Can You Drink Wine on a Diet?
A Glass a Day: A Defense for Wine
The Skinny on the Fat
Wine will not make you fat...I repeat...wine will not make you fat.
That’s the good news.
And the bad news?
There is still a significant portion of the population who either doesn’t know or refuses to even entertain the notion that wine might actually not be the masked bandit sabotaging the tracks of your habits in an attempt to derail the train of your dietary lifestyle. However, it is only human to suspect, question, and scrutinize the supposed ‘benefits’ of anything that appears too-good-to-be-true, especially something associated with indulgence, such as wine. To appease the skeptic in all of us, I have provided a confection toward the end of this appeal to serve as my obligatory ‘word of caution’.
After all, if my previous investigative or explanatory pieces have served to prove anything, it’s that wine is far from a one-glass-fits-all situation, and the quality of one will not necessarily translate exactly to the quality of another. However, these pearls and pennies are completely within your control to wear and spend, and, being that you are a Gold Medal Wine Club reader and/or member, we have a sneaking suspicion you might have a few tricks and techniques of your own for managing your wine your way.
We are only here to spread the good news.
Or, should I say, the better news.
Have Your Wine and Drink It Too
Have you heard the better word?
Other than weight management, wine, particularly red wine, has an array of holistic health benefits that will make you reconsider going without that evening glass...even on a weekday! A glass of wine a day - yes, everyday - has been shown to improve the look of skin and teeth through the reduction of the bacteria that causes acne blemishes and plaque buildup. These benefits aren’t only skin-deep either. That same glass contributes to improved brain function, eyesight, and even mood, as well as reduces the risk for a multitude of cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate.
Well, you and wine have that in common.
Grapes are naturally without gluten and the winemaking process offers little to no chance of your wine coming into contact with gluten contaminants. On this point, I will include one word of caution. Agents used by the winemaker during the fining phase of the winemaking process may contain gluten and it is possible that traces of this gluten could be left behind in the wine. However, the chance of this happening is minimal and the threat these remnants pose is even more minimal. As is the way with any diet, the choice is yours.
Because you are reading this in the first place, I can only believe that you are not only an enthusiast of the enological, but an inquirer as well, so you might be wondering what it is about wine that makes it an almost ambrosiac beverage for the human person.
In a (good) word?
Wine of Substance
The content of a wine’s character - health-wise - can be measured in antioxidants.
Here’s the skinny on antioxidants.
An antioxidant is a substance that prevents cell damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules, which can encourage and even cause illnesses such as diabetes, liver and heart disease, as well as several forms of cancer. In regard to wine, antioxidants inhibit the process of oxidation, or exposure to oxygen. The usual suspects that occur naturally in the grape include resveratrol, citric acid, tannin, and anthocyanins, while sulfates, nitrogen, and argon are incorporated during the winemaking process.
Now, the primary point of an antioxidant is to act as a preservative to prevent spoilage in the wine.
Noble, no doubt.
However, for the purpose of our discussion, the point of the antioxidant is to prevent spoilage of another kind, and that would be to your lifestyle and to your health. It is significant to note that while all varieties on the vine and in the glass contain antioxidants of a sort and to a degree, not all varieties deserve a place at your table every night or as a part of your daily diet. Those glasses taste better on a Friday night or at a New Year’s Eve party anyway.
For your daily dose, simply keep an eye - or two - out for the tells and traits of a wine that will contain the right amount of antioxidants of the right caliber for the right diet, which is yours, of course. Because for all an antioxidant does have, a good poker face is not one of them.
As a reader and/or member of Gold Medal, you no doubt have some experience with wine tasting, whether in theory or practice, and so spotting the signs of a wine that’s ‘got it’ will come as naturally to you as several antioxidants do to wine.
First, let’s address color.
Red grape varieties, unlike white grape varieties, contain the antioxidant, resveratrol, which contributes to memory retention, clear skin, and improved mood, among other benefits. Additionally, red wines with deep color indicate the presence of anthocyanins, an antioxidant inherent in the grape and responsible for color. Simply put, the redder, the better!
Now, to taste.
We’ve all heard someone remark that a wine tastes ‘young’. Well, he or she might as well have described the wine as a healthy dose of antioxidant rich splendor the like of which will be long gone in the months to come. Aging isn’t without its toll, and wine pays for the pleasure with anthocyanins, losing much of its count within a matter of months. If that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth, then allow me to present tannin. An antioxidant found primarily in grape skins and grape seeds, tannin is responsible for the dry bitterness you experience on your tongue and the insides of your mouth after tasting certain wines.
So I guess you could say...bitter is better.
The Bad News
The bad news I am about to deliver is really no news at all.
Throughout this piece, I have sung the praises, rung the bells, and hung the skepticism in defense of the health benefits your daily glass of wine provides so as to clear both its good name and your good conscience. That having been established, the following word of caution is really just a word to the wise.
The key to successfully making wine a part of your healthy lifestyle is one you’ve probably had on your proverbial key ring since that moment you put an Oreo down for the first time.
That key is moderation.
Measured by the glass, moderation means one 5-ounce glass per day for women and two 5-ounce glasses per day for men.
I know...talk about a ‘glass ceiling’, right?
Another word to keep in mind is ‘sweet’, as in sweet is a treat.
To offer a little perspective, a glass of sweet wine possesses carbohydrates derived strictly from sugars whereas a glass of dry wine has a carbohydrate count of - wait for it - zero.
The bright side?
Friday night just got a whole lot sweeter.
The last word belongs to you, most valued reader, as an individual with health needs and goals particular to you. Certain health conditions, inherited, contracted, or otherwise developed, stand as the ‘exception to the rule’ in this case, and you understand and manage that exception everyday. Rather than ‘tell you a thing’, I would prefer you keep doing ‘your thing’.
You do, after all, have excellent taste.
This isn’t the only thing as good as gold either.
Below I have provided a selection of bottles Gold Medal has to offer from the ‘healthy side’ of the wine club menu sure to inspire and empower you to make your glass count each and every day, no matter the day!
From our Gold Wine Club:
From our Platinum Wine Club:
From our Garagiste Wine Club:
From our Pinot Noir Wine Club:
From our International Wine Club:
From our Diamond Wine Club:
These Paleo friendly and Keto friendly wines boast high 90+ point scores and low unhealthy calorie content, including sugars and carbs.
For even more options, check out the Gold Medal website.
You have my word you’ll find a wine - or two or three - bottled to suit your healthy lifestyle and your good taste.
Blanchard, J. B. (n.d.). 14 Surprising Health Benefits of Wine. Lifehack. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/14-surprising-health-benefits-wine.html
Author Bio: Meghan ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald is a recent graduate of enology and viticulture from the Institute for Enology and Viticulture in Walla Walla Washington and currently works as a contributing author for the wine marketing industry with a focus in content writing. She continues to write feature pieces for Gold Medal Wine Club as she works toward establishing herself as a professional writer within the wine industry.