skip to Main Content
How Much Sugar Is In A Glass Of Wine?

How Much Sugar Is in a Glass of Wine?

To find out how much sugar might have been added to a given wine, your best bet may be to contact the producer directly. The addition of sulfites, used as a preservative, must be listed on the label in order to notify individuals who might be allergic, yet more than 60 different additives can legally be used without being disclosed. “Wine is by nature somewhat acidic, and adjustments can help to balance the elements of sweet and sour,” Nancy Light, vice president of communications for Wine Institute, the main advocacy association for the California wine industry, said in an email. “Winemakers are permitted by government regulations to make sweetness adjustments after fermentation to achieve desired wine styles.” According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a five-ounce glass of red table wine typically contains about 0.9 grams of total sugar, while a glass of chardonnay contains about 1.4 grams. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, which is about 12 teaspoons, or 50 grams. The American Heart Association recommends limiting intake even further: no more than six teaspoons (about 25 grams, or 100 calories) per day for women, and no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams, 150 calories) per day for men. Along with adding sugar for the purpose of sweetening wine, some producers add sugar before or during fermentation in order to achieve a certain alcohol level. This process is called chaptalization, and it is more common in cooler wine regions such as Oregon, where grapes ripen more slowly. In wine, it comes from grape juice. Grapes that are riper have higher sugar levels, but if available grapes are not as ripe, a winemaker may add sugar to aid in fermentation and achieve the desired amount of alcohol.