More research into how red wine works its magical health benefits: Pair red wine with red meat and the two mix in the stomach (before it enters the bloodstream), to “thwart the formation of harmful chemicals that are released when meat is digested.”
From The Economist:
The digestion of high-fat foods such as red meat releases oxidising toxins. One in particular, called malondialdehyde, is implicated in arteriosclerosis, cancer, diabetes and a host of other serious diseases. Dr Kanner suspected that the key to wine’s protective effect is when, precisely, it is consumed. He hypothesised that if the polyphenols arrive in the stomach at the moment when the fats are releasing malondialdehyde and its kin, then this might stop these toxic materials from getting any farther into the body.
Tests have shown his hypothesis was correct. Red wine also cut the level of hydroperoxides, another bad chemical for the body.
Also good for you: Eating fruit at the end of the meal, which has a similar effect.