If you're counting carbs or calories, you might wonder how wine factors into your diet. While it might not be super high in carbs, there are a significant amount of calories in a bottle of wine.
Wine Consumption and Bottling
Wine consumption in the United States has nearly doubled over the past 20 years, going from about 526 million gallons in 1998 to an 966 million gallons in 2018, 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 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.
Consider the Calories in 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 in a bottle of wine, according to the USDA. White table wine is slightly lower in calories, with 121 calories per glass, or 603 calories per bottle, according to the USDA. 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.
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 157 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates per 3.5-ounce serving, according to the USDA. Dry dessert wines are only slightly lower in calories and carbohydrates.
Count the Carbohydrates in 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 carbs in a glass of 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 of carbs in a bottle of wine, according to the USDA.
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.
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 the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, alcohol should be consumed in moderation — one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. These guidelines also define a 5-ounce glass of wine as one drink, which means that a 750-milliliter bottle of wine contains five "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."
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Alcohol — Balancing Risks and Benefits"
- USDA: "2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Dessert, Dry"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Table, Red"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Alcoholic Beverage, Wine, Table, White"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Alcoholic Beverages, Wine, Rose"