Aims: To evaluate the effect of acute and chronic consumption of red wine or de-alcoholized red wine with a similar antioxidant capacity on plasma total antioxidant capacity (TEAC), nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity and F2-isoprostanes (8-iso-PGF2α) in healthy men. Methods: Nineteen healthy men with an increased waist circumference (≥94 cm) and a body mass index above 25 kg/m2 participated in a randomized, controlled crossover design trial. They daily consumed 450 ml of red wine (four drinks; 41.4 g alcohol) or 450 ml of de-alcoholized red wine during dinner for 4 weeks each. On the last day of each treatment period, blood was collected before and 1 h after a standardized dinner with red wine or de-alcoholized red wine and also 24-h urine was collected. Results: Absolute TEAC levels were higher 1 h after dinner with red wine compared with dinner with de-alcoholized red wine (1.3 versus 1.1 mmol Trolox equivalents/l; P = 0.03). Consumption of dinner together with de-alcoholized red wine acutely stimulated NF-κB activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (0.4-0.7 HeLa equivalents/2.5 μg protein; P = 0.006), whereas this increase was completely suppressed when the dinner was combined with red wine. A chronic increase in urinary 8-iso-PGF2α after 4 weeks of red wine consumption compared with de-alcoholized red wine consumption (157 pg/mg creatinine and 141 pg/mg creatinine, respectively, P = 0.006) was also observed. Conclusions: Consumption of a moderate dose of red wine can acutely increase plasma TEAC and suppress NF-κB activation induced by a meal. Controversially, 4 weeks of red wine consumption compared with de-alcoholized red wine consumption increases the oxidative lipid damage marker 8-iso-PGF2α.