Calories in Wine


There is room in a healthy diet for a glass of wine here and there – or even every day.

Over the years, studies have shown that the antioxidant resveratrol in red wine helps promote heart health when consumed in moderation, in addition to many other health benefits. In fact, resveratrol has received so much acclaim recently that a new trend has developed – putting this antioxidant in pill or powder form. Now who would want to do that? Wouldn’t sipping a glass of wine be so much more enjoyable?

Furthermore, the French Paradox has been explained by the presence of red wine in the French Diet. Sure, the French may be eating bread, cream, cheeses, and butter regularly, but many also drink wine daily. This suggests that the wine plays a role. However, eating everything in moderation may also be key.

Now because I’m a Francophile, I won’t be eliminating wine from my diet anytime soon just to lose weight. In fact, I’m not depriving myself of anything in my current diet. Instead, I have been paying attention to portion sizes, eating as much “real” food as possible, and learning how to just LIVE. Otherwise, what will I do when I get to my desired weight and try to incorporate wine and other foods back into my diet? It’s time to practice now. Practice makes permanent. I’m making my changes slowly… and so far they have been sticking because they are not drastic.

So how many calories are in this glass?

Here are a few ways to determine the calories in your glass of wine:

  • Calculate it yourself – 1.6 x percentage of alcohol x ounces in glass. (Source)
  • Plug it into this nifty Calorie Calulator.
  • Lazy? Look up the calories of a 5 oz glass of most varietals here.
  • Or just estimate that most wines are about 100 to 125 calories per 5 oz glass.

These calculations work for most wines. Sweet wines that are low in alcohol are going to be higher in calories due to the fact that not all of their sugar has been converted to alcohol. For example, with this wine from The Traveling Vineyard®:

Fissata Sweet Italian Red Bubbly

5.5% alcohol, but 120 calories per 5 oz glass because not all of the sugar is converted to alcohol

Morale of the story: stick to dry wines. Why? Not because the formula for calorie-calculating doesn’t work on sweet wines, but because you will get more health benefits from the dry ones, particularly the reds. However, a wine like this is perfectly enjoyable as dessert. (In fact, it’s a lot less calories than many desserts, too!)

Only like sweet wines? Well consider hosting a Wine Tasting, to learn just how to enjoy wine. Just recently, I had a host thank me for helping her learn to “grow up” in the wine world!

Of course, as with anything, wine should be enjoyed in moderation. Moderation is generally defined as one glass per day for women and two glasses for men. I don’t think an extra glass will kill you from time to time. However, consume too much more and you’ll not only stimulate your appetite, but also lose judgement on how much food you are putting into your mouth. {Okay, so I haven’t always practiced moderation, but while I’m losing weight, you better believe I am trying now!} Instead, let’s savor that glass of wine! It’ll season up your meal (and your conversation) a bit. Remember, taste matters.



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