How to Calculate Wine Calories
Whether you’re an occasional drinker, wine enthusiast or sober-curious, knowing how many calories are in your glass can help you stay on track with your health goals. Luckily, wine calories are relatively easy to calculate.
Generally, the main sources of wine calories are alcohol and residual sugars. One gram of sugar has 4 calories, while pure alcohol (ethyl alcohol) has 7 calories per ounce.
While enjoying a glass of wine with dinner may not seem like a big deal, it is important to consider the calories that come along with your drink. Alcoholic beverages tend to contain high amounts of calories and consuming too much can lead to weight gain. The good news is that there are wines available with lower calories that can be enjoyed in moderation with your meals.
Wine contains two main components that contribute to its calories: the alcohol and the sugar. Typically, one gram of alcohol has seven calories while the sugar in wine contributes four calories per gram. The type of wine you choose will also play a role in the amount of calories that are consumed. For example, dry wines will have fewer calories than sweet wines.
The alcohol in wine is created through the fermentation process, where yeasts consume the sugars in grapes and convert them into ethanol. This process makes wine less caloric than other alcoholic beverages, such as vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and beer.
Aside from alcohol, wine also contains a number of other minor components including acids and volatile aromatic compounds. While these do not contribute to the overall calorie content of wine, they can add to the taste and aroma.
When calculating wine calories, the most important factor is the alcohol and sugar content. The higher these are, the more calories a glass will have. The best way to keep these in check is to choose a wine with low alcohol and little or no added sugars. This will help ensure that you are getting the most beneficial effects of a glass of wine, such as its antioxidant and lipid-regulating properties.
During the wine-making process, yeast breaks down the naturally occurring sugar in grapes to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. However, some of that sugar remains undigested (residual sugar), which contributes to a wine’s calories. While a 1.5 ounce serving of 80-proof vodka, gin, or rum has 97 calories, a similar size serve of wine has only 49. However, that’s not to say that wine is a healthy choice: while moderate alcohol consumption has been linked with heart health, too much can cause weight gain, increase the risk of diabetes, and contribute to tooth decay.
The number of wine calories you consume depends on the type of wine and its alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content, the more wine calories you’ll consume. The alcohol content is determined by the percentage of alcohol by volume in the wine, which you can find on the label.
Residual sugar levels also vary widely between wines, with some having more than others. For example, a dry white wine like a riesling will have less residual sugar than a sweet dessert wine such as sherry or port. A general rule is that higher alcohol and higher sugar equals more wine calories.
While counting wine calories can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that the current recommendation is only one drink per day for women and two for men. Also, be sure to keep in mind the serving size and pour size when assessing wine calories.
Luckily, there are many delicious low-calorie wines to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of popular wine varieties and their calorie counts per 5 oz glass or 750mL bottle from lowest to highest.