7 Tips For Choosing Wine When Counting Calories
Even though you’re counting calories and trying to lose weight, you may occasionally like to indulge in a glass of wine at a party or special occasion. However, you won’t find a nutrition facts panel on your merlot or zinfandel bottle, so keeping track of the calories in wine can be a challenge.
So how can you calculate how many calories are in your favorite vino or know how to maximize your wine experience while consuming the least amount of calories? Here are some tips on choosing and consuming wine when counting calories.
7 Tips For Choosing Wine
1. Know the ABV value. The ABV (alcohol by volume) figure is on every bottle, and typically it ranges from 9 percent to 17 percent. The amount of alcohol in a bottle of wine has a larger impact on the number of calories than do the number of carbs. More specifically, alcohol has nearly twice the amount of carbs as sugar, providing about 9 to 19 grams of carbs per serving. Flavored wines can contain even higher carbs.
The lower a wine’s ABV, the fewer calories it has. For example, wines with an ABV between 9 and 12 percent provide 110 to 140 calories per six-ounce serving, or about 10 additional calories per percentage point.
2. Raise the white flag. Generally, white wines have less calories and less alcohol than red wines. However, the difference is not that great (e.g., light whites have about 140 calories per six ounces while light reds come in between 135 and 165).
3. Consider seltzer. You can reduce the amount of calories while still enjoying your wine by adding seltzer to your glass. A one-to-one ratio is ideal, while pouring in any more seltzer will really dilute your vino experience. You also can add ice.
4. Buy foreign wines. Wines made in America have less strict regulations concerning alcohol content, while European wines are more regulated, and thus they tend to be lower in calories and alcohol content.
5. Beware of the bubbly. Champagne can be a hiding place for sugar, so look for products that are designated as “brut nature” or “brut zero,” which indicates minimal sugar has been added. The difference between a five-ounce of brut nature champagne and a sweet variety can be 55 calories: 120 for the former and 175 for the latter. (See below under "Check out lower-calorie wines, however.)
6. Know your options. One six-ounce of wine can contain as little as 107 calories or as many as 275. You can explore the eight categories (ranging from light alcohol dry white all the way to high-end sweet dessert wine) and calorie counts in this wine calorie chart.
7. Check out lower-calorie wines. A variety of lower-calorie wines are available, and although they don’t provide a big caloric savings, they are another option. Some of the brands include Lindeman’s (Australian; 90 calories/5 oz), Marlborough Sauvignon (UK, 90 calories/5 oz), The Doctors Sauvignon Blanc UK; 100 calories/5 oz), Weight Watchers Fruity White (75 calories/4.2 oz), Skinny Rose Premier Cru NV champagne (46 calories/4.2 oz), among others.
A healthful weight loss food program can include an occasional moderate amount of wine. Plan ahead for such events and enjoy!