Wine in moderation can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. A quick web search will lead you, in super speedy time, to any number of articles and research papers testifying to the health benefits of wine. Enjoyed in moderation, red and white wine have been shown to improve glucose control, support heart and cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol amongst many other things. Whether you choose to believe the findings is entirely up to you. Certainly, some articles give cause to raise the doubtful eyebrow more than a millimetre or three.
A few years ago, the scientists at Washington State University revealed that resveratrol – a polyphenol found more often in red wine – can support the transfer of white fat into ‘burnable’ brown fat. If taken last thing at night, resveratrol will apparently curb your appetite and help stop middle-of-the-night fridge raids. A cautionary note: this finding comes from watching the behaviour of bees. Resveratrol, which is mainly found in grape skins, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help protect against certain diseases, including cancer.
Bottom line, if you’re looking to manage your weight, you need to be calorie-aware, and wine does contain calories!
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how many calories are in a glass of wine, as well as in a bottle.
We’ll look at everything from red wine and white wine to Champagne and dessert wines, making sure you know exactly what you’re consuming when you pop the cork and serve yourself a glass of wine.
Calories in Wine: What You Need to Know…
Arguably the UK ‘expert’ on calories in wine is Master of Wine, Beverley Blanning. Writing in Decanter Magazine she says, “if you are looking to limit your calorie intake, you are right to focus on the alcohol content of wine, as this is by far the most significant determinant of its calorific content … Alcohol weighs in at a hefty seven calories per gram, which is only two calories fewer than pure fat.”
Blanning has devised the following useful formula for calculating the number of grams of alcohol in wine and subsequently the approximate calorie content.
[Volume (in ml) x ABV (%) x 8] divided by 1,000
Take this number and multiply it by 7 and you have your calorie content.
Let’s take a 37.5cl bottle of 12.5% wine as an example
[375 x 12.5 x 8] / 1000 = 37.5 grams of alcohol
37.5 x 7 = 262.5 calories.
Apart from alcohol, sugar and density are the two most important factors in contributing calories to wine. Sweet wines are nearly always higher in calories because they have significant levels of residual sugar. The denser a wine, the greater the calorific content too!
Does organic wine have low calories
Whether the alcohol or the sugar is organic or not, the calories are just the same!
So no, organic wine does not have lower calories than non-organic wine. The key is to look for alcohol content. The lower the alcohol content, typically the lower the number of calories.
Vintage Roots low-calorie wines
The simplest guide to keeping calorie intake down whilst enjoying a glass of wine is to select a wine that is low in alcohol.
See our selection of low and no-alcohol organic wines here.
How many calories in a bottle of red wine?
Using the ‘Blanning Formula’, it is straightforward to calculate the calories in the wine you’ve chosen, whether that’s a bottle of organic white wine or organic red wine.
Still, if the phone has died and your mathematical prowess is wanting, you can use grape variety and climate to steer you to likely lower-calorie wines. Pinot noir calories are typically less than say, Malbec.
Lower alcohol organic red wine
11.5 to 13.5% ABV – these wines tend to be lower in calories. Your average glass (175ml in a serving) of lower alcohol red wine contains roughly 135 to 165 calories. Many Pinot Noirs and Gamays fall into this category
Higher alcohol organic red wine
3.5% upwards – This type of wine may not have any more sugar, but the higher alcohol content makes it a higher-calorie wine. A 175ml glass of this wine can contain from 165 to 195+ calories.
Some red wine grapes you should look out for include Sangiovese; Pinot Noir; Gamay and Cabernet Franc.
See our selection of some of the lowest-calorie organic red wines**:
When We Dance Chianti is an Italian Sangiovese that has 127.4 calories in a generous 175ml glass.
We also calculate that the biodynamic Cabernet Franc, les Quarterons St Nicolas de Bourgueil is 117.6 calories per 175ml glass.
How many calories in a bottle of white wine?
With the ‘Blanning Formula’ now firmly etched on our minds, here’s some great news that doesn’t require a calculator…
Vintage Roots have an organic Low-Alcohol Riesling – one of the world’s best-loved white grape varieties. This delicious treat of a wine has just 8.5% ABV and therefore, 84 calories in a 175ml glass.
Distinctive and delicious, The Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a must-try wine and it’s comparatively low alcohol content means it is fairly light on calories too … 113 per 175ml glass.
Looking for something more specific? We’ve broken down the calorie content based on the type of organic white wine you’re after:
Lower alcohol organic sweet white wine
A lower alcohol white wine has a low alcohol content, but a fairly high sugar content. A 175ml serving will contain from 111 to 147 calories, but the serving size of sweet wines is often 75-125ml. Moscato d’Asti from Italy is in this category.
Lower alcohol organic dry white wine
A glass of dry white below 13.5% ABV contains 107 to 143 calories. Pinot Grigio and wines from the Loire valley are in this category.
Higher alcohol organic sweet white wine
Higher alcohol dessert wines such as Gewurztraminer and Sauternes can contain between 177 and 213 calories per 175ml, but again, serving sizes are usually smaller than this.
Higher alcohol organic dry white wine
Fuller-bodied whites such as New World Chardonnays and Sauvignons may have 153 to 173 calories per glass.
How many calories in a bottle of rosé wine?
Rosé wine is usually a lower-calorie wine than the high-alcohol, high-sugar red wines and white wines. It is often lighter, meaning a lower alcohol and sugar content.
Search our selection of organic rosé wines and you’ll see they mostly sit around the 12 to 13% ABV mark.
How many calories in a bottle of Prosecco?
Prosecco is a source of joy on so many levels! Tasty, fun, well-priced, versatile, and loved by everyone it is also amongst some of the lowest-calorie wines on the Vintage Roots list. Take a 125ml glass of 11% Prosecco and you will have consumed a meagre 77 calories!
See our selection of delicious organic prosecco wines here.
Champagne and Spumante wines are also unlikely to have alcohol levels of much more than 12 or 12.5%. Perhaps not the cheapest way to count calories but arguably one of the most fun!
Wine Calories 101
Except for water, there is nothing that naturally has ZERO calories.
Everything is designed to give you energy, and every fruit, vegetable, berry, grain, seed, and nut on the planet contains a different calorific content.
The calorie content in wine is impacted by:
Some grapes are higher in sugar than others. Sugar is one of the primary sources of calories. Each gram of sugar (carbohydrates) contains 4 calories. The more sugar there is in the grapes, the higher the calorie content of the wine.
Alcohol Content in wine
During the wine fermentation process, yeast eats at the sugar in the grapes. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.
While sugar contains 4 calories per gram, alcohol contains nearly twice that much at 7 calories per gram.
High-alcohol wines (like dark red wines and dessert wines) tend to have a higher calorie content. As most wines are ‘dry’ (in terms of the sugar level, rather than how fruity they taste), the alcohol content is a good guide to working out how many calories are in wine.
These key factors can determine how many calories are in a bottle of wine – and eventually, how many calories are in a glass of wine you serve yourself from that bottle!
How many carbs and calories in a bottle of wine?
The website site www.weightlossresources.co.uk is a great source of data on calories, carbs, fat, and alcohol in wine (and, of course, many other things!).
As a guide, they say that a 120ml glass of dry white wine has approx. 77 calories and 0.7 grams of carbohydrate. For a 125ml glass of red wine, they say you’ll get 85 calories and 3.1 grams of carbohydrate.
It bears remembering that glasses of wine are generally served in three standard sizes: 125ml, 175ml and 250ml. 125ml is what most pubs and restaurants call a “small” glass of wine. 175ml is a large glass. 250ml sometimes comes in a mini carafe and remember, that’s a third of a bottle of wine!
If you’re keen to get accurate information, please consult a nutritionist or a GP! We are neither.
How many calories and sugars in a bottle of wine?
Sweet and fortified wines like Sauternes, Port and Sherry are nearly always higher in sugar and alcohol than conventional dry white wines. As we now know alcohol is the greatest contributing factor to calorie content and when you add that to residual sugar, it’s pretty much impossible to claim that these are the wines for those looking to restrict their calorie intake!
Bear in mind though that sweet wines and ports are often consumed in much more modest volumes, because of their intensity and richness. Take then a 120ml glass of Casal Jordoes Finest Reserve Port, it will ‘cost’ you 135 calories. Spend an active half an hour in the garden or a 220-minutejog and you’ll have pretty much burnt them off…!
** Please note that the calories given are an estimate only and are correct at the time of writing and according to the vintage in stock. Please contact us if you wish to be sure of the latest vintage of any wine and its ABV level.