While it’s no protein shake, wine in moderation is good for the system as we all know.  But just what is the calculation of “moderation”?

With January’s health-conscious mindset, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with this amount. By most accounts it’s a daily intake of 2 to 3 four ounce glasses of wine (with 13.5 percent alcohol) for men and roughly half of that for women.

Drinking wine – red or white — with that level of intake on a regular basis actually boosts good cholesterol, cleaning out our arteries of fatty deposits. It can also reduce the risk of some cancers.

It you want to drink more, here’s a savvy strategy: Consider low alcohol options like dessert wines, bubbly and rose.  Here are a few to kick off the New Year:

Ethos, Chateau Ste. Michele, 2007 Late Harvest Columbia Valley White Riesling at 8 percent alcohol.

L’ Ermitage, 2003 Anderson Valley Brut Rose at 12 percent alcohol.

and Le Reve, 2004 Domaine Carneros Taittinger, Blanc de Blancs at 12 percent alcohol.

If you want wine to be a “health drink” in 2011, just be sure to budget your alcohol as wisely as you budget your calories.

Your thoughts? Do you think it’s really possible to calculate moderation? How do YOU drink in moderation? Tips?