Studies evaluating the health benefits of alcohol and wine have demonstrated that moderate consumption is associated with a decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Various populations and alcoholic beverages exhibit this effect to different degrees. Alcoholic beverages exhibit multiple mechanisms that may favorably influence cardiac risk potential actions on platelets, antioxidants, fibrinolysis, and lipids. However, other data suggest that the perceived benefit of alcoholic beverages in general, and wine in particular, are the result of socioeconomic confounders. In the absence of more rigorous evidence, it is not currently possible to define the role of wine in human health. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.