Fun Wine Facts Including Calories!

<strong>Fun Facts About Wine<br><strong>By Jim Pfeifer
One Bottle of WineOne Case of Wine
750ml fluid12-750ml bottles/24 half bottles
2.4 pounds grapes (39 oz.)30 lbs. grapes
25.6 oz wine (4/5 quart)307.2 oz wine
4 glasses wine 48 glasses win
One Barrel of Wine One Acre of Land Averages
740 lbs. grapes – 59 gallons2.5 tons grapes = 5000 lbs.
24.6 cases (12-750ml bottles)6.755 barrels at 59 gals. each
295 bottles398.5 gallons wine
295 bottles1979 bottles at 25.6 oz each
7916 glasses wine at 6.4 oz each

Because Inquiring Minds Want to Know

  • Humans originally consumed wine for the express purpose of purifying water? Yep! Blend 10% to 25% wine with water and let it sit for 30 minutes and you can drink that creek water!!!Before 1900 immigrants drank beer and wine on the way over to the United States. They drank beer and wine. Pregnant women and children too. Wouldn’t it be fun to go back 100 years and ask the people responsible for the prohibition movement exactly what their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents drank while crossing the Atlantic…
  • The printing on corks is done “Because We’ve Always Done It That Way”. It was done as a first brand identifier and pre-dates the use of labels. Cool, huh?Did you know that your preference for sweet wine or dry wine could be due to the number of taste buds on your tongue? People who prefer sweeter wines generally have more taste buds than those who prefer dry wines. It’s true!!! At Turtle Run, you will learn the concepts behind this radical science. Visit and check it out.
  • This whole notion of there being red wine and white wine glasses. Heck, that there are Cabernet Sauvignon glasses, Merlot glasses, Chardonnay glasses, and Riesling glasses – well, pure bonk!Jim at Turtle Run has done some incredible work on how the volumetric pressure and vapor pressure of glasses affect the overall flavor perceived by the consumer and takes a critical eye towards steering the shape of glass away from a grape variety and towards your taste bud count. This is a radical new science that only comes from Turtle Run.Jim goes so deep with glasses that if you catch him and ask him about glass shape, he’ll probably demonstrate how your subconscious views glass through different lenses and how the subconscious can affect flavor experienced from different shaped glasses.A visit to Turtle Run Winery is unlike like any other wine experience you’ll ever have.


  • Wine is a mild natural tranquilizer, serving to reduce anxiety, and relieve tension. Wine acts as a mild euphoric agent for the convalescent and especially the elderly. Additionally, wine might even preserve cognitive function in this group as well.
  • Wine helps aid in the digestive process.
  • With 1500 natural chemical compounds, most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs exist in wine in some trace amount, including the valuable “P” Vitamins. Thus, wine helps restore nutritional balance.
  • Moderate wine drinkers have 50% fewer deaths from coronary disease than non-drinkers. Studies in Europe discovered the occurrence of coronary disease to be significantly greater in heavy or binge drinkers and even higher in abstainers.
  • Regular moderate consumption of red wine may act as a preventative against some types of cancer and coronary heart disease as wine dilates the small blood vessels and helps to prevent angina and clotting.
  • Alcohol in wine additionally helps balance cholesterol towards the beneficial type.
  • Several European studies have shown the prophylactic effects of how light to moderate alcohol consumption has a positive effect on diminishing dementia, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
  • Regular consumption of wine or beer has decreased the risk of peptic ulcers and may help to flush the body of bacteria thought to cause them. Don’t over-consume though! That increases the risk!
  • Diabetes: One to two glasses of wine per day could lower reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes by 58%. However hard spirits increased the risk by 150%!
  • Stroke risk is lower for those who drink wine moderately and regularly.
  • Colo-rectal tumors occur less frequently for those who drink moderately and regularly. Throw skin cancer in there too, and the common cold as well!
  • There is no fat or cholesterol in wine. Though there is no dietary fiber in wine, wine does aid in maintaining a healthy GI/GU system.


Body – The weight and fullness of wine in your mouth. Think of it in comparison to milk. Skim milk is light-bodied, whole milk is medium-bodied, and heavy cream is full-bodied.

Fruitiness – Of course, wine is made from grapes, but the magic of fermentation gives most wines subtle aromas of other fruits as well. Some people just sense a general fruity quality while others can identify more specific aromas, like apple or pear in white wines, raspberries, or cherries in reds.

Dry, Off-Dry, or Sweet – A dry wine is one in which there is no sugar remaining after fermentation. An off-dry wine is slightly sweet, but not so sugary that you couldn’t happily enjoy it with a savory meal. Sweet wines are usually considered dessert wines and are usually enjoyed with sweet desserts, or by themselves at the end of a meal. White wines are most likely to be off-dry or sweet; red wines are almost always dry. But even dry wines can have intensely fruity aromas.

Tannin – A quality found almost exclusively in red wines; tannin plays an important part in the texture of the wine. At low levels, tannin can give a wine a slightly rough or scratchy feeling in your mouth; at high levels, it can make a wine astringent, making you feel as if all the moisture had been wrung out of your mouth. A strong cup of black tea gives a very similar sensation.

Many people say they don’t like “dry” wines when what they’re trying to say is that they don’t like rough, astringent wines. Remember, dry refers only to the sweetness level of a wine.

Acidity – Somewhat simple to understand – just imagine a sip of lemon juice. Acidity is the lip-smacker factor that gives a wine its zing. When a wine drinker likes the acidity in wine, they might describe it as zesty or crisp. Wines that are perceived as too acidic are often described as tart or even sour.

All wines contain some acidity, but it usually tastes stronger in white wines than red, in dry wines than in off-dry or sweet wines.

Sweet Wines – There are many ways in which sweet wines are made throughout the world. At Turtle Run Winery, we subscribe to the European way, with no added sugar. Our method for making sweet wine is “Arrested Fermentation”.


Several years ago, we funded a study on whether yeasts are selective regarding sugar consumption. Put simply, if yeasts were provided a mixture of sucrose (sugar), fructose, and glucose, would they be preference-based. And sure enough, they are.

 For instance, if you give a dog two meal options, dog food on the left and a juicy steak on the right, the dog’s going to choose the steak first! Yeast happens to prefer glucose first at a 92% to 95% rate.

Additionally, sucrose will be broken down during fermentation into one part glucose and one part fructose and the glucose will be eliminated first. Fructose happens to be 2.2 times sweeter by taste to humans than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter by taste than sugar. Also, fructose provides a very clean refreshing finish whereas glucose and sucrose leave behind a sugary aftertaste. Some call that a syrupy aftertaste too! Fructose: clean and refreshing. Glucose and sucrose: not so much.

Making wine this way is less caloric than adding sugar and because fructose tastes so much sweeter we don’t need as high a residual sugar as wines containing sugar. The bonus is with less alcohol the fruit flavors explode out of the wine. This method of arrested fermentation is much more diabetic friendly too!

 Calories, Carbs, and Wine – We receive a lot of questions on calories and carb counts in wine. Most wines containing Traminette, Vignoles, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chardonel, and Colombard usually have 0% to 2-1/2% residual sugar. Our “American” variety wines, such as Catawba, Concord, Diamond, Stueben, Niagara, and Edelweis are typically sweeter; up to 3-1/2% residual sugar. This also includes our “My Mind” series of wines. Interestingly, all our sweet wines contain only fructose with perhaps a very small trace of glucose.


 From 2009-2012 we did a disruptive study and discovered yeast is preferential in fermentation and will ferment glucose before fructose if both sugars are in solution. Our results showed that sucrose breaks apart into 1 part glucose and 1 part fructose in acidic solutions with fructose having 3 calories per gram while glucose and sucrose have 4.

Fructose and high fructose corn syrup are completely different products. High fructose corn syrup is a blend of glucose and fructose. I will explain its purpose in a minute. Fructose is 2.2 times sweeter in taste than glucose and 1.72 times sweeter in taste than sucrose. That’s important because if our wine sweetness comes from fructose, it takes substantially less to achieve the “same sweetness” as sucrose and glucose.

Now follow the math. A fructose-only wine at 3% would need to be sweetened with sugar to just under or just over 6%. But right now, I have just given you percentages and calories per gram which, without grams means nothing so I need to convert the percentages into grams.

Still with me? Good. Take, for instance, a 3% residual sugar wine would have 12 grams of total sugars in a bottle. With 12 grams x 3 calories you get roughly 36 total calories of fructose per bottle. Conversely, if sugar was added you would start with 24 grams x 4 calories per gram or 96 calories of sugar per bottle at the same sweetness levels. So, 36 versus 96? You be the judge.

Sucrose is simply 1 part glucose and 1 part fructose. High fructose corn syrup is normally a 45% blend of one and a 55% blend of the other. Consumption of free-form glucose and sucrose is our number 1 health problem in the US.

Glucose, when consumed is the single highest efficient energy source for the body. It is absorbed from the small intestine into the blood system and at that time the pancreas releases insulin in the blood system to make it a usable energy source. The problem is, if you don’t use it, it will cause all sorts of body issues including the production of fat and inflammation.

Fructose, on the other hand, does have some health issues but not too near the degree that glucose does. Not even close. Type 2 diabetes? Glucose. Cancer? Glucose. Heck, even sunburn is associated with glucose.

I know, I am repeating myself, but I want to word it a little differently and emphasize it too. In a study we conducted and funded from 2009-2012 we discovered “sequential fermentation.” Yeast loves glucose, and well, they like fructose, but they LOVE GLUCOSE.

From our research, we were able to determine, that if a solution has a mixture of glucose and fructose in it, the yeast will convert nearly all the glucose into alcohol, heat, and carbon dioxide before going after fructose.

But back to the calories. Again, 36 calories fructose at Turtle Run for a 3% residual sugar wine and nearly everyone else, minimum of 96 calories. So, let’s look at alcohol. If you do the math, there are 1.75 calories of alcohol at 1% solution in 1 oz of liquid.

There are 750 milliliters in a bottle or 25.36 ounces per bottle of wine. At 1% there would be 44.38 calories of alcohol. Our “MY MIND” wines come in at 9% so x 9 you get 399 calories of alcohol per bottle plus 36 in fructose which gives you 435 total calories per bottle. Divide that by 5 and you get 87 calories per glass of nice, sweet wine.

Perhaps that’s an okay number, perhaps not is what you are thinking. Let me add one little fact that very few people talk about, perhaps due to lack of knowledge.

Not all calories are the same. Alcohol calories are 100% respired as carbon dioxide by our bodies. You cannot, no matter what, gain one single fat cell from alcohol. So really you are back to 36 versus 96.

However, can alcohol cause weight gain? Certainly. If you stop paying close attention, chances are you’ll eat more food while consuming alcohol versus drinking water. It’s an enjoyable drink and food is enjoyable too, so we tend to over-eat a bit when we drink.

Let me call attention to another way in which more calories can be added to many American wines. People who prefer sweet wines generally have more taste buds than the average person, a lot more.

As Tim Hanni’s research at points out, we the people can have as few as 500 taste buds to more than 12,000. The folks on the high end have a lot more which means that flavors are amplified or, more intense. The single disruptive intense flavor they do not like in high-intensity amounts is bitters.

As it turns out, sweet and salt are bitter suppressants, so people with a high taste bud count tend to have sweetness and salt around for a variety of foods and beverages: coffee with sugar and creme for instance.

Alcohol is bitter! Uh oh. Wine has alcohol. Though we won’t give the proprietary number away, we know exactly what the percentage of alcohol is for which a high taste bud count person can detect alcohol in a solution, be it water or wine.

I can tell you that it is no accident that our “My Mind” wines are between 9% and 9-1/2% alcohol and at 3% or so residual sugar. This ratio provides me with the lowest-calorie sweet wine I can make.

If a winery allows their wine to ferment to dryness and that dryness is near 12% alcohol, they may want to add close to 12% sugar to achieve the same sweetness level and enjoyment of flavors that our “My Mind” wines have. The result is that wine at 12% alcohol and 12% residual sugar, has a whole lot more calories.

The Moral of the Story


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