Wine consumption in the United States has nearly doubled over the past 20 years, going from about 464 million gallons in 1995 to an estimated 895 gallons in 2014, according to the Wine Institute. If you enjoy wine, it can be fascinating to discover new varietals and contemplate potential health benefits. It’s worth noting, however, that wine contains a substantial number of calories. Although a small proportion of those calories comes from carbohydrates, most come from alcohol.
Wine Bottle Sizes
Wine bottles come in a wide range of sizes, and as such, the number of calories and carbohydrates in any one bottle can vary greatly. In addition to the standard 750-milliliter bottles sold in most grocery and liquor stores, you may also find half-bottles, or those that contain 375 milliliters, as well as magnum bottles, which contain 1,500 milliliters of wine, or two bottles. Even larger bottles of wine may be equivalent to four, six, eight or more standard-size bottles.
Calories in a Standard Bottle of Wine
A typical wine bottle of 750 milliliters contains approximately 25 ounces of liquid. In the United States, a 5-ounce serving of wine is considered standard; by this measure, a bottle of wine contains about five glasses. Red table wine and rose wine provide the same level of calories, with about 125 calories per glass, or 625 calories per bottle. White table wine is slightly lower in calories, with 121 calories per glass, or 605 calories per bottle. While certain types of red or white wine may contain slightly more or fewer calories per bottle, most varietals fall within the range of 120 to 130 calories per glass, or 600 to 650 calories per bottle.
Carbohydrates in a Standard Bottle of Wine
Wine contains no fat, a trace amount of protein and a small amount of carbohydrates. Because it isn’t a source of dietary fiber or complex carbohydrates, all of the carbohydrates in wine are in the form of readily digested simple sugars. Red and white table wine provide about the same amount of carbohydrates -- just under 4 grams of per 5-ounce glass, or roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per 750-milliliter bottle. Rose wine is slightly higher in carbohydrates, with almost 6 grams per serving, or about 29 grams per 750-milliliter bottle.
This means that carbohydrates account for approximately 80 calories, or 13 percent, of total calories in a standard bottle of red or white table wine. Roughly 115 calories, or 19 percent, of calories in a bottle of rose wine come from carbohydrates. All other calories come from alcohol.
Calories in a Half-Bottle of Sweet Wine
By definition, dessert wines contain significantly more carbohydrates and calories than less sweet wines, which is why they also usually come in smaller bottles and tend to be served in smaller glasses. A sweet dessert wine has about 165 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrates per 3.5-ounce serving; an entire 375-milliliter half-bottle of sweet dessert wine contains almost 590 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates. Dry dessert wines are only slightly lower in calories and carbohydrates.
Wine Consumption Guidelines
As the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes, alcohol can be a tonic or a poison, depending on how much you consume. While heart disease is the leading cause of death among heavy drinkers, moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion guidelines, moderate drinking is defined as having no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one drink a day for women. These guidelines also define a 4-ounce glass of wine as one drink, which means that a 750-milliliter bottle of wine contains just over six “moderate” drinks.
Moderate drinking isn’t always a healthy choice, however -- for recovering alcoholics, pregnant women, people with liver disease and people taking medication that interacts with alcohol, consuming any amount of alcohol can pose a significant health risk.
- Wine Institute: Wine Consumption in the U.S.
- Rethinking Drinking: How Many Drinks Are in Common Containers?
- The Wine Cellar Insider: Complete Guide to All Large Format Wine Bottles, Sizes and Shapes
- Medline Plus: Wine and Heart Health
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Alcohol -- Balancing Risks and Benefits
- USDA Food Composition Databases: Food Search