Wine Wednesday: How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine? Depends How You Pour

Keep your eye on the glass: big goblet, less wine; small goblet more wine. How did I do that? It's not magic. I am pouring based on my visual illusion of the goblet.

In a recent study done at Iowa State University, researchers found that participants poured themselves more white wine than they did red wine. Much of this had to do with color contrast (white wine in clear glass vs. red wine in clear glass), size of the goblet, and whether or not the glass was in hand or on the table.

When the color contrast was diminished, meaning white wine in a clear goblet, participants poured 9.2% more white wine than a normal serving. Additionally, it was found that when the participants held the goblet in their hand or when the goblet was bigger, they also poured more.

What does this mean to you? It means you could unintentionally be surpassing your caloric intake. Ouch! All that work at the gym and you're ruining it by over-pouring your favorite wine. But there's no need to give up enjoying a glass of wine at girls' night out or pairing your dinner with the perfect varietal.

How to Measure Your Pour

A regular bottle of wine contains 750 ml or a little over 25 ounces for those of us who are metrically challenged. Keeping with a five ounce pour that many restaurants and bars attempt to adhere to, that means that you should get at least five glasses of wine per bottle. How do you pour exactly 5 ounces? It's not easy.

Even experienced bartenders and sommeliers have difficulty eying an exact 5-ounce pour. It takes lots of experience behind the bar before you really get the hang of an exact pour. For the rest of us, there's always the handy-dandy measuring cup. If you have one that shows exact measurements, problem solved. If you have a set that ranges from ¼ to 1 cup, use the ¾ cup size but don't fill it to the top. Three-quarters of 8 ounces is 6 ounces, so you need to watch the last few drops.

How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

A typical 5-ounce glass of wine can run from 110 to 200 calories. White wines generally have fewer calories than reds, but you can enjoy both categories in moderation.

Generally, try to stay away from the sweeter wines. They usually have residual or added sugars making them higher in calorie count. If you enjoy port or sherry after dinner, keep your pour at 3 ounces and at one glass. This will keep your calorie count down to about 140 calories for the port and 135 calories for the sherry.

It's OK to indulge in the pleasure of a glass of wine. There are, after all, known health benefits to wine. The key is enjoying in moderation!

Cecelia Messina is a certified sommelier. Her travels have allowed her to experience the wonders of wine, beer, spirits, and food. She first learned about wine in Argentina, fueling her desire to open a small, neighborhood wine boutique in 2001 and to share the world of wine with others.

More Wine Wednesday:

Wine Pairing 101

How to Pair Wine with Your Favorite Junk Foods

Why Corked Wine Stinks