Moderate your wine calories

January 2, 2013 

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road

Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

So make the best of this test, and don't ask why

It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time"

So starts Green Day's song "Time of Your Life" and these words give a great start to 2013!

As we start 2013, think about a glass of wine as being tantamount to living life in that it is meant to be taken slow, being savored and enjoyed. Take the time to smell the cork, then hold the glass up to the light and look at it for its clarity. Now swirl the wine in the glass in order to release the scents that have been locked in the bottle and take a good sniff. But most importantly, take a drink -- start by holding the wine in your mouth, allowing it to coat the sides your mouth causing the aromas to permeate throughout and creating that olfactory pleasure that only wine is able to provide.

Many of us will begin 2013 having made a New Year's resolution that is designed to have a positive and healthy change in our life. After eating -- or should I say overeating -- all those rich and heavy foods throughout the holiday season, one of the more common resolutions is that four letter word we have come to hate -- DIET. With a diet comes the concern of the number of calories and the fat content of not only various food items, but also different types of drinks.

A question that often arises is whether there is a specific wine varietal that is better for a diet? To start with, there are no cholesterol issues or fat associated with any of the different wine varietals. In

terms of calories, if you had to guess between reds, whites or sparkling wines, which would has the highest caloric content?

In both the red and white wines, some are dry and others are sweet. It is not surprising that the dry reds and whites contain fewer calories than their sweet counterparts, and sparkling wines fall in between the dry and sweet wine ranges for calories. In general terms, a dry red or white has about 95 calories, sparkling wine about 100 calories and sweet red or white weighs in around 105. It is hard to give a specific caloric number for wine because one thing that has to be taken into consideration is that the higher alcohol content, the higher the number of calories.

In considering dieting and drinking wine, the most important thing is moderation because if you are drinking Pinot Noir that contains 100 calories per 5 ounce glass, that means there are 500 calories in that bottle. Good luck with your New Year's diet.

Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at

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