White Wine Nutrition Facts and Health Tips

White wine is a wine that is fermented from grapes, but without the skins so it maintains a light straw or gold color. Different types of grapes can be used to make white wine. Popular varietals include chardonnay, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc.

In health circles, red wine usually gets more attention than white wine because it contains resveratrol—a polyphenol compound found in the skin of the grapes that may have heart-healthy benefits. But since white wine is fermented without the skins, it contains far less resveratrol.

White wine can be included in a well-balanced and healthy eating plan, but moderation is key when consuming this or any alcoholic beverage.

White Wine Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one 5-ounce glass (147g) of white table wine.

  • Calories: 121
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 7.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 1.4g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Alcohol: 15g

Carbs

The number of calories and carbs in white wine can vary based on the type that you choose and the size of your glass. For example, a 5-ounce glass of dry white table wine will provide about 121 calories and 3.8 grams of carbohydrate. About 1.4g of carbohydrate is sugar.

Most dry white wines will have about the same nutritional information with slight variation. According to USDA data, sauvignon blanc is slightly lower in calories and carbs (119 calories, 3g carbs) while pinot grigio and chardonnay are slightly higher in calories but slightly lower in carbs. 

The differences between these dry white varietals is minimal. But wine glass size can vary substantially. A single serving of wine is considered to be 5 ounces. But it is not uncommon to see wine glasses in home or restaurant settings filled with 6, 8, or even 9 ounces of wine. Each ounce of wine adds about another 25 calories.

Also, if you choose a sweet white wine, you can expect to consume more calories and more carbs. Often sweet wines are consumed in smaller portions. A 100ml (3.3 ounce) serving of pink Moscato contains 83 calories, 11g of carbohydrate all of which are sugar.

Fats

There is no fat in white wine.

Protein

White wine provides almost no protein.

Alcohol

Most of the calories in white table wine come from alcohol. A gram of alcohol provides 7 calories. There are about 15g of alcohol in white wine.

Vitamin and Minerals

Although white wine contains small amounts of micronutrients including vitamin B6 and magnesium, it is not a good source of any vitamins or minerals.

Health Benefits

There are numerous studies that have investigated the impact of alcohol consumption on health. Many studies have specifically focused on red wine consumption, but some have targeted other types of alcohol, including white wine, beer, and liquor.

Some health benefits are suggested in studies. However, in most cases, researchers state that the quantity of alcohol consumed makes a big difference. For every potential benefit, there is also a potential drawback, depending on the dose.

Better Heart Health

There have been some widely-promoted studies that support moderate red wine consumption for improved heart health. Polyphenols such as resveratrol may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and have a positive impact on individual human organs. 

But white wine contains far less resveratrol than red wine. The total polyphenol content of red wine is measured in terms of thousands of gallic acid equivalents, whereas white wine is only measured in the hundreds. In fact, according to one study, red wine has six times more resveratrol than white wine.

Furthermore, studies regarding the health benefits of wine (red or white) have not been consistent. While some studies indicated that moderate wine consumption may provide benefits including a reduced risk for several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, researchers also point out that other lifestyle factors play a key role and that any (potential) health benefits may not be applicable to all people.

Most importantly studies have identified light to moderate alcohol intake as up to 1 drink per day for women and 1 or 2 drinks per day for men.

Study authors, including the authors of the 2014 Mayo Clinic Proceedings, are also quick to advise that higher levels of alcohol consumption are associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.

Stress Relief

Studies suggest that alcohol may provide some benefits related to stress reduction. Recent studies have shown that consumption of a moderate dose of alcohol after a mental stressor may help you rebound faster.

But the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that the relationship between stress and alcohol can be tricky. Using alcohol to manage a stressful situation can take a psychological and physiological toll on the body.

May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Studies have suggested that light to moderate drinking may be associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes. But researchers also say that the relationship between alcohol and glucose control is complex in those who have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Authors of one study say that overall nutritional intake plays a big role in the way that alcohol impacts insulin and glucose metabolism. They note that research findings have been inconclusive about the relative benefits and risks of alcohol consumption in those with this condition.

Adverse Effects

While drinking wine might provide some benefits, there are significant consequences if you drink too much.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines 2015–2020 provides recommendations for the consumption of alcohol, including wine. According to the source, moderate alcohol consumption can be incorporated into the calorie limits of most healthy eating patterns. But they provide guidance about the amount of alcohol to consume.

According to the USDA, if alcohol is consumed, it should be in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

A standard drink is considered to be:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of brandy, cognac, or distilled liquor (80 proof)

The NIAAA promotes the same guidelines for moderate drinking as the USDA. Health experts do not recommend that you start drinking wine or any other alcohol if you don't currently drink. And because alcoholic beverages are not a component of the USDA Food Patterns, if you choose to drink, the calories should be accounted for so that the limits on calories are not exceeded.

The NIAAA advises that you put yourself at higher risk for harmful consequences or adverse health effects if you exceed the recommended levels of consumption.

Alcohol Use Disorder

One of the primary health consequences of consuming too much alcohol is alcohol use disorder (AUD). Binge drinking (usually 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in about 2 hours) or heavy alcohol use (more than 4 drinks on any day for men or more than 3 drinks for women) puts you at higher risk for AUD.

Signs of AUD may include (but are not limited to) drinking more than you had intended, being unable to cut back, or continuing to drink despite problems with family or friends. The disorder can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Increased Stress and Loneliness

Isolation and stress—including mass stress (stress experienced by a large community) are two factors that may put you at higher risk for alcohol use disorder.

Isolation and stress may increase the desire to overdrink. But drinking too much during stress and isolation may lead to increased stress and potentially increased loneliness.

"Although alcohol temporarily dampens the brain and body’s response to stress, feelings of stress and anxiety not only return, but worsen, once the alcohol wears off. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can cause adaptations in the brain that intensify the stress response. As a result, drinking alcohol to cope can make problems worse and one may end up drinking to fix the problem that alcohol caused."

—George Koob, Ph.D. NIAAA Director

A series of studies was published in the years following the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Researchers found that increased exposure to news reports about the attacks combined with a past history of drinking problems was associated with heavier drinking in the year after the event. They also determined that the intensity of exposure to 9/11 had long‐lasting effects, with greater exposure to the attack associated with binge drinking even five to six years later.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, health experts noted that boredom, stress, economic distress, are key factors that can precipitate a recurrence of alcohol use disorder.

Researchers also know that long-term, heavy drinking can cause increased anxiety and a decreased ability to deal with stress due to the release of higher amounts of certain stress hormones.

According to NIAAA, a long-term heavy drinker may experience higher levels of anxiety when faced with a stressful situation than someone who never drank or who drank only moderate amounts.

Isolation may be another factor that plays a role in drinking behavior. In a paper discussing alcohol use and misuse during the COVID-19 outbreak, researchers discuss the way that isolation may play a role in problem drinking patterns.

They suggest that a long period of isolation might lead to a spike in alcohol misuse, relapse, and potentially, the development of alcohol use disorder in at-risk individuals. Researchers also know that those dealing with substance abuse are more likely to experience stronger feelings of loneliness.

Reduced Immune Health

Authors of a study published in Alcohol Research Current Reviews report that there is an association between excessive alcohol consumption and immune-related health problems such as an increased risk for pneumonia.

Study authors suggest that alcohol disrupts immune pathways that can impair the body’s ability to defend against infection. Alcohol can also contribute to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impede recovery from tissue injury.

Compromised Bone Health

There have been several studies on bone health and liquor consumption. While at least one study indicated that light drinking may reduce the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women, most studies indicate that alcohol consumption may negatively impact bone health.

In a widely-cited, large-scale research review for the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, author H. Wayne Sampson, Ph.D. concludes that chronic, heavy alcohol consumption in women compromises bone health and increases the risk of osteoporosis.

He adds that the effects are particularly striking in young people but chronic alcohol use in adulthood can also harm bone health. More recent studies have confirmed these findings.

Increased Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

The same authors who report a decreased risk for certain cardiac events also note that excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of premature death in the United States.

Specifically, heavy alcohol use is one of the most common causes of reversible hypertension, it accounts for about one-third of all cases of nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, it is a frequent cause of atrial fibrillation, and it markedly increases the risk of stroke—both ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Obesity

Alcohol provides no nutritional value and contains 7 calories per gram—as opposed to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrate. So it is not a surprise that drinking excessively is associated with unhealthy weight gain and obesity. The amount you consume makes a difference.

Authors of one study suggest that light-to-moderate alcohol intake is not associated with fat gain while heavy drinking is more consistently related to weight gain. They say that evidence is mixed and suggest that moderate intake of alcohol does not lead to weight gain over the short-term but alcohol intake may be a risk factor for obesity in some individuals.

Contraindications

There are some people who should not consume alcohol at all—even in limited amounts. For example, some over-the-counter and prescription medications cause drowsiness and should not be taken with alcohol. In most cases, a label on your prescription bottle should indicate whether or not alcohol consumption is safe. If you are not sure, check with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

If you plan to drive or operate machinery, you should avoid alcohol. The NIAAA also advises that women who are pregnant should not drink alcohol.

According to the organization, "prenatal alcohol exposure can result in brain damage and other serious problems in the baby. The effects are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or FASD, and can result in lifelong physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems."

Allergies

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, there are reported cases of alcohol allergy. Symptoms may include rash, swelling, or throat constriction.

There have also been specific reports of wine allergy and intolerance, although an allergy to red wine is more common than allergy to white wine. The allergy may be related either to grapes or to other products used during fermentation. Symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, or skin problems. More severe symptoms have been reported.

If you have a known allergy to grapes you should seek the guidance of a healthcare professional to discuss whether wine is safe for you to drink.

Varieties

There are many different varieties of white wine. Wines are generally classified by grape varietal (chardonnay, pinot grigio, etc) or by the region where the grapes are grown (Burgundy or Chablis). A bottle of wine may include just one type of grape (straight varietal) or it may contain a blend of grapes.

Grapes including sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, Sémillon, Viognier, and pinot blanc are often used to make dry white wines.

Wines such as Gewurztraminer, Moscato, muscat, Sauternes, and some rieslings are usually sweeter and more fruit-forward.

Storage and Food Safety

White wine should be stored in a cool, dry location, away from heat and light. If your wine has a cork, store it on its side so the cork stays moist. Most white wines are meant to be consumed within about 2–3 years of bottling.

White wine is usually served slightly cool, around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, many people choose to refrigerate white wine. Keep in mind, however, that your refrigerator is probably cooler than is recommended.

Wine can be frozen, but it is not recommended if you choose to drink the wine. Wine can be frozen into cubes for use in recipes.

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