Pour carefully to keep wine servings in check

By Shayna Brouker • Published: December 30th, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Do you tend to pour a little too much when it comes to the vino? Wine aficionados, take note: It might not be your heavy hand. According to a new study in the journal Substance Abuse and Misuse, the size, shape, location and even color of your wine glass could be to blame.

One serving of wine is five ounces, but self-servers tend to pour themselves twice that amount. Scientists asked participants to pour what they thought was a normal portion of wine into different shaped glasses. They tended to pour about 12 percent more into a wide glass versus a typical one. They also transferred more liquid when holding the glass rather than placing it on a table. Even the color of the wine made a major difference — subjects poured nine percent more when serving white rather than red, which shows a greater contrast to the clear glass.

So if you’re trying to keep a lid on your drinking, counting calories or simply cutting back, take note of the type of glass you’re sipping from — people naturally tend to pour less and drink less from tall, thin glasses. While wine is one of the lighter options when it comes to alcohol, some varieties are even lighter than others. Aim for a drink with an Alcohol by Volume percentage between 9 and 12 percent, which yields 110 to 140 calories per six-ounce serving. The higher the alcohol content, the more calories it contains. Also stick with white to keep your waistline in check … depending on the variety, it can have up to 70 fewer calories per serving. Go for riesling, pinot grigio, and vinho verde (VEEN-o-vaird) versus moscato, Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and viognier (vee-oh-NYAY). And skip the added sugar in bubbly by choosing “brut nature” or “brut zero,” which has the least sweet stuff. Then pour slowly and carefully and savor every sip.