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Calories in wine


tommy
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also, is alcohol, generally speaking, an appetite stimulant. obviously thc is, but i'm not sure about alcohol, especially in smaller doses. clearly if you're out at the pub all night, you can't wait to get your hands around a taylor ham egg and cheese sandwich (if you are in NJ), a slice of pizza (if you're in NYC), or a curry (if you're from somewhere else), but i think that's a side-effect not specific to alcohol itself.

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Not all wine has the same caloric content. There's a range of around 100 to around 225 calories per glass, or at least that's what the science people told me when I was researching an article on alcohol. A glass of wine in all the nutrition literature is pretty much always assumed to be 150 ml or 5 oz (those volumes are almost equivalent). A bottle of wine is 5 glasses, so it's going to be in the range of 500 calories for a bottle of dry low-alcohol white to 1125 for a bottle of something sweet with a high alcohol content, like Port I suppose.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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alright, it seems safe to assume that a glass of wine (assuming 4 or 5 glasses in a bottle), has about 100-150 calories. and it would make sense that wines with more residual sugar have more calories. my impression is that you would generally find more residual sugar in whites than in reds. my yogurt and granola in the morning weighs in at about 250 calories.

therefore, if i skip breakfast, i can have 1 extra glass of red at dinner. port, however, is probably a no-no.

thanks for the links and the comments.

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Tommy, I think that the higher alcohol by volume is the cause of the higher caloric content as opposed to the higher level of residual sugar. So a zinfandel with 15% alcohol is going to have more calories than a riesling with 9% alcohol, even though the riesling has more residual sugar. At least that is what I gather from FG's post.

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I think it's both. Alcohol and sugar are both calorie-dense substances. A sweet wine with no alcohol (otherwise known as grape juice) is quite caloric, as is a high-alcohol wine with no sugar (you know, Cognac). Just kidding with the examples, of course, but you get the idea.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Agreed. As a calorie measures the amount of energy required to raise one gram of water one degree celsius, I was just assuming that alcohol would have more calories than the same volume of residual sugar. Also, a "sweet" wine really doesn't have that much more sugar than a dry or off-dry wine. However, I certainly agree that both give rise to a higher caloric content in the wine.

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The average bottle of wine (12% alcohol, normal brix range) will have 23 calories per ounce. Drop the alcohol without raising the brix and you can do the math yourself.

A higher brix will effect the calories, but it's more difficult to determine when combined with alcohol. Remember, according to BATF rules, the alcohol listed on the bottle must be with a 1 1/2 percent range of the actual number. Thus a 12% listing is somewhere between 10.5% and 13.5%. And when you see something listed as "table wine," it's inferring 12% alcohol (but then again it's really the 10.5 - 13.5 number).

If you use an average of 25 calories per ounce, you'll be safe.

Rich Schulhoff

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Or simply drink enough to be sure of throwing up.

For information, the severe munchies which develop after alcohol consumption are a response to the sharp drop in blood sugar triggered by boozing. The cause of that drop can be explained by one of the smug bastards, but that's the reason you can eat a horse despite filling yourself with beer. Of course, skipping a meal in order to carry on drinking is a contributory factor.

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If you are on a low carb-hi fat diet, then the calories from alcohol are hi-carb and will upset the ketosis that triggers the weight loss.
Not according to Dr. Richard Mackarness, one of the pioneers of the diet in this generation:
Your drinks must be sugar-free. Beer, which contains a lot of carbohydrate, is strictly forbidden. . . . Wine may be taken but it must be dry (i.e. without much sugar). This means claret, Chablis, or a dry Bordeaux. The question of alcohol is still under investigation, but as Banting [the 19th century pioneer of the low-carb hi-fat diet] managed to lose weight on a quite substantial amount of alcohol, it seems probable that sugar-free alcoholic drinks like gin are not fattening when taken with a high-fat diet.
I've allowed myself a generous half-bottle of dry white or red with every meal, with occasional meals when I just don't get around to it. This hasn't appeared to hold me back.

Edit: The whole point of the low-carb hi-fat diet is that it does not obey the arithmetical rules that the calory-counters lay down. The law of "conservation of energy" seems to behave in a different way. I didn't believe this for years -- until I finally tried it after so many intermittently successful attempts at self-denial..

John Whiting, London

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Alcohol is directly absorbed across the gut (ie. doesn't require specialised enzmes etc like some carbohydrates and fats). So the potential for alcohol to make you a fat bastard is not strickly correlated to the calorific value of alcohol. It's easier for the body to access it then the sugar in the wine. However, some papers also suggest that the energy required to breakdown alcohol into a usable form is so great that it isn't that fattening. Go figure.

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With alcohol carrying a lot of calories, what does that mean for whiskey? Say an 80 proof Jim Beam? They don't exactly put the specs on the bottle.

As I recall, standard 80 proof liquor has about 60 calories per ounce, or about 90 calories per 1.5 ounce shot, give or take a little depending on the exact composition of the item.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Edit: The whole point of the low-carb hi-fat diet is that it does not obey the arithmetical rules that the calory-counters  lay down. The law of "conservation of energy" seems to behave in a different way. I didn't believe this for years -- until I finally tried it after so many intermittently successful attempts at self-denial..

Right, apparently the idea is that when you're in ketosis you burn calories less efficiently and therefore can eat like 5000 calories a day and still lose weight. This seems counterintuitive but I'd be willing to accept it were it supported by actual studies. As far as I know, however, Dr. Atkins and others have never chosen to back up their theories with actual studies, and instead rely on hand-picked case studies without peer review. That's why most nutritionists will tell you that the low-carb diet works mostly because of its appetite-reducing effect than any sort of magical internal process. Then again it does seem that there are low-carb dieters who eat gazillions of calories a day and lose weight. So what do I know? Alcohol, as I understand it, does not contain carbohydrates, so it's got to be treated as its own thing. How it affects ketosis, I couldn't say, but it seems suspicious that there would be an exception made for something absorbed and processed so efficiently by the body.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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So the potential for alcohol to make you a fat bastard is not strickly correlated to the calorific value of alcohol.
Whatever the chemistry there are a lot of skinny alcoholics. (I'm not one of them. :laugh: )

i was thinking the same thing. although i think those people drink breakfast lunch and dinner.

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