Liver Angry… Liver SMASH!!! (Talking Booze And Health At

Vinted on January 25, 2019 binned in wine health

My friend and colleague Michael Cervin recently penned an article for, titled The Angry Liver, highlighting the health hazards of my chosen second career – namely, kind of sort of drinking for a living. He asked me to share some thoughts on the matter, which you can read in the finished article.

While most of Michael’s focus is on the hits that our livers are potentially taking by being attached to the bodies of those of us who have decided to make professional wine-related stuff our living, my quote in his article has more to do with overall health, in the form of a warning that many wine lovers conveniently like to forget: wine contains alcohol, and alcohol consumption is empty calorie intake.

This begs the question “how many empty calories?!??,” the answer to which is “it depends.” Generally, for most dry and sparkling wines, the answer is about 100 to 130 calories per 5oz glass. WebMD has a nice little infographic on this (see inset pic – click to embiggen), as well as the following helpful reminder:

“…alcohol also delivers empty calories and not many nutrients… The higher the ABV, the higher the calorie count.”

I would revise this slightly to “the higher the ABV and sugar content, the higher the calorie count” – meaning that sweeter wines (especially those with more booze, like Port) will potentially hit your waistline harder.

At this point in any such related discussion, I usually get asked “how the hell do you not weigh 300 lbs?!?” The answer is a combination of anxious temperament, genetics, and making exercise a priority (especially as the salt-and-pepper hair thing becomes more and more prominent). The moral of this short story is that wine is not a zero-sum game: there are likely several health benefits to moderate consumption, and there are definitely detriments to over-consumption (particularly to your liver and waistline).






  • Bob Henry

    There is a brand known as FitVine that purportedly clocks in at 20% lower calories:



    “To create wines that are clean tasting as well as rich in flavor and mouthfeel, our wines go through an extended fermentation process. We ferment to dry, lowering sugar levels. In doing this, our wines average less than 1 gram of sugar per liter or less than 0.09 grams of sugar per glass.”

    Cabernet Sauvignon average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.06g of sugar, 117 calories, 3.9g of carbohydrates, 14.1% alcohol

    Pinot Noir average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.03g of sugar, 118 calories, 3.7g of carbohydrates, 13.9% alcohol

    Rosé average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.09g of sugar, 112 calories, 2.8g of carbohydrates, 12.4% alcohol

    Chardonnay average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.04g of sugar, 115 calories, 2.5g of carbohydrates, 13.4% alcohol

    Pinot Grigio average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.09g of sugar, 109 calories, 2.5g of carbohydrates, 13.9% alcohol

    Sauvignon Blanc average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.09g of sugar, 114 calories, 2.7g of carbohydrates, 13.4% alcohol

    Syrah average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.06g of sugar, 117 calories, 3.9g of carbohydrates, 13.9% alcohol

    Holiday Red average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.01g of sugar, 120 calories, 3.5g of carbohydrates, 13.9% alcohol

    Prosecco average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.7 g of sugar, 92 calories, 3g of carbohydrates, 11% alcohol

    Albariño average analysis per 5oz glass:
    0.06g of Sugar, 107 Calories, 2.8g of Carbohydrates @ 13.9% alcohol

    Here’s my advice: simply take a 5-ounce pour glass of wine and reduce it to a 4-ounce pour.

    That lowers the caloric intake by 20%.


    (Isn’t math great?)

    And on the subject of larger than 5-ounce pour “glasses” of wine, see this article:

    Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal “Personal Journal” Section
    (May 1, 2007, Page D1):

    “The Accidental Binge Drinker: How Much We Really Pour”


    By Tara Parker-Pope
    “Health Journal” Column

    “Chances are you’re drinking far more alcohol than you think.

    “The reason? Wine, beer and spirits glasses are surprisingly deceptive, and most of us — even professional bartenders — are over-pouring the alcohol we serve.

    “While too much alcohol obviously adds calories to your diet, other consequences of supersizing alcoholic beverages are even more worrisome. The health benefits of alcohol disappear and risk increases when you drink more than a few servings a day. And because over-pouring can double or even triple a standard serving size, many of us are technically ‘binge’ drinking without knowing it, wreaking havoc on our livers and overall health.

    “A standard ‘serving’ for an alcoholic beverage is 5 fluid ounces of wine, 12 ounces of regular beer or 1½ ounces of distilled spirits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All three portions contain 0.6 ounce of alcohol. But glasses today come in so many different shapes and sizes — tall ‘highballs,’ wide tumblers, bowl-shaped wine goblets and now the new popular stemless wine glasses — it’s virtually impossible to estimate the right serving amount. Although a traditional wine glass holds about 7 ounces, many wine glasses today hold 16 ounces or more. Beer glasses often hold 20 ounces. “

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