The effects of moderate red wine consumption on the antioxidant status and indices of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress associated with CHD were investigated. A randomised, controlled study was performed with twenty free-living healthy volunteers. Subjects in the red wine group consumed 375 ml red wine daily for 2 weeks. We measured the total concentration of phenolics and analysed the individual phenolics in the wine and plasma by HPLC with tandem MS. The antioxidant capacity of plasma was measured with electron spin resonance spectroscopy while homocysteine and fasting plasma lipids were also determined. The production of conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) were measured in Cu-oxidised LDL. Plasma total phenolic concentrations increased significantly after 2 weeks of daily red wine consumption (P< or =0.001) and trace levels of metabolites, mainly glucuronides and methyl glucuronides of (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin, were detected in the plasma of the red wine group. These flavan-3-ol metabolites were not detected in plasma from the control group. The maximum concentrations of conjugated dienes and TBARS in Cu-oxidised LDL were reduced (P< or =0.05) and HDL cholesterol concentrations increased (P< or =0.05) following red wine consumption. The findings from the present study provide some evidence for potential protective effects of moderate consumption of red wine in healthy volunteers.