Grape Juice vs Wine

We know that wine is made from grapes. We know that wine has various health benefits. So, what about grape juice? Is it even healthier or less healthy than wine? In this article, we will discuss the comparison between grape juice vs wine to find out which drink is best.

Continue reading below to learn more about:
– How grape juice and wine are made
– The flavor profile of each drink
– The distinctive features of grape juice vs wine
– The nutritional content of each drink
– The health benefits offered by these drinks
– Whether grape juice or wine is better for you

How is the nutrition of grape juice vs wine? Unsurprisingly, grape juice contains a higher caloric count and more sugar content than wine. This is something that you may need to consider if you want to lose weight or avoid gaining weight. See also: Pomegranate vs Orange.

One 8-oz serving of the famous Welch’s grape juice contains 170 calories. It provides 42 grams of total carbohydrates. About 40 grams of this amount are sugar. The sugar content naturally comes from the grapes. This sugar level is quite high. The American Heart Association recommends only 37 grams of sugar per day for men, 25 grams of sugar per day for women. Grape juice also provides some sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A.

Wine has a lower caloric count. One serving of wine contains about 150 calories. It usually has very low sugar. The total carbohydrates may vary between 0 – 19 grams. The calories mostly come from the alcohol. Wine also contains iron, potassium, fluoride, manganese, phosphorus, sulfites, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and choline.

Health Benefits
The New York Times mentioned that grape juice and wine are equally rich of health benefits. They provide various vitamins and minerals. And both grape juice and wine are rich of antioxidants, which can help to prevent some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Both grape juice and wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that can promote blood vessel health, improve blood flow, and reduce body fat.

However, wine offers slightly higher benefits than grape juice due to the tannin content. Through the fermentation process, tannins are liberated. Tannins are antioxidants that can suppress the peptide that is responsible for the hardening of arteries.

The Making
As a matter of fact, grape juice was invented in New Jersey in the 1860s. Before that, people thought that making grape juice was impossible. Whenever a grape is crushed, the juice comes into contact with the yeast on the skin of the grape. The yeast will cause fermentation and produce alcohol. As the effect, whenever you crush grapes, you are already starting to make wine.

The technique for making grape juice was invented by Thomas Welch in Vineland, New Jersey. The technique is based on what Louis Pasteur did with yeast and fermentation – pasteurization. By heating the grape juice, you can kill the yeast and prevent the fermentation from taking place. Pasteurization is a vital part of the making of grape juice.

Wine is quite unique because, contrary to the popular belief, this is the one that occurs naturally. In order to make grape juice, you need human intervention for the pasteurization. In order to make wine, you just crush the grapes. The yeast will cause fermentation to take place. The yeast consumes the sugar content and produces alcohol. Hence, wine is an alcoholic drink.

Fermentation takes some time to produce the desired amount of alcohol. This is why wine products are aged. Most wine products already taste great within a year. There are just few wines that are made from specific types of grapes that can improve further with aging, but the process is really complicated.

How do They Taste?
Although grape juice vs wine come from the same fruit, they don’t taste identical at all. Actually, they taste very differently from each other. Of course, they are usually made from different varieties of grapes, which is another reason why their tastes differ.

Grape juice is typically sweet and sour. This is because the sugar content is still intact. Some people describe its flavor profile as “wet.” The texture is somewhat thick.

Meanwhile, wine is not sweet at all, or is just barely sweet. This is because the sugar content has been fermented into alcohol. People describe the flavor profile as “dry.” The dry taste is due to the alcohol content. In some wine products, a grape-like flavor is considered as a fault. So, it is not like grape juice.

Nevertheless, different wine products may have slightly different characteristics. For example, it may have a significant yeasty taste that is dampened with grape juice that isn’t sweet. Some wines may have slight hints of fruit flavors, such as raspberry, cherry, plum, and raisin.

Distinctive Features
First, the yeast. We have discussed above how grape juice is made by eliminating the yeast inside the liquid through pasteurization. Grape juice doesn’t contain any yeast. Meanwhile, wine may have some yeast.

Second, the alcohol. Grape juice doesn’t contain any alcohol. This is why grape juice is preferred by those who can’t drink alcohol. Meanwhile, wine contains alcohol. The levels of alcohol may vary from product to product, depending on the type of the wine, the grape variant, and the age.

Third, the color. Grape juice typically comes in purple. The color may range from light purple to dark purple. On the other hand, wine colors vary greatly. There is an entire chart for determining wine color. There are white wines, which are almost transparent and slightly yellowish. There are wines that are colored brown and amber. But the most common wine color is red, ranging from light and transparent red to very dark ruby red.

Grape Juice vs Wine

Grape JuiceWine
- Made through pasteurization- Made through fermentation
- Doesn’t contain yeast and alcohol- Contains yeast and alcohol
- Light or dark purple- White, brown, amber, or red
- High sugar content- Low sugar content
- Slightly lower antioxidants- Richer antioxidants

In general, wine is more recommended because of the lower calories, lower sugar, and richer antioxidants. Wine can provide slightly higher health benefits for preventing some types of cancer and promoting cardiovascular health. However, if you don’t drink alcohol, grape juice can be a decent alternative.