Moderate wine drinking is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular disease, and reduced risk of cancer. This phenomenon is called the "French paradox", since it was observed for the first time in France--a country famous for its wine production. In the literature, the cardioprotective effect of wine is very well described and attributed mainly to contained therein resveratrol. Recently, it has been demonstrated that resveratrol extends the lifespan of yeast through activation of the SirT1 longevity gene, which is also responsible for the longevity caused by caloric restriction. Furthermore, resveratrol exhibits high biological activity, affecting cell structures and contributing to their protection. This paper summarizes the available reports on functional and molecular aspects of resveratrol, wines and grapes as a result of the activation of longevity genes.