Losing weight doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up all of your favorite food and beverages. If you are a wine lover, then the good news is that when you consume wine in moderation, it doesn't add a great deal to your calorie counts. The trick is to know how many calories there are in a given amount of wine.
Wine and Calories
Wine has a number of health benefits. It can be part of a low-calorie weight loss diet. Plan your wine drinking in conjunction with your overall caloric intake, carefully measuring to make sure you don't over consume. You can also choose to consume low-calorie wines if you are watching carb or calorie counts.
What Determines Calories in Wine
Many things contribute to calories in wine.
- First, alcohol content is a significant contributor. While carbohydrates have four calories per gram, alcohol has seven calories per gram, making it more dense in calories. Because of this, wines with high alcohol content like Zinfandel or fortified wines like Sherry tend to be higher in calories. Typically, wines list alcohol content on the label as ABV (alcohol by volume). Opt for wines with an ABV lower than 11% to reduce calories.
- Next, sugar content plays a role. The sugar dissolves in the liquid, making it more viscous. Sweet wines tend to be higher in calories than their drier brethren.
- Finally, density affects the calories in wine. The denser the wine, the more calories it has.
The lowest calorie wines tend to be the dry whites. Next on the list are rosé wines, and then dry reds. Off dry, semi-sweet, sweet wines, and fortified wines tend to have the most calories because of the sugar and/or alcohol content.
Calories in Red Wines
While there are many types of red wines. Those that follow are the most common. Calorie count is listed per five fluid ounces, which is a standard serving of wine. All of these calorie counts are estimates, and may vary based on alcohol and sugar content in the wine.
|Red wine type||Calories per 5 ounce serving|
Calories in White and Rosé Wines
White wines tend to have lower alcohol levels. This means that dry whites are lower in calories, while sweeter whites may be more caloric. The same can be said of blush wines, which are essentially white wines left in contact with the grape skins for a short period.
Calories in Sparkling Wines
Calories in Dessert and Fortified Wines
Dessert and fortified wines tend to be higher in calories due to higher sugar and/or alcohol content. However, you tend to drink smaller servings of these wines. Note that unlike the other wines, these have a 3 ounce serving size.
Calculating Wine Calories
Rethinking Drinking, a site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services, has an online alcohol calorie calculator. This useful tool allows you to input the number of glasses of wine you consume per week to get your weekly caloric intake from the drinks. You may be shocked at the amount of calories consumed per week. Another helpful resource is a site such as Calorie King that gives calorie counts for some of the most popular types of wine.
Fitting Wine Into a Low-Calorie Diet
If you want to include wine in your low-calorie diet, limit your intake to a small glass a day. This not only minimizes calories but also alcohol intake, which can contribute to judgment lapses that cause you to take in more calories than you intended. You can also thin wine by creating a wine spritzer that is half wine and half club soda. You do not need to give up wine to lose weight, provided you moderate your intake and follow a sensible diet and exercise plan.