Buettner has traveled the world to unlock the secrets of the Blue Zones, areas where people regularly live into the triple digits free of diseases or chronic illnesses. One such locale is Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. “Sardinians are famous for their daily consumption of the robust, regional red wine called cannonau,” says Buettner. If you’re on the hunt for the healthiest red wine, this is it.
Cannonau di Sardegna, the local name for grenache, has two to three times the amount of flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) as compared to other red wines. “Small doses of this antioxidant-rich beverage throughout the day could explain fewer heart attacks and lower levels of stress among people in this region of the world,” says Buettner.
As with all things enjoyable, moderation is key when it comes to drinking cannonau. While one to two glasses a day is linked to the aforementioned health benefits, drinking in excess has the opposite effect, increasing the risk of diseases and chronic illnesses.
The people in Sardinia tend to be in such great health because they enjoy their wine while following an eating plan consistent with the Mediterranean diet. “Another reason Sardinians may experience these wine health benefits is the way they consume it—always surrounded by good friends and good food,” says Buettner. Drinking antioxidant-rich wine with heart healthy foods while surrounded by loved has a powerful effect it would seem. As if you needed another reason to pop open a bottle of red.
Find out more about why the Mediterranean diet is linked to longevity: