We’ve all heard of the great and beautiful Queen Cleopatra, who was supposedly known to have bathed in milk in order to keep her skin young and unblemished. Some of us might also have heard of the gory Countess Elizabeth Bathory, labelled by the Guinness book of records as the most prolific female murderer, who used to bathe in the blood of virgins in order to keep her looks untouched … or so the legend goes.

If you could choose a substance to bathe in (apart from water), what would you choose?

Would you fancy immersing yourself in a hot bath of red wine?

The newest anti-aging trend, is called Vinotherapy. The term already brings to mind sensual babes lolling around in a sweet-smelling vat of wine, while sipping at more wine – that, however, is not what this is all about.


Vinotherapy relies on chemicals known as polyphenols, which are to be found in grape seeds, branches and vines, and whose age-defying properties are known to improve circulation. There is no actual wine involved in Vinotherapy at all. The ‘red wine bath’ is actually a combination of red vine leaf stock and water, because, as everyone knows, soaking in alcohol actually dries out the skin. Different spas use different mixtures, however, usually the main ‘ingredients’ are red grape-seeds, grape-seed oil, grape extracts, and grape pulp.

Practitioners maintain that Vinotherapy can boost circulation, shift cellulite and make you feel rejuvenated. Most of them also maintain that Vinotherapy reduces the risk of heart disease, since the flavanoids found in grapes prevent blood clotting, as well as being a protection against cancer, since grape-seed produces anti-oxidants, which aid our body’s defence mechanism against highly-reactive molecules which can lead to this disease.

Usually, a Vineotherapy programme involves a mixture of hot red grape extracts gushing from a bath with strategically placed jets which are designed to boost circulation, since it is well-known that heat, together with a pulsating liquid hitting our body, has a strong cardiovascular effect.

Although many dermatologists agree that red grapes can play a role in preventing certain diseases when eaten, it remains doubtful whether the claims made by Vinotherapists are actual facts. Antioxidants DO slow down aging, however they do so specifically when ingested, and it is questionable whether antioxidants absorbed by the skin really have any effect.

This, however, does not stop NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire from enjoying his hot red wine baths. During an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Mail, the basketball player revealed how his wine baths have helped him feel rejuvenated and energised.

Would you consider taking Stoudemire’s example and try soaking in a hot red wine bath? One can only imagine the interesting scent. If the answer is yes, you should be happy to hear that in Malta, there are in fact spas which offer this treatment, albeit it is, undoubtedly, not cheap.