How Many Calories in Red Wine?

Vintage Roots

Wine in moderation can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. A quick web search will lead you to any number of articles and research papers testifying to the health benefits of red wine. But what about calories in red wine?

With ultra-processed and junk foods everywhere these days, many of us are concerned about calorie consumption for maintaining a healthy weight. So in this article we’ll break down the following:

A quick note about red wine and health benefits

According to the Mayo Clinic, although more research is needed, red wine in moderation has long been thought of as heart-healthy. Part of the benefit from red wine could be that antioxidants in red wine may increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and protect against cholesterol buildup.  This is due to antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols (and one called resveratrol especially) that may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart. Apart from just being heart healthy, based on findings from several in vivo, in vitro and human studies, resveratrol may also protect against a variety of other diseases in addition to ischemic heart disease, including cancer, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, inflammation and infection.

How many calories in red wine?

Now let’s get to how many calories there are in red wine. When it comes to how many calories there are in red wine, some maths is required. This is because the number of calories can range due to alcohol percentage of the wine, or ABV. Most wines are between 11-14% ABV.

In general, calories in red wine can range from about 120 to 200 calories for a 175ml (or medium) glass of red wine. See more below.

How did we work this out? 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, she wrote.

Let’s take a standard 750ml bottle of 12.5% wine as an example:

  •  = (750 x 12.5 x 8) / 1000 = 75 grams of alcohol
  • = 75 x 7 = 525 calories in a whole bottle of 12.5% wine or 122 calories for a 175 ml glass 

Let’s look at calories in a bottle of wine that has 11% alcohol: 

  • = (750 x 11 x 8) / 1000 = 75 grams of alcohol
  • 66 x 7 = 462 calories in a whole bottle of 11% wine or 108 calories for a 175 ml glass 

And calories for a bottle of wine that has 14% alcohol: 

  • = (750 x 14 x 8) / 1000 = 75 grams of alcohol
  • 84 x 7 = 588 calories in a whole bottle of 14% wine or 137 for a 175 ml glass

As you can see, the calories go up as alcohol increases. So if you’re looking for a lower calorie red wine, choose one that is lower in alcohol. Here are three lower alcohol red wines we would recommend (below 12% ABV), or see more below. Find all our low alcohol organic wines here.

Apart from alcohol level, sugar and density are the two most important factors contributing to calories in wine. As red wines are most often dry, they will have fewer calories than sweeter wines. Dessert red wines such as Port or Sherry will obviously have higher calories because they have higher levels of residual sugar. So if you’re after a lower-calorie red wine, choose something that is dry as well. Note: most of the organic red wines we stock are on the drier side.

Calories in red wine: How many calories in a 750ml bottle of red wine?

As we’ve shown above, the number of calories in a whole bottle of red wine generally depends on the alcohol content of the bottle wine. For a 13% ABV bottle of wine, you can expect about 550 calories; here’s a table to break this down further. Note if you have a wine that’s say 11.5%, the calorie amount will generally fall between 11 and 12%.

Wine alcohol level >> 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 20%
Estimated calories per bottle  462 504 546 588 630 840

Calories in red wine: How many calories in a 250ml glass of red wine?

There are three 250ml glasses in a standard 750ml bottle of wine. So, depending on the alcohol level, the estimated calorie levels will vary, but for a 13% 250 ml glass of red wine you can expect about 180 calories. Here’s a table to break down things further:

Wine alcohol level >> 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 20%
Estimated calories per 250ml glass 154 168 182 196 210 280

Note: these numbers are estimates based on alcohol level alone. Residual sugars and density also come into play, but this should give you an idea.

Calories in red wine: How many calories in a 175ml glass of red wine?

There are about 4.3 175ml glasses in a standard 750ml bottle of wine. For a 13% 175ml or medium glass of red wine, that’s about 130 calories. Depending on the alcohol level, the estimated calorie levels will work out to:

Wine alcohol level >> 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 20%
Estimated calories per 175ml glass  108 118 127 138 147 198

Note: these are estimates and calorie counts do vary. You can also use the UK charity Drinkaware’s online alcohol unit and a calorie calculator for calories in wines and other drinks too.

Calories in red wine: How many calories in a 125ml glass of red wine?

There are six 125ml glasses in a standard 750ml bottle of wine. For a 13% 125ml or small glass of red wine, that’s about 90 calories. Depending on the alcohol level, the estimated calorie levels will work out to:

Wine alcohol level >> 11% 12% 13% 14% 15% 20%
Estimated calories per 125ml glass  77 84 91 98 105 140

Note: these are estimates and calorie counts do vary. You can also use the UK charity Drinkaware’s online alcohol unit and a calorie calculator for calories in wines and other drinks too.

What is the lowest calorie red wine?

The three main contributing factors to calories in red wine are alcohol level, sugar and density. So if you are after a low calorie red wine, choose something that has lower alcohol if you can, that’s dry and also that’s low-density/lighter-bodied.

Examples of lighter-bodied red wines are

As you can see, plenty of options to pick from!

Recommended low-calorie red wines

If you’re looking for lower calorie red wines, here are some we’d recommend.

For a budget-friendly low-calorie red, our consistently reliable Organic Roots Rosso has just 12% alcohol and is lighter bodied too.

Another lower alcohol red is Meinklang’s Roter Mulatschak, a natural red made from a blend of biodynamic Zweigelt and St. Laurent grapes that’s a fantastic food wine too.

For a Pinot Noir, Paul Mas Cuvée Secrète Pinot Noir is a great value no sulphur added red from southern France.

For a Carmenere, Emiliana’s Adobe Carmenere Reserva is a top-reviewed and high-scoring Chilean Carmenere (Chile is famous for its Carmenere).

For a Frappato, try Santa Tresa’s Rina Russa Frappato, which can also be enjoyed chilled, so a good red for summer too.

If you’re looking for a Gamay or Beaujolais, go for Romany Beaujolais Le Moulin, made from 60-year-old Gamay vines.

For a Valpolicella try Mont’albano’s Valpolicella, a lighter-bodied 100% Corvina from Italy’s Veneto region.

** Please note that the calories given are estimates only  alcohol levels of these wines vary according to the vintage (year) in stock. Please contact us if you wish to be sure of the latest vintage of any wine and its ABV level.

Also check out our complete Guide to Calories in Wine here.

Browse all our low alcohol wines here

 

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