This is an open, cross-over study to examine the acute effects of lyophilised red wine (LYOW) on total antioxidant capacity and some metabolic variables in 10 healthy subjects (age 27.7 +/- 3.9 yr) following a light meal. Each subject was studied on two occasions for a 360-min period, after consumption of a 1.22 MJ (291 kcal) meal; on one occasion without and on another occasion with intake of LYOW with high antioxidant activity [15.4 mM trolox equivalent (eq)]. Plasma oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values decreased significantly after meal alone from 4.97 +/- 0.499 to 4.39 +/- 0.383 mM trolox eq. (mean +/- SD; p < 0.05) and remained lower until 360 min compared to basal values (p < 0.05). In contrast, ORAC values after meal with LYOW increased significantly from a baseline of 4.79 +/- 0.356 to the highest value of 6.39 +/- 0.570 mM trolox eq at 90 min; then, it decreased to a plateau of 4.99 +/- 0.316 mM trolox eq (p < 0.05), whose values were still higher than baseline ones until 360 min and also significantly different from the values obtained without LYOW from 90 to 360 min (p < 0.05). No correlations were observed between dietary antioxidant vitamin, fruit and vegetable intakes and plasma antioxidant capacity. No differences were found in plasma insulin and glucose values after meal between the two occasions. We conclude that moderate drinking of red wine (350 ml) with high antioxidant capacity increased and sustained for 360 min plasma antioxidant level of 10 healthy subjects after a meal.