If you are lowering your calorie intake, don't pass on a night out with a friend when there are low calorie wine options available. These wines will allow you to indulge without worrying about a ton of extra calories and without sacrificing taste.
Low Calorie Wine Brands
Several wine makers have experimented with making lower calorie wines and marketing them as such. They harvest grapes when they are less mature so that they contain less sugar, which ultimately translates into a lower alcohol content. These wine makers have found that using grapes from cooler region will result in a lower alcohol content. Some examples of low calorie wines include:
- Nuni Lite
- So Light
- Blue Nun Light
- Weight Watchers
Calories in Red Wine
On average, a four ounce glass of red wine contains about 95 calories. The dryer the wine, the less calories it usually contains. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon is a relatively low calorie red wine, while a sweeter Chianti may contain a few more calories per glass. To see a comparison of various wines and calories, visit an online calculator site such as Anne Collin's for a detailed listing. Some lower calorie reds include:
- Merlot at 90 calories a glass
- Cabernet Sauvignon at 90 calories a glass
- Burgundy at 95 calories a glass
- Bordeaux at 95 calories a glass
Red wine also offers many health benefits. It contains antioxidants and studies have shown that it can help to prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. There has been a lot of buzz about resveratrol, which researchers at the Mayo Clinic have proven that it reduces bad cholesterol and blood clots.
Calories in White Wine
The calories in white wine are similar to those in red, but slightly less. A four ounce glass of white wine typically contains around 90 calories. Lighter white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc may contain even fewer, while Riesling, which is often sweet, may contain more. For comparison, Champagne contains around 100 calories per four ounce glass. Some low calorie whites to consider are:
- White Zinfandel at 80 calories a glass
- Chardonnay at 90 calories a glass
- Chablis at 85 calories a glass
- Sauvignon Blanc at 80 calories a glass
Low Calorie Wine Tips
While buying a wine marketed as "low calorie" may take out some of the guess work, they aren't easy to find in restaurants, bars or your local liquor store. Instead, follow these strategies to choose the right type of wine, and drink smart to avoid taking in too many calories:
- Avoid most wine coolers since they usually contain added sugar and are higher in calories.
- Steer clear of port. It contains a lot more sugar and is almost double the calories of red wine.
- Drink from small wine glasses. You will be likely to pour and consume less wine than you would from a large glass.
- Make a wine spritzer by filling a glass half full with wine and half club soda over ice. You'll cut the calories in half!
- Limit yourself to one glass of wine with a meal. If you are out with friends, alternate a glass of wine with a glass of water to stay hydrated and lower your intake.
- Read the label. Winemakers aren't required to post calorie content and other nutritional information on the label. Look for wines that contain a lower percentage of alcohol, as this amount is directly rated to the number of calories it contains.
Enjoy Without the Guilt
If you are counting calories and still want an occasional glass of wine, consider one that is lower in calories. You can also reduce the portion size so you still enjoy one of your favorites but without all the calories.