red vine that has a sweet taste that would be okey for me like one of josh cellars wines???? Thank you Rena

  18. Forget the wine for health! Buy grapeseed oil. It has all the health benefits of wine without the alcohol
    and it doesn’t get hard in the fridge so it makes great salad dressing

    the seeds are made with the wine and then removed.

  19. All wine, indeed all alcohol, is a poisonous addictive drug. The benefits of the small amount of antioxidants in red wine is totally outweighed by the toxic and damaging effect of the ethanol and other dangerous chemicals in the wine. All research re the health benefits of red wine is funded by the alcohol industry. Alcohol causes 3 million deaths a year. Alcohol lies to you. Drink a glass of grape juice instead.

  20. Hi, My dad has CKD and goes for dialysis 3times a week.His creatine level is also high ( around 10) Is it good for him to have Red wine? If yes. Then can u suggest the best red wine for him..thanks

  21. I like to explore new recipes but I don’t know what wines to use when it says red or white wine because they seem to taste so different. Do you have a recommendation for a good red and white that would be a good starting point for cooking.

  22. I realised that I have allergy on sulfates. I love wine. Specially white but it has too much natural and added sulfates. Too bad. I still didn’t try the organic wine. Not sure if that also will flare up my allergies and hives.

  23. I thought based on a documentary I borrowed from the public library and watched a long time ago … That Cannonau was more special than all the other 8 on your list of heart-healthy reds? 🤔

  24. Based on a documentary I watched “The Number’s Game” maybe, it was reported that all men who drank Cannonau of Sardinia red wine daily at the end of their day live to be 100 or more years old.

  25. Do the cheaper wines..Liberty Creek, Yellow Tail, Walmart brand ….have the same health benefits as expensive bottles of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec etc?

  26. I’m not a drinker never has been, I found out I have P A D, my heart doctor suggested I drink a glass a day I take so much medication I’m actually afraid. Which do you prefer of the red wines to help my arteries an veins I’m 70 years old and it has to taste sweet, I haven’t had alcohol since I was in my 30s not even champagne, yuck, I’ll try

  27. Hello. I don’t know which is best but Stella Rosa has nonalcohol wines that taste GREAT! Black with is dark; red and peach(I believe). Black is sweet and yummy.

  28. நான் கடந்த 8 மாதங்களுக்கு முன் heart attack நோயினால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டு சிகிச்சை மேற்கொண்டேன் இப்பொழுது சரியாகிவிட்டது. இப்போது நான் சிவப்பு வைன் அருந்த விருப்பமாக உள்ளேன் அதனால் எனக்கு மிகச்சிறந்த வைன் பெயரை தெரிவிக்கவும்.

  29. Last 8 months I was suffering from congestive heart disease and underwent treatment now it is fine. I want to drink wine without harming my heart, so please tell me the name of the best wine.

  30. The blog post “The 9 Most Heart-Healthy Wines” by Bright Cellars, a personalised wine delivery service, is an excellent example of the company’s commitment to providing useful information to its subscribers. In it, the author recommends nine bottles of wine that have been shown to improve health in some way, such as lowering blood pressure or decreasing the chance of heart disease. The writing is clear and concise, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in enhancing their health through their vino consumption.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.