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Why Are Calories In Wine Important?

Do Calories in Wine Count?

There’s nothing quite like relaxing with a glass of wine after a long week, whether you’re meeting friends in a bar, you’re out for food, or you’re simply unwinding at home in your pyjamas.

However, if you’re lowering your calorie intake, you may be avoiding wine altogether. Is this necessary? Do calories in wine count? Are calories in wine important? Why?

The good news is that you can find low-calorie wines that you can enjoy guilt-free - the key is understanding calories in wine. Keep reading to learn more about wine and calories in wine.


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Why Are There Calories in Wine?

Unfortunately, wine has calories - just because what you’re consuming is a liquid, that doesn't mean that there aren’t any calories. Take Coca Cola for example - one can of Coke contains 139 calories.

You’re most likely aware that wine is made from fermenting grapes, which essentially involves combining yeast and grapes. The yeast consumes the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes to create alcohol, bubbles, and heat.

Grapes are delicious and contain more calories than many other fruits, with around 62 calories per cup. This is because of the naturally occurring sugars in them - especially when the grapes have spent longer on the fine (‘late harvest grapes’). The calories in grapes come from carbohydrates - in fact, just one cup of grapes contains around 16 grams of carbs - and 15 grams of sugar.

If you’re on a health kick, you’re watching your weight or you’re on a diet, then you’re more than likely familiar with carbs.

Although carbs are a completely normal part of food, many diets (for example, the keto diet) focus on limiting your carb intake. Carbs don’t really deserve their bad reputation, but they do contribute to the calories found in wine (and most other foods and drinks).

Each gram of carbs typically contains around 4 calories. This means that wines that have more sugar and carbs will have more calories. For example, dessert wines will have a larger number of carbs and calories than a dry Pinot Grigio. Check out the best wines for a low carb diet!

However, it’s not just carbs that contribute towards the calories in wine. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the alcohol content in the wine, the more calories.

This is because there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol - so wines that have a higher alcohol content will naturally contain more calories.

Typically, wine contains an alcohol content of between 11% and 14%, but of course, this varies depending on the type of wine and the brand.

Fortified wines often have a higher alcohol content, with up to 20% ABV (alcohol by volume), whereas you can find low-alcohol wines with just 5% ABV.


How Many Calories in Wine?

Depending on the wine you choose, wine doesn’t always have to cost you too many calories. Typically, there are around 120 calories per glass of wine - however, if you have the whole bottle (which is easily done!), you’re drinking around 600 calories.

This is around the same amount of calories as a tasty dinner - so if you’re trying to lose weight or be healthier, avoid drinking too much wine.

If you plan on lowering your calorie intake, the key is understanding which wines have the least calories and which wines have the most.



Sparkling wine is surprisingly less calorific than other types of wine. For example, a glass of Prosecco contains roughly 85 calories and just 1.5g of sugar, and a glass of Rose contains roughly 100 calories.

Your standard 12% ABV Champagne contains around 85 calories, which is perfect if you’re celebrating a special occasion and want to enjoy a glass or two of Champagne!

If you’re looking to lower your calorie intake, then why not mix your sparkling wine with sugar-free sparkling water or add ice?

Alternatively, you could opt for a Brut Prosecco - this is a dry option that contains much less sugar and ultimately fewer calories.

Avoid wines that are cheaper or have added flavourings, as these tend to contain more sugar and more calories. The key is drinking in moderation - a glass won’t hurt, but a bottle or two will likely lead to you going over your recommended daily calorie limit.

At ThinK Wine, we offer delicious low-calorie and reduced sugar Prosecco, made from the finest Glera grapes from the heart of Treviso, northeast Italy. There are only 62 calories per 100ml - which is pretty impressive for Prosecco that’s 11% ABV.



Red wine typically contains more calories than sparkling wine. However, red wine contains more resveratrol, which is thought to be good for your heart. Roughly, you can find around 125 calories in your standard glass of red wine.

If you’re trying to take better care of your health, opt for a glass of Pinot Noir - this contains health-boosting antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids.

Full-bodied reds tend to contain more calories - so avoid fortified wines (e.g Madeira, Port, and Sherry). Fortified wines contain more residual sugar, which ultimately means more carbs and more calories.



A glass of white wine typically contains around 120 calories, but this can vary from brand to brand. Knowing what terms to look out for is key when it comes to enjoying wine while lowering your calorie intake.

Opt for a dry white - brut, brut nature, or extra brut. These wines contain fewer calories as they are dry instead of sweet - they contain less sugar.

Avoid sweeter whites such as Riesling, as these can contain upwards of 160 calories per glass. Pinot Grigio is always a good choice, with around 120 calories per glass. You can easily find low-calorie white wine options, whether it be online, in your local supermarket, or on the menu at your favourite bar.


Why Are Calories in Wine Important?

Now you have an understanding of where the calories in wine come from, why there are calories in wine, and how many calories are in each type of wine, it’s time to understand why calories in wine are important.

Calories in wine are essentially empty calories - your body doesn’t gain any nutrition from consuming these calories. These calories won’t fill you up and prevent you from being hungry. In fact, after a few glasses of wine, many people will get hungry and start eating junk food.

When drinking wine, many people will have more than just one glass - and will have a bottle or two (or three!). This can easily lead to you consuming more than your recommended calorie intake, which for women is 2000, and for men is 2500.

Consuming too many calories will lead your body to store the excess as body fat. This can have several negative consequences over a long period of time - increasing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and multiple cancers.

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