Resveratrol has been shown to have beneficial effects on diseases related to oxidant and/or inflammatory processes and extends the lifespan of simple organisms including rodents. The objective of the present study was to estimate the dietary intake of resveratrol and piceid (R&P) present in foods, and to identify the principal dietary sources of these compounds in the Spanish adult population. For this purpose, a food composition database (FCDB) of R&P in Spanish foods was compiled. The study included 40 685 subjects aged 35–64 years from northern and southern regions of Spain who were included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Spain cohort. Usual food intake was assessed by personal interviews using a computerised version of a validated diet history method. An FCDB with 160 items was compiled. The estimated median and mean of R&P intake were 100 and 933 μg/d respectively. Approximately, 32 % of the population did not consume R&P. The most abundant of the four stilbenes studied was trans-piceid (53·6 %), followed by trans-resveratrol (20·9 %), cis-piceid (19·3 %) and cis-resveratrol (6·2 %). The most important source of R&P was wines (98·4 %) and grape and grape juices (1·6 %), whereas peanuts, pistachios and berries contributed to less than 0·01 %. For this reason the pattern of intake of R&P was similar to the wine pattern. This is the first time that R&P intake has been estimated in a Mediterranean country.