Calories in wine - shaping up for Summer

calories in wine calories in wine

Shaping up for summer?

How many calories in wine? The answer lies somewhere between  100 to 200 calories per glass, and it depends on the glass size, alcoholic strength, sweetness and colour of wine.

So if you are calorie-counting, watch out for glass size. A small glass (100ml) will give around 85 calories, whereas a more usual glass size of 175ml contains 120-175 calories.

Also, watch out for alcohol content and sweetness, particularly alcohol. Higher alcohol wines give higher calories. Each gram of alcohol carries 7 calories.

People often assume sweet wine has more calories than dry, but in actual fact, a gram of carbohydrate (ie. sugar) contains only 4 calories. Therefore, low alcohol medium sweet wines can be lighter in calories than dry wines.

If you take a couple drinking a bottle of wine each night, this amounts to over 300 calories per person. A rule of thumb is that every 500 calories not burned off by exercise leads to 1-2 pounds of fat being generated... grrr… you can see how quickly wine can thicken your waistline!

So, how do you minimize the impact of calories while enjoying wine? Aside from the obvious mantra of “drink less, but better, the following are worth considering:

Drink white rather than red, as whites normally have fewer calories than red. Within white wines, lower alcohol wines (9-12 %ABV) will work out about 110-140 calories per 175ml glass. You will find these from northern Europe or mountainous regions. Seek out Pinot Grigio and other Italian whites, Albarinho, Vinho Verde, Muscadet and Gruner Veltliner. Double-check the alcohol content on the label. Bordeaux Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Semillon can also be lighter in alcohol, as can ‘Early Harvest’ wines.

If you like naturally sweeter wines, you are in luck, as these naturally low alcohol wines have fewer calories. Look for German Riesling which checks in at around 9% ABV.

Richer whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay will give about 150-170 calories for the same measure.

Lower alcohol reds (ie. under 13.5% ABV) have few calories at 130-160, than their higher alcohol peers (weighing in at 160-190 calories), but these can be a little harder to come by. Check the label first, but look for Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, German reds, Lambrusco.

The supermodel option is to stick with dry champagne or Prosecco Brut, which gives 150 calories per generously-sized 175ml flute. The decision is yours!

Recommendations:

Albinoni Pinot Grigio Garganega is deliciously light grape and lemon flavours, enhanced by mineral undertones. The addition of Garganega makes this slightly richer than many Pinot Grigios, and the flavour is quite lengthy. €8.99

Pedro d’Auga Albariňho – as recommended in June’s Food & Wine magazine – “ white flowers on the nose, good balanced fruity acidity on the palate, citrus notes, round and smooth finish”. €12.99

Borgo da Sassi Prosecco - a generous frothy mousse, with subtle grapey aromas, a touch of peach on the palate, and a nice lively finish. €10.69.

Butterfly Tree Chenin Blanc – a new find - bursting with Chenin character – ripe melon, guava, lemon and lime. Delicious with chicken and fish. Due in store next week.

Torres Natureo Rich and fresh floral aromas of green apples, peaches and citrus. Fresh and lively on the palate. Only 0.5% alcohol content, and fewer than half the calories of most wines.