Wine appears to be the most protective of all alcoholic beverages, possibly because wine contains flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that may protect against heart disease and cancer. One called resveratrol works to destroy harmful free radicals in the blood stream. Wine helps to break down fatty acids, clearing the arteries and allowing a freer circulation of blood. Flavonoids, also called polyphenols, are found in the grape skin (also in fruits and vegetables). Because red wines are fermented with their skins, they are richer in polyphenols than white wines. Latest research points to red wines made from cabernet sauvignon grapes from a warm climate to have the the highest protective chemicals.
A study published in 2001 found that women who drank an average of two drinks daily had a 40% to 60% lower risk of ischemic stroke compared with women who never drank.