Are the Calories in Wine Fattening?


Counting calories in wine can be a challenge.

But you can zoom in on them easily by using a couple of calculators on this page. One figures out the calories in alcohol. And the other calculates the sugar level.

If you add the calculations together, you get the total calories in that wine. 

There are also some tables below showing the calories in 750ml bottles of wine, as well as 5 ounce glasses of wine.


Calories in Wine

What we know:

  • alcohol adds 7 grams of calories per liter
  • sugar adds 4 grams of calories per liter
  • all other components in wine (water, minerals) don't add any calories worth noting

So dry wines that are lower in alcohol and residual sugar have less calories in them.


Weigh scale with the words wine in place of weight.The dreaded next day!


What we don't know:

It's a bit of a guesstimate as to how much sugar is contained within the bottle. 

It should be easy enough to find out...

Except there are no nutrition labels on bottles or boxes of wine. Nada. Zip.

Booze is exempt from placing nutrition labels on it's products. Hard to believe that I'm writing this in 2018, because pretty much everything else that we ingest has to have them. Rightly so.

Tip:

In general, cheaper dry wines have more residual sugar in them than the more expensive dry wines. :/

Sugar can cover up some not-so-good flavors in wine. It's also true that sugar is addictive. 

Is the wine you just bought:

  • dry 
  • semi-dry
  • sweet
  • or dessert?

Because that will determine how much residual sugar, and thus the total calories in wine. Or should. Except...

It seems that there is an obscure benchmark of how much residual sugar (RS) should actually be present in the above styles of wine. And some sources use more descriptors than the above four, like adding extra-dry or medium-sweet to the styles.

So the only real way to know how much residual sugar is in the wine, is if it's listed on the bottle. Most bottles don't include it. But you can use the high end of what the retailer uses for their benchmark in that style of wine, and plug it in to the sugar calculator below.

For instance, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario has a sweetness chart that uses the benchmark 0-8g/l RS to describe a wine as "extra-dry". So simply use the higher figure of 8g/l (0.8%) as the RS figure to add into the sugar calorie calculator.

It's not as accurate as knowing the actual RS, but at least by using the higher number - your calorie count will stay within the limits that you want. 

In case the RS is only listed in g/l, just divide by 10:

Eg.  2g/l ÷ 10 = 0.2% RS   or   13g/l ÷ 10 = 1.3% RS  or  40g/l ÷ 10 = 4% RS etc.

Use these simple calculators below to figure out the calories in any wine.


Calories in Wine Calculators

 Alcohol Calories Calculator 
Ounces: 
%Alc. : 
X 1.6 : 
Calories:
  

Add the two answers together from each of these calculators to get the total calories.

 Sugar Calories Calculator 
Ounces: 
%RS: 
X 1.14: 
Calories:
  

How Many Calories are in a 750ml Bottle of Wine?

The amount of calories in a 750ml bottle of wine varies a lot.

If you'd rather not bother with the calculators, you can use the table below. It doesn't matter if the wine is a still wine, or a sparkling wine. All of the calories in wine come from it's alcohol and sugar.

To use it, look for the alcohol and residual sugar levels on the bottle of wine. If the RS isn't listed, check the winery's website or give them a call! Failing that, use the highest RS number in that wine style from the sweetness chart mentioned above.


Table showing the calories in 750ml bottles of wine.



Is Drinking White Wine Fattening?

White wine contains the same calories as any other wine.

That is, as long as both wines that you're comparing, have an equal amount of alcohol and residual sugar.

For instance, a 12% dry red or white wine with <2g/l RS has:

  •   19.4 calories per 1 ounce
  •   97    calories per 5 ounce serving (typical glass of wine)
  • 493    calories per 750ml bottle

But because white wines typically have lower alcohol levels than reds, they can contain less calories. To be sure, use my calculators on this page.

Check out red wine calories for my non-comparisons to other wines and drinks.


Can Wine Make You Gain Weight?

The health benefits of wine are many. And of course, there are cons as well. 

Just about everything you eat or drink can make you gain weight. So here's the main culprits that really make the calories in wine more fattening:

  • how much alcohol is in the wine 
  • the amount that you pour into your glass
  • how sweet the wine is (residual sugar level)
  • how much you snack

What!??? Snack?

Yup, you'll have to be on your game. Because once you drink alcohol you get the munchies, and you'll need to resist with all your might in order to not snack. That's where so much of the weight gain comes from!

Sigh... I've been there a thousand times. The old roller-coaster of weight gain/loss. It's a battle.

If you've just had a "busy" weekend with wine, and your resolve wasn't as good as you'd hoped it would be...

Here's a great exercise calorie calculator, so you'll know what types of activities will burn off the calories in wine you just drank.


Did You Know?

That both alcohol and it's by-products (glycerol) give a "perceived" sweetness. So does the color red! Alcohol sweetness is perceived on the sides of the tongue (the most sensitive part). And the color red signals your mind that this drink or food is most likely sweet! 

Which Wine Has the Least Amount of Calories?

Obviously de-alcoholized wines have the least amount of calories in wine. Other than that...

  • white wines usually have less alcohol, but check to make sure
  • fruit wines can also come in lower alcohol versions
  • sparkling wines - check for RS levels though!

Watch out for Moscato d'Asti - it's low in alcohol but jacked with sugar. The sugar raises the calories right back up there. Enter the residual sugar and alcohol level of a Moscato d'Asti into the calculators on this page and you'll see what I mean.

It's a beautiful wine on it's own of course. It's just that many sources tout it as a low-calorie wine, and don't take into consideration the amount of sugar that's in it.

On the flip side - life is meant to be enjoyed. ;)


What The?

There is no such thing as a sweetness scale for wine like there is a heat scale for hot peppers (Scoville scale).

The:

  • alcohol
  • acidity
  • tannins 
  • glycerol (alcohol by-product) etc, throw off the perception of sweetness. 

So instead, a suggested "sweetness range" is given. Unfortunately, the ranges vary from:

  • country to country
  • winery to winery 
  • to retail outlets
  • to websites and other literature. 

That's one reason why some wines can fall into more than one style... eg. dry and semi-dry.

It's also why the consumer is left scratching their head - especially if they're trying to add up the calories in wine.

To me, a dry wine should have less than 2g/l residual sugar. With all of the fermentable sugars depleted. Isn't that what "fermented dry" should mean?

What about other sugars that are unfermentable... like Pentose? They're found only in very small quantities in wine, and typically add less than 1g/l (0.1%RS).

If the wine doesn't balance out, you can backsweeten to the desired level. Or stop the fermentation early. But should the wine then be called dry? 

I think it's crazy to see wines going as high as 13g/l RS or even higher, and still being touted as a dry wine in some retail shops.



How Many Calories are in a 60z. Glass of Wine?

For a 6 ounce glass of dry wine in any style, with a residual sugar level of 2g/l, and an alcohol level of 12%: 

115.2 calories from alcohol + 1.36 calories from RS = 116.5 calories per 6oz. serving. 

A typical glass of wine though, is five ounces - which gives you:

96 calories from alcohol + 1.14 calories from RS = 97.1 calories per 5oz. serving.

Try the calculators above, to hone in on the calories of your favorite wine!


How Many Calories Are There In Wine That Has Been De-alcoholized?

What?

Who drinks de-alcoholized wine?

Image of de-alcoholized wine bottle.

A lot more people than what you might think! It's a pretty big industry... 

And not just for those looking to reduce the calories in wine they drink.

Sales of DA-wine is a $100 million dollar industry in the U.S. Worldwide, de-alcoholized wine is already a billion dollar business and is the fastest growing segment of all spirits.

Most de-alcoholized (that's a mouthfull isn't it?) wine has less than 0.5% alcohol left in it. So the amount of calories really depends on how much residual sugar is left.

  • a 5oz. glass of Ariel 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has 32.5 calories and 7.5 carbs in it. This wine has a 3.7g/100ml or 5.4g per 5oz RS level.
  • a 5oz. glass of Fre 2012 Merlot has 43.7 calories and 11.8 carbs in it. This wine has a 5.5g/100ml or 8.1g per 5oz. RS level.
  • a 5oz. glass for all of Carl Jung Wines have 36.8 calories and 6.5g carbs in them. These wines have a 4.5g/100ml or 6.6g per 5oz RS level.

The above figures are derived from their websites.

Well, you must be wondering what it tastes like? Me too, since I've never had it. From the reviews that I've seen, I think it all depends on your expectations.


Does Drinking Wine Make You Hungry?

Sort of.

Wine and all of it's scrumptious food pairings are all the rage these days. 

But that's not because wine makes you hungry.

It's the alcohol in the wine that does that. I'm not getting into the brain neuron thing here, or the rise and fall of sugar levels when we drink wine and eat. 

Just know that drinking wine or any other alcohol loosens your resolve. It relaxes you. And food is a comfort thing isn't it?

That's a good thing, unless you've already had your dinner. Then, well... not so good. 

Overeating combined with drinking is a killer on the waistline!


Calories in a 5oz Glass of Wine

Since most people drink their wine from a glass, I made up a chart that shows the calories in wine for a typical 5oz serving.

Like the bottle chart above, you'll need to know the wine's RS level to be more accurate.


Table showing the calories in 5 ounce servings of wine.



What's An Easy Cure for Weight Gain From the Calories in Wine!

Are you ready for this?

Say no to yourself!!

Say no to yourself when you're drinking wine and stick to it!

What I'm talking about here, is not listening to that little voice that says "I want that snack!". After you've had a glass of wine, expect that moment to come. Stamp it out. Be strong! 

Do you control your mind... or does it control you?

Sounds easy. Okay, it's not. But it is doable! 

Sometimes you'll fall down, but just get back up and "say no" the next time. The more you keep it top of mind, the better you'll get at maintaining a firm resolve.

No need to count calories in wine, you got this!

Enjoy.


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