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Wine calories, especially for those who are avid consumers of these beloved fermented grapes, can add up more than we often realize. It doesn’t help that wine bottles don’t print nutrition facts on their labels. This means that you have to shop for wine a bit differently than you do for food if you are trying to live a low-calorie lifestyle.
So, how does one go about finding a low-calorie wine if there’s no information on the label? The most revealing place to start is with the bottle’s ABV – or alcohol by volume – percentage.
For Wine Calories: Look At The ABV
Wine calories are determined by looking at the bottle’s alcohol content. This is because alcohol bears more caloric weight than carbs do. Alcohol has seven calories per gram, whereas sugars (carbs) only have four. Lower wine calories can, therefore, come from wines with a lower alcohol content. Bottles range wildly in this content, usually between 9% and 17%. The closer to 9% the ABV of the bottle is, the fewer calories it will serve up with each pour.
Ideally, wine lovers should search for a wine between 9% and 12% as to avoid the higher-calorie wines available. This relatively low ABV means that each six-ounce glass will have between 110 and 140 calories.
What Impacts A Wine’s ABV?
As the AVB of a bottle or glass has a lot to do with its caloric content, let’s take a look at what causes certain wines to have a higher ABV than others.
First and foremost, the types of wine grapes used in the production of wine matters. When grapes are grown in warmer climates, they often accumulate a greater amount of sugar. This added sugar content translates into higher wine calories, as sugar still packs 4 calories per every gram.
For instance, wine grapes grown in Chile and Australia tend to contribute to a higher ABV than wines produced by France and Italy. These wine grapes are grown in very warm climates, thus resulting in more sugar passing along through the winemaking process. It is for this reason that drinkers should consider exclusively drinking wines made from European countries.
Learn about The United Kingdoms Best Wines!
White wine calories tend to be much lower in nature than those of their red counterparts.
In fact, wine made in Europe is often more low-calorie than wines produced in the United States. This is due to the fact that European nations have stricter laws regarding the alcohol content of wine. And as you now know, lower ABV equals lower calories.
Super-sweet wines like Moscato also have a higher calorie count. The same is true of champagne. Though their ABV may be low, the sugar content can still drive up the total calories you’re drinking. Hidden sugars are less prominent if you stick with brands labeled “brut nature” or “brut zero.” Bottles with these labels tend to have a minimal amount of added sugar, making them more diet-friendly.
Stick With White Wines
White wine calories tend to be much lower in nature than those of their red counterparts. Have you ever noticed that the ABV on bottles of red tends to be closer to 15% than to 9%? It can be a challenge to find a low-alcohol red, which prompts many of the calorie-conscious to choose white wines instead. White wines tend to have 140 calories or less per 6-ounce pour, whereas reds tend to deliver as much as a whopping 165 calories per pour! Yikes!
That said, it is not impossible to find lower-calorie reds. A Beaujolais from France is a delectable red that delivers a mere 105-110 calories per glass, for example. Finding these wines may be more challenging for some drinkers, but for lovers of reds, it is worth taking a discerning look around.
Consider A Smaller Glass
This might seem obvious, but it’s an instant way to reduce your intake of wine calories. By reducing your pour by a single ounce, you can cut twenty calories or more from your drink! This is a great option for those who want to stick with their diet even when served a wine that has a higher ABV than they’d prefer. This way, you don’t have to say “no thanks” when offered a glass of vino. All you have to do is ask for a shorter pour.
Some guesswork may come into play if you must find the absolutely lowest-calorie wine possible. However, the ABV of a bottle is the best place to start your search. By narrowing your search down to white wines produced by France or Italy, you can best ensure that you are getting the lowest calorie option possible – without sacrificing flavor.