Grapes aren’t just nature’s candy: they are also nature’s antioxidant! By now, we all know that drinking a moderate amount of wine daily can benefit your health and that red wine is linked to buffering away oxidative damage as well as lowering chances of heart disease and even some types of cancers. But did you know that wine can also do wonders for your complexion, too? Although no one study can point to a “holy grail” of wine treatments, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that wine baths, elixirs, and scrubs (not to mention simply sipping red wine) could possibly help to block the clock inside and out. Fountain of youth? Probably not. But we love the idea of enjoying a glass of Paso Robles red wine while looking—and feeling—younger!
History of wine and beauty
Where did it start? The medicinal and cosmetic qualities of wine grapes have been known for some time (we’re talking ancient times, people). Rich royals, per usual, were first to realize that rubbing their skin with grape juice brought on a fresh, vibrant glow, a la Queen Cleopatra. In 1970, researchers at the University of Bordeaux in France began studying grapes and their potential health benefits, representing one of the first serious deep-dives into the subject. Here’s what they wanted to figure out: Why is it that the French eat a high-fat, bready diet, yet suffer a much lower chance of heart disease than other cultures, including Americans? Of course, you could chalk this “French paradox” up to the fact that life is woefully unfair, but—and we’re just guessing here—a diet flowing with red wine grapes could be part of the magic! Scientists thought so too, and today guys and gals in white lab coats continue to search for the link between red wine and health benefits across cultures. It is a fascinating—and tantalizing—subject to be sure.
Glow time: Opolo 2013 Barbera
What makes wine grapes so sexy?
It’s all in the juice! Antioxidant-packed polyphenols, specifically resveratrol, represent the powerful elements in red wine that are so good for our bodies. In a nutshell, resveratrol protects against free radicals (the villain in every skin-care commercial). Free radicals—those super harmful rays that are continually pinging around our Earthly atmosphere—are one of the main reasons we all have fine lines and wrinkles (taxes, long lines at the DMV and jury duty summons do the rest). The thought goes: If you protect against free radical damage, you can look younger longer. Cheers to science, right?
Night treatment: Lone Madrone 2010 Bollo
Aged for three years in large format oak barrels, this Nebbiolo is given the time necessary to illustrate the most remarkable characteristics of the grape, its conflicting austerity and incredibly intriguing personality. 2010 offers a full basket of tobacco, black tea, violets and red stone fruits.
The cells love wine as much as the tastebuds
Let’s swim deeper into these possible red wine wonders. Scientists have also found that polyphenols help to increase cellular turnover, the key to getting that natural youthful glow (as you age, your cells—much like your will to work out—become a bit sluggish). Scientists have found that these polyphenols also form a protective layer on the skin and stimulate the renewal of both cells and collagen, leading to a more refined, youthful appearance. Many scientists believe that these polyphenols are up to 50 times stronger than vitamin E and 20 times stronger than vitamin C. That said, grapes also contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B1, C, E and K, in addition to magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. We’re not saying this definitively proves anything here, but these are interesting facts, no?
So, how do I get some of these supposed beauty benefits?
Vinotherapy, of course! Yes, that’s a real word, and it means just what it says (wine-therapy). No, we don’t suggest crying it out while chugging a bottle with your girlfriends, although that can technically count for therapy after a big rejection at work. We’re actually talking about the ancient practice of applying wine to the skin. French spas were among the first to introduce treatments with wine-based products, and it wasn’t long before leading spas all over the world jumped on the anti-aging bandwagon. Back in the day, vinotherapy meant soaking in a red wine bath (literally). Today, you can still do that, as plenty of high-end spas offer the eclectic experience, and many include wine facials, too!
Forever Young: Rangeland 2014 Petite Sirah
An elegant display of these two varietals doing what they do best—Syrah delivering the muscle and density with black cherry and blackberry, while the Mourvedre counters with an earthy array of damp soil, roses and savory charcuterie.
What about lazy wine beauty?
Ah, there’s something for you, too, dear slather-er. Plenty of beauty companies are beginning to use resveratrol in their lotions, serums, scrubs, and masks. Worth a try! Research is limited when it comes to resveratrol’s anti-aging benefits when applied externally on humans, but there have been some studies that suggest the compound could help skin. In one study published by the National Institutes of Health in 2005, resveratrol was applied to the skin of laboratory animals, who were then subjected to high ultraviolet radiation. Researchers found the compound protected the animals! Interesting, indeed…
Bodacious Bordeaux: Jada 2015 Strayts
I’ll just drink it, thank you
Suit yourself. But you should know that red wine, when taken in moderation, is recognized as being more or less good for you. For instance, consuming just seven ounces of red wine per week could lower your risk for colon cancer (according to the Harvard Medical School). Could it erase your wrinkles and add a youthful sheen to your mug? That’s for you to decide. And it’s a delicious experiment to try, that’s for sure!
Remarkable Red: Hoyt 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping.
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves.