Because beverages containing alcohol do not have to be labeled with their nutritional information, it is difficult for the consumers to determine how many calories, nutrients, vitamins and minerals they are ingesting per serving.
Calories in Wine
The calories in a bottle of wine depends on the grape varietal, length of fermentation and the amount of sugar used to make the wine. Wines with a higher alcohol content tend to also have the highest caloric content. It seems to be contradictory, but most sweet-tasting wines actually have fewer calories than dry wines. This is because alcohol has more calories per gram than sugar.
Grapes grown in warm regions tend to have a high sugar content. This grape varietal is used to make wines with higher alcoholic content, which means higher caloric content.
The following is the average amount of calories per 5 fluid ounces (one serving) according to varietal:
- Champagne ranges from 124 calories (Brut Zero) to 175 calories (Doux).
- Riesling = 118 calories (590 per bottle)
- Sauvignon Blanc = 119 calories (595 per bottle)
- Table wine = 121 calories (605 calories per bottle)
- Chardonnay = 123 calories (615 per bottle)
- Pinot Noir = 121 calories (605 per bottle)
- Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon = 122 calories (605 calories per bottle)
- Table wine = 125 calories (625 calories per bottle)
- Wine is fermented, and fermented foods are great for digestion due to the microbes, probiotics and lactic acid (food for the good bacteria) that are present in such foods.
- Wine is fat-free. There are no “bad” fats or cholesterol in red wine.
- Some varieties of red wine contain a trace amount of protein.
- Studies show that those who consume wine have a 34% lower mortality rate than those who drink spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, etc.) or beer.
- Moderate consumers of wine have a 30% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who don’t consume wine moderately.
- Moderate consumers of wine have a 30% lower risk of having a heart attack than those who don’t consume wine moderately.
- The tannins in red wine contain procyanidis, which can protect you against heart disease. The grapes grown in Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidis than grapes grown in other regions.
- Moderate consumers of wine have a 50% lower risk of having a stroke.
- Moderate consumers of wine have a 32% lower risk of cataracts than those who mainly drink beer.
- Moderate consumers of wine have a 45% lower risk of suffering from colon cancer.
- Studies have shown that those who tend to binge on wine are more likely to show a rapid brain decline as they age.
Ways to Limit Your Wine Consumption
Although there are some health benefits to drinking wine, over-consumption can lead to cirrhosis, high blood pressure, cancers, injury, and death. Limit your consumption of wine with the following few tips:
- Watch your serving sizes. Too often, when you are pouring yourself a glass of wine, you end up with much larger than a 5 fluid ounce serving. Use a smaller glass to help avoid over-consumption.
- Know your triggers. Many people turn to wine to celebrate, after a bad work day, etc. Instead of reaching for the wine bottle, splurge on a decadent dinner sans alcohol or go to the gym to relieve stress.
- Take a break from alcohol. Research has shown that your body builds a tolerance to alcohol with regular consumption. Every so often, take a break from alcohol. Not only will you be less like to become addicted to alcohol, you will also notice great health benefits as well!
- Make it a treat. Instead of purchasing large quantities of cheap boxes of wine, buy a few expensive bottles. The price difference will get you to think twice about chugging the bottle in one night. You’ll want to savor that one special bottle over a few days.
- Keep track of your drinking. If you do drink, keep a calendar of what you drank and how much. This visual reminder will let you know if you’re in line with your alcohol intake goals.