Why Does Red Wine Make You Hot?

By James Madeiros


Red Wine and Warm Fuzzies

There’s nothing quite like a glass of red wine on a cold winter day to warm you up and add a little spice to the season.

The warming effect of red wine is more than just a psychological trigger brought on by the thoughts of roaring fires and romance that are often associated with the dark fermented grape; it is one of the body’s natural reactions to the tannins and histamines that are found in the skins of red grapes.

Of course, red wine is not the only beverage that can give you a glow. Russians have been using vodka to fight off the bitter chill of the subarctic Soviet frontier since the 14th century, relying on its alcohol content to stoke the flames of revolution.

Alcohol dilates blood vessels throughout the body and increases blood flow through the extremities and to the skin. This combined with the warming properties of tannic acid and histamines in red wine makes it particularly powerful, so much so that some people find it unpleasant, especially during warmer weather.

This is one reason why red wine is often served and enjoyed during the winter months. So, the next time you’re snowed in at the winter cabin, throw a log on the fire, roll out the bearskin rug and have a glass of red wine to heat things up.


Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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