When to bolus when having a glass of wine before dinner

We attended an anniversary party last week and I enjoyed a glass of dry sparkling wine with the starters (mostly diabetes friendly food). I read in another thread that many people don’t bolus for the carbs in a drink like dry wine or light beer, but I didn’t see any mention of when to bolus for the snacks eaten. I’m guessing that I should do so based on my current BG but I wasn’t sure about the situation when my BG is either lowish ( since alcohol can bring down BG) or higher than normal around suppertime, say between 120 and 140. Any insight or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! :wine_glass:

I never ever bolus for wine, and suggest you watch your BG when drinking it. It tends to lower BGs. I would just have the glass, test before the meal, and bolus for carbs on the plate.

I very rarely drink beer. Even light beer has up to 15 carbs per serving. In the very rare instance where I would drink a beer, I bolus for the carbs. Always.

I don’t drink beer anymore and mostly drink dry red wine. The residual sugars in the red wine almost perfectly offsets the drop that I get from alcohol. If I drink a wine with more residual sugars I will need to bolus. A sweeter wine can have as much of an effect on me as a beer.

I usually bolus for 5 grams of carbs per 5-ounce glass of wine. If I have more than one glass of wine, I know that I will often go low at the 3-5 hour mark after drinking it. This occurs usually when I’m sleeping, so it is a concern. I will usually cut my basal rate temporarily by 50% for two hours starting two hours after my last glass. This seems to pre-empt the low I would have otherwise.

It’s my understanding that the liver cannot multi-task and it will stop secreting its usual low level glucose flow while it deals with the alcohol content of the wine.

I second what Sue27 said😊 it’s nice to relax with a glass of wine and not have to inject!

I never bolus for wine though of course I would bolus for the carbs in any appetizers or snacks. I don’t see any influence at all on my BG when I have wine with dinner. On the rare occasion I go out with friends and drink more wine than usual I do have to watch for going low overnight. As for if I was high before drinking I would correct accordingly or add the correction to bolus for food. If I was doing more drinking than usual I would be more cautious about correcting small highs and would definitely correct even borderline lows or eat something which is always a good idea. Beer is, of course, a whole other story. I don’t care for light beers of any kind and prefer dark beers. I rarely have more than one though and if it’s with dinner only if it’s a low carb dinner like salad. My days of burritos and dark beers are long gone…sigh.

I don’t bolus for wine. A glass (5-6 oz) of dry twine with a meal doesn’t do much to me either way and I just watch and correct if necessary I don’t drink light beer - I only drink real beer and I always bolus for the carbs. I assume 12-15 carbs per bottle when I’m drinking something I’m not familiar with. Guiness Stout has 12 carbs per 12 oz bottle and doses true in my experience.

I think the key of managing blood sugars with alcohol is to drink very moderately and drink with food so that the effect of the alcohol becomes just part of the normal margin for error.


I bolus for wine, like Terry, about 5G/ glass. I usually have wine with appetizers or food so it’s sort of always a guesstimate “hmmm, let’s see, 20, 25, oh what the hell, I’ll try to eat 30G…”. I don’t totally agree with moderation and alcohol. I like to get Dionysian!! :cocktail:

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I don’t bolus for wine, actually I will take a little less bolus with food if I’m drinking more than 1 glass of wine with it… Fully fermented wine shouldn’t contain more than trace amounts of carbohydrate-- but everyone seems to react to it differently… Just kind of have to trial and error for yourself to see what works for you.

Thanks, everyone, for your replies/suggestions. Plenty of food for thought here! :wine_glass:

And drinks for thought!! Uisgeah breagh!!

Breath of Life. Verra Scots.

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heh heh heh @Sue27 I have a bottle of Balvenie lurking around here, but we’re a couple of episodes behind on Outlander!!

With a bit of red (more than a couple glass’s) I might bolus but not with white, as I have had some low, low’s caused by white wine…