The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 07: April 12, 2002: Page 7
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      Answering Mail
So... What About Wine?

Dear Lora,

I read your article about low carb beers, but I was wondering if there is any information out there on low carb wines. I do realize that the sweeter wines have about 20 g of carbs in one glass, but I never can find the carb info on any other wines. You help would be greatly appreciated.


Wine Dear Cathie,

Wine contains no fat and no protein, but just about all of its not-insignificant calorie content is in the form of carbohydrates and alcohol, which can be metabolized much like a carbohydrate. (When given the choice, your body will burn alcohol for energy before it burns fat. But alcohol does not act as a carbohydrate so it will not interfere with burning fat in the same way that sugars and other carbohydrates do.)

Wines vary substantially depending on their alcoholic content and whether they have residual sugar. For instance, a 5-ounce glass of dry white table wine may have 1.0 to 1.25 grams of carbohydrates, while a similar portion of red may go up to 2.5 or 3.5 grams. The biggest problems are with sweet wines. Because of their high sugar content they will have substantially more carbs. You might get between 10 and 16 grams in a 3-ounce serving of a strong dessert wine like Port. Cheaper wines can rack up even more.

When low carb recipes call for wine, always use the lower carb dry wines. The amounts in recipes add very little problems for anyone's diet regimes, but drinking wine regularly can be a problem for some, and should never be the sweeter wines.

We understand your problems finding these answers... In contrast with most foods and beverages, the regulations in the U.S. (and most other countries) do not require wine producers to disclose ingredient or nutritional labeling on wine, and the industry has strongly resisted any legislative efforts to change that.

Accordingly, there's no way (other than asking the winery, which is under no obligation to respond) to determine the exact nutritional analysis of a specific wine.

The carbohydrate and nutrition information above came from a querry to the USDA. Accordingly, here's an ingredient list from a typical bottle of wine:


Wine Remember when estimating, that even slightly sweet wines, (for example White Zinfandel or many Rieslings) carry more calories from sugar and more carbohydrates than the fully dry red and white wines. (Note that serving sizes are almost always listed as 5-oz servings for dry wines and 3-oz servings for dessert wines.)

Also beware of liqueurs... Kahlua for example is 17 grams of carbohydrate and 14 grams of alcohol for 1 jigger
(1 1/2 ounces).

No matter what, remember if you have added alcohol to your regimen and suddenly stop losing weight, discontinue your alcohol intake.


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                      . . . a thinly disguised division of Mama 'n Mia

At The Low Carb Zone, we know chocolate!

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We look forward to serving you!

Eydie and Michael, owners

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