Wine Pairings Recommendations for Skinny #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about lighter healthier food to help you maintain a healthy, wholesome diet. #SundaySupper.  One of the things I appreciate most about the talented #SundaySupper food bloggers is their creativity.  So I know you’ll find not only slimmed down versions of some of your favorite dishes, you’ll also be introduced to some new, exciting, and undoubtedly diverse, healthy fare.

The #SundaySupper mission is to Bring Back Sunday Supper around the family table in every home. It starts off as one day a week and soon becomes a way of life.

Speaking of healthy…it’s generally accepted that moderate consumption of alcohol, including wine does more good than harm. With that in mind, here are some things to understand about the calories in wine:

  • Wine is made of mostly water, alcohol, carbohydrates.  The carbs result from the residual sugar left in wine after fermentation.
  • A glass of wine can range between 110 – 300 calories depending on the wine. The range has to do with alcohol content, inherent sweetness of the wine and serving size.
  • Generally speaking, the lower the alcohol content, the lower the calories.  That’s because alcohol has 7 calories per grams of alcohol compared to 4 calories per gram for sugar (in the form of residual sugar in wine). If you’re counting calories, consider wines below 15% alcohol by volume.
  • Use 25 calories per ounce as a caloric guideline for wine. If you’re really counting calories, and want to know the specific amount of calories in a particular wine varietal (e.g. Syrah v. Merlot v Chardonnay), you can search the USDA National Nutrient Database for the Specific Calories by Wine Varietal (I found it interesting the list includes dessert, red and white wine, but doesn’t seem to include sparkling wines).  
  • As with food,  portion control is important with wine.  A standard serving of wine is considered to be 5 ounces, but if you’re counting calories a 3 or 4 ounce pour may be more appropriate.
  • Generally speaking wines white wines and Rosé has fewer calories that red wine .  The white wines that are lowest in calories are sparkling wines, German Riesling (Spätlese and Kabinett), Pinot Grigio, Albariño,  and Vino Verde.
  • Wines that tend to be highest in calories are dessert wines like Port, Sauterne, Ice wine, and late harvest wines.  On the other hand, the standard serving size for dessert wines is about 2 ounces rather than the 5 ounces for table wines.

But rather than focusing on how many calories are in one type of wine versus another, pair food with the wines you enjoy most. If you need to watch your calories, then consider a smaller pour.

Check out this week’s sensational Skinny #SundaySupper recipes. My wine pairing recommendations are italicized. Click on the name of the wine to find out where to purchase.

Calories in a glass of wine
Image courtesy of

Pair these starters, main and side dishes with sparkling wine.  I like the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut.  It made my Top 20 Sparkling Wines Under $20 list for 2012.  It’s a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay & Cabernet Franc with a stone-fruit, raspberry, and mineral character.  

Pair these starters, main and side dishes with Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is a top of mind wine for pairing with lightened up fare for me.  That’s because lighter healthier foods are often prepared with fresh herbs, and/or well-spiced to make more flavorful.  Not only is Sauvignon Blanc a great match for food prepare that way, it works well with sharper acidic ingredients (yogurt for example which is often subbed for mayo), vegetables, salads, and seafood which are staples of lighter fare.  Look for the 2012 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s off-dry with a zesty citrus, tropical fruit, melon, with a bit of herbaceousness character.

Riesling is another top of mind natural wine for pairing with lightened up fare. Not only is it among the most versatile of wines.  It also tends be be lower in calories because of it’s lower alcohol content (especially German Riesling).  Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with the 2011 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein “Dragonstone” Riesling QbA.  It shows a zesty lime, peach, pink grapefruit, apple, spice and mineral character. 

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with Beaujolais, a wine from the eponymous region made from the Gamay grape.  While I’m not a big fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau release annually in November, I am a fan of Cru Beaujolais.  They tend to be light-bodied, food friendly red wines with soft tannins.  Look for the  2010 Potel-Aviron Côte de Brouilly “Vieilles Vignes” Cru Beaujolais.  It has a black raspberry, floral, and asian spice character.  Can’t find a Beaujolais?  Then go with your favorite Pinot Noir – a similar style of wine. 

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with a red Rhône blend. I recommend the newly released vintage of one of my favorites, the 2011 Tablas Creek Vineyards Patelin de Tablas.  It’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Counoise. The blend of grape varieties produces a vinous synergy resulting in a fresh juicy red fruits, spice, and mineral character.

Pair these desserts & snacks with a Moscato d’Asti.  Look for the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. 

Pair these desserts & snacks with a late harvest Gewürztraminer.  One of my favorites is the 2011 Castello di Amorosa Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. It has intriguing honey, apricot, honeysuckle, and spice aromas and flavors, and is succulent and rich on the palate.  It’s just flat-out delicious! It’s a bit pricey, but remember portion sizes are smaller and dessert wines will last for weeks rather than day.  Beside it’s tasty enough to be dessert on its own!

Pair these desserts & snacks with Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat a fortified dessert wine from Australia.  One sip and it’ll be Muscat love with its decadently rich toffee, caramel, and spiced orange peel character.

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special skinnified recipes! Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite healthy recipes with us!



  1. Great pairings, as always, and I would love a good Sauvignon Blanc with my Fried Rice. I have gestational diabetes and was surprised to learn how low in carbs wine is. This late in my pregnancy, every week or two, I am happy to enjoy a 3-4 oz. pour, since it is just a little alcohol, and very few carbs.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words Brianne!

  2. I have learned more from you about wine this year Martin than I ever knew before. I love it. Thank you for always doing this for us.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Nicole…It’s a blast working with such a creative, passionate team of foodies!

  3. So much great information and pairing Martin. I love it when you do this for Sunday Supper. Thanks a bunch!

  4. Great pairings and wine caloric information you have provided here. Thank you! BTW I love my #SundaySupper

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Ernest. Good to know you’re a #SS fan!

  5. diabeticfoodie says:

    Great tips for enjoying wine when you’re also counting calories and carbs. Thanks!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Shelby!

  6. I love Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and can’t wait to try it with my Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad…. beautiful pairings!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks for the kind words Isabel. I’m a fan of Kim Crawford SB as well!

  7. shockinglydelicious says:

    I continue to be amazed that you can pair wines with all of our disparate offerings each week. Well done!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Dorothy…it is ALWAYS a disparate offering from the super creative #SS foodies, and you’re right…it’s a challenge at times, but it’s also big fun!

  8. Great pairings! I was excited to see a red blend with the Lamb. Yay! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks Shannon! I almost paired your dish with a Zinfandel, and that will work too!

  9. Sunithi says:

    Thank you so much for your skinny wine recs Martin ! Agree , dunking down some wine is good for your health & heart !! Love the wine 411 ( ah see I know what that means :)!Gleaned so many new facts there & will try my wine recc for my dish too !!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Sunithi! You’re the perfect host for this event. As I’ve said before I love the healthy focus on your blog.

  10. As always – such great pairings! I definitely must check out all of these suggestions for msyelf :)

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Katie! If you get a chance to check out some of the wine, please let me know what you think!

  11. helene dsouza says:

    I agree, wine is a healthy drink. As the saying goes. The dose makes the poison, right?
    I enjoyed the recommendation and learned a few things here. I have to confess for being a European, I am a bit clueless about exact wine pairing, especially about the sweet dessert wines. thank you for sharing!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Helene – thanks for the comment! In terms of dessert wine and dessert pairings the key is to ensure the dessert wine is sweeter than the dessert. I offer my wine pairing recommendations for #SundaySupper at least once a month, so you may be able to get some ideas! Hope you’ll drop by again!

  12. Love Sauvignon Blanc. I can’t wait to look for the Kim Crawford one you suggested

  13. Thank you so much for the great info on wine :) Good thing I love bubbly, but probably will have to switch from my favorite deep reds to whites :) ~ Bea @ galactosemia in PDX

  14. Stacy says:

    Now how did you know that my very favorite white wine is Sauvignon Blanc?! And I totally agree with your suggestion of a smaller glass rather than trying to worry about which wine has fewer calories. I love your valuable contribution to Sunday Supper!

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      Thanks so much Stacy! Sauvignon Blanc is such versatile food friendly wine!

  15. I love the choice for mine. I am not allowed alcohol due to my tummy but if the content is low enough I could get away with this one. Your choices are all bang on as always.

  16. Great pairings as always! I love Kim Crawford!

    1. Thanks Megan…Kim Crawford is one the first Sauvignon Blancs I really enjoyed!

  17. Great wine pairings…I will look for the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. And good tips about wine and watching calories…I’d much rather have a smaller glass of a wine I love than a big glass of one I’m not as fond of :)

  18. HipFoodieMom1 says:

    I always love your wine pairing suggestions! I am def going to try the 2012 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc!! yum!

    1. @HipFoodieMom1 Thanks  so much for the kind words.  Let me know what you think of the Kim Crawford if you get a chance to try it!

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