Epidemiologic studies indicate that alcohol consumption is associated with improved insulin sensitivity; however, scant experimental evidence confirms this observation. To determine the effects of regular moderate wine consumption on insulin sensitivity, 20 overweight women (body mass index [BMI], 29.8 +/- 2.2 kg/m2) participated in a 20-week free-living randomized crossover trial. The subjects, serving as their own controls, consumed wine (190 mL red wine, 13% vol/vol ethanol, 5 days per week) for 10 weeks and abstained for 10 weeks or vice versa. The dependent variables (body weight, BMI, percent body fat, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and insulin, blood lipids, dietary intake, and insulin sensitivity by intravenous glucose tolerance test [IVGTT]) were measured at the pretest, at the 10-week crossover, and at the 20-week completion of the study. Data were analyzed at the pretest and at completion of the wine drinking and abstention periods of the study using ANOVA by order of treatment. Fasting glucose remained unchanged (mean +/- SD; P > .05) throughout the experiment (pretest, drinking, and abstention, 91.1 +/- 9.2, 91.6 +/- 9.1, and 88.5 +/- 11.2 mg/dL), as did the measures of insulin sensitivity, fasting insulin (pretest, drinking, and abstention, 8.6 +/- 3.3, 8.6 +/- 4.1, and 9.1 +/- 4.7 microU/mg) and the insulin sensitivity index (3.60 +/- 2.96, 3.25 +/- 2.17, and 3.30 +/- 1.84). Body composition and blood lipids also remained unchanged (P > .05) during treatment. Moderate wine consumption at this dose in overweight women did not improve or impair insulin sensitivity, nor did it change any of the known correlates of insulin sensitivity, including body weight and composition, blood lipids, and blood pressure.