White wines are generally low in polyphenol content as compared to red wines. However, Champagne wines have been shown to contain relatively high amounts of phenolic acids that may exert protective cellular actions in vivo. In this study, we have investigated the potential neuroprotective effects of Champagne wine extracts, and individual phenolics present in these extracts, against peroxynitrite-induced injury. Organic and aqueous Champagne wine extracts exhibited potent neuroprotective activity against peroxynitrite-induced injury at low concentrations (0.1 microg/mL). This protection appeared to be in part due to the cellular actions of individual components found in the organic extracts, notably tyrosol, caffeic acid, and gallic acid. These phenolics were observed to exert potent neuroprotection at concentrations between 0.1 and 10 microM. Together, these data suggest that polyphenols present in Champagne wine may induce a neuroprotective effect against oxidative neuronal injury.