Remember those three glasses of Sauvignon Blanc you tippled last weekend? They had enough calories to consider it dinner (or maybe you did!). Recently, I had a conversation with one of my dear friends who loves wine as much as I do. While we were drinking wine one afternoon, we discussed calories in a glass of wine. This conversation wasn’t as easy as you may think (and frankly, it was a bit of a buzz kill). The size of the pour and what type of wine you’re drinking are two factors that affect the number of calories. Another (and most important) factor is the ABV, better known as alcohol content.

calories in wine
Grapes on the vine are covered with mold, bacteria, and yeast. In order to make wine, juice from the grapes is turned into alcohol by the process of fermentation. By putting grape juice into a container at the right temperature, yeast will turn the sugar in the juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide. At some point, the yeast no longer modifies sugar to alcohol. (However, different strains of yeast, which can survive in higher and higher levels of alcohol, can take over and contribute their own flavor to the wine–as well as converting a bit more sugar to alcohol).

In general, wine with a higher alcohol content may have less sugar and vice versa. Your favorite Moscato could have 10% alcohol but 65 grams of residual sugar per liter whereas that delicious Malbec may boast 14% alcohol and 2.8 grams for the same amount. Yet, alcohol has two times the calories as sugar; conceivably, your Moscato may have fewer calories than the Malbec.

You’re concerned about carbohydrates? Carbs come from residual sugar left in wine. Each glass of wine contains from 9-19 grams of carbohydrates per standard 6 ounce pour. Dry wines such as Pinot Grigio or Zinfandel have less than 3 grams of sugar per liter. You love your late harvest Riesling or Sauterne with dessert, but you’ll find up to 150 grams of sugar per liter. Enjoy!

My colleague in the wine world, Madeline Puckette, is one of the masterminds behind Wine Folly, a must-read site for all wine aficionados. Her brilliant infographic below helps identify the calories, ABV, and sugar content in your favorite wines.


calories in wine

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Don’t despair!! Just be mindful of the amount of wine in each glass and how many glasses you’re having. Whether it’s at “Girls Night Out”, by the pool, or during a special dinner with friends, enjoy whatever wine is in your glass.

Cheers! ~ Cindy





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  1. Ann W


    I am a Weight Watcher, and this info is interesting to me. On their Smart Point System, 5 oz. of Champagne, white, or red wine equals 4 points. To put that in perspective, a 4 1/2 oz. piece of cheesecake is 18 points! I will continue to drink my dessert and savor.

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