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Prosecco is a great beverage for any occasion - whether it’s your best friend's wedding, you want something fizzy with your lunch, or it’s simply a Tuesday evening - but have you ever thought about how many calories each glass contains?
Many people think that calories don’t count if you drink them, but this isn’t the case.
Poorly labelled beverages can result in us drinking undesirable and unhealthy ingredients - and many wines are a major culprit when it comes to poor labelling and hidden ingredients.
Keep reading to find out how many calories are in prosecco, how the calorie content in prosecco compares to other alcoholic beverages, and how to know which prosecco has fewer calories.
Calories are in the majority of foods and drinks - even the healthy ones. Generally, but not in all cases, unhealthy foods have more calories.
For example, half a cup of grapes typically has around 50 calories, whereas a slice of cake might contain around 270 calories.
Many people think that what you drink doesn’t matter, but this isn’t the case.
You can drink hundreds and hundreds of calories a day if you have this mindset. Alcoholic drinks are no exception - and unfortunately, neither is prosecco.
Prosecco generally has fewer calories than wine - a single glass can contain around 60 calories less than in wine.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that prosecco has a lower alcohol content compared to other wines. Most prosecco contains around 12% ABV (alcohol by volume), whereas a glass of red wine contains around 15% ABV.
The most common method of making prosecco involves pressing grapes very gently so that the free-run juice is extracted right from the centre of the grape.
The cloudy juice from the grape then settles in a stainless steel tank, and is left to cool for around ten to twelve hours.
All fermented beverages are made from fermenting a high-carb plant. With beer, it’s grain, and with wine, grapes are used.
Fermenting the naturally occurring sugars in the grapes with yeast produces co2 (bubbles), heat, and alcohol, making the beverage we know and love. To keep the bubbles, prosecco is bottled under pressure.
To produce alcohol, little yeasts (e.g saccharomyces cerevisiae) eat the sugar in the grapes.
With sweeter proseccos, this will be done for a shorter period of time to ensure that more sugar remains.
The remaining sugar is called residual sugar - and the more residual sugar, the more carbohydrates and calories per glass.
Prosecco is one of the best alcoholic beverages you can drink if you’re lowering your calorie intake.
A standard glass of prosecco contains around 1.5g of sugar and 80 calories, but this can vary depending on the brand you choose.
To put this into perspective, 3 glasses of prosecco would contain roughly the same amount of calories as a Mayo Chicken Burger from McDonald’s.
It shouldn’t be difficult to maintain a healthy diet and still drink the occasional glass of prosecco - however, calories add up and you can rack up hundreds of calories from drinking alone if you don’t monitor your intake.
Drier prosecco (or brut, which means unsweetened and dry in French) usually has the lowest amount of calories, with as few as 60 per glass.
This is because it contains less sugar for the dry and unsweetened taste. Don’t be fooled by the label ‘Extra Dry’.
This is a sweeter type of prosecco, and can contain around 120 calories per glass.
If you want a really dry, low-cal prosecco, then look out for the label ‘brut’.
Brut means dry and unsweetened in French, so you can enjoy a nice refreshing glass knowing it won’t impact your calorie, sugar, or carb intake much.
Prosecco Brut is low in residual sugar, meaning fewer carbs and ultimately fewer calories, with between 60 and 80 calories per glass.
Extra dry prosecco suggests that it’s drier than brut prosecco, but it actually has a higher sugar content. If you’re watching your calorie intake, brut is a better option than anything labelled ‘extra dry’.
Similarly, anything labelled Prosecco Dry may also be misleading. Dry prosecco also has a high sugar content and a sweeter taste, resulting in a higher calorie and carb content.
Dry prosecco is often served with cakes and pastries, as the sweet tastes combine well together on your palate.
The sweetest version of prosecco is Demi-sec, which has around 8 teaspoons of sugar per bottle.
Demi-sec prosecco can contain around 120 calories per glass, so you might want to avoid this type of prosecco if you’re conscious of calories.
Although beer and wine are both made by fermenting plants, they have a surprising difference when it comes to calorie content.
A pint of beer can contain between 180 and 210 calories, which is around 10% of your recommended calorie allowance - meaning just give pints of the stuff can cost you half of your daily intake.
The same goes for cider, with a standard glass containing around 220 calories, which is a similar amount to what you’ll find in a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
Fruity, sweeter ciders can contain even more calories, with popular Strawberry and Lime Koppaberg containing 275 calories per bottle.
Cocktails are generally more calorific due to the fruit juices and mixers used.
A pina colada contains around 174 calories, and sex on the beach contains around 250 calories per glass - with most calories coming from the orange and cranberry juice and the peach schnapps.
Alcopops generally have a high sugar content which increases the calorie content.
The reason people enjoy alcopops is because they’re so sweet and sugary, and not designed for mature tastebuds.
In a serving of blue WKD you might find 230 calories, and Smirnoff Ice contains around the same.
Spirits on their own don’t usually contain many calories, but this varies depending on the type.
For example, a shot of vodka contains between 90 and 100 calories, as does whiskey, tequila and rum. Gin typically contains a few more calories, with a calorie content of 110 per shot.
The mixer you add to spirits is what affects your calorie intake the most, especially if you use full-fat mixers instead of diet or slimline options.
Compared to other wines, vegan prosecco is a better option if you’re calorie-conscious.
A glass of rich, full-bodied red can contain 120 calories per glass, and dessert wines can contain as many as 165 calories per glass.
White wines tend to contain fewer calories, but you can still find around 120 calories in sweeter options such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay.