Relaxing on the couch with a good glass of wine after a long and trying day is a fabulous way to unwind and chill out. Unfortunately, wine is one of those indulgent liquids that are filled with calories and sugar.
However, if you are counting the calories and can't bear the thought of going without your evening tipple, we consulted a professional dietitian about how many calories are in a glass of white wine, in a glass of red wine, in a bottle of red or white wine, and why.
This way you can factor your calorie count into your daily diet, and enjoy a guilt-free glass after work, knowing it's already accounted for.
Where do calories in wine come from?
When it comes to wine the two things that affect the amount of calories in the variety is sugar and alcohol. According to VinePair, alcohol adds more calories to wine - about seven calories per gram - whereas residual sugar adds about four calories per gram.
"Red wine generally has a higher alcohol percentage, around 13.5%," says Sarah Haworth, Wellness Program Manager at Amcal Pharmacy. "White wine has an alcohol percentage of 11.5% and Champagne is 12%. This contributes to the different calorie content between wine types."
However, Sarah adds that red wine does have some other benefits. "Thought to be due to the higher antioxidant content of red wine, a healthy, balanced diet containing red wine in moderation has been linked in a number of studies to a reduced risk of a number of health conditions including heart disease and some cancers."
How do I choose a low-calorie wine?
Generally speaking, due to the alcohol and sugar content, a high-alcohol and sweet wine will have more calories than a dry, low-alcohol wine. However, sugar has fewer calories than alcohol, so it might be better to go for a sweet, low-alcohol wine.
However, it is now possible to enjoy a guilt-free glass (or bottle) of wine from Aldi. The German supermarket chain announced selected stores in the UK will stock a new range of low-calorie wines. The Featherweight range includes four different varieties, a Sauvignon, a Merlot, a Rose Zinfandel and a Pinot Grigio. Coming in at around 50-60 calories, the wines are also low in alcohol content (5.5%).
Sadly, the Featherweight range is not available in Australia yet. However, if you’re in the market for a low-calorie wine, McWilliams Balance range is a popular choice.
Lindeman’s Wines also offers a lower-calorie range of wines.
How are low-calorie wines made?
According to an article published on The Conversation, light wines are made by harvesting grapes early.
"The quantity of sugar in the fruit translates to the level of alcohol in the wine; early harvest grapes and wines from cooler climates have naturally lower alcohol without loss of flavour. These wines have around 25% less alcohol and still retain reasonable sensory qualities."
How many calories are in a glass of wine?
How many calories are in a glass of red wine?
"There are 115 calories in 150ml glass of red wine, that's 480 kilojoules, on average, although there is a slight variation between varieties," says Sarah.
How many calories are in a glass of white wine?
"A 150ml glass of white wine has 105 calories, or 440 kilojoules, on average. Although there are variations in calories depending on the type of wine, with sparkling white wine having around 95 calories, or 400 kilojoules," says Sarah. "Some sweet white wines have around 120 calories, or 500 kilojoules, on average."
How many calories are in a bottle of wine?
How many calories are in a bottle of red wine?
"There are approximately 575 calories in a 750ml bottle of red wine, that's 2400 kilojoules," says Sarah.
How many calories are in a bottle of white wine?
"Calories in a bottle of white wine will range, with the average 750ml bottle holding around 525 calories, that's 2200 kilojoules, per bottle."