I don’t get as many sunburns as I did when I was a kid and always thought that this was a result of age – the more sun you get, the less likely you are to get new sunburns since that skin has already been damaged to a certain extent. Well now there is a new theory that makes even better sense and it has to do with wine consumption!
New research by Spanish scientists1 shows that flavonoids, a compound found in red wine, actually serves in protecting the skin from sun damage. No wonder I suddenly stopped getting sunburns after I turned 21! And that summer in Spain when I was 15 and burn-free, that suddenly makes sense too (there appeared to be no minimum drinking age during my stay in Spain, only the ability to reach the height of the bar stool). I have to commend these Spanish researchers for keeping focused and continuing to study and deliver on the positive benefits of wine.
The Problem. If you were to simply drink warm or ‘room temperature’ red wine while laying in the sun, that might not be very pleasing or refreshing. Red wine isn’t my first choice for poolside sipping.
The Solution. Add some fresh fruit and ice, and you have a chilly refreshing concoction that is also known as Sangria, bringing us full circle to the Spanish scientists and their research inspiration :)
Now we can update our definition of Sangria:
Sangria: An iced drink typically made with red wine, sugar, fruit juice, soda water, and spices, and containing fruit slices that also helps protect against skin damage from the sun.
1 University of Barcelona and the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council).