Background: Moderate alcohol consumption increases plasma HDL and lowers cardiovascular disease risk while transiently enhancing postprandial lipemia. Objective: We hypothesized that the alcohol-mediated increase in postprandial triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and their clearance elevate IIDL cholesterol and reverse cholesterol transport. Design: We determined the effect in normolipidemic humans (n = 14) of postprandial lipemia produced 4 h after a test meal (M) or a test meal + 0.5 g alcohol/kg body wt (M+A) on postprandial changes in plasma lipids and on the balance of cholesterol between TRL and the cholesterol-rich LDL and HDL fractions (CRL) or red blood cells (RBCs) in fresh and incubated plasma or blood. Results: Postprandial lipemia after the M and M+A test meals caused a 56% and 89% increase in plasma triacylglycerol, a 30% and 74% increase in TRL cholesterol, and a 3.8% and 6.6% decrease in CRL cholesterol, respectively. In vitro reaction of endogenous lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (EC 188.8.131.52) and cholesteryl ester transfer proteins via incubation of fasting plasma samples and postprandial M and M+A plasma samples for 16 h increased TRL cholesterol by 22.8% (0.08 mmol/L), 32.6% (0.16 mmol/L), and 45.8% (0.28 mmol/L) in plasma and by 71.1% (0.27 mmol/L), 89.4% (0.45 mmol/L), and 112.5% (0.70 mmol/L) in RBC-enriched blood, respectively. After the in vitro lipolysis of TRL, the elevation of HDL cholesterol in postprandial M+A plasma, but not in postprandial M plasma, was significantly greater than in fasting plasma. Conclusion: The alcohol-mediated increase in postprandial TRL flux and the hepatic removal of postprandial TRL after the acceptance of cholesterol from CRL and cell membranes contribute to increased HDL cholesterol and enhancement of reverse cholesterol transport in humans.