How Many Calories In A Glass of Red Wine?

How Many Calories In A Glass of Red Wine?

Sipping on a glass of red wine is one of the best ways to unwind after a long, stressful day. 

All the wine lovers out there know that. On top of being a great stress-reliever, drinking red wine can provide health benefits such as reducing the risks of heart disease and increasing your levels of "good" cholesterol. 

However, as with most things in life, you should never exaggerate. Indeed wine (just like any alcoholic beverage) also brings empty calories to your organism, with none or very few nutrients.

How Many Calories In A Glass of Red Wine? All You Need To Know

Guessing how many calories you are consuming when drinking is not an easy task. We are all familiar with nutritional labels for food, but what about your drinks?

Most wine labels will provide you the alcohol content and the origin of the wine, but nothing else about its nutritional information.

Having a clear idea about the nutritional value of your daily glass of red wine might not be tricky.

For all those who love wine, but who are concerned with health, the question about how many calories in a glass of red wine should they expect to ingest might be worth considering.

If you are drinking one or two glasses of wine per day, how is that affecting your diet?

To answer such a question and give you concise but complete information about your consumption of red wine, we put together this essential guide.

Here you'll learn how to count the calories of your glass of red wine, you'll get some tips to reduce your daily calories intake without having to renounce to your glass of wine, and you'll learn something more about the nutritional value of your favorite drink.

How To Calculate The Calories in Your Wine

As mentioned, it is not as easy as it sounds to know with certainty how many calories in a glass of red wine there are. Indeed, as you might already guess, it depends on how much you decide to pour on your glass.

Also, it depends on the alcoholic content of the specific wine you chose. Depending on the type of wine you prefer to drink, the nutritional content you'll get might vary.

To keep things simple, it is worth noticing that as a rule of thumb, you can expect your 5-ounce glass of red wine with 11 to 14 percent alcohol, to contain around 120 to 130 calories.

That's quite a lot, considering that you are most likely to drink more than one glass during dinner or in a night out. That's why drinking with moderation should be your focus: it will help you stick to your health objectives, keep your calories restricted, and maintain a healthy weight.

You are not likely to be accurate when pouring your glass of wine. Depending on the shape of your glass, a 5-ounce serving might look very little, and chances are you are already currently pouring more than the recommended daily amount.

While that is not necessarily a problem, it may mean that you are drinking more calories than you realize. That's because a four-ounce serving can look very little, especially in large-rimmed wine glasses.

Try using smaller glasses to give the impression of higher volume! However, if you want to keep the calories count more accurate, you'll need to measure.

If you are sharing a whole bottle, it might be worth considering that your average bottle of dry red wine of 750 ml (25.4 ounces) contains around 635 calories.

The Formula To Calculate The Calories Of Your Glass Of Red Wine

To be more precise in knowing how to calculate how many calories in a glass of red wine, you should follow this basic formula, taking into account the ABV (or alcohol by volume) of your chosen drink.

* The calories in your red wine glass are equal to the ABV times the ounces poured * 1.6
* Calories= ABV* Ounces* 1.6

So, if you are trying to keep in shape, but you don't want to give up on your glass of red wine, opt for one that has a lower alcoholic content.

Does White Wine Have Less Calories?

Many think that white wine is much less caloric than red wine, but the reality is that the difference is inexistent. Rather than the type of wine, is more the alcohol content and the processing that have the highest impact on the caloric content of your drink.

In general, more alcoholic wines tend to have more calories than those with lower alcohol content.

The latter tend to have more carbs and sugar by volume, and while that might not be so good on a nutritional perspective, it does have an impact on the final calorie count.

Indeed, you might not know that one gram of carbohydrates has four calories, compared to the seven provided by the same amount of alcohol.

Does Wine Make People Fat?

Now, this is the question most people might have in the back of their minds by now! Here's the most direct answer you can get.

Wine has little nutrition value: it contains little carbs, no proteins, and no fats, so how come we all know that drinking does have an impact on your efforts to maintain a healthy body?

Well, the answer is straightforward. Wine contributes to your daily calorie intake. Since it provides you with "empty calories," meaning very little nutrition with no fibers to fill you up, it is easy to overcome your caloric limit by drinking a glass too much of wine.

Sadly, but truthfully, if you don't pay attention, you might consume as many calories by drinking wine as you'd do eating a whole pizza!

That's because liquid calories tend to add up more quickly, as they are "easier" to assume and don't feel the same way as food going down your stomach. Again, for your safety and health, you should aim at consuming one glass of red wine or less per day.

Recent studies showed that alcohol does contribute to increasing your appetite, so if you've been feeling hungry while drinking, you're not alone!

However, that doesn't help when you are trying to restrict or limit the calories you are intaking. Some estimates claim that people might be consuming around 300 to 400 calories when drinking.

It seems that when drinking, the foods you are most likely to crave are salty and fatty, so we are not talking about a fruit or a salad here.

Some Tips To Keep Calories Low

If you are trying to stay slim and still enjoy your wine, don't worry! The only thing you must be more careful of is your serving size.

Drinking a 5-ounces wine will not have considerable effects on your diet, especially if you have a small protein-rich snack before sipping your drink. Nut mix is a great example, as it will help you consume less food while drinking and possibly make you drink less.

Also, you can reduce the calories by pouring some sparkling over your glass of red wine. Of course, you should do that when ordering the wine of the house or when drinking a cheaper bottle, not to ruin the taste of your wine.

If you are trying to restrict your calories, but you don't want to give up on your glass of wine on your night out, consider sharing it with another person.

Drinking wine should be about the experience, rather than the quantity, and sharing your glass can be an enjoyable one. It is also a great way to reduce your calorie intake.

Carbs In Wine: What You Should Know

With the rise of the low carbs diet, many are concerned about the carbohydrate content of a glass of wine.

Well, the good news is that there's nothing to worry about! If you are trying to follow a low carb diet, you can still enjoy a glass or two of wine, with no major consequences on your plan!

Wine is one of the best alcoholic drinks when you are trying to reduce your carb intake. A glass of red wine contains less carbohydrate than your average beer, dry wines, and most sparkling wines.

Carbs in your wine come from unfermented sugars leftovers during the fermentation process. It is what is left after the yeasts eat the carbs producing CO2, heat, and alcohol. On average, a glass of your favorite red wine would have from 0 to 4 grams of net carbs.

The Bottom Line

Of course, we all know that life without wine might be unpleasant for many. But even if wine can increase your caloric intake, that doesn't mean you shouldn't drink it!

Setting new goals and trying to live a healthy life are great objectives, but don't make those goals eliminate from your life all things you love.

Instead, make small changes and control your intake.

Stick to drinking with moderation, keep your overall calories down (so pay attention to what you are eating), commit to regular exercise, and enjoy your glass of wine without ruining your diet plans!

Follow the tips we provided in this guide to be able to drink your glass without regrets: it is possible, as long as you keep motivated and you don't exaggerate!


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Karl Kahale & The Underground Wine Merchants Team

  • October 1, 2020
  • Blog