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And now, back to our regular bulletin ...
Counting calories: Diets and wine
Well, maybe not total abstinence. But moderation and good judgement certainly apply. Although wine contains no fat or cholesterol, you can't drink a lot of it without showing the results on your waistline. The exact calorie content of wine varies depending on both its alcohol and sugar content, so a strong, sweet wine like Port will deliver a substantially larger calorie count than a dry table wine of normal strength.
Based on nutritional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 5-ounce glass of dry red or white table wine will pack around 125 calories - not much less than the 150 calories in a 12-ounce bottle of beer or even the 160 calories in an 8-ounce glass of whole milk. A 5-ounce ration of rich dessert wine can go up to 225 calories or even more ... in the same caloric territory as a 2-inch wedge of cheesecake.
If you're following one of the currently faddish low-carbohydrate diets, moreover, you may want take wine off your bill of fare for the duration. A five-ounce glass of dry white table wine may have 1.25 grams of carbohydrates, while a similar portion of red may go up to 2.5 grams; sweet wines will have substantially more.
But for most of us, it's certainly practical to include wine in a good moderate lifestyle of sensible eating and exercise. Cut back on sweet drinks and fatty snacks, and you'll have plenty of room in your diet for a little wine; and if you think you need to diet seriously, consult your physician for advice.
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Another candidate for New Year's Eve toasting (or enjoyment at any time of year), Roederer Estate, the U.S. property of the historic Champagne house of the same name, is widely recognized as one of the best California sparkling wines. Pale straw color, it shows unusually high carbonation even for a sparkler, with a persistent foamy mousse that froths up like the head on a beer and hits the nose with a bit of a prickle. Past that, it offers good fresh-apple and milk-chocolate aromas, with good fresh fruit flavors, crisp and very tangy acidity. (Dec. 3, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: Demonstrating the versatility of good sparkling wine at the table, it marries well with roast Cornish hens.
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
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Vol. 1, No. 46, Dec. 6, 1999